Glorious Hope

Sometimes we look out at our lives and it seems the garden is empty – plans dead as withered leaves, dreams laid waste. Could we rejoice in the season of waiting, believing that God who brought Jesus out of the black tomb and brings green shoots out of hard earth will bring new life out of all dark seasons too? Could we know that beauty is in this whole process, the waiting part too, not just the end result?

This year, I have beheld exquisite flowers, glorious outcomes that could have only been designed by God himself. I have watched Him make family out of strangers. I have watched Him sell a book that I never intended to write. I have watched my little girl walk with her foot flat on the ground for the first time in all five years of her life. I have watched alcoholics become moms who work hard to provide for their families. I have watched my 16 year old walk through processing the abuse in her past and learn to jump rope and have her childhood finally restored to her after nearly 4 years of living in a family. I have watched God answer prayers that I hadn’t even spoken yet.

As I gaze in wonder, I remember how He brought us out of the dark and the hard. I remember how He protected us from the pounding rain and the scorching sun, baby green shoots clinging to Him for dear life. I remember that as we reached high to the Son, He came down and pulled us closer. We turn out heads up in awe and we know what is around the corner, but we look expectantly to the bowing and the bending and the death of all we had planned because we know – in Him, there will always be more. Glorious hope.

By Katie Davis, from her blog on January 16, 2012

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Ready for Christ

Behold, the Savior.

And in this moment God fulfils every promise and every prophecy. This, God’s perfect time. God does not wait for the world to get ready, He enters right into the mess.

He makes Himself very least, no more status or opportunity than an easily overlooked infant in the slums where I spend so many hard hours. Very least so that He can commune with the very most desperate – you and me. He doesn’t mind that I am not ready yet and He doesn’t mind the wretched condition of my heart or the stench of my sin. God’s time is now and He enters into the mess, ready or not.

His perfect timing, now. Now is where He has called us. And we are just not ready yet. We need to clean up the house a bit and pray a little more and seek more counsel and we don’t know how to do that yet and oh, we have our excuses. And God says, “I’m here now, and I am ok with the mess because I am here for the messy.”

God doesn’t need us to be ready for Him; He has been ready for us since the beginning of time and the Messiah is here calling us to commune with the Holy One, to eat at His table.

I want the house to be organized and kids to be clean and nicely dressed and I want dinner to come out of the oven on time, but at the end of the day they laundry still piles and there are still crumbs in the corner and can anyone remember if I brushed my teeth today? And it can’t be the New Year yet because I am just not ready for it to be a new year yet.

But I remember when I wasn’t ready to move to Uganda. I remember when I wasn’t ready to kiss the people I loved the most goodbye. I remember when I didn’t have enough money to start a ministry, and I remember when I wasn’t old enough to be a mother, and I remember when I didn’t know how to parent. I remember when I couldn’t cook for fifteen people and when I didn’t want to share my house and my things and my life with sick people and addicts. I remember when I was afraid of the slum community that now holds hundreds of friends and when I was terrified that my daughter would never walk and when I was scared that we would never heal after tragic loss. And I remember that never, not once, was I really as ready as I wanted to be. And I remember that God kept all His promises, every last one, in His perfect time.

This new season looms and I don’t know what is next. But He doesn’t need me to be ready for this season because He is ready. He just needs me to be clinging to His feet.

Now, God’s perfect time.

By Katie Davis, reposted from her blog on January 18, 2012

Singing in the Dark

Just one little bird.

She’s up when the stillness of 5:30 nudges me awake and I struggle to peel back heavy eyelids. She’s up and she sings. I wonder how she can even tell that it’s almost morning. I wonder why she sings yet. I tip-toe to the coffee pot and flick on barely enough lights as to not wake my children, and this is my quiet time and I briefly just wish that one little bird would be quiet.

“It’s not light yet. Shhhh. It’s not light yet.”

I lift my eyes from the worn pages of Isaiah and my gaze falls on Sarah’s notebook, left haphazardly on the table after yesterday’s writing assignment. She wrote that I was brave. That I had courage. But as I sit there in the dark, I think that I am not.

