Friday, November 21, 2014

This I Know

How do we sort through our memories… the good and the bad?

How do we cope with the events in our life… the happy and the sad?

Do you ever feel God stirring your heart as you sort and cope in an effort to put one foot in front of the other?

I’m a bit surprised at what God seemed to whisper in my heart through memories as I watched a movie while we had the windows on our home replaced…

He walks around with a carpenter’s pencil in his mouth. His tools are familiar to me. He works hard and it’s obvious he takes pride in his work. Skilled in his craft, something tugs at my heart. He whistles while he works and I can’t help but smile.

We’re having our windows replaced in an effort to save money (as well as avoid further water damage to our basement). Rather than pack everything needed to complete the project only to unpack it again the next day, the men working on our house left all the materials and equipment in our garage overnight. When I opened the door from our house to the garage this morning, it stopped me dead in my tracks.

Nothing was wrong. Everything was right where it was supposed to be. There weren’t any strange animals in sight. What I saw was what is in this picture: a table saw; construction horses; ladders; and power tools as well as stacked lumber, waiting to be used as trim for our windows… Mixed with the smell of sawdust, I felt a lump swell up in my throat… I couldn’t contain the emotions and wondered why they hit in that very moment.

Growing up, this picture was commonplace in our home. My dad was a carpenter, running his own business out of our childhood home built with his hands. One side of our house held a half-court-sized room with a basketball hoop in it. While we called it the “gym”, it served more as my father’s garage/tool shed. In an effort to make a space big enough to shoot 3-point shots, we had to push dad’s tools and supplies off to the edges of the room…

I’m certain the mix of emotions with this scene as well as the ones connected to the stranger in my home were connected to the familiar memories of my daddy. The sadness I used to feel over the loss of my dad has subsided over time… It’s been almost 7 years and I’ve wrestled with a lot of emotions over that time. There are so many memories that flood my mind and heart and each one requires sorting and searching and giving them to Jesus.

My dad loved me. I know this. And yet, honestly, my dad was flawed. He didn’t love me perfectly. There is a lot of pain in my heart over the memories that thread through my life. At the same time, the fact that my dad loved me is the core of what allows me to miss him as well as make sense of the bad memories that intermingle the good ones. With the truth of my dad’s love for me, I’m able to make peace with every memory I’m left to work through without him.

As I write this, I’m watching the movie, Ragamuffin:The True Story of Rich Mullins. At the point in this songwriter’s story that he decided to go to Nashville, he sang “Jesus Loves Me”. God whispered to my heart that this was the point of my sorting through these thoughts on my blog this morning.
Just as I work through memories of my dad and my childhood with the firm knowledge that he loved me, I’m learning that this is what matters. Not so much that my daddy loved me… but that Jesus loves me; God loves me. My Heavenly Father loves me.

As I cope with all the thoughts in my mind, I realize it applies to the way I attempt to manage my life. Every detail of my world needs to be filtered with this one unchanging fact: My Heavenly Father loves me. That never changes. EVERYTHING is centered on God’s love for me. And unlike the memories of my dad, God is with me as I work through the hard times and good times of this life.
This is where I find peace. This is where you can find peace. This is where our world finds peace. This is the answer: Jesus loves me. This I know.

Do you know the depth of Christ’s love for you? Get a copy of Ragamuffin:The True Story of Rich Mullins and set aside time to watch it. Maybe God will reach your heart the same way he met mine. It's worth every minute and every dime. I just rented it and now I want to own it. The message is life changing!

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” – Ephesians 3:16-19

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