Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dear Jesus

Dear Jesus,

When you were praying in the Garden, you saw me.  You knew you had to die, so I could be set free.  You carried your heavy cross to Calvary.  It was all because of your great love for me. 
They mocked you, spit in your face, and stripped you of your robe.  They drove the nails into your hands and feet, but you knew that you had to suffer for me.  It was there on that cross where you took my place.  You died for my sins, so I wouldn’t have to pay. 
And that’s what you did, you paid my debt.  I am yours because you won me with your blood.  I have victory because you won my battle.  When you saved me, my sins were buried.    
I have been given the greatest gift, and that gift is you.  This is the best gift one could ever receive.  I am so thankful that I have been given this undeserving gift. 
I was once insignificant but through your suffering, I was made significant.  You saw me as someone who was worth dying for.  I truly believe you are someone who is worth losing everything for.  I live, so that you can live through me.  I greatly owe you for what you have done for me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

God is My Potter, and I am his Clay

“So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel.  But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.  Then the word of the Lord came to me.  He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord.  “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.”-Jeremiah 18:3-6.

I was once just a lump of shapeless clay, until I put my life into the potter’s hands.  God is my potter, and I am his clay.  With the great warmth of his hands, God has molded and shaped me into a beautiful vase.  God made me into a beautiful vase so I can hold flowers with the fragrance of his heart.  As much as I try to remain without blemish, life comes along and I crack under the pressure.  However, I am not useless in the sight of God.    Rather than discarding me, God continues to use me for his own unique purpose.  Instead of smoothing out my edges, God keeps the cracks so the glory of his presence can shine for everyone to see.  It doesn’t matter what shape I’m in, I will always remain God’s own unique design.  I am one of a kind.  This makes me priceless in the eyes of my creator.  I thank God each and every day for making me who I am today.  I want to bring glory and honor to the one who made me. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Ship has Set Sail

Are the storm clouds gathering?  Is the wind blowing?  Is the thunder rolling?  Is the lightening striking?  Is the rain falling?  If you find yourself in the midst of a storm today, then take hold of God and hang on.  Take heart, God will calm the storm.
In Acts, chapter 27, Paul boarded a ship that was sailing to Rome.  Unfortunately, Paul wasn’t onboard because of his own free will.  Instead, Paul was being held as a prisoner.      
On the way to Rome, Paul’s ship faced a violent storm.  The wind was blowing so hard, that the ship was being tossed to and fro.  The wind caused the ship to venture along a different path.  The raging waves beat against the sides of the ship.  The ship began to fall apart piece by piece.   
The sailors did everything they could to keep the ship together.  They tied cables around the ship to keep it in tacked.  They tossed cargo overboard to lighten the weight of the ship.  Unfortunately, nothing they did helped. 
For the next eleven days, the ship continued to be beaten by the wind and waves.  Little by little, water began to seep into the ship.  Eventually, the ship began to sink. 
At this point, the sailors began to lose all hope in saving the ship.  They also lost hope in saving their own lives as well.  These sailors failed to realize that there was a godly man onboard with them.  This godly man was Paul.  He had complete faith in God.  He knew that God was with them and would help them through the storm. 
Do you feel like those same sailors?  Unlike the sailors, don’t just throw up your hands because you have given up.  Rather, throw up your hands to God.  God is our shelter.  He will protect us from the storm.   
Do you feel like there’s no hope?  Well, there is hope, and this hope comes from God.  When you put your hope in God, he will be like an anchor for your ship.  God will not allow your ship to drift from its path.  Like an anchor, he will keep your ship steady.                
Do you feel your ship being tossed to and fro by the wind?  If you do, God will not let the wind carry you away.  Like the wind blows across the ocean, God will carry you through the storm.  You will soar above it.      
Do you feel the waves beating against your ship?  Well, God can calm the raging seas in your life.  If Jesus can calm a violent storm at sea, then he can calm any storm in your life. 
Do you feel like the storm is bigger than your ship?  Just remember, God is bigger and stronger than any storm.  God’s power is able to lift you above any storm.  God has so much power that he can bring you through a storm unharmed.  He can bring you back to the shore safely. 
Do you feel your ship beginning to sink?  If so, you must stand firm and God will not allow your ship to sink.  If you do this, then God will give you the strength you need to walk across the water.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

God, Soak me in the Ocean of your Love

As I stand along the endless shore, I can feel the warm sun gently caressing my skin.  The summer breeze sweeps in and wraps itself around my body.  When I close my eyes, I can feel the ocean’s mist gently kissing my face.  As I wipe my face with my warm hand, I am reminded of your warm embrace. 
God, your love is like an ocean, I can measure its depth, but I can never measure its length.  As I gaze out over the vast ocean, the water reaches as far as my eyes can see.  It’s as if the sky and ocean are one.  God, it’s like your love, it goes on forever and ever. 
Like a mighty ocean, your love is so peaceful, but yet so powerful.  I get lost in the gentle rocking of the waves.  God, this is a soothing reminder of the power of your love, the love that never fails me. 
Countless times, I have found myself out in the middle of the ocean, like a wave being tossed to and fro.  However, I suddenly remember that I’m surrounded by your love.  I can feel you all around me.  Like the ocean’s breeze, you will carry me into the deepest part of your love. 
Many times I have left the security of the beach and dove into the mystery of your love.  When I get tired of swimming, I just let go.  I suddenly feel the ocean’s current pulling me away.  God, this is like the draw of your love.  It draws me deeper and deeper in.  That’s where I discover your beauty. 
Like an ocean, your love is beautiful and strong.  Not only are you beautiful from the surface, but there is more beauty to be found from within. 
As I stand in awe of your beauty, I can hear the sound of the crashing waves hitting against the endless shore.  As the waves roll in, I get lost in the low murmuring tone of the oceans song.  It’s the constant rhythm of your love. 
Through the rhythm of the waves, I can hear your voice.  Sometimes it’s like a gentle whisper.  Other times, it’s like a strong roar.  Your voice lures me into the water.  It pulls me in and overwhelms me.  Your love refreshes me.            
When I sit at the water’s edge, the gentle waves lap up against me.  I can feel the cool water wash over my feet.  God, it’s like your love flows peacefully over me.  This reminds me of your grace.  Your grace is like a strong and cleansing tide that flows in and covers me.  Like the ocean’s tide, your grace rolls in and washes me clean.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Was Blind, But Now I See

