I think I should forewarn you that this will probably be a long entry. So, if you’re up for it, go grab yourself a cup of tea or something, come back, and sit tight.

Today we had a tornado warning, and nothing came of it. When I got back from Anders’ fundraiser (my friend Anders has epilepsy and had a fundraiser to help pay for the $7500 seizure dog he will be getting), it was about 7:15ish or so, and clouds were moving in. I thought this big storm was on its way, and even though I knew my camera battery was dying, I figured I’d go down to the beach and capture some shots of the waves or something–it sounded pretty adventurous to me. While I was driving down there, I thought, “If I wasn’t called to ministry, I think I’d like to be a storm-chaser.” Ha.

I got to the beach, and… no storm. At all. No waves. Just a gentle lull of the water slowly sliding up the shore, then receding. I was slightly disappointed. But the sky, it was gorgeous. It took one look, and I was glad I came down. I snapped a few shots, and then my battery called it quits. The sky was so gorgeous that I wished that my battery wasn’t dead so I could capture it some more, but then I didn’t mind so much. In fact, I was glad. Sometimes, it just seems fitting not to capture something like that. It almost made it more special. And less.. technical. When I’m taking pictures, I want just the right angle. Just the right lighting. Putting the camera down allowed me to just be able to look around and drink it all in. It made me feel as though I were destined for that moment–destined to be at the beach, at that time, when the sky was so beautiful, with my God.
It seemed as though a moment that needed not to be captured. It was captured in my mind (I know that sounds so cheesy)–and it’s a memory that I will always cherish. Those times always are–walks on the beach with my God.
So I walked. I walked, and I talked, and I soaked in the beauty. The beauty of my God. I say that–my God–because I can. Because He’s my God. But I don’t say it lightly or ignore the privilege that it is to be able to call Him my God. And I know that that privilege came at a price–the price of His Son.
At one point, I stopped. I stopped and turned around in a circle. And I realized that no photographer or artist would be able to capture all of that in one photo or painting. Just in that one spot, there was so much to take in that it could not be accurately captured. And that spot is just one miniscule sliver of a beautiful town in a beautiful state in a beautiful country on a beautiful planet in a beautiful galaxy in a beautiful universe. And I thought, how many more masterpieces has God painted right at this moment, and how many of them are unseen by human eyes? And that is my God. I know Him. I felt like Elf in Gimbel’s when he found out Santa was coming: “SANTAAAA!! I KNOW HIM!” You know how people are. If they know somebody famous, it’s like, wow. But I know God. I know Him. Like Elf knows Santa. And I don’t know Him as I should and never will fully know Him, but just the fact that I can know such a vast, amazing God even just a little boggles me. And even more than that, He knows me–better than I know myself. Sometimes I think I know myself so well. I think I know exactly who I am and exactly what I want. But then there are times when I feel like I have no idea who I am or what I want. But God knows. He knew before the foundations of the earth all of the moments and choices and decisions and events of my life. This God, the God of the Universe, knows me. And loves me. He loves me so much that He took extraordinary measures to make relationship with me possible. He killed His Son. He sacrificed fellowship with His beloved, perfect Son, to bring such a worm as I into fellowship with Him. And He pursues me. Not because He has anything new to learn about me, but so that I will be drawn to Him. It baffles me to think that such a God, THE God, desires intimacy with me.
I could go on forever, but I won’t. I’m just thankful for tonight. I’m thankful for beautiful, visible reminders of how beautiful and great God is, and what a privilege it is to know and love and serve Him. I’m thankful for how reminders like that inspire me to stop getting tripped up over little things (even though I know I never will completely, because I’m human, but I try), and start living every moment to reflect my love for this Awesome Creator, but more importantly, His love for me and for others.

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I would just like all of you to know, whoever you are that read this, that God is so good. I have been reminded in an overwhelming way that God answers prayer and changes hearts. Something happened today than humanly speaking, would not have been possible a few days ago. But today, because of God, it is. He is so good!!!

*Luke 1:37

God is so good.
I’m doing a Beth Moore Bible study on the tabernacle called “A Woman’s Heart.” I just love Beth Moore. 🙂 Today’s lesson talked about how Jesus put on sin so we could put on righteousness. In an exchange, He put on sin to make robes of righteousness available to us. Beth talked about “wearing our new self, rather than allowing our robes of righteousness to hang in the closet..” saying that the key to this is “to be made new in the attitude of your minds” (Ephesians 4:23).  She says, “We are new creatures in Christ; but if we still think like the old creature, we will find it impossible to personify the new. Most of our wars are fought on the battlefield of the mind.” So true. I could identify with this so much, especially lately. If you read my last post, you can understand why I say that. She also mentions Romans 12:2, which I found especially encouraging today. You also know this if you’ve seen my latest facebook post. 😉

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Now, this part coming up was what I found especially comforting.) Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2

Over the past week, I had been fighting a battle in my mind. One I thought I was winning, but turns out I wasn’t as successful as I thought. It was so tempting for me to conform to the pattern of this world–to buy into such a worldly way of thinking, that I deserved what my heart so longed for. And because certain things were true, that must mean I was meant to get it, according to worldly thinking. I wasn’t being transformed by the renewing of my mind. Not truly. I kept giving it over to God, but kept finding myself falling into that same trap of thinking that way. God is so good, though. I can’t pinpoint when it was. Maybe it was while talking to my great friend Maya, who is always good for talking some sense into me. 😉 But at some point this weekend, it just hit me. What I was longing for so much, it wasn’t God’s will. It isn’t. Not right now, anyway, and probably ever. But I can’t think, “Well, maybe, in the future…” because what if that doesn’t happen? All I know is that right now, this isn’t what God has for me. And that’s all I need to know. And I am truly content with that. Because I’ve come to the point that if it’s not what God wants, it’s not what I want. I’ve come to the point where I’ve been able to test and approve what God’s will is–and this isn’t it. If what I was wanting so badly happened, I don’t believe it would be pleasing to God. I don’t believe it would be His perfect will. And knowing that didn’t come until I released my desire and chose to renew my mind and think with the mind of Christ. And God honored that. He gave me a peace, the kind that only comes from Him.
Thank You, Heavenly Father. It is such a blessing to be Your child, to call You my Father, to know that You are real and present and care about Your children, and bless their obedience. Your ways are good.