Our Hope

How Do You Describe God?

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Faith, Life, Our Hope, Truth | 18 comments

elephant collage 2

 

Someone recently asked me how I would describe God. My mind immediately went to the ancient parable of the blind men discovering an elephant for the first time.

With great fascination they each grabbed hold of part of the giant beast in order to better understand it. As one man felt its large ear gently waving to keep pests away, the man described the elephant as a soft leathery fan. Another man held onto the elephant’s tail and deduced an elephant is strong and slender like a snake. The man standing beside one of the elephant’s large legs told the others the elephant was like a tree trunk, tall and stately.

The moral of the story of course, is each one was entirely accurate and completely wrong at the same time. Trying to describe God through my limited knowledge and experiences of him is also based on a very minute view of all that he is.

Whether through my comprehension of the Bible or through personal experiences – my understanding is limited at best.

Some days he is like a fan. I feel movement and breeze when I spend time with him. I sense his involvement and intervention in my life. While other days he seems distant and rigid – stately and hard to grab onto.

And just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, things shift and my firm convictions are challenged by what I read or experience. My hold on the tail of truth whips free and I’m left grasping for a better understanding of the God I love.

He is immense to me like the elephant was to the blind men. He is untamable, no matter how long I’ve known him. He will never be fully understood by my finite mind. And yet, he is approachable and within reach.

When I feel blind I choose to stand firm. I wait for his voice, for his touch. I stand firm on the truth I know.

I know his consistent love. I know he is trustworthy. I know him even though I will never fully understand him until I see his full person, when I am free of mine.

So how would I describe him?

He is large, inexplicably large. He is gentle and strong, stronger than any force known to man. He is ever-present, no matter how distant he seems to be – he’s everywhere. He laughs and cries, he speaks and listens. He’s tender and fierce, gracious and just. He’s approachable, reasonable, multilingual and fair. He does more than love, he is love.

He is creative beyond understanding. He speaks without a voice – and yet speaks with a voice every person is able to hear. He never turns his back on the hurting. He hears, heals and patiently waits. His nature is like nothing we have known – and yet we are created in his likeness. He is simply indescribable.

The pursuit of God can never be exhausted – I am convinced there will always be more to discover about him. The tragedy is feeling satisfied with what we already know or dogmatically declaring we know it all.

I can’t help but make an attempt to describe such mystery and wonder. But please don’t take my word – discover for yourself and never, ever become satisfied with what you find.

 

 photo credit – and acknowledgment the original version is much prettier

 

 

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We Are God’s Masterpiece

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Freedom, Life, Our Hope, Truth, Words | 18 comments

wyatt

 

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

 

What a beautiful scripture this is, encouraging us to know who we are through the eyes of the one who created us. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need to be reminded of this truth.

Deep within every human being is a longing to be loved and accepted. I need to remember this, because for most of us, this is not a reality we easily claim. Instead we look in the mirror and only see faults or reason for comparison. We allow the wrong voices to define who we are.

In some cases it’s our culture. But other times it’s the very people we love who wrongly define who we are. Hurtful words can deceive us into thinking we are unworthy.

Yet God created us to be people of strength and beauty, each with a divine purpose planned by Him before we were born. God alone has the right to define us.

He is the Creator. He is our designer. And this is what he says about you and me, WE ARE:

 

Created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)

Fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

Precious and honored in His sight. (Isaiah 43:4)

Redeemed and forgiven. (Ephesians 1:7)

A new creature in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Holy and blameless before God. (Ephesians 1:4, 1 Corinthians 1:30)

Chosen by God. (1 Peter 2:9)

God’s masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)

Created with purpose to do great works for God’s Kingdom. (Ephesians 2:10)

 

Will you believe these words about yourself today? Are you able to look for that same truth in your fellow man today as well?

We are God’s beloved creation, masterfully designed for his use. How absolutely amazing is that!

 

 

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Do You Believe God Really Sees You?

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Faith, God Speaks, His Love, Our Hope | 22 comments

kyle skully 1

 

He sees you, in fact he never takes his eyes off you. He watches – and even prays for you.

 

Give your heart the freedom to believe this today. Take a deep breath and consider what it means to have the author and creator of all you see take note of you. Believing this fact will change how you feel about yourself and how you live.

He sees your thoughts and your dreams.

He sees your good days and the not so good.

He sees your pain and your celebrations.

He sees your past.

He sees your future.

 

And the One, who sees you, loves you still.

 

In a world that constantly evaluates our performance and grades us accordingly – it can be difficult to believe God really loves us – scars, bruises, deficits and all. But he does. His love covers our shame and also lifts us from it.

The scripture says he loved us with a complete love – even before we knew him. Can you imagine?

His visible and tangible presence all around us opens our eyes to see him back.

