• Victory!

    Living in a house with three men, it is common for some sporting event to be on our television.  

    Football.  Basketball.  Golf.

    And even though I do not always understand the rules, I do love to watch the excitement and joy that follows a victory.

    Tiger Woods return to glory, winning the Masters again this past Sunday was one of those moments.  Witnessing the embrace between him and his son shortly after he walked off the course was a snapshot many will remember for years to come..

    That rare and beautiful moment that takes your breath away and sometimes brings a tear to your eye.

    I had a moment like that eight years ago.

    It was right before Easter.  

    Our friends, John and Amy had gifted a place at the beach for my husband and I to take our boys, then 10 and 8 years old.  

    I had just finished my last round of chemotherapy.

    Despite their generosity, it was not a journey I wanted to make.

    My body ached.  I was drained both physically and emotionally.   

    The thought of spending hours in a car almost brought me to tears.  

    But something deep inside nudged me to say yes.   

    So I packed my wig and my clothes, and away we went.

    We shared the joy of being together.  Watching the boys play in the sand, eating pizza at the Grotto.

    And going to church together on Easter morning.

    We arrived too early for the service.  I had mistakenly read the start times for worship.

    Our family was greeted by a friendly older couple who welcomed us to wait in fellowship hall, where the boys could have a snack until it was time to go into the sanctuary.

    While the boys had cookies and punch, John and I struck up a conversation with the husband and wife.  

    It quickly became evident why God had brought us there early.

    Their daughter had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

    I listened as they shared their hearts with me. I offered what comfort and insight I could into the road that lied ahead.  Sharing my journey brought healing to me as well.

    God speaks through us and to us in the most remarkable ways.

    On that Easter Sunday, He used me to speak words of hope to that couple.  

    And then He used my 8 year old son, Daniel to speak words of hope to me.

    It is a moment that still takes my breath away.

    When we had initially entered the hall, my eyes were immediately drawn up to the ceiling.

    There were large poster boards dangling from the ceiling tiles, etched with words like addiction, divorce, loss of job, death of a loved one.  They seemed to represent the pain and suffering that others had overcome. I glanced at them briefly and focused my attention back to our conversation.

    But my son had been studying these 30 plus boards as he nibbled on his cookies.

    Excitedly, Daniel ran over to me to get my attention.  

    He pointed above him, exclaiming and proclaiming:

    “Look, Mommy, look!  Cancer didn’t win!”

    That rare and beautiful moment that took my breath away and pierced my soul.

    I knew that God had already claimed victory over my cancer.  

    But even more importantly on Easter, He proclaimed victory over death.

    And I cannot tell either story without getting emotional.

    Friends, Christ laid down His life because of His great love for us.   

    And even though He felt physically and emotionally drained, He said yes to the journey.

    He proclaimed victory for us all.

    On this Good Friday, share the greatest story ever told.

    His love for us is too great not to share.

    Amen.

    The Lord is my strength and my song, He has given me victory.  This is my God, and I will praise Him – “ Exodus 15:2

     

  • God in the Details

    This beautiful picture was given to me as a gift by my friend Sharon.

    The detail is remarkable.

    It was created by using different colored tiny beads.

    Each bead has a place, not one unused or insignificant.

    Each one unique, but when arranged in just the right spots brings something of extraordinary beauty.

    I cannot imagine the time and attention it took to create this picture.

    If I would have looked at the directions on making this project, I would have got to step three and probably would have looked for something else.

    But like the notes jump off the page for a musician, or an equation makes sense to a mathematician, these directions spoke to my friend.

    That is probably how Bezalel felt when he was called by the Lord.

    I’m sure you all know who Bezalel is, right?

    It’s ok…I didn’t either.

    But even though his name does not jump out at us like Moses or Mary, he holds a special place in the Bible.  Four chapters in Exodus to be exact.

    More importantly, he holds a significant place in God’s kingdom.

    “Then Moses told the people of Israel, ‘The Lord has specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.  The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze.  He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft.” Exodus 35:30-33

    Bezalel was hand chosen by God to perform any task that was involved in building the sanctuary.

    “For the framework of the Tabernacle, Bezalel constructed frames of acacia wood.  Each frame was 15 feet high and 27 inches wide, with two pegs under each frame. All the frames were identical.” Exodus 36: 20

    “For the inside of the Tabernacle, Bezalel made a special curtain of finely woven linen.  He decorated it with blue, purple and scarlet thread with skillfully embroidered cherubim.  For the curtain, he made four posts of acacia wood and four gold hooks. He overlaid the posts with gold and set them in four silver bases.”  Exodus 36:35-36

    “Next, Bezalel used acacia wood to construct a square altar of burnt offering.  It was 7 ½ feet wide, 7 ½ feet long and 4 ½ feet high. He made horns for each of its four corners so that that horns and altar were all one piece.  He overlaid the altar with bronze.” Exodus 38:1-2

    Confession?  My eyes glaze over a bit on certain parts of the Bible.  This was one of them. Why do I need to know the specifications of the tabernacle?  Why does this take up so many chapters in Exodus? It is not the parting of the Red Sea, the burning bush or the Ten Commandments.

    Sometimes we miss stories in His word because they may appear insignificant.

    But there is no detail in God’s eyes that is insignificant.

    Let me say that again.

    There is no detail in God’s eyes that is insignificant.

    The word detail can have two meanings.  It can be an individual feature or to assign someone to a particular task.

    Do you see how God is present in both meanings?

    He hand picks Bezalel for the task of constructing the Tabernacle and then gives him what he needs to perform the tasks.

    “All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their offerings to the Lord.  They brought all the materials needed for the Tabernacle, for the performance of the rituals, and for the sacred garments.  Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. They brought to the Lord their offerings of gold-brooches, earrings, rings from their fingers and necklaces.  They presented gold objects of every kind as a special offering to the Lord. All those who owned the following items willingly brought them: blue, purple and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; and tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather.  And all who had silver and bronze objects gave them to the Lord. And those who had acacia wood brought it for use in the project.” Exodus 35: 21-24

    God not only spoke to Bezalel, but also to all who would have a role in the building of the Tabernacle.  He spoke to those who could construct, engrave, sew and donate materials. Each person had a role to play.  No role was insignificant.

    Think about how more relatable His word becomes when we feel like He is speaking directly to us.  And our hearts stir when we understand we all have a significant place in His kingdom.

    Friends, God is in every detail of our lives : the occupations that we have, the tasks we perform and in what we give.

    And like the tiny colorful beads used to make this beautiful picture, when arranged by His hand, we each help to create something of extraordinary beauty bringing glory to His kingdom.

    There is no detail in God’s eyes that is insignificant.

    Amen.