“Run Home Esther!”

When I was five years old, we lived next door to a farm. Several children lived on the farm, and the boys in the family were older than me.

One of their favourite past-times was to play ball. One day, some of the boys decided I was old enough to play, and they invited me to join in a game.

I was so excited. I was now a big girl and was going to play ball with the older boys!

They showed me how to bat the ball, and I hit the ball my first time up.  As soon as the ball left the end of my bat, everyone started screaming at me.  “Run home, Esther!  Run home!”

I dropped the bat and ran as fast as I could straight towards home.  I ran straight past the pitcher, straight past second base and continued straight towards my house across the yard.  “Mommy, Mommy!”  By the time I reached my home, I was an inconsolable heaving mass of tears, mucous and regrets.

“How could they be so mean!  Why would they scream at me to run home!  I was only a little girl.  It wasn’t my fault I didn’t know how to play the game.  Mommy, why?”

Although my neighbours had invited me to play ball, no one had taken the time to explain to me how the game was played. I didn’t understand the goal of the game. I didn’t know that my destination after hitting the ball was to run home – to home base.

Sometimes I experience similar situations 45 years later in life.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…”  Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

A vision gives people a destination that is to be reached. It tells us where we are going.

If the vision is too small, only a certain number of people can play in the game. There is not enough room for everyone. If I try and participate when there is no room, I end up realizing I am just the little girl wanting to play in the ball game before the big boys decided I was old enough to play.

If the vision is not clearly explained, I won’t understand my destination.  I then become the little girl running for the wrong home in an inconsolable mass of tears, mucous and regret because the crowds are screaming at me, and I don’t understand why.

The little story from my past is a stark reminder that in adult life I need to take the responsibility to insure I know my destination.  I need to make sure the team I play on wants me to play with them.  I also need to make sure I know my part so I understand what I am to do.

I have a responsibility to listen to God’s voice (my Coach) and make sure I know the bases He wants me to run to while on my journey to home base – my eternal heavenly home. 

Lessons we learn in childhood are invaluable if we remember to practice them in our adult lives.

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I Want You Back!

i-want-you-back-godEveryone has had situations in their life that have deeply wounded and hurt them. 

I am not talking about situations where someone hurt your feelings, and in two or three days you are over it.

The situations I am talking about are those moments in time when trauma happens in your life that causes you such emotional pain you don’t know how to breath. Sharp stabs of pain pierce your heart, and you don’t know how you will be able to survive the next moment let alone the next hour, day or years of life you have left on planet earth.  Your life will never be the same.  It seems like every cell in your body screams out, “No!”

The cause of those gut wrenching moments are different in everyone’s lives.  For some, it is the passing of a loved one.  For others it may be divorce, separation or abandonment.   Other times, it may be a sudden illness or accident that leaves a person’s life changed for ever.

In my life, I have lived time after time after time with the pain stabbing me because of rejection. 

Rejection happens when you love someone, and you want them in your life forever.  You care about them, you love them, and you want to forever be with that person to love them and care for them and live life with them. 

However, for some reason that person chooses to reject and spurn your love and walk away.  They are not interested in being with you.  They may even tell you how much they dislike you or hate you; they walk away and you are left with a heart that is stabbed with pain.

Usually a sermon, devotional or story on this topic would share advice on how to survive through the pain.  It is true that I can tell you the answer is going to God – He does carry us through every pain. 

However, what I want us to do is instead of looking at our own pain; I want us to think about how deep that pain is when it happens to another person.  I want us to focus on one person – the person who has been the most rejected in history.  There is one person who stands out as the most rejected ever!  That person is God.

God has lived every moment of every day since He created His children with millions and millions and millions of His children rejecting Him.  God’s heart has screamed in pain as continually His children reject Him.

In the book of Hosea, God was rejected by His children; the children of Israel.  God chose a prophet, Hosea, to re-enact the story of what the children of Israel were doing.  He wanted them to see in front of their own eyes the story of how He loved them and how they turned and walked away from Him.

Israel had forsaken God and played the harlot with other gods.  Israel murdered, stole, worshipped other gods — in fact, the Bible says the more Israel multiplied the more they sinned.

God had to punish Israel; He is holy and righteous.  A good dad must correct his children.  A good dad cannot allow his children to keep running out into the street in front of cars, because he sees that they will get hurt or killed.  He loves them too much to leave them to do whatever they want.

When people reject us, we don’t want to feel the pain so we often then choose to in turn reject the person who walked away from us.  We say, “They don’t want me so I will just put up a wall and not think about them again.  I will forget them and get on with my life.”  That is not what God wants.

Jesus asked us to live differently.  He said in the Kingdom of God life is different.  We are to turn the other cheek when someone hits us.  We are to love those who hate us. 

God is and always will be the same.  The Bible says He never changes.  His character is pure true love.  God in the Old Testament, in the book of Hosea, did punish His children; however, the story does not end there.  God then began to share His heart for His children.

First of all, He remembered.  He remembered the good times with His children.  He remembered how He loved them, cared for them, delivered them from Egypt, and led them.  God had blessed His children. 

“And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.” (Hosea 2:8)

Then after remembering, in Chapter 11 of Hosea, it says that God yearned over His people.  The rejected heart of the Father had those piercing pains that would never leave as long as His children rejected Him.  Here is what God said . . .

“How can I give you up . . . How can I surrender you . . . My heart is turned over within Me and all My compassions are kindled.” (Hosea 11:8)

Doesn’t that sound like us when we love someone and they totally reject us or leave us?  If you have a child that has rejected you or anyone you deeply love reject you, the pain hits you and you cry out, “How can I give you up?  How can I surrender you?  How can I live day after day without you?  Please come home!”

God felt that pain for Israel when they rejected Him. Deep gut wrenching cries from a heart of love.  

