He Isn’t Like Us

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He isn’t like us. He is loyal and covenant-keeping. He is merciful, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. He forgives iniquity and transgression and sin. (Exod. 34: 5-7)

These are things I have to keep reminding myself when I don’t understand God. The Israelites lost faith, grumbled and built a golden calf. God remained merciful. His presence remained with them, despite their repeated offenses. He gave them another chance. Mercy and forgiveness to thousands.

Jesus sent to a growing world to show us the way. His body broken on the cross for our failures, for another chance. He gave and became our sacrifice forever and ever. Again, mercy and forgiveness to all.

“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” Jesus

He is loyal, committed and unchanging.

He isn’t like us. He doesn’t think like us. He remains focused and present at all times. We are vulnerable to sickness, death, persuasion, and weariness. We can’t see his interventions and protection. We can’t comprehend his goodness. Mostly, we aren’t grateful, whether from lack of knowledge or lack of understanding. We can’t see what is coming or all the ways he has shielded us and hovered over us.  Yet, he keeps going before us, continuously. We aren’t aware of all his workings but he continues. It’s the ultimate humility, the ultimate kind of love. Giving and protecting with no credit, no boasting or, in most cases, no recognition at all.

So, when I grumble, he remains. When I am lost for days upon days, he follows me into the darkness, searching out my heart. When I walk far away and his voice is no longer heard, his presence remains. When I think I don’t need him, he stays anyway. His love is not removed when I fail or doubt or blame or grow bitter. He isn’t like us. There is another chance. Mercy and forgiveness to us all forever and always.

-Margie

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waves and wind

“The waves and wind still know his name…” Bethel Music

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Photo credit: indulgy.com/post/X9CrZUcO82/serenity

When I was a little girl, I would sit next to my mom in a small country church in Kentucky every single week. The walls were paneling and the pews were cold and hard. There were hymnals and Holy Bibles behind every seat. The room wouldn’t hold more that fifty people. They’d sing loud and uninhibited with only a piano and a voice leading them. Those people, they loved Jesus. They went to church until they died, literally. I have vivid memories of the man with the tracheostomy, 100-year-old ladies and sick people coming to the cross for healing. Age and crippling bodies didn’t keep them away. After all, Jesus and this community of like-minded believers were all that was true and eternal.

Sometimes the Spirit of God would fall and they would cry and shout. This “spirit” was God’s overwhelming presence coming to mend and love them. Tears would stream down their faces and sometimes they’d weep. They wept mostly for people they loved, lost souls. Sometimes they wept because God’s presence was so obviously answering prayers and healing their hearts. Those were tears of joy, so to speak. They were crying out to God from the depths of their hearts.

It scared me to death. I was so sure that this “presence of God” was real that I feared it would take over my body and make me cry or shout in front of people. Yep, no one had to tell me anything about Jesus. One moment around people overcome by His presence and He was REAL. Some people might look at that scenario and say it wasn’t healthy to fear God in that way as a child. But, God had shown himself 100% ever-present and real. The words to It is Well by Bethel Music sing “Far be it from me to not believe even when my eyes can’t see.” Even when I get mad and tired and frustrated, far be it that I not believe. He dug down deep a long time ago when I was a little girl and took root within my soul.

God was gentle with my heart back then. Everyone in the room would be feeling God’s presence and I would sit and take it all in. I felt it too, sitting there scared to death that God might take over my body like some sort of out of body experience. (Twenty-some years later, that has never EVER happened by the way.) But, God swarmed around me. And when I was ready, He filled me. He rested on me as a child like a dove. He whispered kind and loving words to my heart. I didn’t need to show it or even tell anyone, I held it all back for the sake of refinement.  But, God and I knew our secret. From as early as I can remember, He has been with me.

Recently, I was driving down the road listening to that song I mentioned earlier, It is Well, when I heard the words “the wind and waves still know his name.” All at once, I was reminded of these experiences I had as a young girl that I hadn’t thought about hardly ever. Honestly, those memories were filed away and destined to be forgotten. But, today, I suddenly felt a very familiar presence of God. It was a major déjà vu moment. I immediately associated it with that gentle presence of God I felt all those years ago, sitting and hiding behind a pew. It was just like being there again, back in time, face to face with the Holy Spirit.

Remarkably, God is the same as he was back then when I sat in that country church. The waves and wind still know his name because He is the same God that reached down and touched a little girl’s heart. He was there when I was formed in my mother’s womb. He was there when I was innocent and sad or didn’t understand. He was there when I made bad choices and when I turned my back on Him. He was there when I celebrated. He was there when I tried and failed. He was there in all the scary and difficult moments. His love is the only thing constant,  true and eternal, just as those believers taught me back then. He will see me through until the end. May His presence always be my dwelling place.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
    in all generations.
 Before the mountains were brought forth,
    or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalm 90:1-2

 

HLC Women’s Retreat

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In His hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. Psalm 95:4

HLC Women’s Retreat starts TOMORROW! 

We are heading to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia! From the moment the retreat was scheduled, I began praying that every women who was meant to be there would find a way to make it happen! Every time someone added, I began dreaming about all the things God had in store for them.  So, for those of you who are going, it is meant to be!

God has something fantastic waiting for you this weekend!

XOXO

See you there!

Margie