Standing on the Rock – Where is your high place?

We want stability, security, a rock solid foundation. Often when my life seems to spin out of control I yearn for the safety of standing on the rock. I want that, do you? A rock – firm, solid, stable, holding me up. But sometimes it feels like the ground shifts, and my feet sink and wobble. The earth trembles or quakes when I want to go to higher ground. Higher Ground, have you heard that song? As I sang the song in church last month the words took on new meaning as I tried to visualize Standing on the Rock, the firm foundation of Christ.

All other ground is sinking sand

Can you hear it? I need to believe it deep in my soul so I don’t go stepping out on my own. You know… that pride issue when we think we know better than God which way to turn. Or we can’t believe God would allow this particular bad stuff into our lives. What’s your bad stuff? Sickness, betrayal, death of a loved one? Mine is stinky relationship problems.  I need to climb back to my Rock, my stability, my Lord.

Matthew 7:24-25 (NIV) 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

A few years ago my husband Kim and I went on a canoe trip in Montana and when we signed up we didn’t realize that a big part of the activities was rock climbing. How did we miss that? We went with friends and all of us were…well, we weren’t young anymore. Old enough to figure out what we were signing up for! We live in Iowa and made the trek to the middle of Montana where we joined our guides and dipped our canoes into the Missouri river.

Husband paddling canoe

My husband and I had never paddled a canoe together, an activity right up there with hanging wallpaper together in terms of a potential relationship disaster. But we zig-zagged along the river to our lunch stop in spite of my inexpert advice on how to steer with the paddle. Longsuffering husband Kim just smiled, nodded, and wisely kept his mouth shut as he paddled his own way.

After a good lunch, the guides said we were going on a hike. The Missouri River cut its way through sheer rock. The resulting bluffs towered above us and they said the view from up there was tremendous. Um okay. I wondered how the heck we would get up there. I felt woefully ill-prepared but fell in line to hike.

river bluffs Missouri Riverclimbing rocky trail

We climbed. Up. And up. I carefully picked my way trying to test for rock wobbles and yes, that shifting sand. Someone ahead yelled they saw a rattlesnake. Hey, I’m a city girl and was torn by a desire to see a real rattlesnake, or not.

rattlesnake, outhouse
What is wrong with this picture? Rattlesnake, outhouse, city girl?

The guide’s dog Walter scrambled along with us. I kept my eyes on the ground and the feet of those ahead picking our trail amongst the rocks. I was so worried about my climbing that I forgot the glorious view that was just ahead, the reason for this hike!

Walter the rock climbing dog

We made it to the top bolstered by the sweet pleasure of accomplishment and enjoyed the view. I was standing on the bluffs, after skittering around the loose rocks of the nerve wracking climb, finally firm on the foundation. The river glittered in the sun, winding far below between the bluffs. I marveled at the new perspective of our view from high above after paddling along the surface and climbing the rocky path.

view from top of river bluffs

Isn’t life just like that? We keep our eyes on our trials forgetting to look up to the Lord who promises so much. His blessings to us are always there, but so often we aren’t aware of them as we focus on all the wrong things. We trade the firm Rock of our salvation for the shifting rocks that make up our trials.

We didn’t go here, but gosh, God’s creation is so beautiful!

river view from hills

In Psalm 18 the Lord promises to lift us to high places by making our feet like hinds’ feet.

Psalm 18:33, “He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places.”

A hind is a female red deer that lives in the mountains and has the uncanny ability to place her rear feet in the exact spot where her front feet found stable footing while running or climbing. She can move with efficient consistency and is the most surefooted of all mountain animals. How like our God to paint such a precise and meaningful word picture for us.

female deer, a hind, climbing mountain

 

When I get to my high place I can look at the whole view without being consumed by the minutia of problems that plague me in the lowlands. My lowlands can be emotional when I am consumed by sadness or discouragement. A low place I’m sad to admit I’ve been to lately is being confused and overwhelmed by a twisty turn in my life path that was not anticipated. That place I found myself in could not possibly be where I was supposed to be. God in his kindness and loving mercy placed me on my high place. A new perspective, new trust in Him, emotional stability.

