Have You Seen? {February 2nd, 2020}

Last Week’s Theme: Sacrifice

The Resolve of Staying by Stephanie Prater-Clarke—”Ask me then and I would have told you that one of the most difficult sacrifices in obeying the call to serve in this overseas life was in the leaving.  But some eighteen hard-pressed, tear-stained, joy-fortified years later and I say it’s no longer in the obedience of leaving – it’s in the resolve of staying. Yes! It’s in the gut-wrenching, self-denying, even-when-no-one-else-gets-it resolve of staying put.”

The Road Doesn’t Really End {Book Club} by Sarah Hilkemann—”Some things had to die. He had to let go of his role as pastor at Putnum Hill, and in the process he lost a lot of relationships. He came face-to-face with his own struggles with materialism and ways he had let culture dictate his spending and generosity. His idea of what church looked like shifted because of what he learned in Italy. And I think he realized those ideas still had a long way to go. At least, I hope he realized that.”

You Feel That Way Too?! by Joanna Suich—”These women really ‘got me’. They didn’t have to pretend by nodding their heads and trying to grasp what I was saying. They actually had experienced it too. They knew. There’s something so special and life-giving to be free to say how things really are – amazing or really tough – and know that the other women listening can relate. Time after time, week after week, I found myself thinking, ‘Oh wow, you feel that way too?!’ I couldn’t believe this incredible gift I had been given.”

Grace in the Answers of Honest Questions by Theresa Bloom—”It turns out the way of God’s people in history is still the way of God’s people today: we make seemingly small allowances and fit the idol of self alongside our worship of the one living and true God. But God is faithful to continually call us back to Himself. 2 Chronicles 30:9 ends, ‘For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.’ When we ask ourselves honest questions and find unbecoming answers, God still holds out His grace to us in love—we can always return wholeheartedly to Him.”

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And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

“Now go.”

The Father issues this command throughout Scripture and to us today. We obeyed when we said that brave yes to leave family and familiarity and walk into the unknown.

But sometimes it also means leaving, whether we want to or not. Unrest, sickness, burnout, these can thrust us from our second home and leave us wandering in body and spirit. Perhaps the choice to leave is ours for the good of our kids or our own hearts, yet the ache is still there.

Exodus. Do you resonate with the story of the Israelite pilgrims in the wilderness as they followed the promise of a land to call their own? Do you feel like a rootless wanderer right where you are, longing for a place that truly feels like home?

In the midst of that hard journey, we want to circle back this week to the hope of our God who never leaves us. He is right there with us each step of the way. Let’s remind each other this week of the joy we have in him when everything feels uncertain. Bring your questions, your desert-wandering stories, and the words of truth you cling to this week. Add those thoughts and stories on Instagram with the hashtag #VelvetAshesExodus.

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