Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Focusing on Honest Expectations

I like going into a situation knowing what to expect. I love surprises but I am definitely one who likes to be prepared and ready for any situation. I like to know what is expected of me and those I love when embarking on a new adventure. And yet, like the rain that came this morning I love and can embrace the unexpected. It rarely rains here in the desert so when it does it is oh so pleasant.
I sat pondering and reflecting on God’ Word again this morning while watching the rain fall in my back yard and noticed another unexpected thing…a beautiful flowering plant rising just above the fence…and God spoke so profoundly this morning and it had all to do with honesty and expectations…specifically the expected end that He has promised for me even amidst life’s frustrations.

How easy it is to be distracted by life’s frustrations? Either by frustrations we have brought on ourselves or just simply being frustrated with a particular person or situation. I felt like God gave me the perfect picture of life and the 2 choices I normally see in everyday situations…and yet He quietly places a third more holy choice that He desires for me to choose.

You see I was enjoying my cup of coffee glancing outside watching the rain saturate my backyard and I noticed that my fence line was evenly divided into thirds…on the far left third of the fence there was nothing-zero-zilch growing; on the far right third of the fence there was this peculiar form of dried up twigs between two large round dowels serving as support for an apparently dying tree; but right smack dab in the middle was a beautiful branch covered with green and beautiful fuchsia flowers. I was drawn to focus on the lush vegetation in the middle just as I am drawn to my King and His Word. I got a great big hug and kiss from my King as I gazed and a message that came loud and clear.. (If I could insert a picture of a megaphone I would—God was sending me a cheer loud and clear through this visual and His Word…particularly Isaiah 52, Jer 29:11 (KJV) and Psalm 62:5 KJV).

This is what He spoke to me:
On the left you see there is nothing and this is you my dear child when you are not honest with me or yourself. When you avoid your true feelings and emotions you are dead to the world. I cannot speak to you and breathe life into you and you choose to live in a state of non-existence. For whatever reason you choose to ignore what I am nudging you to acknowledge in your life and you are alone; without hope and without a relationship with me or with others…it is like you are walking through life invisible. This is a sad and lonely existence if you want to call it that. This is when you ignore what frustrates you.

On the right where there is a sad “Charlie Brown” type of a tree that is struggling to stand and this is you my dear child when you are not allowing me to care for you. You may be honest and doing all that you know to do; but you are failing to come to me. I see you pouring your emotions out on your dear friends and spouse—exhausting them to no end--but you never come to me. I see you giving and serving because you think it is what you should be doing as a ‘Christian.’ But, dear child, you are forgetting what words I spoke and are written in John 15 that you cannot produce anything without me. This pathetic thing on the right is you my dear child struggling and trying to live by your strength. This is when you share with others what frustrates you and this is you with no patience and grace and speak to your offenders with little love…you are so unaware of your own grievances and offenses….thinking you are a beautiful twig standing with empowerment from the wrong places.

Yet, right here in the middle is a beautiful thing. This is a picture of you my dear child when you are honest with me and share everything with ME…everything about you that I already know. This is when you allow my Spirit to guide you in your everyday activities, thoughts and feelings. This is when you, my dear sweet grows so beautifully and are fruitful; allowing me to love and speak through you. This is what happens when you clothe yourself with my strength and my love; when you live knowing and expecting that “I (God) alone” knows what is best and will guide you to what is best. This is when you do not focus on what other are doing (good or bad) but you focus on ME and what I want you to learn. This is when you put our relationship first above anything else. Isn’t it written to seek me first?

Oh Lord, forgive me for the times I have run off ahead of You and succumbed yet again to my emotions; either ignoring them or failing to bring them to you first. Please help me to seek You alone and live with the hope that only You can give me. Help me to not look to the right or the left; but to stay right here in the center…the center of your will…Your good pleasing and perfect will for me—the one with an expected end. Father, I will wait for You…please clothe me with your strength so that I may have courage to be honest with myself, honest with You and honest with others and may my expectations come from You alone.

Thank you Lord for using Liz to remind me of the words to this song:
“In Christ Alone”
In Christ alone my hope is found;He is my light, my strength, my song;

This cornerstone, this solid ground,Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace,When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!

My comforter, my all in all—Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,Fullness of God in helpless babe!

This gift of love and righteousness,Scorned by the ones He came to save.

Till on that cross as Jesus died,The wrath of God was satisfied;For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,Light of the world by darkness slain;

Then bursting forth in glorious day,Up from the grave He rose again!

And as He stands in victory,Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;

For I am His and He is mine—Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—This is the pow'r of Christ in me;

From life's first cry to final breath,Jesus commands my destiny.

No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,Can ever pluck me from His hand;

Till He returns or calls me home—Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the message of this post. It's so easy to get focused on the wrong things. Thank you for sharing. :-)