I’ve learned recently that my humanistic worldview has distorted my definitions of the characteristics of God. His “faithfulness” is limited to what my deceiving heart perceives as faithfulness. But just as God’s power is immeasurably more, His character is as well. His faithfulness is immeasurably more than anything I can ask for or imagine. So I pray and beg for Him to break my paradigms of His character and to give me a new spirit of understanding + wisdom in the magnitude of who He is. And I pray the same for you too.
I guess one of the hardest things to understand sometimes is your pursuit, Jesus. Why did you choose me? Why did you fight for me? I was so far gone in darkness, it would have been so easy to just let go. It even would have been easy to just give up and come back to me ten years later, when I’d be older and looking for “stability.” What made you believe in me? What kept you going? “Because love never fails. Because I am Love and you are Beloved.”
So I ask for that same spirit of pursuit for people. I pray this, knowing that I will already fail, but God, give me love that never gives up.
During winter, it’s easy to come across days you can’t run away from. The bitter cold can be paralyzing. In the midst of celebration and holiday, the works of our hands turn against us, as we find ourselves suffocating from idols that have fallen. Because eventually, your loved ones will hurt you, just as you have hurt them; company you’ve longed for doesn’t seem to understand the ways in which you’ve changed (which is okay, they most likely don’t see you everyday); your soul may grow immune to alone time, and you will be left with debilitating thoughts. These are the idols that will fall.
Take a deep breath, in this war, the Lord will make you lie down in safety. He knows the perfect time to draw you away. And the “safe” place may not look safe to us, but He definitely is. He isn’t easy or conventional or limited to our dictionary definitions for that matter, but He is good. Take a deep breath. Open your eyes and watch as the wilderness around you breaks into gladness, let it blossom abundantly. And soon enough, with the help of your God, you will return.
The past few weeks my soul slowly stopped dancing, and I’ve been waiting to hear the beginning melody of another song.
I’ve been thinking about joy lately and about the moments I feel it most deeply. C.S. Lewis said he was “surprised by joy,” and I have to agree with Ann Voskamp, when she says perhaps that’s the only way to discover it. The life in the trees. The change of autumn in your lungs.
The moment your soul hears the trickle of the soft melody begin to play.
- admit you need help; cry out to God (psalm 118:5)
- run away from sin (job 1:13-19)
- keep your eyes on him (jonah 2)
- have faith (psalm 37:5)
- be submissive. let him rescue you; be loved by him (hosea 2)
I suppose this is what it means to sing in the rain, isn’t it? To sing when I’m euphoric, to sing when I’m down trodden.
“though you slay me, yet I will praise you
though you take from me, I will love you.”
It’s these hymns that pour from my mouth in the drought and they get choked up as they fall out because the enemy wants them to get stuck and not make it out. But they’re fighting. Through the flesh and the bleeding, these words are fighting. They’re fighting; they’re climbing. They’re determined to fill the atmosphere of their creator, and I don’t mean me. Yes, these words are more than me.
I feel like a failure because I’m not fully here but I’m not fully there, and I guess I just feel like I’m not anywhere and like I don’t belong anywhere. Here nor there, my life is but a vapor, as is my purpose. I wonder how this relates to the gospel- we never feel permanent because this isn’t our home, just the road we are travelers on. But we can at least enjoy the view; enjoy the ones who are riding with us; weep when we see dead animals on the side of the road. And as I travel on, I sing the sojourner’s song: never in the same place twice.
I hate that with every hello, you are guaranteed a goodbye. With every good thing, you’re always guaranteed a last one. Everything comes to an end and nothing lasts forever..I guess to remind us of how fragile and finite we are..and to remind us that only things that do last forever are things that aren’t physically here.