Places I love

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Disarmed by Love

I got turned down for a job this morning. I was really excited about this job and even had a great interview under my belt. I read the rejection email, and in normal fashion, I sucked in a breath and braced myself. For what? I don't know, I guess to continue on with life. Rising to face another day where I'm not sure what the next step is.

I walked towards my husband who was in the other room and said, "I didn't get the job." I expected to hear him say "I'm sorry" so my "braced" self was prepared to say, "No big deal, God has a plan." After that I thought I would go about "doing" something so the hurt, disappointment, and pain couldn't settle on me. What else am I supposed to do when faced with another door locked to my touch?

My husband silently walked towards me and wrapped his arms around me and the only thing he said was, "I love you." At the tenderness of his words, I was disarmed by love. My attempt at having strength to face another deferred hope crumbled at the tone in his voice. He held me and God's love fell on me. No matter what this day holds or what the questions are that I have about this often hard to bear life we all live, our Lord longs for us to hear those words that He is speaking to us, "I love you."

I cried then. In the arms of love I couldn't help but grieve the loss of a hope I was holding. Some of us are bearing heavy loads of hopes lost today. No matter how small or big your hope seems, He cares.

My prayer for you today is this:

Instead of feeling like you must brace yourself against this life, I pray you would find yourself disarmed by love. I pray that in that moment today when you hear your God silence everything within as well as outside of you with three simple words that you would grieve safely inside of His love. 

He knows you have questions. He knows you have doubts. He knows you are afraid. He knows.

Yet, His answer remains the same. Close your eyes and listen with your heart, dear ones.


Today hasn't been all that bad, I was rejected by the world today, but I was hugged by the love of Heaven.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Romance of God's Word #1: Lectio Divina

This morning at church we did a little something different at the end of service. One of our pastors taught us about one method of reading the Bible. I loved the simplicity and depth of this method called Lectio Divina (divine reading) and wanted to share it with you. 

File:Lectio Divina .svg
Image by: Eugenio Hansen, OFS

There are 4 steps

1) Reading (Take your time)
2) Meditation (Think on something that He is showing you: could be just a word) 
3) Prayer (How is what you are showing me apply right now?)
4) Contemplation (Thank Him, sit and rest in His presence)

Before you begin, pray that God would reveal something to you as you read. This isn't about studying, it's about reading and thinking on the living word of God and communing with Him while doing so.

Below is what came to my heart in church this morning when I tried this out. Give this method of enjoying God's word a try. The method is simple, yet intimate, and it doesn't take long. I'd love to hear how God communes with you, so email me if you'd like to share! Click here to email me!

Lectio Divina: Matthew 22:34-40

1) As I was reading, the word "silenced" stood out to me in verse 34. Jesus had silenced the Sadducees. 

2) I meditated on this word "silenced". I felt peace in that Jesus could silence people. People meaning critics, doubters, testers. They were the ones who questioned him the most. 

3) I then prayed and asked God to show me how this applies right now.

4) I contemplated that Jesus had the ability to silence his critics with the truth and he still is capable of doing that in my life today. I looked at the scripture again to see how Jesus responded to these people. His answer was to love God and your neighbor, but I saw something even more simple. 

Jesus answered their question directly, and even though they couldn't see it, he had given them the foundation on which to ask all the other questions. His response to them was about love.

Jesus gave them an answer to think about it, but what He really was trying to show them was that without love at the beginning, in the foundation, all their questions would be the wrong ones.  He responded to their need, not their question. And yet they couldn't see it.

I sat there and thanked God that He is the God who answers questions, but even more so He responds to our need for Him and who He is.

I have needed someone lately to silence the ones who constantly seem to think we need reminding of the uncertainties in our life. This morning, in those few minutes it took to try out this method of "Lectio Divina", I heard only one voice and it was love. 

This love whispered to my bruised heart that I have been asking the right questions and that is where my certainty and peace is found. His truth, His heart, His response, HIS LOVE. 

1 Peter 1: 6-8  (in first person)

In this I rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, I have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of my faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though I have not seen him, I love him. Though I do not now see him, I believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory."