Monday, February 28, 2011

Just Dance

I am a dancer. Well, let me clarify: I absolutely LOVE to dance, but am by no means a professional. I have not had much training, but I do not let that stop me from trying new moves and creating dances and performing and such. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to perform a dance for my church during the service with our dance team. We practiced Saturday night, although I had not been feeling well, I practiced anyway. After practice, I experienced diarrhea, cold sweats, chills, slept for an hour in my bath tub, and woke up at 2 am to throw up. Yes, I still showed up to dance on Sunday morning. Most of you are sitting there thinking I am crazy. But let me explain.

When I was pregnant, I had major issues with my sciatic nerve. I was in pain. All the time. Actually, I was in pain, most of the time. You see, when I would dance, there was no pain.

Yesterday morning, as well as Saturday night, although I was fighting the flu, when I danced, there was no sickness.

When I dance, there is no pain, no illness, no stresses of life, no problems, no anger, no depression, no guilt. There is nothing, but me in full body, mind, and soul worship to God. Nothing exists in that moment but me and Him. I believe this is God's way of giving me a taste of what Heaven will be like. Nothing else will matter, but worshipping Him with my entire body, mind and soul.

I wish that I could remember this during the day to day irritations of life. That all of it is just a dance. God wants me to worship Him full body, mind and soul in all that I do. Nothing else really matters. God does not ask that we only worship Him when we feel like it, or when it is easy for us. He has taught me that when I choose to worship, regardless of how I feel, He will cover me because He wants me to dance with Him, for Him, and to Him.

The question really is: what kind of dance are we doing now? Is it a beautiful ballroom dance where my Prince Charming is sweeping me off my feet in romantic expression of His love for me? Is it a joyful hip-hop dance? It is a lyrical expression of the story of how God is/has worked in my life, showing all the ups and downs of my journey? The dance may change from day to day, but all require full focus and the use of my entire being.

So today I begin a new dance.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love 'til it Hurts

With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, many are trying to figure out how to show their spouses or other people close to them how much they love them. I too have been trying to determine how best to express my feelings, but how do you tell someone that you love them so much, sometimes it hurts.

We all have experienced pain from a relationship. Usually, it is not even so much what that person did, but rather how much we love them that makes it so painful. "Even my close friend in whom I trusted,... has lifted his heel against me." Psalm 41:9 If someone else, whom we were not as close to did that same thing, it would not cause nearly as much pain.

But then I got to thinking - this is how God loves us.

I can't even imagine the pain of watching billions and billions of people that I love, and not in a general sense, but love deeply and personally, turn their backs on me every day. Or what about those who pay lip service and say, "I love you, Lord," but their actions show something much less?

"The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart." Genesis 6:6

Can you even fathom how much it must hurt to love someone so much that you would sacrifice your only Son just to be close to them? 

While, yes, I can say that there are those in my life that I love so much that I am deeply hurt by them at times; it in no way compares to pain I have caused My Saviour.

Oh My Saviour, Redeemer, Lover of my soul, I am so sorry how I have grieved you. My sin broke the skin on Your back. My betrayal pierced Your hands and feet. And yet You love me still.

That's love 'til it hurts.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Naked Souls

This morning I heard a song on the radio that I'm sure most of you know, "If I had two hands, doing the same thing. Lifted high, lifted high." But it was this line that really got me thinking, "I use one hand to draw you closer, the other to push you away." 

Intimacy can be a taboo topic. And for those of you who know me well, don't worry, I will not be sharing TMI in this post. But think about it. As human beings, we desire intimacy, yet we are so guarded. Physical intimacy requires us to bare our bodies before another. For most of us, this is NOT something we are comfortable with, even in front of our husbands. But even more taboo is intimacy of another kind - the baring of our souls. 

Like the song I mentioned, we do this in our relationships every day. While we desire to be close to others, we keep them at an arm's length and never let them really get to know us. Some do this because they have had bad experiences in the past, but most of us, heck all of us, just don't like to feel vulnerable. While this can be an issue in our marriages and other relationships, I am most intrigued by the fact that we try to do this with God. 

I have been to countless Bible studies, where I have heard women say, "I don't do the personal questions." We are so uncomfortable being naked, that we even try to cover up in front of God. It's like we are saying, "I desire to know you God, and I desperately want to know what you have for me in your Word, but I don't want you to really know me. I mean, I don't really want to know me either." So, we skip the parts of studying God's Word that forces us to take a good hard look at ourselves and where we stand in relation to what God has for us. 

In all honesty, this could be ugly. As women, we get so caught up in appearing to be what we want to be: a good Christian, a good mother, a good wife, good at our jobs, etc. We are so worried about appearing to be something in front of others, that we often forget to do what it takes to actually BE that. It's to the point that we even attempt to appear to God as though we are not the lowly disgusting sinners that we are, but that we are something better because we have a relationship with Him. 

If we can't bare our souls before God, our Creator, our Saviour, the One who loves us so much He sent His only son to DIE for us, with whom can we be intimate?

The answer is no one. 

So, when I hear women say, that they don't do the personal questions, it saddens me, because God wants us to come before Him with a naked soul. Ready and willing to pour out whatever we have; all those struggles, that sin, that fear, that doubt, that thing that you don't think you are ready to come to terms with yet.  And get ready to allow Him to work on us where it counts, way down deep where we don't let anyone  else see. 

"O Lord, You have searched me and know me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up. You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all." Psalm 139:1-4