Written on December 10, 2014. By Shari Norvell
Day 10 – December 10
In the first Home for the Holidays entry, we talked about the meaning of home and its ultimate definition as a place to meet with our Beloved, experiencing Him in every facet, expression and revelation possible and sharing that immensity with all the beloveds who enter.
Our Blue Flame home (Arubbah) is such a place. Surrounded by creation of every shape, sort and size, there is an ease in meeting Him there. One of my favorite places to encounter Him there is beneath the trees. With 1200 pecan trees throughout the land, that isn’t hard to do.
On a recent afternoon, nestled against a giant trunk and umbrellaed by limbs heavy with pecans, I was talking with Pappa. Occasionally, a breeze would wave through and pieces of harvest would fall surrounding me on the ground. I picked up a few of the newly fallen treasures and began thanking Pappa for all He had provided for us and all the different ways He displayed himself for us on the land.
For our first year at Arubbah (which we are still in), Pappa invited us to Shmita or Shabbat. During this time, you don’t plant. As the land naturally yields, the invitation is to give away the harvest. This has been such a joy. At the same time, there have been many conversations about all the profit we could be receiving from things like the pecans and recent hay harvest. Pappa has not yet spoken about what he wants the potential for the harvests of our land to look like in the future, and it has been amazing to simply rest in the beauty of now.
But, the conversations were coming up so much around us, I started to feel a bit burdened. One morning, I shared my heart with Pappa about how much I was enjoying this time of rest and wasn’t really ready to think about what the future of pecans looked like until He began talking about it. He said He would let me know when He was ready. Whew!
Then Pappa said this amazing thing. "What if the only reason I gave you all the pecans was to bless you? What if I put so much in them at creation, that I want you to enjoy the discovery of all they contain? Would that be enough? If the pecans were never for profit but for the gain of those you could give them away to, would that be enough?“ With a wildly beating heart, I said, "It would be enough.”
After this conversation, I pulled up my emails and had one from the lovely Nightingale. The content of the email was about the amazing health benefits of pecans. I love how Pappa rolls!
For the rest of the day, I had “would it be enough?” ruminating through me and journeyed to a moment in history when God asked a people that question.
The Israelites were in captivity in Egypt. A burning bush named Moses returned and began to ignite the fire of freedom. What incredible days were ahead for them all. Pappa released ten reminders for His people. For though they were of him, they were His, they needed to be grafted to the purpose for which they were created. And He sent ten invitations to the Egyptians to escape the false gods that kept them bound to a powerless life of ritual and encounter the God whose love would empower them to never be the same again.
The tenth or completion of these inviting reminders related to the firstborn. Many Egyptians had responded to Pappa and joined the Israelites where they were encamped. But there were many who hadn’t. Through Moses, Papppa asked the Israelites (and those with them) to make a declaration. As they prepared lambs for sacrifice, they were invited to paint the doorposts of their home with the blood of the lamb. Those whose doorposts were crimson would see their firstborn spared. This wan’t just children, but livestock and crops as well. Those with scarlet glowing as the light of sunrise hit their doors would be passed over.
The word passover itself means to “hover over” and “to guard”. These moments were not simply about being spared (though that would have been enough), but of being hovered over and kept safe. And there was another aspect of the declaration of that day. The families were also invited to leap across the threshold of their home. This was done as a sign that they had opened their homes and hearts to the Lord.
Pharaoh’s heart was hardened as a stone. His choice allowed nothing God did to pierce or circumcise it. But that did not give permission to the Israelites to have stones in their hearts because of the hardship of the days they had walked through in Egypt. As God softened the hearts of the Egyptians, He revealed the tough places within the Israelites.
Through Passover, He simply asked if they would allow those places to be circumcised, which means opened up. Their leaps and lambs were a sign that they were prepared to receive a gift to come and became a celebration of not just what passed them by (death) but what they were being invited to receive, resurrection that brings fulness of life!
It was the rehearsal for a circumcision to come, when Jesus would be pierced, utterly opened up on the cross. Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples, serving them with abandon, a meal that would come to represent his replacement of the sacrificial lamb, so all could eat. Later, as the lambs were being prepared for sacrifice, He was prepared to be crucified. As the lambs were slain, so was He. Just as God’s people applied blood to their doorposts in that day, Jesus released the Blood for the doorposts of our hearts today. What a glorious picture!! Passover was a picture of what was to come. Every year as we celebrate Passover, my heart recognizes that we do so because not all have invited Him to leap across their threshold yet.
So back to the question God asked the Israelites and us today, through Passover. "Am I enough? Is it what I do for you that your love or who I Am to you each day?“ I love how Pappa worded this as I wrote. Am I or I AM. After all, the invitation Moses was given was to reveal I Am. The question of Am I was consumed in the bush. The Israelites answer in that moment was Dayenu. To this day, the song created from that answer is song as part of Passover celebrations. Fourteen stanzas, overflowing with the testimonies of all God had done, yet ending with the word deyanu which means, "it would have been enough.” Expanded it means this one thing you did was more than we could have ever asked for. In fulness, deyanu says, YOU ARE ENOUGH!
Passover reminds us of our invitation to walk the narrow way, so the whole world can become our wide open space. It burst forth with the remembrance that the Lord came in and resurrected what He had created us for. A recollection of passion, purpose and love. And above all, that He is enough.