Sunday, December 12, 2010

Living in a 'Snow Globe' world

The snow.
The whirling swirling snow.
Sparkly and enchanted.
Mesmerizing to watch, yet powerful enough to cause injury or even death.
The snow.
Here it comes unexpectedly.
Destroying any plans. Leaving travelers stranded.
Wondering if God has abandoned us to freeze in this desolate mass of white…
Left to survive on our own… or die trying to find His Love in the cold-hearted drifts.
A few decide to take the risk, while many forsake the quest and claim His warmth is useless folly. Preferring to freeze in inevitable loneliness.
The hopeful ones, bundled bravely against the harsh wind, set out. Their eyes searching in watchful expectancy.
The snow. Only snow. Was there ever anything but the twisting flakes of white? As if God had shook up the whole world into a swirling snow globe of wonder for the travelers. Never being able to see what’s in front of them.
Its just a blur now… was the warmth but a dream?
Once in a while the sun drifts thru, casting a deceitful glow and causing the traveler’s hopes to crash in despair.
Perhaps they were right, and abandonment tugs at their hearts. Maybe it would be better to return. At least it would feel more ordinary than this uncertain wasteland.
A few of the faint-hearted fall, struggling for breath.
Will they die even now? Cold and alone… so afraid of this unknown place. Fear cuts their hearts.
They have failed Him.
The cry shot thru the cold and the darkness.
The weary ones gasped as a single, small child stepped forward.
His face shone with a light of hope many of them had long forgotten.
His eyes held a memory of warmth… a reason to keep going made his footsteps strong and sure.
Bending, he carefully clasped the hand of one of his comrades. Softly he placed a strong arm around him.
They continued on, a gentle warm light of hope radiating from the young one’s garments.
Then one by one the others followed.
The sronger carrying the weak…
Following the warm, hopeful light of the courageous one who risked so much to lead them to the promise that awaited them.
Still surrounded by the relentless, blinding snow, they trudge on. Keeping their eyes on the Child, with their hearts dreaming of the promised land. A land that is full of warmth and light. Where the cold, frozen wasteland is but a distant memory. Where the love of the Father reigns above all.
They are following the Child’s light… the light of the world.
They carry each other, helping each other along the rocky, icy terrain. The only other option is to give up, perish, freeze… never knowing true love and warmth.
But they never give up.
For they cling to the hope the Father sent in the form of a child leading them… they press on. Never losing hope.
Now and then the child points to the heavens, clouds parted for a moment revealing stars, bright and powerfully shooting. Sending diamonds reflecting on the snow.
Thru the beauty in the midst of their chaotic lives, they are reminded to take heart.
They plod on…
 A few still lost their step and felt the bitter cold press their hearts. But one piercing look from the loving eyes of the Child, a faithful prayer from one of the weary troops, and a steady hand to raise them up.
And still we go on and on…
A band of misfits trudging through this cold and weary snow-globe world. Searching for answers, and finding them in the life and love of the Christ child.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus… our hearts beat his name as we climb mountains, endure valleys, and wander through the cold, dark, world of snow.
The world will try to manipulate us and make us fall, exhausted, in a weary heap… but we are not given a spirit of fear. So we trudge on. Refusing to give up and give in. refusing to freeze and abandon the love we’ve found in Him. Refusing to give up the life He has called us to… the loving relationship we have found in Him.
For if we abandon this calling… then what hope have we?
Even in the cold, dark nights, we can still follow His light.
For He will never abandon those who seek Him.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Hebrews 13:5

