Sunday, December 9, 2007

Three Legged Race

Three-legged races! Remember those? I remember field days every May when I went to private school. Those were big deals. No uniform on those days!

Lots of fun to be had outside! Cheers!

We left off Monday talking about who would throw us a rope when we need it. We spoke of how to get out of the pit. In this case, the pit is that place where your faith, your 'hoper' is bruised, battered, a little over-worked in a certain part of your life. I have a place like that. And I wouldn't be putting this out, if I wasn't sure as shootin' that each of us have a place like this. Maybe even more than one.

I wanted to share with you what keeps me going while in the pit,
(while not planning on staying in the pit).

The first step is knowing "Ooops, I've gone and stumbled into it!".
Then clinging to the rope, and being sure of what I know,
more than focusing on what I don't know.

What is the rope? The rope is ALWAYS The Word.

Being a word person (I really do like words) I LOVE that The Word became flesh
and dwelt among us, and He lived like us, showed us how it was done.

Focusing on what I DO know about The One who throws me the rope,
assures me that my hope is not in vain, that I have a sure thing
when my hope, my faith, my love is anchored in My Lord.
Psalm 121:1-3 "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber

And Hebrews 6:19 (really the whole chapter) has this great word picture
of where we secure our hope...
"Now we have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul"

Remember that Three-legged race?
Well, I did some studying this summer on waiting on the Lord and being weary.
It was so enlightening!

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What I learned was that in most of the pivotal scriptures that talk about waiting on the Lord, the Hebrew meaning of the word wait means to bind.
Like so:

Psalm 27:13-14 "What would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord."

Amplified Bible.


Isaiah 40:31 "But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired." Amplified Bible.

What these words say to us is, when we will wait on the Lord,

we will bind oursleves to in that Three-Legged Race.

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In the time and culture which Jesus was born in,

the Rabbis taught by asking questions.

If you notice in the Gospels, Job and other places, you will see that

God and Jesus commonly ask questions.

Lately I have been realizing, that the Lord teaches US the same way.

He allows us to have questions, because questions help us discover the truth.

No, I am NOT saying He brings us trouble. He's a good, good God, and He would prefer we never have to suffer.

We get trouble because its a crazy, mixed up world.

In teaching my son, I have realized the things he looks up during his studies are the things he remembers, and assimilates best. It's the process of obtaining the answers, that engrains it in his memory, his charachter. The process. But, I watch him carefully, to make sure he is not getting overloaded. Because then he will blow-out, or blow up. And that is not the goal!

As a homeschool mom, it is more important to me that he be equipped to find the answers than to get every little sweaty detail right.

As a child of God, a joint-heir with Christ, it is more important that I KNOW Him, His charachter, His ways, than to "get" all the hoped for answers in life I want. Yes, some of the things we want, just don't make sense not to have them and I truly do not intend to let go praying/seeking for any of those things which I feel please Him as well.

But, in the end, what matters most, is that I KNOW HIM!

The questions, the darkness, and the droughts of life, cause us to seek, to grow roots and to help us be fully persuaded of what we know.

See the goal is that - that we KNOW HIM. That we can't be shaken in our knowing of Him. Eve was shaken, so was Adam. But Abraham, he was fully persuaded. That is our goal!

We need those roots that the questions of life teach us to grow. So the winds of life can't blow us over!
Deep roots.

When we bind ourselves to Him, we can endure, withstand and overcome all that life brings us.

I might not like the length of time it takes to see the results I want. But, I trust God, I trust His Word is alive and at work in my life and the lives of those I intercede for. At ALL times.

Keeping hold of that faith and expectation for a good outcome allows me to drink of His presence.

The tougher the question, the more desert like the circumstances, the more we must allow Him to pour out refreshing promises of what we can know.

Proverbs 17:22 gives us a terrific picture of our choice, we can dry up because we don't do the work (it IS work) or we can have pleasure, joy, even happiness. THAT is our reward for the hard work of climbing out of the pit...

"A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."

Go to the waterpot! Bask in the promises of Him, who is in all things, (the painful things, the impossible to understand things, in all these things and more) - He is MORE THAN ENOUGH!

In case you are wondering about me getting out of that pit, well it's a moment to moment thing...right now I am living out in the open, I can see the skies and breathe the clean salt air!

Circumstances are the same, but my viewpoint is different! I just needed to tighten up!

I had forgotten it was a Three-Legged Race!

Oh, by the way, the alternative to waiting on the Lord (which means to bind - remember) is to grow weary or faint, in several verses (Isaiah 40, Galatians 6). One of the meanings of those words is to get slack or loose. I do not want to be slack!

Here's what it looks coming up out of the pit, more light, more skies, less walls...

Then it's all wide open skies!


BunnyGirl said...

Great post, Maria. And you have actually, indirectly, given me my verse for this Monday. I was really struggling what to learn and didn't seem to be hearing anything. Then it popped in there as I read this post.

Yes, the pit, I spend alot of time in there and always of my own doing or my choice to sit in there. Thank goodness for the Word. I am getting a new appreciation for it thanks to Mondays.

One thing I must be careful of though, that it isn't just an exercise but that I allow His Words to change me.

Big hugs

freetofly said...

Good morning BG!
Glad you have been inspired. I love when that happens - you are hearing one thing (or reading as the case may be) and in pops something else. That is actually how I got last week's Memory Verse.

Yes, I so agree, to be doers and not just hearers...I do pray for that...daily change...

I'll be over to see your Memory Verse! I love those. I think it is helping all of us to start the week like this.


Cecily R said...

Ah, Maria. You are so wise. I love your object lessons!

Carole said...

Great word pictures. Psalm 121 was assignment for all 6th graders back in the day when I was in school. Today we would have an outraged society if the school did that, but your post reminded me of the days when Bible reading was a part of the public school curriculumn. (Yes, I got the meaning of your post--but I also went back to days of old.)

luvmy4sons said...

Thanks Maria. I love listening to your musings and your object lessons. It is a three legged race. The key to winning those is to stay together. One cannot get ahead of the other. In this case, we must not get ahead of Jesus! Thank you!

Joyful Days said...

Maria, this post was something that I got to read at just the right time. I love how God provides and I am glad you allow yourself to be a channel to bless others. Thanks so much!!

Always in Him,


freetofly said...

Cec, You are so sweet! I can hear the laughter of the men in my household right now! JK!

Carole, You know, it is amazing how hard a noisy portion of our society has worked to keep the Bible out of schools, and that same portion works very hard to put certain other things into the classroom, that really don't belong. I sometimes think that if someone from a founding family, woke up now 200+ yrs later, they would think we had all gone quite mad! :) I like memory lane, no worries there!

Leslie! Miss you! I haven't messaged much, I will remedy that! Glad you enjoyed. This one was hard, bc I feel it is unresolved, but that is how life is, not always in a pretty package!

I LOVE your point about not getting ahead or falling behind. Thanks for that!

Julie, I am so grateful to know that this could help! That is what we are all doing in our own way, sharing what might help others; be it laughter or just life tidbits!

Merry Christmas, you all!

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!