Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Live!

Imagine a newborn baby girl who, immediately upon her birth, is cast out into an open field. The umbilical cord is uncut. Her medical needs are completely unaddressed. She is “kicking about in her blood.” Can you believe that? She is unwashed, untreated, unwanted and un-loved by anyone. What will come of her? You know the answer. (See Ezekiel 16)

In Cap Haitien, Haiti, there are throw-away children. Parents, who do not have the money to give them the most basic and minimum requirements to sustain their lives…take such children to the city dump…and leave them there for whatever horrors may await them before they starve to death…or worse.

It turns out that God just happened to be passing by that open field where the baby girl lay in her lonely misery…screaming, wallowing in the blood of the afterbirth, and you can just imagine flies buzzing and insects on their way to the feast. God sees her in the nick of time…and in spite of her terrible condition…He says to her, “LIVE!” And God’s Word is, as always, not only sound, or even thunder, it is power. Do you remember reading about when there was no light on the earth? And God spoke…”Light! Be!” And His command for light to come into existence and do its shining work carried within it the power for it to happen. And so, the infant girl, with absolutely no prospects, lives on, for no other reason than that God will have it so. And from her pitiful and desperate beginning she not only lives, but prospers and grows into one lovely young woman and becomes the bride of God.

Truth is…we were that baby girl…only our situation was even worse. We were not only helpless, miserable and un-loved, we were not even kicking. We were dead in our trespasses and sins. But God happened (lucky, huh?) to be passing by and saw us, not only mugged, stripped and left for dead…but, again, actually dead. And He spoke the Word again…spoke it because He alone would not leave us to our own devices…spoke it because only He had the power to do so…spoke it because of Another’s willing sacrifice…He said to us, “LIVE!” And here we are today, against all odds, alive in the Spirit…as the bride of Christ.

And I was wondering…I know that you, my sisters and brothers, are alive in Christ…you live through Him and for Him…but share with us something specific in your life…your heart…your relationships…your knowledge…which you had thought long since dead…which you thought could never live again…and yet, one day God came near to you and said of this thing, “Live!” Then the chords that had been broken began to vibrate once more. And today, you can’t help but smile to think of it…and to praise the Father Who deals in life! You’ll be doing us a great favor, because what you share will give us one more reason to also praise Him.

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3 thoughts on “Live!

  1. Live! That’s exactly what He gave me the will to do. For so long I really did not want to live. From an early age I saw some examples of people that decided they were done living. I really saw that as a viable option. I knew that it would hurt my parents and that’s really what kept me alive. But I prayed over and over for God to please take me out. The actual prayer was, “God please take me out of this world or show me why not.” I don’t know how many times since 1998 that I’ve smiled and thought, “This is why not.”

    There are times that I fall back into that thinking a little, but it’s nothing like it was at that time. I’m grateful that He answered my prayer by showing me why not. The blessings He made me aware of had been around me all along I just wasn’t looking for them. I still long to go Home … but it’s not as much a desire to escape anymore … it’s more of a desire to see Jesus. That makes me smile.

    ISN’T IT GOOD NEWS? REALLY! FOR WHEN GOD SAID TO YOU, “LIVE,” HE DIDN’T JUST MEAN “ENDURE!” IT’S NOT JUST LIFE, IS IT? IT’S LIFE!!!! IT’S LIFE TO THE FULL. FOR THAT’S THE LIFE JESUS IMPARTS. I SEE IT IN YOUR WORDS WHICH REFLECT YOUR “CHRIST-AFFECTED” HEART…I DETECT IT IN THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY…I NOTICE IT IN THE WONDERFUL WORDS OTHERS USE WHEN THEY SPEAK ABOUT YOU OR WRITE TO YOU. IT’S GOOD NEWS…GREAT NEWS! ISN’T IT AMAZING THAT IN OUR WORLD SO CURSED AND ABUSED AND DEGRADED BY SIN, BY TROUBLE, BY SUCH TOUGH STUFF, THAT THE LOVE OF JESUS STILL SHINES SO BRIGHTLY IN HIS WORD, IN THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHOM HE LOVES SO AND IN WHOM HE YET LIVES AND SERVES. NOT ALL OF THE DARKNESS OF ALL THE AGES COMBINED CAN PUT OUT EVEN ONE SMALL CANDLE OF THE FAITH AND DEVOTION WHICH JESUS CHRIST LIGHTS. AND I LOVE YOUR NEW AND FABULOUS REASON FOR STILL WANTING TO LEAVE…TO BE WITH HIM. BUT RIGHT NOW, THERE’S AN EVEN BETTER PLACE FOR YOU TO BE…RIGHT HERE…SERVING OTHERS IN HIS NAME. I KNOW THAT BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE HE’S GOT YOU NOW. THE BEST PLACE FOR US TO BE IS WHERE HE WANTS US. AND ONE OF THESE DAYS…MADE POSSIBLE BY THE DAY HE SPOKE THE WORD, “LIVE!” HE WILL SPEAK THE WORD, “COME!”

