Tuesday, August 25, 2009

…let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him… Hebrews 10:22, NLT

Most days when I drive to the office, I have THE most amazing view. The Rocky Mountains are just to the west of us and I drive straight at them on my way to work. Wow, it’s take-your-breath-away spectacular. Normally, that catapults me right into an overwhelming sense of the presence of God. How can it not?! I love it because I’m usually blaring a Chris Tomlin anthem on the stereo and I just feel completely in awe and all the dots connect. The view, coupled with some of the best imaginable worship music is downright awesome! Isn’t it interesting how there are just those times when you are so aware of God’s presence?

Here’s an example of that view – this literally stopped me in my tracks one day. So much so that I purposely got us early the next morning (a Saturday) and drove back because I had to try and capture it. I call scenes like these “God moments.”

But then, there are days like today. When driving that normally stunning route is just plain ordinary. When the mountains are covered with clouds and their beauty is hidden from view. It forces me to look “closer to the ground.” Today, I did just that, which is not what I would typically do. But, in that moment, I had a choice – I could either lament over not seeing the mountains, or I could look lower and relish the countless other God-given views that were also in my sight. Like the wild flowers growing in a clump on the side of the road. Or the birds and butterflies that were hovering around. Or the other drivers making their morning trek to the office or school, or somewhere else. Even the unusual coolness of this August morning gave reason to be thankful and in awe.

It also made me take a little time and look inward. Am I allowing His presence to be a part of everything, not just the take-your-breath-away moments? Honestly, no. Many times I stumble. I think I can handle it or I simply get going too fast and forget to take that deep breath and center on Him before responding, deciding or acting. That’s when I realized that I need more of the second part of this verse – a sincere heart that fully trusts Him. Oh, how I pray that He will work with me on that!

Today, with the clouds blocking the view, I was forced to look both closer to the ground and inward. There were some areas that were clear and relevant to me where I know I need less of me and more of Him. I’m grateful for His presence, even when the view isn’t crystal clear.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods...

...In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land." Psalm 95: 3-5.

I love to sit in the window seat when I fly. It’s funny, too, because I have a real fear of heights. But, there is something incredibly breathtaking about peering out over the vast horizon from 35,000 feet that instills more awe than fear in me. I never feel as small as I do when I’m on an airplane. I live in Colorado and travel often to northern California for work. This is only important to mention because of the terrain that is covered in that flight. We spend the majority of the flight over the mountains and vast areas of largely unpopulated areas.

I also feel very connected to God when I fly for some reason. I think it may have something to do with the utter helplessness of being in a vessel that for all practical reasons, should not be “up there” and yet, somehow, through that combination of engineering and aerodynamics and many other technical things, is flying across the sky. I also get that strong connection because of the amazing view from the window.

I was making that trek from Denver to northern California the other day. I was peering out over the expanse of the Rocky Mountains and thought this must be a small glimpse of God’s eye view. He looks down on this incredible planet that He created and sees it all from the highest of highs to the depths within our souls.
That’s got to be quite a view. When I look out and see nothing but

rocky terrain with no trace of human existence, it makes me very aware of how small and insignificant I am.

And yet, even as small and insignificant as I can whip myself into thinking I am, God cares and has a plan and a purpose for me and every other person on this planet. My surrender to Him is the key and the release. That’s a pretty big thought in itself.

For me anyway, seeing that view from 35,000 feet helps keep me focused on how great He is and how grateful I am that even though I am miniscule by comparison, He loves me. And, unlike that airplane unfathomably suspended in the air with no safety net, I have hands of the maker of the mountains, sea, land and all the universe tenderly holding me always. And it feels wonderful.

Friday, August 7, 2009

…For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it. Habakkuk 1:5, NLT

I have to be honest, when I used to hear people say that God spoke to them just when they needed it most, either through the Spirit, or an interaction, or an encounter with Scripture, I had a tendency to balk a little in disbelief. I had always “considered” myself a Christian, but boy, I was so wrong.

I’m still so early in my transformation and so excited to see what else is in store along the way. But one area that has become impossible to ignore is that God is always communicating! Such is the case with this verse. I struggle a lot with the internal question: “is this really where God wants me, and is this the path He wants me on?” When I think about it logically, reasonably, the answer is yes, of course. I can look back on events and instances and trace His hand all along the way. There are so many areas of life that are impossible to fathom unless I realize that God was directly involved them.

But, then there’s the doubt, the daily little struggles and challenges that we all face. From waking up late, to traffic, to obstacles small or large, those are the moments when I see myself slip every so often. When a challenge is happening in life that seems so unimportant with my “Kingdom-eyes,” I have a difficult time trying to understand how it is relevant or working God’s purpose in me.

And then, somehow, some way, I am prompted to stop and see, really see what is truly transpiring. The situation or instance can seem so non-God-focused, and yet, He is still present in everything. Because that’s when the precisely right word of encouragement comes or some barrier is removed and the situation takes a dramatic shift. Those moments are when it is up to me to take that step out of the moment and revel in the glory of His presence in everything, every day!

Slowly, very slowly, too slowly for my impatient heart, I am starting to take in those moments and recognize where God is moving and shaping and trust that yes, I am on exactly the path He wants me on. The obedience to trust is my role. Because, just like the verse I received today says, if He revealed to me what He is really doing, I’m certain I couldn’t or wouldn’t believe it – He is too magnificent for me to comprehend.

Lord, thank you for moving and working in my life and the lives of all. You know our hearts and have prepared a way that we could never imagine. Please change my heart in me to be more receptive to Your way and give me a trusting spirit when the doubts and challenges of this world seem to be shifting my focus. Amen.