Break the glass!

I’ve seen cardinals peck furiously at glass, almost fighting the enemy bird they see in the reflection. I’ve had mockingbirds on my windowsill, preening and keeping watch. But never a robin. Robins seem to me to be ground birds, or at least that’s where I usually see them hopping along, pulling at worms or whatever they happen to find in the grass.

There’s a robin on this same second-story windowsill this morning. Facing me, his long beak lightly kisses the glass almost as if he is testing the image to see if it’s real. After a time, he turns and looks out at the world, keeping vigil, slowly looking right to left. Then the whole process starts over again. This little bird has come and gone, repeating this cycle, 3 or 4 times in the last hour.   

I think, for some of us, our faith can be just like the robin and the glass. We face God, testing Him, pecking at His image to see if it’s real, if it can be trusted. If HE can be trusted. But we turn away and face the world, looking in all directions for something to sustain us. Finding nothing, we turn back to God and test His image again. The whole process repeats itself because there’s a glass wall between us and God Himself. We can see Him, and we want to get to Him, but something blocks us.

What is your glass wall… That invisible, yet very real, thing that keeps you from getting to the God you can see and Who loves you with an everlasting love? A past hurt that just won’t let you forget? A relationship you know God wouldn’t approve of so you turn away? An addiction that has you locked down, unable to break through the glass? Or is it the fear of breaking the glass itself? Of getting hurt in the process?

Break the glass, dear one! Power through and gut it out. Yes, you will get scraped up a little. You may even get cut, but Jesus is standing ready to hold you in His arms and heal your hurt. He has scars to match your own. He is watching us test the image in the glass. Don’t let Him see you turn away again. Break the glass! Tear it down and feel His grace and mercy.

Click here to listen to the song in my head, Cry Out To Jesusfrom Mac Powell and Third Day.

He Knows

Hello, my name is Martha and I’m a food-a-holic. I have been addicted to food since I was a little girl. It has been my solace, my comfort, my best friend at times. It has also been my downfall, bringing obesity and super-sized health issues along with super-sized clothes. It has been my master and my lover. Unfortunately, my being a food-a-holic has never been a secret, because it shows up in my gut and in my “full figure.” Every time I self-medicated the pain and hurt with donuts or cheeseburgers (note the plural) eventually showed up in a required shopping trip to up-size my pants.

By the grace of God, I am now a recovering food-a-holic having dropped the bulk of my weight several years ago (only because diabetes reared its ugly head.) I have learned to make better choices and decisions. And mostly, I have learned to depend on the Giver of Life instead of a pepperoni pizza for my comfort and joy. But it will always be there… That desire for what everyone else is eating. And have you watched television lately? It’s a terrible place for people like me. They can’t do commercials for cigarettes or alcohol anymore, but food?? Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t watch.

I have known and loved people who struggled with alcoholism, and somehow it was always a surprise. It was hidden. From the outside, everything seemed fine. No telltale signs to the untrained eye. The struggle is within, and deadly. Food, on the other hand, is both an inward struggle and a real physical struggle. It stretches the elastic on our pants and our pride. It bursts the seams on our skirts and our self-esteem. It pops the buttons of our shirts and our shame, bringing us to a new low.

BUT… “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) He knows every struggle I have fought with food my entire life. Every time I ate “one more” cookie, or the entire large popcorn at the movies, Jesus saw and loved me anyway. HE KNOWS. Nothing is hidden from God!! And I’m so thankful and grateful for it.

The song in my head this morning is He Knows from Jeremy Camp.

All the bitter weary ways
endless striving day by day
you barely have the strength to pray
in the valley low
how hard your fight has been
how deep the pain within
wounds that no one else has seen
hurts too much to show

all the doubt you’re standing in between
And all the weight that brings you to your knees

HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
EVERY HURT AND EVERY STING
HE HAS WALKED THE SUFFERING
HE KNOWS, HE KNOWS
LET YOUR BURDENS COME UNDONE
LIFT YOUR EYES UP TO THE ONE
WHO KNOWS
HE KNOWS

we may faint and we may sink
feel the pain and near the brink
but the dark begins to shrink
when you find the one who knows

the chains of doubt that held you in between
one by one are starting to break free

every time that you feel forsaken
every time that you feel alone
He is near to the broken hearted
every tear
He knows…

I will struggle the rest of my life with overeating, but I won’t be alone in my struggle. The closer I am to The Lord of my appetite, the easier it is to push my plate away and get up from the table. To see food as the life-sustaining thing it was intended to be by the God who provides it. The closer I am to Jesus, the easier it is for me to hear His Holy Spirit whisper in my ear, “that’s enough for now.”

Click here to listen to He Knows from Jeremy Camp.

Being addicted to food has made me a great cook, and a lover of anything for my kitchen. The featured image is a shot of my Fiesta ware plates. I’m not sure I have enough!

Break Every Chain

“There is power in the name of Jesus… to break every chain.” This line from the band, The Digital Age, has been in my mind all through the night and still this morning. The song is called Break Every Chain and it’s from their Evening:Morning album. Having been a church musician since I was 13, every song I ever heard about the Name of Jesus has come into my head. Here are a few titles… You may remember some of them, they’re fine old nuggets…

There’s Something About that Name
At The Name of Jesus
Glory to His Name
No Other Name
Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know
Precious Name
Just Say Jesus
Take the Name of Jesus with You

This list could get long. The thing is that there IS power in the name of Jesus! I’ve felt it myself. In the middle of the night when I’m wide awake and praying for someone I love and I don’t know what to pray for, I have just spoken His name and sleep comes. When I was recovering from spine surgery and in extreme pain, His precious name settled my nerves and my pain so I could rest. Somehow, speaking His name out loud brings peace to my world.

This song also brings lots of scriptures to mind, so I’ll share some here as well…

Philippians 2:10… so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Acts 3:6… But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”

Acts 16:18… About the girl with the evil spirit who was badgering Paul for many days, he “turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.”

“To break every chain.” Chains of oppression, chains of illness, chains of addiction, chains of evil. Anything that binds, heavy, dark, strong… There IS power in the name of Jesus. Imagine the impact to our hurting world if we all speak His name together!!

Just say, “Jesus.”

Go here to listen to Break Every Chain by The Digital Age