My husband gave me a great gift and sent me to the Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference this weekend.

Thousands of women.  Incredible Bible teaching.  Beautiful moments of worship.

One highlight: Listening to verse -by-verse exposition of Revelation 4 and 5, having our hearts and minds filled with scenes of heavenly worship, and then wholeheartedly singing, “There is a Higher Throne,” led by the Gettys.

I got off the plane, was greeted with a swarm of smallish arms all wrapped around me, and the strong arm of my husband drawing me in.

Then someone had to go potty. Right! Now!

We took the kids for a special treat and they started arguing over who got the most Slurpee.

We got home, and I noticed the full laundry hamper (truly a happy sign of a fun weekend with Daddy),

Daddy was off to a meeting, and I was pretty sure I smelled something that didn’t belong upstairs in a bedroom.

Soon I was bathing my little girl after a potty accident, kneeling beside the bathtub, telling her how much I missed her while I was gone, how much God loves her and how He can wash all her sin away through the blood of Jesus.

Then it was on to prompting another child along in his bedtime prep, brushing some teeth, hanging up Sunday morning’s dresses, kisses and prayers, and heading downstairs to pick up the evening’s clutter and wash up the dishes…

The bathroom-taking, argument-breaking, clothes-washing, dish-washing….this is where I can display the glory of God in my life.

I came back from the conference with a full mind (session after session packed full of biblical truth!).  But as I was scurrying around from task to task, Paul’s words to the Corinthians kept coming to my mind,

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

I can put my mind to work, applying my attention and intellect to understanding the beautiful intricacies of the Scriptures.  I can delve into commentaries and theological works, both incredible gifts to the Church.  I can raise my hands in worship in response to hearing God’s Word.

But if I come home and can’t kneel and wash my little girl… I’ve gained nothing.

If I can’t put down my computer and play a game with my boys… my learning has been in vain.

If I sit down in the morning and delve into verse-by-verse inductive study, but don’t get up from my quiet time ready to lay down my life for my family, church, and community, I have simply exercised my mind but my heart remains changed.

Hearing the Word must result in true worship of the Savior and a deeper love for Him and those He has put in my life.

So my prayer this week is that His grace will keep me coming back to His Word, His grace will keep me studying, and then His grace will take that reading and studying and transform my heart so that I can worship and serve.

Mom! He has my belt!

Mom! She won’t give me my stuffed lizard!

Mom! He took my money!

These cries from my children pierce me, too hard. Didn’t we just talk about dying to ourselves? Didn’t I just patiently explain to them that Jesus died for their sins so they are no longer slaves to sin, slaves to these desires that rise up within them so strong? Didn’t I just ask them to think about how much God loves them so that they could love each other with His kind of love?

Aren’t I doing things the right way? Then why aren’t they? Why aren’t my children responding the way I want them to? Why aren’t they following the formula? Didn’t they read the same parenting books I did?

My motives and true desires are so exposed when things don’t go as I planned!

Am I laboring to raise my children for His glory, or for mine? Did I read the books so that I could find The Path to Raising Christian Kids, or is this parenting thing really all about us- me and my children learning even more to lean on Him, to surrender to His good plan?

If I read the books, if I gave them the talks, to bring glory to God, to shine the spotlight on Jesus and His incredible work on our behalf, why am I so anxious when they don’t respond, when they turn right around and have the same fight all over again?

Didn’t I just ask Him to glorify Himself in any way He chooses in my life? Didn’t I just surrender my hopes and dreams for my children and our family to Him? Am I already taking it all back, setting up my own kingdom so quickly after declaring His Kingdom and His will are my greatest desires?

Ah yes, I am prone to wander just like my children! I, too need a fresh look at the Savior. I need a new reminder that I serve a King who sits on His throne, that He is writing a story, a Grand Story, to bring Himself fame and glory and honor. And He has included me and my children in this Story of redemption and grace.

But we are not the stars of the Story.

The Grand Story He is writing does not depend on my kids getting it right this morning, on them taking in my well-crafted talk and responding immediately and completely.

