Christ—or Atlas?

Today God spoke to me so clearly about a key heart issue I have, that I just had to share it.

First off was an email devotional by Ray Stedman I subscribe to, which focused on the story of Abram and Sarai, described in Genesis 16. God had promised Abram a son (though he and Sarai were very old, well past childbearing). But after 10 years of no children, Sarai decided to take matters into her own hands and gave Abram her servant Hagar, to beget a child. Which she did: Ishmael.

The title of the devotional was “It All Depends on Me” and Ray Stedman pointed out that so often, we feel we have to do things in our own strength. God tells us to do something, and we set about doing it, without consulting Him as to how to do it and/or depending on Him to give us the power to do it. That really struck me.

Then, on a whim, I looked at my Nextdoor notifications (a local neighborhood network). Someone shared this amazing photograph, taken by a Brazilian photographer after trying for three years to capture a picture of Christ the Redeemer appearing to “hold” the moon. This viral photo shows the 98-foot high monument atop the Corcovado mountain in the Tujuca National Part with the moon right above it!

I love this image.

But someone else added to the post, which dovetailed right into today’s devotional in an almost humorous—but pointed—depiction of the two choices God was trying to show me.

The question: Will I choose to be Atlas, trying to hold the whole world on my shoulders, or will I rest in the fact that Jesus the Redeemer is already holding up the moon and the whole universe (including my own small life)?

Resurrection Vision

For an audio version of this, click here.

During a session in something called Immanuel Prayer, a process to help people connect relationally, intimately, personally and securely with God in a prayer ministry session, I “saw” with my spiritual eyes a vision of Jesus’ Resurrection.

First, I “saw” Jesus’ lifeless body in the tomb, wrapped in the grave cloths.  An invisible hand begins unwrapping the cloths on his head. Jesus opens his eyes and looks up. He smiles, gets up. The invisible hands take off the grave clothes from the rest of his body.

Jesus raises his hands to heaven and looks up and around, and says to the Father and the Spirit, “You did it!” Meaning: You did not leave my body in the grave. I trusted you all the way to the cross, and you were faithful to keep your promises.

The Father and the Spirit look at Jesus, and exult, “YOU did it!” Meaning: You went to Calvary, you tasted death for all humankind, YOU were faithful to the end.

Then Father and Son turn to the Spirit and crow, “You DID it!” Meaning: You raised Jesus from the dead by your great power.

Then all three dance together and shout, ‘WE–DID–IT!!” It is a roar of triumph, of joy, of indescribable power.

And that “WE DID IT!” is the frequency* that holds the whole universe together. It is the frequency from which all healing, all forgiveness, all grace originates.

Anyone who believes this comes in line with that frequency, and is in tune with Life itself. Anyone who believes this–that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit who together made salvation and redemption possible–enters into what Jesus referred to as “eternal life.” It’s such a new dimension of living that Jesus called it “being born again,” not into a physical family or kingdom, but a spiritual one in which we become the children of God himself. (See John 3.)

When you’re born into this kingdom, you receive spiritual sight. You see God at work. You have new desires, a whole new perspective.

In another Immanuel Prayer session, this time when I was facilitating with a client, Jesus asked my client, “What do you say is the good news?” She said, “That everything we hope for deep down really is real, it really is true. That YOU, Jesus, are more real than anything else.” This she felt so deeply, so personally, in that session.

Jesus told her, “You just have to receive it.”

She said, “It’s so simple. Why don’t more people receive it? Why do we resist, when you are such love?”

Jesus’ answer was to show her her own heart.

Shocked, she said, “It’s so . . . so rotten. It’s all black and rotten.”

Jesus asked her, “Are you ready for a heart transplant? This heart you see is made up of all the rotten things done to you, all the rotten things you have done. It is the heart your own ego created. Would you like Me to give you a new heart?”

That is the question before all of us. The invitation is there. The ‘WE DID IT!” resounds through the universe and calls to each heart.

We need only the humility to acknowledge it and then receive the new heart that Father, Son and Spirit made possible . . .  and then live in the power of the “WE DID IT!”

*For more about frequency and the physics of the universe, I recommend chapter six of  Quantum Glory: The Science of Heaven Invading Earth by Phil Mason

Giving Thanks for the Tough Stuff

Giving thanks for obvious blessings is not difficult. Giving thanks for the tough stuff, the things that look like anything but blessings, takes real faith.

I’ve written on another Thanksgiving about giving thanks for what I call “disguised gifts” in Abundant Gifts. I wrote that when we give thanks for things that don’t seem on the surface like good things, our faith opens the way for God to turn it into a blessing.

Some things we experience are downright painful, and part of living in this broken world. Death,  for instance, is an enemy that Jesus himself cried over (then conquered and transformed).

