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May 2004 Archives

May 2, 2004

Limitations

The Lord said to Moses, "Say to Aaron: 'For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God.'" Leviticus 21:16

God established requirements for the priests that are most certainly not politically correct. Supporters of the Americans with Disabilities Act would be up in arms if similar rules were established in businesses today. No man in Aaron's line could make offerings if he had a physical defect.

I've got a problem with this. I know God is Sovereign; He makes the rules, and His rules are always right. But this one is tough to understand...

...or maybe it's simply tough to accept.

Maybe my problem is: If God placed expectations and limitations on the priests, He will put expectations and limitations on me as well.

The priests were representatives - representatives of the people to God, and representatives of God to the people. God is without defect; therefore, the one serving at God's altar - who represented God - should be without defect. And just as the sacrifice presented to God was to be without defect, so should the priests.

Lord, there are things in life that we simply need to accept. I cannot do everything just because I want to. The sooner I learn this, the better off I will be. Without vision correction, I am legally blind. There are certain things I cannot do without my glasses. That's life!

An important point, though... Your requirements of the priests did not reflect their value. Aaron's descendants with some sort of defect could still eat of the offerings - they simply couldn't be the one to offer it.

Father, help me to accept my limitations. Help me to understand that I am valued by You. Help me to seek Your will and not mine.

Heal the defects of my heart that keep me from You.

May 3, 2004

A Fresh Start

"When the sun goes down, he will be clean, and after that he may eat the sacred offerings, for they are his food." Leviticus 22:7

There are so many ways to become ceremonially unclean; it seems that there wouldn't often be enough priests to fulfill the requirements of service at the Tent of Meeting. Even intimacy with one's wife would have made a priest unclean. Thank goodness, every evening brought with it renewal. It was then that a priest who had been exposed in some way to uncleanness was declared to be clean. Every morning was a new day. The uncleanness of yesterday was gone.

Lord, I acknowledge that today is a new day. Over the past few days I've felt as if I had fallen into a pit. I allowed myself to get over-tired, and depression fell on my like a ton of bricks. But one by one, You have removed each brick. Thank You for the renewal of Your Spirit. Make today fresh and new. Thank You for being the God of fresh starts.

May 4, 2004

Forgotten Feasts

So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed feasts of the Lord. Leviticus 23:44

We've lost something in the church today. Our modern church calendar revolves around two days, Christmas and Easter - two very important days to be sure. But somehow we've lost a sense of ongoing community.

The Jewish calendar was established with celebration feasts at appointed times during the year. Today, using the term "feast" generally makes me think of a meal, but oftentimes an Israelite feast entailed a full week of celebration. The entire community stopped to focus on what God had done for them.

Now, we are all work. We have forgotten to rest. The Sabbath means little. Our celebrations tend to consist of gifts for the kids and a day of over-eating for the adults.

Lord, forgive us for forgetting You throughout the year. Turn our hearts back to You each day, so You might be glorified and the world will be changed.

May 5, 2004

The Context of Mercy

Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did as the Lord commanded Moses. Leviticus 24:23

Out of context, the stories of God's judgment make Him seem harsh and merciless. Blasphemers were stoned by the community, and no one seemed to give it a second thought. The blasphemer's guilt was upon his own head. If his life was cut short, it was his own doing.

It was into this environment that Jesus was born. This was the mindset of those who cried out to have Him crucified. In their opinion, He was a blasphemer. To them, there was no other option.

Praise the Lord! God is all about options. His judgment, in the context of mercy, is all about protecting His children from everlasting death. He took the judgment upon Himself. He died in order to save us. Because of Him, we will live forever in His presence.

Thank You, Jesus, for loving me as You do.

May 6, 2004

Everything is His!

"'The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.'" Leviticus 25:23

Although the land was promised to Abraham's descendants, in truth, it belonged to God. The children of Israel were not to sell or give away the land permanently, for it didn't really belong to them in the first place.

Lord, in truth, nothing we can acquire in this life belongs to us; it all belongs to You. We may have heirlooms that are passed from one generation to the next, but everything is simply on loan - even our children are on loan from You.

Everything is Yours!

