Laundry Room…

Today I lingered in the laundry room….for much longer than I ever intended. It is not a glamorous space. In fact, quite the opposite. It is too small, hot and crammed full of stuff that we can’t find any other place for in the house. Yet, there I was. Hiding really.

You see the laundry room door closes and has one of the only child protective knobs on it in the house. So, I was safe and alone…for just a few minutes. Unreachable by little hands and clamoring little feet.

I could hear my grandson out there running after our dog, Baby. Screaming (no screeching is a better word) along the way. He is a wild boy mid-mornings, demanding ever bit of his MiMi’s attention and seemingly moments away from the next tantrum. At nearly twenty months, he has mastered the word “no” and has opinions about what he will and will not do. And most of the time what he will do is NOT what he needs to do or even is allowed to do.

So, there I was in the laundry room, wondering  how many times a person can say, “no” in an hour. Or minute for that matter.  And thinking about my poor dog. Baby who undoubtedly wishes she had thumbs and could hideaway in the laundry room too.

Again, God steps in and whispers, “look again child.” You see, it is a perfect illustration of what I do everyday to my Father. Run wild, get into things I shouldn’t, and screech while emphatically proclaiming “no” and exercising my own free will.

Yet, my Father doesn’t require a time out in the laundry room. Nope. He sent His Son, Jesus to stand in the gap for me. Jesus’ blood covers all my running, defiance, testing and offenses. I get to hear a resounding “yes” over and over again. Yes to forgiveness! Yes to grace! Yes to everlasting life! Yes to complete victory!

Thank you God for daily reminders of your goodness. Oh and thank you for my laundry room!

Choose Joy!

Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.
2 Corinthians 1:20‭-‬22 MSG

When the answer is no….

Recently, something didn’t go my way. Something that I have wanted to participate in for two summers now. And I found myself handling it well. Yeah, no. Again, in full transparency with this blog, I found myself crying pitifully and sulking for an entire day over the unfairness of it all. I found myself acting like a child who didn’t get my way. I even had the audacity to think that I was entitled to doing this particular thing. That I had earned the opportunity. I found myself questioning God about this “no” to something I wanted and even asked to do. The truth is that I don’t understand why this particular door is being closed, leaving me frustrated.

I pray that I am not the only one. Being told “no” is not easy for anyone, especially when you can not make sense of the answer. Yet, after my day of sulking, I began to consider that God has His reasons. I remembered that He is a good Father and that He requires my obedience and trust, which led me into His Word this morning.

In 1 Chronicles 28, we see that David had a desire in his heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord. But, God tells him that he is not to build a house for His name. God tells David that his son, Solomon will be the one to build His house and courts. David responded in obedience and he chose to focus on the many ways that God had used him, time and time again. He chose to focus on the abundance of “yeses” and blessings that God had given him. And then he went to work setting up his son to succeed in this task.

After some reflection, I have shifted from this one “no” to the many “yeses” that God has provided in my life. I look forward to seeing what new ways that He would like for me to serve Him in the future. I will trust in His perfect plan and timing. My frustration has now turned to joy. And anticipation. So, I will join David in praying,

“Praise be to you, Lord , the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, Lord , is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.” 1 Chronicles 29:10‭-‬18 NIV

Be joyful!

“Then David said to the whole assembly, ‘Praise the Lord, your God.’ So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.” 1 Chronicles 29:20