Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Psalm 33 & Shepherd Thoughts

"By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their hosts by the breath of His mouth" psalm 33:6

This verse makes me think of  being little in Illinois in the mornings of winter, pressing my face against a cold pane of glass, watching in delight as my breath forms a cloudy ring. Cade's to that age (and height) now, where he can pull up and press his chubby little lips against anything and everything. I think we left a few ring marks on at least two of the houses where we stayed in Texas this past week, complete with what I am sure is now his dried snot and saliva. Gross. But endearingly gross.

And what if this verse shows us that God has, like my favorite portion of Orthodoxy suggests, the tendency to be like a child, and way back in the beginning He pressed His mouth against the dark, cold pane of emptiness and breathed. And the remnants of His breath are our starry host, the entire universe, the galaxies, the potential other universes. He has really good breath. Really beautiful breath. And that same breath was what breathed into the dry, crumbling dust of the earth and caused the crown of creation to be brought to life. Us. We are the remnants of His breath too. In Proverbs 8 when it talks about creation, it says wisdom (Jesus) was "rejoicing in His inhabitable world, delighting in the human race." He loves us and likes us too.

This has probably been the worst week of my parenting life. I've been a complete mess, and so have my kids. Explosive diarrhea, running out of clothes in an airport, throw up in the pack and play kind of mess. My patience has been totally zapped. And at the end of the day, I just want to cry and tell the Lord that I don't deserve to be a mom. But I keep feeling, even at the end of these kind of days, this undeserved blanket of affection settling over me. Do you ever go through seasons like this? Like all I want is to hear Him say, "Yep, you've screwed up. I'm about to pull the rug out from under you like you deserve you worthless little..." but He never once has said that. Or made me feel that. In fact, the past few weeks its been too much. Too good. Everytime I got to have a quiet time, its like He's bending over my heart, just patiently rearranging all the mess I've made and its so sweet I just want to cry.

I've been reading Hinds Feet on High Places the past month or so, and if you haven't read it and you don't feel loved by God and you feel afraid of where He might take you in the name of love, READ IT. It has rocked me, and I've seen God as the Good Shepherd that He is. Today is October 23rd, which means that I ought to be reading Psalm 23 in my quiet time, but the Bible was left open to Psalm 33, which is how I landed on the aforementioned verse. But I know what Psalm 23 is about. Everybody does. The Lord is my shepherd.

Isn't it interesting that David, presumably hundreds of years before Jesus ever was incarnate, got a revelation about the heart of God that Jesus would later come and totally verify? Jesus proclaims in John 10 that He is the Good Shepherd. David says the Lord is His shepherd centuries before. David got revelation about God's character because he spent time searching it out. Or maybe it was less searching, and more seeing. Earlier in Psalm 33 it says, "The earth is full of the loving-kindness of the Lord."

I was laying in a hammock in a backyard in Waco on Sunday, while Chad went to get us food and my two sick babies were asleep, and I was so hunkered down in my own frustration that I almost didn't see it. Right above my head, in my line of vision, were these gorgeous glossy leaves arching over me in inquiry, their gnarled branches proudly boasting they'd seen many days rooted in that Texas soil, and bright yellow butterflies floating and hovering in their midst, and four birds singing and in tandem diving and dancing in the sunlight, all against a piercingly blue morning sky where little puffs of clouds hung contentedly over me. And it was then I thought, this beauty is for us. A love-song sung over us every day. "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. He will exult over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will exult over you with loud singing." (zeph 3:17)

"All His work is done in faithfulness" Psalm 33:4 tells me. But I don't really need it to tell me that. I see it everyday. His faithfulness to me. To let me start again. To refill my love-cup when its on empty. To quiet me when I'm rushing, to refresh me better than any down time can.

