Beauty in the Broken Pieces

Beauty in the Broken Pieces

Squeal with delight

His little feet raced from one shell to another. “Here’s one, mommy.” My son reached to put it in my bucket as we walked down the beach. I explained I wanted pretty shells, whole, not the broken ones.

He quickly told me those shells were pretty, too. “Just because they’re broken doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pick them for our collection.”

In Parker’s eyes, all shells were pretty.

Those simple child-uttered words spoke to me.

Do we sometimes see the broken as unlovely, not worth our time? How often do we search for the unblemished, the perfect relationship, the perfect family, the perfect church, the perfect (you fill in the blank).

The reality? Things break. Life is not perfect. No real surprise there, right?  But if we look, we can find beauty and even restoration in the broken.

God sees our hearts

Jesus saw beauty in the broken. It seems He sought them out.

He saw Mary and Martha. He healed the woman with the seven demons as well as the woman who touched the hem of His garment. Jesus saw Zacchaeus. He even invited another tax collector into His inner band of believers. He had compassion for the crowd of 5,000 who needed food.

Long before he came to live on earth, He saw a broken world and made a plan to rescue it and set things right.

Jesus sees beauty and value in us. He sees through our pain, our struggle and our rebellion. Jesus knows our hearts. He sets things right.

He sees beauty in the broken.

Am I still looking for the perfect shell? Yes. But God and a little boy reminded me there is beauty even in the broken pieces.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling,” (Psalm 46:1-3 ESV).

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It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

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Truth Is

Truth Is

Squeal with delight

A line in the book Truth Changes Everything by Dr. Jeff Myers resonates with me.

What we believe in the pain is what we really believe.

The timeframe Myers mentions took place during the Bubonic plague in the late Middle Ages. Historians estimate that 75-200 million people died in that pandemic. The survivors had lost mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends. Instead of giving up, the survivors rediscovered this ancient biblical truth.

Truth is a living, breathing person – Jesus Christ.

“At the moment when they might have turned away from God, the people of the Late Middle Ages turned toward him,” Myers explains. “They might have sensed that God was far away. Instead, they came to believe that He was right there, suffering with them. They believed in God even when their experiences told them that all hope had been lost.”

What is truth?

Times of pain test our beliefs.

In my deepest pain, I had to decide whether I trusted God or not. I had to decide if what I knew in my head was what I believed in my heart. I had to trust He was who He said He was and what He said was true. At that pivotal point, I told God I would praise Him no matter what happened.

I don’t know or pretend to understand many things. But I have learned that when God seems far away, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The truth is . . .

  • There is HOPE when we put our faith and trust in Jesus. He goes through what we go through. He’s right there, walking through the fire with us. That hope extends beyond the challenges and trials of life. His power can turn our sorrow and pain into hope and joy.

John 15:11 tells us “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full.”

  • There is PEACE when we put our faith and trust in Jesus. Difficult times often show us that God is near. Peace can be found in that nearness. Worry steals our peace. When we release our fears and worries to Him (And leave them there!), He provides peace. He can be trusted to work on our behalf. Peace comes from trusting Him.
  • There is PURPOSE when we put our faith and trust in Jesus. God has a plan for our lives. Someone once told me she was glad God had given me a purpose for my pain. I can assure you that the pain of loss eases over time. I have learned you can get through it with Jesus by your side.

The depth of our faith

God created us with gifts, talents and passions that he wants us to use to bring Him glory. I believe that although we may walk through a season of pain or difficulty, God still has more to accomplish with our lives. He has more joy for us to experience, more dreams to come true and more life to live.

What we believe in the pain shapes how we navigate through it and determines the depth of our faith in God.

We live in a time where people, especially the young, need to be influenced for morals and truth. As we walk through the chaos and uncertainty of this world, we can count on God’s nearness and rest in the truth of His Word. He is the ultimate author of truth.

Anything that is true points back to the source of all truth — God Himself.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6 NIV).

No matter what happens in our lives, one constant remains. Jesus Christ is the Truth and through Him, we can find hope. We can find peace. And we can find purpose.

Does God seem far away? Seek the truth. Seek Jesus. You can trust Him.

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Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.

 

Squeal with Delight

Squeal with Delight

Squeal with delight

I love the picture my friend Sarah paints with this devotion. I share it with you in hopes you will find joy like the delight a child finds on the playground.

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Delighting. Committing. Being still. Lent is such a special time. It gives us time to focus our hearts and minds on God. In Psalm 37, David talks about taking delight in the Lord and giving everything we do to Him.

When I think of genuine delight, I think of children playing outside squealing and running. You can tell they are truly happy and joyful. I think this is how we are called to worship — with delight! How often do we find ourselves feeling like a kid again, running on the playground in worship? True delight is not something we experience every day. We have to fully commit everything that we do to the Lord.

Delight in the Lord is a daily choice we make. Wake up. Give your day to Him. Those decisions you make, give those to Him. Give it all to Him. For those of us who like to be in control, let go and give it to Him.

