Friday, November 30, 2018

Painting with a broken brush

Nov 30th (394 words)
What is life without faith?  What is life without God?  What is life without faith in God?  What does life look like if you are living it without actively, daily including God in it?

“Bla bla bla…” you may say sarcastically.  “That’s your job David – to talk about God and faith and all that stuff.”  But I speak out of the convictions of my heart – not because it is my job.

I sometimes get discouraged with the brokenness all around me – as well as the brokenness of my own life.  These moments of discouragement are largely because I am looking around me – living without faith – hung up on the depressing state of the world.

A life of faith in God is able to find its encouragement in who God is.  He isn’t broken.  He has us in this broken world for a short season – as we look by faith to a perfect future he is painting.  How is God painting a perfect future in heaven?  With us.  With you and me – all of us broken paint brushes.

Ever seen a paintbrush so broken that only a few bristles are left?  Ever seen a paintbrush so broken that it no longer has a handle – and the painter needs to take hold of it higher up if it is to be used?

God delights in us.  He delights in using us to get eternity ready.  He delights in us because he has delighted in Jesus, his Son – so God the Father delights in us through God the Son. 

Imagine a painter painting with a brush that only has a few bristles… it takes longer – applying less paint with every application, but the finished masterpiece will be exactly what the painter wants.
Even in the sorrow we might feel because of the brokenness of the world be encouraged by the words of Isaiah:  “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me… to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

Friday, November 9, 2018

Do you know the Beatles' song: "I want to hold your hand"

Nov 8th  (342 words)
I want to hold your hand” (x3).  It’s a Beatles song that makes me think of two teenagers who have a happy-sort-of-like for one another.  We sang it in a nursing home for one of the people there.  It fit in well with our goal of singing familiar songs that bring a little light and happiness to the place. 

This image is also a mental picture I use often in my imagination with God.  I heard a teacher once talk about walking in dependence on God – and teaching that it is like a little child holding the hand of their parent – letting their father lead them and provide for them and protect them.  This is a powerful image when facing uncertain days!

Uncertainty can be a debilitating condition… caught between two possibilities – frozen in the headlights and not knowing whether to go to the right or the left.  And reality rumbles on toward you… threatening and loud.

But we hold the hand of our father who leads us.  This morning God gave me Isaiah 41:13: “For I, the LORD your God hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’”

We don’t need to fearfully ignore tragedy around us (burying our head in the sand).  I’m not sure how many people in our society can actually do this.
We don’t need to try to find our own salvation – saying: “God helps those who help themselves.”  This can easily be an excuse for independent individuality.
We don’t need to stay stuck in our situation saying: “There is nothing else to do…”  This is another form of independent individuality – where we walk with blinders on, limiting our vision.

Instead, we can walk hand-in-hand with God as he leads us.  This image is good for the mega decisions as well as the mini situations we face every day.

Thanks God.  "I want to hold your ha -  -  - nd" (3x).  Take us by the hand.  Your hands are warm and inviting.