There’s comfort in knowing he sees, but there’s power in seeing he knows.

 

He loves us in order to commune with us.

 

Picture the most powerful person in the world today. Odds are, you can’t imagine having an audience with that person – much less an intimate two way conversation.

The truth is, the God of the universe knows the exact number of hairs on that powerful person’s head and waits to listen to both of you.

Can you imagine.

We are wired for relationship by the one who fashioned us after himself.

He enjoys interactive conversations. He listens and doesn’t leave us for a better ear.

 

Yes, God sees you. He loves you. And He waits to be with you.

 

photo credit

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Morning Prayer for You

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 in God Speaks, His Love, Our Hope, Prayer | 16 comments

#40 hidden treasures

 

It’s a tremendous privilege to pray with you this morning, friend. As I thought about our needs today, I was impressed with God’s faithfulness to us. He surrounds us with confirmation of his trustworthy nature. His attention to detail and generous love is everywhere if we’ll just look for it.

 

Please do more than listen to my simple words – listen for the love and care your Heavenly Father has for you. Seek him today. Wait for him. And then go out and find him. I’ll be doing the same.

 

What joy to do the journey with you. BLESS your day!

 

 

 

 

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Walk in Hope

Posted by on Sep 14, 2013 in Our Hope, Trust | 8 comments

shoes on the beaches

God is most qualified to be the author of our life’s story. He’s intimately associated with us. He knows tomorrow, and he’s given us freedom to enjoy his unfolding story hidden in our moments.

natural frame

He has promised to give us hope – hope for a future wrapped in his plans. Hope is best found where worry and presupposition aren’t allowed. Hope breathes over our circumstances with warm assurance. He is our hope.

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Your Heavenly Father has carved your name in his hand and counted the sands beneath your feet. When our minds spin with worry and planning, our heart forgets the most important facts. Let the truth of his love wash over you today – cleansing, restoring, rewriting fretful scripts. Faith loosens the grip of fear and pointless planning. Faith reaches for the better story.

pretty sunset

Our Heavenly Father is a river of resources. He promises to be all we need for today’s journey.

He is the best author. Our life is his pen. His purposes the canvas.

There’s rest and hope in walking in this truth.

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ONWARD AND UPWARD by Leah Crook

Posted by on Sep 1, 2013 in Love, Our Hope, Trust | 14 comments

tiny purple flowers

 

With my baby boy curled under my ribs, we drive through the gates and up the road to make “arrangements”. We pass by rolling hills of green. The Veterans Terrace where he will be buried is on our left.

I choke on my thoughts. Coffins. Burial plots. Payment plans. My Dad has cancer.

Even the sun and all it’s golden beauty looks grey.

Onward and upward, kiddo. That’s what he says to me.

We’re greeted by a woman – I hardly notice her face. I faintly recall the nodding of her head and the chatter between the two of them.

The reality is frightening.

I simply can’t get involved in this business of dying. So, I leave the building and walk into the streets of denial – where I stay for quite a while.

She’s only twenty, I still hear him…

 

Seven years later, on the edge of morning, he passed away. I think I heard him say good-bye.

Onward and upward, kiddo.

Life brings change. Some changes we barely notice and others stare us down – like the loss of a parent.

Don’t hesitate to say I love you.

 

The wind blows ever so slightly. The sun shines over the green. I imagine I can move with the breeze – away from here. Down a winding road.

Free spirit.

But I sit with the names among the blades.

Final resting.

And in my mind I ask, over and over, where are you? I want to know what you’re doing today. What are your plans? It’s impossible silence.

Final. Finally. Resting. Why.

Who am I to question what God gives. And takes away.

Why the grass withers. The flowers fade.

Why we are deeply hurt sometimes.

And still, I dare to ask…

Do you hear me – do you hear the hurting world? When the whispers of the heart scream, do

you hear…

Underneath the sun. Below the earth. Beyond. Loved ones. At peace.

Wrap my mind around this. Final. Resting.

When the clouds open up and the sky falls on us – do you separate our tears from the rain?

And I wonder – is an illness really an illness? An accident really an accident, why do some stay? And others go…

As I run my fingers across the letters of his name – I ponder. God’s timing. Our days. Numbered.

I want to remember this as I sometimes struggle through days. None are promised. All of life is a mystery to me. We’re here and are gone. In the blink of an eye.

Sturdy, yet fragile. In the powerful hand of The Creator.

What else is there. Who remembers what they see. What they hear.

And the silence breaks.

As though he can mix my thoughts with the wind and answer in a gentle breeze.

A sunburst.

Yes, I hear you.

 

Isaiah 40:7-8 “The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

 

Dear friends, Please join me in thanking Leah for sharing her beautiful heart with us. You can also read her last post HERE or visit her website at leahcrook.com

 

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