Letter from a TCK

Hi. My name is Emily and my family is a cross-cultural worker family. Worker in the Matthew 9:38 sense of “send out workers into his harvest field.” I realize that my family’s very lifestyle puts all kinds of preconceived notions into different people’s heads, and so with every relationship I have, I am already working against stereotypes in order to try to get you to see the real me.

One of my largest struggles is loneliness, but I try to be strong and not let it show. In my home country, the friends whom I consider my dearest and closest friends consider me as just a casual friend who pops in and out of their lives once a year. If I come across to them as clingy, or when I’ve sent ten texts to their one response, understand that I am just so hopeful that someone from my home country will accept me, receive me, understand me—that I won’t be forgotten. I still want to matter to you. My fears are not related to the safety and danger aspects of my host country, but rather my fears are being forgotten from my loved ones in my home country, as they learn to do life without me and no longer leave room for me in their lives. I know I’m not physically there all the time, but I still need to be considered part of your lives. I need to still belong.

All that to say, I still consider my host country to be one of my homes, and I feel at home there a lot of the time, despite the cultural and language barriers. I get out and talk with people and make friends and live life, and I love my life. But in the same way that I have to struggle against stereotypes and preconceived notions in my home country, I have the same struggle in my host country with suspicion and misunderstanding and culture stress thrown in. But this is the life I have and the life I know, and I am trying to adapt, to blend in, to make myself fit in to this new culture.

And I do fit in. My home country corners get rubbed off of my square shape the more I live in my host country, and I lose some of my square shape. Yet I really don’t know that I will ever take on the circle shape of my host country. So I live, sometimes blindly even, in my state of a roundish square or a lumpy circle.  You may notice this shape changing more than I do. For when I come into my home country and greet you with hugs and kisses and want to hold your hand or hold onto your arm, I forget that you may not be comfortable with that closeness. That’s simply how we show friendship in my host country. So I have to remind myself to take a step back and shake your hand and be content to just walk or sit beside you.

As I speak with you, I’m not trying to be awkward on purpose. I don’t throw in random foreign words into our conversation to make you feel like an outsider. And I don’t forget my first language to be cute or eccentric. I have two languages running inside my head every day, and sometimes the wrong language comes out at the wrong time. And sometimes the only word that comes to mind is my other language. I have words in one language that don’t even translate into the other language. My mind is constantly navigating which words to use in which contexts. If I take a little longer to greet you or to respond to you, I’m just trying to figure out the right language and customs to use. I’ll get there as quickly as I can.

When it comes time to say goodbye to you, I can’t predict how I’m going to handle it. I may stare blankly into nothingness, too numb to feel. My tears may stream out of my eyes from deep within my core, and I may lose the control to pull myself back together. Goodbyes are so hard, and they never get any easier.  I feel the loss of each goodbye intensely. I’ve heard it said that children in my situation experience more loss by the age of twenty than a mono-culture person does in a lifetime. Thank you for being patient with me as I process yet another goodbye, another loss.

I hope this helps you understand me better. Please reach out to me. Please let me fill a place in your life. Notice me. Accept me. I want you in my life more than you know.

#Lent14 — Remember

As we have done in previous Lent and Advent seasons, we are again blogging our way through the Lenten Lectionary Texts.  In this season, our prayer is that we will bless and inspire you in your walk between the Now and Not-Yet of the Kingdom.  We pray that our meditations will be life-giving to you in your journey.

A reading from the Psalms.

Come, let’s sing out loud to the LORD!  Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation!  Let’s come before him with thanks!  Let’s shout songs of joy to him!  The LORD is a great God, the great King over all other gods.  The earth’s depths are in his hands; the mountain heights belong to him; the sea, which he made, is his along with the dry ground, which his own hands formed.

Come, let’s worship and bow down!  Let’s kneel before the LORD, our maker!  He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, the sheep in his hands.