Did you notice that little word that personalizes your high place?

God didn’t just place you ON a high place, He placed you on YOUR high place

For me that gorgeous July day on the Missouri River in Montana my high place was a physical place of great beauty. Back in Iowa, an emotional high place for me was seeing my grandsons playing on the hay bales at a pumpkin patch. A high place for a little boy is a simple stack of hay bales. The joy they expressed while conquering the bale mountain gave me joy!

boys on stack of hay bales

Where was your last high place, are you there right now? But the reality is that my high place, your high place, is right where God wants you, emotionally, spiritually as well as sometimes physically.

Let’s back up a couple of verses:

Psalm 18:31-32, “For who is God but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God. The God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless?”

You don’t do it in your own strength. There are times we can’t make the leap to our high place when we’re stuck in the quicksand of our struggle. It’s all in God’s strength so He gets all the glory. I am facing a relationship challenge right now and when I get discouraged, when I lose hope that things can be better, I know I need to ask God to set me on my high place once again. He is so gracious when I teeter and fall to that dark place in my soul. My part is staying in His Word, in prayer and thanksgiving, and praise. Going to a high place like the towering river bluffs can help my outlook, and letting Him carry me in His strength as He becomes the focus of my thoughts and His plan becomes my plan.

Examine your life, your struggles, any pain you may be stuck in

Ask God to take you to your high places. Your story has your own unique physical high places. I live on the Cedar River in Iowa and grew up on the Mississippi River in Illinois so river bluffs resonate with me. Perhaps you live in the mountains or have amazing memories of the Grand Canyon.

is your high place the Grand Canyon?

Wherever your high places are, wherever you are standing on the rock, thank God for His strength and hinds’ feet as you scale the heights in your thoughts. Or in person!

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girl on her high place

 

 

Which Side of Jesus is Your Parenting Style? Tender or Bold?

The tenderhearted Jesus and the bold Jesus, merged into the God-Man whose radiant light expressed the multiple facets of His Father, is diamond to our coal.

Jesus loves us with a fierce, yet sweet love. He tenderly said, “Let the children come.” But He also challenged his disciples to go forth and make disciples of all men, to walk on water, and to proclaim His Word as lambs among wolves. My husband and I have struggled with so many things in our long and imperfect marriage. We’re still trying to get it right. But when we were parents, we each manifested a different wavelength of Jesus’ light through His prism of love. Did our kids see us as the Image bearers we strived to be? Did our meager light show glimmers of His glory on a sandy beach in Iowa?

Mom watching small son on beach

Parenting is tough! But my husband and I complemented each other in ways that often drove us crazy in our marriage, but sometimes worked as we raised our kids. Our personalities were the two sides of the parenting coin. When our kids were small we loved to vacation at Lake Okoboji in northwest Iowa. A sandy beach with gently lapping waves was the scene for a sunny morning that highlighted our differences. The sweet love of Jesus, tenderhearted and compassionate was balanced by His stern commands to go forth, have faith, and be brave.

Sand castles on beach

When our kids were small my husband Kim loved to help them build sand castles. As an architect his castles could be quite amazing, but as I watched his sweet tenderness and praise for each effort of little hands I saw new value in his character. If at age 2, Kyle in his toddler clumsiness knocked over a fancy turret with his bucket, Kim would say, “Here, I’ll help you build another one.” Or if a bucket of water carried from the shallows slopped over with none left for the moat, he would gently lead him back to the water to fill it up again, all the while telling Kyle “You’re doing a great job!” Kim was the epitome of the tenderhearted father.

buoy in lake

Enter the mom. My tactics were more of the drill sergeant style. Andrea at age 4 was helping scoop out the moat and I swooped her up and said,

We’re going to touch the buoy!

She would whine with anxiety while I strapped on her lifejacket. I’d pull our huge inner tube, taken from some Iowa farm tractor, to water just deep enough for me to flop backwards into the hole and swing her up on my lap. As I did the backstroke paddle she grasped the sides of the inner tube, clung to me and softly whimpered. She knew me well enough to know that I was not going to take her safely back to the beach until we touched the buoy.

Jesus said, “Go” so many times in scripture. In Luke 10:3 he sent his! workers out to proclaim His good news. “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” In Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus told Peter to “Come” to him across the waters,

“Take courage, it is I, don’t be afraid!”

Peter accepted the challenge on that stormy day on the Sea of Galilee, but started to sink as soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus and saw the wind and the waves.

Granted, a journey to the buoy in Lake Okoboji may not seem even close to those challenges faced by the disciples, unless of course, you’re a small child out in the deeps trying to be brave. Okay, those biblical feats are hard to compare to a sunny day on calm waters with a big inner tube keeping you afloat. I also gave poor Andrea no choice, but plucked the child from a safe beach and shallow waters. But Jesus swooped down too, commanded his followers to “Go”, the tender heart intertwined with the stern challenge.

The buoy was 300 feet away from the beach, the length of a football field. I’m sure through Andrea’s 4-year-old eyes it seemed far, far away. About halfway there, as we gently bobbed along on the quiet surface, she calmed down. Her grip loosened and she looked into my eyes as I sang the song that always highlighted our journey across the deep waters.

“Buoy Buoy, how are Youey?

I can still hear the silly notes, still see the pleasure on my kids’ faces as I sang that song. I can’t sing and I obviously lack the skill for imaginative lyrics, but I know if I sang that song to my grown kids today they would laugh and remember. And we all touched the buoy; a childhood rite of passage showing bravery in our family. The buoy, anchored down to the deeps, marked the limits of safe swimming, beckoned the small child. She bravely reached out and touched the grimy surface of that symbolic buoy. And grinned!

footprints in sand

That’s what I wanted to see, the pride in a challenge well met! I wanted to stretch my children, help them know they could be brave and courageous. We paddled back to the beach and admired the castle my husband…  er my son built. But not until I sang Andrea’s praises for a journey well taken, and saw Andrea proudly point to the buoy, so far away, “I touched the buoy!” Our kids learn about the character of God as it is displayed in their mom and dad. Kim and I are flawed, the light we scattered was twisted by sin, but God used each of our personalities to manifest His presence. How does God use your unique personalities in the lives of your children?

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Sunset on lake

Grace Upon Grace – What Color is God’s Grace to You?

If you’ve had a painful, devastating, heart- crushing experience raise your hand! Oh gosh, me too. Someone sinned against me and I was left floundering, hurting, confused, and off balance. I felt like my life was spinning out of control. I’m guessing you can relate.

Sometimes we feel like our lives are a mess leaving us feeling empty and numbed by the whirlwind of perplexity.

In the creation account in Genesis this verse spoke to me when I felt like I was lost, stumbling in a cloud of confusion. I wanted God to hover over my mess and create something beautiful out of the chaotic depth of my pain.

Genesis 1:2 “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

I wanted the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit sent to me when I first believed, to hover over me. Comfort me, protect me. God is the same today and yesterday and tomorrow; that same Spirit of Creation hovered, today’s Holy Spirit can too.

The Spirit hovered over the water, hovered over me. Photo taken by Jeremy Bishop

Here’s what saved me… I now rejoice with the certainty of faith in a God who cares. For me, it was in the form of a white blanket, grace upon grace. Yes, a blanket. I was trying to get to sleep one night shortly after the devastating event. My heart was heavy and I knew I should pray. I wanted to pray. But this was one of those times I just couldn’t find the words. All I could do was repeat the name of Jesus, the only word that would come to my troubled mind to pray. The sweet name of Jesus. Enough. While I was lying there struggling with my pain, sleep beyond my grasp, the Holy Spirit in answer to my simple prayer lovingly prepared my chaos and gave meaning to what made no sense before.  He hovered in love and care over me.