No, He is writing His Story, and all of our stories, the good and the bad, to showcase how amazing He is, how perfect and glorious.

Even now, while I wait for the fulfillment of His purpose, while I wait for my hope to be realized, I can be encouraged I can even be changed– by the words of John in God’s Revelation to him,

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!

I can take my focus off of myself and my expectations for my kids, and I can bring my attention instead to the heavenly scene John described in his book,

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

I can be free to parent in grace, to parent with real hope.

Hope that His plan will be accomplished. His perfect plan, crafted in Love, to bring Him the most glory. The glory of God is where my true joy must begin. That is where hope can finally take root in my heart.

Here, at His throne, I can release my children from the expectation that they must bring me glory. Before Him, I still must teach and train and show them over and over again the beauty of the Gospel truth. I can tell them they can be set free from sin because the Savior lived the perfect life and died in their place and rose again. Here, before Him, I can teach and train and pray, and leave them in His hands.

I don’t have to take their sin and failures personally, I don’t have to get depressed or anxious when they are not responding.

I can look hard and see where He is working in their lives instead of trying to pound out every bit of disobedience and bad attitude.

I can discipline and teach with great hope and expectation that One Day, the end of this life will come, and we will enter into His Rest, we will bow before Him, and we will also join this heavenly scene,

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb… and they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands…

(Revelation 5:8-14 ESV)

Several years ago, my good friend very accurately told me my life motto should be, “Why stand when you can sit?”

Not-lean.  Uncoordinated.  A reader.  That girl in school you really hope doesn’t get picked for your kickball team.  The lady in front of you in church who can’t clap and sing at the same time.

Yeah, that’s me.

And I’ve been ok with that.  I love watching all the good dancers at weddings.  I am perfectly content making dinner while my family plays soccer.  Sometimes I even sit on the deck with a good book while they have their crazy fun.

But a while back, I started seeing a problem with the way I was living.

The problem comes because I need a strong heart to be a good mom to my kids, to mother them without falling on the couch in exhaustion every afternoon.  I need stronger muscles so I can hike with them when we go to the mountains.

And most importantly, I need a strong spirit- my real, forever heart- to fight the good fight of life well. And I can’t do that if I stay content with my weaknesses, if I keep coddling myself.

All this sitting and watching, all this keeping myself safe under my crocheted couch blanket isn’t making me stronger, isn’t making my heart yearn more for Him.  

In fact, my safety in doing only what I am good at, what comes easy to me, might actually be producing bad fruit in my life.  Self sufficiency.  Lethargy.  A heart that takes refuge in comfort instead of in the Comforter.

So, a couple months ago, after a long while of reading, thinking, researching (things I am good at!), I finally felt Him nudging me out of my safe place, into a pair of running shoes, and onto the pavement.

Even after almost 4 months, I still don’t know a lot about stride, pace, and pronation.

But I keep putting my shoes on and hitting the road.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I still have to walk during a ‘run.’  I get out of breath and feel sick and I am eagerly waiting for the infamous runner’s high (does that really exist?).

Sometimes I tear up and want to cry when I come around the corner and see my house. One day, I walked in the door after a run and just sobbed into my husband’s arms, “I can’t do this!”

I fight to put my shoes on, to get out the door.  I have read that it gets easier, and it also doesn’t get easier.  A hearty yes to both of those sentiments.

This is an ugly business, this putting off the old and putting on the new… this training of body and heart.

But my legs and lungs are getting stronger, and so is my reliance on the One who graciously showed me my need for change and Who has given me every once of strength and any bit of resolve I may have to keep going.  Seriously, running is so far out of what I have ever done or have ever even wanted to do, there is no explanation except the grace and mercy of God.

Running is simply one way I die to myself and live for Him.  Laziness and love of comfort are two habitual sins that tempt me.

