Peace with God

Three Stores in One Day and Back to the Right Well

Three stores today, well, three grocery stores that is.

Three-

Two on purpose, back to one because I forgot garbage bags.

“Say it with me, kids, I cannot leave the store without these five things: garbage bags, dessert, meats, napkins, and peanut butter. Anything else I can forget- not these.”

Then two of them argued over who was going to remind me about the dessert as if… I would really forget the dessert.

But the garbage bags- that’s what I really need help with remembering.

So, when I forgot, I tried to blame them because I had asked them to help, right?

But I stopped after one blame, suddenly coming to my mommy senses, and said, “It’s okay. I forgot, too”.(notice the “too”- I’m still blaming them all while taking personal responsibility- no way I was taking the full brunt of this mistake)

“I’ll just go to the store again, for the third time today”.(a bit more immaturity on my part- just a little reminder about how many times we have been to the store)” Am I the mom or the big sister? O, yes, Mom, yes that’s right.

And that’s not all I did today- I homeschooled my kids today. Yes, all three of them were educated… into this very night… educated.

And we made an advent calendar, yes, they did actually- because they are old enough to do it ALL BY THEMSELVES. Guess what?  That is the only reason so much gets done around here- cause they are big and it is not all up to me.

And… I went to the dentist.

I cooked dinner.

I did laundry.

I read, studied, and prayed.

And… I am tired.

One day and three grocery stores plus the business of a regular day and I am tired.

I don’t think I should be but I am. I’m human. Isn’t this season all about the human being tired… and the Savior coming? If I wasn’t human, then I wouldn’t be tired and I wouldn’t need a savior, a place to lay my burden.

I want to write about marriage and submission but again I am so tired… maybe if the kids would stop asking me questions…Why don’t they yell, “Dad!” in the same tone of urgency and with the same frequency?

So, instead of sitting down to write, we listened to Ann Voskamp talk about hope. We sang “O Come All Ye Faithful” together as a family. And my heart was refreshed and renewed- overwhelmed that my King is right here with tired ole’ me. Thank you, Ann. I may have had to apologize again if the lesson was up to me.

And so, tired Momma, may I remind you?

About hope. About your King and how it’s really not a big deal to go to the store three times in one day. May I remind you that without love we are resounding gongs, clanging cymbals? May I remind you that we are nothing that we gain nothing without love. (from 1 Cor. 1:1-3)

So, what does the Bible say LOVE is? Or rather who is LOVE? The Bible says God is Love. 1 John 4:7b

Our source of LOVE is God Himself… maybe little pauses throughout the day are needed to remember just that. I am loved, deeply. I can abide with Him every moment of every day because He has an open door policy for me. He is not the slave driver of my perfection… that is what I do to myself. Rather, He is perfect FOR me.

I can rest.

My kids, your kids, are watching to see if we walk through that open door He is for us… and abide… if our faith is the real deal, rubber meets the road kind of faith… Did this baby Jesus really really come and does He really make a difference?

When I find myself bent out of shape. I can be guaranteed that I am drinking from the well of me… or from other people…  that my expectations not being met.

It’s like a little red flag that signals me: You are NOT at the right well. Jesus does not serve up chaos.

On that holy night, with all the trials in the world during that particular time and the pain of labor and the mess of it in a dirty barn…the One whose name is PEACE and LOVE was born.

He wants to be with us and be our Peace and Love in our times with all our trials and in our messy barns.

So, may I remind us: Slow down, breathe deeply, and trust Jesus. He loves us. He is for us. Let’s fix our eyes on Him.

In Christ Alone,

Diana

The Shoes

of the Gospel of Peace.

Last morning, as a child might say, I woke up as usual around five. We are on Christmas vacation, so my heating blanket warm bed seemed a justifiable place to stay snuggled. But I sensed the Lord telling me to get up, get in the Word. I argued… justified that I could pray right from my cozy nook… what’s another 15- 30 minutes anyhow? I dozed back to sleep in “seeming” peace.

I had an awful dream.

I awoke.

These images in my mind. What’s another 15-30 minutes? That is what.

He is faithful to answer.

