A waking thought
I went to bed mildly depressed on Saturday night. Hard to put my finger on it, but it had something to do with discouragement, lack of faith. I had allowed little things to turn into big things in my emotions.
Woke Sunday morning before my alarm with this vague feeling of unworthiness. My first instinct was to roll over and ignore myself. Or to be more accurate, ignore the One who knew my heart and what ailed it. I also felt like ignoring everyone else.
But my first actual formed thought was this: Lord, I’ll turn my face toward You today, not away from You. I didn’t will myself to have that thought; I’m pretty sure He plopped it in my head because He knew I wouldn’t have been able to go there myself.
Opening to the sun
A couple of hours later I walked into church, exuberant violin, congas, piano, drums and guitar gladdening my heart. The worship team began singing, and the lyrics provided a means for me to keep facing my Shepherd. One in particular caught my attention:
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above
It was the first of many small ways the Lord reminded me throughout the rest of the day to keep facing Him, though I felt weak and fragile. As the day progressed, I began making a list of grace-moments:
- From the first lyric, waves of grace
- My dad, hug and “You look pretty”
- Guitar and vocal solo, artistry pure and unselfconscious, drawing my heart to rejoice in God’s forgiveness
- Brand new friend, tears running down face, sharing with me—a virtual stranger—how God had convicted and comforted her
- Brave and faithful couple inspiring me with “God needs hoary-haired men and women with wisdom and strength to stand in this gap”
- My guy’s sweet stratospheric “G”, “Crown Him Lord of ALL!”
- Me, my kids and grandson crowded around a lunch table, laughing and catching up
- My California grandson, completely engaged through FaceTime, waving and grinning and walking everywhere
- A long walk, earbuds shoved deep, songs for my heart to sing
- A prayer for me, “Lord, we’re honored to have walked this writing journey with her.” (Really?? I’m the one who’s honored!)
To my dad and my worship team and my friends and my family and my Growth Group and the singers on my iPhone, let me just say that my Shepherd used each of you to little-by-little open my heart to His grace.
A word picture
By yesterday morning, I was in an easier place. My friend and I talked about this idea of keeping our faces toward Jesus. Then she prayed a profound word picture for me: “Lord, when we’re dwelling in Your light, it’s like flowers when the sun shines on them. They stand up tall and straight; they open up; they grow strong; their beauty shines forth. I pray that my friend would be that little flower today, receiving strength and encouragement in Your presence. And, just like those flowers that can’t stay drooping and sad in the sunshine, give her glad moments in Your presence today.”
How thankful I am for my friend who gave me this word picture. How thankful I am for my Friend who invites me to look full in His wonderful face, receiving His glory and grace!
Today, I encourage you—fragile and weak, or confident and strong—to be a little flower basking in His sunlight. I can’t think of a better place to be.