what’s new about New Years ?

well, it’s that time once again — time to welcome in a new year.  I use the word “welcome” realizing that may not be the word others would choose to use in reference to the advent of a new year beginning.  Now as I’ve said before, dear readers, I like beginnings; the beginning of almost anything.  There’s just something so hopeful about a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning where all things are possible and defeat and disappointment haven’t entered in yet.  It’s a pain free place where, suspended in time, we await the turning of the page on the calendar, the dropping of the ball and the striking of the clock; signaling the start of this next as yet unmarred journey full of infinite possibilities and empty for the briefest of moments of all hurt and heartache.

Then the ball drops, the clock strikes its’ final stroke, we turn the page on our calendar and . . .   and what?   What now?  we ask ourselves.  What is different than a moment ago?  “Well, that depends,”  (I answer myself, as I often do) Whether or not I get that clean slate, that fresh start really depends on me and what I decide to carry with me into this new year, into my new beginning; and what I decide to let go of and leave behind.  I get to decide, no one can decide that for me.  But what I decide will make all the difference for me in the coming year.

And in that moment, I realize why my New Year may seem anything but new as I live it out day by day.  I find that I have carried the old with me into the new; I have brought many things “old” into my “new” year, cluttering my clean slate.  It is not a new beginning at all, my clean slate isn’t really clean if I bring all my old mess with me.  In fact, my slate was never clean to begin with.

Then I remember some of my favorite words, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  (Lamentations 3:22-23)  Every day is New Year’s Day for me, because of this promise to me from my Creator.  Because of His compassion (mercy, forgiveness, grace) to me, that I can receive new every morning, each day is truly a fresh start, a clean slate for me if I so choose.  My God stands ready and willing to make it happen each day.  All I need do is to ask Him.

Each day is full of hope and promise, of unlimited possibility.  Each day begins unmarred by yesterday’s mistakes.  Except for what I bring into it from yesterday. Now some things are worth holding onto, but others that I hold onto end up holding me back and weighing me down.  Some things, like my faith, I want to cling to, to continue to carry with me into each new beginning, be it a new day or a new year.

But other things that I continue to carry, (bad habits, unforgiveness) I need to let go of and leave behind.  I need to realize what no longer serves me well, what is no longer needed (maybe never was needed) what has become a burden and a barrier to my progress.

What to continue to carry forward?  What to let go of and leave in the past?  The trick is in figuring this out.  And each time that we do, we come closer to our clean slate, our fresh start and our Happy New Year.  I found some good advice in Philippians and in Hebrews.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.  . . . And the God of peace will be with you.”

and conversely,  “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,  . . . Consider Him (Jesus) . . . so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Yes, if I don’t learn to let go and to throw off, my burden becomes increasingly heavy and in time, unbearable.  Now some burdens I choose myself, while others are thrust upon me through unforeseen, unplanned, uninvited circumstances that surround me against my will.  All changes are not of my choosing, but I can choose my response to each and every one of them.  And I have Someone who bears my burdens.  “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”  (Psalm 68:19)   that’s DAILY, not just sometimes.  how comforting and encouraging is that!?

And just as wonderful, God wants to give us rest.  We need and so we seek physical rest.  But there’s something we need even more, something better, something more important, something more lasting.  Jesus said,  “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your SOULS.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

Rest for my soul, rest for your soul.  Now that’s something I wish for you in the New Year, dear readers, rest for your souls.  We are a seeking, searching culture; but often we don’t realize nor do we recognize what it is that truly satisfies our souls and so we continuously search, wearing ourselves out in the process.

We continually crave that fresh start, that new beginning that will last.  And one day that will happen.  “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.  The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.  But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create,”  (Isaiah 65:17)  “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, . . .  Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  (Revelation 21:1-4)

But for now, dear readers, until that final, last new beginning, I wish you a Happy New Year.  And in wishing you a Happy New Year, dear readers, I wish for each of you a year of challenge and opportunity, a year full of meaning and purpose, a year rich in relationships, a year filled with reconciliation, with forgiveness, with second chances and happy endings.  (Hallmark style or otherwise)  Notice I didn’t say anything about money, power, privilege or promotion.  That’s because history has shown that these things don’t satisfy us nor do they sustain us.

” . . . Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him?”  (James 2:5)

I wish for you all God’s good gifts in the New Year and God’s gifts are always good.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  (James 1:17)

sincerely,                    Grace Day





silent night

a silent night?  no they were wrong,  that night the universe filled with song. hallelujahs, the glad refrain, ringing loudly from every plain.

silent night?  could they not hear?  hosannas rising from every sphere;  pent up praises of all the years, spent waiting for Messiah’s birth — God had finally come to earth!

the slumbering faithful awake to rejoice, to the angel chorus adding voice; the rocks and stones begin to sing, worshiping the eternal King.

angels proclaiming, shepherds shouting, stars on fire, mankind doubting, wise men seeking, a baby crying –He would save us with His dying.

and rising putting death to shame, the eternal purpose for which He came.  to purchase sinful men for God, required He come our path to trod.

and so He left His home in glory, this then is the old, old story — which will be our new, new song;   when we join the heavenly throng

in singing as on that night of old, event the prophets long foretold

oh silent night, so filled with song, a world rejoicing that had waited long; released at the moment of Jesus’ birth, praise and worship surrounding earth

hosannas, hallelujahs too sublime for mortal ears, filling the universe with song these many years; someday we will join the throng, praising our Savior all the day long.

listen for the music, listen with your heart; in the silence hear it, of the chorus be a part.

all creation’s singing in worship, joy and praise,  celebrating in song the Ancient of Days

The music of our Creator fills all of heaven and earth, praises of the angels ringing as on the night of Jesus’ birth;

oh, silent night, so full of song — come again Lord Jesus, don’t be long.

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.”  (Luke 2:11)

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6)

sincerely,     Grace Day



Caution: Hallmark movies may be hazardous to your health

or hurtful to your heart.  How can this be?  you ask.  It would seem the opposite should be true.  After all, the girl always gets the guy; the good guy, the right guy for her.  Sure she was headed in the wrong direction when the movie started.  But she comes to realize her mistake during the drama which always ensues.  She then ditches Mr. Wrong, making her available for Mr. Right.  Or sometimes Mr. Right is involved with the wrong woman, but he always wises up before it’s too late for true love.  Oh, there are some twists and turns before everything gets straightened out, but the ending is always a happy one for all concerned.

Wish I could say the same for real life, my real life for example.  And it always hits home at Christmas time when Hallmark Christmas movies are everywhere, twenty-four-seven.  Yes, the Hallmark Christmas movie is a genre all its own.  And there are so many of them!  The settings may be different, the characters may change, the circumstances may vary, but the plots never waver.  The right people always find each other and end up together, happily ever after, if you will.  Hallmark Christmas movies are all variations of this familiar and predictable age old theme. (which is why we like them, they are comforting, they are hopeful, they are heartwarming)

Now I’m all for a little hope and comfort, but lately these movies leave my heart feeling less warm and more lonely than anything else.  I guess I’m wondering, when’s my happy ending?  I’m still waiting for the glass slipper to be found and fitted to my foot. Maybe I shouldn’t be confusing these movies with real life. Maybe movies are supposed to be a temporary escape from real life, not a beacon of false hope.  Maybe I should stop watching?  or stop comparing my life to the lives of these people whom I become so attached to as I watch them deal with their difficulties and find true love.  Maybe from watching them I should take heart, hope and inspiration.

Maybe I need to look around and realize my life is not the only life that is NOT a Hallmark movie.  Holidays are hard for anyone living with loss, recent or otherwise.  (I still miss my mom holiday or no holiday)  But holidays are memories and that could be why loss is felt more deeply at this time than at others.  Maybe I should stop blaming Hallmark Christmas movies for my sad state (hence the hazardous to my health)  Love is not absent just because it doesn’t manifest in movie format.

The saying that Love was born at Christmastime is literally true.  God’s love for me and for you, a love that shares my pain and pays my price, wrapped in blankets and lying in a manger, entered earth’s history with Jesus’ birth.  “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  (John 15:13)  And that’s just what Jesus came to do and did.  He left His pain free life in glory to walk miles in our pain filled shoes on our oh so broken roads.  Now that’s true love!  It may not look like a Hallmark movie but it’s REAL.  I don’t know about you, but given the choice, I’ll take reality over fantasy any day.  It may not be as pretty but it’s ultimately more satisfying and more lasting.

I think I’ll seek out the widow, the shut in, the alone and the lonely this Christmas. God’s true love is meant to be shared with others.  Together we’ll make our own version of a Hallmark Christmas movie.  So, Merry Christmas to all!

sincerely,       Grace Day

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger’.”  (Luke 2:10-12)







Christmas Hope

four hundred years of silence, broken by a baby’s cry;  a Deliverer for all people after so many years gone by.

God’s promise fulfilled, just as His Word had said– now the Living Word lying in a manger bed

heralds hope for all who hear, bringing His peace, God again draws near; to show His love that we might believe, the baby’s healing we’ve longed to receive.

God’s voice once again is heard, walking among us– the Living Word.  Hope renewed, redemption at hand,  God has come for every man.

that first night as the Baby slept, heaven rejoiced at the promise kept, while knowing the Messiah would later bleed, the only One who could fill our need

for a Savior to pay our price and He had come to sacrifice, to reconcile and make me right, this is the hope born Christmas night.

This Living hope abides with us now, waiting for every knee to bow, at Jesus’ name and then we’ll see– this world as it was meant to be.

Peace is coming as Jesus planned, when the dwelling of God will be with man. Come again Lord Jesus, we’re waiting still,  knowing Your promise You will fulfill.

Our hope You delivered that first Christmas night, we wait on You to make all things right.  for now we remember, we rejoice, we praise — trusting in Your perfect ways.

I thank You, God, for this gift you gave; long awaited Messiah come to save, me and all who would believe;  Your perfect pardon to receive.

oh let me remember and share the shepards’ joy,  may I be filled again with thankfulness and wonder at the birth of this baby boy.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.”  (Isaiah 7:14)

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14)

sincerely,      Grace Day



‘Tis the season

yes, it is the season, but of what?  to be jolly?  to shop for stuff?  to give? to have peace and goodwill?  to celebrate? But to celebrate what?  That is the question and how we answer defines the celebration itself.  ‘Tis the season, alright, but in recent years this season has undergone some significant rebranding.  The Christmas concert is now the Holiday program, Christmas break is now Winter break and we are as likely to be wished Happy Holidays as we are Merry Christmas.

Christmas may have started as a sacred celebration of a miraculous event in history but it has become a cultural celebration as well.  To say that Christ is lost in the celebration of Christmas in our culture today is quite the understatement. Rituals are meant to help us remember and the traditions of Christmas are no exception.  The purpose of remembering is to remind us of the reason for our celebration.  The Israelites had many rituals and festivals to help them remember God’s mighty deeds on their behalf, everything from parting the Red Sea to feeding them in the desert.

One such ritual was the Feast of Tabernacles, which lasted seven days.  When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after their exile, they again celebrated this feast of harvest by building booths out of branches and living in them for the seven days of the feast.  The purpose of this ritual of leaving their more comfortable homes to live in these primitive shelters was to remind them of God’s care for them and of His intervention on their behalf when He brought their forefathers out of Egypt, sustained them in the desert and brought them into the land He had promised them.  Besides, what better way to appreciate your comfortable home than to live in a stick booth for seven days?

I’m thinking this is hard core, big time.  Couldn’t the lesson be learned without living in the booths made of branches?  And is remembering THAT important?  The answer is yes, remembering is THAT important.  Nehemiah 8:17 says of the Israelites that their joy was very great as they celebrated this festival living in their booths.  Why?  I think there is joy in remembering God’s goodness, His provision and His deliverance.  All of these things the Israelites had experienced. They just needed to take the time to remember once again.  That’s what rituals are for, for remembering.

So what does all this have to do with Christmas?  Christmas is our ritual of remembrance.  At least it should be, it could be, if we truly take the time to remember what it is that we are celebrating.  Simeon knew.  In Luke 2:29-30 he said upon seeing the infant Jesus with Mary and Joseph at the temple, “Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss Your servant in peace.  For my eyes have seen Your salvation.”  ( what’s Simeon talking about? his eyes are looking at a baby, not at salvation)  But for Simeon they are one and the same.  It was already complete, God had kept His promise. The birth, sinless life, sacrificial death and victorious resurrection were all accomplished, though they had yet to take place and he would not be alive on earth to witness those events.  But those events cannot be separated from the initial event of Jesus’ birth.

