Thirsty?

We just celebrated Easter, a time when I like to think about who Jesus was and why He went to the cross.  For my husband to believe that Jesus went to the cross to be our savior and that it was designed by God, he would have to see that the cross was part of God’s plan long before it happened.  So I told him to look in Isaiah.  Some time later, he was searching through Isaiah and getting a little frustrated.  He sent up a little prayer:  “God, if you are real, show me what I’m looking for.”  The next moment, he turned to the following words in Isaiah 53,

” Surely our griefs He Himself bore,

And our sorrows He carried;

Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten of God, and afflicted.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,

And by His scourging we are healed.

All of us like sheep have gone astray,

Each of us has turned to his own way;

But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all

To fall on Him.”     and more…..

We could call this a chance occurrence or we could call it a direct answer from God.  The precise timing indicates a sentient response to me.  That day, my husband decided God was real and Jesus sacrificed his life to bring us to God.  Not far from these words are the wonderful words calling anyone to partake freely of a treasured intimacy with God:

Isaiah 55

“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.

And you who have no money, come buy and eat.

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Why do you spend money for what is not bread?

And your wages for what does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,

And delight yourself in abundance.

Incline your ear and come to Me,

Listen that you may live;

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,

According to the mercies shown to David.

Seek the Lord while He may be found;

Call upon Him while He is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way

And the unrighteous man his thoughts;

And let him return to the Lord,

And He will have compassion on him,

And to our God,

for He will abundantly pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are my ways higher than your ways

And my thoughts than your thoughts.

“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven,

And do not return there without watering the earth

And making it bear and sprout,

And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;

It will not return to Me empty,

Without accomplishing what I desire,

And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

“For you will go out with joy

And be led forth with peace;

The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,

And all the trees will clap their hands.”

What an image!  Mountains and hills shouting for joy when we leave our ways and return to the Lord.  Trees of the fields clapping their hands.  I will join with them, clapping my hands for the joy of seeing someone return to the Lord. Is there a happier occasion?

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Letter to Dad

Taste and See that the Lord is good!

18 June 2000

Dear Dad,

I love you.  And I have a high respect for you.  It’s because I love you that I want to share this with you in a letter.  Happy Father’s Day!

Dad, I remember the story you’ve told us kids often:  how as a boy, all you would eat was meat, noodles and potatoes.  And you refused things like green stuff, anything unknown to you or unusual.  But then you left home, joined the navy and found yourself in Hawaii.  One day, all your friends were having lush colorful salads, so you tried a salad.  You thought,  “Wow! This is great!  Look at what I’ve been missing all this time.”  From then on, you determined to try a whole new world of new and unusual and very tasty food, and you have done you best to train your children to do the same.

Will you investigate something that has meant so much to me all these years:  a life with Jesus Christ?  People like to share great things with those they love:  like a great meal, great music, books, art, and the like.  Though none of these can compare to a relationship with the Great God.  I don’t think I need to prove to you that God, the Creator of all things, exists, although that can be done sufficiently.  The creation is an amazing wonder, but the Creator is even beyond all of it.  I cannot begin to fathom the mind, the intelligence, that brought all of this into being.  Yet, the really amazing privilege the Christian has is a close loving relationship with this Creator —- deeper that that of a father with his child and a lover for his or her beloved. 

When I think of the vast, immeasurable greatness of this God, how can I possibly compare myself?  Psalms 8:3,4a  “When I consider Your heavens, the work of your fingers, The moon and the stars, which you have ordained; What is man that You care for him?”  I’m a tiny speck of dust by comparison.

I don’t even approve of some things I do; how can I expect this perfect God to approve?  What simply blows me away is that this God wants a close relationship with me (though He will only accept perfection) so much so that He provided a way for me to have perfection by giving His perfect son, Jesus Christ, who stands for me when I stand before God.

God gives each person the choice to love Him or not.  That is also evidence of His great love for us.  He allows us to choose to be lord of our own lives or to accept His gift and allow Him to be Lord of our lives.  Now, if a speck of dust is lord of its life, then it has a very tiny frame of reference.  But if this great amazing Creator of the universe is Lord of a life, then a whole new world is opened up.  Instead of a speck of power, intelligence and love running this life, it has immense, eternal power, intelligence and love running this life.  WHY would I choose the speck?  I choose the infinite God, and accept the gift of forgiveness for all I do, tap into His endless love and begin a whole new life.  It’s something like your epiphany in Hawaii, only so much better.

Psalm 34:8,9   “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man that trusteth in Him!  O fear the Lord, you HIs saints;  For those that fear Him there is no want.”  Dad, will you taste?  Will you investigate this?  You can start privately by reading the Bible.  There is life in its words.  The gospel of John or any of the gospels is a good place to start. And we can talk about this more.  I love you, now, no matter how you choose.

love,  Jeri