Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Invisible Rope

So, there is this game that Aliza and I play... (I know a story about Aliza... I am in Africa, but this is relevant I promise). We don't really have a name for it, but for now I'll call it "the invisible rope"...

Here's how the game goes.... We'll be walking together and Aliza will say "Micky will you hold my hand" to this I always respond yes!
there is something about this that makes me smile, and want to cry all at the same time. What beautiful trust and confidence a child puts in us when they slip their hand into ours. 

We begin our trek, and as we begin to climb a hill, Aliza will look up at me and say "I'm slipping". With those words, she starts to walk backwards down the hill. The first time this happened, I had no idea how to react... Oh the lessons this little girl has taught me...
Then it's my turn. I will say to her "hold on I'm going to throw you the rope." With these words I pull out my invisible "rope" and toss it to her. She will catch it in her little hands, and then I begin to pull her towards me. We struggle as gravity threatens to pull her down again, but at last she arrives safely to me. Then I take the rope and tie it around her waist, and secure the other end around myself. We continue on our way, sometimes she'll start to slip away, but I am always able to pull close again. 

I love this little girl, and I want her to feel secure, safe, and always cared for when she is with me. God has taught me so much about His love through my relationship with Aliza. It's during this game that I can hear the Lord say "I won't let you fall, I'll always bring you close to me".
Like the awesome father that He is, God keeps reminding me of this game, and His promises to me...

God is calling me out, and stretching me in new ways. He's moving me forward in His plan and will for my life, but I'm resisting. I'm resisting because I don't know if I will be able to fulfill what He's calling me to. I am afraid I'm not good enough, and I won't be used fully... So the other day I was praying and struggling through all of this, and God brought to mind the game Aliza and I play. I heard Him say

"I won't ever let you fall. I'm right here, and when you feel like your slipping away, I'll pull you in tighter. Hold my hand, let me lead you and I will use you. I will work through you!"

How great our Savior is! He is amazing and wonderful, and always calling us to greater things! I am beyond blessed to know that God is going to continue to hold us close when we feel like the ground beneath us is slipping away. 

Rest in Him... Hold His hand... Walk with your sweet loving savior. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

We are not alone

Several times (actually the majority of the time) that I have been out on ministry here in South Africa, I've found myself  Discipleing fellow believers. These conversations are usually tough because the questions that are asked are not easy. These questions make me have to really search, to recall scriptures, and then wrestle with my own doubts, fears, and issues. 

One day I met a woman named Portia, she was talking to our group and asking where God was while she suffered. We were giving the answers of "He's right here with you, He promises to never leave us nor forsake us..." You know the answers we're all taught in Sunday school, and know by heart. But then came a moment when she looked straight at me and said 

"Have you ever lost anyone you love? Are your mother and father still alive?"

Ouch... I knew she was expecting me to say "no I've never experienced that, my parents are both alive and well..." I also know she was hoping to be able to prove that God leaves us in our suffering. But I had to be honest, and honestly this is my least favorite question to answer. I tend to answer this question very matter of factly, I think it's a defense mechanism. If I allow myself to be truly vulnerable, then the pain and hurt that still linger from my loss just might come out. So I took a deep breath and answered 

"Portia I have lost someone I love very dearly. My mother was in a bad accident in 2001 that has left her disabled, and my father died unexpectedly last year in April. I know how it feels."

Silence... The truth of what I had just said to her registered on her face. I can almost imagine what she was thinking at that moment, " but you are white, how is it that you've experienced pain and sorrow? Is it completely possible that I am not alone?" 

She began  to share her story, and it truly is filled with hurt, anger, sorrow, and loss. Portia lost her father when she was very young, and her mother died 7 years ago. She has been struggling to get by, but along the way there have been tragedies that have left her feeling hopeless and broken. She gave her life to the Lord several years ago, but now is struggling to find Him among the pain. 

There it was, the familiar heaviness, my heart was breaking all over again.

Before I knew what was happening, I was on my feet standing next to Portia. Looking into her eyes all I knew to say was "I am so sorry". Sometimes we get caught up in words, and trying to speak out of sympathy, when all people really need is empathy. They need to know that someone else feels their pain, to have another person reach out and touch them, to simply say "I'm here, and I love you". 

We were able to encourage and love on Portia. And the next morning God gave us the opportunity to talk with her again. As I looked into this beautiful woman's eyes, I was reminded of Isaiah 49:15-16 

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See I have engraved you on the palm of my hand,
your walls are ever before me..."

These words have comforted me so many times when I'm crying out to the Lord and I hear no response. But yet it's moments when I find a brother or a sister who have experienced the pain of losing someone you love, that truly can hear the Lord say "I will not forget you, you are not alone in this..." It's being reminded that others are fighting this same battle that often gives me hope and comfort. 

I will not soon forget Portia, and the way that the Lord gently spoke through her...

You are not alone

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I'm so tired of wasting my time. I'm tired of looking around me to see that the labor and toil of my hands have produced nothing but worthless, self indulgence. I'm so sick of all the me talk, the senseless ramblings that come from a self centered, self focused life.
"What about my time? What about my stuff? What about my plan?"

Get it away from me! My prayer has been "Lord strip me of the things that hinder. I want to lay bare before you, with nothing in the way. Call out the dirty and nasty in my heart and in my life, don't allow me to be the same. Because seriously, my life is worthless without you God! I am nothing but flesh and bones walking about in a desolate land if I do not have you."

How has God answered? He has been stretching me. He's been calling me out and calling out the things in my life that hinder. There have been moments when I look at the challenge ahead and think "there is no way" and yet I hear the voice of the savior say "oh yes you can, because I will" Dang how great is our God??

I've seen over and over again the change that can happen when we trust in the Lord. I've seen the look in a person's eyes go from lifeless to hopefilled with the very news that God loves them, and He sent His son to die for them. And yet I still struggle with giving my all to serve this amazing savior.... What the heck is wrong with me??? Seeking the grace and beauty that can only come from Christ is teaching me that laying aside my agenda, my plans, and all the my me I grossness that I tend to focus on is worth it. Because God is amazing, and His son died for me....

Dang God is so Good!!