Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Desert of Busyness

streams-1
As a deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God;when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been food day and night. Psalm 42:1-3
My feet are dusty from trudging through the desert of busyness. My mouth is parched by the lack of water found in this valley. Like a cactus, doubt grows and flourishes in this environment. The scorching sun and lack of living water, cause weariness to come upon me and I lose my footing stumbling into this cactus, it pricks and leaves a scar.
The snake slithers and hides below the sand, two eyes visible but body hidden. Walking through the valley of busyness, where doubt flourishes and complacency resides, the snake is the most dangerous threat and his lies whisper..."God is not pleased with you."
"Where did that thought come from," I wonder, as my feet continue down the path of complacency? Those eyes, they are on me, waiting for me to journey further into his territory. He waits just below the sand, keeping watch as I continue to put one foot in front of the other. His voice slithers..."God will never use you, just give up"
Suddenly, a sand storm comes upon me and I become confused. It is hard for me to see, the sand is swirling all around me, my vision impaired. He comes out of his hiding place, exposing himself ..."You are not forgiven, do you really believe He loves you and died for you, what have you done for Him"
My heart quickens and my mind swirls...."could it be that I missed the call of salvation" I cry out to God for help...
I hear a different voice, one that is quiet, and His words defy logic. At the sound of His voice the sand settles and the wind calms.... "When I look at you I see my Son" and again, "I love you as I have loved my Son". He looks at me tenderly and says, "Stay close enough to Me to hold onto my garment" I put my head down and hold on tightly to His garment. He shields Me from the deadly bite of the serpent while crushing his head with His heel. I put one foot in front of the other as He leads me out of this forsaken land to the abundant waters He provides in the wilderness. I drink deeply from the living water He provides in the desert. While the sand still covers me and my eyes still burn from the desert storm, I'm once again reminded that He will always satisfy and yet I yearn to never be satisfied but always yearn for more of what He provides. I yearn for more of Him who splits rocks in the wilderness and gives us abundant drink like the ocean depths. Psalm 78:15

I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD; I make supplication with my voice to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walked, in the desert of busyness(my words)...I cried out to You, O LORD; I said, "You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me. Bring my soul out of prison, so that I may give thanks to Your name; the righteous will surround me, for You will deal bountifully with me" Psalm 142:1-3,5-7

Saying to those who are bound, 'Go forth,' to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.' Along the roads they will feed, and their pastures will be on all bare heights. "They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; for He who has compassion on them will lead them and will guide them to springs of water." Isaiah 49:9-10

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The High Tide of Suffering

Watersound Beach Stamped-1

This is a re-post of an entry I wrote August 2009. This entry is dedicated to the families wading through the high waters of suffering through sickness, the loss of a child or the fear of the unknown. It is also dedicated to the families that are in the midst of suffering for the sake of Christ, giving up all they have to follow a limitless God who loves them and has set them apart for His purposes and glory.

"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered nor will they come to mind. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accused. Isaiah 65:17,20

The verse above tells us to look forward to eternal things. To hold fast to the promises of God when we see suffering this side of eternity. Can you image a life where mourning the loss of a love one doesn't threaten to pin you down to the floor of despair. A life where the former things will not be remembered nor will they come to mind. That is our future when we choose Christ and set our minds on eternal things. But before the curtain call, while we are on this side of the eternal stage, we are called to remember.
A Call to Remember was the purpose of this blog. A call to remember the Lord's deliverance. A call to look back and ponder the big questions of life. A call to not only remember our times of joy but also our times of sorrow. In our times of sorrow and weakness, God wants us to remember our intimate moments with Him. He wants us to experience His grace, His power and ultimately His glory. Our weakness, gives Him the opportunity to display His power which we would not have known in our own strength and in return, He receives the glory for doing what only He can do.
When we have waded through the high waters of sorrow we are called to remember the Lord's faithfulness and deliverance. We are called to know He not only parts the waters of sorrow but at times chooses to carry us through them. He picks us up and carries us to the other side so not even our feet get wet. He wades through the waters and tells us to rest a moment. And while He is carrying us through the high waters of suffering we are to remember the promise above and to trust in Him, who is the author of our moments. An eternal perspective in the midst of suffering. Remembering God, our mighty deliver, who can do more than we can ask or imagine. It is in our suffering, we find intimacy with God. We experience fellowship with Him we wouldn't have experienced had we not gone through the high waters. We can say with confidence, God, who is all powerful, loves me and cares about every need this side of eternity. Isaiah tells us that, "Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength." I trust in this promise. I trust, when I am weak I am strong for His power is made perfect in weakness. I'm glad that my Savior can identify with my weakness and sympathize with my heartache. After all, He came and dwelled among us. Paul tells us, "since we, the children of God, have flesh and blood, he too shared in our humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is the devil- and free us who all our lives were held in slavery by our fear of death. The scripture also tells us that He was tempted in every way and is able to sympathize with our weakness. We know that he suffered greatly for our benefit. All of this He came and endured to have a relationship with us. To be made a merciful and faithful high priest. Who can and does sympathize with our human weakness."
Lord, bring peace and comfort to those who are wading through the high waters. Reveal to them, this very moment, your love and power to deliver them through the high waters. Restore their strength. Sustain them with you mighty right hand. Reveal Yourself mighty to save and intimate in your love. Lord, part the waters and carry them through the strong currents. Calm the winds of fear and oppression. To you be the glory, forever and ever. We love you, Lord
Picture above taken by me at Watersound Beach, Florida

