There really is something about the beach. The grains of sand, salty sea air, the consistency of the waves, the expanse of the sea with the painted-sky sunsets – it’s as if I’m standing hand-in-hand with the One who created it all while He tells me His love story. Every detail there just waiting to be noticed, observed and appreciated. I am willing. Eyes wide open, my heart aching for Him to speak life into some hard seasons and make sense of them all.
Even in the dark of the night, there’s beauty to behold. Millions of stars beam proudly against the night sky and the moon so bold and bright it draws you in, holding you captive as it reflects the perfect beauty of it’s Creator upon the water.
This year out on the beach at night, the shore line randomly came to life in little electric green lights. Under the light we discover all this nighttime beauty coming from a little jellyfish, no bigger than a silver dollar. These jellyfish don’t appear to be anything special in the light of day. Only at night when the water washed over them did they display their glory. The moments the wave sweeps over them the electric green comes to life, disappearing as the wave rolls away. Incredible!
There. He speaks to my heart about the beauty of hardship and seasons in the dark. Desperate prayers have pleaded for change, yet the call is to stay the course and walk in obedience remain. “Stay. Look at Me. Be still. Know. Shine.”
C.H. Spurgeon wrote,
“Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.” This is a brilliant quote. Yet as I doer, this leaves me wanting more. How? How do we move through tremendous difficulties in such a way that we cross the finish line with grandeur?
Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4:5-6, “Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, ‘Light up the darkness!’ and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.”
Maybe this is a lack of spiritual maturity for me, but I still find myself saying, “yes God, but how? How am I to light up the darkness?”
Faithfully He keeps bringing me back to Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
What if we’re just a transformed thought away from lives that light up the night? What if the fact of the matter isn’t actually the circumstances, but our very own thought life?
I’m not going to ask you to now go love your broken marriage or your shocking diagnoses, your impossible job or the tough situation with your children, your annoying neighbor or your financial shortfall, your extended season of waiting or hearing God say, “not now.” It would be insensitive to pen some Christian-ease attempting to wrap up your pain in a pretty bow. But if transformation comes when Jesus changes our thinking, maybe that’s the prayer we need to begin to pray first.
“God give me Your thoughts on this. Change my thinking to see this how You see this.”
Look at His life. Look at His love. Look at His obedience. Look at His death. Everything He’s asking, He has already modeled with His own life. Only Jesus makes painful beautiful, breathing life into it causing it to shine in the midst of the darkness.
Friends, deep is calling to deep. When the waves sweep over you, plead with the God of Heaven to change your thinking so then you can begin to learn His will for your life and see it as good and pleasing and perfect. Transformed thoughts light up the darkness as we reflect the face of Jesus – all bright and beautiful – like the moon over the ocean at night, drawing others in to the beauty of our Father.
There really is something about the beach. The grains of sand, salty sea air, the consistency of the waves, the expanse of the sea with the painted-sky sunsets – it’s as if I’m standing hand-in-hand with the One who created it all while He tells me His love story. Every detail there just waiting to […]
“What’s wrong with me?” “Why can’t I be like her?” “I’ll never be that gifted.” “If only I was like….” Comparison and jealousy are the problems: not my perceived lack of gifts. All good things come from God. When there is love, it flows from Him. Where there are gifts, they’re from Him. We don’t […]
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. (Psalm 23:5 NASB) It was summertime, and the temperatures were rising quickly. The shepherd looked up the mountain and saw the nebulous, dusty cloud on its peak. It would be another dry, dreadful […]
My husband, Jay, says it’s like a mid-life crisis. He’s usually right, so I’ll believe him. This is the point in which a geared, passionate young woman, well-marinated in busyness and purpose raises her head and wonders, “Why? Why am I doing this again?” This is about writing. It’s long been my companion, both feared […]
Recently a friend told me that they were on the “bottom loop” of the roller coaster. Isn’t that just life. Up and down, twist and turns. Funny that sometimes the anticipation of the next loop or deep dip doesn’t feel quite the same when we’re “living” it. But what a gift we have! We can […]
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. (Ephesians 5:21-23, NIV) Entering A Touchy Subject Submission. […]
I am not a quitter. I was taught from an early age to stay faithful to my commitments, even when it is hard. But in the past couple of years I have wanted to quit the hard stuff, like ministry. In fact, in the spirit of transparency, in the past couple of weeks I had […]
I wrote this years ago and included it in my book. And I’ve posted a version of it here before. But right now, my family is in need of prayer, so I’m sharing it again today. My dad passed away a couple weeks ago, and we’re trying to navigate these early days without him. For as long […]
The past six months have been rough for me. There have been days I didn’t want to get out of bed. I have struggled with hurt, anger, and betrayal. I have felt torn apart and fractured, yet in an odd twist, I’ve also focused: I’ve focused on God. And through Him, I’ve focused on others. […]
Recently, we bought our first-born son a new phone for his birthday, so we gave his old phone to his younger brother. My husband took our middle child to the store to get a new phone line for his phone. He was so excited to have his very own number. The only problem was […]
**reposted from May 2015. Maddie is still Maddie. She’s now in grad school figuring out the next steps of this “messy life.” She continues to struggle with directions and singing off key, but she’s living intentionally and can often be found resisting the temptation to overthink. Perhaps you need this reminder today. You probably don’t […]
Have you ever run a marathon? Although I enjoy exercising, I can honestly say I’ve never considered participating in a long distance run. I admire those who put themselves through the rigors of training and discipline themselves to eat right to achieve maximum performance. I understand it’s as much a mental challenge as it is […]
When life seems to keep knocking you down and you start to wonder when will you see the sun again just remember to cling tight, dear one. This has been the four words that God keeps pressing on my heart these last few months. Oh how I wish that I could tell you that the […]
Joy is important to the Kingdom of God. There are over 180 Scriptures about joy in the Bible. Romans 14 says that the Kingdom of God IS righteousness, peace, and joy. Does your world, your home, your life reflect one that is filled with joy? Or are you, like so many other believers, a joy […]