Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fount of EVERY Blessing!!!!

A bondage of spirit 
The declaration, a proclamation
The chains of sorrow, the pains of separation
The burden of broken bones, and broken bodies
The glimmer of hope lost on my own
I know in my flesh
He holds onto me 
He knows my tears he numbers them all to dry them all
He is the “Gift giver” 
He has snatched me up
I know in my body He gives Me His life
The Hope
The Healer
The Comforter
The declaration, a proclamation of peace 
A freedom, a release

“Here I am Lord! Send me! Send me!” Our God NEVER ceases to amaze me. Just when I begin to lament my life not being what I had hoped it would be at 26 years old, God steps in and says, “I will take you on an adventure, I will give you more than you can possibly dream of for yourself.” 
I am presently learning in one of my classes how everything that God gives is gift. It is easy to say that, it is another thing to recognize it and believe it for your life. I am learning that the language we use to talk about our God is so quickly tainted with our own understanding and limiting of God. For so long I have been praying to God; “God! This is what I want my life to look like...” In the meantime God is stepping forth and responding with “Okay Katie, I hear what you are saying, how would you like this (something I never asked for)” My very prayers limit a God who is so much bigger than my petitions! My requests are limited to what I know and see as being what is best for me, where the God who knew the right time and place for everything is the one who gives all that I ask for.  
 While my class is teaching me that God gives good gifts, my work in Chaplaincy is teaching me that sometimes those gifts are not at all what we ask for. Sometimes we do not even know what we are asking for or what we want. There are so many people who ask for healing, but you look at them and wonder; “is healing of body what you really want?” For some, healing of spirit or comfort for their loved ones would offer so much more peace than their own physical healing. Sometimes asking for what we want we miss out on what we really need. For some in hospital beds they honestly just want to rest in peace, meet their maker, (nice little euphemisms for saying that they want to ‘die’) but because they have family so desperately clinging to them, they hold on and pray for healing, even if life would never be the same in their health. 
Having only one good ear myself, I often wonder how traumatic healing must have been for the deaf that Christ restored hearing to. They then had to learn a new way to live, their world was turned upside down. Now the unemployable have no excuse to sit at the side of the road and beg for money. Now they must learn to earn their wages. What type of healing do we really want? What sort of life do we seek? God’s gifts are better. They may not be what we recognize as being needed but he places them upon the table. He gives good gifts! Even sometimes the things we don’t recognize as gifts are gifts. Our trials, our sufferings, the points in our life that shake us to the core and make us wonder “what is it all for?” can be turned to gift when God is the orchestrator and composer of all our life. 
There is communicated to me at times, and I don’t fully know how to express this, but when I think; “Gee, I really wish I had....(fill in the blank)” I feel in my bones and my soul a whisper from God saying; “Yes! Yes! Yes Katie! I will give that to you! I want to give that to you! I want to give you so much more than you could ever ask for. It is yours now! It is all for you, and one day you will have it in full! Because you are MINE, you have all and so much more!” I know! I know that someday I WILL be whole! WE WILL be whole! In a world where wholeness does not mean devastation, we will be changed. Someday all the tears I have cried for lost dreams and wishes will be shown to me and God will say, “You see, they all meant something to me because they meant something to you, and you are MINE. I have held every tear you cried, I have counted them, now I will dry them and wipe them all away.” I am overwhelmed when I think of what love the Father has lavished upon us! The hope he instills, the promises he gives, the gifts he offers. EVERYTHING HE GIVES IS GIFT!!!!! WE HAVE A GREAT, GIVING GOD!!! The only thing I wish that I could ask of him is that I would be able to wrap my arms around him and be held, cradled within his loving arms. Even still his whisper rings true “Yes! Yes! This gift is for YOU!”. This gift is for US! AMEN!   
Psalm 56:8
You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
Revelation 21:4
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What to say.... (Breaking the silence and filling the void)

