Friday, 30 September 2011

Missing Home

'I can't sleep on this bed! It's too hard.' My gorgeous granddaughter threw herself around the room. Her sister climbed up on the double bed claiming her space beside me.
It was night five on our holiday with these two granddaughters and it was the third place we'd stayed. Obviously they were out of their comfort zone.
'I'll have to sleep standing up.' She retrieved the pillow she'd thrown across the room and stood beside her bed, cuddling it to herself and resting her head on its end.
I lay on her single bed and  invited her to join me. She refused and kept throwing herself around the room. I controlled my desire to yell at her. We were in a heritage B&B in Katoomba. We'd sat in the classy lounge room, drinking coffee and playing board games. I'd read to her. Was this how she was going to repay my generosity?
I took a deep breath. I suspected she was homesick and suffering a pain that she could only identify as a sore back.
'If I was home I could go lie on the lounge!' She confirmed my suspicions.
I lay on her bed and waited. Eventually she flung her body down beside me and tolerated having her back rubbed. Ten minutes later she dismissed me. 'You can go to your bed now.' Within seconds she was asleep. The next morning she woke up happy and enjoyed the rest of the holiday.
I was thankful I'd remained patient and not caused a scene. That familiar quiet voice spoke in my heart. 'She's a lot like you really.'
'Like me?' Then I understood. I can get grumpy too. Could it be I'm homesick for my heavenly Daddy and I don't recognise it? Maybe it happens when I haven't spent time with God for a few days. Mmm ... I think I'd better go and spend some time with Him!

Friday, 23 September 2011

My Daddy and I

When I was a girl, my Father would often open the casement window over my bed at daybreak. ‘Jocie, would you like to come and milk the cows with me?’
His invitation broke my deep sleep, but I most times would bound out of bed and meet him outside within minutes. My Daddy wanted me! 
Sometimes the invitation would be issued before I went to bed. ‘I’ve a big day tomorrow. Would you like to help me milk in the morning?’ And I did, but to be woken by his voice outside my window was special.
I was blessed with a great Dad, but he betrayed me when I was fifteen. He left and he didn’t even say ‘good-bye’. I farewelled him as best I knew how as I stood in the rain and watched them lower his coffin into the ground. But I was bereft.
Raised a Christian, I finally understood the necessity to personally accept Jesus’ sacrifice when I was nineteen. I served my God, but never could believe he loved me. It was twenty five years before the hound of heaven finally broke through the shell around my heart and I had to accept He loved me–not just everyone else–but me.
Many mornings, my heavenly Dad opens the window of my soul and invites me to walk with him. Just as milking with Dad was never a chore, it was time together, so I love being with my Father. He paints the sky different colours everyday for me, varying the shades of the greens of the trees so that no two mornings are ever the same. He has led me to hidden flowers so I can pick them, showed me the new born clutch of ducklings, pointed out the koala with her baby on her back.
One morning during a solo retreat He woke me, asking me to walk. I was tired, but He was persistent. I walked two kilometres through the bush to a high hill that overlooked a large dam. Then he showed me. In the valley, rising out of the mist, was a pure white rainbow! In awe I watched until it faded. He pointed again and I looked down. A tiny circular, coloured rainbow, about a metre across, was below me in that valley. You see my Daddy just happens to be the creator of the world!
My Daddy invites me to do things with Him, but he never demands. He gives me wise advice, but I don’t have to follow it. He offers me lavish gifts, but I don’t have to open them. He has given me a powerful sword but it is my choice to pick it up. I wear His ring, but He asks me to use it at my discretion.  My choices never change His amazing love for me.
Yes, my Daddy loves me, and as when I was a child, I’m His favourite!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Time has come.

‘The time has come!’
The bride wakes the morning of her wedding. ‘At last! The day is here! I’ve waited so long.’ Or a mother walks through a school gate and for the first time leaves her precious child behind. The time has come!
An excited eighteen year old walks onto the campus of university for the first day. A teenager walks away from his driving test waving a new licence. The time has come.
A pregnant woman’s water breaks. ‘The time has come, Honey. We must go to the hospital.’
Somehow these words seem to usher in a new era.
A man is led into court to hear the jury’s verdict. Another man is let out of jail. A woman waits in a hospital bed until the orderlies arrive with a trolley. ‘Okay! It’s time to go. The surgeon is waiting for you.’
Miss Three is going on a holiday tonight. She is flying on a ‘big pla…a…ane’. For a week she’s been asking, ‘Are we going on the big pla…a…ane, today?’ Now the time has come! It is really happening. She is so excited.
Gough Whitlam told us, ‘It’s time!’ He pushed in a new wave. He rewrote history. But the most profound utterance of these simple words came from Jesus.
‘Father, It’s time.’
With those words, he stood, and walked out into the garden, knowing the soldiers were coming to arrest him. It was time to lay down his life, time to carry the hurt, rejection, rebellion, and idolatry of the whole world. Time to suffer. Time to defeat the enemy. He was the most courageous person that ever lived!
‘Father. It’s time.’ When He uttered those words, the history of the world changed.
When have you said these words? 'It’s time.' 
I’d love to hear your stories!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Some conversations change your whole life.

The phone rings. You answer with  a cheerful, 'Hello!' Your stomach does one cart wheel and sinks to the bottom of your boots and you sink into a chair.
What a difference one conversation can make!
Have you sat as a doctor has told you there is no hope? Or answered the door to find a grim faced policeman? Or been summoned to the principle's office? 

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Don't buy those.

‘Don’t buy those!’ My shopping companion was unhappy with the shoes I had chosen.
‘What’s wrong with these sandals? They fit well and I love the colour.’
A big sigh. ‘They’re yucky!’
She marched the length of the shoe rack suggesting other options. I dutifully followed. Her taste is good. But none of her selections fitted my criteria. I walked towards the exit without those shoes, then stopped.