But God gives me strength, and help, and courage.  He does not just give me help, He is my Help.  The more I think about what He has done for me, how He has completely justified me through His Son Jesus, the more I strength I have to walk in the truth that I am a new creation, I am no longer a slave to my passions and my comfort.  I don’t have to stay the same.

The ten year old climbs into his bed, takes a deep breath of the clean fresh sheets, and exclaims, “Ah…. that smells so good!”

Husband walks into the door after a busy day at work, and there is gratefulness in his eyes when he sees the table set, and smells good smells coming from the kitchen.  He says words of thanks for a meal prepared, and for a family to share it with.

Her little voice wakes me up in the middle of the night, her hand tapping my shoulder.  “Mommy.  My bed is wet.”  And off we go again… change the sheets, get a good wipe-down, slip on fresh pajamas, all while feeling around in the dark so we don’t wake Sister.  We whisper words to each other and tuck back in with a kiss.

Those two boys look so sharp in their uniforms, all ready to hit and catch and throw.  They’ll not know for many years (maybe until future wives clean the miniature baseball pants of their own little ones?) the careful scrubbing it took to get all those slides into home out of those baseball pants.  (Isn’t it funny how boys love to slide, whether the ball is closing in on them or is still in the outfield?)

“Mommy!  Will you paint my nails?”  Later, we head outside and she is so excited about patting seeds into soil and lugging around the watering can, she does not even notice the dirt under her freshly painted bubble-gum pink fingernails.

Yes, there are days when it just seems like too much and that the only reason we clean and cook is for it to all be undone by dirty shoes and hungry bellies.  We want to get our own nails done instead of dabbing drops of color on tiny hands.

We say in our inadequacy, “I am not domestic!  I thrive on going and doing, not staying and working!  I don’t know about all this nurturing!”  We sigh and cry out quiet prayers for help under our breath.

In the midst of all this mother-life, we are being transformed.  He hears our prayers.  The mess and the needs don’t stop, but as we look to Him for grace and strength, as we keep on even though we don’t feel like it, He changes us.

Marriage and motherhood are two ways He takes self-centered, self-fulfillment seeking girls, breaks us open through the joys and pains, and transforms us into wives and mothers, and even better, disciples.

What Jim Elliot said is true, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”  Because when we lay down our lives, in these daily acts of care and love, we are sowing seeds into a Future that will not disappoint, into a treasure that we cannot lose. And I don’t mean our husbands and children won’t disappoint us. No, they will, and we them in return.

I am not talking about hoping in the promises parenting books offer, that the correct methods will produce teens that don’t talk back or college entrance or kids who grow up to take care of us when we are old.

No, this is a deeper Hope, a more distant future, the one Paul spoke of in Romans*… we hope for redemption, for the Day when our faith will be made sight. We hope in Him, we hope in the Rest He has promised us, in the eternal reward of seeing Him face to face.

Sometimes we need to take a breather, to slip out of the constant neediness to have our own needs met.  But please, let’s use that time to refuel and fill back up with Him and His help, so that we are ready to give again, instead of simply craving more time to serve ourselves?

Because this work does matter.

It matters to the One who said, “And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward” Matthew 10:42.

And it matters to the ones we are serving.

Our serving fills their hearts with love.  It shows them- our husbands and our children- that they are important to us, that their needs matter to us.

But best of all, our serving shows them that they matter to their Heavenly Father, that He would care for them by giving them someone (you! and me!) who loves them, loves to help them, wants to be with them.

We can show them gospel love by laying down our favorite book and setting up the ironing board, lingering by their bedsides with a story while they fall asleep, closing the computer to look into eyes and listen to what is on their minds.

Maybe you are like me, and you don’t feel naturally domestic.  Nurturing does not come easily.  Here are some things that have helped me:

  • Asking- sometimes begging- Him for a love for my home, for a nurturing heart that welcomes my husband and children.  Our Father loves to give good gifts to His children.
  • Doing. Just doing it.  Making the bed, getting dinner ready, giving a hug or a word of encouragement. Sometimes in the doing of the thing, the affection for it slowly comes.
  • Remembering. That I have been brought In.  I was once a stranger, and Christ has made a Home for me, set a table, prepared a Feast.