Mom told me when I was little some of the profound things about God calling Himself a Shepherd, but I will never get over the idea that when a sheep wanders off, the Shepherd has to discipline her by breaking her legs, and then He carries her around His neck while she heals, so she learns to love His presence, and never wanders off again. This week, in my failure, I have also felt more near the Lord than ever. Maybe something about seeing the sad image of what I can be when I'm tired, disgruntled, and annoyed makes me realize my need for God's help even more. I fell asleep last night thinking about how I wished I could be a sheep around His neck. I started to wonder what that would be like. What would He smell like? As a Good Shepherd, whose out in the field, working, tending, care-taking, providing? Would His hands feel calloused where he holds me? Would I feel the rumble of His voice in His chest? Would I sense His heartbeat? I don't know. But I know that's how near He holds us. And I don't want to miss out on breathing deeply of Him today.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Wisdom in Weeds

Yesterday Eden and I went outside, where I shivered in the Indiana September morning cool, and picked weeds. It kind of turned into me picking weeds, and Eden talking about how much Daddy loved her, how God made the sky, wasn't it a beautiful day Mommy?, and picking up "baby" leaves and cooing, "oh, how sweet". Truth. So I was the one picking weeds. It was one of those times that the parallels from nature to real life were so easily drawn that it was kind of cliche. I ended the time with a sore lower back, a huge trashbag full of nasty weeds, and a renewed outlook on life. Seriously.

It's crazy how full earth is of natural things that play out spiritual principles. I was wondering the other day over how poetic Jesus must have been, using all those parables to encompass massive truths that basically overturned social, cultural, and spiritual misconceptions. Maybe the disciples just wanted Him to be literal sometimes. But I think He is so in love with the good work He made He felt like it would be wasteful to not incorporate it. He did it all on purpose, you know. It was His idea to make things that ingeniously have multiple layers to it. Sometimes when I read Tolkien or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or C. S. Lewis I start to think, if these men were so smart...and could create such depth in their imaginations, how smart is God? How much are we missing out on just becuase we don't take the time to explore all the millions of Truths He has put into our every day life that are exclaiming, "HE IS!" Like Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

I could make a list of excuses why our flower beds have been neglected this summer. Something that involves trips to Texas, my son having surgery, his 21 days of recovery where he wore arm braces and basically I was pregnant again except this time the 20 plus pounds weren't safely encased, immobile, and most importantly, soundless and opinionless. But now that its September, and our neighbor's house still hasn't sold, (could it be our lawn?) I decided it was time. Needless to say, I had a hard time even seeing our intentionally planted flowers and bushes from the weeds that had overtaken our soil. It made me frustrated at some points because a lot of our plants didn't even bloom this year, and I am blaming it on the massive weeds, that were readily going to seed and sending out deceptively pretty yellow and white flowers. We put money into our plants, not to mention a lot of time spacing them out, planting them, watering them, and then one three month period of neglect, and suddenly it was as if all that time had been wasted. The unintentional had overrun what we were intentional about. Proverbs 24:33 "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a bandit, need like an armed man."

See where I am going with this? You can't make this stuff up. It's like God is by nature such a TEACHER, and His desire is so great that we'd learn His truths, that He just can't help himself. Here, He says, I will put it everywhere. Anywhere. He doesn't stand far off, laughing at our ignorance. He is practically shoving it in our faces. Acts 17:27 "He did this so that they may seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us." Or maybe this verse is better validation: Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to Me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know." Or Colossians 1:9- "That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding."

Lately I have felt the Lord really addressing bitterness in my heart. Which is weird, because I always flatter myself to think I'm not a bitter person. I can't think of things I haven't forgiven. But I have been realizing that bitterness isn't about a one time forgiveness, and for me, its deeper than the basic offense/hurt/forgiveness/freedom cycle. It happens on a moment by moment, thought by thought basis. Throughout my day I find myself wrestling with a lot of thoughts,  and the tone of them are often bitter. "I bet this person has never sacrificed like I do as a mom"...(vomit on myself for thinking that.) Or "If I had the kind of means this person has, I'd be happy and free too" equally as disgusting. Or "I could really give them a lesson on [whatever thing I think I've really mastered in my life, which clearly by this thought alone shows I haven't mastered love, which binds all things together in unity according to Colossians 3:14]." Do y'all see what I'm talking about? Bitterness, for me, isn't just limited to the normal scope. It's pervasive, and deceptive, and it wears a lot of different identities."Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many." Hebrews 12:15

