Friday, April 12, 2013

The Chile Diaries

A little over a year ago we got back from a trip of a lifetime to Chile.  We were invited by our dear friends, Guillermo and Pili.  The two of them were planning to tour the southern region of their beautiful country and they invited Jorge and I, along with our mutual friend and coworker, Erika, to join them.  I've already shared about our trip in earlier posts but this time I just wanted to share some excerpts from my journal entries during those days.  I want to remember and share some of the things God spoke to my heart during those special days.

Jan. 27, 2012; Santiago

Woke up this morning - first morning in Chile.  Undeserved generosity, grace gifts from God.  The answer to my "Why?" lies not in ME, but in YOU: My loving, generous, gracious, "Because I love you!" Gift-Giver!  But that leads me to more "whys" ... why are you so good and generous and loving and gracious and forgiving and merciful and patient and unconditional?  Why?  The answer I hear in my ear: "Just because, that's Who I AM!"     
The Great I AM , JUST IS!

Jan. 30, 2012; Santiago

You are my everything.  I am/have nothing without You.  You are my hope for love, acceptance, peace, security, restoration ... second, third, fourth and fifth chances; for starting over and anew with each new day.  You are my hope for and the fulfillment of being understood; for being known, truly known, without preconceived notions or misinterpreted perspectives ... free of error; Being cherished, accepted and loved in spite of the truth.  In You I find freedom ... rest for my soul ... absence of striving ... safety and security ... assurance for tomorrow.  Help me, teach me, show me HOW to live in each moment with You.  I need to!  I want to!  Not a moment is worth living if you aren't with me, in me; working through me, in spite of me.  I love You!  I need You!

Feb. 4, 2012; Puyehue

When you are in the midst of a forest, all you can see is what is right in front of you; what scares you, troubles you, challenges you.  But, when you are out of the forest, looking back at it from a distance, you can see the beautiful patchwork creation of God; the beauty, the awesomeness, the grandeur ... the Glory of God!  I must learn, when I am IN the forest, to look UP and AROUND and SEE THE GLORY!  If I can't see the beauty of the forest for the trees, at least I can KNOW that is IS there and that I will soon be out of it and able to look back at it and see the beauty; the Glory of God!  

Feb. 7, 2012; Futaleufu
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic and glorious is your name in ALL the earth!  You have set your glory on the heavens.  When I view and consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained and established, What is man that you are mindful of him and that you care for him?  O Lord, our Lord, How excellent, majestic and glorious is your name in all the earth! (from Psalm 8)

Feb. 13, 2012; Chile Chico 

(Note:  When we arrived to Chile Chico that afternoon the sun was glistening on the lake making brilliant shades of blue and green shine through.  The next morning when I went out to sit by the lake, everything was dark and dull; it looked like a totally different place without the sun shining on it!)

  Even your beautiful creation depends on You to make it shine.  The clear blue waters of Lake General Carrera aren't clear blue this morning.  Your sun isn't yet shining on it to make it shine brilliant.  The beauty of the rocks are dull without your sun! 

Without Jesus shining on me, any beauty He has made in me will not be evident to anyone else.  Jesus is my LIGHT source!  Jesus is my LIFE source!  Without Him it all dulls and wanes and fades.

Feb. 15, 2012; Frutillar
"Then said the Lord to me, Go again, love the same woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins [used in idol worship]."  
(Hosea 3:1)

In spite of our unfaithfulness, lack of faith, belief, trust; inconsistencies, selfishness, pride, etc ..  HOW HE LOVES US!  How HE LOVES ME! ... in spite of it all!  Undeserved, unmerited, unconditional love and grace and mercy and forgiveness and restoration.

Feb. 26, 2012; Back home in Cartagena

I am learning that friendship and intimacy with God doesn't come easy.  I have to want it bad enough to fight for it.  Not because God plays hard-to-get; but because I am so easily distracted by everything around me and am so quick to forfeit what I most need and what I most value for what I want in the moment ... the fleeting moments.  We criticize Esau for selling his birthright for a bowl of stew.  But don't we do the same thing every day?  We trade time with God for what our flesh most wants ... to veg out, to watch TV, to surf the net, to play mindless games, to socialize.  We are no different.

Surrender [to God] and win ... Die [to self] and live!

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