Category Archives: Knowing God

Hovering

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!

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love Kindle Edition

Worship

 

 

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!

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love Kindle Edition

Worship

Catching Beauty!

tetonsdawnBy Judy Villanueva

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19:1)

A gentle breeze blew quietly through our room gracing us with relief from the heat that had kept us up most of the night. I’m sure I had a smile on my face as I enjoyed the goodness of REM sleep only to be nudged awake at 5:00am by my husband. “I really want to watch the sun rise on the Grand Tetons and maybe see a moose and hear the Elk bugle! Let’s get up!” It was as though he cared nothing about sleep and could only imagine the wonder that awaited us. I replied groggily, “I think we are two hours away from sunrise, honey…won’t the sun come up again tomorrow?”

Dozens of tri-pods, Nikons and iphones showed up in the dark to watch and wait for light and an opportunity to catch beauty! The beholding of beauty never seems to suffice and I always find myself wanting just one more shooting star, lightning bolt or minute in the presence of majesty.

There is something about beauty that lets us touch the glory of God and the feel of it makes us want to catch it and make it our own!

It’s hard to put into words but it’s one thing to read about the glory of God and quite another to feel pulled into the middle of it by a sunrise, moose or mountain face!

I can’t tell you how many fellow “beauty catchers” stood with us in the cold predawn hours or how many pictures I took of one mountain! I didn’t want to leave and couldn’t get enough of what felt like God’s manifest presence, breathtaking and beautiful!

Is it the glory we were made for that compels us to linger before beauty and try to take it home in our pockets?

As the light finally lifted up over the horizon and ran across the water to celebrate against the mountain face, I found that I did, too! I could feel the declaration of Divine splendor and realized that there in the middle of it all was my God loving me…just waiting to be caught.

“Father, your creation is magnificent! I know when I’m trying to catch beauty I’m really trying to catch you! Thank you for making me for your glory and helping me find it. Amen.”

What about you?

How does the experience of beauty make you feel?

Do you recognize that feeling of not wanting an experience of beauty to end?

Where did you last experience the glory of God?

We were made for His glory….linger in it and let God love you there.

Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected
BJ75-DE1P-DLRR-AQOX

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love kindle edition

Worship!

Come To Me!

dsc_0969By Judy Villanueva

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I couldn’t have been more than seven years old when I first noticed these words inscribed across the altar at church.  They seemed to jump out at me every Sunday as if teasing me to unwrap their meaning.  As a child, I imagined that coming to God and taking His “easy” yoke meant that my life would be carefree and full of laughter and love.  Indeed, it has been this but, not only this.  Life tends to pulse with both joys and sorrows and unwrapping Truth happens in layers, doesn’t it?

We plumb for its richness as we trust and agree to come, even when can’t see where we are going.

As this year comes to a close I find myself weary and particularly grateful for Jesus’ invitation to “Come”.  He knows that carrying heavy burdens weighs us down and bids us trade our wearisome loads for His yoke that is easy and light.  To be yoked is to be bound to a burden that must then be dragged around, much like oxen tied to an iron plow. But, think of it!

To be bound to Jesus is to be tethered to God!

It is to agree to submit to and learn from the One who is gentle and humble in heart.  At first glance, this passage appeals to our need of rest, but a second look reveals a layer of love that invites us to soul-shaping surrender!

The One who came… calls us to come!

Come to the One who came for you!  Come rest in His love.  Come learn from His humble heart. Come lean on Him every day and in everything! Let Him help you hold your life and unwrap the power of His Word for each day.  He knows how to carry heavy loads and can help us find rest for our weary souls.  I want to trade my yoke of worry for His yoke of peace.  I want to learn how to live well by being tethered to the One who loves me, who knows what it is to be weary and who paid a dear price for my rest.

“Jesus, thank you for reaching out to me when I was young and for helping me find my way to You. Help me to come to you today with all that burdens me and trust You. Thank you for being my place of rest. Amen.”

What about you?

Are you weary from carrying heavy burdens?  What are you dragging around?

Have you heard Jesus call you to come?  Are you in need of His rest?

Are you ready to trade your burdens for His yoke of love?

Listen for His voice that calls you to come.  God cares that you are weary and in need of rest.

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love kindle edition

Worship

God is Light

20161211_173616By Judy Villanueva

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1John 1:5) 

Even the darkness is not dark to You,                                                                                                And the night is as bright as the day. (Psalm 139:12)

Bang!  The sound thundered in the night and woke me from a deep sleep.  I could hear snow pelting against the window and thought I’d imagined flashes of light through the curtains.  The wind seemed to hurl itself against the wall as though determined to break into our bedroom.  It was 4:00 am and shaken awake, I was now curious to see what exactly was going on outside, so I got up! My sense of hearing told me a stormy story but I could see nothing in the darkness outside my window.  Absolutely nothing! In a way, this is how parts of life feel right now.  I can’t see what’s in front of me and much as I press my nose against the window of tomorrow and strain to know the “what”, “where”, and “how” of it, it remains hidden.

My choice is to bang around in the dark and try to see what I cannot or trust that God, who is Light, sees everything, everywhere, all the time.

That God is light is a blessed reality!  NOTHING can hide from Him and NO THING is unknown to Him!  We, being human, experience darkness when the sun goes down, when we don’t understand a thing, or when something is hidden from us.  Most of our fears hide in the dark of unknowing.  What frightens you?  What threatens your peace?  AW Tozer once said that “What we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

Knowing that God IS light chases our fears into the middle of a holy radiance that shatters the darkness!  

Life might sound like a stormy story and we may not be able to see through the night, but we can keep trusting that even the darkness is not dark to God…it is as bright as day!  We can keep receiving His gifts of light and let each ray shine on our doubts and fears.  On that stormy morning I sat by the glow of a warm fire and watched the sun defeat darkness yet again!  It became God’s literal Word of light to me!  Can you hear it?

“HOPE!”

God is Light.  He can see in the dark!  He knows what’s in front of us and will always be faithful to defeat the darkness and be our daily Light!

“Father, I am deeply comforted that You are light. It quiets my fears and gives me strength in the dark places. Thank you that you keep seeing what’s in front of me. It’s all lit up! Help me to notice your gifts of light today. Amen.”

How about you? 

What frightens you? What threatens your peace?

Have you ever noticed that light brings hope?

How does the sun coming up make you feel? What about candlelight, twinkling stars, or moonlight?

How might knowing that God is light be important in your life?

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love kindle edition

Worship

Throwing Stones

dsc_0714By Judy Villanueva

John 8:1-11


At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”


What is it about human nature that wants to stand over others and cry out for justice? Even children seem to have an internal sense of fairness and tattle loudly when someone breaks the rules.  What is glaring in this story is the complete lack of love with which this woman is thrown down before Jesus.

I wonder what Jesus was thinking as he wrote in the sand?  Did he kneel down and write as a way of helping the crowd slow down and really see the woman?

Did he want it to sink in that they were not so different than she?  I wonder what the woman was thinking. She was caught in the act!  She knows how this works.  I imagine her looking down in shame unable to meet the eyes of her accusers and bracing for the first stone.  Instead, crouched in Jesus’ shadow, she hears him invite the one without sin to throw first but, rather than receiving blows of judgment, she hears rocks fall to the ground and feet shuffle away!

Can you imagine her first taste of grace as she looks up at Jesus and hears him say, “Where are your accusers?  Does no one condemn you?  Neither do I condemn you.”  We are people in need of mercy, and yet, are terribly prone to judge one another with harshness. It’s not that discerning right from wrong is a bad thing.  On the contrary, it is a necessary thing if we are to grow in godliness.

We do harm when we stop seeing people and just see their acts, when we forget that we are not so different from those we condemn, and when we mistakenly believe we are in any position to throw stones.

The only One in that position did not pick up a rock.  Nor did Jesus set the woman free without exhorting her to leave her life of sin.  We tend to do one or the other — we either forgive and condone sin or,  judge and condemn it.  The truth is, we need  mercy AND justice and it is only crouched in the shadow of the cross that — remarkably, undeservedly, and thankfully — we find both!   Amazing and beautiful grace!

“Lord, I confess that I, too, judge others harshly. I ask for grace to fill my heart and your help to love people and forgive acts. Thank you for daily graces and your heart that keeps setting me free. Amen.”

What about you?

Are you a grace giver or a stone thrower?

Do you tend to forgive and condone or, judge and condemn?

Have you had an encounter with amazing grace?

Have you received God’s gift of forgiveness and love?

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love kindle edition

Worship

Look at Me!

dsc_1148By Judy Villanueva

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”  Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1Samuel 3:10)

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words; Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart, for they are life to those who find them 
and health to one’s whole body. (Proverbs 4:20-22)

I was ready for the challenge!  I was twenty-three years old.  She was a baby.  I had a college education.  She had determination!  Suddenly, she made her move and crawled as fast as she could for the electrical outlet!  She looked over at me and reached out her dimpled hand in defiance!   I sternly said, “Look at mommy!  Don’t you dare touch that outlet!” We had been here before — many times — and each time I’d watch her teeter between wanting what she wanted and yielding to my voice.  To her credit, she looked at me and stalled for about ten seconds before she touched it!