I am a blind woman, but this hasn’t always been the case.  I have never had what a sighted person would consider “normal” vision.  I didn’t realize how precious my sight was until it was gone.   

I was born with a rare scar tissue that left me visually impaired for the first eighteen years of my life.  In 2006, I started having trouble seeing in my right eye.  I was completely dependent on this eye because I lost the vision in my other eye to a detached retina when I was a teenager.  It suddenly became harder and harder to see.  With some protest, I made an appointment with my eye doctor.  During the examination, my doctor discovered a cataract.  The cataract was so large, it had to be surgically removed.   

Who knew that a simple procedure would cause a spiral effect which would leave me totally blind.  I had to undergo three more surgeries over the next several months, each one unsuccessful.  My eye was not strong enough to handle the trauma.  Through all of this, I remained hopeful.  With each surgery, I hoped that my vision would be restored.  However, my hopefulness faded when the doctor informed me that “There is nothing else I can do.”  At that particular moment, I thought my life had ended.  I felt like someone robbed me of my life.  Before I knew it, I found myself on a roller coaster of emotions that lasted for several months.  

 I was sad, depressed, angry, and embarrassed.  One Sunday morning, my family and I went to church as usual.  Little did I know, that Sunday morning would change the rest of my life.  As the Pastor preached, I heard God speaking to me.  He was saying, “You need me.”  After the sermon, the Pastor extended an invitation to the congregation.  At that moment, I heard God calling out to me.  He was saying, “Come to me.”  All of the sudden, I grabbed my mother by the hand.  She led me down to the altar.  

 As I was walking down the aisle, I saw God open up his arms to me.  Once I reached the altar, I fell to my knees.  I began weeping.  The Pastor came over to me and asked, “Would it be okay if I told the congregation about you?”  I couldn’t answer him.  I was crying uncontrollably.  I just nodded my head in agreement.  The next thing I knew, I heard dozens of people get up and walk over to me.  I suddenly felt hands on my back.  I heard people praying from every angle.  After the Pastor finished praying for me, my mother led me back to my seat.  When I sat down, I realized my back was soaking wet.  It was the tears of those who prayed over me.   

When the service was over, I felt someone take me by the hand.  Without saying anything, this person gently opened up my hand and placed something in it.  I began to feel what it was with my fingers.  A soft-spoken woman began to speak to me.  She said, “This is a mustard seed.  It has healed many people.  It has even healed me.  I believe it will do the same for you.”   

One afternoon, I began thinking about the significance of the mustard seed.  I began to see the similarities between the mustard seed and myself.  Like the mustard seed, I will start out small, but I will grow into something strong.  I came to the realization that I wasn’t only physically blind, but I was spiritually blind too.  It was like God suddenly opened up my eyes.  I realized that I didn’t have to see to know how beautiful God was.  Also, I didn’t have to see to know the works he has done for me.  Even though I couldn’t see, I realized that I could still hear him and feel him.   

This understanding continues to follow me, even after seven years.  I understand that I am of great worth in God’s eyes.  I know how much God loves me.  God’s love is like an ocean, you can measure its depth, but you can never measure its length because it’s never ending.  God loves me so much that he gave me the ultimate gift, the gift of his Son Jesus Christ.  It’s all about the gift that was given on the cross.  This gift was given to me when Jesus Christ died on the cross to save me from my sins.  In result, that gift gives me eternal life.  I was once insignificant but through Jesus Christ, I was made significant.  Jesus Christ won me with his blood.  He was the one who paid my debt.  Jesus Christ saw me as someone who was worth dying for.  I truly believe he is someone who is worth losing everything for.   

I believe that there is nothing in life that can separate me from God.  I know that God is greater than my blindness.  I don’t want my blindness to change my relationship with God.  I believe that I have to be more broken to see more of God’s grace.  I feel like his grace is like a strong and cleansing tide that flows in and covers me.  I know that God’s grace gives me the strength I need to overcome my blindness.  In him, I can do anything.  I know when I set my eyes upon him, nothing can bring me down.   

Every morning I pray.  I ask God to lead, guide, and direct me.  When I go throughout the day, I never feel alone.  I can feel God’s warm embrace.  I can feel his gentle hand holding mine.  When life gets hard, I put my trust and faith in him.  I lay my burdens down before him.  I want to use my disability as an ability to bring others closer to God.  People wonder how I do it, but the truth is, God does it for me.