Sunday, March 25, 2012


An old picture of Noah in the rain 

He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.
Hosea 6:3b

There's a wonderfully damp, pouring rain dancing on the sidewalk leading up to my front door.  I just got fairly drenched leaving work and walking the 30 steps to my car.  It's raining in Northern California.  And it's wonderful.

We've had an unusually dry winter so far, and we don't get any rain in the summer, so it's been a LONG time since we've had a downpour.  As a girl growing up in Missouri, I loved thunderstorms that would bring hard rains.  I look forward to the winter rains of this area: they clean the air, make the foothills of Mount Diablo a gorgeous green, and give people a reason to be thankful for the 300 days of perfect blue skies we have every year.

The rain is a wonderful reminder of the faithfulness of our Lord.  A passage that's special to my husband and me, Hosea chapter 6 likens the healing that comes from the Lord to that of the seasonal rains.

“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces 
but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”  (verses 1-3)

Indeed, the Lord disciplines us.  Especially during the season of Lent, it's easy to be aware of the punishment that our sin brings.  But the Lord is faithful.  He promises to heal us and restore us to him.  "On the third day," when Jesus rose from the grave, he finalized that work and promises that one day we will live in the presence of our Lord, by his grace.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4

I had a professor in college who would always say that when God was trying to get a point across to her, she would hear it at least three different times: in the words of a friend, in a scripture reading, and on the radio, for example.  For me this week, it's been the topic of fear, and it's come to me in a sermon, during a Bible study, and in the attitude of my little boy.  And it's only Tuesday.

In church on Sunday, through the story of Ezekiel and the dry bones, we learned just how amazing the power of the resurrection is against our fears, that Jesus lives again to give us freedom to follow him as if we have nothing to lose.  Because it's true: we have nothing to lose that has not been lost, and regained, for us.  

During our Monday night small group, we discussed the power of our Lord, and what it means to truly "fear God."  In a posture of fear of the Lord, the fears of this world quickly fade to naught.  Fears that we have about our kids or about our jobs seem silly when we comprehend the amazing power of our God and the amazing love he has for us.

Which brings me to Noah.  He is a daily reminder of a fearless life.  Yes, he jumps dangerously close to the edge of the bed, and yes, he climbs on furniture that probably can't hold much more than his weight, but I see a more important (less naive) measure of fearlessness in him.   He is not afraid to express himself.  He is not afraid to go after what he's passionate about.  He is not afraid to stand out in a crowd. He is not afraid to sing off key, look ridiculous, or try something new.  He is fearless in his pursuit to be the person whom God has created him to be.

God historically and daily provides for me, in unbelievable ways most of the time.  Why do I fear about provisions in the future?  God promises to lead his people, like a shepherd caring for sheep.  Why do I fear about which direction to take in my career?  God has won everlasting life for me and all who believe in his name, through the pain of the cross.  Why do I fear saying or doing something that might bring persecution?

But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24

The freedom of Christ in my life allows me to pursue the person he has made me to be with all my heart, fearless of the roadblocks or hurts that the world may put in that path, confident of the power and love of the One who is fearless in his pursuit of me.