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Wow! I spy Jesus- an encouragement from Nikki Passmore

Wow! I spy Jesus. 

Look at God. There He goes again… weaving masterfully.

(Awesome photo compliments of Simply Handmade Studios)

When God is pursuing me… when He is changing me through His tender, gentle, reasonable, sacrificial, redemptive love towards me… I find He takes a strand - an idea, a thread - and masterfully weaves it through various spheres of life I hadn’t even thought to connect… as if thoughtfully planning a surprise for me and leaving parts of it everywhere for me to find. When I find a new part, my heart leaps and joyfully exclaims, “There too! Hallelujah! What a Savior!”

The recent tapestry: Gratitude born, from love understood.

The first peek [1]: There were seeds planted and “behind the scenes” work God was doing that lead up to this “a-ha!” moment, but I will skip that for now. (Side note: when God gives the gift of “a-ha” moments, it is a joyful exercise to reflect on what lead up to them. Then you get to spy Jesus at work all the more! Side side note: shout out to Robin Phillips, who enjoys playing “I spy Jesus.” That enjoyment is delightfully contagious.)

Thursday night, Joel and I were virtually hanging out with Eric and Audrey Reeves. God used that time and the Reeves’ thoughtful questions to help me articulate an unmet desire that has been a primary source of angst for me in this season… I want this season to feel like my kids are out of school for the summer and I am on vacation without job commitments. Wow. That’s my desire??? Yes. Yes, it is. As soon as I articulated it (quite literally – with Audrey and Eric witnessing my verbal processing!), it was a burden lifted. That’s not a realistic desire. That’s not where I want my hope to be. That’s not where my hope is… in my head. But I was letting it be there in my heart.

Another strand [2]: Pastor Matt’s sermon on Sunday was on Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God’s peace is what I really want. Not just not having to succumb to the limitations of time. That longing is too low.

Pastor Matt gave the helpful illustration (and even visual, which magnified the effect for my human frame) of a glass of water. Was it half full? Or half empty? We are to pray about everything, with thanksgiving. We are not to ignore the lack in the glass. But we are also not to only focus on the lack, and thus grow anxious instead of thankful.

With the gift of this revelation, I can work on building gratitude by paying attention to what’s in my glass… instead of building angst by focusing on what’s not in it.

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

And another [3]: During the half hour prayer zoom Monday morning (open plug/invitation to all!), Graham Howell prayed for Northside Church folks – that we would be thinking about “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise…” – that these would be the things that fill our minds. Another strand. The water in my glass. Philippians 4:8, the very next verse after the passage preached the previous day. I love how God uses the body. I spy Jesus.

Final strand, for now [4]: Later Monday morning I got on this blog to read the latest entry. It was from May 1, “On Gentleness- a reflection from Charles Lewis.” In this entry, Charles gives the charge to reflect on God’s epieikes (hard to translate word Pastor Matt preached on the previous Sunday – from Philippians 4:5… something like yielding/forbearing gentle reasonableness) …;So how have you seen Jesus dealing with you gently today? This week? Over the past 30 days?”

Wow. For real, God? You are amazing!!! There it is again - Hallelujah! What a Savior! I spy Jesus.

Woven together: As I have sat and pondered God’s epieikes [4] (His gentle yet firmly thought out loving pursuit… or I could say as I’ve pondered the water in my glass [2], or what is worthy of praise [3] (including God’s revealing my too-small desire [1]!), my heart is melted. The result? Gratitude (Phil. 4:6).

He knows my frame (Ps. 139:15, Ps. 103:14). I am forgetful. I am prone to distraction. And I am prone to using my grown-up logical thinking to explain away, minimize, and diminish the LORD’s miracles.

He knows. And yet. He loves.

He knows I need the repetition. So He graciously shows me the same thing again and again, in different ways, through different people. Praise. the. LORD!

He… the God of the universe and yet my Daddy… He pursues His children – gently, firmly, wisely, unswervingly, sacrificially. He is generous. He loves lavishly. He pursues relentlessly. Nothing can separate us from His love. (Rom 8:38-39)

It is invigorating to see God, the Master Weaver, at work.

Where/what is He weaving in you?

Nikki and her family have been at Northside since the beginning (8 1/2 years). "I love NCR for the way it gives me a peek into the beautiful diversity of the coming kingdom, and how I see God using that to sanctify His people (including me!) right now."


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