The Grace of Weakness

•August 7, 2013 • Comments Off on The Grace of Weakness

Grace Hands - Whelan IV

 

For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from You
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.

~ Psalm 139:13-16.

 

These are the awe-filled words of David, in his song to God at the wonder of his creation.

They are words that also deeply affirm us, as known in the mind of God before we ever came to be, and exquisitely crafted and nurtured by Him into existence.

They are words that fill the lungs again when we struggle to see our purpose, and sometimes even our value.

I have come to see these words in a different way also though, in a way that’s been freeing. That it’s not only what these verses affirm about what we are in God’s design, but what we are not.

How easy it is to be snared by the sense of: do more, be more.

We could potentially spend our one gift of a life, spend our selves, trapped in this pursuit, that in essence says, do more, be more.

But beyond the realm of our responsibility and our choices, and the worshipful working out of our salvation,  it is not possible to be any more than what God has created of us to be.

And so in the laying down of the striving, is a rest in our limits.

What a chance this gives this us to trust God:

The eternal God who is infinite in His wisdom and perfect in His love personally made you and me. He gave you the body, the mental abilities, and the basic personality you have because that is the way He wanted you to be. And He wanted you to be just that way because He loves you and wants to glorify Himself through you. This is the believer’s foundation for self-acceptance … trusting God for who I am … flaws and all.

Trusting God by Jerry Bridges (Colorado: NavPress, 1988) 173.

What a chance this gives this us to glorify God, Who assures us: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness’ ~ 2 Cor.12:9. And to echo the strength of Paul’s humility in his response: ‘Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me’~ 2 Cor.12:9. (emphasis added).

The goal never was to do more or to be more, but only to rest and to receive.

 

Photo and Writing by Birgit Whelan © Copyright 2013. 

Ian and Larissa

•July 26, 2013 • Comments Off on Ian and Larissa

‘Marriage … is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His Church.’

~ John Piper

This story is beautiful, and such an example of this love.

‘‘… a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.’

~ Ephesians 5:31-32

Deuteronomy 33:26

•July 20, 2013 • Comments Off on Deuteronomy 33:26

Deuteronomy 3326 - By B Whelan

 

John 3:21

•July 17, 2013 • Comments Off on John 3:21

Sanctuary 4b

            … the Light has come into the world ~ John 3:21.

 

Psalm 91:11

•July 13, 2013 • Comments Off on Psalm 91:11

Angel

For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways

~ Psalm 91:11

Meadow

•July 3, 2013 • Comments Off on Meadow

Purple Thistles III

It Is Well With My Soul

•June 18, 2013 • Comments Off on It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
E
ven so, it is well with my soul.

 

Words by Horatio Spafford, 1873. Sung by Aaron Ivey on Between the Beauty and Chaos.

Flowers of the Field

•June 13, 2013 • Comments Off on Flowers of the Field

White Roses ~ Birgit Whelan

 

See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.

 

Do not worry about your life.

Your heavenly Father knows [your] need.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

~ From, Matthew 6:28-29,25,32-33.

Today

•May 22, 2013 • Comments Off on Today

Field and Psalm - Birgit Whelan

Temptation

•April 3, 2013 • Comments Off on Temptation

Serpent IV ~ By Birgit Whelan

It all begins in this place of beauty, in Eden.

I can only wonder at such beauty – God speaks, creation flourishing at His Word.

Perhaps its truest beauty though, is not what Eden reveals of God’s hand, but what it reveals of intimacy with Him. What would it have been to walk in the cool of the day, at His side? Union with Him, that is still untainted and unbroken. Union with Him, that is our source, and our wellspring, and our deepest satisfaction.

But we know how the story goes. The enemy of our souls enters in, serpentine. Bent as he is on destroying all that is good and beautiful and life-giving, he comes, with his cunning, and his questions, and his casting of doubt on the nature of the only One who is truly good.

And doesn’t he come in the same way to us? His question as old as Eve: did God really say?

The real temptation was never ultimately about the fruit of the tree. It was after all, fruit that was good for food.

The real temptation is always one of trust. Who is this God of ours? Is He truly good? Is He truly able? Is my hope, my life, surer in His hands, or in my own?

It was doubt the serpent brought first, and later, a playing on the delights of the apple.

Once doubt in God has taken hold, it takes very little to sell the delights of the apple.

And so with doubt, came defiance, and with defiance, death. It was as God had said it would be. And why does this so often escape me? – in everything, it is always as God says it will be.

It was the severing of Eden intimacy with God that I think about. To have known Him, enjoyed Him, and flourished in His presence, and then for all that to be torn apart, in the moment of a choice.

But what grace we know in Jesus. The Second Adam, tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. Who sympathises with our weakness. Who has taken our broken choices, our sin, upon Himself, and made a way back for us, to this Eden intimacy with the Father. That we might know Him, enjoy Him, and flourish in His presence again, through Christ.

Where we have fallen, there is mercy, and grace, and a God who will bring beauty from ashes.

And where temptation is before us, may we choose to trust God. It is always as He says it will be.

‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly’ ~ John 10:10.

Writing and Photo by Birgit Whelan © Copyright 2013.