Many people have traveled by this well on their journeys through life, but either didn’t notice it, decided not to check it out, or tried it but left for some reason. It doesn’t appear that the well has been used in a long time. You are not even sure if the water is good. The top of the water looks unappetizing . . . . disgusting actually – covered in dust, dirt, germs, bugs and grime. Who would even want to use this well or drink its water? You dip your finger in to just taste it anyways as you realize how thirsty you are, but you only taste the stuff on top. Yuck. You’re not drinking that! But your thirst remains.
You decide to move on. . . . to find something more appealing . . . more appetizing . . . more eye-catching and tasty. You heard there was something better down the road. So you turn your back to the well and head off.
I urge you to come back.
Things are not always what they seem.
There is more to this well than the casual observer and wanderer will ever know.
Let me help you draw up the DEEP water from the well. That is where the best water resides – where the cooler, refreshing, life-giving water is. It is not tainted by the dirt, dust, germs or bugs on top of the water. Nothing has touched this deep water except the bucket and cisterns that are allowed to draw deep into it.
Are you that kind of cistern or vessel?
Are you ready to go deep?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I was watching my cat yesterday, sitting in the window sill, enjoying the breeze coming in from the open, screened in window, but at the same time – longing to be outside – to be chasing the birds she would see in the yard, to be running around in the grass - nibbling on it, exploring, tasting, smelling, chasing, crouching, playing (with other cats), running – free! I could tell it was driving her crazy to be inside – especially with the windows open! It looked liked torture –to be able to not only see the outside world (now that the blinds were open), but to be able to smell, feel and experience just a little bit of what lay outside – but to be stuck inside! She longs to be outside so much, that she will hide out by the door, crouching and waiting for someone to open it so that she can make a mad dash to try and escape – to be free!
I then thought about the last cat we had. She had been a stray – abandoned and left on her own as a kitten. We found her at about 5 months old – barely skin and bones, dirty, covered in ticks. We took her in, cleaned her up, loved on her, fed her (till she was fat!), and more. However, she still remained traumatized. She was full of anxiety and fear – of noises, of us - if we moved to fast, if we tried to pet her when she wasn’t expecting it, or even if we tried to pick her up. But one thing that frightened her the most, was going and being stuck outside. She would be curious – looking out a closed or screened-in window. She would occasionally try to venture outside, very slowly, smelling, testing, watching to see if it was safe . . . but all the while, still very nervous and unsure of herself and of the outside world. Once, she had ventured outside as I was bringing in the groceries. I didn’t see that she had gone out. When I was done, I closed our sliding glass door and started heading towards the kitchen. As I turned, I saw our cat anxiously run to the door and start clawing at the window, pacing and meowing a fearful cry. I opened the door and she bolted in. She had been so afraid that she was going to be stuck outside.
Cats were designed and created to be outside – to be hunters. We see this in most big cats (Lions and Tigers, etc) – out in the wild, free, hunting their prey, enjoying the sun and wind, the shade and stillness of the day, playing with each other, running . . . free. Housecats were designed the same – only on a smaller scale. We have tamed them, raised some by hand, loved on them, taught them to use a litter box, and made them pets, but deep inside – they still know they are hunters, that they have been designed to be outside – to be free – to be chasing birds, squirrels and rabbits. If we allow them to go outside – they will do just that. If we keep them indoors, they may long for the outside, but they will eventually become accustomed to indoor living – to being taken care of, and to being fed (instead of having to hunt for their food). Animals in captivity can become so accustomed to living this way and being taken care of, that if you tried to let them loose in the wild, they would starve to death – not knowing how to hunt for their food and to really live in the wild. Some animals might actually prefer to remain indoors (or in captivity) because of traumatic events/memories of being out in the wild (as seemed the case with our last cat).
What has God designed me to be? What has he designed me to do? Who am I really? What am I capable of? Have I been in “captivity” so long, that I don’t know? Do I still feel like a slave/servant in my relationship with God? Or do I know my true identity – my position as a daughter of the Lord of glory, the King of kings, the creator of this universe? Do I know that I was not only designed to run free – to chase, to explore, to do great things, to enjoy the sun and shade, the wind and calm, to enjoy relationships and “playing” with others – but that I actually have the freedom to do just that?! I do! How about you?
God has been graciously revealing more of Himself, more of who I am, more of what I was designed to do and be, more of my identity – as royalty – a royal priest (and princess), and not a sinner any longer. I am no longer dirty, starving and covered in ticks! I have been brought into his house and lovingly restored – but not so that I will remain in His house as a servant or as a slave – but so that I could be adopted – as His daughter! I have full access to EVERYTHING my Father has – to ALL of His kingdom! It is mine to enjoy – to run free, to experience, to explore, to have fun in! I love that! I love it that God didn’t save me and bring me into His home to just clean me off to make me His servant. He rescued, saved, cleaned, and restored me – and ADOPTED ME! Little ole me . . . is a Princess now! ☺ Woo-hoo!
I also love it how He didn’t just bring me into His kingdom to keep me here either – to keep me “indoors”. He brought me in, to love me, clean me off, feed me and restore me – so that I could then be free to go back outside at any time – to go enjoy all of this life He gave me – to reach out to others still stuck outside and help them come home, to be adopted, cleaned up, fed and restored. Yes – we were created as eternal beings – to live forever with God in heaven one day, but we were also designed and created to live on this earth – not to live here, afraid, full of anxiety (What if we get dirty? What if we get “ticks” or get sick? What if we mess up, or can’t find food, or meet an enemy bigger than us?) – but to live in freedom – running, exploring, laughing, enjoying the company of others, hunting (finding food), fighting off our enemies with victory, and so much more!