Father, help me to be a faithful servant who cares for his Master's things and willingly gives to whom his Master requires. Forgive my selfishness. May You be honored today in my work.

May 7, 2004

To Be Afraid of Nothing

"'As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall even though no one is pursuing them.'" Leviticus 26:36

To be afraid of nothing... Depending on the inflection, this phrase can describe both sides of obedience. God promises that He will take care of His children. Those who obey Him can be afraid of nothing, for there is nothing to fear. Those who disobey, on the other hand, will be afraid of nothing; fear will consume them - even when there is nothing to fear.

Lord, I want to stand courageously rather than to fall in weakness. Help me to fear nothing because I am obedient to Your Word, rather than fearing nothing because I am consumed with fear.

May 9, 2004

The Value of A Life

"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate persons to the Lord by giving equivalent values, set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; and if it female, set her value at thirty shekels.'" Leviticus 27:2?

How can you put a value on a life?

God established a means to redeem persons, animals, and land that had been dedicated to Him. But how can we really put a value on a person's life? Now, that isn't what God was doing. He set values for redemption so the people wouldn't disregard the importance of making vows to Him. But it makes me wonder...

Yesterday, I played a concert at a local church. The turn out was disappointing to the pastor, but oftentimes I find the smallest audiences are blessed the most; and likewise, they provide the greatest blessings in return. After the concert, I spent quite a while talking with some who had attended. How interesting it was - from a young pastor whose British accent stands out in a West Texas crowd to a young woman asking my advice about being a musician and seeking God's will. The experience helped me see that God values every one of us.

The longest conversation lasted for almost two hours after everyone had left. It was with a man who some may have feared. His face was hidden by a fuzzy beard; he drives a Triumph motorcycle, and he spoke of his younger days serving in Vietnam and his desire to teach. He told many tales of pursuing degrees in Microbiology and Philosophy, of his travels which included visiting the grave of a father he barely knew, and of how God respects the sovereignty of man but sometimes chooses to intervene in accordance with His will. Although He spoke of many things, he never spoke of love - of a wife and children - of friends along the way.

As a thunderstorm which I had watched for over an hour moved in, I finally had the reason to say it was time to leave. It was then that he tossed out a final thought - how he had been spiritually dead for years. It was obvious to me that God is working to renew Himself in this man's life; his words reflected an acknowledgement of God's place in our lives and in our universe.

But I wish our conversation had started at the end. It would have been interesting to hear how the Lord brought him to this place - a place of value in God's sight.

Lord, help me to see the value of those around me. How fascinating it is that You can love each of us as You do! You placed so much value upon us that the price for our redemption was the very life of Your Son. Help me to never disregard how great a price You paid.

Thank You, Father, for redeeming me - despite a life sprinkled with failure. Your grace is truly amazing.

May 10, 2004

Count Me In!

"You and Aaron are to number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army." Numbers 1:3

God wasn't looking for volunteers. He expected that every able-bodied man would serve in Israel's army. Every family was counted except for the descendants of Levi, for they were to serve the Lord through care of the Tent of the Testimony. The Levites were given no choice; God had selected them. In truth, none could choose for their own.

Sometimes, I think there is too much emphasis placed on our free-will choice. Yes, following Christ is a choice. But God doesn't merely enlist volunteers to fight the good fight; He expects service from all His children. If we are counted among His followers, service is a requirement - not an option.

Lord, help me to see how You are calling me into battle. It isn't my choice - it is Your expectation. Your children are called to impact the world in the midst of this war with our enemy. I know you aren't asking for volunteers... but count me in!

May 11, 2004

Under One Banner

So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards and that is the way they set out, each with his clan and family. Numbers 2:34

There's something I've never done. I've never lived in a big city. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live in a city with well over a million people. I also wonder - what would it be like to move that whole city from one place to another? There are many large cities today, but how many of them have simply picked up and moved? The idea of it is truly astounding. The logistics of such a task amaze me.

Yet this is what the Israelites did. God is not limited by numbers. With His help, the Israelites - well over a million of them - moved across the desert to the Promised Land.

A Day will come when He does it again. There is a Day coming - maybe very soon - when God takes every one of His children and moves them from this earth to a land of eternal hope. It's exciting when you think about it. We will all be under the same standard - the same banner - the One who was lifted up for us, Jesus Christ.

