Friday, January 24, 2014

How to Laugh

Woke up at 5:30 this morning to get coffee with Amanda. I almost canceled due to my exhaustion and the thought I wouldn’t have to go into work for another 2 hours, if I did bail. But I went anyhow, and I’m SO glad I did!

She is such a kindred spirit and I’m so thankful for her life. We had so many things to talk about and work out and encourage each other in. How much I need like- minded spirits in my life! I want to be freed from this place of constant longing and exhausted searching. I long to be content in how I view my life and my Savior. I want Him to be my complete fulfillment and my sacred stability.

How good He is! May my heart and mouth declare this over and over again! He is so good, so kind, so loving, so generous, so abundant, so merciful, so forgiving, so challenging, so inspiring! I want Him to work in one way and He opens myriads of paths. I look for one blessing, and He fills my cup to overflowing! I saw this last night when I found out that Sherry received a full time position at her work. HOW GOOD IS HE??!! Now Sherry has stability in work, consistent hours and days, a steady income, paid vacation with personal days, and insurance just as Tom’s is about to run out. I adore this God who hears our prayers and moves so that His children’s needs and desires are met.

And then I spoke with Liz and she told me about an opportunity to bless Josh and Tim with a potentially free trip to Israel in the fall through Promise Keepers. HOW GOOD IS THE LORD? Finding ways to surprise His faithful servants through connections they can’t see, but that He pulls together.

So often my heart and spirit believes I have to control and plan and manipulate and arrange to have the desires of my heart, and that is not the way of my Beloved. He longs for me to know His peace and to feel His fullness. He longs for me to know that I am loved and accepted and chosen. He strives to display His abundance in front of me for me. He dances in delight when I look His way and He seeks me out when I turn my back. HOW GOOD IS HE??! This is the love that is my foundation. From here is where I can love without expectation and hope with exorbitant dreams. My dreams are not too big for this God—in fact, I don’t dream large enough for Him. He is the most creative, the most ingenious, the greatest weaver of wonders and miracles that the universe has known. His very name is Wonderful. Filled with wonder. Filled with goodness. Filled with kindness. May He be praised above all else—above the shadows, above the fears, above the loneliness and jealousy and pettiness of my heart. May I continue to learn to recognize His sweet and tender hand stamped all over my life.

My Bible reading recently has mentioned laughter, and I’ve been pondering this human reaction to life. Laughter can mean such different things—one can laugh sarcastically, or one can laugh mockingly. One can laugh as a reward or appreciation for something given, and one can laugh in the purest delight when the sweetest of surprises is handed freely. To laugh in this manner is the privilege of the innocent in heart. The birthright of those who are continually delighted by goodness and light and joy—And this is not because their lives are more favored or chosen above another’s…. but simply because there is an intimate recognition of their Beloved in the daily interactions of their life. To see their Love show up in moments unaware to them is the sweetest of treasures. To know that His heart has been planning and storing these things up for them fills them with a humility that knows no other exaltation that abundant praise. Oh enlarge my heart with gratitude, Jesus! There is an overwhelming amount of things to worship You for and to give you the glory over. I refuse to stay small in my spirit, believing You to be stingy or shriveled or dried up. Nay, you are the very Tree of Life, my Vine, my sustenance, refreshment, and my eternal Spring. Refresh my soul this morning. Renew my strength as a youth’s. Let me be energized by the richness of Your love. It is rich my God—it is full and heavy and weighty with its enormous substance. This is what my life consists of… this is how I am seen and valued.

Praise be to You, mighty One! May I not forget Your very own words each time I snicker at Your promises or belittle Your character because You choose to do what is MIRACULOUS. “Why did you [Sarah} laugh? Do you [she} doubt that this can be done despite the passage of time? I AM THE LORD! There is nothing too difficult for me.” (Gen. 18:13-14) Remember, o my soul, that you were meant for the miraculous- for the supernatural. And if you were meant for this, then the regular way of things being done will not be your story. It can’t be, for then God cannot have the greater reputation. Trust Him; Trust His heart. He is POWERFUL; He is KIND; and He is working out a plan for you that will blow away your small desires and cause your bitter, doubting laughter to be redeemed into the delightful music of a soul who has yet again been surprised by the beauty of being fully known and seen. Your dream will come true- He has already declared this to you, so rest. It is yet another of His gifts to you.