… Maybe courage is not at all about the absence of fear but about obedience even when we are afraid. Courage is trusting when we don’t know what is next, leaning into the hard and knowing that it will be hard, but more, God will be near.  Maybe bravery is just looking fear in the face and telling it that is dos not win because I have known The Lord here. I have known The Lord in the long, dark night.

The little bird sings loud in the dark. And slowly, the sun peaks over the horizon.

At school I ask Joyce what her definition of courage is, and she says, “to have faith.” Maybe that is just it. That we still tremble, but more than that we have faith. That even though we feel uncertain, we press into a God who is so certain, so sure, so steady. He carries us, He lifts our heads. And His unfailing love and comfort becomes our courage and our hope.

It is days later and it is raining. The huge drops pelt our tin roof so hard that we can hardly hear a thing, but as the rain slows, I make out a familiar noise and I laugh. It is the same little bird that cannot contain her song too early in the morning. I wonder where she is and how she can keep singing in this storm. I wonder why she sings. But the rain slows to a trickle and the sun peaks from behind the clouds and suddenly all I can hear is her glorious song.

“To have faith, “I think. And I wonder, does she sing because she knows the sun is coming?

And I want to be just like that little bird.

Hope is a crazy thing, a courageous thing. That little bird, she feels the sun coming, knows with certainty that it will come, even when she can’t quite see it yet.

We live in a world where innocent people suffer and good friends die and stories don’t have the endings we prayed for, and the pain and the hurt, it is everywhere. But the Joy and the Hope that we find in our Savior? It is everywhere, too.  I do not have all the answers; in fact, I don’t have many at all. But this is what I know: God is who He says He is. And in the hurt and the pain and the suffering, God is near, and He is good, even when the ending isn’t.

And I can sing, because I know what is coming. I can hope, because I know Who is coming.

In the dark of the night, I have seen His face, and I have known His promises to be true, and I know the Light is coming.

And I want to be brave enough to hold out the hope of the Gospel to a world that is hurting and alone and afraid. Not a hope that is the absence of pain or heartache or suffering, not optimism disguised as hope that waits for the best-case scenario or happy ending, but a Hope that is the knowledge and full assurance that our Savior is on His way.

It’s not light yet, but I know Him, the One who is the Light.

And so in the dark, I will sing.

By Katie Davis, author of Kisses from Katie, posted on her blog on November 7, 2013

He Loves us Like That

He looked into their eyes, both of them.

He shouldn’t have even been talking with the woman at the well because of her race. The woman with the issue of blood shouldn’t have even been near Him because of her uncleanliness. I shouldn’t even be allowed to approach Holy God because of my sin.

But Jesus. He looked into their eyes. He stopped what He was doing, stopped in the hustle and bustle of the day. And His gentle voice held their hearts as He spoke, “Daughter.”

We are just like them.

I am the Samaritan woman hiding from my sin in the heat of the day. My secrets take different forms than 5 former husbands, but I hide them just the same, down deep so that people won’t see. I wonder why He is even speaking to me, so ordinary. Doesn’t He know my faults? He does. And His desire is to heal, to comfort, to uplift. His desire is that I would know the lines under his eyes and the beads of sweat on his forehead and the lilt of his voice just as intimately as she did. My sin leaves me thirsty and I long for living water. I yearn for it and He gives it freely.

I am the woman with the issue of blood – persistent sickness in need of a Healer. Except I am a woman with the issue of sin instead, in need of a Savior to wash me clean. I am chasing after Him, reaching toward Him, longing just to touch the hem of His robe. And He is not far off. He turns toward me the way He turned toward her, kneels down, cups my chin in His hand.

“Daughter,” He says.

Can you hear Him?

And His words to us are the same as they were to those two. “You faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

He has made us well! Hallelujah! He has made us well and He has given us peace.

We are healed from our depravity, our iniquity, our wickedness. We are given peace from our struggling, our striving, our hurt. He loves us like that.

By Katie Davis, author of Kisses from Katie, shared from her blog post: April 16, 2015