If only you would listen to his voice right now!  “Don’t harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, like you did when you were at Massah, in the wilderness, when your ancestors tested me and scrutinized me, even though they had already seen my acts.  For forty years I despised that generation; I said, ‘These people have twisted hearts.  They don’t know my ways.’  So in anger I swore: ‘They will never enter my place of rest!’”

Psalm 95 (CEB)

This is the Word of The Lord.

Today’s text reflects on the story from yesterday’s text, Exodus 17:1-7.  The Israelites are in need of water.  Yet, instead of asking God for water, they complain.  Instead of seeking water from the One who created water they grumble about there not being any water.  They fail to remember the goodness of their God!

Remember.

In the last quarter of 2013, as we began to pray about 2014, I asked God to give me a single word to serve as a theme for 2014.  A word that I could meditate on over the course of the year.  A word that would serve to be a life-raft for the troubled waters.  A word that would serve as a constant reminder of God’s love, grace, and promises.

Remember.

As 2014 dawned, God answered my prayers, and gave me the word, “Remember.”  As I’ve read through the Scriptures this year, I’ve looked for places where God tells His people to remember.

Remember who they are.

Remember whose they are.

Remember who holds it all together.

Remember who will never let them go.

Remember.

Psalm 95 is one of those passages.  The first two-thirds of the Psalm are a reminder of the Creator.  The idea of a Creator God is critical to our lives because if God can’t/don’t create, then He can’t re-create either.  If God isn’t a Creator, then water never appears in the desert.  If God isn’t a Creator than shalom—nothing missing, nothing broken—can never come.

See, Shalom requires that which is broken to be fixed.  It requires that which is missing to be found.  It requires that which is fallen to be raised up.  It requires a Creator.

The final third of this Psalm is an admonishment to the Israelites.  It serves to remind the Israelites that there was a time that they forgot their Creator God.  That they choose to grumble and complain instead of remember.

Remembering is key to faith.  Our faith is built as we remember the greatness of our God.  Faith is strengthened by our remembering the things that He has done to rescue and protect us.  Faith is solidified by remembering the ways that He has provided for us.

Remember is one of the core messages of the Old Testament.  Remember who you are.  Remember Whose you are.  Remember what God has done.  Remember how you were in bondage and He rescued you.  Remember how you were on top of the world and how He sustained you.

Never forget.

Remember.

In Deuteronomy 6, Moses gives the Israelites the SHEMA—“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (verses 4-5).  Yet, Moses doesn’t stop there.  He continues on with a command to remember:

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” — Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (ESV)

You, parent, shall teach them diligently to your children.  Pass on the legacy of remembering.  What has God done for you?  Tell your children.  Repeat it.  Recite it enough that they can recite it back.  Your story should become their story.  It’s what God did for you and your descendants.

Remember!

Never forget!

Pass it down!

Write it down!

First Century BC Carvings at Yarnatas, Turkey

First Century BC Carvings at Yarnatas, Turkey

#Lent14 — The Path That God Walked

As we have done in previous Lent and Advent seasons, we are again blogging our way through the Lenten Lectionary Texts.  In this season, our prayer is that we will bless and inspire you in your walk between the Now and Not-Yet of the Kingdom.  We pray that our meditations will be life-giving to you in your journey.

A reading from the Psalms.

You said to me, “I will point out the road that you should follow.  I will be your teacher and watch over you.  Don’t be stupid like horses and mules that must be led with ropes to make them obey.”

All kinds of troubles will strike the wicked, but your kindness shields those who trust you, LORD.  And so your good people should celebrate and shout.

— Psalm 32:8-11 (CEV)

This is the Word of the Lord.

Over the past few months, I’ve been meditating on the idea of the Ancient Path.  It all started in about October of last year when in my reading I read again the sixth chapter of Jeremiah and came across this verse:

This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.  But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”  — Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)

One of the things I’ve learned in discussing this verse (and others from the Old Testament that talk about the “way” or the “path”) is that in the Hebrew there’s an idea of the ancient path being the “path that God has already walked.”

Think about that.

The path that God has already walked.