Romans 8:26 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Oh my goodness, how I would love to know what the Spirit was groaning on my behalf. It was not for me to know, too deep, beyond human comprehension. But I do know that it was according to the will of God. Don’t add to your burdens the worry that you don’t know all the will of God. You can be encouraged that you are not expected to know the will of God. Yet his revealed will for you is always hope and faith, love and purity. I was encouraged and you can be too, that in your own clouds of confusion and groaning you are being understood by the Spirit. God is searching your heart, and he is finding a meaning deeper than words.

It’s interesting that so many folks love the next verse, Romans 8:28, but overlook what comes right before that, the verse about groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8:28, “and we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

All things. ALL things. How can that be? The devastation resulting from being sinned against in a heinous fashion is on my list of All Things. And He can take my All Things and cause them to work together for my good. This truth was so hard to wrap my mind and heart around. But at that moment when the Spirit was groaning on my behalf to the Father, I believe the Father’s good, that was He was able to work out of my ALL THINGS, was in the form of a white blanket.  Yes, a blanket. A white one. A blanket that hovered over me before gently encompassing me in the soft folds.

White Blanket of Grace

As I was struggling to sleep and my soul cried to the Lord with those groanings too deep for words, in my mind’s eye I saw a white blanket descending upon me. I know that sounds hokey. I’ve spent a lot of years studying science and have a degree in microbiology. I want solid facts, proven phenomena, and validated data. God knows me. He knows that about me.

But I believe He sent a white blanket to cover me and protect me that night and I believe that white blanket was His Grace.

It was my experience to SEE that blanket coming down out of the air, out of nothing. No, I did not have my eyes open; it was in my heart, soul, and mind. It was my experience to be comforted by it and protected by it so I could sleep. Isn’t that a picture of Grace upon Grace? All sufficient grace, enough grace to cover me, unmerited favor from God. If God can provide manna to the wandering Jews, why not a white blanket for me? I can’t believe I just wrote that! You’re going to think I’m either a gullible crackpot… or… that I had a manifestation of God’s grace when I desperately needed to get some sleep.

It’s never happened again and I have struggled with sleep issues since then on occasion. But I have no doubt it was His grace. Ever wonder what color grace is? For me it’s white. Pure white like the driven snow. In this photo the snow covers an ugly dead flower, redeeming it into a thing of beauty. God does that. The flakes of snow coming from His hands are so delicate and intricately gorgeous in their complexity.

Weeds cleansed by driven white snow
Cleansed by the driven white snow. Photo by Hide Obara
complexity of snowflakes
Amazing complexity of snowflakes. Photo by Aaron Burden

I know that it’s crucial that any experience you have, or I have, has to line up with scripture. God knows that I’m a geek who loves proven facts so it’s not too surprising he gave me an experience that is so unprovable. But experiencing God’s grace is what He wants for me, it’s biblical truth. Will that happen to you? Will you get a white blanket drifting down on you one heartbreaking night? Maybe, but probably not. God will find another way to get your attention and teach you His truth that beautifully meshes with how He created the unique YOU!

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Laughter – God’s Gift of Humor, Medicine for the Soul

I love to laugh! I intuitively know that laughter is good for me; mind, soul, and body, and I’m guessing you do too. As a little girl, I remember snuggling on the couch with my sisters getting a colossal case of the giggles while we watched I Love Lucy. Remember the scene where Lucy and Ethel are working at a candy factory conveyor belt? The line starts moving past them faster and faster and they stuff chocolates down their dresses, into their chef’s hats and mouths to try to keep up. What could be funnier than Lucy with her chipmunk cheeks full of chocolates? As I laughed along with my sisters, it just felt so good!Lucy and Ethel at chocolate factory In later years when my kids were small, they looked forward to visiting their Grandma and Grandpa in Florida. Grandpa Kermit loved to crack jokes and usually laughed harder than they did at his own silly riddles. A favorite was “Did you hear about the explosion downtown?” The kids would look at him with big, round eyes, “No!” When he gave the punchline, “The wind blew up Main Street!” I was sure they didn’t get it, but they did love laughing with their grandpa!

