|Home| |P31 OBS Blog Hop

Monday, July 15, 2013

Women of Grace

She took refuge among the trees, feeling an unnatural rush of adrenaline and her heart pounding for the first time.  She had never felt this emotion of fear or what it did to her body.  Did she wonder what was wrong with her?  Why did the lush green canopy overhead suffocate and the brilliant colors of the flowers underneath suddenly bother her? She couldn’t do it.  She couldn’t face Him.  But He knew, of course.  He knew where they were and asked anyway.  Thankfully, He asked her husband first.

“Where are you?”
“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked ; so I hid,” her husband’s voice sounded different from the one she knew.
“Who told you you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  It felt like an accusation.
Then her husband did the unthinkable.  He blamed her for his actions.  “The woman you put me here with.  It was her fault.”   She could think of no better answer than to blame the serpent.  Didn’t that gorgeous creature deceive her? And then the Lord God whom she used to walk in the garden with cursed them.  Cursed them and threw them out.   Wait, was there hope?  Woven into the terror of being thrown out of their home, was there hope?

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and he will strike his heel.”  Genesis 3:15

Eve treasured every word.  Some day, another life that came through her would crush the serpent that had deceived her in the garden, the place she had known the most intimate life offered to humanity, and redeem creation.   Some day, another woman would come.

“Woman, behold your son,” Jesus spoke to his mother.  She had known His presence from the time he had been in the womb.  She had given birth to him and now she would not leave him in death.  Her sister and Mary of Magdala stood with her at the cross.  And John.  Dear John whom Jesus loved.  “Behold your mother,” the words came in agonizing breaths.  The end was near.  The beginning was near.  His mother would be cared for.   Everything was finished. 
Woman.  In the Greek,  gunai.
Only two places in Scripture is the word woman used so definitively without  “the” or “a” in front of it- in Genesis, when God refers to Eve, and in the New Testament, when Jesus addresses His mother at the wedding in Cana and from the cross (see Genesis 2:23; John 2:4; John 19:27).   Although it was not unusual for a man to use the word gune when addressing a woman, it was unusual that Jesus referred to Mary as gunai.   The English equivalent of gune and gunai sounds harsh, but in the Greek, it was an expression of gentleness.  Gunai was a deliberate referral to the fulfillment of the first prophecy of Jesus’ coming in Genesis 3:15. 

Jesus Christ wants us to be women.  He created you to be woman.   When we embrace all that Christ can do in us through the fullness of Christ that dwells in us through the Holy Spirit, we grow up.   We grow into women of grace.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Soaking Up the Son

"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith..." Colossians 2:6-7

Some people are afraid of swimming under water.  Not me.  Ever since I was a little girl, swimming under water became an otherworld experience to me.  Muffled, quiet, just me and that underwater world.  I used to pretend that I was looking for treasure or that I was invisible to all around me.  I could hold my breath a long time in that ethereal place.

Morning has now become my other world, especially in the summer.  The sounds of the earth coming alive as the sun reaches its rays above the horizon - the morning doves cooing, the soothing of the occasional cricket rubbing his clicking legs together, the breeze in the top of the trees - these are all sounds of God speaking.  Light and warmth join together to gloriously meet the day. I love to rise early and soak up every minute of summer.

Winter is not my friend.  I struggled through the last seemingly endless Iowa winter that brought the last snowfall on May 6.  Darkness brings low feelings, sluggishness, and having to bundle up in layers becomes a burden.  In the deep of winter, the sun seems to barely skim the horizon for 7 hours and the clouds hover for days on end.  Ah, but the summer brings daylight from 5 am to 10 pm, flowers spill over every patio and sidewalk, and the air is sometimes so balmly that we do not need air conditioning.  I absorb every minute to help me thrive better in the winter months.

The Word of God, the Bible, soaks into us like the beauty of summer.  When we read, study, and memorize the Scriptures in the Old and New Testament, we are rooting and establishing ourselves, saving up for those days when hardship and trial seem endless, when the only light is a skim across the horizon.  We need different levels of study, too.  Daily reading the Bible and praying is a wonderful discipline.  But deeper study of the Word and fellowship with other believers in a small group is essential to establish your faith in a different way.

God didn't intend us to enter into a relationship with Him in order for us to live it without Him.  Studying the Bible, its original language, the cultural significances, brings that relationship alive, because the Word of God itself is living.  God always has a purpose for it in our lives, and that purpose never returns empty.

If you aren't already in a Bible study, I encourage you to seek one out.  Reading, discussing, studying with others will continue to build you up and establish you in your faith.  And when "winter" comes, you'll have the Son to light your soul and keep you warm.