There comes a point in each of our lives where we are faced with a decision to make.  In those moments, we must seek out which is the right path.  Which is the path that holds the way that enables us to further the Kingdom.  Which is the path that God has already walked.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the principle of community development that says that God is already in the place to which He has called you.  He’s already there—long before you get there.  And He will remain there—long after you leave.  Yet, remember, if He’s already there, that means He’s already walked the path to get there.  He blazed the trail.  And, now, He calls to you to walk along it.

Stand at the crossroads and look.  Ask for the ancient path—the path that God has already walked.  Walk down that path.  And, there, you will find rest for your soul.

As you stand in the place between two decisions, ask God to show you the path which He has walked, and walk down it.

There is a peace that comes from knowing that you’re on the path that God has already walked.  It’s a peace that says, “No matter what comes up, I know that God has already walked past it.”  He’s already taken care of the briers and the sharp rocks and the fallen trees.  He knows what’s on it.  AND, can be trusted to help you walk down it.  Trusted to show you the next step to take.

“By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” — Psalm 119:105 (MSG)

As you walk down the path, with God’s Word leading you step-by-step there is an additional promise to remember.  The prophet Isaiah reminds us that as we walk that there will be a voice BEHIND us saying “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21(NIV))

So, walk securely down the path that God has already walked.  His Word guiding your steps.  His Voice behind you whispering in your ear.  

Walk on.

A trail at Haupoca, Chihuahua, Mexico

A trail at Haupoca, Chihuahua, Mexico

 

Standing with a Cosmic God

Today, we're diverting from our Lenten lectionary series. I wanted to share with you some thoughts on a reading we were required to meditate on as a team here in Central Asia. Our reading is from Paul's epistle to the church at Ephesus.

This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God's way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.

And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!

— Ephesians 3:7-10 (MSG)

Paul finds himself in an interesting place. He's in prison. He doesn't know what's coming down the road. Yet, here he is writing to a church that is being shepherded by John–the Disciple whom Jesus loved. Like John does in his gospel, Paul begins his letter in a cosmic way. He presents the church with a cosmic God–a giant, big, consuming God.

“My task,” says Paul, “is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along.”

No small feat. Especially for this one who only the paragraph before called himself the “least qualified of all available Christians.” Yet, Paul has come to an understanding of something very important. He has reached an understanding of the beauty of Sonship. God, the great Father, called this lost unlikely ragamuffin Saul. Changed his name to Paul. Taught him to be a son. Then, released him to be a father to churches all over Asia Minor. It is out of this place of Sonship that Paul moves into the ability to present such a cosmic view of God–His Father.

And here, in this passage, Paul makes an epic claim. A claim so big that we often read right past it. He says this:

Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!

What?!? God's great epic of redemption is being made known through us messed up–but redeemed–ragamuffins to even the angels? These same angels who sit around the throne of God and worship 24/7?

In between their angelic glimpses of the glory of God, they're chattering away about this epic plan that God worked out from the dawn of time. Not because they've watched it transpire over the course of the millennia, but rather because these–unlikely–followers of the Messiah are making the glory of God known in the nations.

As Paul continues through this epistle, he moves from this cosmic view of God into lessons on how we should live in light of this cosmic knowledge. How do we treat one another, live with our spouses, raise our children, and walk out life as a Messiah follower. Finally, he warns us–and then prepares us–about the spiritual battle in which this cosmic epic is embroiled. “Stand,” he says, “and when you can't stand anymore keep standing.”

But, the message is clear, don't stand alone. Stand with the cosmic forces of God. Stand with the fellow ragamuffins who follow–clumsily–this strong God who invited us into the epic.

The kids in Ancient Ephesus

The kids in Ancient Ephesus

 

Advent 2012: Preparing the Path: Beyond the Circumstances

As we did throughout Advent 2011 and Lent 2012, we are blogging our way through the Advent 2012 Lectionary Readings. We love this time of year, and sharing with you in this way. Our overarching theme during this season is “Preparing the Path” and our prayer is that as we march together toward the manger, we will prepare the way for Emfmanuel.