Karen, daughter when she was small, laughing Grandpa Kermit, 5 Star Grandpa

The Bible is full of characters who laughed. Abraham laughed when told by God that his wife Sarah was going to bear a son in their old age. Perhaps it’s a bit irreverent to laugh incredulously when the Almighty promises you something is going to happen, but Abraham did what we all do sometimes. Our laughter can erupt unbidden in the most inappropriate ways! Almost like the little kid who laughs when his mom promises him a puppy if he cleans his room every day for a month, and he can see his dad vehemently shaking his head behind her.  old men laughing

Three “men,” possibly two angels and the Lord himself, visit Abraham and Sarah. In Genesis 17 the Lord says that the old, childless couple will soon have a son. Abraham laughed when God told him he’d have a child when he was 100 and his wife was 90 years old, later Sarah did too! In Genesis 18:10-12 when Sarah overheard the visitors’ prediction of a son in their old age, “Sarah laughed to herself,” and the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Sarah turns afraid and lies, herself denying that she laughed. But the Lord knows, “Yes, you did laugh.” Be careful what you laugh at! God always knows your heart motive.

It’s quite fitting that Abraham and Sarah were told to name their son Isaac which means laughter. Our creator God has a sense of humor and designed us in His image to appreciate laughter. He also designed giraffes and penguins. Watch either animal and try not to laugh!

If you can revisit the mind of a kid in junior high the whole book of Song of Solomon is pretty funny. I remember a chuckle or two when I first jumped around in that book! Is it perhaps God’s way to prepare a young mind for the more serious scriptures, finding humor where it’s not intended? And while I hate to make jest at a serious plague brought down on Egypt by God in the book of Exodus…. A bunch of hoppy frogs? Really? The thought of those frogs wreaking havoc is … funny. Or is it just me?frog's face frog on leaf frog face popping out of water

Here’s a proverb that makes me laugh,

“If you wake your friend in the early morning by shouting “Rise and shine!” It will sound to him more like a curse than a blessing.” Proverbs 17:20

I had a roommate like that when I was in college. Margaret was her name and she loved to get up early. She didn’t even drink coffee, she drank hot water so she wouldn’t stain her teeth. That oughta tell you something. I loved Margaret, even with her cheery morning ways, but really, I just wanted to sleep! glass of wine
Wine gladdens my heart, one glass in the evening. I love the subtle taste, dare I say aroma and finish? And yes, it stains my teeth. But more than one glass and I get too drowsy. This Psalm expresses the thought wonderfully!

 “… wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.” Psalm 104:15

I picture a hearty bread dipped in flavorful olive oil, with a sip of wine to finish the ritual. Throw in some dark chocolate and it’s all the better. God is good! God knows you, God knows what you enjoy. For me, a glass of wine in the evening… and dogs!

Yes, dogs! Part of the purpose of this blog is for us to get to know each other. What makes me laugh? I have two sweet doggies named Oskar and Oakley and they bring me joy! My husband is so patient, dogs are not his thing. So I have a 25 lb limit and can’t have more than two at a time. I dream of a few labs and golden retrievers out in the country someday, but my two small spaniels give me great pleasure for now. I made sure my first pup Oskar is a Cubs fan like my husband. It gives them something in common. Oakley likes the Cardinals, but don’t tell my husband!Oskar puppy Cubs fan Oskar and Oakley my doggies

I swear Oakley talks to me as he vies for my attention and Oskar is always up for a tussle with his brother. I chuckle as I watch them play!  When Oskar was a puppy he made a friend, a big gorgeous Siberian husky named Glacier. Glacier was so stoic when Oskar zipped circles around him. Do you see the exuberance in Oskar’s dance and Glaciers patience with the puppy antics?  Tell me in the comments what makes you laugh!Glacier watching Oskar dance for joy

My dogs create the space in my spirit for a cheerful heart. I’ve saved the best for last,

 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 

I’ve experienced both, and much prefer a cheerful heart over the crushed spirit! God is good, I’m learning to trust His timing as he allows the good and the bad into my life. A good laugh makes even the bad stuff seem just a little bit better!