Lord, I know You want none left behind. Help Your Church to reach the lost. Show us how to make room for them in our camp. Guide us along the way.

May 12, 2004

The Firstborn

"The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the Lord." Numbers 3:12b-13

Did the firstborn from among the Israelites understand the full weight of what God did for them? By all rights, the firstborn of Israel would have been taken with the firstborn of the Egyptians, but God sent His angel to pass over them. Rather than taking the firstborn from each family, God took the Levites in their place as the first fruits offering.

Lord, there are times I wish You would take my firstborn and put him to work somewhere else... there's just something about an 18-year old! His strength of character is often contrasted by his lack of judgment. He is, however, the first fruits - the best I have to offer to the world. He lives up to it; he IS the best mark I can leave on society. Use my son for mighty things. Continue to pour out Your blessing upon him, so You might be glorified.

May 13, 2004

Specifics

Assign to each man the specific things he is to carry. Numbers 4:32b

We serve a God of specifics. Many would like to believe that He is merely "out there" somewhere, never concerning Himself with what is happening around us. I believe He is involved. I believe He has something in mind for each of us. I believe the greatest satisfaction in life comes from serving God in the simple tasks to which He has called us - even if it is like the Merarites, who were assigned to carry the tent pegs from the tabernacle.

Lord, You assigned specific things to the Levites. I believe there are many things that You have assigned to me. Help me to not get distracted by the other tasks that continually come my way. I long to be happy in this life. Help me to find joy - even in the mundane.

May 16, 2004

Found Out

"If she has defiled herself and been unfaithful to her husband, then when she is made to drink the water than brings a curse, it will go into her and cause bitter suffering; her abdomen will swell and her thigh waste away, and she will become accursed among her people." Numbers 5:27

In the end, our sins will be found out.

There are hidden things in all our lives about which we are ashamed. Eventually, even these will be revealed.

Lord, I know I cannot hide forever. The undetected sins in my life sometimes gnaw at me like termites inside a tree. Confession and repentance are my only hope. You are my only hope.

Give me the courage to some day face the hidden places. Shine Your light in my heart.

May 17, 2004

Vows

"'He must fulfill the vow he has made, according to the law of the Nazirite.'" Numbers 6:21b

Vows. How seriously do we take them? We live in a time when many who have said those words, "forsaking all others...," don't take them seriously anymore.

To God, vows are important. They set us apart from the world, which is committed to nothing but itself. Like the Nazirite, who was to live his live as one consecrated to the Lord, those who take vows are to stand out in the crowd. Others should know right away that something is different.

Am I living that way? When others see me, do they see a husband and father? Or do they see a man who is chasing success in any way he can get it?

Lord, there are times I wonder what I am about. Help others to see me as one who is committed to his family - as one who is committed to You. Help me to fulfill my vows. Make in me a clean heart today.

May 18, 2004

Uniquely Identical

His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering. Numbers 7:79

Twelve plates, twelve bowls, twelve bulls, twelve rams, twelve male lambs, twelve goats, twenty-four oxen, sixty more rams, and sixty more male lambs - the people's complete offering consisted of these. Yet there is an individual and identical accounting of each leader's gift.

Now, my first thought in reading the same account twelve times is: How redundant! Why didn't Moses simply write it one time and say, "This is what each leader gave"? But as I consider the fact that all Scripture is directly inspired by the Spirit of God, there must be a reason for the redundancy.

The fact is: each account may seem identical, but they are not. Each leader is different. Each leader represented a tribe of Israel that was unique. Simply lumping them together discounts the truth - God sees each one of us as unique and special. Our gifts and offerings may seem just like someone else's, but God loves our uniqueness. He won't leave out any detail.

Lord, thank You for seeing ME - individually - when You look my way. You don't see one of many. You see each of us, uniquely, in amazing and loving detail. Lately, I have felt like merely one of the crowd in Your eyes. It is my perception, for sure, and not reality. The busyness - never feeling like I will accomplish anything of real purpose has left me feeling lonely and lost. Father, help me spend the day enjoying the most unique relationship of all. Help me to feel Your presence every moment today.

