It’s been a year—a difficult, aggravating, mind-boggling year. As we enter the holidays, we are weary and wary. More of us will be facing empty chairs either because of loss or simply because we are isolated. I am praying for each of us to be surrounded with the steadiness and consistency of God’s love as we enter the winter months. Let’s take this final month of the year to fix our minds and hearts on Jesus. I can think of no better way to close this year and approach the next than to meditate on Jesus.The Names of Jesus: December 2020 Scripture Writing Plan — Elihu’s Corner
When He killed them, then they sought Him,
And they returned and searched diligently for God;
And they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer.
But they flattered Him with their mouth
And lied to Him with their tongue.
For their heart was not steadfast toward Him,
Nor were they faithful with His covenant.
But He, being compassionate, forgave their wrongdoing and did not destroy them;
And often He restrained His anger
And did not stir up all His wrath.
So He remembered that they were only flesh,
A wind that passes and does not return.
I am captured in awe by the “But God” blessings in scripture.
We should be vaporized, and then He says to us, “But God”
You have crowned the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with fatness.
The pastures of the wilderness drip,
And the hills encircle themselves with rejoicing.
The meadows are clothed with flocks
And the valleys are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, yes, they sing.
As I read the above psalm this morning I could not help but be reminded of Jesus and His instruction to His disciples in John 4, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.”
For as much as I despair for the hurting and the loneliness brought about by all the unfolding events of the last nine months, I also deeply believe in the goodness of God, and that He would not allow suffering without a greater good in mind.
Perhaps the drawing of His people to a greater trust and dependence. Perhaps the drawing of the unsaved to their knees in acknowledgement of their need for mercy and forgiveness.
And as much as the current state of the nation might make me want to selfishly pray for Christ’s immediate justice and return, I would rather stay and suffer along with the rest of humanity than have Christ return today while there are so many that need to repent and turn to God for salvation. Those that I love, and for those of whom I am unaware even exist.
For the evil of these times prepare the way for the Lord, and we must cry out of His coming. We cannot know if that is tomorrow, next year, a thousand years from now, but that does not diminish the need for Jesus today. He will come to you today if you but only ask.
I also thought of our churches which are so focused on themselves and what they have lost, rather turning their eyes outward and looking for the coming harvest. Are we preparing, once we start meeting again, to open our doors to hungry souls thirsting for God? To be ready to accommodate the changes a plethora of new believers bring to a congregation of the settled?
Will we feed the sheep the Bread of Life to fatten their souls? Will we quench their literal dying thirst with the Living Water of the Word? Will we be able to look past their current worldviews and offer mercy rather than justice?
Today I lift up my hands to the Lord, and say, “Use me here where I am. What Lord would You have me do?”
It’s easy He says, “Listen and obey.”
Sigh….sometimes the Lord and I have different views of easy.
Then He reminds me to cease striving and know that I am God.
That He’s got the whole world in His hands, which includes me too.
Amen and Amen.
“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.” James 3:13
“It is not easy to stay with your loneliness. The temptation is to nurse your pain or to escape into fantasies about people who will take it away. But when you acknowledge your loneliness in a safe, contained place, you make your pain available for God’s healing.”
~Henri J. M. Nouwen
The Inner Voice of Love, A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom
Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary,
Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.
What to say….
First, I am taking a break because of my own feelings of inadequacy, not because of anyone else’s. I was made to realize this when several people I care about took upon themselves the reason for my exodus.
I would like to get to a place where I don’t write about myself in such an open manner. I worry about embarrassing my very private family, and it leaves me open to such self doubt about my ability to communicate effectively. I take each exposure unreasonably personal; will anyone like it or understand?
I wish I could distance my writing from myself and not have it be part of me. Yes, as I write that last sentence I am sure all you real writers out there are snickering. For I can only assume anything you write worth writing you feel to be a part of yourself, but you can also hide behind the characters.
So, I am toying with the idea of trying something new, or then again I may not. That is why I am taking a break. Do I care enough? Do I need it enough? To either deal with my hopeless self-doubt or perhaps to actually put some effort into writing and take it in a new direction.
I don’t know, for I truly feel inadequate to the task and what will I give up, sewing, reading, gardening, Zoom, sleep, exercise, to put in the time real writing would require.
Additionally, and this is the important part of this post not my feelings. In the past I had been pushed by the Lord to write whether I wanted to or not, therefore I took my leaving to the Lord and asked for His help in this decision. Sensible yes, however I conversed one sided with the Lord, and moved on with my mind already made up.
