Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Look to the Rock

I woke to a morning of gray clouds and heaviness after a restless night. The weight of many worries settled on my shoulders, I stumbled to the place where I meet my Lord. 

Sometimes the only words we have are the scripted ones, but I believe Jesus gave us these words as a lifeline, always leading us back to Him when we get lost in the dark of this enemy territory. 

Our Father Who art in heaven... 

I began to sing this age old prayer and suddenly there was a new melody in it.  I cried out for His words of life - the true daily bread, and He gave them. The song became an affirmation of His goodness.

All good, every single good that exists is from Him... is Him. 

My voice failed and my heart cracked open and I poured out the sadness, the deep longing for redemption of all the terrible mistakes I've made.  But then He reminded me that Redeemer is His name and what He came to do. 

He is the One Who Saves. 

Light in the dark, key to the prison cell, physician to the broken-hearted.  Rebuilder of ruined streets and broken homes. 

I grabbed my Bible and sped to the book of Isaiah, intent on getting to chapter 61 that enumerates all His glorious ways of redemption, but on the way this heading caught my eye,

The Faithful Are Called to Courage. 

What?  I stopped and began to read chapter 51.

Isaiah 51:1-3 NKJV

“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness,
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
 Look to Abraham your father,
And to Sarah who bore you;
For I called him alone,
And blessed him and increased him.”

For the Lord will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody.

What a fascinating command:  Look to the rock from which you were hewn. 

Abraham was a man willing to walk away from the comfortable and familiar and follow a Voice into the wilderness. He entered into covenant with this God and believed His impossible promise to make him the father of a nation. He believed despite a wrinkled and weak body of evidence screaming, "No way, that will never happen!" 

This is the rock from which we as believers are hewn.  We are the crazy people who step out of our comfort zones without really knowing why and believe promises that make the unbelievers laugh us to scorn, if we dare to tell them. 

And to Sarah who bore you.  Sarah, bless her, believed and received strength to carry a child in her very old age.  That's the real deal.  There's no faking that. Her body and his, as good as dead, and yet, God said, "Go for it. I'll bless you." 

And then an even stranger admonition. Look to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.  Look to the hole?  Yes, look at that gaping hole in the ground where God wrestled you free.  Ever fallen into a deep pit with no hope at all of ever being back on the surface with the sun on your face?  But God, He likes buried treasure.  He digs in dirt and pulls out rocks and says, "I know where this one will fit."  Jesus is the Cornerstone, but there are many more stones being laid in His house.  Look at that pit. If God can take you out of that ugly hole in the ground, surely He will be faithful to finish this house and make every stone in it a thing of beauty. 

For I called him alone. You may feel all alone. You may be all alone. On this journey, we often are. But He who called us is faithful.  He is a redeemer. He is a finder and fixer of lost and broken. He is a comforter. He is a gardener who creates incredible beauty in garbage dumps and deserts, places where glad hearts overflow with thankfulness and lovely melodies fill the air.  This is His promise. 

So no matter what it looks like around me today, I choose to hear the voice of my God, to take courage as I follow the only completely faithful One.  He will keep His promises. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Nothing But Grace

I still remember – 23 years and 27 days ago when the sweetest little blue-eyed, blond fuzzed baby was handed to me.  Minutes before, she had finally emerged after a ten month pregnancy and 16 hour labor, gray and still.  The midwife quietly said, “Rick, pray for your baby.”  He asked, “Why?”  My mother told me later she nearly screamed at that point.  My precious midwife simply stated that our little girl was not breathing.  While Donna worked to clear her airways and administer oxygen, my young husband prayed for God to breathe life into our little girl.  I watched, propped up on my elbows, curiously at peace.  In just a few minutes, she took her first breath and began to turn from ashen to rosy.  She didn’t cry, but I did.  Much later, after we shared a bath of healing herbs and made it through the strenuous ordeal of my first attempt at dressing her, we were tucked into bed together and I looked down at my daughter.  All those long months ago when I lay on this same bed terrified at the prospect of the labor I had just experienced, I had no idea how amazing it was going to be.  I felt so proud of what I had done.  I had never known grace like that – as strength to do something hard, something scary and do it well.  To know that no matter what, I could get through it because I wasn’t doing it alone. 

