February 2019 archive

Numbering our days when our kids are little

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Yesterday I gave a talk at a baby shower. It was an event where there were several unbelievers and also ladies who, years back, made a salvation-but-not-disciple commitment to the Lord.

When I was walking home one night, I started praying about what to speak about at this event, and I started crying when the Lord impressed it on me also on that walk home. I’ve been reading the major prophets and those books are very emotional, and it all connected in my mind.

Historically, I try to make baby shower talks pretty upbeat and positive. But this was not so positive, so I’ve been processing it, how to speak it in an appropriate and encouraging way.

This baby is so adorably little and cute– collective swoon!

I downloaded a metronome app on my phone, and as I started the talk, without telling anyone, I turned it on with a really slow beat. And I started talking about the passage of time.

Gist of the talk:

Psalm 90, a psalm of Moses: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away….. A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night…. Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

About five years ago, I started going through a life shift where I realized that the day of my death is closer to me than the day of my birth. The see saw tipped.

I remember being in school–how slowly the days passed by! I thought they would never end. Then college– time got a little faster. Then marriage. And little kids.

[metronome ticking gets a little faster]

When my first kids were little, time seemed so slow! Like it would never end. [metronome ticking gets faster, faster] But now, the time has started to get faster and faster– my first child is more than half-way done with school. She’s getting ready (in multiple ways) to fly away. [metronome ticks faster]

People have tried to explain why time seems to pass faster as we age. It’s still the exact same time but our perception of it changes. One reason is because, when we’re 10, ten years is the entirety of life. But when we’re 40, ten years is now only a fourth of life. At 50, it’s only a fifth of life, and so on.

Our feeling of time changes, and this is part of gaining a heart of wisdom.

There are people who’s spiritual growth doesn’t match their years of salvation. Somewhere, they didn’t trust God enough to obey Him in life decisions. And when we’re young, we tend to be pretty suspicious of God and the goodness of his plans. We haven’t lived enough years with God to grow into trusting him. And if we don’t get through those doubtful moments by faith, we can derail our growth by making disobedient choices.

Like the fear that God doesn’t want me to marry, and I’ll be single forever if I am faithful to Him.

It’s always time to start obeying God. It gets harder, in certain ways, as we get older, if it’s not been the habit. And time is passing faster, so the moments God offers us obedience tend to speed by faster.

But in these years when your kids are small, years that seem like they will never end, these are years you can choose to obey God. Like rest on Saturday so you can go to church on Sunday– so you can take your child to a place where people teach him/her about God and His love.

These years are the years your child/ren clings to you. It’s annoying and tiring, but it’s the years God gave you to lead your child to Him–what you sow now is what you’ll be reaping in a few years!

We think we have so little time to do what we want, but in reality, we can obey. Do we want to spend time scrolling through facebook while breastfeeding? … Why don’t we choose to read the Bible during that time first? … We do have a choice to obey.

And during these slow years, it’s essential to obey. Start obeying God. Because soon the years will be speeding by, the children will be saying good-bye.

Let’s gain a heart of wisdom.

worship: God, you’re worth it!

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I love illustrating abstract words, making it into something concrete we can see and feel and do. It’s something I remember wrestling with in my teenage brain. What exactly IS righteousness? What IS justice? Now, in an adult brain and with so much more life experience to draw from, it’s easier to illustrate abstract words.

Like “worship.”

One way of explaining worship I like is this: Worship is attributing worth-ship to God. Like God, you’re worthy– worthy of all I can give and give up for you, worthy of all the praise and adulation in the world, worthy of getting all the credit, worthy of holding the highest place. I give you worth-ship.

Last night, I was walking home and listening to Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons”

And I realized another way I can make worship a concrete part of my life. It’s by looking at my life, in the exact paths God has led me in His will, and I can say, “God, you’re worth it.”

With all my logic, all my emotions, I can say, God, you’re worth it. You’re worth the struggles, the losses, the hardships, the uncertainties, the dreams not come true– YOU ARE SO WORTH IT.

So, can I worship God by letting go of confusion, doubts, disappointments, and embrace the life He’s lead me to–so kindly, generously let me to–and know by faith that becomes alive in me, by worshiping Him with GOD, YOU ARE SO WORTH IT.

Really, He’s more than worth it! A joy, confidence, and fullness infuses all of life when I worship (“Worth-It”) God.

I don’t like the human perspective of this view, but we are limited by that sometimes. By that I mean, I’m not worth having the Worth-It God. By choosing His ways, I’m not “sacrificing” anything that even rivals Him. In fact, He’s saving me from self-destruction. He’s graciously giving me the best– Himself. Saying it’s “worth it” sounds like there is even some comparison of something good when … there is no comparison at all.