The Word
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It was a number of weeks ago I felt the Spirit of God pushing me to explore the book of John a little deeper. This was both frightening and encouraging, because I always enjoy reading the book of John, but felt less prepared to really “study.” Recently, while listening to the Bible Project Podcast, I learned John wrote his gospel from a reflective mindset. Perhaps this explains his poetic style or his ability to constantly point back to Jesus being the Christ, one with God. But God wasn’t asking me to read the whole book.

As I began reading, I found myself constantly traveling back to the first five verses of the Book of John. It was like a tick, I didn’t feel satisfied until I read those verses: once, twice, move on, come back. It was hard to go through the day without thinking of those verses. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  … “In the beginning” … “In the beginning”... I knew that phrase! So I decided to flex my study skills (something I’m not so confident in) and go back to Genesis.

Genesis 1 opens with, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The use of this phrase in John would have prompted his readers to return to or remember this opening line. They would have had the same reaction as me, thinking “Oh! I know this. God created in the beginning, and somehow the “Word” was there with Him. How could that be?” From this point, I did a side-by-side comparison of the first five verses of both passages to find other connections.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome itIn the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
John 1: 1-5

 

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Genesis 1:1-5

 

Some initial similarities I saw where

  • Both passages open with “In the beginning”

  • Both passages deal with light (physical and spiritual)

  • Both passages deal with creation

My question became: What is the connection between “the Word” and God speaking? Is there a connection? 

Enter the dragon! I mean...word study. A tool I think is great... for other people -mainly because I am not so confident in using it, but it was something God was asking me to do.  I waited a few days and then started the process. (Honesty is important, right?) As long as I’m being honest, I did not solely focus on this connection while studying, and I do not do well with Greek/Hebrew, so I relied on Logos and Blue Letter Bible to help me examine these things.

One of the key pieces of information I found was the Greek used by John when he wrote “the Word” implies “speech in action,” which agrees with the English translation of the Hebrew used in Genesis, “God said.” Both mean this speaking is active. Then, the Blue Letter Bible blew my mind OUT OF THE WATER by connecting these two sections for me. They know this is a common connection and I’m just a little late to the party. The commentators stated John implies that God is speaking in the present, but has also been speaking in ETERNITY PAST (the Word was with God) and will continue speaking into ETERNITY FUTURE.

In short : God has always been talking to himself, and at some point He decided to speak into creation and give us this world and life. INCREDIBLE.

Then, I froze. This was all amazing, and I was so excited, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I started a new job, I was stressed, and I stopped listening to the God who is always speaking.

BUT GOD….

I knew I needed to  read the Bible, even if I was stressed, and decided to pick back up in 1 Samuel. I skimmed through Hannah’s prayer, and reread Samuel hearing  from God for the first time. As I read, I saw Samuel responding three times to the wrong voice. He would run to Eli, the Priest in charge of the temple and say “Here I am!” But Eli wasn’t calling. It took Eli until the THIRD time to say, “Samuel, you are hearing the voice of God. The next time this happens, respond to Him.”

The God who is constantly speaking into creation wants to participate in a true conversation with you.

Wow, God is persistent. And boy, are we blessed by that. Even this man of faith, one who had devoted his life to being in God’s presence, wasn’t sure who Samuel should be responding to until the third time.  Samuel, knowing it was God, then changed his response. He says, “yes, Lord, I am listening.” To me, Samuel went from active to peaceful, from talking to listening. He decided to hear what God was calling him to do.

I was deeply encouraged by this, because I was reminded of the times I fail. I will look for a response in my work, in my relationships, in trying harder, rather than being still to listen for the voice of God. Sometimes I hear Him calling, and I actively run away, like Jonah. Sometimes I am waiting for Him in the fire and thunder, rather than a whisper, like Elijah on the mountain. I need to be practicing my listening skills, to become more familiar with the voice of my shepherd, like Jesus says in John. How can I do that? I’ve thought of a few ways and would like to invite you to join me. Whether it is in preparation for Summer Study, or a simple desire to hear God more clearly.

  1. Pray. This sounds easy, but it’s not the prayer where we spend all the time talking, it’s the prayer where we sit down and tell God, “I’m listening.” Practice with me taking time without your phone, without music, without distraction, to focus on God and His voice. If you find yourself struggling, tell Him. There is such power in admitting our weakness! He must become greater, and I must become less.