“Look at Me!”  It’s a directive that parents use to get their child’s attention.  It is meant to entice the young one away from one focal point and onto the parent in order to give needed correction or guidance.  Babies, of course, cannot appreciate the good intentions of the parent and simply want what they want!  Sadly, even grown up, we tend to get focused on things that don’t bring life or worse, are harmful to us. Submitting our desires to God and turning to Him for direction is essential to maintaining a balanced and healthy spiritual life.

The problem is not so much that we want this or that, but rather that our hearts get so filled up with good things (and not so good things) that there is little room left to want God.

Can you hear God when He calls you to look at Him?  It might be a still, small voice, an internal nudge or a louder invitation, like an ulcer, or a life that is falling apart.  If we are not in the habit of “listening”, His might sound like one voice among many.

There is a fine-tuning that happens each time we hear and obey God. The sound of Him becomes clearer!

Likewise, we can deaden our sense of Him by ignoring His prompts and turning away from His face.

Looking for God, listening as we make decisions or walk out the front door is necessary if we are to be helped to want what is most worthy of wanting!  Do you want God?  I do, in theory!  But, too often, I really just want what I want and depend on His kind, steady voice to help me turn away from things that distract me and look at Him.  I want to be aware of God in the middle of my day, especially when He says, “Judy, look at Me!”

I need to feel the sound of Him correcting, directing and helping me find my way to His will.

I need to hear His voice say “I love you” in my every moment and learn to want Him most of all.

“Father, I thank you that you are a wise and watchful parent.  Help me to hear you call when I am in heading away from your will and in need of redirecting!  Keep finding me!  Amen.”

What about you?

Can you hear God when He calls to you?

How do you look at God?

What sorts of things help you hear His voice?

Are you learning to want God, most of all?

There is nothing more orienting than looking at God!  It finds us!

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love Kindle Edition

Worship

Mary and Martha

treetrail

By Judy Villanueva

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

To sit at the feet of Jesus and let Him be my one distraction sounds both enticing and elusive. More often than not, I find myself in the kitchen with Martha, scowling at Mary and wishing so badly I could be the one sitting at Jesus’ feet.  I like to think that Martha loved Jesus from the kitchen amidst her many distractions and wish I couldn’t relate to how she let them postpone the joy of entering his presence.  But, I can.   As I slow down with this passage and take my pulse, I become aware that I am stuck in the kitchen!  I want to be next to Jesus, close enough to see the expression in his eyes and hear the tone of his voice. I know he is in the room with me but am not quite sure how to drop all my doing and find a place at His feet.  Do you ever feel that way?

This moment of awareness becomes a prayer and I ask Jesus to take my soapy hands and lead me out of the kitchen. “Help me, Lord, to turn away from the many things that fill my heart with worry and teach me to want only one thing — only One.”  I suddenly realize that what I really need is to look at Jesus!  One simple nod from Him is all it will take to help me drop my dishes and run to Him. Imagine this moment with me.

Can you see Jesus looking at you in the middle of your day and inviting you to come sit with Him?

Prayerfully, with my Bible on my lap, I imagine the scene and I look at Jesus.  He looks at me!  I see Him seeing me and hold my breath.  THEN, He gives me a smile and a nod and I run to Him!  I realize, as I make my way over, that I didn’t think there would be room for me and I wasn’t sure I’d be welcome.  But, looking up at Jesus face I find a big welcome and looking down at His feet, I find a place prepared just for me!

“Jesus, thank you that always see me. I give you permission to nudge me out of my busyness! Thank you that I will always see a “welcome” in your eyes and find a place in your presence prepared just for me. Help me today to bring that same welcome to others. Amen.”

How about you?

Where do you find yourself in this Bible story? Are you in the kitchen, busy with preparations? Or, are you sitting at Jesus feet?

Does the pace of your life leave room for noticing Jesus beckoning you to come to Him?

Do you define yourself by the “many things” or by the “only One”?

What do you need from Jesus today? As you sit at His feet and have His full attention, how can He help you today?

