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"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Seeing Glory


I hate being busy.

Especially with schoolwork.

Most other things, I can do something about,

Plan differently,

Reschedule,

Say, "no".

Schoolwork I can't do that with.

So I have been buried in schoolwork for the last several weeks,

And by buried, I mean it in the most literal sense figuratively possible,

Up late,

Getting five hours of sleep at night,

Five hours of sleep becoming a great accomplishment - more than I'd been getting,

Doing homework or studying virtually every waking moment,

Barely any time to read my Bible,

Definitely no time to do any of the other things I like to do,

The things that make me feel closer to God . . .

Pray more,

Listen to long sermons,

Memorize,

Count.

I hate being busy.

I always end up feeling so distant,

And it is, it is my fault,

But there's also a sense in which part of the blame lies elsewhere,

With whatever has put all this on me,

Though it truly is still my fault for not being able to balance better,

Get more done more quickly,

Care more,

Make time.


Finally, I get through the worst of it,

Still not done, though.

I grab my camera to go up to the art building,

Take a picture of the object I made disappear.

I step out into the sunlight,

Just happen to glance up at the sky,

And suddenly I stop

And stare

In wonder.


And it's right there

He's right there,

And there's been beauty all around me all this time,

And me - cooped up in my room -

I haven't even noticed it!

How can I feel He's so distant,

When all I have to do is look up

And suddenly I can feel as if maybe,

Just maybe,

I might touch a bit of heaven,

Glimpse some tiny fraction of His glory?

Why do I feel so far away

When it's so obvious that He is right there

And has been all along.

It seems like heaven really is breaking through,

Right here,

Right now,

Him.

I can't help it.

My hands go straight for my camera bag.

Who cares how much time it will take,

How many pictures I will snap?

I am standing before the Glory of God.

The only appropriate response is worship,

And worship I do,

So caught in beauty that my finger presses down 141 times,

Just because I saw Him in so many ways,

Just had to capture as many of them as I could.

All glory.

So

Much

Glory!


Walking with my best friend the next day,

She went to talk to someone she knew,

Spend a minute catching up.

I felt a bit impatient,

Pacing,

Then I looked at the beautiful flowers,

In bloom right outside my door.

Then I looked up

And, oh, He was doing it again!

He outlined a beautiful, big, purple cloud

With so many other beautiful colors,

Highlighted it with sun,

And I just wanted my camera back,

Just for a moment.

My friend came back over.

I said, "Look!"

We stood there for a minute, marveling.

Finally, we had to turn around,

Go inside,

But I couldn't stop expressing my joy,

Joy at the wonder of Him.

I said it excitedly,

Out of that tiny little bit of insufficient, but growing, love and wonder in my heart,

"I love it when God does that."

And I do.

I really do.


Just these few today.

As I said, I've been so busy that counting hasn't been at the top of my priority list.

I've missed this, though,

This study of who God is.

Hopefully I'll have many more next week!

For now, though, numbers 932-954:
  1. He calls (1 Samuel 3:4)
  2. He calls again (1 Samuel 3:6)
  3. He comes and stands and calls (1 Samuel 3:10)
  4. He does things that make the ears of all who hear about them tingle (1 Samuel 3:11)
  5. He carries out everything He speaks against people and families – from beginning to end (1 Samuel 3:12)
  6. He keeps people's words from falling to the ground (1 Samuel 3:19)
  7. He continues to appear to His prophets (1 Samuel 3:20-21)
  8. He reveals Himself through His word (1 Samuel 3:21)
  9. Idols fall to their faces before His ark (1 Samuel 5:3)
  10. Idols break to pieces before His ark (1 Samuel 5:3)
  11. His hand is heavy on those who capture and keep His ark (1 Samuel 5:6)
  12. He afflicts the cities of the foreign nations who have His ark (1 Samuel 5:9)
  13. He throws cities into great panics (1 Samuel 5:9)
  14. He afflicts both young and old with outbreaks of tumors (1 Samuel 5:9)
  15. He brings death to fill cities with panic (1 Samuel 5:11)
  16. His hand is very heavy upon foreign cities housing His ark (1 Samuel 5:11)
  17. He afflicts cities such that those who do not die are afflicted with tumors (1 Samuel 5:12)
  18. He deals harshly with peoples (1 Samuel 6:6)
  19. He guides the cows straight toward their destination (1 Samuel 6:7-10)
  20. The cows He guides go straight, staying on the road all the way, never turning to the right or to the left (1 Samuel 6:10-12)
  21. He brings His ark safely to where it belongs (1 Samuel 6:13)
  22. He puts to death those who look into His ark (1 Samuel 6:19)
  23. No one can stand in His presence – He is so Holy (1 Samuel 6:20)

Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him:


<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>
Counting in community:  

9 comments:

Melody ________________________________ said...

Oh, how I love that our God is a calling God! He never stops calling us in love.

We had such a beautiful sermon this morning on the love of God, how He loves sinners and saves them with the blood of His Son.

Whenever it gets up (it takes quite a while), I would encourage you to listen to this morning's sermon if you can find the time. So encouraging!

What schoolwork are you working on that's taking so much of your time and energy? Is there any way I can pray for you?

Melody ________________________________ said...

Sorry, I think I might have forgotten to share the link: http://www.grbc.net/sermons/index.php

Mary said...

Oh, Melody, thank you for stopping by!

Yes, He is a calling God, and that's so incredible. Not only does He call the unworthy, but He keeps calling them, even after they've messed up a thousand times, done the kinds of things that break His heart, turned their backs on Him again and again. Oh, where would I be without this relentless love?!

Thank you so much for sharing that sermon! I will try to listen to it sometime (after it's put up).

Oh, Melody, it's so sweet of you to be concerned. You really don't have to worry, though. I'm hesitant to be too detailed over the Internet, but the worst of it is over (for the time being), and I survived, so I don't really need prayers about that right now. Thank you, though! (If you really would like to pray for me, you're welcomed to pray about the new CD I'll be working on soon. Any work like that could always use a lot of prayer - a lesson I should learn myself. Don't feel like you have to, though. It was just a thought.) Is there any way in which I can pray for you?

Again, thank you for stopping by! It's always so wonderful to read your thoughtful words! God bless you!

Melody ________________________________ said...

I so often fail in remembering to pray (something that causes me great pain), but I will make a great effort to keep you before the Father. It should be and increasingly is one of my greatest joys to hold up the saints in prayer.

It is so sweet of you to always thank me for stopping by, but you don't have to. I think you're stuck with me for good, girl. You have created a quiet place for sharing God's grace. I'm not wanting to leave here. Thank you for how you have shared your heart and the love of Christ.

I will be praying for you!

Mary said...

Oh, Melody, I fail so often, too! And prayer definitely isn't my joy as it ought to be, but I will make an effort to pray for you, too, sister. (Quick Thought: If you don't do this already, it helps to keep a notebook full of prayer requests. Then, when you're praying, you can pull it out and you won't forget anyone. Of course, that can also make prayer feel a little more dry, so there are pros and cons to this approach. Just an idea for you.)

Yes, I suppose I know I don't have to thank you for stopping by, but I want to. I really do. It's such an incredible blessing to me - having people who consistently comment on my posts, people I can "check up on", too. It's a way of building community, even though it's just online. So I am very, very glad - blessed - to be "stuck with you" for as long as you'd like to stay. And I'm very humbled that you see this little space as a place for sharing God's grace. I'm not always sure that what I'm writing is good, worthwhile, that this is a place where His grace can be seen. I truly appreciate the encouragement to keep writing and see what other amazing things He does with my quiet, imperfect words. It's all Him.

Thank you for the way you share your heart, too, Melody. I've enjoyed looking at some of the posts on your blog (hoping for a new one sometime soon), and I've truly been blessed by the beautiful comments you've left here. Thank you for reaching out to me and encouraging me. I'm so humbled and so grateful.

God bless you, sister!!!

(P.S. I looked up the official definition of "saint", and I don't believe I'd put myself in that category. I'm such a mess, definitely not "worthy of veneration" or anything like that, so if the use of that word was unintentional, I'm glad. If it wasn't, I'm very honored that you would choose that word, even if I don't think it fits. I guess that's a testament to the fact that God's work is so, so, so much greater than my own.)

