Release

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Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.” Matthew 11:25-26

Man made light dimmer

In the midst of “regular” life stuff, I’ve had the program of frustration, anger and exhaustion running the background of my mind. I know it stems from the illogical, wonky, and tilted ways the world seems to be thinking and moving in these days.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, my inner light has felt dim. I know it’s there, but cobwebs and bugs flocking to the light have seemed to cover and mask it. BUT GOD in His graciousness, gave me something a formula in my quiet time today through these verses from Matthew and a beautiful prayer.

I’m calling it the So-And-So formula.

His ways are concealed and hidden (Matthew 11:25-26)

SO

Release it (frustration, anger, confusion, exhaustion) all to Him (Matthew 11:28-29)

AND

pray (Matthew 11:25)

SO

You learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:30)

I pray this formula will bring you the hope, peace, joy, release and confidence that is has brought me today. May we keep our eyes on the Creator so we maintain the confidence that He “spells out clearly to His children and the ordinary” (v. 25) His truth. May He give us His nightly strength and courage to lean into Him and away from all else so our lights shine brightly.

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. “The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:27-28 (MSG)

Sea Foam and Sparkles

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You know those days at the beach when the wind is so wild it creates layers of frothy foam that blow ashore and scatter like tumble weeds across the sand. It’s almost as if the ocean seems to foam at the mouth like a rabid animal? Kinda like me when the winds of my life are blowing a gale and things get a little dicey in my heart, mouth and spirit. (That’s another blog)

Anyway . . .

The foam covers everything it comes in contact with and eventually dries. Seashells are easy prey for the foam’s assault. When the wind dies down, slows and stabilizes the foam dries up. What was once white becomes a dried dingy brown coating on anything it came in contact with. The sand doesn’t seem to be affected much, but seashells are different. Their once shiny exterior that reflected the sun goes dull and instead of lingering together in a heap; each one unique in shape, color and style . . . They all begin to look the same. Like a diamond that hasn’t been cleaned after months of diaper changing, dog baths, dishwashing and lotion applications to stop the dry wrinkled skin from getting worse. BUT, it’s just an illusion and temporary. The shells are still unique, shiny, able to reflect light and be cleaned up if only washed by another way or picked up and cleaned by the helping hands of a passer by that recognizes it as their favorite shell.

This, I discovered in a conversation with God and walk on the beach this Mother’s Day weekend, has been my problem over the past several months. I forgot! I forgot that sometimes life circumstances (whether created or forced upon us) attack and cover us while the wild winds are blowing. That even when they seem to disappear, we can be left with a mucky grimy film covering us. We just walk around dim and wonder what’s wrong. Like a funky smell in your car or house you can’t locate or identify. We may even worry that we won’t ever get back to where we used to be or that no one will appreciate or recognize us anymore.

Just as the shell can’t predict when the next cleansing wave will makes its way to them, nor can we. But with faith in our Heavenly Father and those He dwells in the hearts of, we have hope. We may be hit by a massive wave of realization through scripture or worship to simply see ourselves shiny and unique once again. Or, It may be a person who picks us up with a word, prayer or message of hope. The truth is that no matter our temporary exterior (circumstances), we are still shiny underneath, loved, able to reflect light and create delight in someone’s life – we may only require a little polishing.

If you have been feeling a little bit like you have been covered with a layer of yuck (it can take many forms: disappointment, anger, frustration, confusion, fear, betrayal, etc.) Hang tight! Your renegade wave will come renew you or some passer by, that the Creator of Waves will send, will see you, scoop you up, encourage you and open your eyes to the glory and delight that is still within you.

In the wait, know this. God sees you. This will pass. You will shine again. You will delight again and you will reflect His light brightly once again. And then, your eyes will be opened to those He places in your path that need to be reminded they are seen and treasured. You will recognize their plight and you will shine them up and remind them of the treasure they are just as someone did for you.

And so it goes with God’s people. Our emotions, circumstances, and life challenges will ebb and flow like the tides, but one thing remains. . . They will recognize us by our love for one another and the way we reflect His light.