(7:10am) Thursday, 6/19/14
We live on Heona Street.
We live on this gift of a street in a tiny little cottage that wasn’t exactly what we were looking for but ended up being exactly what we needed.
All day yesterday (okay, only the afternoon while we were out running errands), I was intrigued by Hawaiian street names – googling the words to find the meaning. The main road that leads from here to the airport means “airplane”. Straightforward. Simple.
This morning, as the coffee brewed, I saw the handwritten note on the refrigerator as I reached in for the creamer. Our new address. And I wondered what our street name meant. So I looked it up. And then I smiled to myself.
“Artistic, i.e. aesthetically pleasing or having artistic talent, lit. an attraction. ‘Your pictures are aesthetically pleasing; you’re really an artistic person.'”
I have a trailmarker.
One word. Right there. Confirmation. We’re in the right place. Headed in the right direction.
Three days ago, I was digging into these words:
“Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom…” (Luke 6:38)
I was intrigued by the incredible language. Rich. Full of symbolism.
Good: beautiful, excellent, honorable
Measure: the due fit, determined extent
Pressed down: press, tread olives to be anointed with oil
Shaken together: a measure filled by shaking its contents together, thorough
Running over: to pour out beyond measure, overflow
“The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.” (Joel 2:24)
I read the cross-reference in Joel, an incredible picture forming of His grace poured out. And then I glance down at the next verse and want to throw my pen down in worship. Because I feel Your promises washing over me:
“So I will restore the years that the swarming locusts have eaten … You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you…” (Joel 2:25-26)
And what happens next (literally two verses later): Your Spirit. Poured out.
And running over.
Oh the promises. They literally overwhelm me. Nearly leaving me out of breath.
The last three years have been … difficult for sure. I felt deep, emotional pain I never thought possible. Physically feeling my heart hurting. Ugly, “I can’t breathe” sobbing. But determined to hang on because people have walked away from You for less. And now … these promises. And the knowledge I’ve gained. And Your character I’ve experienced. It’s a little crazy to think back on it all and say … that’s it?
This month. Month #100 of our wait for a family. The centennial anniversary. I never expected it would be met with so much joy.
I just flipped back to three days ago. And read again what You were teaching me about Luke 6:38. I stopped sort of the end of the first sentence:
“Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.”
bosom: the front of the body between the arms. Thayer’s lexicon has an in-depth conversation about Abraham’s bosom which is a symbol: to designate bliss in paradise. I know this is referring to heaven … but it’s very interesting that we now live in a place referred to as paradise. On Sunday, we sat behind a woman at church – outside on the ocean’s edge – who was texting a photo to a friend. Because I’m nosy, I read what she typed. “Happy Sunday from paradise!”
That gets my brain turning. Abraham’s bosom represents heaven. And paradise. But I live in “paradise”. And the application becomes that much more personal:
“Give and it will be given to you,” He says. “And I will put bliss in your _________________.” In your paradise. In your joy. In your grief. Depression. “Whatever ‘it’ is,” He says, “wherever you are right now. In this moment. If you look beyond yourself, and outside of your bubble of circumstances, and give out whatever you have to offer, I will take utter joy, measure it out, press it down, shake it together, to make sure there are no air pockets or empty places My joy hasn’t touched, and pour it out so that it’s running over in that place on the front of your body between your arms. Because that’s the place where You have the closest and most intimate relation to Me. In that place that warms when you’re overjoyed.”
And there we have it. The last page. And I’m literally closing the book on a season that is truly over. This journal began with heartache. And it ends with a heart entirely warmed over by the grip of Your grace. And I feel Your glory radiating off my skin like the heat of a sunburn.
And I think of Job. And I hear Shawna’s voice speaking truth. And hope. And reciting one of her favorite verses.
“Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.” (Job 42:12)
I can adapt those words for this journal, for truer words have never been spoken. You have blessed the latter pages of this journal, and the days that fill the end of it, more than the beginning.
“Indeed, we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the LORD – that the LORD is very compassionate and merciful.” (James 5:11) Or, as the amplified version reads, “You know how we call those blessed (happy) who were steadfast (who endured). You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the LORD’s (purpose and how He richly blessed him in the) end, inasmuch as the LORD is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy.”
Ten days ago, I wrote down six things Paul counted. This one was hidden. Tucked away. But it is number seven. The number of perfection.
Counting them blessed who endure.
I’ve beared bravely. I’ve remained and abided in You. You’ve refused to let me go. And I’ve survived.
Glory and grace.
Grace and glory.
Thank You LORD.