Melody ________________________________ said...

I have a notebook. I just am still trying to get into using it.

I don't know what dictionary you were using, but saint is an accurate definition of all the children of God. We are sinners, but we are all saints. Try checking out these bible verses:

Acts 9:32
Romans 1:7
Romans 16:15
1 Corinthians 1:2
1 Corinthians 14:33
Ephesians 1:15

These are just a few of the verses in the New Testament where the writers consistently refer to the people of God as saints. No, we shouldn't be venerated, but God, in His grace, has given us a new family and a new name.

I don't have time to write more right now, but I hope this explains my choice of words. So, yes, you are a saint. Wear that with joy.

Mary said...

Whatever came up first on Google, of course :) - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/saint. I get where you're coming from, and, yes, in the sense that we are God's people, I guess you could use the term "saint". It's not the denotation ("dictionary definition" - especially the one that you gave) that bothers me, though, but the connotation. In our culture, "saint" is reserved for giants of faith, people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and serve God sacrificially to an extent far, far greater than most others who call themselves Christians (including me) - common examples of this connotation: martyrs, Mother Teresa, the apostles. So, because of the connotation, I was hesitant to accept the use of that word in relation to myself, which caused me to look up the actual meaning, the primary definition of which (according to what I was looking at) seemed to fit the connotation I associate with "saint". Due to my own tendencies toward pride and arrogance, I try to stay far, far away from terms that might make me think that I am in any way greater than I really am. I need to make sure I keep my focus on the fact that, as you implied, everything good in me is His grace, and He is the One who should be venerated, not me. So, thank you very much for backing up your choice of words (I really do appreciate it), and I understand where you're coming from, and why your definition of the word "saint" applies to me, but, because of the connotation, I'd still rather avoid it and keep myself as far away from temptation as possible.

As for "wearing it", your definition of "saint" seems nearly (I'm sure not entirely, but, in my mind, close enough) synonymous to "child of God" or maybe "daughter of God", and, yes, I do wear that with joy. So, so much joy.

Sorry for being picky and confusing. I do tend to get that way sometimes. I should probably work on taking much more time to really think about how I feel about a subject, then explaining those feelings more thoroughly than I normally do. It might also help if I don't randomly decide to log on to Blogger around midnight, right when I want to be getting to bed, and then decide that I absolutely have to publish comments and respond to them in that very moment. That never works out well.

Thank you for this "conversation"! It's such a joy to get to know you better! And thank you very much for the correction. I will definitely keep that in mind in the future.

Melody ________________________________ said...

You didn't come across as picky or confusing at all and, if you feel that it would cause you to stumble, then I understand. I'm sorry if I came across too strong myself. I'm still trying to figure out this whole talking to people on the Internet thing.

Yes, you are right about the definition I give it. The word saint reminds me of how Jesus has made me clean through His blood and of how my Father now looks on me as holy and righteous in His sight even though I'm still such a sinner. So, it's of use to me sometimes when all I can feel is the weight of guilt, but, if you feel it's not healthy for you, then I'm totally with you in that. Thanks for explaining how you feel.

So loving talking to you and becoming friends!

Mary said...

No, Melody, I don't really think you came across too strong. My pride thought so, but that's a good thing. I need to be humbled. And I think you're doing just fine at "talking to people on the Internet".

Mmm, "holy and righteous". Praise God that He is somehow able to see us this way - especially me, such a total mess! I'm glad the word is of such use to you, but, as a perfectionist, I really like to be told I'm doing well (which is a bad thing), so I try to stay as far away from anything my twisted mind could construe as praise as possible. I have to teach myself to respond instantly in some way that will be humble, or will deny the praise, or will deflect the praise to another - otherwise I'm liable to fall into the trap of self-import (which is why I so quickly and poorly attempted to deny the word's relevance - again, I'm sorry that I didn't take more time to look into it or explain more fully). So thank you for being considerate and understanding. I'm sure I still didn't explain very well. My words are such a mess.

Oh, I love talking to you, too, friend! It's such a blessing to be able to get to know you! God bless!

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