Posts tagged inspiring
Posts tagged inspiring
I am remaking you. I know this is a painful, confusing process, but it’s because you can only see the steps. You don’t see the outcome yet. When I look at you, I don’t see someone “under construction”. I see the end result, and it is so, so beautiful.
Here’s a glimpse of what that finished masterpiece will look like:
You will have hands that will never cease to give out forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and grace.
Your eyes will see the beauty in others, even on days when it is difficult. You will begin to see others as I see them and as I see you: Brilliant, beloved, creations of mine.
Your lips will speak the radical, amazing truth. So many are hurting right now because of the lies they have been told about the world, about themselves, and about me. Your words will bring them life.
You will have feet that run to the aid of those who are broken and in need. You will stand and fight for justice and for the opressed, but you will not grow weary from doing our work together, because I will strengthen you.
Your mind will dwell on pure, lovely, righteous thoughts. You will think of joy and beauty and love. Think above all on love, dear, because that is the best way to reach others.
Your heart will be hopeful, trusting, patient, and completely and totally given to the love of others. I will fill you with joy and peace.
All of these things take time, Beloved, and some areas need more work than others. Just hang on to me, because we’re not finished yet. But when we are, I promise, you’ll love the final product.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
— From “The Extraordinary Gospel”
People often say that love is blind but I believe that is a terrible mistake to make. Passion is blind. Hate is blind. Emotion, anger, attraction, envy, lust, jealousy, all of them, positive or negative, are blind. They all distort the view of people. We see them only as we want to see them, in a bad or good light.
Love is so very different. Love sees all of the flaws, beauty, perfections, and imperfections in a person. Then, love goes a step forward and says, “I care about you in spite of all of the bad, I delight in you for all of the good, and I love you for who you are and who you can be.” So you see, love is not blind. In fact, it is the only thing that sees at all. Our view of the world and its people will forever be distorted if we do not look at it with love.
I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love—put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in the rushing wind.
— “I am Not Yours” by Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)
My choir is singing an arrangement of this poem by Randall Stroope. It’s an absolutely lovely piece and the meaning of the poem is very straight forward and purely secular. It is, after all, a love story and a tragic one at that. The Lover is not “lost” in her Beloved though she wants to be so desperately. Perhaps they had a falling out, perhaps he never noticed her at all, but whatever it is the message is clear that he does not share Sara’s sentimates. She longs to be deep in his love and to lose her identity in him.
While we were singing through this song I first took it just as it was meant to be taken: A purely secular love story. I would be lying, also, if I said that I didn’t relate to Miss Sara and if I didn’t have someone in my mind as we sang. It was difficult for me to get the words out because I was burdened so deeply with these pesky thoughts. Stroope ends the choral piece much more beautifully than Sara ends her poem, I believe. He expresses that the Lover is, in fact, completely lost, but not lost as she wishes to be in her Beloved. He says: “I am lost. Lost as a candle lit at noon. Lost as a snowflake in the sea. Lost as a candle, lost as a light. Lost, but not lost in you.”
But when I read these words, suddenly I heard a whisper, “Beloved, why are you lost? Why are you not lost in me? I long for you to be lost in me, I am desperate for it.”
It hit me so suddenly that I had to quickly and quietly hold back the embarrassing rush of tears that I felt touching my eyes. How foolish I had been! How pathetically and stupidly lost—but not lost in You, not lost in the right thing, not losing and at the same time finding myself in You. I was too focused on schoolwork, too set on heartaches, too worried about finances, concerned with doubts and plagued with questions, lost completely like a snowflake in the sea…
But not lost in You. You my true Lover who would never deny me the opportunity to share in Your love. You who made me. You who bought me with Your own blood. You my Savior who went to the cross to find my lost soul.
Oh God, I have been so lost and lost in all of the wrong things. I am not Yours, not lost in You although I so, so desperately long to be. Find me, God, and plunge me deep in Your immeasurable love.
Make me Yours.
Till I See You — Hillsong
What are you going through? Academic troubles? Relationship troubles? Emotional struggles? Negative peer pressure? Family issues? Physical illnesses? The loss of a loved one?
This world is decaying. We can see death in every inch of it, even if that death is not necessary literal (Though of course, that’s prevalent and painful as always). We see the end and figurative “death” of relationships. The decline of careers, the death of hope, the decay of health, the struggle and feeling of death that comes with depression… It’s all around us.
Christianity has a brilliant, amazing promise, though, and that promise is that death—literal and figurative—is completely conquered. Christ defeated it and He will give life to all who seek it.
2 Corinthians 4:10-12; 16-18 — We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
If that is not hopeful, I don’t know what is. He is creating life in us every day in spite of the death around us. Because of Christ in us, we can say to Death, “You have been beaten. You have no sting and the grave holds no victory. I have Christ’s life in me.”
Jesus, the perfect Son of God, came down to Earth and died a horrible death for your sins and saved you and I both from the hell that we deserve.
If that isn’t the most humbling thing in the world, I don’t know what is.
AMEN. There is nothing else to be said to that