He Saw Me in the Future!

Have you ever had the experience of someone coming up from behind you, clamping their hands over your eyes, without warning, exclaiming, “Guess who!”  For a moment you are confused, caught unaware, and then by scent or voice recognition, you take a guess.  Sometimes it is clear, other times it is a surprise – either way, the hands are lifted off your eyes and there is perfect revelation and joy as you recognize the playful spirit behind the mystery.

That’s how it was for me when I gave more thought to an all too familiar passage of scripture: Romans 5:8.  Jesus died for me, while I was a sinner.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.  How many times had I heard this read from the pulpit or proclaimed by a fellow church-goer on communion Sunday.  Like hands clamped over my eyes, I had guessed at the meaning nonchalantly.  I get it. I am a sinner and Christ died for me. Plain and simple on the surface, I thought I knew whose hands were covering my eyes.   Aaaaah! – but when the hands came off, I saw so much more –  recognition of truth in this all too familiar passage.

Do you see?

While!

It’s in the word while…..

WHILE I was a sinner….HE SAW ME IN THE FUTURE!  He saw past me – the sinner – and chose to pour grace out on me and save me from the punishment of my sins….this is the revealed mystery.  Jesus sees us beyond our sinful state!  Before we were born, before we physically sinned, He saw us through it all and died for us; Grace poured out in faith and love, abundantly. 

In turn, we ought to do the same.

We need to see beyond people’s sin. No avoiding, no judging, but instead: pour grace abundantly.  The mystery paid forward: we need to see others as Jesus sees them – just as he sees us; God sees all of us as His children.

Friend, Jesus sees you in the future as well and He died for you too.

What an awesome verse! 

Quoting the words from a recent conversation with Bill Vanderbush, “Jesus is even better than we think.”

 

 

 

 

What IS This?… A Poetic Mystery?

 

 

The Pastor said,

“I challenge you to meditate on the Names of God, just one every day….”

Okay, I said, as many of us do, with all good intention…

057

And so…

setting down to take up the challenge this morning I began to read; it began midstream, a thought caught in part: “because…”

Nope.  This was not a simple sit down, read, and pray, and be gone.

I was caught.

Hooked.

Enticed.

It was like a marketing sound bite!

“…because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb.” Genesis 49:25

Because whaaaat?  Who can stop at just this verse and be satisfied?

Like a LAY’s chip commercial – who can eat just one!

And so it began. The study.

Please bear with me for 500 more words or so….this will be good.

Looking back, I saw in verse 22 that these were words directed to Joseph – the one who wore the coat of many colors, who was thrown into a well and sold into slavery, who eventually rose to high position in order to save his family from the famine.  Looking back to verse 1 of Chapter 49, I saw these verses were words of blessing from Jacob to his sons, and Joseph was of course one of them.

“Joseph is a fruitful vine….his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber….” V. 22

WHY?

“because…”

– there it is.

B E C A U S E of your father’s God….HIS help and  HIS blessings.  The fertile life of Joseph was only BECAUSE God helped and blessed; the prosperity of Joseph’s life came as a blessing from the Almighty God: El Shaddai.

El Shaddai, the All Sufficient One, the one who abundantly blesses with all that is needed to sustain and nourish and protect and satisfy. God Almighty, the way He revealed Himself to the ancient patriarchs of the Old Testament.

 The focus?

God is the Almighty. 

He is El Shaddai.

Now what?

Substituting my name for Joseph’s:

Sheryl is a fruitful vine…her bow remained steady, her strong arms stayed limber… what IS this?… a poetic mystery?

Just whaaaat does  T H A T mean? 

For me:

I am a saved daughter of the King…

I enjoy a loving marriage of almost thirty years…

I have nine wonderful children and three uber-cute grandchildren…

I have a comfortable home…

My family is employed…

I have food in plenty and clothes that cover…I see the lush creation around me, the birds’chirps of the morning and the sun shining through the tree tops…

I have asparagus that pushes thru the earth despite the weeds…

I have survived the death of a child, the woes of unemployment,  the devastation of cancer…

I endure the long hard days of parenting…

I am fit for the work of cooking and cleaning and playing and blessing others…

I can worship in freedom…

and more….

In other words: I am fruitful, my bow remains steady, and my arms are strong & limber.

WHY?

“…because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above, blessings of the deep springs below, blessings of the breast and womb.” Genesis 49:25

El Shaddai !

I must praise Him as God Almighty!

HE is the same God Almighty who helped and blessed Joseph in all the ups and downs of his life

and HE is the same God Almighty who helps and blesses my life in all the ups and downs.

Substitute your own name for Joseph’s….Can you see his help and blessing in your own life?

Won’t you join me in saying “…because…” and praise our Almighty God today?