Day 20: God is Glorious

Today should have been the most restful day I’ve had this month. My husband got the exciting opportunity to go to the Kansas City Chiefs game, leaving me a day to myself. I didn’t get to sleep in but still ended up with about 9 hours of sleep, so I woke up physically rested. And it was Sunday and I love my church, so that should have filled me up.

What happened? I’m not sure.

I left church feeling defeated and alone. Instead of feeling like I had spent time in community, I felt on the outskirts and in people’s way. Over the course of the day, I gave in to self-pity, jealously, lust, greed, pride, and probably a few more ugly, sinful things that I’m forgetting about in this moment.

[Insert break while I pop over to Ann Voskamp’s site for a moment.]

This is the music that auto-plays on her site. It’s not my favorite thing – to have music auto-playing when someone visits your site – I usually mute it. But this song has grown on me and tonight it provided the breathe in and out that I needed:

What I went to find was this link to surreal landscapes from around the world (take a look, then come back).

It’s looking at images like those and listening to this gorgeous music (check out more on his website: DavidNevue.com), that I feel put in my place. I begin to remember the bigness of God (that I talked about a little on Day 6). I begin to recall how small my place is in the great plan of God.

This isn’t about trying to diminish myself or putting myself down. It’s about taking a peek at the hugeness of Yahweh. An awe-filled moment at the doorway of heaven, not because of golden streets or pearly gates or even the loved ones already there, but because of the glory of Almighty God. This glory we heard about today in church, that Moses could not look directly on and live, so God showed his “back.” Another passage in Exodus talks about how Moses’ face began to shine, literally, from so much time spent in the presence of Jehovah, that he covered his head with a veil. The book of Revelation says that in eternity, there is no need for sun, moon, or stars for the glory of the Lord illuminates everything.

The day still feels wasted, washed up, ruined, screwed up, Today was a day in my own strength, glorifying myself. Ultimately, pretty much of a waste. But, God is still glorious, so I don’t have to fear letting others down or screwing up the day.

If you’ve had a day like this, rest in God’s glory with me.

Today is Day 20 of 31 Days of being called to rest.

God is Glorious

 

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Day 13: Rest from Idolatry to Worship

Ps_122_glad

Has your soul felt rest today?

It was wonderful to be in Karis Church worshiping the Lord with my brothers and sisters.

The sermon focused on idolatry (Exodus 32:1-33:6), which tied in well with my post from yesterday about cracked pedestals. The gist of the sermon was roughly this:  like the gold-powdered water that Moses made the Israelites drink in that passage, idolatry leaves us with a bitter taste. But Jesus calls us away from idolatry to worship.

There were a lot of great points, which, unfortunately, I couldn’t get down fast enough, but I did note one quote from Tim Keller:

Fear-based repentance makes us hate ourselves.  Joy-based repentance makes us hate our sin.

Cool stuff, eh? I highly encourage you to listen to the sermon, by a Karis Church deacon, Billy Glosson. You can either listen online or download the mp3.

How have you been learning to rest this month?

Ps_84_lovely_dwelling_place

Today is Day 13 of 31 Days of Rest.

No Time To Grumble

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Photo credit: Cali4beach (Creative Commons)

There’s a tendency in me to grumble and complain. It’s easier for me to see the dark side than the light. The glass is half empty. The penny is tails up.

I’ve been reading through the Pentateuch recently – the first five books of the Bible, containing the Law. Where most of the Thou Shalts and Thou Shalt Nots are found. The Israelites? Yeah, they knew a thing or two about grumbling.

They’re freed from slavery, but Moses brought them to the desert to starve. They’re given food in the desert, but there’s no meat. They find a place to rest, but the water’s bad. God guides them daily with fire or a cloud, but he’s led them out there to die.

The story that really gets me is Korah’s rebellion in Numbers 16. This guy, Korah, gets 250 men to rebel against Moses. And God’s like, Oh no, you didn’t. So he warns Moses and Aaron that he’s going to punish the rebels and for everyone to stay clear of them. Then fire comes from heaven and kills Korah and the ground opens up and swallows the rebels and all their possessions. Hello? Get the picture, Israel? Don’t mess with God!

Then Numbers 16:41 – this blows me away, if I didn’t see the seeds of it in myself – “But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron…” The VERY. NEXT. DAY.  This time there was no warning, God just started punishing them with a plague. Moses and Aaron rush out to make atonement for the people, but before the plague is stopped over 14,000 people die.

When I read Psalm 44 in light of the passage in Numbers, two things jump out at me:

1) This psalm is attributed to the sons of Korah. Descendants of the one who began that rebellion.

2) The flow of the psalm makes it appear that maybe they have learned from the past.

So these sons of Korah are obviously undergoing some challenging circumstance. They talk about being rejected and disgraced. They have lost battles against their enemies and been sold into slavery. They say that people laugh at them and scorn them. It’s a rough time.

But they don’t grumble. The psalm is book-ended, beginning and end, with hope. It begins with a reminder of all that God has done in the past, deeds performed in days of old. And it ends with a call for God to come to their rescue and redeem them once again.

If I spend more time remembering all that God has done in the past and asking for him to help with the challenges I face today, I don’t think I’d have time for grumbling. It’s time to start seeing the glass as half full and to recognize that, heads or tails, I found a penny!

~~~
I’m Walking Through the Psalms at Everyday Awe.

Day 7: When Your Faith Runs Short

God is faithful, even when we are faithless.

One of our elders, Ryan Worley, preached at Karis a week ago on Exodus 16, when God provides food for the Israelites in the wilderness.

Photo credit: Jesus Tejel via Fotopedia (Creative Commons)

Here’s the scene: they’ve left Egypt and are making their way to the Promised Land. Egypt is becoming a distant memory and the food they took when they left is also disappearing.

Of course, it’s Moses’ fault. (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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