When Rick came to me later, a little worried that somehow our little daughter knew he thought she was a boy all this time and was somehow wounded by that, I was still marveling at the grace I had experienced.  He was able to dip into it himself and let go of his fears.  Together we decided to name our daughter Catherine Grace, which simply means pure grace.  She was the living embodiment of the grace we had been learning to receive from our Heavenly Father while she was being formed and delivered. 

Now, here I am 23 years and 27 days later, counting the few hours that remain until she leaves us.  Of course, she will be back, but not to stay.  This is her time to fly.  The nest is too small.  The community is too small.  The entire state of Texas is too small!  This woman has a heart for the nations and she won’t be held back!  She is still the living embodiment of pure grace.  She has an astonishing capacity for love and joy that I could never have given her.  She is a priceless treasure, mine and yet not mine anymore. 

And this mother is once again looking for the grace to do something hard, something scary and do it well.  


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Real Life Meets Real God

Yesterday was tough:  busy schedule, heart-bruising conversation with someone close, crowded roads, endless demands and finally headache and mind-numbing fatigue.  Nothing new here, sad to say.  It’s an age-old joke - the weariness of women and the headache that goes with it. 

In the quiet sunlight this morning, this thought came:  What if the weariness comes from taking up burdens and carrying them on my back all day as I try to go about my business.  Fear, self-reproach, disappointment, anger, shame – they are all like heavy rocks in my pack and not very conducive to leaping up to the high places! 

Then my heart cries out to my Father God.  I see my foolishness so clearly this morning as I never did as I staggered through yesterday.  Why didn’t I run to Him and lay all these rocks down at His feet?  Placed there, they could become an altar for my wounded pride, my self-sufficiency to die upon once more.  Once again, I know the truth – Apart from Him, I can do nothing. 

So why do I so often shrink back from drawing near? 

Because… I'm mad at Him.  For allowing all this pain.  For not fixing it all years ago.  I look around and everyone else looks so much closer to “done” in God’s oven.  They look golden brown and ready.  I feel like mush.  My soul screams, “Why?”  Why does it have to be like this?  Why this road?  Why these problems?  Why? 

And now, I need to go find a secret place and pour out the anguish of my soul.  Now, I’m on my knees and undone.  It is pain, but it is a good pain because instead of a pain that sits like a rock on soul, it is a pain that pours out and leaves behind the absence of heaviness, something that feels like peace.  In this place, He asks me a question.  Why is not important here.  The question is this:  “Will you trust Me?”

I weep on Jesus’ feet and know that He was here before me.  I look at the pain, poured out all around me, and I look at Him.  I know Him to be faithful.  I know Him to be good.  I look in my heart and I know that I believe He will keep His promises.  He will make it all right.  He will even make all the pain worth it. 

Of course I will trust Him.  In the fits and starts of my slow-to-learn heart, I will trust Him.  For me there is no choice.  He is Life and Light and though I do not understand His ways, I trust Him and His Love – for me, for the ones I love and for all the souls who cry out “Why?”.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spring Cleaning My Heart

Like dust bunnies under the bed that you don't think about until you have a reason to confront them, I've recently found some not so cute and fuzzy things hanging around in my heart.  Timidity, fear, apprehension, tentativeness - they all belong to the same family and I've only just been made aware of a whole other crop of them that have been hiding in the corners of my heart.  I've battled fears in many forms and really thought I was walking in freedom.  My first clue that I wasn't quite as victorious as I thought came from an unlikely source:  piano lessons.  I've been so blessed to begin taking piano lessons from a wonderful, gifted, amazing Russian woman who just happens to live across the street.  My Abba Father is so awesome!  She is unlike any teacher I ever had growing up.  She has a passion for music and life that inspires me.  She also intimidates the heck out of me!  As my lessons have progressed, we've both become aware of this timidity and fear of making a mistake that has a strangle hold on my mind and my hands.  I even battle it when I am practicing at home.  Weird, huh?   I've begun praying about it and asking my Abba to set me free from it.  As usual, it is not a microwave fix, but slowly and surely He is peeling back the layers of this mess.  I've come to see that the root is the lie I believed somewhere way down deep and long ago that says, "You must be perfect to be loved."  I can't make mistakes because I have to do it all right.  I've been tempted to quit playing the piano just because I make so many mistakes.  I thought if I really had any talent for it, I wouldn't make so many mistakes.  How silly!  If no one ever did anything unless they could do it well from the beginning, how very little would ever be accomplished.  I don't want to live this way anymore - afraid of trying and failing.  I want to be brave enough to try even if I fail the first twenty times.  I want to live my life in a brave stride instead of a cautious crawl.  As Miss Luda tells me, I must be courageous! 

