Friday, October 11, 2013

cinnamon rolls and the ends of the earth

I open the hot oven and slide a pan of cinnamon rolls in as waves of heat flow out on my face.

Today, we are a tired, dragging crew. Last night was our church community group. Friends stayed late and laughed long, telling precious stories and opening wells of trust before one another.

We need to ease ourselves into a day full of schoolwork, piano lessons, and cleaning up. A sweet meal of cinnamon rolls for breakfast will help to get us through.

Thoughts of the conversations from last night rattle around in my mind.

I pour coffee, cups of milk for the children, and ponder the way difficult days can make a person feel so very small.

An aching, smoldering sense of God in my chest brings about desperation for His word.

I read John 3, then Isaiah 49.

My own smallness again stares me in the face in these chapters.

We need His word every day to ease ourselves into this world full of sin, sorrow, and brokenness. God offers us hope for breakfast. A sweet meal of His divine purposes will help to get us through.

Even when we feel small, God is endlessly great.

This God of ours, who formed and then filled heaven with his grandeur and beauty. The King of all things, who came humbly through a woman's womb and took on flesh. The One I love most, who rose triumphantly after being nailed to a cross in anguish.

He is never small. Neither are His plans for His people.

"And now the Lord says—
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel to himself,
for I am[a] honored in the eyes of the Lord
and my God has been my strength—
he says:
'It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.'"
-Isaiah 49:5-6

God gathers His people so that salvation can reach the ends of the earth. It has always been this way, and He will always put His mighty gospel into the hearts and hands of people who are willing to take it to the world.

Today I am seeking Him, listening for His leading, longing for Him to make my heart bigger. I keep asking Him the same questions.

What can I give, where can I go, what can I say, that He might be glorified? How can I lay my life down, be crucified with Christ, and know His ways deeper and fuller than I did yesterday?

We walk on the edge of a knife in this world. Smallness beckons with its safety and its cozy promise that if we will be very careful to keep our heads down, life will pass comfortably and heaven will be before us in an instant.

God's roads are lifted high, and they are narrow, and they always lead to the cross. They can seem heavy, they appear dark and difficult to travel.

But they are the roads we are meant to walk.

Today, I am drinking coffee and tasting the bitter flavor of the long days we have before us. I am also weeping with gratitude.

I am small, God is great, and He forms and fills me with His grace. Heaven comes to earth, and beauty surrounds us as we walk the road of our own salvation.

Because there is nothing small about what God has in store for us.

We will take His salvation to the ends of the earth

Hope makes a very good breakfast, indeed....

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