But then, God made this loving call to Israel.  He told them if they would only return to Him … 

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, bring her into the wilderness and speak kindly to her . . . and she will sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 

‘It will come about in that day,’ declares the LORD , ‘That you will call Me Ishi (my husband) and will no longer call Me Baali (my master). ”  (Hosea 2:14-16)

God wanted and yearned for restored relationship!

“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD .”  (Hosea 2:19-20)

God promised Israel if she would return He would bless her. 

Just like the prodigal in the New Testament when he returned home to his Father, God doesn’t accuse us or punish us if we return, repent and turn to Him.  God opens His arms and runs to us as the Prodigal’s father did when he saw him afar off.  The father then threw a party to celebrate because his son was home – that is what God wants to do!  The Bible says even the angels rejoice when a child comes home.  

Have you rejected God?  Are you in one of the following three categories?

YOU HAVE NEVER HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.  Has God called you to Him or is He calling you now as you read this;  but, you so far in life have rejected Him and walked away.  You have said, “No, I want nothing to do with God.”  Yet, everyday you worship other gods.  A god is what is our source of life – what is it that you rely on for fulfillment – that is a god.   Does your god really give you peace and fulfillment?  Can you trust him to give you eternal life when you die? 

YOU ARE A PRODIGAL – YOU ONCE HAD A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD BUT WALKED AWAY.  Did you at one time follow God, like Israel; but your love grew warm and then cold?  Did you walk away like the prodigal?   Did you reject God and no longer have a relationship with Him and traded His love and care for gods that you think bring you more fulfillment?   

YOU HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD; BUT IT IS LUKE WARM – HE IS NOT REALLY GOD OF ALL YOUR LIFE.  Are you in a lukewarm relationship with God?  Do you perhaps go to church now and then or maybe every week; however, when He calls you to prayer and to spend time with Him you are too busy?  Has He asked you to do things; but, you have not surrendered and said yes to follow Him?   Do you spend your days in pursuit of wealth, accomplishment, status, success, or whatever else it is that is most important for you to obtain during this life? Where does God fit?  Does God look at you and hurt – does pain rack His being because of His deep love for you but you have rejected Him?

3317397_sOne of the things I have asked God is that when I go to Heaven I want to sit on God’s lap and hear His heartbeat.

Recently, God showed me that He wanted to share some of His heartbeat with me now.  Amazingly, it was not all cuddles and hugs which is what I was wanting and expecting.  Instead, He allowed me to be intimate with Him, and He shared the part of His heart with me that feels such pain and rejection and cries for His children to come home.  The very pain we feel when we are rejected – He feels every moment. 

God allowed me to feel on a very low level through my life what He feels like.  The Bible says that God is love.  He is perfect love.  God showed me that a human being could not handle the pain He feels. 

Perfect love plus rejection is pain beyond what a human can imagine.  God told me all the rejection I have felt (all the stabbing pain) is just a small peak into what it is like to feeling His heart beat for His children that have walked away and rejected Him. 

He also asked me to call His children home to Him.  “Be a voice, Esther.  Please call my children home to Me.”

Perfect God Love + Rejection =

PAIN beyond what any human could imagine

Please hear your Heavenly Father’s cry, “Come home! I want my children home.  I love you – please come back to me!  How can I give you up?  I love you!  I want to lavish my love on you!  Turn around, repent and come back to me.”

My prayer for you …

“I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to speak to you and call you to the Father long after you have finished reading this blog.  I pray that this very day you will turn and return to God.

I pray that the angels will rejoice in Heaven as children come home.  They rejoice as they know relationship restored is the Father’s heart.  They know that every child of God that returns to God and puts Him first in their life lessens the pain in God’s heart.

Oh how You love us God!  Oh what a heart You have … a heart full of pain because You have true perfect love for Your children and You yearn for them to come home and be in restored relationship with You.”

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Worthy of the “Calling”

040_02_0139_BST“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, “ (Ephesians 4:1 NASB)

Many who believe in Jesus do not live out their personal responsibility to God to walk in a manner worthy of their calling.  Many “appear” to have not been called.  Many are not interested in being called.

A Christian is called.  To be a disciple of Jesus means He has called you, and you have chosen to follow Him.

In 1 Corinthians 12, we are told that as a follower of Jesus we are part of the body of Christ.  Each one is a specific part of the body, placed in the body as God desires.

We are called.  With that calling is a responsibility to walk in a manner worthy of our calling.

Worthy means to be righteous, good, moral, ethical, upright, exemplary, blameless, honest, noble, pure, surrendered … true disciples of Jesus pursuing a life of transformation to become like Jesus. 

Search your heart prayerfully before God.  Ask yourself the following questions while in prayer with God:

  • When Jesus called you — did you answer? 
  • Did you choose to follow Him and answer His call?
  • What is your calling?
  • What are your responsibilities before God in order to walk in a manner that is worthy of your calling?
  • What are the distractions in your life that take time away from obeying the call of God?
  • What sins are in your life that you need to repent of and turn away from so that you will be worthy of your calling?
  • Have you 100% surrendered to the call of God on your life? 
  • Is there anything that you are holding on to that stops you from answering God’s call?
  • When you die (or when Jesus returns), will you hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”  Will you know in your heart that you endeavoured to answer God’s call to the best of your ability and lived your life in a way that was worthy of your calling?

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14 NASB)

Only you can answer these questions before God.  Take time to seek the Lord.  Ask the Holy Spirit to shine a light in your heart and show you where you are really at in answering the call of God on your life. 

We only have one life to live.  Only what we do for God will last beyond this earthly realm.  What is most important for you in this life – the calling of God or your own will and way?

God is calling you!  What will your answer be AND will you walk worthy of that calling?

~ Esther ~