For upon reflection, I guess I didn’t really believe He would answer or help me with a direct request. Maybe I still don’t feel worthy of His individual attention. Or maybe not that, maybe….I don’t know, I don’t want to go there today, but I didn’t wait or listen.
He still hasn’t answered about my writing, only my wheel spinning about it, but He definitely brought this issue of faith in Him to my attention.
And said: Cease Striving and know that I am God.
So until whenever, tomorrow, next week, next year. I am taking a break.
God willing that is.
50:39 Something you lost
So lonely, but guilty about it.
For I am so blessed, truly.
I am not unsheltered, unclothed, unfed, unloved, unsaved.
The Lord is holding my hand through the darkest of nights.
I often now can sleep in peace.
But I am lonely, and thus unsettled, even when I have every thing to be thankful for.
Not that I am not thankful, I am every moment of every day.
Almost to the point of pain do I see the glory of God in all.
Despair no long rules my life.
Everything has a purpose and a good if one looks hard enough beyond the suffering.
I know that God is good. It is His nature. I Trust.
However, to be honest, all of this knowing does not keep out the sharp arrows of doubt, which have me waiting for the balloon to burst on my overflowing abundance.
At least though I can say at this juncture in my life, I recognize the waiting for the fall of doom as the lie that it is.
And I question whether I am purposefully letting it loose? Am I sabotaging my new found happiness because without suffering it is harder to hold as tightly to the Lord, as I do when I am in abject need and fear?
I think this is why I am lonely. I am happy.
And I am craving another to share my Lord and Savior with.
Someone to talk with about what the Lord shared with me today.
Someone to keep the focus with, to share the joy with in the good times and the bad.
Someone face to face.
A Soul Mate.
Why am I discontent?
Because God created us for relationship, and I like everyone else am feeling the lack of closure in this plague of restriction.
So, instead I will look for the good. Before covid I felt put upon when I had to go somewhere. Now I crave the return to church, the return to people, the return to hugs.
I am like a new creation when it comes to a desire for social interaction.
Perhaps because covid brought to the surface my uncontrolled anxiety and fear of death and people. I had no choice but to surrender all to God and make peace with dying and people.
When this whole thing first began I thought easy-peasy, I don’t like people so this is like a dream come true.
But then I became quite ill in March, with onset of that illness and the simultaneous arrival of covid, I turned into a monster of fear to my family because I am one of “those people” one of the immune compromised.
But the kicker is when I almost let myself die in September from a raging and painful infection rather than go to the hospital. I was beyond hope of self rescue in my pool of fear.
But then God…..
I had never really believed that one could give their problems to God and He would take them unto Himself and one could be healed.
What can I say, it is so stupid when I am so blessed, but I feel at loose ends, half gone, because my life long constant companions and tormentors, Anxiety and Fear, are banished.
Losing my them is a treasure beyond measure, and I haven’t wanted to name it for silly faithless superstitious reasons.
But that is just so demeaning to the Lord of Glory. Let it go, let it go, in the name of Jesus, let it go.
I feel so different, not myself, but then again, more myself than ever.
Is this why I am lonely?
If so praise the Lord and let me stay this way. I do not want those twin demons back.
O Lord, please heal Your creation.
Thank You for Your common grace to keep evil in check.
Please give us the tools necessary to banish the virus without turning our backs on individuals and the knowledge that every life is precious and made in Your image. May we love those who hate us and care for those in need. May we walk by the fruit of Your Spirit and share love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against these things there is no restraint or social distance.
I also thank you Lord for the gift of Your Spirit, the most lovely soul mate a person could ask for. Please Lord do not let me forget Your mercy and lovingkindness in the prosperity of spirit You have provided me today.
50:38 What do you want to be when you grow up?
A child, a daughter of the King of the all creation.
After I am finally all done with trying to tackle life on my own, trying to adult my way through and be self reliant, I am praying and waiting to truly be able to relinquish my all to my Lord and Savior and let Him take me into His arms as His child, and comfort me into powerfulness and joy.
Then and only then, will I have grown into the purpose for which God has called me. For as a little child, open and enthusiastic for all my Father wants to give me, will true completion be found.
Blessing to all,
“I shall rise from the dead…. I shall see the Son of God, the Sun of Glory, and shine myself as the sun shines. I shall be united to the Ancient of Days, to God Himself, who had no morning, never began…. No man ever saw God and lived. And yet, I shall not live till I see God; and when I have seen him, I shall never die.”