I so often wish that sin would wear one of those flashing lights, like "Hey, I'm sin, I'm here to destroy your life, your marriage, your kids' lives, your relationships, and your faith." How much hurt would I avoid if I knew sin at the moment it stepped into my life. But most often, it's disguised, and it comes in with my intention or desire. It's the unintentional, habitual thoughts that can take down years of victory in a certain area of my life. Like those weeds, it's not that I planted them. Chad didn't plant them. They came of their own accord, blown into our yard maybe by the dust in the air from our neighbors, or originating by their own spontaneous accord. Either way, they exist. And they rob the plants I intentionally put in our yard of their nutrients', and they are a pain to take out. In fact, some of the ones I wrestled with most had little younger counterparts that were so much easier to yank out and I kept berating myself for not getting out in the yard sooner. Had I, the work would have been twice as fast.

Yesterday I was reminded to be careful, to be on my guard against bitterness, in all of its forms, to get it at its root, to keep it from growing and multiplying, and to stop it from robbing the nutrients from the intentional fruits of the Spirit that the Holy Spirit has painstakingly been tending to in my heart. It's easy to be overrun by sin. God is the ultimate worker in our hearts, though, supplying us sun and and soil and rain and nutrients, our job is just to make sure that we listen to Him and get at those weeds quickly.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Growing Down

I started this blog post around Easter time, and am just now finishing it. I don't know what that says about my pace of life. Sometimes I think I'm busy, but then I realize I stay at home, and just orchestrate naps and eating times and bath times and bed times. It's not that busy. But let's be honest, my ability to multi-task is waning. So I finished it, a few months later, but at least it's finished.

I think Easter is my favorite holiday. Especially since moving north, its definitely the one that brings the most hope. I've been trying to explain it to Eden, and I just keep telling her it means we get to go to Heaven. But it's more than just that. Easter means we get to operate as if we already are in Heaven while we are still on earth. "If any man is in Christ his a NEW creation. Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

I wish I could live with that Easter-reality every day. Every morning is new, every day I wake up and get to behold the newness of life. I get to start over again, again.

I feel like in some ways I've really embraced getting older. But in some ways, I'm still trying to hold some things at arms' length. I still forget that I'm 25, and a mother of two. And to a lot of people, I'm old. I was on a run Saturday, pushing/heaving/wrestling our double jogger up a hill when I saw a very familiar neighborhood interaction between two girls and a guy...which culminated in a lot of sideways glances and no words exchanged. (I was going slow enough I got to really watch the entire thing) And I was struck at how long ago all of that feels. Not that I miss it. But its amazing how resolved those issues are now, when I used to so struggle with them: am I beautiful? Will someone notice me? Will someone love me?

Maybe the largest evidence of my age is the fact that Chad and I were ecstatic after we bought a Honda Odyssey a few weeks ago. We gush over its space, its recliner-like seats, its navigation/bluetooth/back-up camera, and its sliding doors...because its a van. A VAN. And I'm excited about it. Ever since we put our car up for sale, we've been back and forth trying to decide which car will suit our needs. A few months ago, I swore I'd never get a van. I was set on anything BUT a van. But then as Chad and I were discussing our options and we both came to this conclusion: the only reason I was avoiding vans was for image. And what's interesting is, I no longer/maybe never even fit the image I think I am trying to protect. In fact, the sobering thing is that no one we know would even be surprised that we would be driving a van. It's kind of a running joke in our house how trendy we aren't. So it's not like I need to maintain my coolness. I walked out of the bedroom the other day ready to go shopping only to realize I had Cade's spit up down my shirt. Can't get more classy than that. The more I try to avoid looking like a mom, the more I realize its what I am. It's my season right now. But before I go making our identity about how un-trendy we are, let me just say the point is that the Lord has really used this whole van-situation to highlight my own ideas of my identity. 