May 19, 2004

Someday May Never Come

"...but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer." Numbers 8:25

I've heard it said that retirement is not a biblical principle. Maybe it is modern man's way of justifying our addiction to work. Although I like the idea of leaving a full-time job, I have always felt retirement is something for other people. I expect a day will eventually come when I leave the constant push of the workforce, but I've never expected to quit working. Someday, I'll open a shop. Someday, I'll enter full-time ministry. Someday...

Lord, You directed retirement for the Levites. Their service to the Tent of Meeting lasted from the age of twenty-five to the age of fifty. Help me to change my thinking about slowing down towards the end of my life. Help me to slow down today, for someday may never come.

May 20, 2004

When It Counts

At the Lord's command they encamped, and at the Lord's command they set out. They obeyed the Lord's order, in accordance with his command through Moses. Numbers 9:23

Every order God gave was followed. The Israelites moved or stayed at God's command. Obedience was becoming a way of life.

But I know the rest of the story. Eventually, these same obedient children would balk in fear when God called them to enter the promised land. These same people who obeyed every time God said to move would be moving about the desert for forty years until an entire generation was gone. Their obedience waned when it counted most, and they missed out on God's whole purpose. They never saw the success promised to them.

Lord, my obedience will only be worthwhile if I continue when it counts. Help me to stand strong against the enemy of my soul. My heart desires desertion. Give me the strength to fight in this battle. Sin cannot be the victor, for Jesus has already won!

May 21, 2004

Memorials

Also at your times of rejoicing - your appointed feasts and New Moon festivals - you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be memorial for your before your God. I am the Lord your God. Numbers 10:10

God commanded trumpet blasts at appointed times. These were to be a memorial to the Israelites.

Now, I don't know if I would call a trumpet blast music or not, but there' something about music and memorials. Music helps us remember important times in life.

For me, there are certain songs I hear that remind me instantly of my younger days. I can remember riding with the windows down on a hot summer day enjoying "Forever in Blue Jeans," by Neil Diamond, with my young girlfriend - who twenty-five years later I call my wife.

Music provides a link - to our hearts - to our past.

Lord, today is a day to be remembered. My firstborn graduates from high school today. Today, he also turns nineteen years old. So much has happened over the course of time. Do we understand how you have carried us through? Will he be able to look back and fondly remember the times we have had.

Today, my son's musical memorial is a guitar of which he has been dreaming. It's a surprise that I cannot wait to share. Thank You, Lord, for helping me provide for my family. May we always remember You when my son plays.

Writing it out...

As I am sitting down at my computer this morning, I feel that same old pit in my stomach starting to well up within me. The adrenaline in my system cries out to be let loose... "Please, free us from this place! Let us run rampant throughout your body. Feast your eyes on what will excite - on what will allow us to do our dirty work."

Oh, how I hate this feeling... this sense that if I don't get some type of release - some form of escape from the loneliness, I may waste away into nothingness. My body longs to give in to the sinful urges that once brought comfort - if only for a few moments. The euphoria of my addictive rantings calls from my past begging me to give in - to let go - to cross that 2-second barrier into the dark places of the spider's web.

But despite my feelings... I have a friend, whom I refuse to disappoint today. I made a commitment. I told him that I would work diligently to stay away from the smallest escapes, for with them comes disaster.

Thank you, my friend. Thank you for holding me accountable - for shifting my eyes away from myself to the One who meets all my needs and my deepest desires. May God bless you this day.

May 22, 2004

I'm Done!

"If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now - if I have found favor in your eyes - and do not let me face my own ruin." Numbers 11:15

Moses was fed up with the pressure. The stress of dealing with people who were never satisfied - who thought only of themselves and their misery - was too great. He literally wished to die. There weariness was too much; he told God that he was done.

Lord, I have a friend who has been exhibiting the signs of the same weariness Moses felt. No matter what he does, the people under his authority grumble and complain. Nothing he does is good enough, and the weight seems too great. I don't know how to advise him. My words of encouragement can only go so far. Each day, he faces the same old challenge. I know he turns to You, but Your intervention is slow in coming.