  2. Read your Bible and Use your tools. Again, easy? Maybe. Difficult to do consistently? For sure! I would encourage you to start with a passage you know well and do some cross referencing. Or discover the context of the passage/book. Know what you’re reading, who it’s to, and why they wrote it. If you feel adequate in that (Not perfect, just comfortable) move into a passage that feels unfamiliar. Practice feeling out of your depth and go to the Lord. Then start using your tools before going to a commentary or your study notes. This is SO HARD and can make me feel like I’m not doing anything, but not all waiting is bad or disobedient. If you aren’t sure if your waiting is disobedient to the Lord and you are struggling to hear Him, try the next “step.”

  3. Ask a friend! Maybe not just any friend, but one you trust is also working on hearing from the Lord. Often, my husband helps to redirect me when I’m just feeling “lost” to see my unbelief or doubt that is leading me to resist the voice of God. If He was speaking to you from YOUR beginning, He is speaking to you now.

The God who is constantly speaking into creation wants to participate in a true conversation with you. One with a call and response. One where we allow Him to speak, knowing His words are true, full of grace and mercy, dripping with forgiveness as sweet as honey from the honeycomb. Let us practice stillness and listening in a world so full of busyness and monologuing. Peace be with you (and also with you.)


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Kate Haas wants to live in a world with free coffee, hugs, and deep conversations. When she isn’t in class, you can find her at home with her husband and four-legged toddler reading a book or watching a detective show. Her favorite scripture is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. [Amen? Amen!]”

Something she finds comforting when reading the Bible (esp. the OT) is in this verse: "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 29:29 (comforting to know God has given us what we need, and He is over all the things we don't understand.)

A Blessing to Motherhood
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Nine years ago, a little boy was conceived. He would be the first to call me mother. Our clan has now grown to three, a boy and two girls. Truly a gift unmerited from the Lord. Still, I have found myself running to the Lord for wisdom, strength, and identity in motherhood. His grace and strength have delivered me from the pit many times. The Word of the Lord has sustained me in times of uncertainty, strife, misunderstanding, longing, sickness, and grief. It is grace for sanctification, that through my children, He parents me yet more. The knowledge that I am called to be an ambassador of Christ to my children takes away the burden of “making” perfect children. Instead, I walk alongside the Lord as I watch His grace call lost hearts, mold characters, and create pure hearts in my children. I will boast yet in my weakness as I parent, for when I am weak then He is strong.

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So, this blessing is for new mom with expectant eyes, for the mom who faced a miscarriage, for the mom who daily remembers an abortion, for the mom whose arms are left empty to the death of their child, for the mom whose womb remains barren yet, for the mom who has experienced a failed adoption, and for the mom whose children came through adoption. This blessing is for the mothers aching for children separated from them, the mothers who feel less than, and for the mothers loving children whose birth families are in crisis. This blessing also reaches to the moms at different stages, the mom with busy toddlers, the mom with school-aged children testing their boundaries, and the mom with children leaving the nest. This blessing also belongs to the mom with a child whose rejection aches heavy, the grandmother who now finds herself raising another set of children, the mom caring for a child with an illness or special needs, the moms yet to be, and those who know or may not know that the calling of motherhood also beckons them.

Another facet of motherhood for me is the calling to make disciples. I do this around the table monthly, with beautiful women from around the city. My calling to spiritual motherhood began many  years. One of my greatest treats was to spend time with the older ladies at my church. I asked, listened, gleaned, but mainly watched as they lived a life worthy of the calling of God. So I began to pay attention to the ones younger than me. I spoke life over them, I listened to them, I encouraged them to seek the Lord. One of the ways I loved to do this was by writing poems for them, letting them know  I saw Jesus in them. I also pointed them to the Word of God, showing them how learning it and loving it had made all the difference for me. It had looked different at different times of my life, but now that I have reflected on those times, I pray I can incorporate them with my littles too. Revel in the calling of spiritual motherhood. Let it bring life to areas of your life that may have gone dormant. You will be nourished and the Lord’s provision will simply astound you.

So, Dear Hearts, the Lord and I have been thinking about you and we bless you.

A baby in arms a heart full
A smile that plays in the eyes
Unbelief that this one is yours and will call you mom
Blessed be the God who filled your womb
You are blessed mother, run to your strength.

A prayer sent to heaven above
A cry stifled with tears warm
What was to be
Has not come to pass
Blessed be the God who hears
You are blessed mother,
Morning, noon, and evening His ears hear your cry.

Unsteady you sit tears stream
Your heart yearning, longing
To be full just one more time
The emptiness threatens to overtake
Blessed be the God who sees
You are blessed mother,
His arms tenderly hold your broken heart.

