Listen Up, Ladies

To all the young (and young at heart) ladies out there:

Stop it.

Stop apologizing for you you are. For what you look like or do or have or don’t have. For the piece of hair that always rebels or the cake that didn’t turn out or the fact that you need space to breathe. For the way you snort or guffaw or squeal when you laugh. Stop apologizing for being where you are, for being alone or for being with others, for your desires and dreams and tears. For eating inordinate amounts of chocolate (Wait…is that just me?). For being strong or for being weak. For needing people.

You are not too much.

You are more than enough in all the best ways. And Psalm 45:11 says that the King will greatly desire your beauty.

Stop hiding. Stop waiting for the world to invite you in, and start walking into the place of your destiny. Queens don’t wait for invitations to the party or the board room, and you are the Bride of Christ. Stop hiding your confidence behind a facade of timidity. Proverbs 31:24 says you are clothed with strength and dignity.

And, ladies, let’s begin living. Even if it means starting over or opening back up or trying out new muscles, new skills, new heartstrings. Even if you’re scared out of your wits. Just do it. Because YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT. So much so that Jesus, the Man of all men, God of all gods, died for you.

Hear this: You don’t need a ring or a house full of kids or a fancy car or everything in its place to be loved. To be valued. And those amazing people in your life? They’re there because they want to be.

Soak it up. Embrace it. Let it seep through the hidden cracks of your heart like glue, and let His truth sink in:

I have loved you with an everlasting love; so I am constant in My affection for you.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

I have chosen you; stop being anxious and watchful, for I am your God. I give you strength, I bring you help, I uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

We, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect: this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

I double dog dare you.

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Spoilers, Sweetie

When God tells me to watch an episode of Doctor Who, it’s not like I’m going to argue or anything. I mean, it may or may not be most definitely is my very favorite show of all time. And how dare I disobey a direct command from God, right?

Enter “Silence in the Library.” You’ve got The Doctor and his friend traveling to a planet that is actually a massive library. The episode has lots of twists and turns, not the least of which is a person The Doctor meets. He gets that strange feeling that she knows him…but he can’t figure out who she is. And every time he asks for details, she says, “Spoilers!”

It’s an understood fact in science fiction literature and film that when people travel in time, they aren’t supposed to mess with the past (or future) by giving up information that the people in that time don’t already have. A slight hint could alter the entire space-time continuum and revolutionize history (or the future). Which is why multiple times in the episode, this friend reminds The Doctor that any information she gives him would be a spoiler.

Almost two hours later, I got it. I got why He told me to watch. It’s because when you’re walking in the dark with only a small light (His Word) to guide you for the very next step, it can be easy to get frustrated with Him for not giving more information. But what if that information would alter the very fabric of your future? I’m not saying God can’t handle stuff or that He isn’t omnipotent, but what if superfluous information would compel us to make it happen rather than trust Him?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

So…this week, as we walk in whatever dark or light He has us in and are tempted to ask for more than we need to know, let’s turn our ears in His direction and hear His whisper: “Spoilers, sweetie. Spoilers.” And let’s begin to revel in the fact that He loves surprising us. Will you join me?

Look Instead

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?” Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”

He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw. (from John 9, The Message)

Jesus sees. The blind man wants to see. Jesus is the Light. And He has the power to utter a word and make blind men see. So why does He choose to use dust and spit?

Look instead for what God can do. 

So He spits on the ground, makes a clay paste, and puts it on the man’s eyes. You know, because mud in your eyes totally clears up your vision. He could have stopped there. He could have let that be the end of it. But just as in the story of Naaman, He asks the man to act. “Go wash at the pool of Siloam”, He says.

The man goes…and He sees. The chapter goes on to say that he went back to family who’d known him his whole life, and they didn’t believe it was him.

So, the Light of the world + mud + a blind man’s bath = sight.

Maybe we’re looking for God to move in our lives in a certain way when He has something entirely different in mind? Maybe He’s clouding our vision temporarily so we’ll act? Maybe He wants us to look outside ourselves and our preconceived notions of how He is supposed to work and look instead for what He can do? What if the Light is taking blinded eyes, spitting on the very ground we’re standing on, mucking up our vision so we will hear Him speak His direction, and then waiting for us to move – to go to Siloam – in order to see?

How about we turn our eyes upon Him and find out?