Saturday, July 28, 2007

Communicating Christ

By Sara Groves

I don't know how to say this...

I think we've figured out this world is bigger than you and I.
We've exhausted our wealth of knowledge, have no more answers for mankind.
And we've had every conversation in the world
About what is right and what has all gone bad.
But have I mentioned to you that this is all I am, this is all that I have.

And I'm not trying to judge you, no, that's not my job.
I am just a seeker, too, in search of God.
Somewhere, somehow, this subject became taboo.
I have no other way to communicate to you,
That this is all that I have, this is all that I am.

And we've had every conversation in the world
About what is right and what has all gone bad.
But have I mentioned to you that this is all I am, this is all that I have.

And I would like to share with you what makes me complete.
I don't claim to have found the truth, but I know it has found me.
The only thing that isn't meaningless to me
Is Jesus Christ and the way He set me free.
And this is all that I have, this is all that I am.

It's all that I have, and it's all that I am.

I don't know how to say this, I don't know where to start,
Just know that I care for you, and I'm speaking from my heart.

Monday, July 16, 2007

On Approaching God

Last week I took care of a friend’s flowers while she was out of town. She has a fairly large yard, so this wasn’t a simply “go water that one potted plant I have next to my front door” kind of a job. But it was refreshing to spend time alone, and her gardens encourage quiet, meditative conversation with God. She has two fishponds with koi in them (the medium to large “goldfish” that live in outdoor ornamental ponds). I observed these fish last week, and they challenged the way that I approach God.
The fish in the lower pond like to stay near the bottom or on the edges. When they see me coming to feed them, they cower away, as if they’re afraid of me. When I toss the food in, they still cower. It’s as if they think I’m trying to lure them in to catch or hurt them. They cautiously come to the surface to snatch some food, then whip themselves away and to the bottom of the pond. They suffer from sever distrust, even though my hand is one of blessing, not curses.
The fish in the upper pond are much different. As soon as they see or hear me, they all crowd up to the surface, stick their heads out of the water, and open their mouths. They are almost frantic in their hunger and eagerness to receive what I have to give. When I toss the food in, it’s almost as if they wrestle each other to see who can get the first mouthful. They are so excited to eat that sometimes they’ll mouth a lily pad, mistaking it for a very large bit of food. Once they’ve eaten, they happily swim around, obviously content with their full bellies.
Which fishpond do I live in? How do I approach God? Do I come to Him cowering, suspicious of everything He does, expecting hard things and painful circumstances, inwardly suffering from distrust? Or do I get so excited to see Him that I stick my head out of my comfort zone, open my mouth wide, and expect His food to be good food?
I desire to be an upper pond fish.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fireflies and Faithfulness

Not too long ago Colin, Elsie, Jedi, and I caught fireflies. At least, we tried to. I wanted some shots of fireflies in a glass mason jar, and the kids volunteered to help me round up the little bugs. But there weren’t any fireflies out that night. We walked around the yard for a long time, but there was nothing to see except dark trees and a velvety sky.

At one point we stopped and I asked God to give us some fireflies. The kids joined right in, lifting earnest pleas heavenward. “Please, God, please help us to find some fireflies!” We looked up, and saw a small twinkle in the trees ahead. Elsie jumped up and down—“I knew it! I knew God answers prayer!” We only found two fireflies that night, and I didn’t get the shot I wanted, but we saw God show up and answer our prayers.

Several weeks later I sat in my parked car and cried hard, cried to God. Money was tight, my dreams were sinking, my heart was heavy, and God didn’t seem to care much. The more I asked for provision, the harder it was to bear my empty wallet. The more I asked for direction, the harder it was to surrender my dreams. Where are You, God? Can’t You make this easy? Can’t You just provide for me? You said You would be here. You said that You take pleasure in Your children’s success. Why don’t You answer me?

Suddenly I looked up. The trees ahead of me were full of fireflies, twinkling and flickering like little diamond lights amidst the leaves. Suddenly Elsie’s words came back to me— “I knew it! I knew God answers our prayers!” Yes, that is right. God is still faithful and faithfulness. Just because His provision is different, that doesn’t mean it is insufficient.

God just provided me with access of a whole bag of great camera lenses, since I can’t afford to purchase any more for myself. My laptop only has an 18GB hard drive, but at least I have a laptop. I only have one flash card, but it’s a good one. I only have one battery, but I have never lacked the juice to complete a shoot. I don’t have a car, but I have great parents who are willing to lend me their wheels when I need them. Yeah, sure, money is tight. But it completely redefines the term “need.”

My greatest need is to know my Jesus. Physical and material deficit opens the avenue for spiritual bounty. And fireflies that twinkle as they fulfill their purpose teach me that God is faithful, even when I can’t see His hand of blessing.