The Moon That Lingers

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?" - Psalm 139:7 Quickly, I realize that the car in front of me was granted permission to enter...

DSC04083.JPG With my driver window already down I slowly let off of my brake pedal and begin to roll forward toward the now empty space in between my car and a gate blocking any further progression... Reaching over to the empty passenger seat, I grasp my passport as the car rolls closer and closer to the gate that is now directly in front of me.

As I approach the border agent to the left of my steering wheel, I begin to prepare for the process of questioning that was soon to come. Giving the agent my passport, I quickly realize that despite the sound from the heavy traffic behind us, it doesn't take long for there to be a silence... As the silence between us continue, it doesn't take long for me to quickly remind myself that if only I would have woke up earlier then maybe I could have avoided the rush hour traffic that I was currently in.

My thoughts then go to the agent that is now looking toward me as the agent breaks the silence and asks me, "So what brings you here?" Politely and honestly, I reply to the man who is holding my passport, "I'm just exploring."

As I answer his question, I notice the man turn to look at his computer; however, as I finished answering, the man looks back at me and with one word asks a follow-up question, as if he was confused at my answer. Turning to me, the man curiously asks... "Why...??" To be honest... I just want to get lost.DSC04097.JPG

 ... Have you ever wanted to get lost, simply just to get away from your mistakes and inadequacies? As I drive farther and farther away from cell phone service and into the great unknown in front of me, I can't help but feel slightly lost... I also can't help but feel slightly lost in a spiritual sense as I apologize again to the Lord for my mistakes and inadequacies of not only yesterday, but of today. While I am acknowledging where I've fallen short, a line of lyrics from a song I heard earlier that morning begins to come to mind as I drive farther and farther into the great unknown... 

"Yesterday felt like it would never end I couldn’t confess, so I kept on falling. Oh keep me from falling...." - Tenth Avenue North, "I Confess"

... Thinking of these lyrics, I begin to hate the fact that I still sin and still have to ask for forgiveness especially after I died to my sin when I surrendered my life, but as I drive farther and farther, I can't help but be distracted by the endless beauty that is all around me... From the beautiful farms on my left and right, to the endless canvas of colors, both near & far, that the foliage of fall brings! Beauty upon beauty greets me as I get lost for a while...

I can't help but realize that as I drive, beauty surrounds me over and underneath, near and far, left and right regardless of the mistakes I've made. The presence of beauty doesn't hide.... The presence of beauty has no prejudice.... The presence of beauty doesn't hold itself back... The presence of beauty doesn't depend on a record of rights and wrongs...

As I drive farther and farther into the unknown, I also noticed that the moon was in the sky and I began to laugh at it since it was awkwardly out-of-place in the prescience of day... ... in front of me, there's a random full moon oddly lingering in the beautiful sky almost as if it was a haunting reminder that night was on its way and coming soon.

Yet, as time went on... I drove... and thought... and prayed, and I began to find myself distracted more and more by the awkward moon in front of me.

"Why is there a moon lingering where it does not belong?" I thought to myself. And as I question why there is a moon that is lingering in the sky... ... An answer came to my mind. I have heard this type of answer many, many times through the years. Softly and tenderly, in a faint whisper I hear:

"Jonah, just like the moon sometimes lingers in the sky during day, your sin sometimes will linger even when you are Mine... But take heart, surrender to the day that I provide, for your lingering sin does NOT define you anymore. Surrender your inadequacies that lingers... to Me and embrace the beauty of the Grace of my day that is all around you. I am growing you day-to-day"

Lord, just like how I laughed at the moon that awkwardly lingered in the day... help me laugh at Your Grace upon Grace that is new every morning Remind us that just like the children we are, Daddy, You are renewing us, You are renewing me, day by day.  Jesus, thank You for reminding me that the painting of my life has been overwhelmingly covered by the presence of a new life through You. And even though I have died to my sin that once defined me, and have become alive through You Jesus, And even though at times the presence and reminder of my rebellions may haunt and linger... Just like a little kid, We are learning and growing! Hold me, teach me, Mold me, Scold me, LOVE ME! Help me remember, that if I was not broken... I would not need You. Like the Great Physician You are, THANK YOU for day-to-day renewing our heart and soul, and calling us to follow You by renewing our mind and heart through daily surrender to You. Jesus, thank You that there is NOWHERE I can go from Your presence... Even when the moon & my sin, lingers and haunts... You are faithful to provide.

Lord, You bring Luke 10 to my mind... When You sent out "like lambs in the midst of wolves" (10:3) not just the 12 disciples... But 72 others You sent out to tell, to heal, and to minister to others... And EACH of them brought also their own sins, flaws, mistakes, regrets, and fears (10:1)

Lord, You sent them out EVEN when they didn't even have a proper understanding of You (only Peter even recognized You as the Savior out of the twelve up to that point)! But Lord, You sent them knowing what You would to do in them through time... You don't just see right now, You see us through the eyes of eternity... You see what we will become.

And as they returned Lord, You were thankful that what was done was not through the wise and understanding, but by the little children... And Lord I am no different. We are no different...

Jesus, thank You that Your Grace upon Grace finds us when we get lost for awhile... And when we see the cross? Help us see freedom. And when we see our sin? Help us see the cross.

Jesus, just like a little kid, we are learning and growing Thank You for leading and teaching us, Your children... Help us surrender our lives more and more to You and help us walk in obedience, love, and purity through Your Word. Help us live, love, and forgive as we have been given from You Life, Love, and Forgiveness!

Jesus, thank You for the moon that lingers... Thank You for our sin that lingers. For every day it lingers, it is another day that You remind us of the beauty  and purity that Your Sacrifice brings us.

- J "Search me O God and know my heart test me and know my anxious thoughts see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in Your Way everlasting." - Psalm 139:23-24

Because of the Lord’s great Love we are not consumed, for His compassion never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23

"Therefore, since we have such a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

- Hebrews 4:14-16

Lyrics: Here [youtube]