The post I published last came to my mind as well- I am on a battleship, not a cruise ship. A battleship. I have an enemy and a part of me that would side with him.

For those shoes of the Gospel to fit my feet, I can’t be running from my Cobbler. He’s fitting the Gospel onto my feet, your feet.

Mine are women feet, small- size five… but with a heart in the same body able to carry as much self-will run riot as the biggest toughest guy you know.

The Word says:

according as it is written, How beautiful the feet of them that announce glad tidings
of peace, of them that announce glad tidings of good things!   Romans 10:15

Think back on Jesus, before He was to be murdered, bending down and washing the feet of the disciples. His knees bent, his hands serving, his heart heavy. His hands, cleansing… preparing 11 pairs of feet for the shoes of the Gospel of peace. Fitting them. But He washed 12 pairs, not just eleven. Judas would never turn from his self will. Even when he felt sad about giving Jesus over to be killed, he never repented. He never had PEACE. He was bent on trying his own ideas- never taking Jesus as Lord. His feet had been washed, but never fitted for the Gospel of Peace. He had, in his possession, no good news to carry.

How the 11 must have wept, when the hands of Jesus were being nailed. How terror must have struck their hearts.

Remember Peter at the washing?  He’d objected to Jesus washing his feet. Jesus answered,
Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.

Then:

Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

The eleven were being fitted for the Gospel because they were already bathed, helmet of salvation in place, breastplate of righteousness on, belt around their waste, and entrusted with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Those eleven pairs repented for the running. The fear and terror that had struck their hearts revealed their neediness.

How the truth of that foot washing must have kept them from trusting in themselves and spiraling into a pit of self-loathing!

Jesus had known. They knew He had.

Like my bad dream that night carried lingering images:

Soldiers with torches, the fatal kiss, Peter’s taking out his sword, Jesus’s rebuke, fear, confusion, terror… and their feet had run. Those washed feet… all wrapped in Jesus they had run away from their beloved- stayed at a safe distance.

Here is where peace lies, though, for the believer.

He already Knew.

Here is the Gospel of Peace- He already knew.They were not good, but He was, He is. All of this preparing them for the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost.

While He washed their feet, he knew they would run… but He washed them anyway. He knew Judas would never come to Him in repentance, He washed his feet anyway. And He did all this with a cross set before Him… and modeled obedience to us. Jesus, completely submitted to the Father, models for us the relationship He was restoring to us.

This relationship of Peace with God.

The blessing of the garden is that they were always obeying… always surrendered to the King… always blessed. The curse is brought by disobedience and can only be nullified by payment. That payment was made by Jesus’s total surrender to the cross.

according as it is written, How beautiful the feet of them that announce glad tidings
of peace, of them that announce glad tidings of good things!   Romans 10:15

Disobedience serves the curse and brings turmoil.

Obedience puts feet to the Gospel, works out salvation with fear and trembling, serves the blessing rather than the curse, and shuts off the power of the lies of the enemy.

Satan wants your seed… that gospel seed that Jesus fits your feet to go out to give. The message that PEACE is a person and He loves the lost.

And because of the cross, foot washings are for the taking.

Come, Dear Beloved, He says.

I knew the sin before you.

Come, get safe with me. Mock the enemy with me. Point to my blood. Trust in it- covering all your sin. Let me close. Don’t allow any disobedience to play an old tape in your heart- the one that says I don’t love you, that you are a failure, a second rate Christian, that anxiety that creeps in on your soul. The turmoil. The images from the bad dream… you wouldn’t have had if. You have Good News shoes to be fitted in- the Good News of my salvation on your head, my righteousness on your chest, my truth around your waste, my sword in your hand, and feet…

Imagine Him close.

Washing your feet.

O, how He loves.

Now let Him.

and know- nothing separates you from the love of the Father.

Be at peace with Him through Obedience and when you fail to listen… get right quickly, your King is there. He knew.

Those images from that bad dream I had… reminders: I have an enemy. God is training me and I must listen to Him.

So, Dear Reader, bless you with your Heavenly Cobbler, washing your feet- the blessing of being at Peace and blameless before your KIng.

And Merry Christmas,

Diana