Hurricane Softened Soil & Hearts

 Softened Soil & Hearts — We Interrupt These Blog Posts to Bring You A Hurricane via www.jeanwilund.com

We Interrupt These Blog Posts to Bring You A Hurricane

As soon as I made my plans, Hurricane Irma came and wrecked them. Thanks, a lot.

I’d planned to finish my Enoch blog posts last week, but then we had to jump into Hurricane Irma Readiness mode. My blog instantly became low priority. 

My heart breaks at the sight on the news of all those who lost so much in Irma — especially those who lost their lives. It’s devastating!

I’m grateful to report, though, that we weathered Irma well. We only lost our power for a few hours. Long enough to remind me how much I depend on it.  

We almost lost a tree, too. After Irma, our Chinese Elm was leaning at about a 45º angle. This is good, though, because it had been growing at an 85º angle since the beginning. Thanks, Irma.

I kept meaning to straighten it out and stake it while it was small, but one thing led to another. By the time I got around to it, the tree was rooted into the hard clay soil and unwilling to budge an inch. 

I thought about forcing it but was afraid of damaging the tree — maybe even breaking it. But now it’s just a mess. We’ve got to fix it. Its roots won’t survive being above-ground.

Fortunately, we can pull it up with ease because it’s now loose in the Irma-softened soil. We can give it a fresh start and new life.

Softened Soil & Hearts

Hurricane Softened Soil & Hearts — When a Hurricane actually did something good. www.jeanwilund.comWhen I told my friend Debbie about our poor tree, she pointed out how much our Chinese Elm is a picture of the work God does in our hearts.

Unless God softens the soil of our hearts, no outward pushing or pulling will move it without damaging it.

I’m probably guilty of hurting a few people with my well-meaning attempts to force their hearts to move in a direction I felt was best.

I’ve tried to help God rather than wait for Him to do the work only He can do.

Why do I keep forgetting I’m not God?

God’s Perfect Work

God’s work in our hearts is perfect. Only He knows best what we need.

Sometimes God sends a long, gentle rain to soften a heart.

He’ll speak to us through His Word or and open our eyes to a truth we’d missed or misunderstood. Painless.

Other times, He sends a rainstorm that breaks up the soil of our hearts in ways we wouldn’t have chosen.

Painful, but effective.

And then, when necessary, God sends an all-out hurricane to flood and blow against our hearts until they become putty in His hands.

PAINFUL, but perfect.

God’s Work in our hearts isn’t always fun. When it’s painful, let’s remember:

God never allows the storms to blow beyond what is absolutely necessary to cause our roots to grow deep into His marvelous love.

New Life — New Look

If my Chinese Elm continued to grow at an angle the roots couldn’t support, a strong enough storm would’ve eventually knocked it down to its doom.

With the soil now properly softened, we can give our tree new life that’s able to weather the storms to come.

We can give it a new look, too. A strong look, rather than looking like it’ll fall over if the wind sneezes.  

I’m thankful for the storms God has sent or allowed into my heart. He’s used each one to mold me more into the likeness of Jesus.  

Softened Soil & Hearts — We Interrupt These Blog Posts to Bring You A Hurricane via www.jeanwilund.comI know I’ll never look just like Jesus. I’ve got too many twists and turns in my trunk. But that’s ok. My roots are now growing down into the soil of His marvelous love, and I’m filled with new life. 

And hopefully a new look — one that smiles more than it grumbles or grimaces.

My hope is when I’m old and gray (instead of just young and gray — or more accurately, middle-aged and gray) people will meet me and know what Jesus is really like.

At this point, I make Jesus look more like a Picasso painting. But He’s not done with me yet. More softening of my heart to come!

I’m Sorry

To those of you that I’ve hurt by my pushing and pulling, “Forgive me.” I hope you know it was only because I love you — or because I was temporarily an idiot.

And to those of you who’ve been hurt by other Christians who tried to force your heart to believe in Jesus or look like Jesus — on their behalf, I say, “I’m so sorry.”

And to those who are facing a Heart Hurricane, I say, “Embrace it.”

Hang on, but embrace it. Let God have His way with your heart. Let Him soften and move your heart to where it needs to be. If you don’t, one day a big storm is going to come and knock you flat. It may even break you.

An Encouraging Word From the Word

I now leave you with the incredible encouragement of Ephesians 3:16-20, one of my favorite passages in the Bible:

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 


Time to go finish the last part of my Enoch Walked with God and Had a Methuselah Moment blog posts. And to pray for those who are still feeling Irma’s ire. 


If you want to help victims of Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey, Samaritan’s Purse and World Vision are great organizations. They provide help to many and are supported by donations.  

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Don’t Misunderstand the Song “What a Beautiful Name” — Jesus Doesn’t Need You, But He Wants You

Don't Misunderstand the song "What a Beautiful Name" by Hillsong ~ Jesus Doesn't Need You, But He Wants You (via www.JeanWilund.com)I Misunderstood

The first time I heard What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong I misunderstood.

The song is topping the charts and played in churches around the world, but something about it sat wrong with me.

The line about Jesus not wanting heaven without you and me seemed off.

That line bothered me only because it could be misunderstood.

It sounded to me like the song was saying:

Jesus didn’t want Heaven if we couldn’t be in it.

It wasn’t complete without us.

He needed us so He came down to get us.

Doesn’t that sound sweet? Don’t you feel loved?

Except, No!

And I hope I’m right here, surely the songwriter didn’t mean that.

Surely, he meant:

Jesus didn’t want us to miss out on His perfect and complete Heaven.

