Who can I trust?

“When I am afraid, I will trust in You, I will trust in You, I will trust in You. When I am afraid, I will trust in You in God whose word I praise.” (Psalm 56:3-4) This song keeps playing over & over in my head….it’s a child’s memory song that I learned long ago, and thankfully it comes up on days like today, when I just question….who can I trust when I am down & unsure?

The verse goes on to say, “what can mortal man do to me” and….to that, I know there is nothing that they can really do…..but there is still pain from their choices & deeds against us.

“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8)….but I ask that you “Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in You.” (Psalm 143:7-9)

…I guess I just don’t know who to trust right now…things have been falling apart, people not living up to their word, so much junk around, that it’s in times like these that I need to remember the one thing I know I can trust in is Christ. “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man….” (Psalm 118:8) This verse is being proven more and more each day…..just trust in Him….and when I am afraid….of the future, of people, of consequences, of everything….I need to be reminded that God will not fail me. “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:4)

A Story Worth Living

We all have stories….some are comedies, some are tragedies, some are romantic & some are just plain stale. Wherever your story fits on this grid…it fits…somewhere, because we all are living a story.  But what is making your story great? Are you inviting people to live out that story with you? Are you drowning in character development with a character that never does anything? Are you frustrated that your climax scenes never get the “aha” resolution like in the movies? Are you intrigued by the chapters, enough that you keep wanting to go further & further into the story?

I’ve been thinking a lot about story. I’m pretty sure I’ve already blogged on this somewhat, but it’s in my mind again. Listening to music like Grace Potter, and her sweet crooning of “are we falling or flying”….a lot of this has to do with perspective…but your perspective is shaped by your story, right? somewhat?

In Ezra, he is a scribe that writes the Jews’ story of coming back to the homeland & rebuilding their temple after so many years in captivity. What a story!  The captors release a certain amount of captives to go home & rebuild a temple, that has so much importance to them. It’s pretty amazing to me that the captors did that….and it’s also pretty amazing how the people wanted the temple rebuilt so bad, that obviously they weren’t just sitting around in captivity going along day to day….they wanted that temple, and they wanted it bad!  I don’t think it was really so much about the “temple” as it was about wanting a place to worship the one true God….but giving Him a place to reside was important for the Jews. They took steps to push for this goal, made pleas, petitions, spoke to apparently the right people, and when they got the chance, they took it!  The set to work right away, and praised God while fasting on their trek back to Jerusalem.  Amazing. They made their story a glorious one….not one of defeat.

It’s about going after something, and not being afraid to face obstacles along the way. It’s about trusting that God has quite the story to tell through you, and not just sitting around waiting for it to happen. How many stories have you read where all the main character does is think & sit on the couch?? (Okay….I’ve honestly read one like this, and it was the most pointless, aggravating, frustrating book I’ve read….I kept waiting for something to happen, and when it ended & nothing HAD happened, I wanted to die.) Alright, so….you get what I’m saying?

This is getting long, so I’ll wrap up…..and maybe I’ll make a Part 2 to this particular topic…..but what kind of story are you living?

My friend was inspirational, she challenged me to do things I’d never done before. I wanted something bigger than what I’d ever thought possible….when she died, that dream of mine got cloudy.  But then…what I wanted was to honor her inspirational life. Many of us did. We set a goal, and figured out all the things we needed to do to get there. We invited people into our story (which makes it hard to give up)…and last summer, hosted a 6k to allow kids the chance to go to a summer camp….kids whose parents are imprisoned & would never have been able to go otherwise. It’s a small story, but it IS a story.  It’s continuing, and it’s exciting!

What kind of stories are you making?? Share them with me!

Being held

I haven’t always felt it, but I’m starting to today. Plates are falling…the one’s I’ve been trying to balance, and it’s making me quite nervous & irritated. The loud commotion that I can’t quite seem to calm, stirs my insides in a way that can’t be silenced. But today, I was given a gift of being held. In prayer, in though & in loving touch.

Something I’ve noticed this year, is how much touch is a form of love for me. Just having someone put their hand on my shoulder, or to bump knees with someone, or to just be held in a longer than normal embrace. It does something to that back & forth feeling within me, that I can’t quite explain. Today, someone reminded me of us resting in God’s hand…with His touch, holding us. Gently. Tenderly. Firmly. Not letting go. I loved that. Some days I just wish that someone would just come along & hold me. I can’t always ask for it, I just want it to happen. And today, I remembered that when I don’t get that in human form, I’ll always get it and AM having that from my heavenly Father.

