Tuesday, June 9, 2009


You have persevered and have endured hardships for my Name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Revelation 2:3-4

Before the daily storms roll in, I’ve been enjoying the morning sun on the shorelines. God sometimes speaks through the seas, He sometimes speaks through the skies, but this morning, He spoke through a dog (a talking donkey definitely would have been a bit much before my morning coffee kicked in, Numbers 22:28).

The dog’s master threw the Frisbee around the beach for a few minutes. The dog faithfully retrieved it and returned it to his feet. Then the master threw out an even greater challenge that required greater sight and stronger endurance: he threw the Frisbee into the ocean.

With a bit of hesitation, the dog did what he was designed to do: he went after the prize, with waves crashing in his face and no sand to stand on. He started out wandering away from the goal. This was obviously something he had not done before. His master called his name and pointed in the direction of the goal. He followed his master’s lead and headed towards the floating Frisbee. He got right up to it, sniffed it, then turned and swam back to shore without retrieving it.

WHAT? This was it – this was what he was after, what he struggled to capture, the fulfillment of his design, and he strives to retreat! The master pointed to the goal again and again and called for the dog to live up to his name – retriever! Once again, the dog obeyed and returned to the Frisbee. He refused it for a few more minutes, while treading only inches away. Finally, he gripped it and returned to shore with the satisfaction of fulfilling his purpose. From then on, the dog faithfully retrieved the prize. After the first taste, he knew to return for more.

I thought of how we were made to worship. It is our calling and our choice. We will always venture out to satisfy something, it's our design to desire. We are called by our Master to find the ultimate satisfaction – often without seeing our goal and exerting our strength. At first we wander away, but He continues to call our name; guiding us to our purposed destination – the worship of our Creator. Finally we get right up to His Face, but then strive to retreat. It truly does not make any sense, but there we are – empty hearted, treading water, and running away.

Once we finally capture our heart's desire and worship God, we know to return to Him every time, no matter the lack of sight or strength, according to His call. We just have to take hold, taste Him, and turn hearts to Him every time He calls our name.

Enjoy Him, Michelle

Forecast Faithfulness

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

Before every Pixar film is a “short” film which is often very moving. The “short” before the film UP is called “Partly Cloudy.” I didn’t expect this one to be such a mirror of my own heart.

Basically in this story, storks deliver every baby every born, human and animals alike: the babies are formed by the clouds and each cloud has its own delivery stork. The story zooms in on a special pair, Peck the stork and Gus the cloud. Gus’s babies are the rather dangerous, but necessary: alligators, porcupines, rams, sharks and electric eels. Peck faithfully, and painfully, delivers as his job requires – getting rather beat up, bitten up, or bushed up in the process. He longingly looks over at the other storks’ deliveries of puppies and kittens, understandably so. Yet he remains through the pain to fulfill his purpose. At one point it looks as though he has abandoned his friend Gus for a more comfortable position (and Gus does not respond well to this rejection). But not so – he was simply looking to guard himself against the pains of his purpose. He carries on, guarded and guaranteed, in faithful service to his call.

Days are not always puppies and kittens. It seems that some days are a never ending stream of being beat up, bitten up or bushed up in some way or another. For me, this struggle is more internal than external, which is much harder to explain to people. External struggles are images and stories that people can see; internal struggles are emotions and storms that are personally felt. I look longingly at others that seem to enjoy their life's purposes a lot more, wondering why I am called to get beat up day after day – or so it feels. It's not reality, but some days, it's just how it feels. I compare alternatives and consider abandoning my call all together, at least for a little break (and my Creator does not respond well to my rejection). But I return to my love and trust of His call for me. The outcome of my faithfulness is always far greater than I can ever see. I may return with my heart guarded, for it is my very life, but I return to serve. Always for the pleasure of the Creator and purpose of the call.

Enjoy Him, Michelle