Its funny how quickly we like to categorize each other. I moved a few times growing up, and I can remember I used to sort people into groups...and ironically, every new place had similar "types" of the people I left behind. The funny ones, the serious ones, the athletic ones, the flirtatious ones, the melancholy ones...etc. But sometimes this grouping can become really crippling. Even in marriage, I've put Chad in the even-keeled category. He doesn't fluctuate in emotions very much, and he is basically the same person in front of every person he knows. Which is wonderful...but that category I've put him in doesn't lend itself to alot of leg room. I can remember the first year of Eden's life Chad would suddenly start getting a little teary-eyed when she would hug him, or when we would watch videos of her, and I'd be kind of, dude there is only room for one emotional person in our relationship. But I am learning to stretch his box. To not keep him so confined. It's okay for him to be multifaceted and for him sometimes to not act exactly in accordance with his category.

Its interesting how what we think of ourselves dramatically affects how we interact with each other, but chiefly, how we interact with God. A few years ago I was giving Josh, my younger brother, a free lecture on life and he dismissed me by saying, "Charis, you've always been the deep thinker in our family." Which probably launched a debate between Lindsay and Josh and I about who really is the deep thinker...and I can resolve the argument only by saying that each of us thinks deeper about different things. But regardless, it was the identity Josh had given me, whereby he got to dismiss any truth I might say because it wasn't HIS identity to think the same way. Don't we do this all the time? And don't we do it to ourselves? We let our decisions define us. We let our occupation define us. And in my case, recently, I let the car I drive define me. But I want to slap a bumper sticker on the back that says, "I am not JUST a van-driving mom".

What I believe about myself determines how far I will go, how deeply I will press in, how much hope I will have. Just like that verse in Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinks within himself, so is he." I've realized during exercise how necessary it is for me to talk to myself about my ability. If I get to a hard part in a run or half way through a set of burpies and I start to say, "Charis, you just had a baby. You aren't in good shape right now..." I will give up. But if I get to the point where I want to stop and I say, "You can run for three more minutes"...or "You can do this last rep"...I can perform.

I love having Eden interact and talk, and its so great to train her to love God from a young age. Not in a forced way, but talking about Him to her, about what He created outside, what He does for us, how much He loves us. Recently she got up from a nap and told me she went to Heaven and saw Jesus. Who knows if that actually happened. But why not? The great part about being two and a half is that Eden doesn't have an identity of herself that gets in the way of her willingness to believe. She doesn't sit around lamenting all her sins, and worry she isn't worthy of going to Heaven. So she goes to Heaven at nap time, or dreams about it, and doesn't have a complex about it. She's not acting prideful, and she isn't living in fear of condemnation. She just takes Jesus at the words we tell her about Him. Obviously, she doesn't get every part of it. She probably repeats what we say a lot, but sometimes its just amazing how out of the blue she'll look at me and tell me, "Jesus loves me so much." And I'll tell her, "Baby girl, if you can believe that truth now, you're set for life."

There is something about growing up that hardens our willingness to believe. I know it happens for some people earlier than others. We get jaded by failure on the part of others, on our own part, and what we perceive to be on God's part. So we lose our hope.

I was doing homework for the James study I am in this morning, and one of the questions was about what things die when we give in to sin. I started to think about the times in my life where I've wrestled with habitual sin, and even right now, my inability to stay patient and live without anxiety. And I realized that when I give in to sin it kills off my ability to dream. My horizon gets clouded, and I start to think thoughts that isolate me from the nearness of God. Thoughts like: "I am just a failure. I won't ever produce the kind of fruit God wants, so He won't ever be pleased with me. And if that's the case, I'd better just throw in the towel." I've dealt with guilt and shame just like everyone else has in their lives, and its exhausting.

As we get older and get to see our own failure, we start to 'fret against God'. Proverbs 19:3 says, "The foolishness of man twists his way and in his heart he frets against God."

I have seen some amazing people emerge from addictions and abuse, and turn to follow God, but in a few steps they take a stumble, and rather than reach up and grab God's hand, they just close down their hope. They draw the curtain on their hope and they decide they're going to stay down. Sometimes we let sin become our identity. Or we think thoughts like, "I've never really been the spiritual one, not like [so and so]. So I might as well keep doing it on my own." It's that trapping identity that can often bring such paralysis.

