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The Tear Collector

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God’s Thoughts to Me

So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way …

“Zacchaeus!” He said, “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today. (Luke 19:4-5, NLT)”

When Little Boys Cry

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In a specific street in the town of Jericho, Lady Dawn woke up to welcome a new morning with her sun kissed smile.

The Keeper of Heaven’s Gardens had meticulously planted the seed of a sycamore tree along this road during the last hour of the moon. This was the year 200BC.

A Guardian Angel was appointed to cultivate and guard this tree for it was paramount to one moment in the future, roughly in the year 32AD.

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When the tree’s rings were telling the history of approximately 205 years, a young boy named Zacchaeus used to climb and hide in its branches.

He cried his sorrows to the branches and the comforting leaves who listened and wrapped him with love.

Zacchaeus, who was brought up in the strict ways of the Jewish laws, was a small, shy and little child.

Because of his stature and soft heart, he was a lonely boy who never felt quite good enough to be accepted by the in-crowd. His little boy heart craved love and approval.

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Whenever his heart was ripped apart by the cruel mocking of the other sturdy and stronger boys, this little one, who’s name means “pure”, found solace and shade in the shadow of his tree friend.

As he grew up to manhood, he locked his wounded soul in the dungeon of his own short man’s syndrome and promised evil justice to the perpetrators of his pain.

He became a despised tax-collector and his hatred and cunning caused him to rapidly advance to the chief seat of these scumbags. He was consumed by his lust for revenge.

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The tax collectors were notorious for their greed and lust for worldly riches and shamelessly cheated on the taxes of the people and exploited the poor.

They were scoundrels, despised be the religious Jews. According to their laws, they were to be avoided at all cost. One day Zacchaeus heard of a Man called Jesus.

This Rabbi did not only dine with the tax collectors, prostitutes and their kind, He even called Matthew, one of Zacchaeus’ hated colleagues, to follow Him.

Rumors were that He was the Son of God and was on His way to Jericho. These rumors awoke a broken, forgotten little boy deep within the depths of Zacchaeus’s heart.

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As his tree friend was along the way Jesus was traveling, this little boy who was still starving for love and acceptance ran and climbed his familiar friend to get a better view.

When Jesus came by, He stopped, looked up to where Zacchaeus was trying to hide his shame with fig leaves and tenderly called Him down, “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in you home today”.

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Jesus softly whispered a new song of love and forgiveness, while the weathered branches bowed in reverence, inviting Zacchaeus to open his house and his heart to host the King of Heaven.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

I am linking-up with Lisa-Jo and again the sweet ladies at my Tea-Time and Link-Up page.

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The Candor of a Child

God’s Thoughts to Me

When Jesus saw what was happening, He was angry with His disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:13-15, NLT)

A Lesson from Lea, with Love

The real-life Lea

Last week I was blessed abundantly when I had the privilege of visiting my 1-year-and-5-month-old little niece in Port Elizabeth. I could let my hair down and just be little, small and childlike, getting dirty as we built sandcastles and playing in the mud. I was the builder and she, the demolisher

When I arrived, little Lea was overjoyed as she ran up to me on her chubby little legs. Shrieking with boundless delight, she jumped onto my lap and stole my heart all over again with those beautiful, blue, innocent eyes, sparkling with stars of anticipation, expecting a great time of fun and play.

What a precious moment it was when she wrapped her little arms around my neck with complete trust and surrender, not doubting my love for her even for a moment. Our Heavenly Father showed me the holiness of the moment as the Holy Spirit gave life to the words of the French author, Jacques Ellul. In his wonderful book, Anarchy and Christianity, he remarked with unusual wisdom,” No matter what God’s power may be, the first aspect of God is never that of the Absolute Master, the Almighty. It is that of the God who puts Himself on our human level and limits Himself.”

I had the privilege of loving Lea the same way our Lord Jesus loved us when He did not consider His equality with God as something to hold on to, but He emptied Himself by becoming like one of us (Phillipians 2:7). I could love Lea by putting myself on her childlike level, without considering my adulthood and limiting myself. I listened to all her incomprehensible baby babble, pretending to understand every single word as she was wholeheartedly giving me an account of her little life. Needless to say, for a few hours we played to our heart’s delight.

The holiness of that moment wrapped its warm, loving arms around me like the first rays of the sun at daybreak after a cold, dark night. My heart sensed with anticipation that our Pappa was revealing an awesome side of His character to me.

During the third decade of the first century, the Jewish families from Palestine valued their children, especially boys, for their posterity. However, they were very low on on the social ladder of a religious society who highly valued education, wisdom and intelligence. They had no rights or status and were regarded as inferior, the least among family members, a nuisance only to be seen, but definitely not heard! It came as a shock to me that we need to become like these unimportant, inferior little ones to enter our Pappa’s Kingdom of love (Matthew 18:3). I needed to desire and value my Pappa’s love much more than my so-called rights or importance, the idols the world loves to pay homage to!

Our orphaned, broken world is trying to survive without a Father, but has robbed so many of our Pappa’s children of their innocent childlikeness, me included. Since as far as my mind was able to reach back in time to fetch memories from my past, I had been on a futile quest trying to impress my Pappa and all those I considered to be His representatives here on earth. Well, I know now it is just as impossible as trying to catch the wind or chasing my own shadow.

I was suffering from a severe case of, what I call, the Micah syndrome. Micah had the same mindset as me when he lamented so beautifully, “What can we bring to God? What kind of offering should we give Him? …. Should we sacrifice our first-born children?” (Micah 6:6-7, NLT).

This syndrome was rampant amongst the ancient Canaanite tribes. Seeking the favor of their gods, they tied their first-born sons to altars as sacrifices and offered their virgin daughters to fiery volcanoes. What an incentive to let go of chastity! I wondered if Abraham thought it was business-as-usual when Our Pappa asked him to offer up Isaac?

I was ignorant of the beautiful freedom our Lord Jesus gave me by being the only mediator between my Pappa and me. As I allowed the Holy Spirit of love to draw me closer and closer into our Father’s love and the resurrected life of our Lord Jesus, I was again able to recapture the holiness of childlike faith. I could once again hear our Lord’s invitation to just come to Him to experience His rest. (Mark 10:14). Just like little Lea, I ran up to my Pappa and hurried into His Loving Embrace. I told Him of all my brokeness, weaknesses, frustrations, hopes, fears and dreams without feeling that I was a nuisance. I started to experience the truth of our Lord’s words, “You have taught children and infants” (Psalm 8:2) and shared in His delight, “Oh Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.” (Matthew 11:25).

One of my favorite authors, A W Tozer, once remarked with divine wisdom, “An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others”. So true!

Dear Ones, your Pappa does not look at the limitations this illness forces on you, He looks at your childlike heart reaching out to Him through all your pain and exhaustion. He looks at your childlike faith that implicitly trusts His promise of love to be close to the suffering, listening to your cries for help. (Psalm 22:24).

The world might abandon their weak, but not our Pappa, for He has a special place in His heart for all the spiritually, emotionally and physically broken ones! May our Pappa bless you and keep you this week as you share your life with Him, knowing that you bring joy to His heart by just being the broken, beautiful you He loves. Allow Him to carry you as He wraps you close to His heart in His Loving Embrace.

Hugs and blessings until next time. Mia