Abide… It seems to be a theme You are impressing upon me.
“Jesus, lover of my soul…”
My whole life I have wrestled with the concept of God’s love for me. I know what the Bible teaches about His love and I have always believed in the abstract theory of His love, but I have always had a hard time believing in my heart that He has a real, personal love for me. A love that gives meaning to all the hard stuff life has brought. A love that is deeper, more perfect and true than even the best human love. A love that is self-less, intimate, and the ultimate reason He died for me.
The moon is so bright and beautiful. It is by far one of the most glorious elements of the night.
Yet the moon has no light or beauty or glory of its own. It is nothing more than a lump of grey, dusty rock – a rather ugly one at that.
By itself, the moon is so very plain, but its plainness might just be the most remarkable thing about it, because that is what makes it so good at reflecting the light of the sun.
Maybe, one day, I’ll be a kind of moon. Maybe one day I will reflect the Son.
Have thine own way, Lord!
Have thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!
-Adelaide A. Pollard
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Psalm 51: 1-3, 6-8
It can’t ever be changed, no matter how much we wish it could.
“There is no question of your turning back, Much-Afraid. No one, not even your own shrinking heart, can pluck you out of My hand.”
I walked in the depths this past week. God shattered me in many ways, He hemmed me in, He weighed me down. I doubted, trusted, doubted even more, barely trusted, ran out of words, wept, cried out, prayed, and started all over again.
“Help me to see how good thy will is in all,
and even when it crosses mine
teach me to be pleased with it.”
-Valley of Vision
The days before Christmas Day this year were rough. I felt utterly and absolutely alone.
“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”
Christmas is my favorite and least favorite time of year. Things get a little uncomfortable at home this time of year – they always have. So I both look forward to and dread December. This year, I also get to miss Jamie and painfully remember how much she enjoyed every tiny detail of Christmas.
I was so weary last night, soul and body. I couldn’t quite bring myself to go home right away from the Christmas Eve service, so I found a parking lot and pulled out my Bible. I wept and prayed and begged for answers, for strength to face what waited me at home, for peace. I asked for help.
“How long Lord must I wait?
Nevermind child, trust me.”
― Elisabeth Elliot
It is 2:00 AM and I am so tired. I want to sleep, but I know sleep will not really help my weariness, for while my body is worn out, my soul is utterly spent.
“Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God is of a different nature altogether. It does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands in the very teeth of suffering.”
I wrestled for a long time this morning – doing my best to wrestle “in front of” the Lord, instead of “with” Him, as Oswald Chambers suggests. But I refused to let go of Him until I found peace, if not answers.
Dear ones, let us then “fix our eyes on things we cannot see” and let nothing distract us from spending time with our Lord each day. Let us fling our weary selves into the arms of the One who sends our sorrows. Let us lay our desires at His feet. Let us cling to Him even when fears and doubts and grief overwhelm. Let us pursue Him on the dark days as well as the bright ones, the busy days as well as the quiet ones.
I wrote that yesterday, before things went sideways. I wrote it to encourage some friends as well as myself. At the time I wrote it I was also living it, yet a few short hours later I was struggling to trust Him.