sehnsucht (zEn-zUkt) – (n.) the inconsolable longing in the human heart for we know not what; a yearning for a far, familiar non-earthly land one can identify as one’s home
~C.S. Lewis

The other day, I was sitting on my back steps listening to the thunder roll and watching the lightning flash during a rainless spring storm. It was the first real display of lightning this spring, and my back porch steps were the perfect seat for the show. I sat with a wide grin on my face and oohed and aahed at each flash of lightning and counted how far away the lightning was (Bearenstain Bears anyone?!).

One particular bolt of lightning was impressively bright and flashed almost parallel with the ground. I was momentarily blinded by the flash and then I quickly heard the resounding crack of  thunder – a close one! As I sat there, I thought, “I wish I could see that one again!” I closed my eyes to give a quick prayer of thanks to God for this show and suddenly that exact lightning bolt flashed across my vision! The dramatic flash of light replayed across my vision every time I closed my eyes for the next minute or so until my retinas fully readjusted to the darkness. Then I heard a Voice saying,

That’s a little like life, is it not – close your eyes in prayer and it becomes so much easier to see the blessings that I have bestowed upon you. But when you open your eyes, you quickly let yourself readjust to the darkness of this world and you forget the majestic.

Talk about blunt. How often have I been putting my day aside, even for 5 minutes, to close my eyes and thank God for the blessings He’s given me? How easy is it to let my spiritual eyes leave my Savior and adjust to the darkness around me? Now, don’t get me wrong – I have so many people and situations around me that are seemingly “light and good”, but in Romans 12, as Christians we are called to “…not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Amplified Bible) This doesn’t mean that we aren’t supposed to be with those who are not walking in the Light (Matt. 5:14 calls us to be the light of the world!). Instead, this is God warning His children against conforming to the mindset of this world. The world does not have the same values, goals, or appreciations as God’s children are called to have. In our world, Satan has discovered that he does not have to do much work – make something look similar to God’s will and bam, we fall for it. Tell us, “It’s not that bad. The story line is so sweet and it’s so harmless, who is this hurting?” and Satan’s got us dropping like flies. Closing your eyes in prayer not only reminds yourself of the blessings you have been given by God, but it also helps us discern God’s will for our lives and it redirects our focus to where it’s supposed to be – on our Savior.

So this is Sunday. How will you start your work week? Counting your blessings?


How Deep

I’ve had this song stuck in my head this evening.  After a long and productive day, I couldn’t imagine a better way to wind down than singing along to this, drinking a cup of coffee, and dwelling on these words.

How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that left Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom