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Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Beautiful Sash

The past month has been nuts.  Four tiny kids... three of them starting back to preschool, and we have had every germ under the sun this month!  I think our pediatricians' office loves us because we are paying their light bill single-handedly for September!

Sitting on my porch this morning, sipping hot coffee, feeling the cool breeze blowing and hearing the pitter patter of rain as it falls lightly.... Draping my porch with a misty curtain of tears it seems.  I have been chatting via messenger with a friend of mine who is on the other side of the world about emotions.  If you would like to read about (or support ;) this lovely, young couple who is giving a  year of their life to serve and minister to children in the West Bank, Click here. Through the miracle of technology we can have a Saturday morning, or well, Saturday night for her, chat free of cost about what God is doing in our hearts.  That blows my mind in itself!

Whether we have kids or don't have kids, if we live in the US or the Middle East, we all have this thing called emotions that we wear like a sash draping from shoulder to waist.  It is both beautiful and sometimes heavy.  Often it is the first thing that catches a person's eye when they look at us. There is also a hidden layer underneath close to the heart that no one sees but us. And Our Maker.

 I would love to tell you that I have braved this month of sleepless nights and sick children with peace and calmness, quoting Scripture, and facing it like a champ.  But that would be a lie.  In truth I have felt like an emotional wreck many days.  I have cried on the way to work, hidden tears under my sunglasses while taking my kids to the doctor, and unfortunately even cried in the doctors office.  I'm sure that pediatrician was thinking she needed to prescribe something for me instead of my kiddos! Haha!

Hormones (I am weaning this baby),  terrifying asthma attacks, sleep shortage, and Makiah's heaven day looming have taken a toll.  We are only a few weeks from having the twins pass our oldest in school.  It will have taken nine and a half years for me to attend a four year old pre-k Christmas program.  But I am not alone. There is not one of us with breath in our body who does not face the challenges of grief or the difficulties of life in season.

Sometimes these emotions feel like a curse, but I know that in truth they are a gift from our Maker.  As I sit here sipping my coffee, I feel the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit reminding me that emotions can help us draw close to the heart of God. We can internalize their heaviness, which we were never meant to do, or we can allow the weight of them to push us down on our knees.  If we let it, this beautiful, heavy sash can help us to prostrate ourselves with humility before the One who wants to take our hearts of stone and exchange them for a heart of flesh.  A heart like His that beats with compassion for others and lends itself to constant intercession.  There is nothing God cannot use. There is no darkness He cannot turn to light, and no mourning He cannot turn to joy.

We must give Him our world weary woundedness... exchanging our rags for His garment of praise.  He is the lifter of our heads!  It is in surrender to Him that we find sweet victory.  It is on our knees that we can finally stand.

Isaiah 62:5. As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

Isaiah 61:10. I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

This prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus.  It is his mission.  And if you are His follower, it is also yours...
Isaiah 61:1-3
61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.