Well what can you say... I have been thinking a lot about blogging, and not because I have anything interesting to say (That's a real attention getter) but because I haven't blogged in a while. I was getting nervous about my own silence (that speaks volumes). It has snowed here in Cambridge but for the most part it is much like the cold months of February in the States; not a lot is going on. Like most years in most places, we are anticipating the liveliness of spring and all the wonderful things that come with it. I am anticipating a visit from my parents and my friends Stacey and Daniel sometime in the spring, but until then I sit and wait, and go about my busy life.
 I have mentioned it before in one of my very first blogs but I am learning so much about how much of life is just waiting. You would think that a degree in baking and pastry would have taught me a thing or two about waiting, but if anything it only taught me that you need to wait for optimal results, not that you are going to be waiting for much of your life. Baking taught me that while you are waiting on one thing you can start up another thing to wait on, and another while waiting on that one, and then by the time you have set up a fourth thing to wait on you can go back to your initial project and do something with that, and eventually you aren't waiting anymore. You are just constantly filling the voids of your day with one more thing that sits in the back waiting on you while you keep moving forward. Very American! Why should I have to wait on the world, it should wait on me. I have things to do, people to see, and places to go. I have silences to break, voids to fill, and jobs to finish. All the while I am forgetting that there is one thing that is more important than all this; nothing.
I don't know how I do it but I always manage to fill my day, week or month up with more than what one person should be able to do. I squish it all in because I am sometimes afraid of nothing. I am afraid to face a day alone by myself, I am frightened of the idea of when life comes to be just me alone on a bed waiting for the nurse to come in and wipe the drool off my face because I can't do it myself. I am afraid of the day when nobody needs me anymore (not like they ever did) and the day when I have nothing left to offer. For some reason this is what the cold months remind me of. This idea that the world is slowing down, businesses suffer because nobody wants to brave the cold to go out and buy a new pair of boots or a cardigan. Nobody wants to suffer the snow to go into town. The slow winter months always remind me of just how small all of us are.
The world keeps turning if I don't go into work, it keeps revolving and tilting on it's axis if I don't visit that one patient. The world keeps going and God keeps working. The law isn't that I have to work, it's the idea that I need to work. The gospel is that I get to work. My work, the work given to me is the law and the gospel. It is the law in that I allow my jobs and tasks to fill up my day and place chains and shackles upon me that make me think I am needed, in such a way as to make the whole world dependent upon my showing up. The Gospel is that it doesn't matter at all... none of it matters. I've been given a task. I didn't take it, it was given to me, I only destroy the gift when I make it into something it was never meant to be in the first place. When I make one batch of dough, I create it in a way thinking about the end result. When I realize I have to wait for that result I begin to make more dough to distract myself. I then loose the desire and interest of that first batch of dough because I have just filled my time with too much dough to mix, proof, portion, and bake. God has given us creative interests that we plug into our various vocations. Just like our creator we too create. However, unlike our creator we abuse that creative process by creating too much and sometimes not doing nothing (double negative-I know).
 Isn't it interesting that in the beginning God only created ONE man, and later ONE woman? Then God rested. Likewise God only made one you! It is true that the world will keep on turning without us doing anything, and our existence upon this earth is quite insignificant. Yet God made me and he made You! He made us with a plan and purpose. NOTHING! He made us for nothing in this world but for another home, a heavenly home. He made us for nothing that we could do but because he loved us. He made us out of nothing other than the sheer madness of the divine Creators love for creation. This means that when I do nothing, even then he loves me. This means that when I no longer can go to the bathroom on my own, even then he loves me. When I no longer have anything to contribute to this world, God still values me and holds me precious in the palm of his hand. (This goes for you too by the way) Even if no one else knew me but my God, I would still matter because God has purchased and won me. We were bought at a price, we are not just filler created to fill the voids of a day otherwise left to waiting. We are the bread, even when just a pile of dough sits and waits. We are what God is eagerly awaiting to bring home, and we too eagerly await the return of our King, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when he will transform our lowly bodies to be like his glorious body! So we can wait... I guess we don't have to do anything because Christ has done and said it all, and that which we do we can take as gift from God.

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Thanks everybody who reads this! I am equally encouraged by all of you- (especially those who come by it via KPZ's facebook page) God bless you all!