So let’s pray and do and remember. For them, for Him, for our own joy that is set in our certain Future.

*And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
(Romans 8:23-25 ESV)

As I open my Bible this morning, my thoughts are swirling.  Thinking about many needs in my life, needs in the lives of those I love, some desires I have.

I lay out my needs before Him, writing down on paper the list that has filled my mind for days.

When I am anxious, I am forgetting His goodness and grace to me.  I am forgetting His past kindness and His promises of a good future.

He asks me to cast my cares upon Him, and I finally obey.

In God’s kindness, He breaks open the Word and feeds my anxious heart.

Once again, the Gospel is the foundation for the peace He promises.

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
(Romans 8:32 ESV)

In the Gospel, I see the lavish love and care of the Father.  My worry and anxiety over today and tomorrow (and tomorrow’s tomorrow) cannot stand in light of this perfect provision for what was my greatest need, the salvation of my soul.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
(Matthew 7:11 ESV)

Our Father delights in answering the prayers of His children.  He loves to give us good things.

But what if it seems as though what He has given today is not good?  An empty checking account, a disobedient child, a derailed schedule?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)

Because of His promises, because of the incredible proof of Love He has given us in the Gospel, we can accept with glad hearts and open hands whatever He brings our way.  Any circumstance we may find ourselves in today is His grace to us, His showing us His love and care, His power and sufficiency.

Because all is grace, in both the things we like and the things we would rather avoid , we can say, “Thank you, Father, for this providence.”  We can agree with the Psalmist, who declared, “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. (Psalm 16:6 ESV)”

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. Psalm 66:16

God has given you a story to tell. He is writing a story of your life, to bring Himself glory, to point others to His strength and sovereign love.

Tell your story.  And tell The Story, the old One, of Jesus and His Love.  Tell how He saved you.  How He has kept and is still keeping you through trials. How He has forgiven your sins and redeemed your life from the pit.

If you are like me, this is incredibly scary, this opening up about past mistakes and disappointments.  We don’t want to be defined by the difficult, failing moments, do we?  Maybe you have been betrayed by a close friend, and your own words have been used against you.

Of course, that can happen again. We have no guarantees of safety, when we are in relationships with each other, fellow sinners.

We will let each other down, yes?

But if we are going to move from fear to friendship, maybe we should go ahead and admit this, and enter into our relationships with the open disclaimer, “I will let you down.  You will let me down. But can we extend grace to each other?  Please, will you still be my friend?”

There is only one perfect Friend who never betrays us… the Betrayed One who knows our pain, shares our sorrows, and yet still invites us to make ourselves vulnerable to each other in order that we may lift up His name.

In Him we put our trust, our hope.  In Him we rest our joy.

When we rest in Him, we can open our hearts to each other.  We can speak of what He has done for us.  We can tell about who we were and who He is making us, we can speak of His faithfulness.

Tell your story. Not in an airing-your-dirty-laundry kind of way, but in a way that points Up, to Him.

I woke up late, head throbbing dull.  My heart hurt as well because I knew I had missed time with Him.  Time I had so looked forward to, wanting to remember this special Friday, to remember the Day He bore my sin.

The morning continued in the same disappointing way.  Late breakfast, difficult parenting moments.

I remembered with regret the Easter activities I had failed to accomplish. The special cookies I had failed to bake.  The mini tomb I had failed to make.

As my day wore on, my mood did not improve.

I was washing pollen and dirt off windows, feeling the weight of my failure.  My thinking went something like this, “I have really missed the mark this Easter.  I have not done enough with my kids to make this a memorable time with them.  I have not spent enough time alone with Him to set apart this day in my heart.  Is Sunday even going to feel special to me, when I have messed Friday up so badly?”

And then, as the dust came off the windows, allowing the light to shine through the once murky panes, right there in the midst of my self centered thinking, the Truth shone through into my heart.

