Wowsers…what in the world?! I just got back from an incredible 2 week vacation and I really don’t even know what to say about it all but that it was just Tailor-made from the heart of God. I think back on every detail, every conversation, every precise encounter and I am just “wow-ed”!
There is SO much I feel like the Lord was depositing in my heart, I don’t even know where to begin. First, let me just say, SLEEP is SO restorative! No wonder God calls us over and over to have Sabbath rests and I’m amen-ing the verse that says, “He grants sleep to those He loves”…true dat! It’s really in the resting that we have time to reflect and marinate in His presence. Usually that’s when we’re most vulnerable and able to hear the Spirit begin to speak to our hearts–the greatest and lasting joy we can ever experience is the voice of God! Why do I so easily forfeit that joy He so willing and longingly desires to give me day by day?! I can fill it with all this stuff, but yet I’m never really filled. “In His presence is the fullness of JOY and at His right hand pleasures forevermore“…that’s just a portion of what’s forfeited and I’m thinking, that’s gotta stop :).
One other thing that just hit me between the eyes while on this trip, and l’m realizing more and more how I’ll never fully reach the depth of it, but I really encountered the grace of Christ in a powerful way on my trip. This year has been quite a doozy and I would venture to say even the last 3 years. God, in His goodness provided this wonderful trip out to Colorado. Before leaving though, there was almost this sense of entitlement to this trip rising in my heart. That’s not something I really want to post because it blatantly shows the condition of my heart. But even more so, that’s exactly why His grace is so great and amazing. The Lord just overwhelmed me with His provision; how I arrived out there, the places I stayed, people I visited and the people I met. The same was true of my time in Georgia with family, friends and the time at my church there. Sometimes the Lord has to take us out of our surroundings and relationships for a period of time, so that He can speak to us because while we’re in the thick of everything, the “noise” of life easily drowns out His voice.
The Lord really started chipping away at the condition of my heart soon after my amazing arrival in CO. See, every good and perfect gift was provided by His loving hand and heart. I was really overwhelmed by ALL of them while I was out there. But I also began to realize it wasn’t just the seemingly “good” things, like the fact that I was in the mountains having a wonderful time, that were His greatest gifts to me. I was really cut to the heart as His grace unfolded before my eyes, allowing me to see it was God’s goodness in His amazing grace that’s kept me this last year. His good gift to me was every difficult hardship. His perfect gift was more of Himself in the midst of such a dark wilderness season – which never seems like such a gift while in it, but that’s why His grace then became such a radiant contrast. It broke through in the dark wilderness and shattered any sense of entitlement, control issues and began casting out fear. God’s grace, I think, is like a perfect diamond – multi-faceted and with every slight turn, as the Light shines on every cut, another new glory and beauty is revealed that leaves the one gazing upon it in utter awe. So when I was talking to my grandma on the phone at the ski resort and she (in a very Bronx-grandmotherly way 🙂 ) said, “Well good! I’m glad you’re on vacation. You deserve it. You earned every bit of it. You’re a good person.” Two days prior, I probably would have yes-and-amened her, but as she said all that, the words were like a knife in my heart. “No grandma, I really don’t deserve any of it, but God in His goodness has brought me out here…” PS. 18:19 “The Lord brought me out to a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me”
Tailor-made, in so many ways. Thank you for your goodness and gentleness and incredible love you lavish on your children, especially by allowing us to journey through the dark wilderness with You. It’s truly gonna be worth it all, when we see You face to face.
Ok, so these are just some of the immediate things that come to mind. I may post more later and I PROMISE, I will download some of the pictures–especially of my beautiful niece, Rosemary. Actually, wait!!!, I have one:
Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas!