So, I’ve been going through a tough season lately and allowed myself to slip into a severely depressed state. So, when I could finally get out of bed – I sought the mental, physical, and spiritual help I needed.
For the spiritual help, I sought wise counsel from my home church, Amazing Church, and was instructed to find the person in the Bible that best matched my current state. To be honest, some days it could be a different persons every minute. (If you’re not a middle-aged woman who is naturally quite emotional anyway and is now dealing with wacked-out hormones – you may not understand this).
Anyway, I was having trouble picking one. But today I figured it out. And it wasn’t a deep exegetical examination of Biblical text that brought my revelation. I finally was able to say “That’s me right now!” when the song, Lazarus, by Trip Lee dropped into my workout mix this morning!
(Click here to listen to the whole song on YouTube).
Here are my favorite lyrics from the track:
He made the blind see and got the lame up
So it’s no surprise he can raise us
Wake them up now
Believers when your life is looking tough now
When you’re at your all time low
Don’t forget that power that he already showed
Listen to the entire song these beautiful words come from by clicking here.
So… because we spend so much time looking down with our faces buried in a smart phone, laptop, or such – I am purposing to be intentional about looking up. And I’m not just talking about looking up mentally as in a positive attitude (though that’s pretty dern important, too), but physically turning my face upward.
There have actually been studies that demonstrate a physical stance of upward turned eyes actually has physical benefits such as increasing endorphins to improve mood and stretching the neck to improve posture and spinal alignment. Designers of historic cathedrals had beautiful works of art crafted on ceiling on purpose to draw the gaze – and therefore the spirit – of the parishioners upward.
So I challenge you to look up today! It will do your soul, spirit, and body good… and you may see a blessing you may have missed if you just kept staring down at that device in your hand!
Let’s keep encouraging each other to look up!
Oh, and check out the cool vintage light fixtures I got to see when I took the time to look up from my laptop in the cute little cafe (click here for more information on it) I’m writing from today!
When I would wake up with nightmares as a little girl, Mom would comfort me by singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. And that fact she sang over me all those years ago still allows me to sleep peacefully even during some of the most seemingly uncertain chapters of life.
“And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:17
“Who You were is Who You ARE. And Who You ARE is Who You’ll ALWAYS be.” – Travis Greene
Celebrating the #EternalUnchangingAwesomeness of my God. ΑΩ;
“”I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”” –Revelation 1:8
So much change in this world – that’s a fact. But the stronger fact is that the God who created this world is greater and stronger than ANY change. He is so great, in fact, that not just one Name can describe Him. There are so many Names of God in the Bible. And each Name is a reflection of a facet of Who He Is. And I’m thinkin’ that at least one of those Names meets you right at that point of your need right now. These wonderful Names are throughout the bible, but here’s a link to a great little resource. It’s a printable calendar with 30 Names of God so you can wrap yourself up in who God is by focusing on a different name of God each day.
And I’ve also put together a YouTube mix of some old and new favorite songs of mine that help me focus in on the Names of God. It’s hard to stay “down” while singing along with these. It helps the most shaken and lonely parts of your soul remember who HE is. And sometimes… that’s all we need to know.
When my Jeep needs work, I prefer to take it to my “Jeep Guy” because he is not only a great mechanic, but an expert in Jeeps who was trained by the manufacturer. It just makes more sense to take “Jeepers” to someone who, given the right parts, can build a Jeep from the ground up. (Yes, I name my vehicles and sometimes have long conversations with them…. Don’t judge me).
It makes sense for us when something in our physical life needs repair or maintenance to take it to the manufacturer or someone trained by the manufacturer for that specific product. In fact, some manufacturers will not honor the warranty on their product if you do otherwise. It simply makes sense that the designer of thing is best equipped to get that thing back into its optimal state.
So why do I – and perhaps you, too – often go to everyone but our Designer when something is “off” in our own bodies, spirits, or lives? A line in the Bible “jumped off the page” (or, rather the iPhone screen) for me this morning and got me thinking about all this. Because, really… “Shouldn’t people go to their God for help”? HE designed us and know better than anyone how to heal, direct, sustain, and protect us. Yes, He may and does use many others, from friends to physicians, in our healing process. But we should go to the HIM first rather than the THEM! And just like my “Jeep Guy” might refer me out to a specialist for some types of work (like when I am able to have her transformed into a giant Jeep with big tires that can drive through 4 feet of mud without getting stuck), I will still go to him first for direction.
So let’s operate in the same mindset with something a whole lot more valuable, timeless, and irreplaceable than a vehicle. Let’s go to our Maker first. Because as Tasha Cobbs Leonard said in this incredible YouTube Clip of a worship service she led, “All the strength and the peace and the joy that you need is at the feet of Jesus.”
“The people will say, ‘Go to the fortunetellers and wizards who mumble and chirp like birds. Ask them what to do.’ But I say, ‘Shouldn’t people go to their God for help? Why go to the dead to get help for the living?'” – Isaiah 8:19 ERV (Holy Bible: Easy-to-read Version)
So, this verse came up in my Bible reading today. And, as I often do when something moves me, I #GoogleIt. (I know…. you were expecting something deep like meditate or prophesy. But, no. You got Google 😉).
My Google search led me to the picture of the lovely crown you see here. But this picture became more meaningful because as I was Googling, I was listening to a prayer call by incredible inspirational teacher and Amazing Church #WorshipPastor, Barbara Calloway. She was talking about the #HolySpirit and specifically the importance of #unity.
Here’s something she said: “Break out of your comfort zone and decide you are going to be unified together”. As words and thoughts of unity hung in the early morning air, I continued to stare at the picture on my screen. As I looked at the beautiful crown, I realized that – although a pile of diamonds would be a site to behold – this artistic work of jewelry is so amazing and even more valuable because the individual stones have been crafted together into one beautiful masterpiece.
In the same way that the uncrafted pile of diamonds was easy and effort-free, the introverted and conflict-avoiding version of me finds it easier to stay a “lone diamond” capturing a little glimmer of my Father’s light all on my own. But if I press through past the awkward seasons and difficult conversations that are eventually and inevitably part of every healthy relationship, how much more beauty, value, and #GodLight will be reflected in the unified whole of so many different and precious individuals! I think we’ll find it worth the effort. And I think we already know that our God is so very worthy of being crowned with our beautiful unity.