‘God shall wipe away all tears…

‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ Revelation 21:4 KJV

So…I did it again. That thing where I watch movies themed on war and then cry miserably for ages. (Yes, I know I’m not the smartest woman in the world. But hey, maybe I will learn from my mistakes sometime in the next 10 years.) The last time was when I watched ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ for the second time and then completely lost it.

This time it was the final episode of M.A.S.H. Most of the M.A.S.H. episodes are at least somewhat funny – mostly there are people using humour to get through a horrible situation. However, the last episode is not at all amusing. It brings to life the harsh reality of war and what it does to people. And when it was over, I cried. My husband says I have a sensitive and caring heart. I wish I didn’t.

There are many horrible things about pain. But the one that gets me every time is the fact that God does nothing. I’m still struggling to understand that – to let God be God and accept that He knows best. That He feels more pain and sheds more tears for His children than I ever will. Last time I thought I had finally got it. I thought I understood. Now I know I don’t.

But one day I will. One day, God will explain everything. One day He will wipe away all tears. No more death, no crying, no pain. How wonderful that will be!

But until then, I think I have to stop watching movies!

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Whatever it takes….

I once heard a story of a Christian man whose children had left the church. He agonised over this, and tried to do everything he could to lead them back to God. He wept for them and pleaded with them. He prayed for them regularly and tried to live as an example. But still there was no change in the lives of his children. One night he started praying that God would do whatever it took, anything, even if he had to die that they might be brought to God. Soon after, he was in a fatal car accident. And his children all gave their lives to God.

There is Another who agonised over His lost children. He wept and pleaded with them and tried to show them how they should live. But His children didn’t appear to notice. There was no change. At times they even ridiculed Him. Until one dark night He also chose to give whatever it took and laid down His life for them.

I don’t know about you, but some days I feel unworthy. Like I have done too much, gone too far. There are so many better people in the world, why would God care about me? And then I remember the story of a God who gave His life for His children. All of them. Not just the good ones, the pretty ones, the lovable. But the bad, the scoffers, even the ones who hated Him. He was willing to do whatever it took, even for those who would refuse it.

You may feel that you have gone too far, that you no longer have anything to give Him. But today He is still willing to do whatever it takes to save us.

One of my favourite songs puts it so well.

‘You don’t know just how far
Away from home I’ve been,’
She said as she looked into my eyes.
‘Could it be I’ve strayed beyond
Mercy’s outstretched hand
And now His grace no longer stoops
To hear my cry?
You see, I just wanna know
Tell me how far will He go –
Will He still reach for me
Inspite of where I’ve been?’
And I told her,

‘He’ll do whatever, whatever it takes
His grace reaches lower than your worst mistakes
And His love will run farther
Than you can run away, my friend
He’ll do whatever, whatever it takes
He’ll do whatever it takes.’ (He’ll Do Whatever it Takes, by Phillips Craig & Dean)

No matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been, He died for you. And He will do whatever it takes to save you. You just have to ask Him.

Go on, He’s waiting.

Seeking…

Yesterday I lost my ring. Not the real wedding ring, just a cheap one I wear while I’m on prac or working in the garden. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was wearing it one moment and it was gone the next! Ok maybe not quite that quick. I was sitting in bed fiddling with it and all of a sudden it just flung off. I couldn’t work it out. There was no clunk, so it had to be on the bed. But it wasn’t! I shook sheets and pillows and pjs and still couldn’t find it. I got a little panicky. So I prayed. Nothing.  I asked Mum for advice – she told me to pull everything off and shake it and look again.

I nearly didn’t. I nearly decided it was too much work. I’d find it eventually. It’s not like it was going anywhere. (Rings can’t walk, right?) But the stubborn side of me wanted to find that ring. So I pulled all the pillows off the bed again, I pulled the sheets and blankets off the bed and shook them, and I unfolded pyjamas and shook them too. Just when I was about to give up there was a clunk as the ring dropped out.

