Tuesday, October 28, 2014


For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. II Corinthians 8:12 NIV

I’ve been thinking about a line in my blog post of two weeks ago, THE HOLE IN GOD’S HEART, “…separated from Your very self.”
What a strange concept to self-contained humans!

But, I think it is possible for us to get our finite minds at least partway around this. We’re flesh, but we’re also spirit—and the two are meant to function together. Our spirits make their homes in our bodies, and our bodies are how our spirits get around, how they touch this world and make a difference. Except for prayer and communion with God, our bodies are the only way we have to use our God-given gifts here.

But if our bodies, for whatever reason, are unable to use and express our spiritual gifts, there is a divide within us.
The mom who puts her deep artistic urges on hold while she raises her toddlers, longing for the hours of freedom to paint when they’re finally in school. Then the economy tanks and she's forced to take an exhausting salaried job, no end in sight, her goals unreachable.

The teen-aged musician whose parents belittle his gift, who push him along a path to traditional, but for him empty, success.  
The new retiree, a gifted writer, who finally has time to write that world-reaching Christian novel she’s had to put off for years. But suddenly she’s the full time caretaker of an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s. Still separated from the dream of expressing a vital part of herself, separated from who she really is.

Are these dreams doomed, this season of life endless, these gifts revoked? Or, is there still hope? Always, when the God who made us and created us is in charge.
PRAYER: I want to know You more, Avi, but this one hurts. When the season feels like forever, when I’m numbering down the days I have left to accomplish all that’s adding up, when I’m counting down my strength and energy, please let the ache to use my gifts well be enough. In Your holy name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.               II Timothy 4:2 NIV
This morning in the doctor’s waiting room, a tired looking lady watched me as I transcribed notes from my tape recorder. I don’t remember how the conversation started or took the direction it did, but after it had started I put my pen down and told her what I was doing—writing—and about the place I write.
I would've been pleased with a prefab yard building, any place out of the wind and rain where I could focus without distractions, but God is generous in supplying what we need  in order to do what He calls us to do. He gave me a real cottage, so much more that I would’ve been willing to settle for, for a fraction of what it should've cost.
She nodded at this—but when I asked, “Do you go to church anywhere?” her expression hardened.
“No,” she said. She looked away, then back again. “I can have a relationship with God without going to a church full of hypocrites.”
I nodded not in agreement but in understanding. I had no words for her. I can’t answer such a personal objection unless I have time to listen to her and find out where her pain is, assuming she’s even willing to share.
Later I wished I’d remembered to tell her about the three great humiliations of Christ: 1) taking on one of our broken bodies; 2) being mocked and rejected and dying in a humiliating manner in our place; then 3) going back to Heaven and leaving His reputation to us.
What kind of God would do this? It’s hard enough to fathom a love that would come for us, die for us—but a love that would place His own good Name in the hands of bumbling,  unfinished people? How unworldly of Him!
Yes, how unworldly. How heavenly.
Avi, I cannot always be prepared. My mind is too small, too distracted, too slow to change gears out of season. Teach me to listen for Your words even in the storm, and speak through me when You will. In Your holy Name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and breakers have swept over me.
                                                                                                                                                             Psalm 42:7 NIV 

 We’re made in God’s image with a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only He can fill.

Does it make sense that the God who made us would give us something that’s outside the pattern He made us by? Something He Himself lacks?

God doesn’t get lonely in the sense that we do—or does he? Why else does deep call to deep?

Here is a mystery: God is complete, lacking nothing—but there’s a hole in His great heart. A Grace-Potts-shaped hole. A ______fill-in-your-own-name-shaped hole.

He wants His children back.

God and Adam walked in the garden every evening. Perhaps there was a taste of bitterness for God in the knowledge that Adam would betray Him but, for that moment, they both knew the intimacy we’re made for. Then, when the bond between God and man snapped, God’s heart cracked with a sound echoing through the ages.

He still aches for His loss, for our loss, for what He knew we would have to go through alone. For what He knew He would have to endure to get us back: separation from His very self. For knowing that some, loved as deeply as every other one, would still refuse to return to Him.

God aches with unfulfilled hunger for a unique intimacy. We, lost children and the object of that hunger, are the only ones who can satisfy it. He wants us to choose Him, to love Him and accept His love. He wants a relationship with us. As He walks here with those who will join Him, He gives, and enjoys with us, hints of Heaven, tastes of what is to come.

Walk with Him, and enjoy His pleasure.
PRAYER: My need for You is so overwhelming at times that I don’t know how I can survive until I’m completely filled with You at home, Avi. I can’t imagine how consuming the heart hunger is that compelled You to pay such a price for me. Let me be a part of the healing of Your own heart. Make me Your home here, and shine Your light out through the cracks of what I am not, for Your glory. In Your holy name, Amen.