In the case of Moses, You started by sharing the burden with others. You poured out Your Spirit on seventy leaders. Through Your Spirit, these men prophesied - they had eyes to see the vision You held for Your children. They could probably see the future You had in store - the promised land - the fulfillment of a covenant made long ago. Lord, pour Yourself upon others that surround my friend. The weight of this burden must be shared, or my friend will break.

In addition to sharing the burden, You gave the people what they wanted. The people grumbled for meat, so You sent them more quail than they could eat for a whole month. They grew sick of the meat for which they so often begged. Sometimes, an arrogant "I told you so" seems appropriate - even for those who don't know You. Father, provide what is needed to meet and surpass the moanings and groanings around my friend. Give them no reason to complain. Give them more than they want, so they will shut their mouths.

Finally, in the story of Moses, Your anger burned, and some were struck by a plague. The place where they were stayed was called Kibroth Hattaavah, which means "graves of craving." Their cravings were their downfall. You literally removed some of the dissenters from their midst. Lord, in the case of my friend, remove the dissenting voices that refuse to be silent.

There are three things that I ask of You Lord. In whatever way You choose, provide these: a means to share the burden, a means to meet and surpass the need, and a means to remove the dissension.

Shine Lord! Let Your Spirit be seen by those with eyes to see You. Intervene. Help us to enjoy the fulfillment of Your purpose. May You be glorified in all we do.

May 23, 2004

Why was it only Miriam?

When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam - leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy. Numbers 12:10

God was angry. Miriam and Aaron had been speaking out against Moses. They weren't very fond of his wife, but I don't believe that was the real issue. The real issue for them was jealousy. They, too, had been used by God. Why weren't they getting the recognition their brother was?

When God called them to the Tent of Meeting, He scolded them for their bold gossip, then He left them. Miriam was struck with leprosy for her sin. Yet Aaron was unharmed.

Why was it only Miriam?

Aaron spoke out as well. Why didn't God strike him, too? Was it because he was the priest? Simply being a priest wouldn't protect him from the wrath of God. Nadab and Abihu, Aaron's sons, were proof that even a priest couldn't take God's commands lightly - especially a priest.

I have another thought. Maybe Miriam was struck because she was the instigator. There's no way of knowing for sure, but generally if comments are going to be made in an emotional frenzy, I expect they might come from a woman.

Now, I realize the sexism in that statement... don't stone me yet.

It isn't meant to degrade. It is meant to accept the truth. As a general rule, God made women to be more sensitive. Too often, men err on the side of apathy. We need each other. Together, we are more balanced because apart we tend to be on the extreme.

Lord, help me to accept the differences between men and women. Help me to understand that the emotional approach my wife normally takes is a gift from You. Help us to find the balance that eludes us at times.

Forgive my apathy.

May 24, 2004

They Are Stronger!

But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." Numbers 13:31

Too often I am a dissenter. My enemies always seem stronger than I am. Although the land to which God has called me flows with milk and honey, I may never see it, for like the Israelites, I feel like a grasshopper in my own eyes.

The land to which I have been called is named "righteousness." This is a place where God is first, and I am last. The fruit of this land is worth any battle, but so many times, I find myself saying, "I can't do it! I will never win... they are stronger than I am!"

Lord, the enemies are too great; I am too small. I need Your courage to grasp the life You have planned for me. Help me, lest I fall dead in the desert before I get to the promised land.

May 25, 2004

Will I Ever Believe?

The Lord said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?" Numbers 14:11

I have seen miraculous signs in my day - children healed from rare diseases, others kept alive despite the odds, marriages torn apart by anger and hate that have been restored. Why do I find it so tough to believe sometimes?

Lord, I keep losing my focus. Rather than seeing how Your hand has provided through trial after trial, I only see the struggles in front of me. Is it too late to turn back to You? Have I walked about in unbelief for so long that like the Israelites, I will wander for the rest of my life?

Let it never be! Your grace is sufficient - even in deserts. Father, I don't know what is in store. Forgive me for not trusting You. I can occupy the promised land with You by my side.

May 26, 2004

A Fashion Trend

"You will have the tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts or your own hearts and eyes." Numbers 15:39

God started a fashion trend. As a remembrance, the Israelites were to put tassels on their garments. The tassels were to remind them of the Lord's commands. In times of temptation to stray from God's law, the tassels were like a giant stop sign warning them not to proceed.