Don’t let being busy get in the way. Everyone you talk to is busy, with family, with kids, with activities of all kinds. They are busy with work. They are busy with the community. Everyone is busy. It’s almost like if you aren’t busy, you aren’t doing life right.

The busyness of life and our choices to only walk with God when it’s convenient interfere with our ability to delight in the Lord. During this Lenten season, let’s slow down and focus our hearts. Be still. Choose to commit yourself to the Lord.

Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust in him, and he will help you,” (Psalm 37 NLT).

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Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.

 

Paving the Way to Bigger and Better

Paving the Way to Bigger and Better

 

Our dog escaped from the backyard last week. I was moving leaf bags to the front so they could be picked up. With that opening in the gate, he bolted past me.

 

I chased him for 40 minutes until my son and a helpful neighbor backed him into a corner. I was concerned he would either attack another neighbor’s chickens or get hit by a speeding car. No matter how many times (and there were many) I called his name and said the magic word “here,” he only darted the other way.

 

He ran across the street and back multiple times, into neighbors’ yards and then just simply ran 30mph down the street.

 

That experience was not supposed to be a part of my day.

 

He was once trained, but little by little, he began to ignore the rules. I, of course, was only trying to protect the guy from harm. What he doesn’t understand is that small acts of obedience pave the way to bigger and better things.

 

Acts of obedience

Two thousand years ago, a group of shepherds acted on the guidance of an angel of the Lord. They were rewarded big for it. In a surreal display of magnificence, the angel announced the Savior of the World’s birth and told them how to find Him. They could have marveled at the spectacle before them and praised God for the angels’ appearance. They could have reminisced about that experience the rest of their lives.

 

But they didn’t stay. Following the angel’s instructions, they left their flocks and went seeking the Christ Child.

 

The shepherds heard. They obeyed. They expected to see great things.

 

They definitely saw bigger and better. Because they obeyed, they were likely the first to see the Savior of the World. Because they obeyed, they couldn’t keep this great news to themselves. Scripture goes on to say they shared with the others what the angels had revealed about Jesus.

 

The greatest news ever known

My friend, we have been given the greatest news ever known to man. Jesus Christ came to earth in the form of a baby. God with human skin. But let’s not miss the second part of this greatest news. Jesus came so he could make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world.

 

Most of us have heard this good news. How have we responded? Are we full of wonder at what was done for us? Do we enjoy God’s blessing of people, experiences and things we’ve been gifted, only to go back to our daily routine?

 

Or do we respond and obey? Like the shepherds, do we share the good news? Do we go to where the Holy Spirit leads us? For me, I have found that I need to be obedient to what God already has said before He reveals something new. I believe that one step of obedience at a time opens the door for God to speak more.

 

Step by step

I think we can learn from the shepherds.

  • They stopped what they were doing, obeyed and went to see Jesus.
  • They returned to their fields glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

Today, we too can act upon the word of God.

  • Stop what we’re doing and recognize the splendor of that event 2000 years ago. Keep the awe and reverence of that moment in our hearts and minds and glorify Him.
  • Recognize the gifts He gives us every day.
  • Follow in obedience — one simple step at a time.

When we obey and seek Jesus, we can’t help but return glorifying and praising Him.

And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20 (ESV)

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Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.

 

Determination

Determination

My 91-year-old dad took off on his scooter to the local grocery store about half a mile from their house. Take a mental picture of this and let yourself smile.

Why? Because he needed some medicine for dizziness that wasn’t available the day before and mom wasn’t there at the time.

So . . . a man who can barely see battling dizziness rode his scooter beside a busy street to get to the remedy he needed. It’s a wonder he made it there at all! It had to have simply been God’s protection. He’s been known to run off the curb before getting to the end of the ramp!

But he was on a mission and determined to get the needed meds.

On a mission

Think for a moment of the story written 2000 years ago where a woman risked everything to seek healing from Jesus. When she heard Jesus was nearby, she tore through the crowds — on a mission — to get healing from the bleeding she’d suffered from for 12 years! She had spent all she had on physicians but not one was able to help her. She only touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment and was instantly healed. Luke 8:43-48

Surely there were many types of people in the crowd that day. With determination, she ran past the onlookers – those who were just there to observe. She ran past those with casual curiosity, as well as those looking to find fault.

But not this woman. She was there for a life change. And that’s what she got. The moment she touched the hem of Jesus’ clothing, she felt His power heal and change her. And He felt that same power leave Him.

A driving force

I want to be that driven to get to Jesus.

The woman plunged into the crowd, found Him, touched His hem and received the blessing — the healing — she sought.

Do we really seek Him? He is not hiding. He’s right here with us, waiting for us. He wants to bless us and He wants us to know how much He loves us.

I gently told my dad, “Now you can’t be riding down to the store like that. It’s not safe,” to which he responded he wouldn’t do it again. But with a look of mischief on his face, he continued . . .  “unless I need something.”

Let’s be driven to get to Jesus. Let’s stay focused as we run past the many distractions that demand our attention and steer us astray.

Seek Him. Know Him. Be changed by Him.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

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Don’t know Jesus? You can.

It would be my greatest honor to take your hand, introduce you and walk you through how to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

Find out more here.

 

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