Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I love my Jesus

Earlier today, my little Guatemalan princess walks in to the kitchen while I was making dinner. My once shy and timid daughter, who now exhibits confidence in her 2 yr. old strut, makes her way towards me. Tickled by her cuteness, I swoop her up and squeeze her close to me as I say,"I love my Sarah". And just as natural as could be, she turned in my cradle hold, looked straight into my eyes and said, " I love my Jesus".

It's true, I can be dramatic. But there was something about that moment that will stand the test of time for me. My soul filled up with more thoughts than I could possibly write. But there was one main thread in all of it.... "remember". It was like God was saying...

Remember, Marianne, how I spoke to you in Jamaica?
Remember that I told you that you had found ME in the orphan?
Remember how I showed you that I was making a way for you to bring Sarah into your home with the miscarriage of your baby?
Remember that I provided EVERY penny needed for Sarah's adoption?
Remember how I brought Sarah home at just the right time and in just the right way?
Remember that I showed you that I loved you first so that you could love Me back?
Remember that you physically adopted Sarah so that I can teach her about eternal adoption?

Funny how God seems to weave messages into your life that no one else gets except for you. Yes, we serve that personal of a God. "Remembering" is something that God has talked to me about many times in my life... specifically in times of doubt, pain or persecution. The trials facing my family seem more gigantic to me than Goliath. Contending for our faith requires endurance and this trial has felt like a marathon although it has only been 4 months. It is in these times that I recognize the Lord's prompting to remember.

Many times I choose to "remember" by looking at how God has brought me through personally in hard times before. Greater still, I "remember" by looking at how God has brought His people through hard times in the Word. But for some reason, these thoughts have felt over used or have lost it's power in my determination to hold on to faith and hope as of late.

However, a stirring in my heart has occurred the last few days and was solidified in my daughter's words today, "I love my Jesus". Remembering Jesus. Remembering the cross. Remembering there is no other hope but in the name of Jesus Christ. That no matter what befalls us in this life, Jesus is enough. Remembering that it was MY sin that put Him on the cross. Remembering that it was His choice to stay there for me. Remembering that even more than anything He's done IN my life, He's who GAVE me life. Remembering that there is no greater miracle and no greater act of love than what He has already done! Oh, ye of little faith. Is anything too impossible for Him? Never.

Chapter 9 of Nehemiah could have a chapter heading of "remembering". There are two separate kinds of remembering accounted for... God remembering and Israel NOT remembering.

The essence of the chapter is the descendants of Israel separating themselves from the people, recommitting to the Law of Moses and turning towards God. They even put an agreement in writing in a sealed document with the names of their leaders, the Levites and the priests.

In the midst of their fasting and reading from the Law, the Levites cry out to the Lord in confession and remembrance. They declare and remember WHO God is and WHAT God has done. In doing so, there is a great contrast.

God was faithful. Israel was not.

God was forgiving, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. Israel was disobedient, rebellious, stubborn, arrogant and blasphemous.

God did not forsake. Israel turned away.

God spoke. Israel didn't listen.

You see, God REMEMBERS His promises and He keeps them. Israel FORGOT to remember the "wondrous deeds which [God] had performed among them"(v.17). And since we have a God that never changes, we know He remembers His promise to the children of God... we are His, we are adopted into the family of God through the blood of Jesus forever.

Have you forgotten to remember what God has done for you? If He hasn't done anything else for you.... the cross is more than any of us will ever deserve. And that's enough. In a world that screams "entitlement" from every angle, let's remember.... our sin, our unfaithfulness, our arrogance, our pride, our forgetfulness. And humbly remember the GRACIOUS and COMPASSIONATE gift of Jesus. Oh Lord, have mercy on this servant.


I am going to end our study of Nehemiah with Chapter 9 with the above post. Please read the remaining chapters and enjoy! But since I begin my fall Bible study with Isaiah this week, I need to close this online study out.


Cindy said...

I miss you, and your wisdom. Wish you lived closer so I could experience your wisdom first-hand. You are such an awesome example of a Godly woman. Thanks for you testimony! cindy

patti said...

BEAUTIFUL post! Oh, I love our Jesus, too.

Kay Rose said...

Wow, what a sermon in a blog. Children are some of our best teachers when it comes to loving our Lord. Thanks so much for sharing. I miss you guys lots, but Facebook really helps.//Kay