Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Holding Out

There was a phone call, a plane flight, and a reunion. Sitting across from each other we laughed and talked the hours away. So much had happened in three years. Then came a moment his words became serious and even mysterious. He reached into his pocket to answer my silent suspicions. The reflection of the firelight flickered on the gold band he held between his fingers. It had been his mother’s. The moment was right out of a movie script. This was my chance to be center stage and play the part I’ve always dreamed—Loved. The look on his face was priceless, as was mine. Something told me not to accept and hold out for something more. I had no words for him—no words his heart hoped to hear. Sorrow came upon his face. And the gold band hastily put away.

The drive to the airport was quiet. The pending good-bye scene loomed over us. I thought about my friend. He had taken a risk--a huge one at that. He traveled across the globe to declare a pledge of love with hopes of bringing me to his homeland.

I could not ignore the fact I too had taken a risk. I said no. What if he was the one? What if I just let the last good one get away? What if there isn’t something more? What if God breaks His promise? What if?

As these thoughts entered my mind they left just as quickly. An unexplainable peace consumed all my what-if’s. Something, Someone told me it was going to be okay. I hoped and prayed my friend would feel the same. That day he flew home alone to Christchurch, New Zealand. And I stayed home in California—and waited for God to be faithful to His promise. As each day passed a beautiful quietness swept over my heart. I felt the Lord’s delight in me because I honored His plea to hold out for something more.

Just a few short weeks later I bumped into an exuberant, blue-eyed German—at church. He had rosy cheeks, an injured knee and he seemed to enjoy his own jokes—and well, I did too. He was different from other guys—and nothing at all like me. And strangely, I was okay with it. I’m not sure at what point I noticed. But his eyes would twinkle when he talked to me. It was as if the Lord spotlighted this twinkle to catch my attention and say—he is your something more.

Seventeen years later I can look back and say that yes, that, exuberant, blue-eyed German added more to my life. He has challenged me through my fears and believed in me when I didn’t. Without him I would still be a timid woman longing to make a difference in the world, yet never daring to. I am loved, yes, and I am changed. Who knew one man would have such an impact on my life? God knew. He knew something more would be just around the corner.

What is the something more God has promised you?

Laura Krämer is a speaker, writer, and designer of The Psalm 23 Bracelet. She lives happily in Southern California with her 2 sons and German husband of 14 years.

Reflective Scripture

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Those who honor me I will honor. 1 Samuel 2:30

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What God is Saying to Me (and probably to you, too)

Be still and know that I am God.
I’ve got this one, Beloved. Release your grip on circumstances. Allow Me to guide you. I am bigger and more powerful than anything you are facing.

Be still and know that i am
Remember Me, child. Remember who i am. i am Provider, Protector, and the Prince of Peace. i am Faithful, Freedom, and Forgiver of your sins. i am Holy, Healer, and your every Hope.

Be still and know
I know where you’ve been. I know where you are. I know where you are going. Trust Me, Dear One, I know what I’m doing.

Be still
Shhhh, hush, child, it’s all going to be okay.

Come and be with Me, Beloved. It’s all My heart longs for and everything your heart needs.

What is God saying to you?

Reflective Scripture

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Relevant Worship

Be Still and Know by Steven Curtis Chapman

Our God by Chris Tomlin

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Too Busy for Jesus

I sat in my office surveying the endless piles demanding my attention. A glance to the calendar showed me nonstop activities all month. Feeling overwhelmed, I turned back to my computer to catch up on never-ending emails. Immediately, I felt a holy nudge.

“In a minute, Lord,” I said.

I paused in my spirit. How many times have I put the Lord off for one more email, one more phone call, or one more task? I knew the truth. The load of my day tends to guide me more than the One who created the day. I grieved knowing there were many moments I ignored His request to draw near.

I pushed away from my computer knowing the pile of endless tasks would be waiting for me in the morning. Jesus longed for my undivided attention. I dropped to my knees and entered into a time of worship with my Lord. I felt my heart align with His as He ministered to me and restored me.

Twenty minutes later I opened my eyes. My office looked the same. The in box was full and the undertaking massive. Yet, I was changed. Personal renewal filled my heart by simply bending a knee and drawing near to Him.

He longs to be close to you today. Will you draw near? Will you?

Reflective Scripture

Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8

Soaking Music

Drink of You by Laura Rhinehart

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Jesus in the Pit

My knees gave out as I walked inside the house. No longer could I bear the weight of the hurt. I dropped to the floor bursting in tears as the pain ripped throughout my body. Distraught, Dad rushed toward me. My world faded before my eyes. He held me all night as I suffered from a broken heart. He knew more than anyone how time would help heal my wound, but in the moment pain was all I knew.

My heart took another hit at the sight of my diamond ring. Strange how it seemed to dull in brilliance as each moment passed. Was this really happening? Was this real? Grief welled up and more tears flowed. He did this—to me.

It wasn’t fair.

His gift was a promise to love me forever. He was my everything. He was my security and my hope. He was my rescuer. I believed his love would fix me. My very soul was bound to this man. He was my savior. How would I ever live without him? If he didn’t love me—I would surely die.

Days and nights blurred together as sorrow led my steps. Tears clouded my vision. Rebellion drove me deeper into the dark pit. I needed help. Where do I go? Despite the many friendships I had long abandoned there was one who listened to my troubles. She took me to the one place help was guaranteed.

Sitting in a converted church of a school gymnasium I clung to every word the pastor spoke. A broken heart became a passageway for heaven to enter in. Freedom, forgiveness and healing—I wanted it all. “Lord, I surrender.”

Right before my eyes He stepped into my pit. His glistening garments lit up the walls marked with heartbreak, pain, and rebellion. It wasn’t until that moment did I realize how dirty and tattered I had become. Without any mention of my appearance He scooped me up in His arms and effortlessly stepped out into the light and set me on my feet. I immediately noticed the transformation in my attire. Made of the richest fabrics my gown glowed. How could this be? For the first time I looked up at His face seeking an answer to this mystery. He looked not at me, but to the horizon. As I followed His gaze His answer became clear.

My heart froze at the sight of the cross. Strange how doom faded into hope as each moment passed. This really happened. This was real. Gratitude welled up and more tears flowed. He did this—for me.

Considering the cost, it really wasn’t fair—yet still…

His sacrifice was a promise to love me forever. He is my everything. He is my security and my hope. He is my Redeemer. I know His love heals me. My very destiny is determined by this Man. He is my Savior. I will never live without Him. Because He loves me—I will surely live.

Will you invite Jesus into your pit?

Reflective Scriptures

I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:1-3

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. Isaiah 61:10

Soaking Music

Why? by Nichole Nordeman

Love Came Down by Brian Johnson