I was doing a little research for a thought I had had for this morning and am now sitting here slightly stunned at the arguments we get into. I do mean arguments, I mean throw down teeth bared defend my point to the death and you are all going to hell arguments. It’s left me a tad bemused but hopefully not confused.

My verses so far this year have been unexpected, I think I shared that right at the start. I was expecting ‘power packed change the world’ verses and instead I have received ‘power packed change Jules’ verses. Writing that, I realise again that God’s ways really are higher than ours. My verse for this week is another psalm:

Let Your face shine upon Your servant,
    and help me to learn what You require.

Psalm 119:135

I started to think about ‘shine’ – it’s a word close to my heart as you can see from this site and my ‘about’ page. I thought about what it might mean here: brighten, warm, illuminate, love, there’s joy in it, there’s calm and calming so there’s peace. I think about sitting on a clear day, face upturned towards the sun, eyes closed and that pleasant, peaceful, calming sensation. Sometimes that snatched moment can bring relief on a busy day.

Seek His face and not His hand – who He is and now what He can do. We move from one to the other as we mature I think. Of course, we always need what God can do, has done, will do for us but love is best when it’s a response to a person, not deeds. Isn’t that how God loves me? It’s not for what I can do or what I have so it must be for who I am.

That brings me to the word servant – or slave (that was the search that left me wondering about what ridiculous arguments we get into). Perhaps bondservant is the best translation, I have chosen to enter a lifetime of service to Him. He could have enslaved me – omnipotence makes that possible, but rather He has loved me into giving my life, myself into His hands.

So I am asking my Master, my Lord to brighten my life with His presence. Asking Him to bring peace, calm, love, joy, illumination – wisdom and understanding – into my life by revealing who He is.

Then I was thinking about learning opposed to teaching. The two go together but they are a partnership. A teacher can teach eloquently, passionately but no learning happens unless the student is receptive. Conversely, a student can desire to learn, eager willing but nothing happens unless a teacher teaches. I love the phrase ‘help me to learn’. That shouts out love to me. I see myself head bowed over a book or a paper as He bends beside me with a gentle arm around my shoulder and His other hand showing me where to look while His beloved voice speaks in my ear explaining.  The Holy Spirit illuminating and showing me what God requires, what pleases Him.

Yes, I am His bondservant but when I dig into this verse when I see that image how could I be anything else but committed to a God who loves me, who wants nothing more than to show Himself so that the love between us can grow. This verse was at the bottom of my journal page today. I think I had a glimpse just now.

No eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard
    and it has never occurred to the human heart
All the things God prepared for those who love Him.

1 Corinthians 2:9


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