Lord, I think I need to start a new fashion trend - not so much with my clothes, but with my heart. I need little reminders that will represent huge red lights. A verse posted here, a picture on display there, or even a cross around my neck - these are what I mean - little reminders of Your grace. Help me to see these things and stand strong against the lusts of my heart and eyes. Open my eyes to see these things and remember.

Open my eyes to see You.

May 27, 2004

Facing the Plague

So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. Numbers 16:47

Things were out of control. The Israelites were barred from entering the promised land, and they were facing forty years of living in the desert. Pockets of dissension began to rise up, and God took quick action. Among the rebels were Korah and his followers, who were swallowed alive by the earth. The rest of the people blamed Moses, and without much warning, people began to die. God had sent a plague.

Moses and Aaron responded. Facing death, Aaron literally ran into the midst of the plague with incense to make atonement.

Could you imagine what it would be like? To run into the midst of a crowd where people are dying around you? Aaron knew that inaction on his part would result in complete ruin. What courage it took to face the very wrath of God.

Lord, sometimes I feel like my life is full of dissension. It seems like a plague has begun to spread, and it will take courageous men to counter it. The discouragement around me is great; things appear to be out of control. Morale seems to dip lower with every passing day. Without courage on the part of a few, utter ruin could result. Many lives can be devastated by this discouragement.

Give us courage. Give us wisdom. Forgive our arrogance, and draw us to You. There are many in our midst who don't really know You. Many are searching. Show Yourself, Father, and be glorified.

May 28, 2004

Authority

The Lord said to Moses, "Put back Aaron's staff in front of the Testimony, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will no die." Numbers 17:10

The Lord clearly established Aaron's authority as the priest. His staff literally came to life. It sprouted, budded, blossomed, and produced almonds. There was to no longer be any question over whom God had chosen.

Father, clear authority and accountability are vital to any workplace. How can this clear line be established around me? The grumbling and dissension keep chipping away.

Just as You did with Aaron, Lord, I ask for supernatural intervention. Reveal the lines of authority in such a way that the grumbling will subside. Come, Lord Jesus. We need You.

May 29, 2004

Commissioned into His Service

"From now on the Israelites must not go near the Tent of Meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die." Numbers 18:22

Only the Levites could go near the Tent of Meeting to do the work of the Tent. Furthermore, only Aaron's descendants could go near the holiest place. Even some of the temple articles were wrapped in the cloth of the Tent before moving, so no one saw them except the priests.

I wonder about the artists and craftsmen whose handiwork made the Tent and all its articles. Unless they were Levites, they too could not go near.

Lord, there are things in life that we can hold for only a short time. Like the craftsmen for the tabernacle, we are required to commission our handiwork into Your service. As an artist, I can empathize with this. When a piece of artwork is purchased or given, I may never see it again. But there is another handiwork that requires even greater sacrifice when we let it go... our children.

Lord, a day is coming when both of my children will be commissioned to follow Your will on their own. Very soon, I will need permission to have any say in their choices and actions. Pushing in will soon become pushing out, for any attempt to control will only cause them to move farther away. Without respect of their independence, I could face a day when I rarely see them. I am proof of that.

Father, take care of my children as they become independent adults. Watch over them when I cannot be near. Help me to trust that they will not depart from what they know to be right. I lay them into Your loving hands. May Your wonderful will be done in their lives.

May 31, 2004

Getting Your Hands Dirty

"After than, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean until evening." Numbers 19:7

God established an ordinance for using ashes and water to purify those made unclean by a dead body. Interestingly, the steps required of the priest for preparing the ashes made him ceremonially unclean; in order for others to be made clean, the priest was made unclean.

The reality is: it takes getting your hands dirty for something to be made clean. We are an example of that. Jesus had to die in order to bring life. There is no easy way around the pain. We cannot be made clean without it.

Lord, a day is coming when I will finally feel clean, but it will take lots of dirty work along the way. Give me the courage to do what it takes. Make me clean. Do not cast me out from Your presence.

About May 2004

This page contains all entries posted to The Potter's Hand in May 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2004 is the previous archive.

June 2004 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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