We need Him so He came down to make a way for us to join Him there.

Don’t misunderstand. Jesus doesn’t need us. At all. But He wants us.

Now that should make you feel loved.


Jesus Doesn’t Need You, But He Wants You

Jesus isn’t Jerry McGuire coming for his bride. We don’t complete Him.

He’s complete already — self-sufficient, lacking nothing.

He doesn’t even need our friendship.

From eternity past, Jesus has lived in perfect relationship with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

He wasn’t lonely and looking for love. He’s always been perfect and complete. 


Why Didn’t Jesus Want Heaven Without us?

Jesus doesn’t need heaven with us. He simply wants heaven with us.

It’s the same reason why He created us.

You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.
~ Revelation 4:11

Jesus doesn’t need you. But He wants you. 

The next time you feel less than lovable, remember the One who doesn’t need you, created you, and He loves you.

Yes, you’re going to act unlovable at times. Welcome to the human race.

But don’t misunderstand: You may act unlovable at times, but you will never be unlovable. 

Jesus proved it by coming down for you so that He can have heaven with you, not without you.

Keep that perspective in mind as you listen to What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong:

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Three Powerful Ways Christ Said I Love You

Three ways Christ Said I Love You via www.JeanWilund.com

I love you. 

The three best words ever spoken. 

In French, they say Je t’aime.

In Italian, Ti amo. Spanish, Te amo.

Germans say Ich liebe dich.

But on Good Friday, Christ said I love you with three different words: It is finished.

With these three words, Christ had taken all our sin upon Himself and set us free from its destructive, powerful grip. He bought us eternal life.

No more would we have to pay the penalty of our sin. Christ paid it all. It is finished. 

I love you couldn’t be said better . . . unless perhaps followed by three other words on the third day: He is risen.

On this Good Friday, let’s focus on these three powerful, extravagant ways Jesus said to us, I love you.

Three Powerful Ways Jesus Said I Love You


I love you.Three ways Christ Said I Love You via www.JeanWilund.com

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 ESV


It is finished.

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
~ John 19:30 ESV


He is risen.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
~ Matthew 28:6 KJV


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Be Still & Know – Praise Picture

Be still and know I am God - Psalm 46:10 via www.JeanWilund.com

Be still and know

God has a plan for you.

God is in control.

God loves you.

I AM

God

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Who Am I? According to God, Romper Room & Casting Crowns

Who am I that God would notice me? Get a fresh perspective and a fun flashback in time to the days of Romper Room. Think and laugh with me, and listen to Casting Crowns' "Who Am I?" via www.JeanWilund.comWho Am I?


When I was about five-years-old I stared at the TV screen and waited for Miss Nancy to notice me, but she never did.

All those years in the early ’70’s of watching and waiting, but Miss Sally, the hostess of the TV show Romper Room, never saw me.

Who Am I? According to God, Romper Room, and Casting Crowns? via www.JeanWilund.com

Each week she held up her Magic Mirror, looked through it, and spoke these words into TV Land:  

“Romper, stomper, bomper boo.
Tell me, tell me, tell me, do.
Magic Mirror, tell me today,
did my friends at home have fun at play?”

I leaned in close to make it easier for her to see me in her mirror.

“I see my friend Larry and Michael and Suzy at home,” she said. “I see Annie and Beverly and John…” 

Each week Miss Sally mentioned the different friends she saw. But never me. 

Five-year-old Jean sighed. I guess I’m not special enough to be seen.

God Sees Me


Around middle school, I began to wonder if God could see me.

Was I worth even looking for? He’s got so many people to look at, I reasoned. Where do I rank?

I called out to Him to see if He’d look my way. I felt Him notice me. I felt Him see me.

It’s hard to explain that feeling, but it’s a bit like when you’re in a crowded room and “feel” someone looking at you and turn to discover you were right. 

I was amazed and excited that God answered my call.

Later, I was even more amazed and excited to learn I’d been wrong.

God hadn’t responded to my call. I’d responded to His.

there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
-Romans 3:11 NIV

We love, because He first loved us.
-I John 4:19 NASB

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
-John 6:44 ESV

Wonder of wonders, the God of the universe hadn’t responded to my call. He’d initiated it. 

He’d reached down into the United States and onto the top bunk of an upstairs bedroom in Marietta, GA and spoken to my heart.

I see you, Jean. And I love you.

Miss Sally may never have seen me, but God did.

God Sees You


Have you had thoughts about God?

If so, that’s God calling you. Even if you’ve had bad thoughts about Him. It’s still you responding to Him reaching into your heart and calling you to Himself.

He can handle our thoughts — good or bad. He’s not threatened.

Don’t get me wrong. God is not worthy of our bad thoughts. He’s worthy of nothing but worship and praise. But He knows our thoughts. We’re not hiding anything from Him. 

Who am I? Wrong Question, Right Proclamation


Who am I? is the wrong question, but it’s the perfect proclamation.

The words are the same. The attitude is not.

When we ask the question, “Who am I?” we ‘re focused on ourselves — our faults, mistakes, and bad choices. All the blehs in our life.

When we proclaim, “Who am I?” we stand amazed at the grace and mercy of God. We’re focused on the One who says from heaven, “I see all that is in you and love you still. You are mine.” 

What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, 
-Job 7:17 ESV

what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?
-Psalm 8:4 HCSB

Casting Crowns


The band Casting Crowns doesn’t question Who Am I? in their song. They proclaim it. 

Listen to their song here with this fresh perspective.

Who am I? I am Yours!

By the way, God doesn’t need a magic mirror to see us, which is good because apparently, they’re not real. 

 


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