The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Tag: why

A Poem for All Women Today…Whether Celebrating or Suffering

*I’ve never reposted a blog before, but it just seems appropriate today. Below is my blog from Mother’s Day 2013. I find my heart feels the same this year as it did the last…

My father was an orphan.  His mother passed away when he was two years old and he grew up in a children’s home in Corsicana, Texas.  I cannot imagine growing up without a mother, but truth be told, neither can he.  While he had no biological mother, he would be the first to tell you that so many women became mothers to him throughout his life.

No mother, yet many mothers.

Because of this, I am always conscious that mother’s day is about much more than just women who have birthed babies.  It is a celebration of all women who have poured into the lives of so many around them.  Dear ladies, you have comforted, loved, cared for, treasured, taught, led, cried with, rejoiced over, and mothered so many…most likely even many of whom you are unaware.

Gift-BoxI know that mother’s day can be painful for many for a myriad of reasons.  So this mother’s day, I wanted to give a gift to all the women I pastor at Shades Valley Community Church.  I wanted to honor and love them, no matter if Mother’s day is a day of joy or of pain.  Most of all, I wanted to point them to Jesus, for he is the one who empowers motherhood within all women who know him.  Mother’s day is ultimately about Jesus, because he upholds all women and strengthens them to pour into those of us who so desperately need them.

So dear lady, whether today is filled with joy or with pain, may you know the presence of Jesus.  Here is my small, feeble gift to you…a simple poem I wrote to remind you that Jesus is with you wherever you are…

Silence and Cries and Why
The silence broken by a baby’s first cry
Celebration of life, the holy, the why
Jesus is present in your joy, in your smile
New mother he loves you, he gave you this child

The silence is broken by a mother’s heart cry
Precious life has been lost, and we wonder why
Jesus is present in your pain, in your loss
Dear woman he loves you, felt your pain on the cross.

The silence is broken the house rings with cries
Crazy parenting life, we’re both asking why
Jesus is present in your angst and frustration
With us as his kids he understand irritation

The silence isn’t broken, there’s no child’s cry
Wishing you were a mom, and you’re left asking why
Jesus is present as you weep and you pray
He holds you even when there’s nothing to say

The silence is broken, with joy-filled cries
Kids once who were homeless don’t have to ask why
Jesus is present as they become your own
He too was adopted, made the world his home

The silence is broken, by your own cries
Your children rebelling, and you don’t know why
Jesus is with you while they’re far from home
He is also with them wherever they roam

The silence is broken, with laughter you cry
Watching them grow, you are blessed, and why
Jesus laughs with you amidst those moments of joy
When you’re so thankful to parent your girls and your boys

The silence is broken, with a full heart you cry
Life without your own mom, you ask how and why
Jesus is with you, you’re not alone in your fear
He will hold you up and he will catch all your tears

The silence is broken with a grandbaby’s cry
The struggle of parenting and now you know why
Jesus is present in your empty nest
Through grieving and joy he will be your rest

The silence is broken with heaven’s own cry
All joy and all pain, we all now know why
We will be present with Jesus and we shall see his face
Every woman there shall be crowned with beauty and grace

No matter how you experience silence or cries
No matter the reasons your heart wonders why
Jesus is with you, dear lady, he never leaves
Find your joy in his love, and to his glory ever cleave

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Lent Devotional: Job 38

Job 38 (click here)
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. (Job 38:1-4)

Reflection
God speaks! If we knew nothing else…this would be grace enough. After so much silence, the Lord speaks to Job, but in a manner for which Job was completely unprepared. Job wanted to question God, but the reverse is what unfolds.

God aims to show Job his human limitations in contrast with God’s own divine limitlessness! Job’s estimation of all that is happening in his life has acted like a blanket of darkness, covering up the light of God’s counsel/plan. Through his questions, God will dispel the darkness, but not in order to reveal his complete plan to Job, but in order to reveal himself!

God doesn’t give Job the “WHY” he wants…he gives Job the “WHO” he needs!

Job may be limited in time and space, but God is not! God has seen all from beginning to end and been present for it all. This means he sees Job and is present with him in his suffering. He knows how his suffering fits into the big picture of history. He knows how Job’s suffering is working for Job an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison!

He knows…and so he can be trusted! When you suffer, you haven’t fallen of God’s radar. He knows, he sees, and he is there with you amidst all the pain. Things may make absolutely no sense from our limited perspective, but from his eternal perspective God promises all things are working for our good and his glory. Trust him.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Job 26

Job 26 (click here)
Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand? (Job 26:14)

Reflection
Job has had enough! He cuts Bildad’s last speech short and we will hear no more from these “friends.” They have tried to explain the ways of God, but Job reminds them that we only see the outskirts of his ways. Yes, God has revealed himself, but he has also concealed himself… and there is much we do not know about his purposes.

God has revealed enough of himself for us to truly trust him, but not so much of himself for us to exhaustively explain him!

We hear enough of his thunder to know that he is powerful, good, and right… but we do not see enough to always know when, where, and why his lightning strikes.

None of this means that we cannot know God or have confidence about who he is. When we say that there is much we do not know about his ways and purposes… we do not mean that we don’t know who he is! He has made himself known… supremely in Jesus. We know WHO, but we don’t always know WHY… the irony is that if you truly know WHO he is, then you are more ok with not always knowing WHY.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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