Tag Archives: Job

CLAPPING TREES

“If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? But who can keep from speaking? Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands. Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees. But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed. Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?”~ Job 4:2-6
 
There has been only quiet and emptiness. The sky thunderously dark and empty of light mocked the brightness of previous days, and the night withheld its dim beauty. Job knew this period of life well. Many of us know this period of life.
 
“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”~1 Chron 4:10
 
When I get full of myself, I have this crazy tendency to pray this simple prayer by a man only mentioned one time in the Bible. A man that had his prayer answered. I always think, “Ok, I’ve grown a lot in the past few years, right, Father? Expanding my territory will mean that it will be much easier than the last time I prayed this prayer, right?”
 
“Right?”
 
It never is. In fact, it is always a little more challenging. It is why I have only prayed this prayer 3 times. Right now – I don’t know if I will ever be brave enough to pray it again – but then again – I have said this before.
 
It is a prayer that – for me – tears off the veils that I have used to cover all those weak areas in my life that are buried so deeply that most of the time I can pretend they don’t exist.
Physical.
Emotional.
Spiritual.
And even – those states that exist so far beyond my logical understanding that I have no words for them. The good news?God knows them – knows of their existence – even if I don’t, and He strips the veils away to expand my territory in Him.
 
In January I prayed. God answered…as He always does. Territory expanded and…as always…a blessed period of rest begins. A tiny flower of clarity. A deep breath that I had been holding for almost six months. And a whole bunch of Grace shining so brightly that I almost feel ready to stand up and begin my journey again.
 
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”~Is 55:12
 
Four weeks ago, just before my scheduled trip to NYC with the daughters, I was still struggling. This test had been longer and more intense than the other two times, and I was tired – – – very tired. It was then He woke me up in the middle of the night and gave this verse in Isaiah. The darkness was pushed back to reveal the stars that had been there all along.
 
It was time to step out in joy and let Him lead me forth in peace. The mountains continue to sing as the trees clap their hands and I am looking forward to starting a new adventure. I get to be a librarian again. It looks like I will end my working career the way I started it long ago when I was a page in the Loudonville library. I also get to work in a new Christian school that is just starting in NC.
K-3.
A small room.
A few shelves of books.
A chance to help build a room in Our Father’s house – – – “…on earth as it is in heaven.”~Matt 6:10b
 
There are mountainous songs circling and trees clapping.
Can you hear them?
 

Grace Christian Academy – can’t wait to see what Our Father is about to do. 

[personal images]

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Because of Christmas #2: His Face

There is a an rabbinical adage that says that a person should always carry two pieces of paper with them. It should be written on one of them: “You are as dust and ashes.” (Job 30:19). On the other should be written: “For you the universe was created.” (Gen 1).

I’ve been thinking about this saying for a couple of days now. I like the dichotomy between these two perspectives. I like picturing myself with two pieces of paper – one in each hand. My one hand has a red sticky note that says Elohim made us out of some of the smallest ugliest parts under our feet. On my other hand is a blue sticky note that says we are the center of His universe.
I understand the wisdom of this saying. There are times we are really ugly and make awful decisions. However – there are also times when when our decisions help us soar beyond our wildest dreams – as if the universe lay at our feet. If we can keep our two hands within our sight, we will see the whole of who we are instead of being blinded by one hand or the other.
I kept thinking of that Rabbinical saying today as I read chapter 2 in “Because of Bethlehem”. I don’t know when this adage came into Jewish tradition. Perhaps Rabbi Yeshua repeated it to is own disciples – sans the sticky notes of my visualization. What I do know is that in one timeless moment Elohim reached in among the dusty ashes once more and gave shape to His own face, body and being.
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”~Is 9:6-7
Max Lucado summed it up pretty well in one sentence: “He took on your face in the hope that you would see His.” (p20). The more I thought about these two things, the more I saw myself – sitting in my childhood church. My hands folded in prayer – sitting between my mother and father. Heads bowed – hands together. The sticky notes of who I am – no longer color separated but white beyond description.
That’s what Grace does when we see who we are through His eyes – His child for whom the universe was created. [google image]
babyprayinghands

The Gate-keeper

We beat the gate-keeper to the lake this morning. I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time to let the girls (our labs =) ) swim and walk this morning (since I had appointments to keep), so I wanted to make sure to take advantage of every minute. It was worth it. 73 degrees, a slight breeze and happy, barking dogs – life doesn’t get much better and I was glad the gate-keeper was on time.

“Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee..” Job 22:28a

But as I watched all the beauty around me, I kept thinking about the 3 teenagers killed in Israel. 18 days missing and buried today. Earlier today I read and shared a post by an Israeli woman. She talked about how the number 18 in Hebrew is equivalent to the word “chai” which means “life”. Needless to say, that one little sentence has been revisiting my thought process throughout the day. A dat spent reading a new book, waiting for the doctors to say I am a perfectly healthy 63 year old – enjoying the freedom to drive around and purchase things I “needed”.

Just – Life.

I think I have a pretty great one, and I am more and more thankful for it everyday. As I stood by the water watching the girls fetch their sticks, two pure white birds flew low over us. They were not the typical sea gulls that are often swirling over the lake, but they were also bigger than the white doves we occasionally see. I don’t know what they were, but they were beautiful. Even the dogs looked up as they were swimming, sticks in mouths, towards me. It’s one of those times I wish I was more like mom. She would have had a camera ready and snapped it. As they disappeared into the shelter of the woods, Israel and America popped into my mind.

Two countries founded upon a faith in one God. Three boys: Two Israelis and 1 American. Two countries tied together by faith. Three boys of different countries tied together by friendship and faith.

The older I get, the less I’m inclined to believe in “quinky-dinks” as my dad and mom used to say. Jewish wisdom looks at every “jot and tittle” as they study the WORD. They believe that nothing – not a dot – not a word – not a repetitive story – in the WORD is just a coincidence. They give God so much more credit than we -people of the new covenant – have done. In fact, we pretty much ignore the OT except for a few stories that we find relevant. We tend to forget that Jesus was totally Jewish and knew the WORD down to every “jot and tittle”. He often repeated the wisdom of the OT in His teachings.

“”Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matt 18:18

I guess with all these thoughts roaming through my busy day, I wasn’t surprised when this last verse popped up in my devotions tonight. Did you notice the reference? 18:18. Did you notice that Jesus repeated a verse in Job? Life. Prayer. Faith. The gate-keeper is standing by the gate.

A Caliphate is proclaimed.

Three boys are buried.

I don’t know thy these things continued to claim my attention today or why I feel so compelled to write about all of it. I only know I am called to circle these thing in prayer, be faithful to what He calls me to do, and offer thanks for all the promises that He faithfully keeps each and every day. I am blessed…and watching for the gate-keeper to open the gates.

http://www.jewishgiftplace.com/Meaning-of-Hebrew-Chai.html