Painted beauty of grace august 4 2014

I have been growing through these challenge prompts each week, seeing just how much I need to surrender myself and my heart’s desires at the foot of the Cross.  Last week held a bit of a rough patch for our family which ultimately led me to this challenge today.

I have written about our daughter’s health condition prior to this post, but last week we experienced a new level of trusting God with her life.  I can tell you that in every turn, and every valley, we have found Him faithful in our lives. In each instance, in all our broken moments, He has redeemed and restored the bruises that life with a chronically ill child can inflict upon those who love them deeply.

As I went to my prayer bench over the last few days, I have asked Him to show me what to pray… to guide my words and to increase my faith.  The story in Matthew 17 has always appealed to me.  It is the testimony of healing of an epileptic boy, but even more it is the testimony of the healing of an unbelieving heart.

Matthew 17:14-21 : And when they approached the multitude, a man came up to Him, kneeling before him and saying, Lord do pity and have mercy on my son, for he has epilepsy and he suffers terribly; for frequently he falls into the fire and many times into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples, and they were not able to cure him. And Jesus answered, O you unbelieving and thoroughly perverse generation! How long am I to remain with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to Me.

And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked privately, Why could we not drive it out?  He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

However it is Mark’s translation that gives another glimpse of the healing of the heart, not just the child.

Mark 9:21-24: And [Jesus] asked his father, How long has he had this? And he answered, From the time he was a little boy. And it has often thrown him both into fire and into water, intending to kill him. But if You can do anything, do have pity on us and help us. And Jesus said, [You say to Me]. If You can do anything? [Why,] all things can be (are possible) to him who believes! At once the father of the boy gave [an eager, piercing inarticulate] cry with tears, and he said, Lord, I believe! [Constantly] help my weakness of faith!

 

Friends, I have read these verses many times in the last 18 years. I have spent hours on my knees and tears in prayer for this girl of mine. I have learned some of the most valuable lessons  as a momma and specifically as a daughter of the King. I know He is always faithful, yet my heart hurts as it beats when I see her hurt and struggle.

So, today, as I found my way to the coffee machine, I heard a familiar voice – with a challenge.

{Will you meet Me first every morning?}

My immediate reply is, of course, but there is a pause here … it is a meeting of the hearts. It is a connection of the rhythm that restores the beating within. It is a communion of faith that will recharge and restore the broken places that have been busted in the living.

The Challenge is to spend myself– openly each morning with Christ.  To separate myself from every distraction and each disturbance that takes my eyes off of Him. Because each time I go to the place of rest in Him, I have my heart surrounded by peace. And immediately, I see things differently.

IMGP7056

Every image looks changed somehow, illuminated by the Sonlight.  The rays of His glory penetrate the ordinary and the scales begin to fall.  I can see with dimension and depth. I can recognize the shadows that fall behind the objects where light has descended.

IMGP7046

The bending of color through transparent objects skew the normal hue of simple to make it extravagant.

As I rest in the presence of His visit, I am changed. I see anew; my heart has felt healing’s embrace. I hear the voice of the Ancient of Days revealing the answers its pounding has been seeking, maybe not the answers I want to hear, but gratefully He never bends the truth to meet my desire.  He does, however, always meet us in Hope.

There are revelations our breaking hearts need to hear. We are surrounded in our day by unbelief. Even our own which robs the beauty of Holy Living.  We doubt His goodness and question His sovereignty and in the middle of all our questions, all our petitions of unbelief, We MISS Grace.

IMGP7045

We miss grace, all too often, because we fail to seek His face.

Grace is still extended, whether we see it or not, it is still bathing us in privilege. But when we are present in the doubting,  as willing boarders of the house of unbelief, we miss the brushstrokes of beauty already laid on the canvas which is our landscape of life.

{Friends, today the challenge is not from me but directed to me… and I am asking you again to join me as I journey to wholeness in Him.}

I am being challenged to meet him first, giving my early moments all to Him, in quiet abandon… just resting.  I am coming again to that place I have been called towards often, to a meeting of hearts and a melting of agendas.  I am gathering myself to the spot where all I do is arrive and let him do the work. I resist the urge to think of one word to bestow in prayer. I abandon the desire to petition in hope and earnestly remind Him of my unfinished lists.  I lose the mantle of remembrance and place upon myself the robe of worship.

I will meet him in the morning, with my heart and my mind resting in the gift He is giving.  I will come to Him, my strong tower, and be strengthened in faith, built up in hope, and assured in His promise for all that He is able to do.

You see, as I heard His invitation to come this morning, I chose to go without an agenda. I knew that call because I have heard it before.  I sat quietly waiting and my heart heard the voice that it was made to recognize.  He spoke firmly, yet tenderly, one question so true that it broke my shell and the scales fell fast.

“Why don’t you trust me to care for what is important to you? Don’t you know it means even more to me?”

Oh, but for His Mercy… I am lost and alone in a sea of doubting, but He reels me in and anchors me with hope so that I never get too far away.

IMGP7050

 

{Where are you today? Are you needing the challenge to just come and rest? Are you willing to take it with me? }

 

 

Here is another 7-day Challenge that will perhaps become a life-time habit of holiness. Meet with the Father, without an agenda. Just meet Him in the morning and let his unfailing love wash over you and heal you.  The challenge is to just sit before him without speaking but willfully listening and purposely seeing all that is before you.  Let the scales fall from your eyes and the doors of your hearing be opened to His voice.  Let his heart meet with yours and begin the process of heart surgery, willing yourself to submit to the master’s hand.

It is all because He paints beauty where grace’s brush glides through life’s trials. Spend time waiting on Him to show up in you, there will be no better completed canvas.

 

Praying for moments of grace to touch and heal every wounded part of your  beautiful hearts.

Blessings!

signature 4

 

 

 

 

 

Linking up with friends fulfilling the call to journey together:

Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood and Make a Difference Mondays