I must confess that I am genuinely shocked, flattered, pleased and motivated by the number of you who have told me you are reading and enjoying this blog. The majority of you don't post your comments, which is fine, but e-mail or tell me in person. Thank you. It's very gratifying. I was born to write so I would write even if no one else read the blog or anything else I peck out, but it is certainly affirming to realize you are. So thank you again.
I guess I'm going to have to tell Tara and Kristen they were right. If you recall, they were the ones who helped me set it all up and have encouraged me to continue writing and posting. I was telling one of you in an e-mail today that when I went to Thailand it seemed important to write. I felt like I was reporting. That I was taking all of you on a virtual journey with me. But to just sit and peck out my thoughts and comment on what God is doing in my life didn't seem like it would have the same impact or appeal. You have no idea how blessed I am to know God is using the gift He has given me to communicate with all of you whom I love! My hope is that we will inspire each other into a deeper walk with our gracious Savior.
If there are specific things you would like to ask about--personal or otherwise--let me know and I will try and address them. It would certainly help direct my ramblings. Sometimes I have a thought I want to share and other times, like now, I just type and wait to see what shows up on the computer screen!
The two Bible studies I was involved in have just ended. In CBS (Community Bible Study) we systematically studied the Gospel of Matthew for 32 weeks. It was fabulous. It's incredibly beneficial to study God's word with others because people always have delicious insights that never occurred to you and the energy and excitement seem to build during the discussion of God's marvelous truth.
My friend Ana, from our church, initiated Beth Moore's 12-week study of the book of Daniel. I was never a huge fan of Beth. There is something about her that used to irritate me a bit. But truthfully, there's probably some professional jealousy involved because I would much rather be doing what she's doing than watching her do it, but she's growing on me and this particular study was fabulous. If you have a chance to participate, I'd highly recommend it.
Studying two such seemingly different books as an Old Testament book with confusing time line issues and a Gospel made me realize once again the incredible layering and continuity of Scripture. It was like a puzzle gradually taking shape as it was worked from both sides and each piece was put precisely in place.
I know you already know this, but our God is AWESOME! Staggering. Mind-boggling. Brilliant. Incomprehensible. Yet He loves us with an indescribable, almost unfathomable love and He cares about the smallest details of our puny lives. I understand David's flabbergasted question in Psalm 8:4 when he asks, "What is man, that Thou didst take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou didst care for him?" Indeed. Indeed.
Probably my all time favorite Scripture--and this is a hard and subjective call--is found in Isaiah 40:18-26. I won't type it all out here. Read if for yourself. But I will write out the last two verses of that passage.
"'To whom then will you liken Me that I should be his equal?' says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who had created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one of them is missing."
When I was with Youth With A Mission way back when, the first missionary trip I went on was to La Paz, Mexico, on the tip of the Baja Peninsula. We we slept in tents and at night the only light in the pitch black campground was whatever your dim flashlight could produce. Trust me when I say the sky was black. I mean as black as the velvet on a sidewalk Elvis painting. You couldn't see your hand in front of your face.
I used to take my flashlight and walk out past the campground to a large concrete slab whose purpose was never clear. I would lay on my back and look into the vastness of space and see more stars than I've ever seen before or since. They filled the sky! I saw countless pin pricks of blue-white light that were farther away than I could conceive. I saw the wispy white spiral of the Milky Way. It was always so incredibly awe inspiring I'd burst into spontaneous worship. The tears tickled as they ran down into my ears but I couldn't stop worshipping the Lord. There have only been a few times when I have felt His presence as closely as I did in those moments. It was like I was touching Him.
The first night I lay on that slab, I ran back to the campground, my heart bursting within me. I asked the Lord to speak to me. Oh, how I wanted this God I had just felt so intimate with to talk to me!
I grabbed my Bible and ran to the only building in the campsite that had electric light. I prayed again and opened my Bible right to the passage above. I'd never read it before. There is no way on earth to describe the electric bolt that shot through me at that instant. God talked right to little bitty me!--specifically and pointedly--and let me know that He was so big and vast and mighty and incomprehensible that He had named every single one of those stars I had just been marvelling over. Incredible. And all I could see was one tiny sliver of the vastness of space. There are galaxies upon galaxies. I personally think the stars outnumber the sands on the sea shores.
Think of it. There are more stars than we can fathom and God tells us TWICE in Scripture that He names them all. Psalm 147:4 says, "He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to them all." Wow. If He is capable of that, could anything be too hard for Him?
Could my sin? No, He's made provision for it to be forgiven and remembered no more. He remembers the names of the stars, but not my sin. Incredible!
Can a stronghold? No, He tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:4 "The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful of the tearing down of strongholds." Astonishing!
How about unbelief? No, like the demon possessed boy's father in Mark 9:24, all we have to do is say, "I do believe; help me in my unbelief." Reassuring!
Provision of practical needs? Well, He calls Himself Jehovah Jirah, our Provider, and declares that He clothes the fields and feeds the sparrows. And surely, He does. He also reminds us we are infiniately more important than any other created thing. Comforting!
So what then? What is too hard for our God? We all know the answer. I guess the better question is: "What have I been pretending is too hard for Him?" Whatever it is, it's a lie.
I'm not sure how to end this except to say we all need to understand Who it is we serve. The great and mighty God of heaven and Creator of everything seen and unseen.
I know exactly what I need to take and lay at His feet. What about you?