Good Friday isn’t good because of what I do to remember it well.  It is not a day set apart to remember how good I can be.  Christ’s death is not more effective- I am not more forgiven- when I perfectly observe this special day.  It is not about me at all.

It is about a Perfect One, taking on the sins of the many.  It is about the Son atoning for the sins of His people, once for all time.  It is about the Lamb of God, crying out, “It is finished,” as He breathed His last.

In my desire to commemorate His death, I was instead trying to add to it, seeking to do my own good deeds to make myself feel good.  And when I failed, or headaches or schedules got in the way of my plans, my emotions caved.  I felt despondent. The more I focused on my sin and failure, the less I thought about the Cross.

As good as traditions can be to help me remember, only the Cross can reconcile me to God.  Only the Cross.  

And at the Cross, He bids me to come, here today, just as I am.  Because He has done all the work, I can rest from mine.

These thoughts still seem a bit scandalous to my works-loving heart.  As my earlier sadness revealed, I am still far too dependent on what I think I can do, instead of what He has done.

And tonight, as my husband read the Gospel account to us, and even my 4 year old proclaimed, “Jesus died to take our sins!”, my heart was able to rejoice in what He has done.  My day can end much sweeter than it began, because my focus has shifted away from my works and now my heart can rest in His finished work.  And Sunday seems sweeter than ever.

She looks at me, sweet.  Shy.

She asks me softly.  “Mommy, do you think everyone will look at me?”

And I give her the reassurance that I need to hear myself.  Words about how much He loves her, how she can trust Him and then seek out others, instead of thinking only about how she feels.  She walks away from me, into the room with a nervous smile.

And later I talk to other girls, the grown up kind who still feel like my little one.

We still get scared to walk in a room.

Even more scared to share our hearts and lives with each other.

And so we are tempted to shut ourselves in.  Stay home.  Or stay quiet.  Safe.

But this safety we create is really no safety at all.  Our safety is in Him.  Only in Him.

When we keep ourselves closed off to each other, we are left to bear our own burdens.

Left to our own imaginations (I don’t think she likes me… her home/marriage/life is perfect…. she does everything better than I do).

Left alone in our pride (I can handle life on my own, I’m just fine over here in my corner).

Left alone in our fear (what will she think if she really knew me?)

His Word is sure and deep, and He bids us to come and lay ourselves bare in order that we may bear each other’s burdens, encourage each other, and a whole host of other ‘one anothers’ (just for fun, go to and search ‘one another’…wow!).

All the way back in the Garden, He made man and saw that he needed relationship. To be connected to someone else.

And so it is with us.

We can’t obey one single of those ‘one anothers’ if we are too busy, too scared, or too full of ourselves (fear and insecurity force us to focus only on our own needs, instead of the precious sisters around us) to actually connect with each other.

So like I encouraged my little girl, let’s ask Him for grace to turn away from our fears and self consciousness. To put our hope in Him.  Let’s put away our pride and our comfort.  Let’s hope in Him, so that we are free to truly love one another.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:22-24 ESV)

Submission is a tricky subject.  Not many of us like to talk about it.  When we are pressed, few of us are big fans.  We don’t like to acquiesce.

However, submission does not mean that we as wives hand over all responsibility, all of our thoughts and all of our insights over to our husbands.

In fact, we can be quite guilty of manipulation if we are not careful in this.

For instance, if a family has a large financial decision to make, both husband and wife can (and probably should) weigh in.  Both should be praying, talking it out, and bringing wisdom into the decision.

Sometimes, we as wives don’t want to have to take any responsibility. What if we do give our input and the situation turns out badly?  So we can be tempted to sit back and say, “I’ll just let you make that decision, honey,” knowing that means we can kind of put all the blame on him if things go south.

That is manipulation, not submission.

We are called to help our husbands (see Genesis 2), as well as submit to them.  That means we must bring all of our experience, knowledge, and insight into family decisions.  If we withhold help to keep ourselves safe, we are in the wrong.