We were intricately and lovingly designed this way. But too many of us don’t know it. We are comfortable just being fed, being taken care of, being “indoors”. Life “outside” is just too scary and unpredictable. Yes it is – unpredictable . . . . but it is so full of adventure! ☺
Then there are some who have lived outside for so long – enjoying the freedom, but not realizing the benefits of having a home to go to – when it rains, when you are tired, when you need some support, love, encouragement and more. These people have never been adopted into God’s family – and to them – it looks restrictive and boring. To them it looks like they would have to give up the fun and freedom, and become something else – become a servant/slave, stuck “indoors”. What they don’t know, is that if they truly came in and met their creator – and realized that they were being adopted, cleaned up, fed, restored – they would ultimately be set free . . . more free than they had ever been before! Then they could go outside and not worry if they couldn’t find food – their Father would have some waiting at home for them! They wouldn’t have to worry about shelter or other basic needs to be met. They wouldn’t even have to worry about enemies – because one cry from their lips would bring their Daddy running!
Being adopted into God’s house is not about living under the law (rules, policies, should’s and should-not’s) – but it’s all about living under grace and love! It’s about being free to live in a loving environment, in a loving relationship, where all our needs are met, but where we have the freedom to also be who we were designed to be – every part of us! When you know WHOSE you are . . . then you know WHO you are! And I, for one, am a child of GOD – forgiven, cleansed, restored and set free! . . . .
If you would like to know more about just who you are - and see if your perception of your identity is more of a pauper or more of a prince - go to Kris Vallotton's website for an online test. You might be surprised! I know if I had taken this test even just a couple years ago - my score/answers would have been drastically different!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I just have to share this with you today! You are truly loved!!! Did you know that?!! Man - does God ever love you!! :) Believe it!
Here's part of our conversation today:
L - So . . . what’s on your mind? How are you doing today?
G – I’m doing well – actually. I’m in love!
L - :) oh yeah . . . with who?! :) hee,hee.
G – with my Bride! Oh man – have you seen her lately? She is beautiful! So beautiful! I am excited for the day that we get to be together – fully – forever! I can’t wait! I wish it was today – or tomorrow. But it’s not. I know there is more preparation that needs to be done – but I am pleased with what she is doing to get ready for our big day! I am pleased. I love her so much! Yes – there are things that need to be worked on – but today, I am pleased. I love her so much!
L - :) I love hearing you talk about your bride like that! It makes me happy! So many times we hear about all the negative – how she is not ready – how she needs to clean up this, do that, etc. I know that there are times when you have to share those things – because parts of your bride are not doing what is needed. But it’s so nice to hear your joy and see you smile about the rest of the bride that is getting ready.
G – I’m not just in love with the rest that is getting ready – but with ALL of my bride! I love ALL of her so very much! No matter what she does, or where she goes, or if she trips and falls . . . I still love her immensely!! She is everything to me and I don’t want any other bride! Just her! I chose her, I want her, and I love her!! Man – my love just bubbles over and overflows sometimes – I can’t contain it! I won’t contain it for much longer! Pretty soon I just won’t be able to help myself – and I will have to just let it all out – let it gush all out over my bride!! I just have to tell her!! I know she wants to know – and I know that she knows to a degree . . . but boy, oh boy do I ever want to fully show her!!! I can’t wait! I have to restrain myself right now –because I would love to just let it all pour out today if I could! But I can’t. It’s not the right time. Soon, though – soon!!!! Ohhhhh Lori – Just wait!!! Just wait!! Wait and see! Wait and watch and see! You will love it!!
L – I can’t wait! I want to see it now! I want to feel it now too! I want you to be able to display your love and affection – and bring your presence into this preparation room today!! When God? When will you come and visit your preparing bride? When?
G - :) Soon! . . . Literally – I am having to hold myself back. It takes all my willpower to not just rush to her side right now. She is so beautiful. She is so precious and lovely. She is everything to me! I can’t contain my love for her much longer!! I want to smother her with my love – with my kisses – with my hugs of protection and love. I want to smother her! I want her to have NO DOUBTS whatsoever of my love for her! For now – I am sending her roses . . . a sign. . . a sign of my affections for her. I will send her chocolates, flowers, songs . . . lots of signs of my love. But one day soon – I will come! I will show her my love - not just send her signs!! I can’t wait! :)
L - :) God – you are so cute! I love seeing you in love! :) It makes me happy! It makes me feel loved (which I know I am)! Thank you for sharing your heart with me today! I feel loved! Thank you! Can I share any of this with your bride?
G – Why not?! :) I want her to know!! All she hears are the bad things – the rumors that I am mad at her – that I want to punish her. I don’t . I want to love her! I want to really show her that I love her! I want to be close to her! I want HER! So yes – tell her! Tell her how much I love her!! I want her to know!!
Know that God is in LOVE with YOU today!! He's not mad at you . . . but IN LOVE with you!! Accept that love - and go deeper in your relationship with Him today! Don't run away . . . but run TO Him! His arms are open wide. They are not crossed in front of Him in anger. They are opened wide! Run to Him - run into His arms! He's waiting for you!
There is a day coming, where we will feel and see more of His love - more of His presence. It will not just be in Toronto, or Florida, or some other part of the world - but it will be throughout the world! There is a day coming! Are you ready for it? Are you looking forward to it? Are you making "room" in your life (your schedule, your relationship, your heart and mind, etc) for more of God's love to be poured out?! . . . .I know I am!
Love and be loved deeply today!