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Monday-Morning-Meditation, Girl Meets Paper, Jane Graham

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Good Monday morning to you! I’m so excited to sit down together, push away the noise, pull back the curtain on the sunrise, and learn from one another.

Last week I told you about this linky-party idea and invited you to join me.  And so today this good work, birthed in my heart at Allume, sucks in its first breath. Today it finds its hands and feet. And today, you are my partners.

Would you please join me? 

Our Bible passage for the first ever Monday Morning Meditation is:

Philippians 1:4-6

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Simply choose ONE of the following:

  • reflect on the passage and share a story or example from your life that exemplifies the truth of that passage
  • write a devotional of sorts, providing a more theological perspective on the selection
  • post a photo that you think captures the heart of the message
THEN…
  1. Link up here (follow the button directions below)
  2. AND…visit the blogger who linked up ahead of you!! A must! Since the point of this linky-party is to encourage one another, we must visit and read each other’s posts!

Now that the formalities are complete, here is my take on Philippians 1:4-6 passage:

She stares into the fire while tongues of flame shake like a lions mane at our feet.

I know that her heart deflates and sags from the burden. I can hear in her voice that the weight of this threatens to pull her under.

A loved one has again disappointed her; shaken free from the cords of a loving upbringing. She has no answers. And despite her attempts to reach out, to support, to encourage, to love…she cannot fix it.

She cannot fix him.

I manage something about God being faithful to complete a good work, but even I begin to wonder:

“God…why are you taking so long? I can see the way you’re beginning to weave this tapestry, but can I really trust you to finish it? To tie the final knot?”

Now I am the one refusing to blink, staring wide-eyed and heart pounding into those flames. Watching the fire leap and curl and snarl at whim; sucking in the July night and spitting out heat.

I realize that, like her, I have no guarantee that I will not be harmed in the same way. And I have no guarantee that it won’t come from the hands of my own children. I have no promise that they won’t grow up and toss our tent stakes to the wind; no promise that they’ll bloom into the compassionate individuals I pray they will.

Do I trust God for his promise of completion? For perfect provision and perfect timing in my life and in the lives of my children?

When I read Philippians 1:4-6, I am reminded of all the many times through history when God was faithful to complete His good work. I am reminded of the Lord providing a ram to Abraham at just the right moment. I remember Esther’s bravery in saving her people, and Mordecai’s prophetic words, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b). Esther came at just the right time.

In each of those situations, I’m sure the people involved were also wondering what in the world God was up to. I’m sure Abraham had a fleeting second of “Can I really trust you, Lord?” And Esther, who approached her husband under threat of death, had to have been contemplating whether God was really in control.

It occurs to me that we must make those same decisions to trust every day. We must face the uncertainties and inconvenient timelines and unfortunate turn of events and decide to trust God’s promises even though. We don’t do it because it’s easy or because it makes the trial less difficult, but we decide to trust because we know that our God always keeps His word.

Perhaps in those situations when the tapestry appears a jumbled mass of frayed edges and disconnected string; when I can least make out the image he’s creating, perhaps that’s when the beauty is beginning to emerge.

And that’s when His words will squeeze my heart: Jane, I am faithful. I started this good work, and even though it may not be completed for you to enjoy — or at a time that seems right to you — I will do it. I promise.