Joy Ride

I find I am unable to stop laughing at myself every time I start to write. For my life seems to be running along in apparent tragedy, but I am unable to get in the mode of it.

For as I begin thinking about what is going on with me, I start out something like this:

My dog died, well actually she was 16 and had an aggressive cancer so I let her go. It was a peaceful and painless process for her.

My last unemployment payment hit my bank this week, so that’s that. I am now officially without income.

I received a long overdue medical diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, after losing my insurance.

Feeling helpless as my mother languishes in the dark, trying to will herself dead, only to find out my father has stopped giving her her antidepressants and is proud of it.

Being tired and not able to do all the things I put off over the years, thinking if I just had the time. Well I now have time, but no giddy up and go.

See what I mean, such a lament. But the thing is that list could go on and on if I let it, however it does not define me, and this makes me laugh with joy.

Rather I am full of incredible awe and wonder as I watch the hardships and sorrows of a lifetime coalesce with perfect tempo and timing, into a beautiful gift from the Lord.

A gift of seeing why He had me walk through that fire, why that particular prayer was not answered, how what appeared to be a loss of great magnitude was only a temporary set back. For as I have been watching my life unfold for the last six months I can only stand in complete and utter amazement of the perfect timing of God.

And knowing that God doesn’t need to let me watch the big picture, and that He has chosen to let me in on the process, and to see His handiwork unfold, is something I can hardly contain. For such joy it is giving me, the knowing that all those years of waiting, of feeling alone and forsaken were false, and all along He was there, molding my life for a time such as this.

A time when I would need to rely on Him more than ever. A time when having His presence near and working in my life gives me all the comfort I need for the future. A time when this fabulous display of His glory and lovingkindness make me laugh in the face of adversity.

A time to relax and enjoy the ride.

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Fight Cage

Today is going to be a difficult day. The anxiety is pooling into the center of my chest trying to make me scream in surrender. Every muscle aches from the pressing in required to contain it, and its close companion despair. My skin feels to be stretching and contracting as if its dark tendrils are seeking for a weak spot to rupture.

Sometimes I wonder if it would go away forever if I just let it escape, and completely go insane for a moment, but another part of me knows I can never let this happen, for the possibility of it taking permanent control, and thus losing my rational self, is far too great a risk.

So instead today will be a small day, a day of watching and waiting from the sanctuary of my treacherous chair. Utilizing the distractions I have placed within easy reach for such times as this.

For it will pass, it always does, it’s only a matter of time. Keeping this in mind is essential for survival of a winning attitude throughout the battle. For no matter how fragile I become, endurance will be readily available for the taking as long as I can keep my focus on the light shinning forth from the open door on the other side of my cage of control.

For I know with the Lord’s help, I will be victorious, and He and I will pass on through together, back into the light, and then will proceed to lock up a weakened anxiety, once again defeated in this battle, on the inside of the now pitch black cage.

And maybe this time, I will remember not to feed it, slip it the occasional crumbs of hopelessness, and therefore give it back its strength and desire to break free, or maybe not, maybe this is to be part of my life.

I do know that with each and every battle, I am learning to let the Lord handle more and more of it. So just maybe I am learning to relinquish my all to Christ. If this is so, I cannot wait for the dawning of the day where the Lord is the rock upon which I rest, and truly without a shadow of a doubt rely upon to vanquish my foes.

But to be frankly honest with myself I must acknowledge, with the devil crouching at my weak spot, the door of my cage, just waiting for me to be distracted, unfocused, human, and thus give him the key, so he can then open the door just a smidgen, so as to let anxiety flicker its familiar come hither my way, I cannot see the war being fully won this side of paradise.

So I wait, I hope, I yearn for heaven, and for eternal freedom and rest. But until then, I will continue to put on daily, the full armor of God to fight the good fight one day at a time. Days for which I praise the Lord for giving me in His abundant lovingkindness and mercy and grace. To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen.

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Unless the Lord had been my help,

My soul would soon have settled in silence.

If I say, “My foot slips,”

Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.

In the multitude of anxieties within me,

Your comforts delight my soul.

~Psalm 94:17-19~

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During the winter quarters of college, I can recall more than a few chilly Sunday afternoons when I would curl up like a cat beneath the warm, sunlit square of light on my bed and take a well-earned hour of rest. At other times, light was not always so welcome. After pulling an all-nighter to […]

via The Light: October 2019 Scripture Writing Plan — Elihu’s Corner

The Light: October 2019 Scripture Writing Plan — Elihu’s Corner

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A Good Father Provides

“But I have trusted in Your mercy;

My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.

 I will sing to the Lord,

 Because He has dealt bountifully with me.”  Psalm 13:5-6

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Because He has dealt bountifully with me!!!

And He has, which is why sometimes I feel ungrateful to continue asking for more. This of course is wrong, but it can hinder my prayers nonetheless, even if subconsciously. I am so glad the Lord knows my deepest heart.

And that kind of drip drip dripping doubt of selfishness, unworthiness, or greed, is why I loved a Facebook post I saw the other day.

It went something like: When God planned my life, He factored in my stupid.

What a comforting thought. I can use it to dry up that incessant drip of foolishness.

