Thursday, October 19, 2017

Made to Proclaim

*Pictures from August

Fit pumping to celebrate a success.

Looking for treasures, living or non-living.

Andrew is currently my most passionate lover of the sea.

I was a girl that loved the mountains and the snow. I'm still that girl, I think, but in the providence of God I find myself living on the coast far from what I once knew and loved.

It may seem odd to some, but it took a long time (12 years, in fact) of living in California before I had any affection for the ocean. Now I see it from my pillow in the morning, I watch the sail boats in the distance from my kitchen window, I run on the packed sand when the tide is out, or in the salty spray when the waves crash up against the rocks onto the roadside; with my kids I bob in the swell or ride the surf in exhilaration, we explore the pools, and dive below wall-like waves.

How could I not love it?

I love the moody temperament of the sea, all shades of color, emotion. It has a complex effect on the one who observes and interacts: it is calming or energizing, it brings a sense of peace or eeriness, it can be hospitable or merciless. I am drawn to this mystery and am reminded that all nature proclaims the glories of its Creator.

I was made to proclaim his glories, too...

(Andrew paddling out in the forefront, Jacob somewhere with the rest.)

This morning I read Ps. 107, then at breakfast time I read portions to my kids before we all tackled our day. 

We were reminded (or learned once again) that it is our duty and privilege to give thanks, to praise, and to recount the many ways God has rescued us out of trouble and destruction. It is for our good to proclaim His redemptive work. "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed out of trouble."

This morning I paused to think about the many times in my life that God rescued me and delivered me from hardship, pending calamity, and consequences of sin. It's important to look back and to recount those things in thanksgiving. This is, of course, a humble way to praise the Lord for his works, but it also benefits our own spiritual health in a way that produces joy. I want my kids to hear me regularly giving testimony of God's work in my life. I want them to know what I've done and what I've experienced (though difficult it may be to explain), and to know how God has delivered me. They need to know what God has done as recorded in scriptures, but they also need to see that God continues to work wonders in the lives of his children.

We also talked about God's loving kindness and desire to save. This is sometimes displayed in the trouble and hardship he brings/allows in order to break us of arrogance and rebellion. God, in his kindness, will have his way. 

Because of the confidence I have in the goodness of the Lord, I will take comfort in this and give over my mother's heart to his care. If it takes hardship, trial, or painful consequence for my children to come to repentance and saving faith, then I say bring it on. It could never cost too much to know the redeeming work of God. Any pain on this side of eternity is a mercy of God if it opens our eyes to his gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

I've been reminding my kids that conviction of sin is a mercy. We should think of guilt and conviction as a kindness from God, proof that he loves us personally and is drawing us to repentance, forgiveness, and freedom. Conviction of sin is not evidence of God's frustration, disappointment, or anger, but rather it is his gentle calling into relationship with him through Christ. Yes, conviction is a consequence and a warning, but ultimately it is to draw us into a right relationship with the one true God.

I pray that the Lord would loose my lips, and I endeavor to practice proclaiming his goodness in my life. I pray that I would wholeheartedly put my hope in his kind and loving character, come what may.



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