(written December 15, 2007. Revised, December 12, 2010)
Michelle Joy

Friday, December 3, 2010

Snowflake Details

I have thought a lot about small things… small moments with Him, lately.
I need more of Him. More of His presence.
He’s beautiful… sometimes so much so that I can’t take it.
I am so small in comparison.
Small, but loved… small, but noticed by Him.
Its only cuz of Him any of us can do what we are doing these days. Living out this calling from Him. The highest, most wonderful calling… to serve Him and be in relationship with Him.
Something struck me today, during my average day at work. In the midst of Christmas shoppers/customers at my workplace, orders coming and going, rushing out on my lunch to do some errands (and get some yummy tim hortons tea J). A quiet little something hit me harder than usual. Actually quite literally hit me hard… it was, in fact, a very large snowflake.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “snowflakes aren’t large!”… yes, yes… well this one WAS! Or, for a snowflake. It was still small (like me), but on my black glove, it was huge! And so detailed. You could see the intricate delicate points. A perfect miniature replica of the kind we all made as children and hung in windows (as if there wasn’t already enough snow outside J).
This small thing hit my gloved hand and I noticed its perfect beauty at the very instant a soft voice I’ve heard so often lately spoke a few small words.
“I care about small details”.
What’s that? What did He mean?
I looked at the snowflake again. Its lacy prints melting in the warmth of my hand.
Details… if He cares about making a snowflake as detailed as that, and if its true that no two snowflakes are alike… how much more does He care about the details in my life?
How much more does He care about the little things… like how much money it takes in a month to live off of (with gas prices soaring and the economy faltering). Or how to balance life’s busyness. Or any of those little details on our lists of things to do…
Or what about dreams? Does He care about that too?
My dreams get pretty detailed… I dream big. Future stuff. The kind that might take a lifetime (and part of eternity) to accomplish.
So there I was… rushing thru my busy day. Running back to work after my errands were done… and this unusually large snowflake lands perfectly on my gloved hand.
“I care about small details. I care about YOUR details! As small and insignificant in your hand as this snowflake seems, so are you in the rest of the world. But I made you detailed. I gave you gifts. I gave you a name. I have called you my own daughter. I care about where your life is headed. And if I can care about the details of a snowflake, how much more do I care about your life, your dreams, your passions. I will never stop caring about the details.”
Give me an entire blizzard of snowflakes, if that’s the kind of stuff He’s gonna teach me today.
I won’t mind the cold Canadian winters and the snow squalls and closed roads… cuz each of those crazy snowflakes are made so intricately different. And God cares about them… and He cares about me… and He cares about your details too.
So let Him in … trust Him with the details. He can be trusted you know. He created the details in you… and He knows how to make things happen in your life. He is desperately wanting you to ask in faith for the details.
And don’t worry… He’ll take care of things. Ask in faith, and fear not. He has such plans for the future. Don’t miss out!

Luke 12:22-34
Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
“And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Love your neighbor?

Cold November days…

The school semester is winding down… my life has been increasingly more and more busy with final exams, last papers, Christmas shoppers flooding my workplace, etc. etc. etc.
People are what make me slow down and listen. Thank God for the people in my life.
You’ve often heard that people are put in your life for a reason or a season. Sometimes the reasons are not always good. We are all of a fallen human nature. We all need to learn to have patience, grace, and the Love of God with eachother. Sometimes I can be a pain to live with… and sometimes you can too (not gonna lie). But we are all learning and we are all, as Christians, changing by the grace of God to be more and more like Jesus.
A dear friend and mentor of mine once said, “We are all still learning… even I am still learning to love people more.” (Irene Dooley)
So I figure, if she’s still learning… then so am I. And as far as I can tell, so are you, and him, and her, and them… all of us.
Don’t think I ever told the blogging world what I do right now. I am an intern. Crossroads Community Church is my home away from home (and I’m usually there more waking hours than at my house J). As an intern life is consistently busy serving others. Whether people deserve it or not. This year as I entered my 2nd year of the internship, I embarked on a new lesson of love.
Is it easy to love people even when it feels like the world is against you? Or when you’re exhausted past comprehension from a week of being at work everyday and church every evening? No. not easy at all.
BUT! (great word to insert here)
It is all SO worth it… cuz the most fulfilling things in life aren’t the things that come easy. It’s the things that you need to work at. The things that build character. The dreary mundane things that build determination, commitment, patience… and above all else, LOVE!
I LOVE my church.
It’s not cuz it’s always easy to get along with people or even that people like me all the time.
But we’re all still learning.
And when I’m tired and frustrated and wanna give up… God picks me up, dusts me off, wipes the tears… and if I’m smart I’ll lean on Him. Cuz while everything else in life can break down, break your heart, or break your confidence… God is unbreakable. 
Don't forget this, dear friends... God will never give up on you. So don't you give up on Him. Keep running this race... cuz the reward is greater and bigger than you can imagine. And at the end of it all... Jesus is there. At the end of your long, weary day filled with stuff that stresses you out or weighs you down... He is there to lean on and love on you. 
So lets keep going. :)
I feel I have so much more I need to write here... but I am so tired from my busy life, I really must sleep. 

‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40 

Michelle Joy