A reading from the Paul’s epistle to the Philippians

I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.  God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.

— Philippians 1:3-11 (NIV)

I want to live a life so confident in God’s goodness, wisdom, and power that even if I were in prison, I would continue to press on in the work of God’s kingdom. That’s the confidence in God that Paul shows in Philippians. I see so many glimpses of Paul’s uncompromising trust in the nature and character of God through these verses.

  1. He believes that prayer moves the heart of God. If he didn’t believe in the power of prayer, he wouldn’t be continually praying.
  2. He trusts in God’s justice. He does not show frustration in his circumstance of being in chains for Christ, nor does he succumb to a spirit of self-pity and despair.
  3. He uses the time as an opportunity to be praying, thanksgiving, writing, discipling believers, encouraging, making plans, remembering the goodness of God, and rejoicing!

Let’s allow this Word of God to transform us today–not allowing our circumstance to be the be all and end all. Rather, let’s not allow our circumstance to influence our behavior at all. Let’s be so wrapped up in who God is, that our actions are those which we would want others to imitate (Philippians 3:17, 4:9)!

Studying the Word at the Church in Ephesus

Studying the Word at the Church in Ephesus

Letters and Seeds

Cancelled Stamp

When I was growing up, one of my favorites part of church was when letters from missionaries were read.  This would often occur on Wednesday nights.  The pastor would stand in the pulpit and say, “We’ve received a letter from missionary x in country y and here’s what God is doing”.  As a congregation, we would then be joined in with that work.  Little did I know that there would come a day that I would be writing those letters.

Yesterday, as we were preparing our donation receipts for the mail, I stopped to write a quick letter to drop into one of the envelopes.  Just a note to say we’re praying for them, and to give a quick update on what God is allowing us to do.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would ever be authoring one of those letters.God is sorta awesome like that.  Planting within us a love for something only to later cultivate that seed for Kingdom use.  Jesus told His Disciples a story along those lines:

He told another story.  “God’s kingdom is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.  That night, while his hired men were asleep, his enemy sowed thistles all through the wheat and slipped away before dawn.  When the first green shoots appeared and the grain began to form, the thistles showed up, too.
“The farmhands came to the farmer and said, ‘Master, that was clean seed you planted, wasn’t it? Where did these thistles come from?’

“He answered, ‘Some enemy did this.’

“The farmhands asked, ‘Should we weed out the thistles?’

“He said, ‘No, if you weed the thistles, you’ll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time. Then I’ll instruct the harvesters to pull up the thistles and tie them in bundles for the fire, then gather the wheat and put it in the barn.'” — Matthew 13:24-30 (MSG)

What has God planted in your heart, that the enemy has tried to steal?  God places things within us which He desires for us to use to further the Kimgdom.  Some of these things, we may not even be directly aware of (like my love of hearing those missionary letters).  Yet, He plants the seed.

The enemy attempts to keep the seed from coming to fruition by planting seeds of weeds around it.  Making it hard for the seed of God to get the water, sunlight, and other nutrients that it needs.  These weeds are largely in the form of our own wants and desires.  The “it’s all about me” mentality that permeates our society.

Yet, the Master tells His servants, let it all grow together.  When the time is right, and repentance is exhibited, then we’ll harvest both weed and good seed.  We’ll burn the weed, and use the seed.

What seeds has God planted within you, that the enemy has shrouded by your own wants and desires?

He Moved into the Neighborhood

Sitting here at the kitchen table watching as my son plays around outside.  It’s a bit chilly, but he enjoys being out and riding his bike.

Watching him play combined with thoughts about the Christmas season makes me wonder a bit about Jesus as He grew up.

We have only snippets of information between His birth and His baptism.  Just a couple of stories.  A visit by some Magi.  An escape to Egypt and a return home.  And a pilgrimage to the Temple at Jerusalem.

