What’s In Your Bundle?

Last week I found a verse in 1 Samuel (25:29) talking about God wrapping us up like a treasure for protection. It was so powerful to me to realize that He loves us so much. He doesn’t just throw us in the junk drawer; He wraps us, individually and carefully, to keep us safe and whole. (See my blog “Bound In The Bundle”)

This week I thought more about that verse. What is the bubble wrap that He uses? What, exactly, is the bundle made of?

Every day this week, I interacted deeply with a different person that has been placed in my life. Each day I left conversations with a new revelation, a new perspective, or a new truth. At least five people brought tears of joy and encouragement to my eyes this week. Two others let me share tears of burden and passion. I’m really not a highly emotional girl…but there was a point to be made, and I’ve asked Him to make His points loud and clear!

I think each of our bundles are made of different things, but I know that each bundle includes other people. True friends are a strong source of assistance, accountability, encouragement, and protection.

Two are better than one …
For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.
But woe to the one who falls when there is not another
to lift him up.
Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm,
but how can one be warm alone?
And if one can overpower him who is alone,
two can resist him.
A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I have walked through this life afraid of friendship, expecting and seeing betrayal all around me. There are lots of explanations for it…but really only one matters. I wasn’t living “in the Light”, with a holy and pure God. I had no idea how to give or receive true love.    

God is Light.
If we walk in the Light…we have fellowship with one another.
Excerpts from 1 John 1:5 and 7

I am so thankful for the women and men that have been bound in my bundle. You are each taking me to a new level in this life. Thank you for your amazing words of love and encouragement, for waiting for me and walking with me as I have become a new creation, for allowing me to share your journeys too. It’s overwhelming how abundantly He blesses us once we let Him!

Calls in the Night

I got a call in the middle of the night. You know the feeling – startled confusion followed by a numbing panic. In a millisecond, you think, “Who? What’s wrong? Oh God, not today…” 

In this case, it was a name I didn’t recognize – a wrong number. I was relieved, but my mind started reeling. I started thinking about the nights that I have been so broken that I couldn’t sleep. Nights that I’ve had to call out to God to stop the torment. Nights I have cried out in despair over children I don’t even know.

It surprised me to remember that I had sent out my own plea for relief that very night, though it was a much different scenario than the nights before I had faith. These days, I have been freed from wallowing in fear, misery and despair. When these ex-lovers come knocking, they are quickly dismissed as liars and thieves.

I find it so easy to relate to David in scripture – he battled many of the same enemies I face each day. I love the prayer he wrote in Psalm 6, how he shares with transparency his physical and spiritual torment, and how quickly his call to God brings comfort and a promise of VICTORY.

Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint;
O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. 
My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long? 
Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. 
I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. 
My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. 
Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. 
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer. 
All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed;
they will turn back in sudden disgrace.

What joy and peace it brings to know that our names are recognized, and our calls to Him in the night are always answered.

Bound in the Bundle

Ever feel like someone put a target on your back? Like every possible thing that could hurt you, distract you, frighten you, tempt you is being hurled your way?

I am thankful for a growing awareness of these battles; I often see them coming. I am thankful for a growing motivation to win them. More than that, I am thankful for the peace I’m learning to walk through life with. 

Today I read something that (once I figured out what it meant) was such a powerful message of love and protection:

“Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, then (your) life … shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; but the lives of your enemies He will sling out as from the hollow of a sling.” 1 Samuel 25:29

Only treasured valuables are “bound in the bundle”. We wrap each piece of crystal or china in layers of bubble wrap to keep it safe, so it can be used for the purpose it was created for.

In the same way, there is a plan and a purpose for every one of our lives. He wraps us up, with HIMSELF, in layers of protection so that we can become what who we were born to be. He protects us because we are His treasure.

I love the imagery of Him scooping me up, wrapping me lovingly, and carrying my bundle close to His heart. That’s really sweet.

But my favorite interpretation is of Him setting His guards in place around me, forming a mighty, empowered, living and active bundle of protection as I walk through this life. One of my favorite verses:

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who love Him,
And rescues them.
Psalm 34:7

Engaged

I woke up today longing for His voice in my ear.

The voice revealing little secrets about Him, His plans, His heart for me.

I woke up today realizing I am engaged. To The King. I am getting antsy.

Throughout my life, I have wanted to skip past the waiting periods and get right to the action.  I want to rush through training and dig right in. I have never read a manual, but I’ve written several…about things I know nothing about.

When I accepted His proposal, I made a conscious decision to enjoy every phase of our engagement together, not to rush through any part of it. We spent weeks alone together, where He broke through my heart walls and convinced me of His love for me. We were firmly in love before He led me to a church home. I have treasured every deepening of our relationship and, while I look forward to tomorrow and next year, I want to fully experience where we are today. More than anything, I want to be ready for Him on our wedding day.

In every relationship, life has a way of distracting us, keeping us from true connection. I miss waking up nightly to the urgent nudges, hearing the mysteries spoken over me. I want to run away, isolate, rediscover the passion we share. I want to reconnect to the love that restores, protects, and waits for me when life gets in the way. I want to love Him with abandon, honor Him in every decision I make, tell the world of this amazing love. 

Don’t be afraid—
You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth.
For your Maker is your bridegroom,
his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Even if the mountains walk away
and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won’t walk away from you,
my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.

I’m about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
Lay your foundations with sapphires,
construct your towers with rubies,
Your gates with jewels,
and all your walls with precious stones.
All your children will have God for their teacher—
what a mentor for your children!
You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness,
far from any trouble—nothing to fear!
far from terror—it won’t even come close!
I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.
– Excerpts from Isaiah 54 (The Message version)

Dirty

It’s turning yellow and a little cloudy
In my fish bowl.
Every few minutes a swim to the floor
Sends up swirls of stuff –
Some old, some new,
but none of it is beneficial at this point.

Only a day ago this was clear.
Days of clarity before.
The accumulation grows in silence
Barely noticeable  
And takes over in an instant.

At least that is how it works in my fish bowl
Between cleanings.
I fight the instinct to throw it all out –
Start over
Again –
Newer fish, cleaner rocks, greener plants.
This time I choose diligence
Persistence
In the quest of finding perfect balance.