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Darkest Hour of Night

Post written in the fall of 2009. The post is more applicable today than the day I wrote it. I thought I would re-post my thoughts as I have been again struggling with fear of the unknown. Praise God we worship Him who knows the end from the beginning and promises to be with us. I love the verse in Isaiah that states, He is with the first generation and He will be with the last generation. It brings me comfort when I look at my three precious girls and think what life might be like for them. I love them so much and will do anything to protect them but as much as I love them, He loves them more. They are His, entrusted to me, to raise to the glory of God.

It's been awhile, hasn't it? Life has gotten busy and in the midst of the busyness I have lost my footing and focus. I have allowed everyday life to soak up my creativity and steal away precious moments with my God. Life has gotten louder and in the brief moments of silence my fears have screamed at me.
I have been honest with you in previous posts that I struggle with fear. Fear of things not seen. I have also mentioned in the post, Fear of Things Unseen, that fear is a form of worship, for what I fear will be what I will eventually bow down to. If it is a fear of the spirit world, I will give the enemy power over my life that is not due him. And if I'm fearing all the evil in the world than I am in fact denying, He who lives in me is greater than he who is in the world and I am worshiping and giving power to the enemy of the Living God.
If it is fear of pain, which I also struggle with, then I will keep myself from situations that will result in me feeling uncomfortable or pain. I will build up a wall around my heart to keep from feeling anything at all.
I want to share with you what I have been wrestling with so that you can be encouraged to stand firm on the promises of God in the midst of all we see taking place within our country and in the world. I personally feel a sense of urgency and a call to repentance for our Salvation is about to break forth like the dawn but just as the darkest hour of night is right before dawn, I feel like our darkest hour is yet to come. We need to be praying for strength to endure the night and determine before hand, to fear God not man. Praying our house will not be broken into during this dark hour of night and when the thief comes we will be found faithful and sensible. For Jesus' words in Matthew 24:42-46 are to the expecting and the unsuspecting servants, "Therefore, be on the alert for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes."
What is the coming of Christ compared to? The coming of Christ is compared to as a thief in the night. A thief that comes to the expecting and the unsuspecting. A thief that comes in the darkest hour of night when mockers are mocking and following after their own lusts. 2 Peter 3:3. An hour when the faithful are working and watching for His glorious appearing.
Who is the faithful servant? The faithful servant, according to Jesus, is the servant who is watching, waiting and working. A servant whom is feeding the household of God, the church, with spiritual food and nourishment. The servant who goes into the dark places and allows the Lord's brilliant light of Salvation to break forth like the dawn to people who are walking in darkness. We must have a heart to bring the Light of the world into the dark places of humanity and not be ashamed of the Gospel and of Him who opens eyes that are blind and ears so they can hear. It is only in the name of Jesus that the light breaks forth like the dawn. It is during the darkest hour of night that our light shines the brightest. It is the light of Christ that exposes sin for the sake of freedom and brings people out of the darkness and into His glorious light.
I'm watching, waiting and working.....