“And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”” ~ Exodus 33:19 (NASB)
The word that set the spring flowing this morning is compassion. I am in the midst of a great change in my life, and I am seeking God so greatly, that as I read the stories from others, my heart is tugging and tearing – yesterday I started to read the first chapter of a new book, unPLANNED, by Abby Johnson. It seriously took me all day to read 7 pages. I had to literally stop and pray for strength to get through one of the pages.
“Your right hand, LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, LORD, shattered the enemy.” ~Exodus 15:6
And, I say this, because I see a flowing of presence in so many of us right now - change and transformation beyond, what I believe, any of us can even comprehend. If we look at the stories and heartaches of some of my closest friends, and the way God is speaking to us (to me), we can (I can) utterly be blinded by the radiance of light.
As I sit here, at my desk, preparing for my day, it's like I am paralyzed by the thoughts of change, yet it is not fear. I am so uncertain of what God has for me, and that would have sent me reeling downward before, but today, I find I am looking up and forward in wonder and in beautiful anticipation of that wonder.
“Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” Exodus 15:11
My life is truly a wonder; and truly all the definitions of this word are filtering through my mind as I sit. I am amazed that I am truly feeling blank, yet my fingers are typing frantically to get thoughts out that haven’t even transpired in my mind.
Conjecture, meditate, ponder, question, marvel, surprise, astonishment, amazement, bewilderment, AWE
Definition number 7 is the one that hit the mark for me this morning – “The emotion excited by what is strange and surprising; a feeling of surprised or puzzled interest, sometimes tinged with admiration.”
Commiseration, mercy, tenderness, heart, clemency, SYMPATHY
There is only one definition and it truly relays so much of my heart today, and lately – “A feeling of deep sympathy for another who is stricken by misfortune; accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
And, as I re-read a note from a friend, Deb Matheson, “So often in the Gospels we see that first Jesus had compassion – and then it was from that place the power flowed. May the Lord overshadow you with presence – and power. May we call forth the gold we see in brokenness and minister His life to the wastelands... may we see the wilderness places flourish. The tides are turning, God is shaking stuff and taking us back to His original plan”, I realized what a wise and thoughtful statement she wrote; one that stirred so much this morning including the words here.
And, though there are many things right now that are uncertain, I am grateful for the wise counsel of friends, especially when they don’t realize the power of their ministry. As I read the final portion of the chapter from the book, God spoke so graciously through Abby's words again, “… I realize how wise God is for not revealing our future to us. Had I known the firestorm I was about to endure, I might not have had the courage to move forward.” Abby’s story is much different than mine, and the “fire” or “storm” that He has will weave and forge, through my life’s story, is uniquely directed to His plan for my life.
I am reading a book call unPLANNED by Abby Johnson. www.UnplannedBook.com and this morning I spent some time in Exodus 15 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2015&version=NIV