How blessed we are to have friends who lift us up, who speak truth to us, who listen, give advice, encouragement and their constant prayers. This is richness; this is true treasure to have such wonderful women in your life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Christy~A Life that Magnifies the Lord

One evening my sister took me to one of the most enjoyable and interesting events I have ever attended:  “Knit Night.”  You are all probably thinking about now…”Really? Knit as in two needles and yarn?”  Yes, indeed.  And let me just say right up front:  Knit Night is VERY well attended.  We had to park down the street a bit.  My sister has gone to Knit Night for a few years now, and I always smile when she tells me she is on her way because I know Joni doesn’t knit…AT ALL!  So it wasn’t really a surprise when as the night progressed I saw exactly ONE person do anything with yarn.  And that would be Christy; a woman I had the joy and privilege of meeting that night. 

What is especially astounding about Christy doing anything crafty is this truth: she has a painful disease called scleroderma, an autoimmune disease characterized by the hardening of the skin.  There she sat on the sofa crocheting away with hands obviously affected by this disease.  As I talked with her, I found she not only crochets and sews replicas of old, antique quilts, but to support herself, she creates beautiful jewelry as well. 

She talked of her family, a daughter who had married the son of a dear friend, also in attendance at “knit night.”  We chatted about the Bible studies we had done and the goodness of God.  She talked little to none about herself and almost entirely drew the conversation around others and God.  She did not tell me about her disease, or that her husband had left her, or that her last home had burned to the ground.  Others told me these things.  She talked of family and friends, of their kindness and generosity, of God’s provision and goodness.

Have you ever thought about what your life magnifies for the entire world to see?  What is up for display?  Maybe your accomplishments?  Or troubles?  Your family?  Your service?  Your addictions?  Your difficulties?  Your job?  Your afflictions?   Definitely my new friend could have magnified her scleroderma and nobody would have blamed her.  She could have talked about how this disease had changed her, limited her, caused loss, pain, frustration…but she didn’t.  In fact she did something quite different.  She magnified the Lord.  What he had done in her life…was doing and all the graces and gifts she had been given by His great hand.  I was humbled by her complete trust in the goodness of the God she served.

I’ll be honest…sometimes I magnify my poor self.  And it is about as healthy for me as this ant.   I get caught up in it unaware.  Usually something happens that zeroes my focus with pinpoint accuracy…like a laser right at myself. It’s all I can think about…all I can talk about.   It becomes a channel…the thoughts have run the course so many times, my mind is at the mercy of the torrent…the channel is deep, the sides steep so it flows on and on.

I flew over a barren landscape on my way to my sister’s one afternoon.   I was stunned as I looked down at the land below.  It was obvious that water…lots of it…had coursed through at sometime because the landscape was scarred with the marks of the cutting…land, rock and whole mountainsides relentlessly worn deep by the power of the never ceasing water.  Until it did.  Something had changed the pattern.  A small creek flowed next to what once had been a raging river.  Carving its own history now, this new rivulet of water created an entirely new course.

Pastor Jonathan Rue said in a recent teaching at my church that our brain loves habit. (For a video of this wonderful teaching click---> In fact our brain loves habit so much it will create a “super highway” of habit so we don’t have to think much about what we are doing.  This completely answers the question of how in the world I can make it all the way home and not remember stopping at one light or stop sign along the way!  The bad news is that all of our bad habits have super highways in our brains as well. 
The good news is just like that little creek I saw from the air, we can create different paths…better habits…God honoring….God magnifying habits!
A rushing stream in the Tahoe National Forest in California Tahoe National Forest

  Thanksgiving…declaring gratitude…writing it down stops the flow of self-focus and begins to carve a new channel in our hearts and minds.  As we begin to take notice of the everyday graces and good gifts God showers on us and put voice to these things, we magnify the Lord.  

David says it simply and beautifully in one of his own songs: “I will praise God’s name with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30.

We are, every one of us, holding a magnifying glass to something in our lives or maybe even a lot of somethings.  Ann Voskamp asks these questions:   “What will a life magnify?  The world’s stress cracks, the grubbiness of the day, all that is wholly wrong and terribly busted?  Or God?”

Please don’t hear from this post that you cannot be honest about what is going on in your life.  When the day is miserable from beginning to end.  When your toddler has painted herself and her room with her poo, when your teenager took your car….when the doctor gives the diagnosis you feared…when you are exhausted from all the demands…when all you want to do is sit with your head in your hands and sob, for crying out loud, don’t paste a fake smile on your face and pretend.

Here is the key:  Magnifying the Lord is done best when we make ourselves smaller.  It surely does not mean pretending your difficulties aren’t real.  We magnify the Lord when in the midst of trouble we still number His daily gifts…we still see His magnificence…His goodness…His grace. We still see that HE IS.  

Christy magnifies the Lord by counting and recounting all the good in her life that comes from His hands while her own hands struggle through each stitch, each glass bead strung on a silver thread.



  1. I am normally a very self absorbed person. I am determined to change my focus. Recently, we attended a week end, " Wake to Joy" by Ann Voscamp. She talked about counting 1000 ways to be thankful, grateful to God for the goodness that surrounds us every day. So, I started counting.... Believe me, it works!!!!
    When I walk around the park in the morning with my husband, We hear an owl whooing, or the choir of birds as they broadcast a new day. I read scripture and meditate on God, how He is good & trust worthy. Before long, I am so overcome with joy, I can hardly fathom it. I wanted to share a scripture with you all (southern roots)
    Phillipians 4:8
    Fianally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.

  2. I have found this same phenomenon to be true in my own life, Lynn!!! The minute I get too busy to see all the gifts given daily to me by His good hand, I begin to feel the stress and anxiety this world produces in us. Isn't it incredible that the Lord gives us in His Word exactly what we need to help our stressed out lives and whirling minds??? Oh, He is so good to us if we only pay attention!!!!


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