We know that when others were being selected by Rabbis to be Disciples, Jesus was overlooked.  Otherwise, He wouldn’t have taken up the trade of His earthly father, Joseph.  Perhaps, that accounts for some of the disbelief from the people back in Nazareth.

Yet, we know that “Jesus became wiser and stronger. He also became more and more pleasing to God and to people.” (Luke 2:52 NIRV-ENG)

Perhaps, John gives us the best view of what happens in the process of the incarnation.  Jesus–God Himself–takes on flesh and becomes fully human.  He takes on the messiness of life, and lives a Kingdom life on earth.

 

“…the Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood…” (John 1:14, The Message)

Jesus becomes man.  Subject to the noise of life.  Subject to broken bones, bloody noses, coughs, bruises, bumps.  Fully man.

Jesus moves into our neighborhood.  He moves into the neighborhood of humanity.  He takes on basic needs: food, shelter, clothing.  He lives in a world that requires materialistic input.  Yet, He does so with firm reliance that God will always provide.

In His humanity, Jesus chooses to walk Kingdom Life.  He grows in favor with God.  He moves into the neighborhood.  He walks with the Father as man was intended to from the beginning.  Living His life as a friend of God.  Fully embracing that to which all mankind is called–to walk with God in the cool of the day.

And so begins God’s rescue plan.  A baby.  In a stable.  Surrounded by animals.  A toddler.  Bounding around a house in Egypt then one in Nazareth.  A boy.  Going to school.  Learning the Torah.  Cleaning His room.  A teenager.  Hoping a Rabbi would say, “Follow me.”  Yet, not hearing those words (just as those whom he called hadn’t heard).  Becoming an apprentice carpenter.  Working in the carpentry shop during His twenties. Building chairs, tables, and, perhaps, mangers.  Then, God says to Him, “It’s time.”

Yet, through all of that, Jesus lives Kingdom Life.  He walks with Father.  He lives as Father wants us all to live.  Embracing the mundane of life as ministry.  Embracing the business of life as a means to spread the Kingdom.

The Word–Jesus, God Himself–became flesh.  The Word moved into the neighborhood.  Not just any neighborhood.  He moved into our neighborhood.

Dealing With “It”

How do you “Deal with it?”

When the world is closing in on you, and you truly have no remote idea of what comes next.

When the only news you can see is bad.

When life gives you proverbial (or real) lemons.

When the doctors have given up hope.

When you just can’t catch a break.

How do you deal with it?

I woke up early this morning to pray about this very topic. As you all know, my Dad has been fighting cancer now for a couple of years. Two major surgeries. Spots on the liver. Swelling. Kidney malfunction. A kink in the colon. It’s been a tough fight. At times it’s been unbelievably hard for him, as well as the family.

How do you deal with it?

How do you find strength?

I think as Christians, it is easy for us to say to one another, “Praise anyway”, but when the rubber hits the road how do you do that? How do you say, “God, I don’t get it, but I trust You and I praise You and in whatever happens You’re God, and I’m not.”

How do you say, “God, don’t you see how bad this hurts” and “God, You’re in control” in the same breath?

There, my friends, is where being grounded in the Word of God becomes essential.

The Pslams are always good for a bit of perspective in this regard.

I’ve written previously on my personal blog about Psalm 13. David has reached a point of utter despair. A place where God has surely stopped listening.

BUT

He praises anyway.

He says, “In spite of the circumstances, You are God. I am not. So, I will continue to trust. I will continue to praise.”

Because through it all, He is an unfailing God.

All too often, we think that God must work within the parameters which we set for Him. In doing so, we miss the miracles in the way He is working. We miss the peace that He longs to give. Instead we walk in the anxiety. We walk in the short-sightedness.

I get why we do it. No one likes pain and suffering. No one likes to be in the place of utter and complete desperation and dependency. We’re taught in our American culture that we are to be pillars of strength. That no matter what happens we can overcome it. That we have the ability. We have the power.

We’ve created a culture that ultimately says, “I don’t need You, God. I am strong enough. I am smart enough.”

It’s all hogwash.

We don’t have the strength.