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Woman laughing by ocean

 

 

 

I am a Child of God, are you? Appreciation for Creator Father

What does it mean to be a Child of God? Hopefully it’s who you are. It’s who I am. My sense of awe when faced with the amazing complexity in nature helps me understand the relationship I have with my Father. As I studied organic chemistry years ago, it did not make any sense. I felt like a child trying to get a glimpse of the ephemeral dancing carbon and hydrogen. I watched the dust motes swirling in the shaft of sunlight and realized I was trying to look into the elegant whirls of molecules, the attraction of carbon and other elements.child of God light through trees

Chemical structure of salicilina
Does this make sense to you? See the oxygen, hydrogens and carbons? Ha, me neither.

My organic chemistry book made a gallant effort of capturing that elusive mechanism with pluses and minuses and Cs and Hs, a few Ps and Ns thrown in for good measure. They were depicted with little stick drawings, such a puny way to demonstrate the grandeur of God’s creation. Though I had childlike wonder, I could not comprehend.

I turned to my Bible to clear the fog and opened to John 1 and read the 12th verse.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”  

I am God’s child! Feeling like a child in the face of organic chemistry is a natural response to His Glory. I had to do a bit better than feeling awe when I took the test, but knowing that I am His Child helps me view any small comprehension of organic chemistry that I can muster as a gift. As I study science and try to wrap my brain around the intricacies of His magnificent creation; be it the beauty of a sunset, the tireless pumping of my heart to deliver life giving oxygen to all the trillions of cells in my body, the flight of the delicate monarch, or the longevity of a redwood tree, my faith is increased.

How could anyone study these miracles without acknowledging a Creator God?

And how could you relate to a Creator God without the knowledge that you are yet another of His creation, His child, His beloved? Knowing I have intimacy with the Creator of All Things fuels my desire to understand His creation.

The monarch butterfly unfolds from the cocoon, testament to the imagination of my Father. Glorious in black and orange, just the pattern of its wings a marvel, the incredulous feature I want to understand is its ability to find the pathway from Canada to Mexico. The GPS in my cell phone can guide my car through the myriad highways of America, what a marvel of technology behind that feat! But the monarch butterfly navigates 3000 miles without losing its way. As the butterfly is buffeted by turbulent air currents high above the earth, its brain, infinitesimally small, navigates based on its relative position to the sun. Scientists are still studying exactly how that works!

As a child of God with my capacity for awe and wonder, gifted to me by a loving Father, I can observe the world around me with great delight but minimal comprehension.

Any understanding I can work toward with the meager firing of neurons in my convoluted gray matter is yet another gift.

As a child of God do I have a more meaningful appreciation for creation? To be a child of God also means I will inherit from my heavenly father just as surely as I will from my earthly father. What can I anticipate? These incredible verses in Romans state that I am going to be glorified!

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified together” Romans 8:16-17.  

Sunset on Spirit Lake in NW Iowa. Photo by Denise Heyer

I will be glorified with Christ! What does that mean to have the glory of God? As an image bearer I will share God’s Kingdom. The stupendous implication is that perhaps I will know the secrets of creation in a way no stick figures of hydrogen and carbon can ever impart. Will I understand the butterfly’s capacity for navigation, why the atmosphere paints gorgeous sunsets and sunrises as the earth rotates? The reason for the longevity of redwood trees? Will I know God and understand better His imagination, why he paints black stripes on the white canvas of a zebra, and golden squares on the tawny neck of a giraffe, why penguins are so goofy looking?

My favorite verses on being a child of God are in 1 John:

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.  1 John 3:1-2

This clearly states we shall be like Him! If we’re like Him, will we share his perspective in this world and the spiritual world, the truth behind His cosmic battles? Perhaps it’s a stretch to hope one day I will know the how’s and why’s. Can I know the power behind the waves pounding endless miles of shoreline, can l know the force behind the ebb and flow of my blood, can l know the stars by name and why they twinkle? I am a child of God, I am heir to His Glory. I can’t comprehend fully what that means. Yet. But I can wonder at it all!    

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