When we have children we wonder, we hope, we plan, we pray about their futures but we don’t know at their birth what the outcome will be.  The events of their lives are separate entities for us.  Not so with the birth of Jesus.  As the Son of God, whose plans stand firm through all generations, Who knows the beginning from the end, Jesus’ future was certain.   (God had graciously revealed this to His servant, Simeon, who was told that he would not die until he saw the promised Messiah)

When I celebrate Christmas, I’m celebrating all that is contained in Jesus’ birth. I’m celebrating Jesus’ life, His sacrificial death on the cross and His triumphant resurrection.  The baby in the manger became the Christ on the cross. The crucifixion is contained within the nativity as is the resurrection.  When I celebrate Christmas I’m remembering so much more than a birthday.  I’m remembering and celebrating that moment when God entered into our earthly existence and walked with us for a while, His promise kept.

When I celebrate Christmas, I am remembering the lifting of the law, the providing of the ram, the tearing of the curtain, the fulfillment of the prophecies, the forgiveness of my sin, my redemption, my healing, my hope of heaven.  I am remembering that God’s presence has come to live with us and then in us, sealing us for the day of redemption.  I am remembering my own deliverance from darkness to light, from certain death to eternal life with my Creator.  I am reminded that Jesus’ birth is the fulfillment of God’s promise to mankind.

When I celebrate Christmas, I’m remembering again God’s faithfulness to me and to you, His inexplicable care for us in providing the sacrifice (as He did for Abraham) to make a way for us to be reconciled to Him when there was no way. This is the miracle of Christmas. Realizing and remembering all these things should bring us great joy as we observe this ritual/festival of Christmas.

These elements cannot be separated.  In celebrating Jesus’ birth we are remembering and celebrating His every promise, His every word, all that God has done and all that God says He will do.   THAT’S A LOT TO CELEBRATE!  All this should bring us GREAT JOY as we REMEMBER during this ritual/festival of Christmas.

No wonder the angel appearing to the shepards said, ” . . . I bring you good news of GREAT JOY that will be for all the people.”  Being this side of the cross, we get the great joy meaning.  God had come to us in person, Emanuel, “God with us”.  Jesus had come to purchase men for God.

I may be saddened by what the world has done to the observance of the festival of remembrance of Jesus’ birth but I shouldn’t be surprised.  How can anyone celebrate the birth of someone they don’t acknowledge and don’t know?  It has become something often unrecognizable in our culture today.  And so I must remember and in my remembering have GREAT JOY and then I must share that GREAT JOY with anyone and everyone who would desire it.

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”   (John 1:14)

so remember, rejoice and have GREAT JOY!    Merry Christmas to all,

sincerely,     Grace Day





you feel me ? ? ?

How many times a day do I hear these words?  That may be a rhetorical question on my part, dear readers, but the answer is an unknown; too many times to count, that’s for sure.  Contained in this query, though voiced in teenage slang,  is the universal question we all are asking of others everyday of our lives.  Do you get me? Are you hearing me?  Do you understand me?  Do you get where I’m coming from?  Do you see the world the way I do?  Can you see my point of view?  Can you put yourself in my place?  Do you care about my situation?  Do you care about me?

So much is contained in those three words of inquiry,  “you feel me?”  In my day the popular phrase was “walk a mile in my shoes”.  The S.A.T. word is “empathy”. The result is a view of the world (if only temporarily) through another person’s eyes. But empathy takes time and intentionality, plus desire and practice.  We have to genuinely want to know another person’s perspective and we have to actively practice empathy before it can become a habit.

Sometimes we just don’t care enough to make the effort to learn another person’s past or to become acquainted with the road they’re walking; even for the briefest of moments.  Yet sometimes a moment is all that it takes.  A moment is all that is needed for the miracle of understanding to take place.  Understanding makes empathy possible.  We catch a glimpse of something that opens our eyes to possibilities we had not seen before and so not taken into consideration.  We make a connection.  “A whole new world,” so to speak, opens before our eyes.  Our road is not the only road.  Who knew?

Many times a day I am invited (maybe challenged is more accurate) to consider another’s course, to walk their road, however briefly.  Really, not even to walk their road, but just to acknowledge that their road exists; to acknowledge that their road has validity and value all its own,  just as my road does.

