Received mercy & lavished in grace
Processing 1 Peter 2:9-10
Earlier this summer, my husband and several dear friends all went to Alaska. Being in big, bold and beautiful Alaska was like one long worship service. It was 360 degrees of God's majesty. Each new sight would bring a flood of Scriptures to my mind and lyrics to a worship song to my lips. It was incredible. One of the things that boggled my mind was how the great flood described in Genesis shaped the terrain and that all I was seeing was as a result of God's wrath. Yet there were stood in the midst of such beauty. Oh, what a breathtaking visual of redemption - of mercy and grace. Mind boggling!
So yeah, I was awestruck at the majesty of Alaska - His majesty. I know He was right there with my friends and me. My goodness, He was everywhere you looked. But on one particular day, while walking a rocky beach, I just wanted a personal minute with my Lord. In that brief moment, it was like I transitioned from talking to the Creator, the Almighty, and All Powerful God and started talking to my Father God as His beloved child 1 Peter; Romans 8:25).
While walking on that rocky beach, I asked my Father to help me find a heart shaped rock.
What? Hadn't He shown me enough? Why with all that was surrounding me did I ask for more and something special? Did He need to help me find a heart shaped rock to remind me that I am His beloved? No. I have His word recorded and preserved for me, and I hide those words in my heart. No, I don't need a heart shaped rock ... I have THE rock - Jesus.
So, why ask?
I suppose there are lots of reasons but let me share just two of them. First, He is God and if there was a heart shaped rock on that beach He could help me find it! Second, because He is God, He knew already I was going to ask Him to help me find a heart shaped rock which means He could have placed one there so I could find it!
I hesitated to share this experience because if you ask for a heart shaped rock and don't get it you might feel less loved or heard or beloved. So, let me be clear on something. I have prayed and asked and begged for certain situations and circumstances for years and God has said, "No." He could, but He hasn't and in some cases won't ever. But, I keep asking and seeking His will. I have learned and am learning to accept those definite "No" answers as for my good and His glory. I continue to ask for silly things like a heart shaped rock all the time and rarely does He answer me. But, I keep asking because I know He can and He might, and when He does, I thank Him, praise Him and squeal with delight. I sure wouldn't want to miss it if a "yes" was there waiting for me and all I had to do was ask. I wonder how many of those I have missed because I felt silly, weary, frustrated and so on?
I have come to know and keep getting to know my Father through His word. I want to experience His presence and power in my life as His word tells me I am meant to experience my life in Christ. So, I stay in His word. It's not always easy. But, I keep looking for Him in the big and small things. I keep seeking Him in the exciting and the mundane moments of my life. His word tells me that He's ordained each of my days, created good works for me to do for Him, His very own possession ... I am His beloved. In Jesus, you are His beloved too.
Why not ask the God of the impossible to move in both small and serious ways - in my life and in your life? These requests are not meant to feed our emotions but rather feed our faith as we experience the power of God at work in, through and around us. I don't want to stop at heart shaped rocks. I long to see the sick healed, the dead raised, 3,000 saved in one day...
Maybe God showed me that heart shaped rock on that beach in Alaska so I could encourage you in your personal relationship with the Lord.
Don't let the "no" answers from God keep you from asking, praying, hoping... If you have accepted the Beloved - Jesus, you have received mercy dear friend. In Christ, God has and continues to lavish His grace upon you. Count and recite them to your own heart. He loves you. You are His beloved. He esteems and finds joy in you.
Now, go esteem and find joy in Him. Ask, wait, look, expect...
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)