Friday, 22 October 2010

I Heard God Sighing

God sighs when He sees us tossing and turning on our beds.
Battling with obstacles along our path.
Locked in loneliness.
Wringing our hands in helplessness.

Thank you for your prayers dear friends. Our trials help us reach higher ground. Battling against corruption is difficult but we are overcomers in Christ.
The photos I have posted are from my favourite India Photo Blog.
The devotional by Max Lucado stirred my heart.

When God Sighed

by Max Lucado


Two days ago I read a word in the Bible that has since taken up residence in my heart.To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to do with it. It’s only one word, and not a very big one at that. When I ran across the word, (which, by the way, is exactly what happened; I was running through the passage and this word came out of nowhere and bounced me like a speed bump) I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t have any hook to hang it on or category to file it under.It was an enigmatic word in an enigmatic passage. But now, forty-eight hours later, I have found a place for it, a place all its own. My, what a word it is. Don’t read it unless you don’t mind changing your mind, because this little word might move your spiritual furniture around a bit.
Look at the passage with me.Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought a man to him who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. (Mark 7:31-35)Quite a passage, isn’t it?Jesus is presented with a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. Perhaps he stammered. Maybe he spoke with a lisp. Perhaps, because of his deafness, he never learned to articulate words properly.
Jesus, refusing to exploit the situation, took the man aside. He looked him in the face. Knowing it would be useless to talk, he explained what he was about to do through gestures. He spat and touched the man’s tongue, telling him that whatever restricted his speech was about to be removed. He touched his ears. They, for the first time, were about to hear.But before the man said a word or heard a sound, Jesus did something I never would have anticipated.He sighed.I might have expected a clap or a song or a prayer. Even a “Hallelujah!” or a brief lesson might have been appropriate. But the Son of God did none of these. Instead, he paused, looked into heaven, and sighed. From the depths of his being came a rush of emotion that said more than words.
Sigh.
The word seemed out of place.I’d never thought of God as one who sighs. I’d thought of God as one who commands. I’d thought of God as one who weeps. I’d thought of God as one who called forth the dead with a command or created the universe with a word … but a God who sighs?Perhaps this phrase caught my eye because I do my share of sighing.I sighed yesterday when I visited a lady whose invalid husband had deteriorated so much he didn’t recognize me. He thought I was trying to sell him something.
I sighed when the dirty-faced, scantily dressed, six-year-old girl in the grocery store asked me for some change.
And I sighed today listening to a husband tell how his wife won’t forgive him.
No doubt you’ve done your share of sighing.If you have teenagers, you’ve probably sighed. If you’ve tried to resist temptation, you’ve probably sighed. If you’ve had your motives questioned or your best acts of love rejected, you have been forced to take a deep breath and let escape a painful sigh.
I realize there exists a sigh of relief,
a sigh of expectancy,
and even a sigh of joy.
But that isn’t the sigh described in Mark 7. The sigh described is a hybrid of frustration and sadness. It lies somewhere between a fit of anger and a burst of tears.The apostle Paul spoke of this sighing. Twice he said that Christians will sigh as long as we are on earth and long for heaven. The creation sighs as if she were giving birth. Even the Spirit sighs as he interprets our prayers. (Romans 8:22-27)
All these sighs come from the same anxiety; a recognition of pain that was never intended, or of hope deferred.
Man was not created to be separated from his creator; hence he sighs, longing for home.
The creation was never intended to be inhabited by evil; hence she sighs, yearning for the Garden.
And conversations with God were never intended to depend on a translator; hence the Spirit groans on our behalf, looking to a day when humans will see God face to face.
And when Jesus looked into the eyes of Satan’s victim, the only appropriate thing to do was sigh. “It was never intended to be this way,” the sigh said. “Your ears weren’t made to be deaf, your tongue wasn’t made to stumble.” The imbalance of it all caused the Master to languish.
So, I found a place for the word.
You might think it strange, but I placed it beside the word comfort, for in an indirect way, God’s pain is our comfort.And in the agony of Jesus lies our hope. Had he not sighed, had he not felt the burden for what was not intended, we would be in a pitiful condition. Had he simply chalked it all up to the inevitable or washed his hands of the whole stinking mess, what hope would we have?But he didn’t.
That holy sigh assures us that God still groans for his people. He groans for the day when all sighs will cease, when what was intended to be will be.
From God Came Near: Chronicles of the ChristCopyright (Thomas Nelson, 1999) Max Lucado

My blog friend Abigail Jasmine has a lovely Giveaway on he r blog. Its a pretty bracelet from Africa, do visit and participate. She is a very creative photographer and her creates poetic posts. Visit Abigail HERE

21 Fertilize my soul:

Abigail Jasmine said...

