"Thus says the Lord, your REDEEMER, who formed you from the womb: I am the Lord, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself. . ."
I love this verse in Isaiah 44. I have it underlined. I read once that it's not good to underline in your Bible because then when you open it you typically just re-read the underlined parts because they catch your eye. I think there is some truth to that for me - maybe because my brain is simple like that. . . but today I made myself read past the underlined part (which by the way, I still underline!) and it reads,
". . . Who frustrates (rendering vain) the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners (those who say they know the future),
who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish. . ."
This verse caught my eye today as I thought about how often in life I have thought I was wise or knew what was what. Often to find out as years go by, that my eyes were blinded to the truth - that my knowledge was foolishness. Vain. Not truly the Lord speaking. I've made huge decisions in my life as well as life style choices out of complete blindness, yet thinking I was wise.
I think of 2 Peter at the end where it says how the ignorant and the unstable twist the Word of God to their own destruction, to take care to not walk in error and lose stability (falling into ditch living getting into issues and losing balance, falling to the law rather than living by the Spirit). I've been there. I look back at times in my life and see how I got carried off by different teachers who twisted the Word to come up with their own little sect of sorts, getting hoards of people to follow because it all looked so good on the outside.
Years later, well, like with time - it reveals the fruit of those who followed. Those who said they had eyes wide opened lacked great discernment in the direction they ventured off on in the name of Christ -- I'm guessing like me, because there was a idolatry in the heart. Looking for answers, complicated life styles full of rules because there was not a revelation that Jesus was enough!
But God is enough.
As days pass, weeks, years. . . I am becoming more aware that if there are idols in my life (looking to anything but God to satisfy me, expectations in people or things instead of putting my expectation in Him alone) that this idol worship blinds. Like in verse 18 of Isaiah 45 where it says, "They know not, nor do they discern for He has shut their eyes, they cannot see, and their hearts so that they cannot understand. . ." - that is what will happen, and has happened.
I love writing that! . . . Here comes hope!
But God redeems and He is opener of eyes when we get REAL (and repentant) with our idolatry. When my heart is exposed it's not pretty. That's where the cross comes in and Jesus Christ. He came and gave Himself up for the ugly hearts, the needy, the broken, those who do not boast of their knowledge and good ways. Those who understand their sin and the depth of it. Those who do not compare their righteousness with others, but to the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
It's easy to idolize our children. We want to love them. We hope we do. Idolatry though -- it blinds us. There is no discernment where idolatry reigns. We will be moms who think we have eyes open, have knowledge and the know how. . . but we have the most destructive thing that will hinder our children and their walk with God: looking to them to fulfill our needs.
Idolatry corrupts relationships.
Maybe we have emotional needs not met by our husband. If we have hearts of idolatry we will look to our children to meet those emotional needs. This is emotional incest and the result is devastating! Completely 100% sad.
God is to be our all sustaining, emotionally tank filler-upper. He is able.
". . . We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. . ." 1 John 2:1-2
A few verses down it says, "Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked. . ."
So I ask, "How did He walk?"
He didn't use people for His own benefit.
He looked to His heavenly Father for everything.
He had peace through suffering because He knew the greater purpose.
He loved with no idolatry.
I could go on here but I think as we look as Jesus' life we can see He didn't live like the world, nor did he live like the religious of His day. He was stable.
That is what I long for. That kind of living. Abiding in the heavenly Father, walking as Jesus walked here on the earth.
Peace. Rest. Satisfied, filled up by Him. Pouring out from that. Not swayed by this or that along the way. Stability, balance, love. Idolatry free. Secure in the storm. Seeing greater purpose through suffering. . . finding God.
Tip-toeing through the sand.
Hours spent doing just this ^
swimming the waves ^
Anticipating great things ^
Lots of collections everywhere they went ^
Our baby ~
Water and sunshine.
Shelton will go to great lengths to fish^ and the boys competitive football games on the beach.
Her catch of a "lady fish."
Baby loved the sand so much.
Poor Shelton retreating from the water fight in the pool.
Seeing what she can see. ^
The annual sand fight that is like none you've ever seen. . .
You go girl.
Good tasting flounder.
She probably spent more time in the water than all the other girls.
Pretty pictures might make some think life looks perfect. It's not. It's hard and no one gets away from suffering.
As I was out on the sand with the kids this came to me and I had to write it. Writing it kind of stamps it in my heart sometimes.
And it's true. It's through suffering I have a choice. . . to be humbled and open and willing to find safety under the shadow of His wings.
Or become closed, hiding behind some religion or whatever, become bitter, and hurt those around me. I want to find God through it.
And I am and I am finding out who I am through it as well.
The sun is setting.
Had some trouble with over-exposure on some of these, but nevertheless, they sure make for some awesome memories.
Make the most of the last weeks of summer! Heading out now to find some cool water with the kids.