Be Still and Know…by Gus Keiser

Let me know your ways, so that I may understand you more fully. ~ Exodus 33:13

God loves to hear from us.  He loves to hear the sound of our voice.  He loves to hear us calling out to him, inviting him into our lives.  God loves to hear our prayers, our praises, our problems, our joys and our requests.  But of all the requests we offer up to him, God loves to hear those that ask for more of him.  Everything he does, all his answers to our prayers are his way of showing us his character.  God loves a heartfelt request for more of him instead of for more “stuff” on our behalf.  Would you want to be appreciated as the one who doles out perks and provisions more than for being who you are?  You’d probably end up feeling used, wouldn’t you?  So why should it be any different when it comes to God in our lives?

 Throughout the course of the Exodus, God promised to grant Moses’ request for his presence with the people because Moses acknowledged the people’s primary need for God himself to be with them.  The rescue from Egypt and the manna God provided were wonderful gifts, without question, but the people first needed to know the wonder of who their God was and is… his characteristics as mighty Lord, yet intimate Savior.

 The gift of God’s presence is so precious because he doesn’t ever owe or have to give us the time of day, yet he wants nothing more than to spend time with us.  God continues to woo us with his love, his goodness, his faithfulness, his mercy, and his many other qualities that invite us to love him in return.  It is when he shows himself uniquely to us, that we are able to get a glimpse of eternity.

 God’s presence is the greatest gift we could ever hope for, the greatest one he can make available to us.  Just as he promised Moses, God’s going to tuck us into a safe place and keep u covered by his presence… “And the Lord continued, ‘See, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of a rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.”  Today and every day, enjoy the presence of God, and enjoy being safe in his hands.

 Perhaps it was Cleland McCafee who phrased it most appropriately in his words that make up one my favorite hymns…

There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God.

A place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God,

There is a place of full release, near to the heart of God.

A place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God.

 

Lord, sometimes I think we begin to understand how precious your gift of you is.  But God, please awaken us to even more of you today.  Amen.

Be Still and Know…by Gus Keiser

If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life… For I know where I came from and where I am going.

~ John 8: 12.14

We’ve all gone through the shoe break-in process.  For most of us, it takes several weeks of wearing a pair of new shoes before we really feel comfortable in them.  But what about the comfortableness of our own shoes as it relates to our life?  For most of us; getting comfortable in our own shoes takes most of us into early adulthood to accomplish.  None of us have survived our childhood without scars because the people with whom we shared that childhood, including our parents, were imperfect.  School days for a lot of children, whether they care to admit it or not, bordered on a nightmare.  Imperfect teachers didn’t always fill our heads with positive feedback, and the playgrounds crawled with peers who often didn’t treat us as worthwhile.  So, it didn’t take much negativity to imprint our psyches with our perceived failures.

 As we grew, we developed coping mechanisms that still either fight for our self-worth or bury our hurts.  Either way, we have learned to deal with life in healthy and not-so-healthy ways.  We rejoice in those infrequent and brief bouts of confidence, but just when we think we’ve managed to overcome our issues, we end up re-visiting that same old, repackaged junk.

 One of the oldest troubles known to humankind is a crisis of identity.  Ever since Adam and Eve’s first sin we’ve faced this uphill battle against human nature that cripples us and separates us from God.

 But Jesus came to earth to reestablish our identity with his heavenly Father.  Jesus never wasted any energy wondering who he was or whether he was worthwhile, and he doesn’t wonder that about us.  He was entirely comfortable in his own sandals because he knew his Father so well, and he knew the greatness of his Father’s heart.

 When we make the choice to follow Jesus, he leads us to a deeper understanding of God’s love for us.  He lights the path through our confusion about ourselves, and he invites into the wholeness he enjoys with his Father, God.

 God loves you and he has sent his Son to tell you so.  No matter where you’ve come from, no matter what negative things in life you’ve experienced, God offers you a secure future with him.

 You are cherished by your Creator.  Enjoy being his treasure.

Abba, Father, it’s tough to fight the negative thoughts that shout inside us.  Please replace them with your words of love, and help us to move forward with you.  Amen.