This can play out in many areas.  House buying, finding a church home, making a major move, husband taking a job, decisions with the children, just to name a few.

Yes, our husband has the final word on these things (if we come to an impasse and we graciously support his decision, that is submission), but he needs our help and prayer and insight as well (that is being a helper suitable).

Husbands are responsible to lead their families.  They are accountable to God for their decisions.

But wives are also accountable for how they help their husbands.

So as women, we do not have a lesser role to play.

We must roll up our sleeves, get on our knees, be immersed in the Word, and help our husbands with all our might and with all our hearts.  This takes skill, wisdom and strength.  The kind of strength described in Proverbs, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”

This is no wishy-washy, “whatever you say, honey,” kind of womanhood.  This is gritty.  It is hard. But let’s remember Jesus’ promise to His people, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever…” (John 14:26)

Let’s remember we also have a mighty Helper, who asks that we call on Him for help and grace- and also much forgiveness when we find ourselves not helping or manipulating!  So let’s ask our husbands how we can help them, and let’s ask our Helper to help us as we help our husbands.  (Now that’s a lot of helping going on!)

The epitaph over Israel’s grave was, “They Soon Forgot.”  C.J. Mahaney

Things have been going smoothly, and I slip into a sort of auto-pilot.  I think about praying, but instead quickly starting do-ing instead.  It seems as if I am able to get things done, things are skimming along without too much difficulty.  Why immerse myself in the truth of the gospel, anyway?  Sin just does not seem that strong right now.

But in the morning, out of habit, I picked up the Bible in spite of my spiritual lethargy.  A friend and I email each other every morning, letting each other know we have read the Word and spent time with the Savior.  I didn’t want to send her an “I skipped this morning” email, so I opened to the book of Judges and started reading.

Israel is already in trouble.  They just made it to the Promised Land.  God has promised to deliver their enemies into their hands.

Only they don’t fully trust His promise, don’t feel it is really necessary to completely obey Him, and they fail to drive all the enemy out of the land.  They were satisfied with a partial victory.

And their hearts were turned to false gods.

The author of Judges puts it this way, “[Israel] played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them.” (Judges 2:17)

The sad words continue, “And the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baals….” (Judges 3:7)

Israel forgot.  They made it into the Promised Land, and they forgot the Lord.

And so I found myself starting a similar, dangerous pattern.  The idolatry of self-sufficiency had begun to creep into my heart.  I was not desperate enough.  I did not see my need as strong enough.  I imagined I was ok, that crying out to the Lord for help was not really necessary everyday.

I forgot.

This is why the gospel must be the center of every day.  As CJ Mahaney says in the sermon quoted above,  “No! days! off!”

The gospel tells me of my need.  It tells me I was helpless, lost in my sin, and God sent me a Helper, a Savior, a Rescuer.

The gospel tells me the only thing keeping me today is the unseen hand of God, going before me, and that He will be holding me secure until I see Him in glory.

The gospel reminds me I am a mess, undone, powerless against sin, apart from His grace.

When I am remembering and believing the gospel, my pretending self-sufficiency is done away with.

When I am remembering the gospel, I live in thankfulness and joy, for I know what I used to be and Who He is and what He has done for me.

But my strength does not depend primarily on my remembering, but much more so from Someone remembering me.

How thankful I am that God does not forget!  He tells Israel over and over that He will remember His covenant promises to them.

He sent Israel Judges to deliver them, and He sent us a Deliverer to rescue us from our sin, to cover over our forgetfulness.

This is how I don’t lose heart.  When the Spirit convicts me deeply of my sin, shows me how much like Israel I still am, I am tempted to live in my shame.

But He draws me in.

He reminds me that even though I forget, He always remembers His promises.

And not only that, but Jesus is our high priest who daily lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). He is always remembering us before the throne of God.

So I put my hope, not in my own ability to get it together and start remembering, but I put my hope in His remembering me.

Oh, keep my heart, Lord Jesus!  Instead of coasting along in the myth of self-sufficiency, may my heart sing,

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.



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