It is finished!

One of the things I love about meeting with people is the way the Lord speaks to me and teaches me and challenges me through our time!

Just this morning I was camping out in Genesis 2 with a friend, showing her how when I pray through the scriptures I find it really helps if that flows out of rich time interacting with the Lord in them and then like to keep Him my focus as I pray.  So we started with a shared quiet time, then together prayed our way verse by verse through Genesis 2.  We didn’t make it past the first few verses when the Lord started speaking to me.  That whole idea of being finished just jumped right off the page!

You see, I never feel finished!  At the end of every day as I take time to process my day with the Lord I’m nearly always asking forgiveness for all I didn’t get done.  Just this past week I began to wonder about that.  After reflecting on the sweet things that took place I journaled, “…but there was so much more I could’ve done.  I wonder, am I off in my expectations?  Or am I sinning?  Because of my handicap I feel so tired after meeting with people and just want to veg.  Is that a reasonable expectation?  Yet there’s still so much undone…”

Even when I “finish” something, well there’s a long “to do” list waiting so I usually dive into the next thing.

Genesis 2 begins, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

Now God is still at work…  in my life, in the lives of those around me, all over this world!  So it doesn’t mean he finished all He was ever going to do.  But when the heavens and earth were finished and all the host of them, he stopped.  He rested.  And it was a blessed, holy thing.  He set a day apart to do this.

I wonder what difference it might make in my life if periodically after finishing I take time to acknowledge what’s been done, to evaluate, to delight in it, rather than rushing on to the next thing?!  God took time every day at the end of each day to do this.  At the end of the fourth day, He wasn’t bemoaning, “I didn’t get the fish created today!”  But celebrating the lights He had made and how He’d separated the light from the darkness.  Then at the end of six days He took extra time, a whole day to rest and enjoy!

This is so not the pattern of this world!  Or sadly, my world!  I thought, “Today, I’m going to take some time to write down what I’ve finished this past week and celebrate that it got done!”  But you know, I found it hard to remember what I’d finished…

My friend shared how she uses a post it app to keep track of what she needs to do.  As soon as something is accomplished it’s deleted.  And we wondered, how might we be missing out by not taking time to reflect on and celebrate what we’ve accomplished?!  I think I’m going to start keeping a list of what I finish each day!

And really I should be in awe that anything gets done at all!  In Genesis 2: 7 we’re told, “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living creature.”  Did you catch that?  We came from dust!  It’s a miracle we can do anything!

Once again it seems the enemy has incited my pride and is royally robbing me because of it.  I think more highly of myself than I ought and as a result I expect more from myself, rather than realizing, even washing the dishes is a miracle!  What expectations do you have for the dust on your coffee table?!

So I wrote in my journal on top of the page where I’ll be recording my end of the day prayers tonight, “Look what dust formed by God did!  Isn’t God amazing?!”  Because really this is all about Him.  His works are wonderful!  He is the breather, the life giver, the enabler!

And He is a finisher, evaluator, delighter, blesser and rester!  How I long to keep growing and becoming more like Him!  Did He ever give me new insights today in how I can…

Got to love the way I’m being discipled as I meet with others!  :0)

“I don’t like Jesus!”

I’d only planned to read through the Bible in a year once.  But after hearing me share highlights from doing this over and over, friends begged me to do it again and host a discussion group so they could do it too.  When we were in the middle of Leviticus two sisters started coming who didn’t know Jesus.  I thought, “Oh no!  What a place to start!”  But they kept coming and it wasn’t long until one of them entered into a relationship with the Lord!  Her sister, a legal secretary, stated, “I’m going to wait until I finish reading the whole thing!”  And sure enough, soon as we finished, she surrendered her life to the Lord!  Their lives, and all of our lives, were radically changed as a result.  Truly it was an amazing year experiencing the truth of 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable…!”

But I’ll never forget, after we finally started reading the New Testament, one friend showed up exclaiming, “I don’t like Jesus!”  She’d never read much of the Bible and was appalled by some of the things Jesus said.  As we continued reading we discovered she wasn’t the first to feel this way!  In John 6:60 even Jesus’ disciples said, “This is a hard teaching!” and at that point many of them turned away and stopped following Him.

But note when Jesus asks the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  Peter replies, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that you are the holy one of God.”

You get a whole different perspective when hard things are taken in the context of relationship and knowing who God is!

Jesus came from the Father full of grace and truth (John 1:14).  If you separate one from the other, especially focusing on truth without the context of grace, can truth ever seem harsh, cold, unappealing!

In my quiet time this past week I was reading in 1 Kings 20 where a certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow at the command of the LORD, “Strike me please.”  And we aren’t just talking about getting hit.  This strike left this guy noticeably wounded and what wounds come without pain?  And I realized as I read this “sometimes to do God’s work we need to be willing to be wounded.”


Can that ever sound harsh!   Especially if you aren’t remembering the context – and I don’t just mean the rest of 1 Kings 20!  But the entire Bible and what it reveals about who the Lord is!


A murderer and a surgeon may both stab you.  But one does it for life!  Context makes all the difference!

Now I’ll be honest.  There are times when the Lord allows hard things in my life I’m not happy about.  In a broken and fallen world, this happens far more than I’d like!  And yes, it often happens in the context of ministry.  Some of my deepest wounds have been inflicted by other believers I’ve been co-laboring with (sadly that’s not just true for me – the responses to my post on “friendly fire” attest to this).  It is so vital we help those we are discipling learn to run to the Lord and seek His perspective whenever they are wounded, taking time to process (for me, art journaling really helps, though I’m obviously not an artist!), letting Him provide a greater context for considering what they are going through.

However you best process, it’s so key to consider, “what has the Lord revealed in His Word that applies to what I’m going through?”

The enemy is only too happy to provide you with a context that puts the Lord in a bad light!  He desires to get us to go from “I don’t like what’s happening in my life” to “I don’t like the One who is allowing these things to happen in my life!” so we’ll avoid running to the Lord  using such reasoning as, “God can do anything and yet He’s letting you go through this?!  Obviously He doesn’t care about you!”  But that is such a lie!  Yet it’s amazing how that lie can fester and impact us and our relationship with the Lord if we don’t take the time to confront it head on and process in the presence of the Lord.

But when we do, not only do we gain a true perspective that can help us weather the worst storm but our relationship with the Lord is strengthened and we grow!!!  This really is where the rubber meets the road!