July 7, 2019
Sunshine for the Soul-The Treasure Hunt
“Create in me clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Almost eleven years ago, I began to pray with a group of women. Although our backgrounds and lifestyles were very diverse, there was a miraculous and inexplicable connection within the group as we gathered to pray and to lift up the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Community Prayer Group met in an inner city café owned and operated by Mission Waco. And as with any group united in the LORD, testimonies of God’s miraculous Goodness and Faithfulness have continuously occurred throughout the years…We have witnessed His provision, His Healing Grace, His Protection, His Power, His Presence…and yes, we have experienced His Mercy…and His Grace.
So Deeply Humbled…
On an August morning, women from seven different churches met and one of the ladies had invited a friend to join us. She shared with me that her friend struggled with addictions and homelessness. Although she had family and a local church, she battled the giants in her life. And, on a Tuesday morning, she found her way to the prayer group.
At 10:00, prayer began. “Praise God for who He is…Praise God for what He is…Praise God for what He does…He is our Deliverer, He is our Refuge, He is our Strong tower, He is our Rock, He is our Salvation, He is our Healer, He is our Provider, He is our loving Father, He is the Restorer of our souls…Thank you God that you love us and that we are your daughters, each one of us.”
The prayer time continued as the requests were lifted up to the Father: Prayers for the city churches and pastors, for local schools, for our government and for all in authority. Prayers for the military soldiers and their families, for the elderly, for children and families, for broken families to be repaired and restored. Prayers continued for people who were blinded by the enemy’s darkness…
We sat in silence for several moments…and then, the woman who was sitting next to me, whispered with a raspy voice, asking to read aloud from her Bible, Psalm 51. I was struck as I thought about her homelessness, and the fact that she held her worn Bible, one of her few personal possessions. I quickly turned in my Bible to the familiar words of King David, and my new friend’s voice became bolder as she began to read.
Immediately, humility swept over me as she deliberately chose David’s Psalm of confession and repentance. She read, confessing her sin against God, and I watched as her hand moved slowly down the page of her Bible, touching each word, each verse. Then, her voice faltered, and I saw tears spilling onto the page of her Bible. I looked at her face, and as the tears flowed freely wetting the page, she continued to read…
I knew in my heart that the Lord saw the beauty in these shed tears as they washed and bathed this precious woman in the Grace and Mercy of His love… She shared her transgressions with the group and how she would slip away from God, only to have Him gently pull her back to His side with His strong right hand. Her authenticity and transparency overwhelmed me. She modeled exactly what the Lord asks of us…to come to Him with a contrite and broken heart…to confess and to turn from darkness to His magnificent Light…to His Hope and to the calling that He has for each one of His children, a calling into maintained and continual relationship with the Giver of Life, Mercy, and Grace…
We all Need a Mercy-Giver
This past week in our Journey in Psalms, we read Psalm 51, written by King David. King David, in all of his wealth and his human glory, successes, and victories, chose to participate in sinful, selfish, ‘evil’ acts which, he identified as sins against the LORD…”Against you, and you alone, have I sinned…” Psalm 51:4.
We may wonder how the ‘man after God’s heart’, could possibly find it in his own heart to commit the crimes, the immoral and selfish acts against his faithful LORD. The One True God had protected David, had rescued him from his enemies, had provided, had trusted him, had appointed him and anointed him as king. David, a man from the tribe of Judah, would carry out God’s will…and would bear the seed of the Messiah…How could he…?
We all Need a Savior…
I sat…humbled by the woman who had transparently shared her life with us, and had given her testimony of her brokenness and of her God’s Love and Forgiveness. When was the last time that tears of contrition had flowed from my heart, from my eyes onto the pages of my Bible? Where was my sorrow for the transgressions that I committed against my loving Father, remembering how often I try to measure my sin against another’s transgressions…Had I become so callous and so prideful of my life that my heart had hardened, preserving the selfishness, the entitlement, the wickedness that made its home there?
How Could He? How Could She? How Could I…
Our group sat in silence…knowing our LORD waits patiently to restore the Joy of His beautiful Salvation He has given to us… He waits for us to respond with tears of sorrow, cleansing tears, beautiful tears of agony over our own departure from His Grace…and He waits for our return to His promise of restoration. He waits with us for our tears of contrition…then, lovingly replaces them with tears of joy.
At 11:00 a.m. prayer ended. I know that each one of us was changed that day. I am so thankful for those moments with my new friend. She enriched my life…she reminded me that gratitude and thanksgiving are necessary and that honesty before God is imperative. Although she and I battle different giants, we each wrestle with the giants of temptation to demand our own way. On that day, she and I sat side-by-side as sisters in Christ. I needed her that day to lead me and to show me and to remind me how to approach the Father with honesty and truthfulness. And she needed our prayer group that day to love her and to live these life moments with her. She was not alone, nor were we…
Together, the prayer group experienced the Community of Christ. We were reminded of the forgiveness that is available to each one of us because of the Blood of Jesus, the Blood of the Sacrificial Lamb…God’s perfect and Holy Son…
Oh my friends, just as King David and the broken woman at the prayer group, brought their sacrifice of confession, of repentance before the LORD, our God is faithful to cleanse our hearts, and to remove the ugly stain of our guilt… (Psalm 51), to remove our sins as far from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103). When we come before Him with honest, contrite and repentant hearts…The Mercy, Grace, and Forgiveness of our LORD is sufficient enough. According to His Word, our God is faithful to cleanse our hearts, lavishing His Mercy and Grace on our lives…He is faithful to Forgive…restoring to each one of His children, the Joy of His Salvation.
May we never forget, and always remember that our LORD GOD never changes…He never runs out of His Love…And, yes my friends, we experience liberty and freedom in His Forgiveness…No one…not one can take that away…and as always…
Love you in Jesus,
The Treasure Hunt-Week Six
“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. ” Psalm 119:45(NIV)
Read a Psalm each day and journal your answers to the questions below.
*Saturday-Write a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for what the LORD has done in your life. How has His display of Power brought His Comfort into your life? Continue your list of the attributes of God.
Record what you learn about God and His relationship with David?
What do you learn about the LORD’s character?
Have you personally experienced this particular attribute or character trait of the LORD? If so, how? What are you learning about your relationship with God?
What treasure have you discovered about your God? What have you entrusted to Him this week? What has been His response?
Enjoy your Journey as you unpack God’s Truth and His Word. May you discover and experience The Greatest Treasure…May you live confidently that God is big enough, to save you and to forgive you. He holds your life…He is your Mercy-Giver, He is your Grace-Giver…He is your Redeemer …today…and forever.