Friday, August 15, 2008

Tears - Psalm 56-8

I used to think I had run out of tears
Empty, pointless I was done crying
Yet God came and coaxed them out
His well never runs dry

Some days
I wonder
If there is a point
All these tears never ending

God’s mercy is in tears
Cleansing, sometimes comforting
Always somehow an expression
Of a yearning for something

In my tears I lose control
I give them to Him
He is my Saviour
He collects my tears


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Anxious 2

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:25, TNIV)

Sometimes I wonder if my faith is too shallow and in many ways I am certain it is. I have noticed that when things start to go wrong I start to doubt within my core being that God will intervene in my struggle or trial. Oddly enough this seems to happen when the small stuff starts to get to me.

Even within my doubt I know somewhere that God is there. Yet I still find myself anxious, stressed and overwhelmed. No matter how often I proclaim God’s goodness or remember His faithfulness there are times when the worry doesn’t pass.

So I search for ways to make myself feel better and I feel certain guilt. The Bible tells us not to fear doesn’t it? So where does that leave those who are afraid? Are we outside of God’s will? Have I sinned? How do I stop sinning?

No wonder the anxiety gets worse. If I believe that letting the things of the world get to me is putting me out of God’s protection then I am going to put as much effort as I can into not letting it get to me. Yet it just gets worse. I cry out to God to help me but I still believe the lie that I have to get rid of the stress on my own.

I felt God calling me to the park today. So I drove to a nice park, sat on a bench with my Bible and my journal, and let God lead me. On some level I knew I was looking for the verse above. The Scripture from Luke is often referenced for those seeking answers on what to do with anxiety. The passage by itself leaves me feeling helpless and alone. Yet when I read the verses surrounding it I realized it is wrapped with encouragement.

Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than the birds! (Luke 12:24, TNIV)

Thank you Jesus for meeting me where I am at today!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Remembering

When I had my surgery I was amazed by and grateful for the smallest things. When you think about I was paralyzed, put to sleep, had a machine breathing for me, a surgeon cut me open, pulled out my appendix, stapled my skin back together, then they woke me up, encouraged me to breathe, then walk… The fact that we can survive and even thrive after that is a miracle.

One of the first signs I noticed that things were getting back to normal was when I yawned the third night I was home. There is a wholesome healthy feeling to yawning. I had been exhausted up until then but never yawned. The next day I was walking better and I started to be able to eat more normally. Little by little I was more able to function.

When I am fearful that God has abandoned me I think about that yawn. I think it is a marker for me. Tonight as the stress of life is overwhelming I remember the yawn. And I proclaim that this too shall pass.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Turned


Thursday during our church gathering I was reminded about something that happened in December. I haven’t discussed it with very many people. I came to the point just before Christmas where I gave up on my faith. I didn’t stop believing in God. I stopped believing God.

The consequences of that decision were dramatic and very quick. I came to believe that the fight wasn’t good. I gave up. Suddenly I found myself plunged into a very dark place. I used to be very comfortable there. I was surprised to find myself desperate to get out. So I grabbed my Bible and looked up something in the guide about being far from God.

I read Jeremiah 2:22 which says:

"No amount of soap or lye can make you clean. You are stained with guilt that cannot be washed away." I, the sovereign LORD, have spoken.

Wow that’s harsh…. I looked up the reference again. I was reading the wrong chapter. Jeremiah 3:22 says:

“My way ward children” says the LORD, “come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.”

Besides being a huge relief I was glad that I had read the wrong verse first. I could not cleanse myself. I couldn’t fix it. But my God was there waiting for me. I just needed to turn back to Him. I am so grateful that my faith doesn’t depend solely on my consistent belief in God’s promise. And in many ways God did heal my heart, slowly and gently.

So why was I thinking about that this on Thursday. One of the things our pastor touched on resonated with the experience in December. Yet it also resonated with my experience today. I am not actively angry. I haven’t “turned from God” like I did in December. Yet in some ways I feel my compass is off. I am apathetic. In some ways I think that is harder to deal with than the active anger.