For a good father provides to the utmost of his ability and possessions.

And the Good Lord has no limitations when it comes to giving, everything is His.

So there is no such thing as being greedy when it comes to the prayers of His children.

How lovely……sigh,

I love you Abba.

 

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To the Joy

Lately I have been finding prayer difficult and stumbling. For as I call upon the Lord with the desires of my heart, and I truly want these thing for His glory, or at least I believe I do, I realize that they are also for my personal satisfaction. So then I question whether or not I am being sincere with my prayers, or whether I am being manipulative asking for something because it will bring God glory, while simultaneously wanting it for myself.

Of course then I realize that God knows my deepest thoughts and hidden secrets, so thinking I could manipulate Him is laughable. The thing is, I am being sincere, as best as I can consciously tell, and all of this doubt has me stumbling around, second guessing everything.

Then with the help of the Holy Spirit, it occurred to me that perhaps what is happening here is that my desires have lined up with God’s, and what I am desiring is because I want it too, and not because of intentional obedience. I cannot remember ever being here before, and all I can say is how sweet it is; what joy there is in this alignment!

Of course being me, I could not just leave this joy alone, no I needed to dig in and see what could have caused this much desired change, and I think it comes from just one small adjustment in my walk with the Lord. I put obedience before trust.

Obedience grows trust. Trust provides peace. Peace provides humility.

Humility: the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance or rank.

So if I have peace it is because I am resting under the cover of God’s protection. He then becomes the most important thing in my life. Thus why wouldn’t I want to submit to His will and bring Him glory?

This has not happened easily for me. I have spent too many wasted years looking for trust before I would obey, not knowing that through obedience first, I would learn to let go of my pride, my fear, myself.

For not once when obeying with blind faith, has the Lord let me crash and burn. I can trust Him without fail. I just needed to get my alignment right and willingly submit to His wisdom.

We sing: Trust and obey, there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Why not: Obey and trust, there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to obey and trust.

Yes, it doesn’t sound right to our ears, but that’s what blind obedience sometimes is, doing the thing that seems out of whack to our limited senses, just because God told us to; for He is always right, and always will be.

Obedience comes easier now with trust, and in obedience I can align myself, my desires, to His will, which brings peace, rest, and an absence of fear, and when this happens, I can with complete trust, surrender my all to Him.

So now when He says trust Me, I can only hope to have finally given up on the hard road of self-reliance and pain, and instead will follow Him without hesitation down the paths of His leading, to the joy.

 

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In the Moment

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Heb.12:11

This morning as I read Hebrews 12:11 it struck me that the discipline of the Lord is constant and ever changing, not static. There is no clear delineation between times of tribulation to times of peace. Therefore one shouldn’t wait for a trial to be over to seek joy and peace; rather they should be sought in the moment of now.

So then being as forgetful as I am, I began searching for an experience to which I could to attach this thought, so as to give it more mass, and also because I have a harder time recalling new memories, so I wanted to relate it somehow to something I already had stored. Interestingly, what bubbled to the surface was the grading of my children’s school essays.

How when correcting their essays, I did not try and correct every error all at once, but rather focused on one skill set at a time, keeping at it through thick or thin, until this skill became almost habitual. Creating the need to recognize that the work being produced, with this one new skill aligned into its desired place was better than before, and then praising it as such.

Life is like that. God is working on me a skill set at a time. Some of them I probably don’t even consciously notice, whereas with others His guidance produces tears and agony just to begin the process of trying to accomplish them, and He sticks with me through thick or thin, until the a habit of obedience is formed.

But if I keep in mind that I exist in His story not mine, and I view the sometimes painful tweaking He is doing to the small little paragraph that is my life, the fixing of my misplaced modifiers and the correcting of the order of my thoughts, as necessary push to ease me back into the flow of His word, a place of praise and glory, to the joy.

So really when He says in all things give thanks, I should, and will try for always. However, I am a work in progress, and this particular skill is a really hard one. But now I will have a memory helper stored away which I can pull out and remind myself, that just like when teaching my children, there may have often been tears and struggles in the learning process, but there was also joy.

For when my child was able to see their progress, in that moment of understanding, their joy was a precious wonder to behold as a parent. Well as my good good father, God must find a smile within Himself each time I master the new skill He is trying to teach me, and oh what joy it brings me as His child to comply and rest in His approval.

However it doesn’t end there, no of course not, He moves on to the next lesson.  For He is continually shaping me into the adult He would like me to be, for if I am eventually going to spend eternity communing with Him, it makes sense to me that he is shaping my life in this way.

I did this with my children, shaping them into the kind of adults I would choose to be my friend. For Spirit filled responsible people who are a pleasure to be around was always my end goal in child rearing. I reckoned they would be adults a lot longer than they would be children, and then I had their lifelong friendship to look forward to throughout those tumultuous training years.

When you look at it this way, the Lord’s instruction to see the joy in tribulation makes perfect sense to me. If this is my earthly childhood, and God is shaping me into the adult He will enjoy spending eternity with, I’m all in. For this lifetime is but a blip when one considers an eternity in heaven being perfectly, completely, finally, all grown up.

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