Friday, July 30, 2010

"the breath of all mankind"

My asthma is back in full force, and as I've sat at home doped up on Benedryl, and hyped up by albuterol and steroids, I've been thinking.

Job 12:10 says, "In His hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind."

God is in control. Every breath I take is enabled by Him... whether my lungs are swollen or not. You see, it's easy to remember that God is the one enabling my breath when I'm coughing and wheezing. When every breath feels like a victory, I know God is in control.

But what about when the asthma's over? In a few weeks, when my lungs are back to normal and I'm only puffing occasionally, what then? Is God still enabling each breath? Or is it just going on as normal, under His control only when there's a problem?

If I ever allow myself to forget that my life is in God's hands, shame on me. Asthmatic or not, breathing is a gift from God. He can give it, and He can take it away... and blessed be His name regardless.

With love from an absolute doll,

Erin Joy

Monday, July 5, 2010

"Experiencing God" and His many names

This summer, I have joined a ladies' Bible study at my home church. It meets at 6 a.m. on a weekday morning, so I've been faithfully drinking my coffee that morning. :) (When a brain is made out of stuffing like mine is, it needs a lot of caffeine to wake it up in the morning.)

We've been using the study Experiencing God by Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King. From the very first day, God has been using this study to convict and challenge me. I've realized I need to place the focus back on God and His work, not on me and how I want to focus on Him.

Focusing on oneself can be a very subtle thing. You can be convinced you're focused solely on God and what He wants you to do for Him... and then come to a realization that you're really focusing on what you can do for God, not on God Himself.

I was unsure how to fix this problem (funny how a little doll like me is convinced that I can fix everything in my life), and then one day, the lesson was on worshiping God. We were given a list of God's names and instructed to meditate on them. This was a long list -- 2 pages, 3 columns each, in about 7 point font. Trust me; when the page is bigger than you are, that's a lot of names of God. I got stuck on the first one (a faithful God), and didn't get any farther that day.

Ever since, I've been meditating on these names, moving down the list one by one. I've read the Scripture that introduces the name or the attribute, and have seen God as faithful, ready to forgive, a saving refuge, a glorious crown, a jealous and avenging God, and today, as my refuge and stronghold. I meditate on these names throughout the day, and I've already been noticing a shift in focus. Suddenly, it's about WHO God is, not what He wants me to do. I'm seeing ways He is faithful to me, ways He has and is forgiving me, ways he has been my refuge. Today, I read in Joel a description of His wrath juxtaposed against His tenderness and protection for Israel. I'm excited to continue to encounter this mighty and wonderful God anew.

What are names of God that have had great significance for you? How have you encountered Him lately?

With love from an absolute doll,

Erin Joy