So, this morning, the Holy Spirit and I took the broom of Truth (it can also be a sword!) and we swept out those lying spirits.  Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of mistakes, fear of being hurt - and all their friends were given their notice of eviction.  I told them they no longer had any permission to hang out in my heart and to take their junk and go in the name of Jesus.  Yes!  I am asking the Holy Spirit to clean that area up completely and bring love, power and a sound mind to live there instead!  Hallelujah!  Our God is so good!  He takes broken, imperfect, hopeless people and transforms them by His mighty power and love.  How can you not love a God like that? 

Just one more thing - when He transforms us - it isn't into perfection - it is into relationship with Himself.  I can't, but He can.  Apart from Him, I can do nothing, but I am not apart from Him anymore!  I'm in Him and He is in me.  That means anything is possible! 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
                                                                                                               2 Timothy 1:7

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.                                                                                              Romans 5:8

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Look To Him

They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.  Psalm 34:5
I read this and all I felt was shame.  I felt that I was a failure. 
But when I looked to Him and I asked Him to speak to my heart His word of life for me in that moment, He did.
He reminded me that all my children will be taught of the Lord.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
I cannot fail at a job that isn’t mine.  My job is to live an authentic life of following the Lord before my children.  To tell them Who I know Him to be.  The rest is in His hands and theirs.  They have to choose Him for themselves.  I cannot do this for them.  He will reveal Himself to them.  That is His part.
He is relentless, just as our enemy is relentless in his attacks.  Still, the truth is that Love has already won and will win.  I will stand in the victory Jesus has already secured.  I will trust Him and His word that says not one who belongs to Him will be snatched from His hand.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”  John 10:27 – 30
I will remind my soul that He is the One who started this and He will complete it.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
When I sat down to write this, my eyes fell on the verse above the one I had read: 
I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.  Psalm 34:4
Thank You, Abba, for hearing me, for speaking to me, and for delivering me from the grip of my fears.  I will trust You.  I believe You.  Help my unbelief.  I love you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


As we waited for the Lord to speak, I began to thank Him in my heart for the fact that He says to us, “Come.”  A few minutes later, I was sharing this with the rest of the family and this truth just blossomed in front of us.  In Isaiah 1:18 … God says, “Come let us reason, though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow.  In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”  The author of Hebrews encourages us to “Come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) 
Growing up in American culture has shaped my thoughts about God and not always for the best.  I realized this morning as we began to see this wonderful truth of God with His arms open and extended in loving invitation, that my default imagining of God was nothing like that.  In fact, the picture that came to mind was more like that of Dorothy and her friends coming before the Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz:  fearful trembling before an angry powerful One Who demands performance before there can be acceptance or assistance.  This is the essence of most religions in the world.  And yet, if we flush all the lies the world and its belief systems have told us and focus on the truth revealed by the written Word and the Living Word, what a wonderfully different scene we see.  We see the Father running to embrace the prodigal.  We see Jesus coming into the world as one of us, to defeat the enemy none of us could overcome, even though it took Him all the way to a painful, shameful death.  We see Jesus making breakfast on the beach for one who denied Him and saying, “Come have something to eat.”  God is good.  He is so much better than we give Him credit for.  He loves us, and He says, “Come.”
Thank You, thank You  Lord for being a God who says, “Come.”

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Where I Am

Dear Friends,

I need to sit down and talk with you today from my heart to yours.  I wish we could sit down over coffee face to face, but this will have to do.  Getting Heart to Hear written has been a struggle lately.  This is due in part to the fact that it is summer and I find it very difficult to get the quiet I need, both to spend time with the Father and to write.  On the other hand, I’m also wrestling with the concern that I have nothing more to say.  I’ve shared all I know and maybe it’s time to say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”  Bottom line, I love hearing God and sharing what I hear with you, but what I do not ever want to do is to pretend I’ve heard when I haven’t and this week, I haven’t.   

I think that what I really need to do is take more time to listen.  My Father has been stirring my heart about a new direction for writing.  No surprise there since every other area of my life seems to be going in a new direction, too!  I need to take time to focus my hearing, and to wait on the Lord to speak to me.  I also want to be sure that what I’ve been hearing, I am actually living and walking out.  Thanks for understanding and bearing with me on the winding road. 

With Love,

Jennifer Davis