Dear Friends: I have missed you. I hope you have missed me. We have a special connection because we know and love the Lord Jesus and belong to Him. I miss my brothers and sisters in Christ, and when I write, I feel that connection. I hope you do, too.
When I think of you, I picture you as you were the last time we saw each other. That's pretty cool because I haven't seen some of you for many years. In my heart and mind, you haven't gained any weight, your hair isn't gray, you don't have any wrinkles; you don't need teeth or glasses; your ears and noses haven't grown any longer (Did you know that happens the older you get?); and you still have all of your hair - in the right places! Amazing!
That works both ways, right?
I just had a precious thought. My Heavenly Daddy thinks of me without spot or wrinkle, (Eph 5:27) perfect, with no flaws, because He sees me covered by the blood of His sweet Son, that precious baby whose birth we celebrate this month. I'm so very thankful for that covering.
It's so hard to think of that baby as the Son of God who gave His life for me. It humbles me to think how much He loves me, to try and understand the depths of His mercy, and the riches of His grace.
Ok, I didn't mean to start preaching right away.
I had the privilege of having my mother with me a couple of weeks during this holiday season. I took her to suster's house in Greenville S.C. last weekend and have missed having her here when I come home from work.
I spent a lot of time just talking to her, asking personal questions, asking her to tell me stories that I had heard so many times but wanted to hear again. We laughed, cried a little, and sang old songs her mother used to sing. My mother is the oldest of her siblings still living, so she holds the knowledge now to the history of her family, knows the old stories, and can make them come alive with such personal conviction, humor, and passion. She lived them.
She cleared up some miscommunication from stories being told to someone, and then that someone telling it to someone else until the truth was lost or so muddled, it had morphed into something that didn't even resemble the initial tale.
I learned things I had never known and wondered how I could have known my mother for so many years, spent so much time with her and still not know all there was to know about her. The longer I know her as an adult and see her not just as my mother, but as a woman who has lived for many years and learned extraordinary lessons during her life's journey, I find there are layers to peel away and numerous things still to learn about her and from her.
When I really listen with my heart, I can hear the same old stories from a different perspective and sometimes understand what those stories mean to her just from the quiver in her voice, a smile, a tear, sometimes shades of regret, and often that far away look of "yesteryear." But getting those kinds of messages takes "listening with purpose."
When I see this woman as my mother and listen to her as my mother, I am experiencing her from a child's perspective, and I love her especially because she is my mother, and for what all that has meant to me in my life. When I spend time with her woman to woman, I experience her journey, the richness of her life, the lessons I can learn from her mistakes and her triumphs, and I grow up and mature a little more, while gaining a deeper love and appreciation not just for my mother but for the woman who is my mother.
Isn't that how we approach the Lord? We come as children, drinking the milk of the Word, loving the Lord because He first loved us. It is not until we have spent time with Him, listened to His heart and applied what we have learned that we mature in Him, get our "spiritual teeth" so to speak and begin eating the "meat of the Word."
That's when I become more like Him. I cannot fully comprehend the lessons from His earthly journey unless taught by the Holy Spirit. That takes "listening with purpose" on my part. When I do that consistently, the fruits of the spirit - love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness - become more evident in my daily walk. I begin to really comprehend who I am in Christ because the Holy Spirit Who is my teacher explains what my position is in Christ.
I'm not just His child, I am joint heirs with Him, an heir of God (Romans 8:17). Because that sweet baby was born, died, and rose again, I have the privilege of being adopted. I am in Him, and He is in me (John 15:5). I will be able to partake of that glorious inheritance. That is not "milk." That is "meat." I am trying to comprehend it as I "chew" on it right now. I need mammoth teeth for this.
I believe Psalm 139:6 might explain exactly how I feel --- "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it."
I am so humbled before that precious baby in a manger. Thank you to my Heavenly Daddy for the birth of His Son, His love for me, my position in Christ because of the unsearchable riches of His mercy and grace.
Without Him, we are broken vessels in a broken world and cannot accomplish anything of eternal value. With Him, we are joint heirs, heirs of God.
I choose to walk with Him through this broken world. It is not my home. I have an eternal inheritance. I am the daughter of The King.
This princess is "shouting." And all God's people said, "Amen and Amen!"
Always approaching the day with joy - Mecca