He’s holding me, giving me a kind of rest that is not human, that is not the same as sleep, but more closely resembles peace within my soul. A gentle caressing of the spirit that will settle my deep restlessness. To rest, open & unafraid in His large hands is beautiful. A song I played this week gave me this peace too…

I am tired and weary, but I must toil on
Till the Lord comes to call me away,
Where the morning is bright and the Lamb is the light,
And the night is as fair as the day.

There’ll be peace in the valley for me someway,
There’ll be peace in the valley for me.
I pray no more sorrow and sadness or trouble will be,
There’ll be peace in the valley for me.

There the flow’rs will be blooming,
the grass will be green,
And the skies will be clear and serene,
The sun ever shines, giving one endless beam
And no clouds there will ever be seen.

There the bear will be gentle, the wolf will be tame,
And the lion will lay down by the lamb,
The host from the wild will be lead by a Child,
I’ll be changed from the creature I am.

No headaches or heartaches or misunderstands,
No confusion or troubles won’t be
No frowns to defile, just a big endless smile
There’ll be peace and contentment for me.

There’ll be peace in the valley for me someway,
There’ll be peace in the valley for me.
I pray no more sorrow and sadness or trouble will be,
There’ll be peace in the valley for me. —Thomas Dorsey, “Peace in the Valley”

Home…

Walking, stumbling, to a home I’ve never seen. This is the way I go, and the path that we are on together. The way of Christ is so unknown, unpredictable and yet unchanging. He IS. Only by looking toward Him are we able to see just who we truly are, who we are created to be. When we look at ourselves all we see is who the world has made us, or who it tells us we should be. It is only when we look to Christ, and God the Father that we can clearly see who we were made to be, who we aim to be and where that person should go. Maybe not where–God doesn’t always tell us that but He sometimes says how–we know how all we have to do is look at Christ.

So while we walk with Christ in sight, we are moving forward, but if we get distracted or carried away we may stumble. We don’t or won’t know where we’re going if we don’t keep our eyes on Christ. And how will we know? We are heading to a homeland that we’ve never seen before–none of us. All the more reason to look and follow after Christ. He knows the way. He IS the way. Only He can lead us home and give us the peace that our souls burn for. Only then can our sails be loosed and our anchors et–we will be home.

When I can’t feel You…

I haven’t been writing recently, due to many things, but mainly it’s because I really only write when I feel God trying to teach me something, or if there’s a big revelation that has taken off some blinds.  There has been this wall that felt to me like it was growing wider & wider, keeping me from something, anything that had life in it.  I’ve been seeking this life, but it felt so distant, far away & unreachable.  Things kept coming at me that would make me to feel it, cut to my core & make me uncomfortable in where I was…unsatisfied.  Some of this unsatisfaction is a good thing, a good reminder that my life cannot be about me but about other people & helping others who can’t help themselves.  Yet those twinges of sickness, about the depravity of abandoned children or sickened friends, came in highs & quickly would depart from my mind.  This is something that I noticed, and it seems that if loving is a lifestyle, there shouldn’t be such drastic desires & then thoughts of nothing….right?  Anyway, I’ve been really loose in my quiet times with God, really not making it a priority, though in my mind it really is….yet actions say more than my thoughts ever will.  Once again, He has spoken to me through voices that surround me daily, friends who continually speak into my life….more than they may ever know.  Also, a song has given me the words I’ve forgotten to sing.

It says “There’s a distance in the air and I cannot make it leave, I wave my arms’ round about me and blow with all my might. I cannot sense you close, though I know you’re always here, but the comfort of you near is what I long for. When I can’t feel you, I have learned to reach out just the same, when I can’t hear you, I know you still hear every word I pray. And I want you more than I want to live another day, and as I wait for you maybe I’m made more faithful.”
You see, I haven’t been faithful….to this amazing Father that has given me everlasting life & abundant joy, I have been the one to leave the way, to stray & forget that these relationships take lots of work.  Even when I get busy, there’s gotta be time that is set apart to dwell in the goodness of Christ, his grace & peace.  Without seeing Him all around, I lose vision, passion & direction.  It’s like driving in the dark, without lights….how will you learn to drive, let alone get anywhere without looking for the light?  
God, I need you now more than ever….Thank you for being the faithful God that you are, ever present & willing to hold me when I come back crying out for your mercy.