Day 4: For the Joy

My favorite bench at our local forest, taken 26 June 2022, where I chose to obey my God’s prompting to lay aside my new devotional habit till later, to instead pen a card for dear friends. As I wrote for the pure joy of doing so, God’s Word flowed out of me and touched my own heart with the warmth of His Presence and my devotional time later, was even richer because of it.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!

Psalm 84:1 ESV

Today, I bless us to seek and find the wide open spaces of God’s grace for us. I bless us to rejoice and rest in Christ’s good and pleasant boundary lines for us. I bless us to awake to the childlike faith that is ours in Christ Jesus, to open our eyes in awe and wonder to the much higher plans and purposes of our God. I bless us to lay down our fear of man for a newborn faith in our God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Write for the joy
You tell me
And oh the joy
I taste and see
Right here.

In Your
Boundary lines
Safe and sound
I find my heart
Singing now

In unison
My breathing
Slowing to
Gentleness
Yielded in Spirit

And truth
To reveal
Your mercy
Comfort and
Steadfast love

Opening
My eyes
To see through
As You do
Unblinded

Undivided
My heart
Bound together
In love
In the fear

Of the LORD
Awaking awe
And wonder
A childlike
Faith in me

Stirring me
To celebrate
Your sovereign
Power in love's
Perfecting grace

My weakness
The key
In Your hand
Unlocking
The door

To sup with You
For the joy
Of Your reward
Salvation
And deliverance

In Jesus' Name.

Keep Me Yours

About two weeks ago, I asked God for a Word He wanted me to receive that day and it was Psalm 32:7:

You are a hiding place for me;
    you preserve me from trouble;
    you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

As I shared it with a friend and told her that “deliverance” can also mean “to calve” and “surround me” can also mean “fetch me/cause me to come” I suddenly remembered something my husband and I watched on TV. It’s a series called “Farmer Seeks a Wife”.

One of the women woke early and because she got up then, she was able to partake in the calving. She was so overwhelmed by the beauty of that moment alone with the farmer, experiencing such an amazing moment alone together. It emphasized again for me the beauty of that hiddenness God calls us into, to be set apart unto Him and to still to His birthing of the new in our midst.

And then later, I sat there and read further in A Passion for the Impossible, a book written by Miriam Huffman Rockness about the life of Lilias Trotter, and just cried and cried. I sat with the Promise God gave Lilias right before her own weary heart and others’ discouraged hearts were opened wide to receive a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit – and to see hearts opening to Christ all around them after years of sowing without reaping:


Malachi 3:1
“See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenant you desire—see, He is coming,” says the Lord of Hosts. 

What I found so beautiful is that this birthing of new life came as Lilias and others confessed their own weariness and need for a fresh infilling of Christ. As they set aside time to seek God and to rest and recharge away from all their activity “for Him”, God moved mightily in their hearts and suddenly simulatenously in the hearts of those around them, who were then drawn to Christ like a magnet.

I have been drawn away into that quiet place with Christ afresh this week. On Resurrection Sunday Jesus drew me to His discipline of the disciples. As He entered the locked upper room, where they were hiding out in fear, He rebuked them for their unbelief and their hardening hearts, for refusing to believe those who had reported the Good News of His resurrection to them. In this rebuke of His disciples, Jesus uncovered the hardening of my own heart, the sorrow, unbelief and discouragement that I had allowed to hide out and fester in me, tainting my heart and my vision. And so, also so deeply encouraged by the repeated humbling of Lilias before her Maker, each fresh season of her life anew, I decided to take the time to lay my heart fully bare before God.

It’s funny how simple things really are, and how easily my heart softens at God’s touch, when all I do is I just draw near to Him, when all I do is just openly confess my discouragement, my sorrow and my unbelief. Jesus responded to me so beautifully through His Word, through a movie my daughter and I watched a few weeks ago, and through my husband’s uncovering of what lay beneath the surface.

God uncovered my dented pride (ouch), my clinging to the (oh-so-much better) past and the shame I have felt of my current (humble) circumstances. And He invited me into His seeing: into His pride in me, the new life and heavenly future set before me and my intrinsic worth in Him. As I embraced God’s seeing of myself and others, I could see how the sins of pride and unbelief had been sucking the joy out of me, filling me with grief and stealing my delight in learning from, growing with and connecting to those around me. And I rejoiced in the change of mind He gifted me, as He lifted such a heavy burden off of my shoulders, overwhelming me with His tender loving kindness.

As I was sitting with what God is doing in my life and heart, I came across this old poem I penned in prayer in 2018, and I so longed to share it with you, as it still so reflects the desires of my heart. May it bless your heart also to pray this with me afresh and to linger with our precious Jesus, inviting Him to show us all the ways He has already been answering these desires that are in fact the desires of His beautiful heart for us, His lowly, gentle and servant-heart.

KEEP ME, LORD



Keep me ever weak before You

That You might be my Strength

My Cup, My Portion.



Keep me needy on my knees

That I might know You ever more

Your life, Your grace, Your love for me.



Keep me humble

Casting here my burdens

Upon the One who saves.



Keep me thankful

Remembering all You've done

And all You've promised true.



Keep me breaking

Bread from heaven falling

Not hoarding, but in partaking gift.



Keep me pouring

My heart out like water

Panting after nothing, but Living Water.



Keep me seeing

Your hand upon

Your sovereign rule and reign.



Keep me learning

My heart here open

To Your perfect leading.



Keep me safe

Within your boundaries

Not stepping there beyond.



Keep me leaning

All my weight

Upon my Lord and Savior.


That I might live

Each day, forever

In Your holy Presence.



Keep me: YOURS.