There are other kinds of pain I think God allows into our lives because his ultimate goal is for  healing. Continue reading “Giving Thanks for the Tough Stuff”

Lessons in Seeing

“I can’t find my boots! Where are my BOOTS?”

This was, of course, a crisis because we were dealing with a 15-year-old daughter who absolutely needed her boots RIGHT THEN because at the football game, they were supposed to dress as “cowboys or Indians.” And of course her ride was about to pick her up any minute.

I told her where the boots should be in the basement. She couldn’t find them, of course.

I looked where I thought they should be, on the shelf in the “boiler room” as we call it.

There was a small box there, which I passed over. Surely that couldn’t contain boots, since I knew mine were with hers. That much I remembered.

I ended up clearing out a lot of junk in the basement trying to find those boots. (God’s grace and sense of humor. I did need to clear out all that junk months ago. Guess God knew Continue reading “Lessons in Seeing”

Christmas Snow

Soft whiteness

Falling from the sky

Changes barrenness to beauty

Covers potholes, cracks, scars

with peace.

Just like the grace

That fell from the sky

To be born in a stable.

Through the Storm … The Impossible Path

When the Red Sea saw you, O God,
its waters looked and trembled!
The sea quaked to its very depths.
The clouds poured down rain;
the thunder rumbled in the sky.
Your arrows of lightning flashed.
Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;
the lightning lit up the world!
The earth trembled and shook.
Your road led through the sea,
your pathway through the mighty waters—
a pathway no one knew was there!
You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,
with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
—Psalm 77:15-20 (NLT)

When God acts, he makes a road where eon one dreamed a road could possibly be–through the sea! A storm can be all around, a fierce storm that lights up all the world and shakes the earth. Yet God is in control of the storm and he makes that impossible pathway for his people. Trust this God in your storm; believe his is making a pathway no one knew was there, and that he is providing leaders to take your through the road.

(Note: If you liked this short meditation on Psalm 77, you will enjoy Abundant Gifts from the Word, a daily devotional sent to you via email. Sign up at

“How Could Jesus Sleep Through My Storm?” (A Meditation on Peace)

stormy-sea1It was Jesus’ suggestion to get into the boat and cross the lake one evening. He settled down, head on a cushion, ready to turn in for the night.

Suddenly a fierce storm blew up around the boat.

The waves crashed around the boat, and the disciples were terrified. Someone thought to go find Jesus.

Unbelievable–there he was, asleep in this treacherous storm that was about to sink the boat. How could he sleep through a storm like this?

Ever feel that way? Like Jesus is asleep while the storm is about to sink your boat?

The disciples (and we) often interpret Jesus’ sleeping as his not caring (Mark 4:38). But that’s not the reason Jesus sleeps through our storms.

He can sleep because Continue reading ““How Could Jesus Sleep Through My Storm?” (A Meditation on Peace)”

Room for All Kinds

I was frustrated, not for the first time, by a particular person. Someone who does things very differently than me–in my opinion, too slowly, or without enough regard for reality. This person was unconcerned, in my mind, about what was important, and focused only on the negative. I did not want to deal with the person or the situation, but circumstances being what they were, I had to.

I knew it was I who probably had the wrong perspective. So I took the matter to God in prayer. And this time, I think I heard a clear word in my spirit. A clear message.

I had recently been to a church retreat called “The Kingdom and the Poor.” One of the most powerful moments of the retreat was when the leader had various people simply read the scriptures that mentioned ‘the kingdom of God” and another set that mentioned “the poor.” No comments, just the scriptures, one right after another, cascading over us, word by word constructing a picture of God’s vision and God’s heart.

When I went to prayer about my attitude toward this particular “difficult” person, the words that imprinted on my soul were,  “In my kingdom there is room for all kinds.”  And the sense was that, not only is there room, but “all kinds” were welcome, honored, cherished.

What a different perspective from the world’s! The world dictates membership into The Accepted: you must be successful, productive, rich, beautiful, powerful, productive, useful, white. The whole advertising industry, to mention only one, is built upon reinforcing this. Why do people strive so hard to look as young as possible, to acquire as many possessions as possible, to become as successful as possible? Not really to get or become the thing itself–beautiful, rich, or successful–but, I think anyway, to become Accepted.

God’s way is different. God says you’re accepted just because he made you. I think he actually likes people who are “different” in some way, who have some sort of handicap or difficulty. His compassion is activated by our need, and his nature is to be compassionate, kind, loving, gracious.

“In my kingdom there is room for all kinds.” The words changed my attitude toward my Difficult Person. Knowing God loves that person, welcomes that person without asking for any change at all, humbled me, challenged me to do the same.

It also made me look at myself, at my own lacks and faults, and feel very, very glad that “in God’s kingdom, there is room for all kinds.”

Copyright (c) 2006 by Diane Eble. All rights reserved.