Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hitting the Pause Button

Do you ever wish we could have a remote to our lives? Do you ever wish we could just pause at any given moment so that we could focus our attention on something we just did not want to miss? Or maybe, fast forward just a bit or put in slow motion to catch something that seems to be passing by too quickly? Or even those great moments that are just so great we want to rewind and play again and again!! I saw just glimpses of the inauguration of President Obama during my busy day yesterday and saw the new President Obama and First Lady get presented with the "official photographs" of the moment he took his oath for office. I wondered if we had a remote if we could take our own mental snapshots by pausing a moment and freezing the frame of our own current scenes because I just sense that God is telling me that they are just as important as the Obama family photograph.

I sensed a deep desire to do this and heard not audibly but in my heart the words “Prepare to make me SINGULAR!” In my reading through the scriptures this week God took me on a little journey to experience what I believe are His sweet treasures. Collectively I know that we can all see Him because He is the One who opens up our eyes to see. And I share this with you simply just responding to what I have seen…again the joy I just cannot contain. I hope and pray that anyone who reads about this journey would not care about the glimpse of my life but will see for themselves how God has touched their own life; for He does not love me any more than He loves anyone else. As you get a glimpse of this journey through the scriptures I pray that you would seek one of your own. God is waiting to take you on your own journey.

It began with Joshua 3:5, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” I underlined the verse in my Bible and then circled the words consecrate and amazing. I looked up the word amazing which is the Hebrew word pala which also means: wonders, be marvelous,, wonderful, extraordinary, do wondrously. I found myself so intrigued by this word and heard it in other studies this past week; not a coincidence but confirmation to study further. When I sensed in my Spirit a desire to dig deeper…I trust that it was coming from God and pulled up

I not only looked up the Hebrew word pala but also the Hebrew word found in the NIV consecrate and found that the Hebrew word is qadash which also means sanctify, dedicate, be holy, set apart and to prepare. I will return to pala; but first the word prepare struck a chord…

Oh, I love the word prepare…probably because I do feel peace in my soul when I am prepared for a situation. My mornings seem to run more smoothly when I have prepared the night before, whenever I’ve spoken in front of groups of people or taught I have found that being prepared I am much more relaxed. Being prepared surely has proven to set the stage for success in my life…and I couldn’t help but think of the recent lesson shared with the elementary children just two days ago from Matthew Chapter 3 which spoke of John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus…

John’s words are also found in Isaiah 40:3-5…”…prepare the way of the Lord!....And the glory of the LORD will be revealed and all mankind together will see it. I felt a nudge to underline the word SEE! Thinking that God may want me to see something here. I read further about John preparing the way, this time in Luke Chapter 3 and noticed verse 6 “And all mankind will see God’s salvation,” where it referenced both Isaiah 40:3-5 and Isaiah 52:10. The same original Hebrew word translated in my NIV for see in both of these verses in Isaiah is ra’ah.
I will come back to this word “see” (ra’ah). But I was remembering being intrigued and wanting to read more in Acts after my pastor’s sermon on Sunday at this moment so I went to the book of Acts.

I read Acts 2:23-28. It begins with stating that everything that happened to Jesus was under God’s control…even his brutal death….”This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge…” I couldn’t help but think about how I don’t think that I or we as a culture live life knowing and recognizing that God is in control ALL OF THE TIME…especially when awful things happen in this world. Reading this reminded me of the months of Christian counseling I had after the years of secular counseling to heal and find a comfortable place to live after enduring the abuse as a child in my home growing up from age 7 to 17 when my father passed away. The hardest hurdle I remember I faced was embracing the fact that my God knew every detail of every inappropriate, illegal and abusive word and action that occurred in my home almost every night during those most precious years of my life. You know what I mean if God loves us and if He is in control how does such awful stuff still happen to us. I couldn’t help but ask God why He did not stop the abuse from occurring in the first place…and as I ask I now see my savior Jesus…He did not stop His death because He loved me and all of humanity and wanted to provide a way for us to live with Him for eternity.

After I worked through the anger and sadness involved in this (don’t think this happened over night); I also found great hope in knowing that God also knew what was going to happen afterwards just as He knows what I faced this morning and what will be here tonight for me to face too. I began to understand that God has a purpose and a plan for me; even amidst terrible times. I now find great comfort in knowing that my God is in control especially when I have had to face painful situations. Knowing that God is ultimately in control gives me peace and hope and endurance to face this life during difficult circumstances. I give God all the glory and honor and praise because I too am free from the agony of so much pain and ultimately free from experiencing ultimate death…these same words in the following verses I committed to prayer at one time and made them my own…they were once the prophet David’s spoken in Psalm 16 “I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay (notice the word see again). You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”

Oh, I praise you Father for making your paths of life known to me; I’m so sorry for the times I have forgotten and doubted and hence fallen into pits of despair or depression…you do fill me constantly with your joy and I thank you!! I am who I am now because of You!!

I had to run and look up the word see. As I was quickly turning the pages of my Bible I asked God if this was the same word ra’ ah…??? Oh, it is…!!! Oh, what fun this is!!! Fun to be searchign and learning and filled with excitement and a child learns new things!!

Then, I was reminded of 1 Peter 1:13 because this is the kids memory verse for this week “Therefore prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” I read a little further in verse 15, “Be holy because I am holy.” I thought of what holiness means; being totally devoted to God…set apart.

Hang in there with me…the next thought was going back to the beginning before God tied it all in for me to SEE!!! Joshua was telling the Israelites to consecrate themselves before entering in the promise land; for God was going to show them pala…amazing and wonderful things!!! This same word pala I learned is also found in Psalm 119 where the theme is that God’s Word is true and wonderful and we should stay true to God and devote our time to His Word no matter how bad the world around us becomes OR how busy our schedules…I read earlier in the week and God just happened to bring it back to my mind…verse 18 “ Open my eyes that I may see WONDERFUL things in your law.” Oh, I could barely sit still while reading I just had to tell someone…praise God for the opportunity to teach the ladies at Bible Study that morning…God wants to show us wonderful and amazing things!!!!

Did you note the word see also found in Psalm 119:18??? Is it the same Hebrew word ra’ah that we saw before?? I did run to research more…I’ll write more about what God has shown me real soon and wrap this all up for you and for me! Until then…I’m hitting my pause button and PRAISING HIM!!! I need to take some time to capture this moment!!

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