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love Kindle Edition

Worship

Finding God

DSC_0527By Judy Villanueva

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. (Deut 4:29)

How sweet it is when my little grand finds me!  To be reached for by chubby baby arms is too wonderful to describe but the words “sheer joy” come awfully close! Sitting on the floor I quietly watch as my two-year-old visitor stacks and knocks over blocks with glee. Occasionally, she stands and runs in circles laughing until another toy beckons for her attention.  All the while, I see her sneaking peaks to make sure I am near and, every so often, she interrupts her play to find me.  Then, for a few cherished moments she crawls up on my lap and nestles in close for “kissies.”  As I soak her up, I realize how good it feels to be found, reached for and wanted! “Is it any different with God?” I wonder.  Does He, too, delight when we turn away from our toys and reach for Him?

I never dreamed that after so many years of being a Christian I would still be learning how to want God. That may sound strange but I find that life has a way of crowding out my desire for God with temporal offers of fullness.  I naturally know how to want these things, but want to want the Divine heart that watches and waits for my notice.  The thought that God delights when I reach for Him is as much mind-blowing, as it is an explosion of wonder!

The One who made all things wants me and reached across the heavens with a cross to make a place for me on His lap.

Trials always motivate me to reach for God, but my prayer is to grow in love for God and live interrupted by His presence, in breathless anticipation of finding Him and being found!

Last night, as my husband and I sat under a canopy of stars we decided to begin an experiment.  For thirty days we are endeavoring to spend 20 minutes a day in silent prayer. Our hope is to engage in a daily moment, 1200 seconds long, that consists of crawling up on the lap of God and sitting quietly in His arms.  What happens to worries and fears, I wonder, when we stop looking at them and rest with God instead?

In stillness, God helps us feel His love touching our lives.

When we stop talking and moving about, when we let His movements of grace interrupt our play — when we simply let God hold us,  we find our place on His lap where we are hugged and kissed — found, reached for and wanted!  Yes, He soaks in our presence and wraps us up in His.

 “Thank you, Father, for being my place of rest and for all the ways your reach out for me.  Help me to look up from my toys and find You in my days.   Thank you for the cross that reached across the heavens to find me!  Amen.”

What about you?

Do you want God?

Do you believe that God delights when you reach for Him?

How do you reach for Him?

Do you notice when God’s presence invites a holy interruption?

God wants you!  Reach for Him.

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love Kindle Edition

Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected
RX5L-GUTE-MXRD-43KI

Worship

The Father

pieddra viewBy Judy Villanueva

Luke 15:11-14, 20

And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished… 

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

Coming up the stairs I could hear the sound of the television and knew exactly where dad would be sitting.  I quietly giggled as I made my silly plan and pictured his smile when, startled, he’d see my head pop up over the railing.  It’s a little game we play every time I come home and almost every time I reach the top of the stairs.  It’s a way to say “I love you” at a time in our relationship when words are hard for my dad to hear.  I think I’d do just about anything to make this man smile and I’m pretty sure the same is true for him.  I cannot begin to imagine his heartbreak if ever I were to look at him and say, “I wish you were dead. I don’t want you, dad, only what you have to give me.”

That is essentially what the younger son said when he asked for his share of his father’s estate, gathered it all up and left for a distant country.  What kind of father listens as a child rejects his presence in favor of his treasure?  And, what kind of dad consents to give his son what he asks for knowing it will shatter his own heart?  As I trouble over why this father doesn’t knock some holy sense into his child, I find myself invited to notice an incredible revelation of God rising up from the story.  Curious, I lean in close and finally see it, a reflection of the Divine heart beating with beautiful love, too big to contain — pure, powerful and free!

This is the heart that listens to us when we ask for what we should not or  when we leave home to seek fullness in a foreign land. This is the Father who waits for our return and runs with abandon to kiss and embrace us!

There are lots of ways to leave home lest, like me, you have trouble identifying with the younger son.  When I am willful, fearful, or fretful I can tell I’m on my own somewhere far from the Father.  Sometimes I hide and other times I leave in search of life a part from God whether in front of a tv show, a balance sheet or a banana split.

To be honest, if I pay close attention to my prayers I realize with tremendous sorrow, that like the younger son, I often want what God can give me more than I want God.

That’s hard to write and hurts to know. Yet, this is where the Father finds me.  This is where I feel His heart beat with beautiful love.  This is where I am gathered up and forgiven by the One who watches for my return and runs to welcome me home!

“Father, I want to want You most! Thank you for your faithful heart and compassion for your children.  Help me find my way home whenever and however I wander from your heart.  Amen.”

What about you?

Are you learning to want God?  Most?

What kinds of things draw you away from “home”?    Away from the Father’s heart?

Have you experienced the Father’s love for you?

Do you know that God watches and waits for you?

61FxF8WxgfL._AC_US218_Click here to buy Listening for Love Kindle Edition

Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected
OMRX-GOU9-DZHS-KXKW

Worship