Nothing more “eye opening” than seeing the world through new eyes, through someone else’s eyes, even if ever so briefly.  Point of view or perspective is everything in determining how we see and treat those around us.  We all want to feel that we are understood by others.  Hence the ever popular, non-rhetorical “you feel me?” I hear so many times a day from my students.

Given the current public discourse on any particular topic, discourse on social media of all kinds, the exchanges I witness in workplaces, public places and the classrooms I am in, I would say we’re far from extending the empathy and understanding we all so crave for ourselves to others.  We refuse to give to others what we most desire from them.  And we all end up feeling misunderstood and overlooked.

Jesus wrote the book when it comes to empathy, literally.  He invented the concept. Jesus literally came to earth to walk a few miles in our human shoes (earthly bodies) and He did just that.  If anybody gets it, Jesus does.  Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses because He has been tempted in every way, just as we are.

“He (Jesus) was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.  . . .  Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,”  (Isaiah 53:3-4)

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!”  (Philippians 2:5-8)

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”  (John 1:14)  That’s complete and total empathy in action!  Our Creator came to live among us by taking on our form, an earthly body that experiences hunger and thirst and weariness and physical pain and suffering.  Jesus experienced our life from our point of view because He became one of us for awhile.  He didn’t just acknowledge our road, He walked it with us.  And He’s walking it with us still today.

“O, Lord, You have searched me and You know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord.”  (Psalm 139:1-4)

So the answer to my students’ often asked question of  “you feel me?”  is,  me–not so much BUT I know who does “feel you, see you, get you, understand you and care for you.”   Jesus’s answer to you will always be, “yes, I feel you.”    And that is truly extraordinary!

sincerely,      Grace Day


the woman in the pew

There’s a woman in a pew near the front on the far right in my church every Sunday.  I know this because I sit near the back on the far left every Sunday and I can see her from where I sit. The same could be said of her as was said of Jesus in Isaiah, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”  (Is. 53:2)

And yet . . .  though elderly and slow in her movements there is an underlying sturdiness to her frailty.  She sits alone now, since the death of her son, an old man himself, by all appearances.  Still, she is always there, in her place in the pew. That fact alone is a comfort to me.  (but then I like consistency, things I can count on)

To look at her, you would not say life has been good to her.  Nor would you say life was any easier for her at present, if one could guess at her circumstances from her clothes and outward appearance.  But then the music starts and transformation takes place before my eyes.  I watch as she wholeheartedly worships with all that she has and all that she is.

She stands when and as long as she can, but often she is sitting during the singing.  This however does not deter her participation in any way.  Her arms are raised, pumping to the beat emphatically (I can tell that even from behind and far back as I am)  On the occasions that I have been up front during the singing, I have had the added bonus of seeing her facial expressions as she joins in the singing.  What a privilege to witness her worship!  She is more fully engaged seated than most of us who are standing.

Many times I am weary and my heart is hurting.   Then the music starts and there she is!  She is an inspiration to me, watching her worship lifts my spirit and points me toward God’s perspective on things.  Her joy is evident though inexplicable by worldly standards.  Her presence and participation encourage me and I suspect others are encouraged as well.  God is using her just as she is in this season of her life, to fulfill His good purposes in her and in those who worship with her.

After being particularly uplifted by watching her this past Sunday, waving her arms forcefully to the beat and clapping (nothing frail about her during worship), it came to me.  I think she’ll probably be a choir director/worship leader in heaven.  She’s already got the job description down.  Thank you, dear woman in the pew.  I am privileged to worship with you!

“Praise the Lord, O my soul.  I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”  (Psalm 146:1-2)

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”  (Psalm 150:6)

sincerely,    Grace Day




why can’t I ?

Why can’t I put away my pumpkins?  That’s what I’m asking myself today.  Is it because it still looks and feels like fall?  Fall is my favorite season, after all.  There are still leaves on some of the trees as I write this and the weather is mild.  Maybe I need snow to push me past my procrastinating and into parting with my pumpkins and gourds and Indian corn?

It is December after all, I should be decorating for Christmas, right?  But I can’t until I let go of all my familiar fall things that I’ve gotten used to over the past couple of months.  Perhaps my procrastination is less about parting with my pumpkins and more about protesting the passage of time.  I am not ready for another season, I am still enjoying this one.  Why doesn’t time ever ask my permission before passing on?  I am not prepared.  I am not ready.    Still . . .

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:   a time to keep and a time to throw away,”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1,6)

“He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Time for me to let go and get going;  after all, I have to catch up with Time, but couldn’t she slow down just a little?

sincerely,     Grace Day




Our search for significance

Feeling faceless in a facebook world?  You are not alone.  (but how would you know that if you are isolated?  I feel a new support group being born)  We all want to know that we matter; at least to someone, somewhere.  Connection.  We long for it, we live for it, we seek it out.  Without it we die.  In our culture, which emphasizes individuality over community, this search for connection and therefore mattering is made all the more difficult.  We are told to pursue ourselves, our own interests and goals, rather than pursuing relationships with others and being of service to them.  We measure our worth by money and fame. Both are transitory and ever changing.

Social media is now available to assist us in our quest for mattering and connection.  We tweet, we twitter, we text, we snapchat, we facetime, we facebook; hoping desperately that someone out there is paying attention, that someone out there is listening.  Hoping that we have been heard, that someone out there sees us, really sees us, understands us and cares about the way that we take.  It’s a noisy world out there, we think.  (and we are right)  Everyone is talking, who is there to listen?  Who is there to hear us?  Who is there to care?

But there is Someone.  Someone who sees us, who sees me, as He did Hagar.  Someone who knows our circumstances, who knows my circumstances, as He knew Job’s.  Someone who knows every hair on my head and cares for me as a shepard cares for His sheep.  Our Creator, the Living God, who stretched out the heavens and calls every star by name.  That’s Who!  and miracle of miracles, He knows my name and He knows your name.  In fact, it is engraved on the palms of His hands.

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.”   (Psalm 147:4)

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before Me.”  (Is. 49:16)

We DO matter to the One who created us, we are assured of this fact in His word. He cares for us and will never leave us nor forsake us.  (Deut. 31:16)  He watches over our coming and going, He will neither slumber nor sleep.  (Psalm 121)  Our Creator knows us and He hears us.  “Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord.”  (Psalm 139:4)

We can find our significance in belonging to the One who created us, our Heavenly Father.  Who wouldn’t want to belong to the Living God?  A God who left His place in glory to become flesh and walk among us, sharing our pain, experiencing our suffering.  A God who gave His life to pay our sin debt and so reconcile us to Himself.  A God who loves us with an everlasting love and is faithful even when we are unfaithful.  A God who forgives sin and heals the sinner.  (Psalm 103:3)

I have turned my back on God, not the other way around.  God did not turn away from me, I rebelled, wanting my own way rather than following God’s way.  I trusted in myself, rather than my Creator.  “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;”  (Isaiah 53:6)   Yet God pursues me still.  “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.”  (Jeremiah 31:3)

In my search for significance, in my desire to be heard, I cry out to God who sees me and hears me.  When I seek my identity from this temporal world, I can’t be assured that I am truly seen or that I have even been heard.  I am not guaranteed a response.  How different it is with my Heavenly Father; He sees me, He hears me, He responds and cares for me out of His all sufficient grace and mercy.

“The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.”  (Psalm 34:17)

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  (Jeremiah 33:3)

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him.”  (Psalm 103:11)

“Does He not see my ways and count my every step?”  (Job 31:4)

Take heart!  You are seen!  You are heard!  You are loved!  You are cared for!  You are answered!  by God, Creator of heaven and earth, who showed His love in Jesus, whom He sent here to be with us for a short time in order to make known His message of redemption for us for all time.

My tweets and twitters may go unheeded, falling on deaf ears, but never my prayers.  I have God’s word on that.  He’s collecting them, saving them along with all my tears.  My significance lies not in WHO I am but in WHOSE I am.  I can rest in that.  God saw Hagar alone in the desert all those centuries ago and He sees me alone in my desert today.

“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her.  ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ ”  (Genesis 16:13)

Even Job, in all his troubles and trials, knew that God saw him, believed that God cared about his suffering, believed that God would not abandon him (all evidence to the contrary) and believed that God would reward him in the end.

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”  (Job 23:10)

my search for significance ends when I rest in relationship with my Heavenly Father,  yours will too,

sincerely,                     Grace Day