Amrita ~ I think you are such a beautiful and special woman of God!! I love all of the content you share with us readers on your blog - so encouraging & insightful. Thank you for the kind mention and words.

Have a great weekend!
Lots of love in Christ!!

HUGS!~~ Still praying for you & your family!

Amrita said...

Its my pleasure Abby. I enjoy the youthfulness, creativity and gentle inspiration of your blog.

monsoon dreams said...

Dearest,
How are you now?i too am down with fever and it doesnt seem to go away.more to do with the mind,i suppose.been praying for you,amrita.we shifted home,took two weeks to complete it.your post made my day,dearest.

David said...

I talked to my friend, Jesus, about you this morning. He is such a good listener and will go to the Father for you. He only asks that in all things you give His father glory and praise.

Dani said...

I have been praying also for you and your sweet mama....God has put you both on my heart....I don't know the future but know Who controls it....take care

Zimbabwe said...

Amrita, God is the best friend. He loves You. I enjoyed Your post. He takes care of even birds - and we are more worth than them.

Sandy said...

"It was never intended to be
this way." I couldn't agree
more.
Thank you, Amrita for sharing
this. It was wonderful.
Keeping you in my prayers,
sweet sister.
Love,
Sandy

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

That was a brilliant inspirational article from Max Lucado. Yes, sighing is a new facet of looking at what God is doing for us. It is probably a sigh of empathy and loneliness for what has become of His creation after the fall. The needless pain and suffering we have to endure because of that fall and the undeserved power given to Satan to torment those who are still under torment because they have not yet accepted the liberating power of God's grace of salvation and eternal life in their souls. So God sigh for all those unnecessary burdens. Thanks for the magnificent post. God bless you always.

Kimmie said...

I enjoyed reading this and pondering the sigh of Jesus.

Oft times I find myself sighing...I think it is my longing for heaven to come to earth and His will to be done...we are so far removed from this though.

thanks Amrita...

(hug)
Kimmie
mama to 8
one homemade and 7 adopted

Amrita said...

Thank you Nina, I have a slight cold, feeling OK.Its the weather change. Hope your new house move was smooth.

Amrita said...

Dear Mel thank you for your insightful comment.Right now I am listening to the hymn 'Farther Along"

I lik e the lines
Cheer up my brother
Live in the sunshine
We 'll understand it
all by and by

Amrita said...

Dear David thank you to talking to Jesus on my behalf, I really like the way you put it.

Amrita said...

Dear dani, Sandy and Zimb, may God 's blessings flow in your lives.

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
Just want to tell, you are in my heart and mind.
From Felisol

Mrs. Mac said...

Dear Amrita .. I'm thinking and praying about your situation today .. and God called this to mind:

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

Love,

Cathy

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Dear Amrita,
What a powerful post. What a deep reflection. God gave you the inspiration to convey to us such a beautiful message. Thanks for sharing with us.

And thanks for stopping by and commenting on my story. Isn't such a coincidence that we both have included the speech impediment on our posts, even if they are in two total different contexts?

Love and peace to you, my dear friend!

Doris

Ash said...

This is beautiful, Amrita. Thank you so much for sharing.

Sending you lots of prayers and hugs

Ash

Arts&Disability said...

Amrita you are a kind and dear person in our Lord.... with many beautiful thoughts to dwell on in our troubled world.
Love to you & Mom & Family always,
in our Lord
His Sonshine

Reenie said...

Whatever crisis your family is in currently, I hope it goes away...

Wishing you all the best...

LisaShaw said...

Hi Amrita, I've not visited in a while but I'm thankful to see you are still standing firm in GOD no matter what.

I said a prayer for you dear one! His grace and covering is amazing and His Hand is upon you.

Love and blessings,
Lisa

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Great story by Max Lucado :-)

I loved the photo of the goat herder

!Ron