Hurt that Shimmers Gold

I have an idol in my heart that I often engage in battling – it is the idol of ease. I long for easy. The reality is that much of life is hard and not easy. Easy is waiting for us in Heaven.

I constantly have to remind myself that it is in the ‘hard stuff’ that the beautiful is spun out and woven in and the tapestry of our life made more exquisite. Would I ever choose hard? No. Can I see its beauty after the fact? Yes. Still, humanly, I would not choose it.

So I urge myself to trust the Master-Artist who is doing the spinning and the weaving. It is in the difficult that the shimmering golden threads are formed. It is in the agony that we have another layer of ‘us’ that can glorify Him. It is in the painful that we are far more able to sorrow with another, pray with another, bear burdens with another, and most importantly RUN straight to THE BURDEN BEARER.

I do not like the hard stuff. But I do love the Master-Weaver who so carefully spins and weaves and showcases His Work. He meticulously uses even the tiniest scrap of thread. He always has the greater picture in His Mind. Never, never, ever does He waste the golden strands. Nothing is wasted with God. What a beautiful truth. Hard? Yes. In Safe-Hands? Absolutely.

How Great Thou Art

Worshiping God this morning in our little village of Geigertown my heart was pierced with the truth of the song lyrics. Palms out, whispered prayer, I am stunned. How great is my God that he would choose to love me?

We sing …. “I come broken to be mended, I come wounded to be healed…” and I sigh because I am such a sinner. I was born a sinner. I know myself well enough to be quite certain I will choose to sin again and again. I am a mess. But oh how great and faithful my Redeemer!

Today my body is weak with jet-lag; my mind foggy, and my energy is taunting me with ebb and flow. Could it be that just a week ago I worshiped in Africa? As I sang there in Kenya, surrounded by dozens of orphans singing from the bottom of their hearts I was amazed. How great is our Rescuing God!

In fondness I think of our team of eleven standing to sing a hymn I have known my entire life. I was in a different spot on the globe, a different culture, but the same God. Winnie and Meshack, the Pastor and his wife, joined us as we sang. I will admit to pure giddiness in my heart – we were singing to our God in a hot dusty spot of Kenya that I love. We were singing with a Kenyan couple I dearly love. And oh how they sing! In my imagination we Americans even sounded a little bit African and that made me immensely happy. Winnie soared with counter-parts and harmony so beautiful. Joy and faith echoing through the church building. My smile was big, my heart full, my mind shouted I love this! And then this verse happened:

“And when I think that God, his son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in.
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.”

I couldn’t sing. The cross. The thought of that horrible beautiful cross made me choke on the words. My sin. His love. My Savior. My willing substitute. With tears I somehow sputtered:

“Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!”

He loves the world. Souls in Geigertown. Souls in Kenya. Me.
There is no realization like the truth of God’s perfect love. For the world. For me. And so, yes, I bowed in my heart in humble adoration. And I did and do proclaim, my God how great Thou art!

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16