  2. He gave me life … inside my mother, knitting my body and ordering my days. He gave me a new life … inside the Christ, washing away my sins and filling me with His Spirit.

    But what I remember most and best … is when He found me broken and bruised (by my own sin) – left “half-dead” by my enemies and “passed by” by many religious leaders. I begged Him to let me die … to even damn me. But He ordered me to “live” … sent a Samaritan (several of them) … to bind up my wounds … to carry me to a safe place to rest and heal … and He paid the price.

    In so many ways I feel that my “life” is over … and that the life I live now is just a post script to His plans. I am grateful for His grace … but long for the day that my life becomes what is referred to as “the life to come”.

    p.s. But I have to say … that you being my friend makes even this hollow life a life more bearable … more hopeful. I love you … my beloved friend. Rex

    YOU BREAK MY HEART…AND I REFUSE TO GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO VIEW YOUR LIFE IN ANY SENSE AS “HOLLOW” OR AS A “POSTSCRIPT.” IT IS NEITHER…AND YOU WILL JUST HAVE TO TAKE MY (OUR) WORD FOR IT. IF YOU VALUE US AS FRIENDS, YOU WILL TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT! (PLEASE) FOR THE LIFE WHICH YOU NOW LIVE, THOUGH DIFFERENT IN OPPORTUNITIES FROM YOUR FORMER LIFE, IS YET A LIFE WHICH YOU LIVE BY FAITH IN THE SON OF GOD WHO LOVES YOU AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR YOU. IF YOUR LIFE IS HOLLOW, THEN GOD HAS HALLOWED HOLLOW! IF YOUR LIFE IS GOD’S POSTSCRIPT, THEN IT IS THE LONGEST, MOST WONDERFULLY-WRITTEN AND IMPACTFUL POSTSCRIPT EVER! AND HE IS STILL WRITING YOUR LIFE, LINE UPON LINE, HEART BY HEART, SOUL BY SOUL! I MAKE ONLY ONE REQUEST OF YOU, BELOVED FRIEND, SHOW ME THE STORY OF JESUS. WRITE ON MY HEART EVERY WORD. SHOW ME THE STORY MOST PRECIOUS. SWEETEST THAT EVER WAS HEARD.

  3. He gave me life..and a second chance at life. But beyond that He restored my hope. I lived so long in a situation where I could see no relief. I saw no way to escape the misery. There was no hope for better. I said it earlier on another blog… I wouldn’t even dare to hope for better, I just wanted different..even different misery.

    But when I was “Samaritanized”…allowed to heal…and brought back home, I finally felt a glimmer of hope. Then God worked through events and people to deliver me from that hopelessness. He showed His power in the scheduling of things…in bringing me to my new house…in leading me back to Him through a group of bruised and broken people.

    I get my hope renewed in lots of ways now. Watching the people that come to the Open get to know Jesus. In the good things that happen in the lives of brothers and sisters. In the laughter of my friends. In the eyes of my kids. And those are just for starters!! Thank you Father for giving me back my hope.

    HOPE IS ALIVE AND WELL…IN YOU, SHERRY. PRAISE GOD! I LIKE THE THOUGHT OF YOU BEING “SAMARITANIZED” OR AS REX SAID, “BARNABASED!” FREELY WE HAVE RECEIVED, MAY WE FREELY GIVE. WITH OUR FATHER GOD, THERE ARE NO DEAD ENDS…NO LOST CAUSES…NO HUMPTY-DUMPTYS. THAT’S TRULY AMAZING. WE ALLOW THAT HE CAN DO SUCH WONDERS FOR OTHERS…WHY ARE WE SO SLOW TO ALLOW HIM TO DO IT FOR US? I GUESS WE ARE SO WELL-ACQUAINTED WITH OUR OWN EVILS, THAT WE ARE JUST CONVINCED WE DON’T DESERVE AND SHOULD NOT HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE. BUT GOD IS BIGGER THAN OUR SELF-CONDEMNING HEARTS. SO WE MUST NOT GIVE OUR HEARTS THE LAST WORD! GOD SAYS, “LIVE.” LIVE IN SPITE OF YOUR HOPELESSNESS…YOUR HELPLESSNESS…YOUR REPEATED FAILURES…YOUR UNWORTHINESS…YOUR BLOWN CHANCES…YOUR INABILITY TO SEE HOW ANYTHING COULD EVER BE BETTER AGAIN. HE LOANS US HIS EYES, IF WE HAVE THE COURAGE TO TAKE THEM AND LOOK THROUGH THE CROSS TO SEE THAT HE DIDN’T AND WON’T GIVE UP ON US. “LIVE!” “LOVE!” “SERVE!” “HOPE!” “BELIEVE!” “FINISH!” HE HAS SUCH WONDERFUL COMMANDS WHERE WE ARE CONCERNED. MAY HE GIVE US GRACE TO COOPERATE WITH HIM. IT’S A GREAT LIGHT THAT YOU ARE SHINING IN THIS WORLD, SHERRY, AMONG YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND THOSE WHO ARE YET TO BE SURPRISED BY THE JOY OF YOUR FELLOWSHIP IN THE LORD.

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