Be Like Those Who Stay the Course
I made my way across the dimly lit church parking lot as the chill of winter rainfall drenched me. I wasn't carrying an umbrella because this is Seattle, where you raincoat only.
I'm learning to appreciate year-round green, the moss growing on everything, and the river passing through my back yard with so much water that it actually roars with its waves.
Feeling soaked is nothing new here. I see, hear, and feel the rain nearly every day - but there was something extra about this night.
By the time I splashed through puddles, leaped over mini streams finding their path, nearly rolling my ankle in the boots I had on, and then finally opened the car door... I felt like I had just walked through the purest waterfall.
I was listening to God, but still wasn't completely sure what He was trying to show me, which is usually the how our relationship works.
I was doing my best to pay attention, so there I stood dripping.
Was it the reflection of the lights over the wet pavement in the parking lot that showed the clear pool of water that made me think of His cleansing power?
Maybe it was how freezing cold the water temperature was that reminded me of how refreshing it feels to remain in His love and plans.
It probably was the way the steady downpour encouraged me to have complete hope in the power of God at work all around me, in a world that feels like a bit of a disaster.
He is steady friends, like the never-ending rainfall.
You might have days where you hear Jesus trying to show you something important too, or encourage you with His truth - but isn't it always when you are trying to deal with ten other things at the same time?
I love that He can capture our attention (especially mine) over all of the other noises and distractions. Amazing.
My arms were full carrying a toddler in one arm, his unzipped diaper backpack was tossed over my shoulder with a juice cup trying to fall out, a stack of books was tucked under my coat to try to keep dry, and I was carrying a tall glass of water (trying to get another glass down) but it was splashing all over me.
I couldn't juggle the load I was hauling so I tossed the water from the cup out, but high up in the air with an extra force of fun...because, why not add to the rain party?
While my drinking water was flying through the air, is when Jesus helped me give words to the hope I was feeling. He said,
"Jenny, I am allowing you to participate and add to the beauty I have given you. Even when it's tempting to let your passion be dimmed out, even if you lose sight of Me and attempt to go at it alone, and even if you have to strain to see the grace in the hard. It is I who nourishes the earth and gives you a place in it!
Be submerged in me.
Do not let anyone put out the fire.
I will finish what I started in you."
I heard that loud and clear and then immediately thought of God's promise to finish what He started...because He HAS and He WILL.
"God doesn't miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you've shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it.
And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish.
Don't drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them." - Hebrews 6:10-12 MSG
When was the last time you felt like you had the freedom to take up space in this world and extend a full-bodied hope? To use your gifts and pour out an offering?
Somehow, in all of my lame efforts and at times - weak obedience, I have a responsibility to speak the hope of the One who satisfies my thirst, just because of who He is. And that is what I will do.
May we be the ones who recognize His good gifts, receive His faithful promises from the beginning of time, and choose to toss our glass of water into the air and join in with creation to worship our creator who is in fact, holding all things together.