Seriously? How did JUNE get here so fast? Like really? Next week is June. JUNE! Month number six in 2012. Apparently the world is supposed to end this year. But I don’t believe that. Not one bit. Know why? Because I believe that there are still GREATER things to be done. And I believe He still has SO much in store for each of us, more than we can imagine. Things that go beyond 2012. Really.
So I was going to write this really fantastic story and share with you all this incredible story (I didn’t really have a story, I was just going to write and let my hands type..ha!) but now I just have a question. That’s all. A really simple question.
Do you ever forget that He’s there? Do you ever forget to make time for Him? Like, do you ever just nudge Christ to the side so you can accomplish what’s on your to do list?
I know I do. More than I really care to say, because it’s embarrassing. However, today I put everything to the side during my quiet time. Distracting objects or apps (dumb instagram.). I put them all to the side, turned them off, and just soaked in the silence so He could speak.
And He really showed me that He ALWAYS wants to speak into us, but we so often put distractions in the way that seem louder to us, and cover up His gently guiding voice.
I approached today with the desire to find Christ in every detail. Every part of my day.
So listen. I’m a photographer, right? I have a business and I’m in the process of gathering inspiration for a busy wedding season. Gathering inspiration so I can paint an image through a camera, capture moments from different objects and people, and “freeze time”, so to speak. So this morning, when I woke up and looked outside, and I saw the beauty in EVERY detail, noticing the one pine tree on a mountain across from my house that never sways in the wind, never falls, and never leaves that mountain, I realized that THAT tree is a symbol of who Christ is. He never sways, betrays His Word, never falls down, never backs away from a promise, never forgets to love His children, never ceases to protect each of us, and never loses the desire to pursue His people.
It was then, after I really soaked in ALL that He is, I realized that I want to be a living sanctuary for Christ. Today I’m letting Him prepare me to be a living sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.
As I prepare to dive into the upcoming weddings and business opportunities I have, I STILL have to continue to prepare my heart and strengthen my heart to be a living sanctuary for Him, a place for Him to reside, and a temple for the Holy Spirit. Because sure, He’s given me the amazing talent of being an artist to capture images, but He’s the real Artist. He’s the one who paints the sunsets every night, the one who crashes clouds together to let thunder roar, the one who creates a radiant stream of light from the sun, the one who puts the leaves on every tree, the one who blankets the sky with sparkling stars each night, the one who creates mountains, and the one who digs valleys. He’s amazing. Sometimes you have to actually take time to absorb it. Because the beauty of His creation is there all the time. Even when branches fall from trees, and even when rivers rage with waters full of debris. Even when winds howl and thunder roars, He’s just proving THAT much more, how present and how powerful He is.
And He’s just guiding us to see that we want to be living sanctuaries for Him. Each morning we wake up, He has already been working to prepare the path that will get each of us through the day. He has strategically manifested hidden treasures along the way. Some of those treasures are trials and valleys that we NEED to face so we can be that much stronger. He uses valleys and trials, thunder clouds and lightning strikes to make us stronger ambassadors for His Kingdom.
That doesn’t mean that death is any less painful to watch or pain is less frustrating to endure. I used to wonder why He chooses certain people to undergo so many trials and challenges. I didn’t get why He chooses to lay cancer on certain people, put hurdle after hurdle in front of others, place death as a barrier in so many people’s lives, let pain reign within certain people, etc. I always would say to myself, “It’s not fair,” or “They don’t deserve that,” but the truth is, we all deserve SO much more than that. In fact, we all deserve death, but instead, He chose grace. He chose selflessly to give HIS grace and HIS life so we can live to be ambassadors for Him. And that right there, makes the challenges of this life so much easier, and makes the excitement of eternity with Him so much more prominent. Because He knew that we would face challenges in this life. He knew that there would be valleys, that there would be tears, that there would be sleepless nights due to pain, that there would be tribulations and frustrations, and there would be temptations from the enemy thrown at us in every direction. And because He knew these things, He promised to guide us in our blindness, lead us when we’re weak, love us when we are unlovable, forgive us when we give in to the enemy’s lies, pick us up when we fall, let us shine His light in the darkness, protect us when we’re surrounded by fear, replace doubt with confidence, and secure our hearts with His promises.
Because there are challenges in this life, He chose to selflessly do the following, be the following, and display the following:
He displays mercy, He is slow to anger, He is quick to forgive, abundant in grace, faithful in power, bright in the midst of darkness, persevering, forgiving, merciful, faithful, Author of life, protector, redeemer, etc.
And He promises to not only stay by our side in the midst of challenges and trials, but WALK powerfully and guide us through and out of those trials so we can climb mountains and see His beauty and power displayed so mightily.
Even though sometimes it’s difficult to believe and it’s hard to see His presence, He has not abandoned this sin-wracked world, He is still completely and always will be present. Sometimes you have to search deeper to find Him, but He’s always there.
So tonight, it is my prayer that we will have the greatest passion and desire to be living sanctuaries for Him. He knows our weaknesses, and replaces them with His strength. And He gently, but strongly guides us with His hand to be even greater ambassadors for the Kingdom, so we can display His power and greatness, and light up the dark through His love.
“..to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will display at the proper time–He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light..”
“..for in Him we live and move and have our being.”