I said a prayer to thank God for giving me patience to keep looking. And as I did, something hit me. I was willing to give a lot of time and effort seeking a ring that isn’t worth much at all. (Except for what it stands for, but let’s forget about that for the time being.) But how much time and effort am I willing to give to seeking God? I spent a lot of time on my knees looking for one small ring. But how much time am I willing to spend there preparing for eternity? How many feathers am I willing to ruffle to live for Him? How much of my day am I willing to give to seeking and doing God’s will?

It wasn’t about the ring. It was about how much it means to me.

So how much does God mean to me? How much does He mean to you?

‘I am a little pencil …

‘I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.’ ~ Mother Teresa

Last night as my husband and I were reading together, we came across a quote by Mother Teresa. It wasn’t this one, but as we talked about her life and a few of her quotes it got me thinking. And then I resorted to Google to look for more.

And I found this.

A pencil is defined as an instrument used for writing, drawing, etc. Pencils come in all colours and sizes. A pencil is very useful in the right hands, but it is useless until someone picks it up. A pencil may wear out, never knowing whether it was successful in it’s task. Many pencils may be needed to finish writing one letter.

It is the same with us. We are all pencils, instruments in the Writer’s hands. God’s children come from all races and are of all ages. And God uses many pencils to tell His story. As He uses us to tell of His love, we may give until we are spent and may never see any results. And we may get discouraged. We may question if we are really of any use. We may even wonder if He actually knows what He is doing.

But one day we will see the letter. The beautiful story of His love that He has used us to write. And in that moment we will understand. And we will be content. Content to have been ‘a little pencil’ in the Writer’s hands.

Won’t you let Him use you to write His love today?

 

Broken & Beautiful…

A really thought-provoking post from a friend’s blog.
We often work so hard at keeping up appearances, being the perfect Christian. We need to learn to accept that none of us is perfect, but by God’s grace we are still loved. Let’s help each other to the foot of the cross, where the Heart Healer can make us beautiful.

Tears of God

As I type this, I am lying on the lounge feeling sick. When I announced how I was feeling to my husband, he promptly dragged me to the lounge, turned the music down, and got me a nice warm wheat pack to cuddle. He is now washing the dishes, after already taking the rubbish out and tidying the lounge room. And all this without me even asking. I have a wonderful husband!

Last night I watched The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas for the second time. As a rule I don’t cry in movies. Ever. (Mum used to accuse me of being a heartless child while she sobbed her way through one movie after another and I sat there laughing at her.) This is the only movie to have ever broken that rule. Last time I watched it I cried and swore I would never watch it again but somehow I was silly enough to forget that. This time I watched it all the way through with only a few tears at the end….And then I sobbed for half an hour. My husband held me and reminded me that it isn’t a true story but it made no difference. You see, it’s not the little boy’s fate that makes my heart bleed. It’s not even his mother’s heartbreak or the pain in the faces of the Jews in the story. It’s not the cruelty of the soldiers that makes me want to scream.

It’s God. 

Or rather, the lack of Him. It’s enough to make me angry. WHERE WERE YOU?? Why did you let innocent people, even CHILDREN, be treated like this? Both times I have watched this movie it makes me fall apart. It shakes at the very foundations of my belief in a loving Father. I sob and question until I can’t think anymore. If You really care, why didn’t you DO something?? And when I come to the end of my tears, I am still no closer to an answer than I was at the start. I still don’t know where He was. I still don’t understand why He didn’t stop the pain, the heartache. But somehow I feel I have not wept alone. He is there. I feel His arms around me. I hear His voice whisper, ‘I know, My child, I know. I feel it too.’ And in His voice I hear tears. I realise that not only is He there, but He is weeping. Deep wracking sobs. The pain of a heart of Love. As our tears subside, He reminds me of a promise. A promise to one day banish sin, and pain, and tears.

‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.’ (Revelation 21:4)

But until that day, we will cry together. For the pain of His children, the heartache of a broken world. And as I see the tears of God, I feel the love of a Father. And even though I may not understand, I know that I can trust His heart.

Today, He weeps for my pain. He weeps for yours. Take it to Him and let a loving Father wipe away your tears.