We don’t have the smarts.

We have to come to the point in our lives where the absolute best we can do is fall on our face and say, “You are God. I am not. Therefore, I will worship You anyway. I will praise You in spite of the circumstance.”

Only after we have hit that place, can we, like Job, truly say: “You give and take away. Blessed be the name of YHWH.”

And, its only in that place of utter desperation that can say, “Led me out of my personal drama and make me a part of Your story.”

I don’t know what the next 6 hours, 6 days, 6 months, or 6 years hold in store. What I do know, though, is that no matter what they hold, I, like David, will say, “You, soul, bless the Lord”. And despite the circumstance, I will CHOOSE to say, “Blessed be the name of YHWH!”

Psalm 13

My prayer time began this morning with meditation and prayer on Psalm 13.  There are several people I know that are going through various trials/tribulations/illnesses/confusions/etc, and I prayed this Psalm over them.

I find it challenging, yet settling.

It settles us into a place of trust and comfort.

A place where we stop the fret.

A place where God’s unfailing Love supercedes our fleeting heartaches.

A place of peace.

Of comfort.

Of mercy.

Of grace.

This came out of that time of meditation.

In YOUR love I trust

I must.

Trusting in my own

Abilities

is, quite simply,

disastrous.

But, YOUR love,

YOUR love

Secure

Providing

Encapsulating

Unfailing.

In my own strength

days are dark

jobs are things to dread

life sucks.

But, in YOUR love…

all is surpassed

I am overwhelmed

with

Grace

Mercy

Love.

Never fearing the dawn

the day

the mail

the phone

But trusting.

Wholly.

Completely.

Unendingly.

IN

YOUR

UNFAILING

LOVE.

Perspective

“How long do you think it will take our house to sell?”

“Two days.  We’re following God’s direction; we believe He wants us to sell our house; we’re asking Him to bring a buyer for it–two days.”

Thirty-six days later….

“God, where are You?  I thought You wanted us to sell our house?  Why aren’t You bringing a buyer into our house to buy it?  We’re obeying You…fulfilling our part of the deal…where have You gone??”

Why is our human response to believe that if we obey God, He should do things our way rather than us surrendering to His way?  In Psalm 86:11 and 27:11, we pray, “Teach me Your way, O LORD” (emphasis added).  Yet without even realizing it, we so often pray, “Learn my ways, O LORD.”  Where is the fear of the LORD in that??

Proverbs 15:33 says, “The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”  When we surrender to God’s way rather than our way, we begin to ready ourselves to learn life from His perspective.  Before we can honor God this way, we must humble ourselves in such a way to say, “We are clay in Your hands, O LORD.  Do with us as you please.”.

We’re given an example of this in 1 Samuel 16 as God choses David to be king of Israel and leads Samuel to anoint him.  The Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power to rule Israel.  Some experts estimate that this occurred when David was between ten and sixteen and years old.

In 2 Samuel 2 God led David to Hebron to be anointed as king over Judah.

In 2 Samuel 5, David finally became king…at the age of thirty.

So…after thirty-six days, I’m wondering if God forgot about the whole sell-your-house deal.  Yet this is the same God who anointed David to be king of Israel fourteen to twenty years before he became king.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  So maybe He hasn’t forgotten us after all…no more than He forgot David.  The LORD says, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may forget, I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16).

As I reflect on the years of David between the anointing and becoming king, it was a time of honoring God and honoring King Saul who no longer had the Spirit of the Lord on him to lead Israel.  So I will benefit from the wisdom of David in Psalm 27: “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

We drove past some beautiful mountains yesterday through the Raton Pass, but at one point, the short but nearby plateaus hid the beautiful mountain peaks in the distance.  As I was explaining to Emily that our perspective changed the way we saw the mountains (in this case, having them hidden from our view), Michael looked at the song that was playing–Perspective by Sean Feucht.  I know God has great things in store for us, even though we may only see the plateaus from this angle.  The LORD my God is God; He is the faithful God (Deut 7:9).