There is a decorative block above our guest bathroom toilet that reads: "Live as if you'll die tomorrow; learn as if you'll live forever." Not sure that anyone ever gets a chance to read it, but I love it. Because the reality is, we will live forever. Somewhere. And I want to keep growing the older I get. A pastor I love says that we don't grow up in Christ, we grow down. The end goal is to be like little children who inherit the Kingdom because they don't think they have all the answers. Eden's new favorite question is why. We ask it about everything. Why do I wear lipstick, why did Poppy paint his hydrangeas blue, etc. She knows she doesn't know. She knows she wants to know. She knows to ask. And we all need that grace, to ask and grow and admit we don't have all the answers, and what is more, we don't really know who we are without the illuminating grace of God in our lives. I don't want to get old and excuse any discipline or change or diligence by saying that I'm just made "this" way...I want to get old and every day be transformed "into that same image, from glory to glory." 2 Corinthians 3:18.

And if I've placed you in a box, I'm sorry. I don't want to box you in, and I don't want you to box me in. Among all the creatures on earth, we are the only ones who have the capacity to be transformed from the inside out. To die differently than we were  born. In essence, the only ones to be redeemed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

When God Turns the Light Off

Eden's just now two and a half, and within the past two months, her ability to communicate has exponentially increased. She's like a walking chatterbox, and even right now, she's standing on her princess potty (because why go potty in it when it makes such a perfect stepping stool that you can stand on and see yourself in the mirror?) and telling her own reflection all about going to the doctor to check her heartbeat.

After years of wishing I could hear her thoughts, I am suddenly aware that the majority of my day is responding to them. It's kind of amazing. What's also amazing is how adamantly she can want certain things. Her vocab is a work in progress though. She still gets certain words wrong, but because I'm around her all the time, I interpret her without even having to think about it. Like when we're playing upstairs and she decides she's had enough of the princess tent and wants to go back downstairs where her princess trike is waiting, she tells me she wants to go play upstairs. And I get it. So we go downstairs. Even though every time she calls the downstairs upstairs I correct her, it still hasn't clicked. Down is up. And on is off. It's giving me a headache to even think about. She usually tells me not to turn the TV on, when she means she wants me to not turn it off. This is getting confusing. My mom was here before Cade was born, and she taught Eden that my name is Charis Rebekah. But Eden can't handle it. If I try and tell her that my name is Charis Rebekah, she gets really upset and says, "No, you Mommy." Which is true. But I'm also Charis Rebekah. But its kind of useless to argue the point. I don't know why Chad gets to by Daddy Chad without any argument. For some reason the idea that I might be someone else is particularly upsetting.

Last night we were driving home from dinner and Eden said, "Hey, somebody turned the lights on! [meaning someone turned the lights off] God, turn the lights on." This has been going on for a few weeks now. Eden isn't a fan of the dark. When we go into a restaurant while it's still light out, but walk out when it's dark, she's confused. And she frequently likes to ask God to turn the lights back on. But I've been trying to explain that it's good that the lights are off, that we get night time because it means it's time for bed and we get to rest so we can play more tomorrow. But again, that kind of logic doesn't really appeal to her. She'd rather do without the night. What's funny is that I agree with her. Ever since I was little, I've hated the dark. My main struggle with winter isn't the cold, or the snow, or the ice as much as it is the dark, seemingly ever-shortened days.

I was thinking about it last night, how Eden hates the dark, but how God created it. It's His idea. And it's for our good. I tried to google why night is necessary, and there were a bunch of reasons, but mainly its proof that the earth is going around the sun, and that way the entire earth gets warmed. If the earth stayed still, and we got sunlight on only spot, the rest of the earth would be uninhabitable and cold. And I hate the cold. And I hate being cramped, so if I got sun all the time and everyone on earth had to cram into the state lines, it would be uncomfortable. So I'm glad for night. God knows best.

