Friday, 22 January 2010

Love and Friendship

Being in community is hard. It's tough man. Sometimes it's painful to open up, to surrender, to be vulnerable, and to show the not-so-well-put-together pieces of your heart. To tear away. But in the end, it's the most glorious way to live your life. 

These past two weeks I have felt so very loved, so surrounded. For us, in the community of the love of Christ, when we are perplexed, we are not in despair or abandoned. And this past wee while has taught me that a major reason why that is, is because of those who Christ places around our hearts. 

This is not to say that people take the place of Christ in our affections, but they are certainly the holiest and most glorious incarnation of Him in our lives. We are the very image of God, right? And I just want to say how very thankful I am for those that He has placed in my life - past, present, and are all beautiful to me. 'Thankful' seems like such a cheap word, when I consider the depth of what I feel for the people who have surrounded me.....but it's the best I can do. 

The bond of friendship is strong, dear hearts. Let us abide in the strength of Love that has been placed in our hearts. Rest in it. Love has come into our hearts, and that is how we shall be known as His - by our love for each other. 

'So now I am stuck between hating to let go, and just feeling lucky I have you to miss.' 
(Credit to Jane Austen for the title of this post....haha). 

Monday, 4 January 2010

With the Dawn of Redeeming Grace.

For the past week, my heart has been drawn back again and again to this verse....

'It is good for our hearts to be 
                      by grace.'
                          (Hebrews 13:9)

Even when our hearts yearn deeply in the waiting, even when the sorrow seems too much to bear, and even when the future is frail....We are safe. Dear brother and sister, you can be certain of that for your Hope is firm and secure. We have reached our Safe Harbour, our Desired Haven, for He has come down and reached for us. It's amazing how one can have these same revelations in deeper and newer ways continuously....the revelation of Jesus' everlasting and abiding grace. He is strong enough to keep us and hold us, for WE ARE HIS. 
As I walked the dog a couple days after Christmas, I walked past the dentist before 9 am and saw people working there....And I was suddenly afraid I would succumb and forever be doing a job that slowly and surely kills my soul, never moving on or doing what I am meant to do because of fear or indecision. I know that's an unfair judgment on some who have no choice (and not connected whatsoever to dentists!!), but it was what brought up this fear in me. I can sometimes feel like anything I've been blessed with is squandered. Like my life is on hold. And then I read lines like these, 'Think not so much of yourself as a branch, nor of the abiding as your duty, until you have first had your soul filled with the faith of what Christ as the Vine is.' (Andrew Murray, 'Abide in Christ').

REMEMBER. Oh remember my soul, what Christ did for you. How He has SAVED and REDEEMED you when you were but a stranger to His courts. Now look and see, you dwell among His spendour - and indeed IN it (and IT in you!!). Fear not, then, oh my soul....but TRUST. 'Ask the Father by the Holy Ghost to reveal to you what a glorious, loving, mighty Christ this is, in whom you have your place and your life; it is the faith in what Christ is, more than anything else that will keep you abiding in Him.' He told me the other morning, as I was again despairing and doubting, to stop looking at my own heart, and look at His. Accept the faith to trust in Hope again. 

So all that to say, I encourage you (as I, too, am encouraged!) to let your heart be strengthened again by grace. I know that, for me at least, when our hearts have been pierced as with many arrows it can be seemingly impossible to trust in that way again. But remember, dear heart, we are placing our trust in The Trustworthy One. I pray that in this time of new beginnings, your heart may be awoken anew again to the beauties of our Lord's grace - the strength and might and glory of it!