"God is rest, and where He dwells is stillness."
-Freda Hanbury Allen

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


"...By His wounds we are healed."  Isaiah 53:5

There is no escaping
No avoiding the pain
Hurtling towards us
It takes our breath away
We are bruised and bleeding
Desperate for healing
All around the carnage lies
There's nowhere to avert our eyes
We want to see more than what is
We want to feel more than scars on our skin

Our dreams fall, shattering
A million pieces splintering
Cutting us more deeply
Than we could ever imagine
A darkness closes in
We are huddled - lost and broken
We can't bear to be accused
No room for blame, no excuse
We need more than salt
Poured on our wounds

And there - quietly He stands
Wounds in feet and scars in hands
Reaching out to hold us
Reaching out to heal
Whispering our name
His mercy covering shame
Love like blood pouring down
Redeeming all the hurt we've ever known
In this hallowed moment see
It's by His wounds we are healed

Friday, July 24, 2015

In Its Time

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

        Being time-bound as we are, it is hard to fathom eternity. It is a concept we ponder when we are confronted with the realities of death and the promised joys of heaven, but when it breaks into our mundane lives that tend to brim with frustrations, disappointments, and pain, it is jarring. We read the verse, "He has made everything beautiful in its time" and unconsciously (or consciously) change it to "makes" because it surely can't mean what is says when so much of what we see around us is broken, defaced and ugly. But there it is, "has made" staring us in the face. Declaring something has already happened when we see so little proof. And so it is - the collision of time and eternity. That which has occurred in eternity dawning on the shores of time. Beauty being declared and slowly revealed in all of God's creation, but for each and every part - in its own time.
        We were made for beauty because we were made by and for the Beautiful One. Beauty originates in him, and we, as image-bearers, have the privilege to revel in all the beauty that God has gifted to us by his grace. It is all around us proclaiming the wonder of him who calls forth beauty from ashes. It flows in and through our lives, pulsating to the rhythm of our Creator's heart. And just as there is complexity and otherness in our Creator, so beauty has a complexity to it. It takes on many forms, some more obvious in their display, others quite subtle and even hidden. Sometimes the most beautiful is buried beneath what to us is utterly hideous and we miss the gift. The catch for us, who now see dimly, is to allow the One who is perfect in beauty to give us eyes to see that which he calls beautiful. We need to see with his eyes and trust his heart that who we are, the circumstances we face, the people around us, and all that we see has been made beautiful in its time.
        The Beautiful One entered time and became ugly and deformed in the eyes of the world in order to form and reveal his beauty in us and in those around us. He surrendered the incomparable beauty of heaven and and all its glory to give us the privilege of sharing in his glory. He relinquished his breathtaking beauty to reveal the wondrous beauty of God; to bring God down to us so that we could draw near. Only through the profound ugliness of the cross can we ever begin to comprehend true beauty. Only through the cross are we made beautiful. It is only through the collision of time and eternity that we get to see this beauty slowly revealed in time.
        And there it is; what we find ourselves constantly wrestling with. Time. We become  so quickly and easily discouraged at how long it takes for us to see any real change, any lasting beauty in our hearts and lives. Yet in the midst of our frustration something beautiful is happening - gradually, almost imperceptibly. The eternal is claiming its territory, redeeming the irredeemable. If we still our hearts and look with spiritual eyes, we will see the steady unveiling of what has already been accomplished eternally - the salvation of our souls, our very lives. Our Father God is never and can not ever be late. He transcends time, as does his plan. He has no beginning and knows no end and so "He has made everything beautiful in its time."
        When we take God at his word we are granted a glimpse of eternity. We know and believe the Beautiful One has all things in his Sovereign hand and is working them out to manifest his beauty and glory "in time". Everything - including us and our broken-down lives, has been made beautiful - it is already a reality and we are seeing it unveiled; yes, slowly, and from our vantage point, painstakingly, in its time - which is perfect because it is God's time. And so we have hope.