Feb 18, 2020

Zacharias' Story || Man Remembered by God







Zacharias' Story


I never thought I'd be here. I never thought it would be me.

But here I am, on the other side of the veil, and I'm trembling like the rumbles of thunder that shake the world in utter terror. I feel like I'm sinking, falling.

With every flickering of the candles and dancing shadows, I wonder if it's Someone. If those eyes that see no sin can bear to look upon my soul. If He knows how much my hands shake as I try to burn incense before Him.

The smell rises up. It's beautiful and sickly and washes over me like a downpour. I can't breathe. It's everywhere, that thick, perfume scent, a million flowers. All around me, hidden under the shining roof of the temple.

I shouldn't be here. I don't deserve to be.

God Himself could step in. He's here. And who am I?

I drop the incense. Something wet moistens my sandals. The perfume is like flowers meeting soiled ground, flawed staining the purely immaculate. Silence echoes around me.

I fall.

And I hear a voice. He knows my name.

He speaks, and the words could shake earth and crack it in two:

"Do not be afraid."

I am afraid. I want to run, to hide, to keep this angel from seeing who I am. God is here, and I am man.

But the angel speaks. He utters words I don't understand, ones I've dreamed of only in my faintest, distant yearnings. He says I'll have a son. He says the world is changing. He says our hearts will once again return to God Almighty.

After all these years. All these hopes and prayers that seemed to dissolve into muddy soil.

God remembered.

I can't stand, can't breathe, can't control myself. It's like this Being is here, and He is ultimate and supreme and everything I've ever wanted and so much more and beyond.

God.

Somehow, I'm before Him.

I can't speak, and if I could, I wouldn't know what to say. Even after silence settles, lights dim, the incense slowly drifts into the air, I'm frozen and can't do anything and don't want to. My knees are wet with the perfume I was supposed to give Him. Somehow, He poured out everything on me.

God remembered. He remembered me and the struggles I have that I pretended didn't matter. He remembered Israel and our yearnings for a Messiah. He remembered. And after all these hundreds of years, He still loves.

He loves.

That God, that overwhelming powerful One, He chooses to love.

I'll never do anything the same. May my life be only to serve Him forever and fall on my face saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel."

Because somehow I was like a trampled flower, soiled by the earth, like the incense poured out, but He chose to lift me back up.

I'm speechless.


To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.
- Luke 1:79 
























And for you - a worksheet to explore Zacharias' life more fully!








~♥~

Feb 11, 2020

Habakkuk's Story || Man of Questions

























Habakkuk's Story


The leaves are so dry that they crumble to my touch. Foliage becomes dust. It falls. Disappears into the rocky sand by my feet.

But it's the whole world. Dust forever, clinging to every crisp bough and the hem of my tunic. It billows up like a storm then settles like sickening mist. It's on us, crawling, stabbing our skin and waiting for us to give in and become dust like we once were.

Sometimes I want to. I want to give in and become like all of them. Because we live in a world of giving up, where no one holds on, keeps believing, keeps hoping. We give up and try to forget.

But I still see it.

The dust is thickening on the horizon, and armies are coming. Soon, the ash will darken our world to midnight; we'll wonder where the Light has gone.

So I keep staring, seeking. There, in the distance, the night rises. But the Light shines in the darkness. Shadows revolt. The darkness cannot understand the power that will one day destroy it.

I'll never give up. There's a people behind me in the walled city who may never know the danger from without, but I'll fight it. I'll let sand slice through my skin. I'll resist the urge to cave, the desire to settle, and I'll keep my eye on the Light.

No matter what armies besiege our city. No matter how many of my own people create their own statues and call them "god." No matter how much the world seeks its own power, comfort, love.

I shiver under this grime. Sometimes I fall too. The mountains still stand before me, but when the Light comes, they'll part to let Him through. The depths of the seas will raise their hands in worship. And may I be found here, waiting, trusting in His power amid the storm.

Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls - 

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.

(excerpt from Habakkuk 3:17-19)
























And, like last week, here's a worksheet to help you dive deeper into Habakkuk's story!







~♥~

Feb 4, 2020

The Samaritan Woman's Story || Discovering Living Water






                                                   

The Samaritan Woman's Story

I feel like I’m standing in a sun shower, but without rain. Or dancing in a snowstorm, but the flakes are all in my imagination, the beautiful, white softness. I feel them, tingling down my arms. My heart bursts. I want to dance. I can’t help it. 

My hands are clasped tight, pressed against my face, and I’m trying to breathe. If it was frigid, I would see my own breath. Today I only see His. 

I see the way His chest rises and falls, every beat of His heart true. It seems to speak my name somehow. 

I see His eyes, that deep brown that penetrates my sin, my past, my blood. They crinkle in the corners, smile lines, and still accept me. 

I see Him, here, before me, and somehow He chose me and loves me even after telling me everything I ever did. The ugliness I try to hide. It’s here, taunting, dancing in my face, and I can’t hide it. But for the first time, I don’t have to. 

He says I can change. He says things aren’t like they’ve always been. Where two people collided, He brings peace. Where the earth runs dry, He brings water. Living water. 

That’s why I feel snowflakes on this mountain, raindrops when there are none. It’s like He took my emptiness and filled it with part of Himself. And I’m overflowing. 

So I’ll cry or dance or scream, and it’s okay. I’ll tell the world; they can’t stop me. No one can. I’m breathing different, living different. 

I met the Messiah. This changes everything. There’s no more longing, no more seeking. Because I’m found. I’m a new woman. 

I will worship forever, in spirit and truth; I will be found kneeling before a God who knows me, yet loves me. Who told me everything I ever did but chose me anyway. 

Maybe that’s worship. I never really understood how or when or where, but the Messiah is here. Now I can’t help it. 

My past is gone. And I’ll dance in the snowflakes to praise Him.




But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

- John 4:23



                   


If you want to study more of the Samaritan Woman's life, here's a worksheet just for you!  ♥






~♥~