I work at a hotel. Most days, I’m either working the front desk from 5:45 am until whenever I get off, or I’m working my backside off cleaning up the messes of a small town. Sometimes the mess belonged to a man who left his wedding ring in the room because he wasn’t staying there with his wife, sometimes a group of very messy Mexican workers who cook moldy burritos in the microwave and have idols and candles to worship the goddess of death who will keep them safe. I work for a Hindu woman whose parents were Indian and emigrated from India to South Africa. I learn a lot from her about God, and she inspires me to spend more time with Him. Her ideas of culture and God coincide with mine some days, but other days, they are very different. Other days, I get very frustrated with her lack of patience for people who are doing their very best to help her. Some days my frustration for this place makes it hard to feel like Jesus is present anywhere in or around me, like I’m in any way making a difference in the midst of all the things I see: the drug addicts with “Do Not Disturb” signs on their doors, the men coming in month after month with increasingly younger women, never wanting receipts that would incriminate them, the coworkers who struggle through things I never could have imagined struggling through. Sometimes, Jesus seems a little far in that.
This morning, I was standing at my kitchen counter making breakfast. I was cutting mushrooms and potatoes, I had just thrown a baked oatmeal in the oven, and my eggs were ready to be scrambled, my sink was overflowing with dishes because I haven’t been home very much this week because of work, more dishes still were stacked on the table from Thursday night’s dinner, I have 3 loads of clean laundry from several days ago in my bedroom that need to be folded. My house becomes chaos some weeks. Standing there at my pumpkin colored countertops slicing food for my breakfast with my husband with my worship music playing, I felt Jesus so near and close to me. Since then, the phrase “I find Jesus in the kitchen” has been lodged between my ears. It’s been an anthem of sorts, telling me that even in the midst of chaos, I can find Jesus in these moments that seem so insignificant.
Jesus is in my mountain of dishes that reminds me I didn’t have time to do them because I have a job where I can excel and solve problems and work with my hands, and because we had company over and spending time with our friend is a beautiful blessing. Jesus is in a pile of diced potatoes and Baby Bella mushrooms and the aromatic garlic cooking in coconut oil. Jesus is in that baked oatmeal in the oven baking all warm and cinnamon-y for our friends at church. Jesus is in the small moments reminding me that He’s provided space for me to serve my husband and our friends and the people I work with and to do things, like cooking, that I love doing so much.
My worship music played and I couldn’t do anything but smile, sing a little louder, and bask in the presence of Jesus I could feel swelling through me and around me in my little kitchen telling me again and again, “No matter who you are or who you’ve been, I’m still here filling every little moment of your life with gifts and building you into who you will become. I’m not done with you yet.”
Keep my mind fixed
Firmly, unwavering on You
So that I might find peace
So that You, Yahweh
Might be my Rock
Because You are strong
And I am not
Uphold me on Your Love
Renew my hope daily
That You are all consuming
And that Your gift of grace
Is more than sufficient for me
Yahweh, You are enough.
I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying lately. Most are just general thoughts and prayers. Some are thankful. Others are full of questions. You know…
One of the big things I have realized is that at some point in the recent past, I stopped learning God. I stopped giving Him preeminence. I stopped just praising Him because no matter what happens He is still just as good… And just as there as He was before I walked a few steps away.
Also, another big thing: Fellowship is imperative.
Going it alone is flat out idiotically stupid.
On top of all that, I have spent time just rejoicing because He talks to me… I still think it’s a little crazy…
All of that inspired this:
Though man my hopes may fail to meet
Though life escapes my plans
My God stands firm
My God knows no defeat
Though my enemies I may fear
Though I run away
My God is stead fast
He will be forever near.
Those are just the first two stanzas… The rest is a work in progress.
I was at camp this past week. My group and I were discussing eternal life one night… You know those really awesome times when you have ideas and you know they aren’t yours? This was one of those times. We were talking about how eternal life doesn’t begin after we die. As we were discussing, three little words popped into my head. They could quite possibly be the most amazing words that God has ever given to me. ‘Jesus is life.’ Eternal life is our Saviour. Think about it. Doesn’t it make you smile a little bit? It does for me.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live. I desire that drive that I so obviously lack. I have not been made to stand back and watch the world as it burns. My creator has given me a purpose: to put out the little fires along the way. The only problem is that I do not know where to start. How do I begin to share my passion? Will we ever know the answer? I don’t know that the answer is always the same for everyone, but I do know this: I am capable of the impossible… I know this because I’ve experienced it.
I refuse to sit still.
This is Esther:
Esther has stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She is only 16.
Today, she has her first round of chemotherapy. Pray for her…
That she will stay strong physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Pray that others will see unconventional beauty through her sweet smile and her vibrant, loving spirit.
And pray for all of us as we embark on this journey alongside of her and her family.
- I am broken
- I live in a fallen world
- My background is less than desirable
- I am blessed in spite of it
- I am loved
- My heart cannot be beautiful by my own efforts
- I struggle
- In spite of that I can still be used
- I am redemption personified
- I CANNOT be silent.
I’ve been following a Facebook thread of a very distant acquaintance for nearly 3 hours. In that short span people commented furiously defending their point of view. The comments now number 109.
I won’t go into specifics, but I will say that the comments on this particular Facebook post have literally brought me to tears.
The hopelessness, the pain, the disregard, and the utter blindness of those who have not discovered Jesus for themselves, and those who have turned away brought me to weeping… It made my heart heavy.
I absolutely ache for these people who so obviously lack, but they as people are so lost, they cannot even begin to seek out what they do not possess.
Let them find you.
They’re not blind
They smell the poverty around them.
They taste the hunger
And feel the need
Oh! These eyes have never been deaf
To that most distinct scent
Of hurt and loss
My senses aren’t numb
To the world’s great lack
I possess awareness
Of what I have
And others don’t
More than anything, I long to be here:
I long with all my heart to be in all these places, but I know that more than all of that, I want to be where God wants me to be. I don’t know where I will end up, but I do know this.
I am to radiate, to reflect, to spread God’s beautiful light as He refines my heart.
When the same verse pops up everywhere all the time, I can automatically say that God may be trying to drill something into my head.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
This verse seems to be everywhere. The way I came across it seemed, to me at least, like a coincidence. But I guess there are no coincidences with God. I basically just opened up my Bible, and there it was. Highlighted and everything. I love when stuff like this happens. It’s exciting.