Morning Sips: DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE?

I’ve been in a bit of a funk throughout most of 2020, and in truth a good chunk of 2019 also.   I’m sure I’m not the only one who has.  

And as the weeks and months of 2020 sloooowly pass by, I have noticed an increasing restlessness for an end to all the things (COVID and other things) that have made 2020 so challenging.   Unfortunately, I have also noticed that I’ve been trying to silence that inner restlessness with the wrong things.

20200926_083943For a while, getting outdoors for some mid-week fishing, weekend hikes and kayak-fests provided some much needed sanity breaks amidst the chaos of a global pandemic.  These mini escapes helped me stay focused on what God was doing (instead of how agitated I was about what I wanted to do but couldn’t).   But as the days grew shorter and the temperatures started dropping, long hikes and kayaking excursions were replaced by Hallmark movies, online shopping, and endless bags Fritos, cookies, pizza, or whatever I could get my hands on to fill the emptiness gnawing away at me.   Can you relate?

So unless I want to go buy a whole new wardrobe and/or take out a small loan to support my 2020 addiction to fishing lures, there has to be an end to all this nonsense on my part!!    And so I asked the Lord to help identify for me what ‘need’ I was really trying to fill; what ‘voice’ I was trying to silence.   Loneliness?  Stress?  Fear?

And in that most tender of ways that only He can, He whispered to me:

“Jenny, do you love me more than these?”

 

john-21-15-17_orig

Now we know from James 21:15-17 that the “these” Jesus was referring to was actually the other disciples. 

But in this intimate coffee table conversation I was having with Jesus, I knew that He was not speaking to me about other people.   He was inviting me to self-examine my desire for Him and His company against my desire for the things I was running to as a way to silence my inner hunger.  A hunger which, by the way, only HE can fill.

OUCH!

My reaction is to quickly say “yes Lord, I do love you more!”

But my actions??  Well, my actions tell a different story.  And the reality of that tension (the tension between wanting to profess full devotion, and knowing that I fall terribly short of living a life of full devotion) is what has been drawing me back to the coffee table with Him the last few weeks. 

Knowing that something has to change.

Comforted by the truth that He never changes.

Expectant that in His presence, I can change.   

Slowly.  Faultingly.  Perfectly Imperfectly.  ❤

Morning Sips

I would love to hear your thoughts, and how you’ve been managing your hunger pains in 2020. Drop me a comment below.

Up a creek? No paddle? (update)

ME:  Lord, I feel like I’ve followed you out into DEEP and STILL WATERS, and now here I sit … in a teeny little boat, without a paddle, and with absolutely no way to get myself to shore.   If you don’t rescue me somehow, I’m lost!

Lake Dennison
Early morning kayaking on Lake Dennison http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

The above is a quote from my last blog post (Up a creek? No Paddle?), which was way back in April 2020. Doesn’t that seem like a million years ago?

In that post, I shared a little about a health challenge with my oldest granddaughter. Let me give you an update regarding her condition.

By age two, this precious little one was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis and Autism. And while we stand in faith for her full and complete healing by the Blood of Jesus, we daily celebrate her joyful exuberance and loving heart, every new skill learned, and every new vocalization. She is a marvelous treasure and just turned 10 this summer. During the end of 2019 she began suddenly and unexpectedly began experiencing falling down seizures. Eventually, she was put on a new medication to help with this but the Rx was to be short term as it has some pretty nasty side effects. That proved true, because while the falling down seizures lessened, the Rx altered her personality significantly. Well before the 6-month trial ended, her parents removed her from the Rx and what happened next is (in this Nana’s opinion) nothing short of a miracle.

The falling-down seizures never returned!!!

And the pausing seizures she has been troubled by since age two returned at a much reduced rate …. instead of having multiple pausing seizures a day, she now may only have a few a week!!! Glory to God!

If that weren’t enough, she continues to learn new skills, is more affectionate and demonstrative than ever before, and is one of the happiest little girls I’ve ever met!! Praise God for His goodness and kindness, His faithfulness to bless and protect this little one! All the glory goes to Him alone!!

In truth, 2020 started out hard for me and my family. It’s been a hard year for everyone, and in fact brutally cruel for some!

Hebrews 6:19
“Tethered to Hope” http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

And while I had been feeling “stuck out in deep waters without a paddle”, in hind sight I can see that through it all, God did not leave me stuck out there in the misty waters with no way of getting to shore. I have remained teathered to hope while He has been breathing on my back the entire time … helping me, calming my fears, moving me closer and closer to shore and to my destiny.

And He will do the same for you my friend, because He loves you!

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