A desert bare
A wilderness of unknown
Where is the promise of a life-giving womb?
Again confronted with a womb full
And your heart aches with longing at first
And then with desperation
Will it ever be?
Blessed be the God who knows
You are blessed mother,
For He makes known to you the path of life.

A gift given
To experience your spiritual adoption in the physical
Your heart swings open
And you embrace one whom your soul loves
Dissonance loud, mistake, I’m sorry…
No longer yours
Blessed be the God who predestines for adoption
You are blessed mother,
He chose you from the foundation of the earth - you are His.

A family but children- just a desire
A joy to be with friends and inhale their giggles full
The beautiful souls unclaimed
Your heart couldn’t resist
The whisper, Love them
So you do and your heart almost implodes
Blessed be the God whose joy is our strength
You are blessed mother,
In His presence there is fullness of joy forever more.

The baby is on the move
The days seem to stretch
But nights are short and mornings come quickly
Frazzled, dazed, tired, hungry
Don’t numb, distract , or give in to indulgence
Blessed be the God who gives rest
You are blessed mother,
He invites you to come bathe in His rhythms of grace - Sabbath

A child vocal and strong
Curious explorer setting his own boundaries
Testing and prodding in whiny vocabulary
Your triggered-buttons pushes
A sigh of exasperation escapes
Is this even worth it?
Blessed be the God who shepherds
You are blessed mother,
As you guide your child, so as a lamb your Heavenly Father guides you to Quiet waters and restores your soul.

The long days turn to short years
And you look up and the child is grown
Where has the time gone?
Could it be time to completely let go and let fly?
Blessed be the God who bids us follow
You are blessed mother,
For the same God who calls you to follow Him also calls your child.

Anger, resentment, rejection
Taking, withholding
Longing for a small piece - if even that
The longing of a sweet blossoming of friendship as you both grew up
Still just a longing
Blessed be the God who intercedes
You are blessed mother,
For you have an advocate who day and night intercedes for you and your son at the right hand of the Father.

Your grandchildren are a crown
But you did not anticipate their care
They have burrowed deep in your heart
Life is different than imagined
Though rich and full of joy
Blessed be the God who renews your strength
You are blessed mother,
For they who wait for the Lord shall run and not be weary.

Fear grips your heart
Disease, incurable, not sure - more tests
This babe was supposed to be whole and healthy
Your heart pounds
No control
Only trust
Blessed be the God who heals
You are blessed mother,
For He gave his only Son by whose stripes we are healed.

The refinement of motherhood
Is not exclusive
It draws and attracts
The giving of ourselves
The unveiling of our souls to each other
Spiritual motherhood a calling
Strong resilient and needed
Look around and take them in
The ones placed within your boundaries on purpose
Blessed be God who sets our times and spaces
You are blessed spiritual mother,
For He has caused your boundaries to fall in pleasant places; surely you have a delightful inheritance.

Rejoice!
Light up in smiles
Clap, sing, dance, create
The blessings you have received
Are good and gracious
In beholding them you find more intricacies of Christ
It is His grace and kindness that leads us to repentance
In Him you have received everything you need
Blessed be the God who is pleased to reveal
You are blessed mother,
For He has made known to you the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure!

After you finish reading this blessing take some time to sit and rest in the Lord. You are truly blessed.

 
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When you are ready, take some time to look up the following Bible references. From the Word came the inspiration for how the Lord provides His grace in motherhood. The Word of God is alive and active, let it go deep into your heart and soul. In His grace, may the Word of God not return void but work in transformation for your sanctification. Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and evermore shall be: world without end. Amen.


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Daisy Dronen is a bellwether table-gatherer who loves fresh cut flowers and reading. Always reading! She invites women to join her around the table, creating a beautiful space in which to disciple a generation. With If:Dayton, she has discovered that beholding each other leads to a deeper revelation of who Jesus is and who He says we are - all while enjoying delicious food together. As a woman, she knows that we can all fear rejection. But around the table, we can make room for everyone to feel welcomed and push past our fears as we dive into meaningful conversation. A few evenings a week Daisy turns in her mom cape for a white coat as a nurse supervisor at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Adventuring with the love of her life is one of her greatest pleasures - following Jesus is her #1 pleasure. Daisy was born in Honduras, raised in Texas, but Dayton, Ohio is home. She loves to travel, spend time in nature, and dream of more dancing opportunities. This year one of her goals is to use her writing and story to encourage others that their story has a purpose in life. She would love to meet you and have you join her for tea. You can catch glimpses of her life on Instagram @daisyfd or email her at daisy.dronen@icloud.com

 

Photo credit to Echo by Design