Waiting to enter the joy of the Lord

White Rose

For You are the God of my salvation. For You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:5

Mama is waiting on the Lord.

She’s waiting for Jesus to say “Come.”

Come to heaven.

Come to the joy of the Lord.

Come and be healed.

Come, I’ll wipe your tears away.

Come and see My glory.

Come.

Mama has served the Lord for almost a century; she has taken what Jesus gave her and multiplied it into a fragrant garden. She is still bestowing lavendar grace, lily-white goodness,  rose-petal joy, and bird-of-paradise Good News to her family, her neighbors, her friends, and her caregivers.

Her smile exudes God’s grace and love.

When the waiting is complete, Mama will behold Jesus’ face and say:

“Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.” Matthew 25:21

Jesus will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”

I look forward to seeing what Mama has in store for her when she enters that joy.

My prayer:

Thank You Lord for the privilege of knowing Mama intimately. I entrust her to You. Show her Your glory, and escort her to the dwelling place that You have prepared especially for her.

What if we laid down our sorrows?

What if we laid down our sorrows for the joy of the Lord?

Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him. Psalm 32:10

What if we laid down our shame for the joy of the Lord?

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

What if we laid down our sickness for the joy of the Lord?

for I, the LORD, am your healer.  Exodus 15:26

What if we laid down our pain for the joy of the Lord?

and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

What if we said, “Yes, Yes, Lord”?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

What if?

My prayer for you:

Great and loving Father, thank You for taking our sorrow, our shame, our sickness, and our pain and turning them to joy. Give us the wisdom to lay them down at Your feet. Give us the ability to say “Yes, Yes, Lord.” We want to dine with You in Your perfect holiness. We praise you, Father, Healer, Joy Maker.

Yes, Yes, Lord, Amen!

For the joy set before Him … The cross, path to joy

Cross

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

May the Lord bless you with a growing knowledge
of His great love for you.

Healing from scourging.
Forgiveness from shame of world’s sins placed on Him.
Redemption from the blood.
Eternity from the empty tomb.
Joy from the Risen Savior!

May your Good Friday be filled with the great joy of the Lord.

Returning to play … a marriage with glimpses of heaven

Child playing

 And he [Jesus] said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Church activities, 50-hour-plus work weeks and the business of life gradually sucked energy out of our marriage. On date nights I’d microwave leftovers as Keith turned on his favorite “Who dun it?”  No creativity, no spontaneity.

Energy roared into our home when our toddler grandson came to visit. He darted for his drawer of lids and measuring cups to prepare tea or dinner for us.

This rocket-fueled toddler delighted in running from our family room, to the kitchen through the dining room, up the two steps of the entryway and jumping off the steps into the family room, squealing as he jumped.

One morning our rocket sat straight up on our bed with a blanket over his head waiting patiently. My adrenaline pumped.

Have you seen Gage?

Where can Gage be?

He’s not in the closet.

Gage!

He’s not under the bed.

What’s this lump?

  Gage!

We rolled the giggling lump, tickled him, and laughed until our stomachs hurt.

That moment changed our lives.

About 13 years later … Often, Keith stands saluting me as I drive into the garage. He’s also been known to hide around a corner and jump out to scare me as I get close.

Elvis fills Keith’s car with rock and roll. Our garage is tight with two cars and storage racks, so Keith stops in the driveway and lets me out. I walk into the garage keeping the beat in my head (I don’t want the neighbors to see me); once in the garage, I bee-bop my way into the house. Honks or flashing headlights applaud my gyrations.

One day as we left the grocery store, Keith stopped the cart, ordered me to jump onboard, and ran pushing the cart to the car. People turned their heads and smiled; some giggled. This became a ritual. Once, a Ford F-150 pulled up beside us, and the driver stuck out his calloused hand, pointed at us, “You kids quit that, you hear?”  Laughing, he drove away.

It takes a great deal of trust to abandon formality and the business of living. It takes trust to jump onboard a grocery cart and barrel through the parking lot.

Sheer delight in play … joy in the moment … love in the air … freedom!

Casting our cares on Jesus and jumping into His arms–that’s what He requires. What joy and freedom as He catches us.

A little child taught us to return to play, bringing a piece of heaven to our marriage.

How do you play?

My prayer for you:

Father, teach Your children how to become childlike in their trust and love for You. Bless them with childlike moments of freedom as they abandon their formality and skip through their days, hands in Yours, and singing Your praises.