I am an awful lot like Eden though, with Jesus. I frequently ask for things that I don't really mean. I learned this lesson with special significance eight weeks ago. I was 40 weeks pregnant, completely full term and in comparison with Eden, I was past full-term. And I told God I was ready to have Cade. I was finished being pregnant. We were scheduled for an induction on December 18th, my due date. Chad and I went to the doctor the night before where we discussed the process of induction, and when I got home, I began to realize I still didn't have total peace about it. But I told myself that it made perfect sense for me to force Cade out. Tons of women do it, without any harm to mother or baby, and besides, my mom had already been in town for a week, my dad and brother were coming for Christmas day and I definitely thought I needed to have a one week old before they arrived so I could avoid the first week craziness...and physically, I was just sick of being pregnant. As I was preparing dinner that night, I started to think back to the week before, when in a quiet time I had read Psalm 37: 7 and this verse stuck out to me, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."

The last thing I felt that week of pregnancy was patience. It didn't help that about four times a day I got a text asking if Cade had me people, if he had arrived, you would know. But I knew God gave me that verse. So I was reflecting on that verse and what it meant for me that night before our scheduled induction, and Chad walked into the kitchen and announced that he didn't feel peace about going to get induced the next day. It was like someone had popped the already wilting balloon of confidence in my mind. "Me neither," I admitted to him dejectedly.

So we texted my doc, and let her know we wouldn't be going through with the induction. And the next morning, despite my wishes otherwise, Mom and Eden and I went up to the hospital for a routine ultrasound that would check to make sure everything was okay with this full-term baby who was taking his sweet time getting announced to the world. And the ultrasound tech spotted for the first time Cade's cleft lip. She wasn't sure if it was in conjunction with his palette, and she wasn't sure the severity of it. She didn't know if he would be able to nurse, and she basically couldn't give me any guarantees that he wouldn't need to be in the NICU in order to thrive.

The first thing I felt when she told me was relief...she had become so suddenly serious that I thought something really terrible had happened. A cleft is a great problem to have. As much as I'd rather not see my son go through surgery in his first year of life, this is a great surgery to have to face. And once I got with Chad, we both realized how gracious God had been.

It wouldn't have been the end of the world to be induced that day without knowing about Cade's lip, but it would have been far more difficult. The delivery would have been a little traumatic, going in with the assumption that everything is perfect with your baby, and hearing that something wasn't right. It might have been difficult to process.

I realized that what I had prayed wasn't really what I meant. I asked God for Cade to be born early, or on his due date. I thought I was ready. But God knew my heart, that I desired to be ready for Cade. That I wanted to be prepared for his birth. In Romans 8:26, it says that the Spirit Himself intercedes for us, and later in verse 34 it says that Christ Jesus intercedes on our behalf. And in 1 John 2:1 it says that we have an advocate/intercessor with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. In a lot of ways, its like Jesus interprets my meaning. He knows my heart better than I do what I really mean, and more importantly, what I really need. And so I got the answer to my prayer, Cade arrived when I was ready. A week and a day later, after refusing to research any sort of clefts online, and recruiting a lot of my friends to pray with us that Cade would be healed, that he would be able to nurse, and that he would only have a cleft lip and not a cleft palette, Cade was born with every doctor and nurse who saw him declaring that his cleft was one of the most minor cases they had ever seen. And the child eats just fine. He gained four pounds in four weeks, and from the ever-increasing double chin, I'd say he is probably still gaining. ;-)

Sometimes God turns the lights off, and a lot of times, its in a far more difficult way than the one week I faced where I was asking God to heal my son, and trying to realize that either way, God was good. But during that time where the lights were off, and my heart was trying to pray and understand and have faith and not be afraid of what could be, God was also storing up light in my heart. There is a verse in Psalm 97:11 that says, "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." Even in your dark time, somewhere in heaven, God is preparing a store of light for you, and a vat of gladness with your name on it. It might not come as quickly as mine did, with a peaceful delivery of a perfectly healthy little boy whose little cleft makes him look like an adorable cartoon lion. And I don't know how many nights we might be assigned throughout our life, but I know that God is trustworthy. And that He is faithful to His word, and if He says He stores up gladness and light, we can rest our weary souls on that eternal truth.

And just like I know what Eden really means when she tells me she wants me to not turn the TV on so she can continue to watch her Angelina Ballerina, Jesus can interpret our imperfect prayers, and all the while fulfill the desire of our hearts. Because He knows the best way to get us to the point of fulfillment, and that like the Psalmist says, "all of our fountains are in Him".