Running free

But let me run loose and free, celebrating God ’s great work, Every bone in my body laughing, singing, “ God, there’s no one like you. Psalm 35:9

The greatest freedom is found within God’s boundaries. Freedom is not license. Though we speak of deserving the freedom to…what is really meant is freedom from restriction. We don’t like restrictions but deep inside we know they provide security. Within God’s fences, we are protected and free.

In Genesis, Adam and Eve were given every tree to enjoy except… They were naturally drawn to crossing God’s line, just as I am. When they did, everything was lost. I don’t want to fight God’s boundaries anymore. I want to run freely within them.

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Lord, help me enjoy and thrive in your enclosures for me. I want to run free within them, your boundaries. Thank you for knowing where and how to set the boundaries for me.

Every chance I get

I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. Psalm 34:1

Every chance I get I…

This little phrase makes me stop and ask myself questions. What do I enjoy every time I get to do it? What captures my thoughts and attention more quickly than anything else? Am I disciplined enough to bless my God when difficulties come? I bless God every chance I get rests upon decisions and disciplines I enact today. They prepare me for unknowns and properly position the difficult and joyous times.

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So, Lord, I will bless you every chance I get. I will start where I am now and will make every effort to discipline myself so that this response is the first one to all that comes, regardless.

Cup and saucer

We’re depending on God ; he’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you’ve got— that’s what we’re depending on. Psalm 33:20-22

bennett-cup-and-saucerAnother classic thought from Corrie ten Boom. “Look at a cup on a saucer; it has to rest on something. Yes, you could put it on a shelf or table. But, the cup was made for the saucer. It most naturally rests upon it.”

I was created by God to rest upon Him, to depend on Him alone. Nothing can take his place. He has given me his name – I was created for him as a cup and saucer set. When I choose to rest upon him, I understand his loving support and care. That is what I must depend upon.

This also clarifies what I am to do when waiting. I wait not for something to happen or something to come together. I wait for him and him alone. What he does and when he does it, is always right.

Thank you, Lord, for being the one I can rest upon. I depend on you today.

God affirming

God-defiers are always in trouble; God-affirmers find themselves loved every time they turn around. Psalm 32:10

Every decision leads me to one pivotal point: resist/refuse to obey or surrender/submit with joy and faith. The Scriptures are filled with examples of those who refused to obey the Lord. And, occasionally, there is an example of one who simply said, “Yes, Lord.”

I remember a quote from Corrie tenBoom, a Dutch watchmaker, and survivor of World War 2 concentration camps. She said, “You cannot say ‘no, Lord’.” How simple is that? I think this is what Psalm 32:10 is saying. We affirm God by my obedience, our “Yes, Lord.” And, when I obey, I find myself loved and loved.

Dear Lord, yes.

The escape

“What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. You hide them safely away from the opposition…Blessed GOD! His love is the wonder of the world.” Psalm‬ ‭31:19-22‬ ‭MSG‬‬

There is an escape from this unkind world, only one. My Lord waits expectantly for me to disconnect my heart from the world’s things and open my empty hands to all he wants to give. The world takes away, he gives unceasingly and graciously. The world passes away; my Lord’s gifts live eternally. So, why do I get so connected to this temporary, grasping world?

Lord, the beautiful things in the world are fore tastes of what is to come. They point to me to you. Forgive me for the many ways I fall in love with be with the things and miss the giver.

I can’t thank you enough

You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough. Psalm 30:11-12

I love how Psalm 30 ends. This leads me to a simple thought for this day. Every day, situation, life…can end the same way. Reflecting on what the Lord has done, how can I not thank him? And, when closures come, how can I not thank him? “I can’t thank him enough” is the ultimate conclusion of all.

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Lord, thank you. I can’t thank you enough.

Strong peace

God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace. Psalm 29:11

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Peaceful strength, strong peace – gifts from my glorious Lord. What can stand in his way? What interferes with his abiding peace? Who is more strong? What circumstance overrules his wisdom? Glory!

Lord, forgive me for allowing inferior things to interrupt my glorifying you. You alone bring peace and strength to me for this moment and every moment to come. Thank you, Lord.

No weakness

God is all strength for his people, ample refuge for his chosen leader; Save your people and bless your heritage. Care for them; carry them like a good shepherd. God is all strength for his people, ample refuge for his chosen leader; Save your people and bless your heritage. Care for them; carry them like a good shepherd. Psalm 28:8-9

IMG_4379Carefully and completely balanced with my Lord’s tenderness is his omnipotent strength. The refuge he offers amply and consistently blends both. I run to his strong arms for his care. It is there that I am truly safe and cared for. In fact, in those arms, I am carried through each hour and day.

Lord, thank you for being completely tender and strong for me today. Whatever this day brings forth, you are fully able.

One thing

I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. Psalm 27:4-5

In this beautiful setting of glorious light and intimate care, I find all my wants and wishes evaporate leaving only one request. To stay with him, where all is quiet and secure, and learn. The traffic buzz is gone – all I hear is him.

Fireplace

I wish all this could happen now but the request can. It’s part of being still through silence, cultivating serenity through solitude…through intimacy with my Lord. Yes, this can happen now.

Lord, why do I allow the things of this world to choke out our intimacy together. I must choose to be still and silent for you to do your beautiful work.

A fireplace chat

God, I love living with you; your house glows with your glory. Psalm 26:8

Cabin in snow

For me, there is nothing like a snowy evening at home. All is quiet, serene – so unlike the normal world. A fire in the fireplace, beautiful music – all refreshes my soul. I don’t need to be anyone in particular – nothing to accomplish. Just all there.

I think my Lord loves those times, too. He waits for me to settle down into his arms. We sit by the fire he has made. Everything is cared for.

Lord, thank you for your intimacy. Forgive me for flying by these invitations.