I have this friend who has to sell her home. She doesn’t want to, but circumstances beyond her control have forced her hand, and she now has to give up her sanctuary. A few weeks ago, my family sold my grandparent’s house. Well, it was more than a house, it was home. It was a place lots of children were raised, lots of praying was done, and the place where my grandmother went to see Jesus.
It makes me sad to think of it, and shines light on my ridiculous jealousy when it comes to other people’s homes. I want a home of my own so badly, to build those memories, to give my kids a forever place where the grandkids can come for the summer and I can teach them things their parents will fail to.
But like my friend and like my family, as well as the devestation of all the Hurricane Sandy brought, when it comes down to it, a home is just a house. It’s a thing. We get so attached to things. Really, it’s quite ridiculous. We can’t take them with us. And no matter where my grandparents chose to buy a house, it would’ve been our home.
I wonder if this was a little something to do with Jesus being homeless. We all know his ministry was traveling and it didn’t make sense for him to have a home, but what if there was more to it? What if he knew that something as insignificant as a house could become a stronghold, an idol?
I wonder what other idols we have in our lives that control our thoughts and emotions?
In Texas I grew up around massive pecan trees (pronounced PAH-caan, PEE-cans are for truckers) that lined my grandparent's street. At certain times of the year the highest of branches would house a creepy thick web that I always feared would be knocked loose and fall on my head.
There are moments while I lie in bed that I feel tangled in those webs and branches. I feel completely caught in the limbs and leaves of my worries and fears, at the very top of my tree I consider my life. I try to fight against them, but I only get more consumed, deeper into the thicket knowing that at any moment I could fall.
It is in those moments I have to take a deep breath and stop fighting. It is in these moments YOU have to take a deep breath and stop fighting. It is only then that we can slowly lay down every problem that we have no power to solve that scurries through our heads, much like a squirrel.
The squirrels in the pecan trees would often piss my grandfather off. They would take the fruit of the tree -the pecan-and gnaw at them, leaving the remnants behind as merely a reminder of what could have been. Our fears, our worries, our daily regrets gnaw away at the fruit that Jesus desires to produce in your life, and in mine.
But as I find the grace to free myself, I slowly and peacefully travel down the strength of the tree, confident that I can't fail if I depend on Him. I sink into the soil following the root, the foundation of my soul–deep, deep into the ground where I am safe from the wind, safe from the intrusions, safe from myself. It is only then, that I can find rest.
Find your rest this weekend!
The last few weeks have been very trying for me. So much has happened in me, in my life, in my marriage, in ministry. I get so overwhelmed, I just need to rest in HIM, but dont often know how.
The other day I just laid across my bed and asked Jesus where he was…. I immediately was transported back to fond memories of sitting on my grandmother’s lap. She was always so comforting and gentle. She would rock me and sing to me, playing with my hair. No matter what, that was the safest place on earth for me as a child.
In fact, even into adulthood, I climbed on her lap and she would giggle as she rocked me and I rested my head on her shoulder. As she got older, and more feeble, I would just sit at the side of her feet and lay my head on her lap. There, she comforted me and soothed me, never asking what was wrong with me or why I needed her. She was just content in being there for me, knowing that my struggles would soon be forgotten. i was content knowing I never had to explain myself, I could just be myself.
Jesus is that woman to me in my times of despair or struggle. He shows me the tender side of himself through my memories of a grandmother who was my refuge. When I was a child, I needed that comfort, and now, I must depend on what I know to be true about Christ and his tender, compassionate love for me.
I believe that in some of my most confusing moments, Jesus takes on tenderness only found in a woman.
On the way to school this morning I hear the raspy voice of my 6 year old ask, “How do I know it’s God?”
This is the way the rest of the conversation went:
Mom: How do you know what’s God?
Zac: Well, if there is a sun, and then something shows up and it looks like a sun too, how do I know it’s God?
Mom: Well first, anything that Sun tells you would have to match what the Bible says. And, in the Bible when Angels would appear they would say “Do Not Be Afraid! And they would tell you they were from God. But the MOST important thing is that whatever this sun, or angel or whatever tells you HAS to match what the Bible would say. Make Sense?
Zac: Yah, but how do you hear that from God?
Mom: Well, he can give you thoughts, or tell you something through the TV or music, or in reading or praying. Your heart will know it’s God.
Zac: I don’t get it.
Mom: Well, it’s like if you are playing at school, and you see someone needs help and you have this thought in your head that says “Zac, stop what you are doing and go help him.” That could very well be God talking to you. And everyday, if you ask God to speak to you to serve him and love him–he will.
Mom: Well let’s just ask him–God, Zac really wants to hear your voice today. Help him to be quiet in his spirit and in his head so that he can know what you want him to do today to express your love and serve people. Amen!
Zac smiles: cool
Mom kisses him goodbye: can’t wait to hear what God is going to do in your life today.
Zac giggles: Bye mom, I love you.
Have important conversations with your kids–empowering them in their faith and living their life with great expectations of a great and amazing God.
A year or so ago there was a little kitten stuck in the palm tree by the bus stop right outside the neighborhood. My daughter was in tears on her way to school, so I promised her I would take care of it. I drove up to the nearby fire station and asked them if they would come rescue the kitten from the tree. To which I got LAUGHED AT IN MY FACE. One of the laughing firemen even said to me, “Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?!”
I felt stupid. Realllllly stupid! And that is not the only lie I believed as a child. Here are a few more:
::Imaginary beings break into houses and give you gifts and money.
::A spanking is the worse consequence I could ever get for bad behavior
::Money is endless
::Life should be fair
::They toy at the bottom of the cereal box is worth the cereal wasted to get it
::Parents don’t make mistakes
::My grandmother’s neighbor was really my aunt
::Satan lived under my grandparent’s house (that’s for another post)
What are some of the things that fooled you as a child, only to become a disappointment at some point in your life (well, besides the whole Satan-under-the-house-thing)? Share with me…