Monthly Archives: February 2017


DSC_0506By Judy Villanueva

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Genesis 1:2)

He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
Like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them aloft. (Deuteronomy 32:10-11)

A live video feed was recently posted online with a bird’s eye view, so to speak, of an eagle hovering over her egg.  She shifted back and forth in the nest, never taking her eyes off the oval incubator that held her little eaglet.  From time to time she poked the egg with her beak as if to entice her offspring to break the shell that confined her.  “Knock, knock, knock” she pecked, “A life of flight awaits you! Break through!”  Birth, or in this case, shell-shedding happens in its own time but until then, anyone who tuned in, observed this majestic creature shielding the new life hidden within her egg and keeping a careful watch.

Life often forms in hiddenness.

It can appear and feel as though nothing is happening, but God is always hovering over our depths and dreaming into us!

No one escapes injury in the course of growing up!  Even the best parents are human and even the most resilient child lives in a fallen world.  Places of confinement develop right alongside places of freedom.  Are you aware of when and where you are “shelled-in”?  It is often revealed in those times when we feel trapped and subject to worry, anger, fear or sadness.  These strong emotions can surround us and become a kind of confinement that hinders our freedom to love, experience joy, or soar as God intended.  What do we do with these tight places and how do we break through to flight?

“Ruach Elohim” is the Hebrew phrase in these verses that refers to the Wind Breath of God! Just as He did when he hovered over the surface of the deep and called forth light and a world brimming with life, God watches over our lives with care and sees our unformed potential.

He knows what’s in the egg!

What has touched me this week as I have watched a mother eagle hover over her babe is the reality of God’s careful attention over my life. That the God of the universe hovers over me is not only astounding, it fills me with shell-shedding hope!  It makes me grateful and gives me courage to breakthrough and fly in freedom — on the wind breath of God!

“Ruach Elohim, breathe on me!  Create new life and give me wings to fly!  Thank you that you see my places of confinement and know just how to set me free.  Help me notice your voice that  invites me to new life.  Amen.”

What about you? 

Where are your places of confinement?  Where do you lack freedom to love, forgive, or trust?

Do you know that God watches over your life with care?  That He dreams into you?

What do you need from God today?  Where do you need a breakthrough?

The Wind Breath of God called forth light from darkness and a world brimming with life!  This is the One who watches over you!

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Come Forth!

waterfallBy Judy Villanueva

John 11:38-44
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Can you see Jesus standing before the tomb that holds His dear friend? It has been four days. Go there with me and, imagine being with Jesus in front of the cave and watch the story unfold! Mary and Martha are there along with others who loved this man and his family. It’s dusty and I can hear the shuffling of feet on the sandy ground. “What did Jesus say? He wants to take the stone away? Why?” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” I hear these words as if they have traveled over 2000 years and found me typing in my little office. God is speaking to me! I want to believe! I want to see the glory of God! I suddenly realize that some of my stuff is in that tomb! Hopes that have died — prayers that have grown tired, dreams that have been dragged there by long years of waiting.

I look at the tomb that holds the dead…and then, I look at Jesus! He knows. There are tears of love in His eyes and in mine as I feel intimately known and loved. Then, He turns and faces the mouth of the cave and shouts, “Lazarus, come forth!”  There is a hush that sweeps across the site and a pressured pause as we all wait with wide-eyed anticipation. Then, we hear it…can it be?  Footsteps!  All eyes are on the mouth of the cave.  Now, watch…don’t miss it!  There!  A shadow!  And now, a dead man raised and walking out of his tomb!  Standing at the cave next to the One for whom nothing is impossible, we witness the beauty and wonder of life called forth from death!  I fall to the ground in sheer awe and utter amazement! The glory of God is spectacular! I want to dance! I want to cry! My God can do anything!

Almost unwittingly, I find myself peeking around Jesus as He hugs His friend to see if I can catch a glimpse of my stuff.  Where is it???  It’s not in the tomb!  How can I go from awe to panic in a mili-second?  Where’s my dead stuff?  Befuddled, I turn scanning for my shattered hopes, my disappointments, fatigued prayers and lifeless dreams. Then Jesus says, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”  What on earth? There in front of me is Jesus asking me to believe and inviting me to witness the glory of God! And, to my surprise, held safely in His arms, is all my dead stuff! Jesus holds my pages of prayers, my worries, loved ones, hopes and dreams!  He looks at me and says, “Come forth!” — and I feel a surge of faith, dreams awakening, worries resting, and hopes breathing again.

“Lord God almighty! You are faithful! You are all powerful, all good, all knowing…and You love me! You know me! All the time, in every thing, You know me. Thank you that You care about my hopes and dreams. Call forth the things that have died in me and let the reality that Jesus stands with me help me to believe and watch for Your glory! Amen.”

How about you?

Do you have hopes, dreams, prayers, and weathered faith left for dead in a tomb?

How might you pray if Jesus were standing next to you? How might you ask Him to pray for you?

Do you want to see the glory of God? Do you need help to believe?

Pray. Ask God to call forth life!

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