Friday, 31 May 2013

Locked In and Left

Life has just eaten me up today. It opened wide its jaws and chewed me up and swallowed me down-down-down, and I am in pieces and unreasonable and I find no thought that gives me rest or comfort. There is neither love nor logic in me. I am tears and hardness, nothing more.

Why can I not touch God? Why is his face hidden from me? Who will save me? Who will keep me from the great stinking hate that rises up from my hurt and stifles all in me that would please God?

Jesus who died, come and rescue me from myself. Come and speak - just speak - into this darkness and haze. I need Your word more than I need anything else. I am disappointed in the great weakness I find in myself, and I am confused. Why do You leave me to rot in this mess of mine? My thoughts are twisted and tangled. Show me my wrong. Draw me out from it.

Moses, drifting down the Nile in a pitch-covered basket, before being claimed by the pharoah's daughter.
Jonah, cut off and miserable in the belly of the fish, before preaching the message of his life.
David, sleeping in a dim cave and running scared, before God made him king.
Peter, thrown into the prison, before the angel came and led him out through open doors.
Jesus, alone in a cold, black tomb, before rising in triumph over death.
Locked in and left in the cramped dark, each one. Drawn out, each one.

Yes, there have been such days before, and many things I have not understood. Nor do I yet understand.

But I am Yours, Lord Jesus.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Courage in Waiting

Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me in a level path, because of my enemies.
Deliver me not over unto the will of my enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
I would have fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalm 27:11-14)
I always thought courage meant having a strong heart, but this says that we should "be of good courage, and he shall strengthen" our hearts. So perhaps courage is the waiting? Just sitting ourselves down and waiting when we don't know how long it will be and we don't have the heart for it anymore?

Am I Jacob - unwilling or unable to trust in God's heart toward me and accept His goodness, unless He wrestles me to the ground? Why do I find myself asking so often, when all that He gives is Good?

O Father, I am so tired of waiting. I am so tired of being weak, weary, dependent. The enemy breathes out cruelty and I am heart-hurt. Yes, again. 

You are Good. You give Good. Even when it doesn't feel that way, I will hold tight to the truth of who You are. I will have the Good that You have promised. You can give no less. I can't see You. I don't always feel how You love me. But You know my heart. All the way down, beneath it all, I believe in Your goodness, in Your love. I am waiting for You, even when I don't want to, when I don't feel like it, when I feel impatient and tired and too-weak and too-unworthy. You are beautiful. You are kind. You see me. You have not forgotten. I will let You choose how to give me Good, and You will give me nothing less than Your very best.

Thank you for this hurt. Thank you for breaking me down and exposing my weakness and backing me into dark corners. Thank you for taking me apart, piece by piece. I trust You to put me together again. This, too, is Your gift. Give me the grace to reach out my hands to accept all that You have for me. Let me see Jesus, and teach me to feel that He is worth any cost. Let me know You. Let me bring honour to You in the cold and the dark. Light my way with Your Love. Make me more than I am.  You know how tired I am, but I will wait for You because I believe Your Word. I believe You.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

As Birds Flying

Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and rely on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!
As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending, he will also deliver it; and passing over, he will preserve it.
(Isaiah 31:1,5)
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us. (Isaiah 33:22)
 I will put my trust in Him, my defender and my God. He may not do what I wish. He may let me hurt. But I will have His way, and his heart. I will go with His hand in mine, whether to hurt or to healing.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Apple of His Eye

He found him in a desert land
And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness;
He encircled him,
He instructed him,
He kept him as the apple of His eye.” (Deuteronomy 32:10)
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11)
...Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame... (Hebrews 12:2)
I am the joy that was set before Him. I am His prize. With all my flaws and my stumblings and my unloveliness, He loves me and wants my love in return. When I feel like I'm running in place and my life is a big empty hole and I am nothing but a collection of failures and dashed hopes, He is pleased by me.

He knows my deep heart, with all its desires and disappointments, and he understands my hurts and my hardness. He waits for me to learn, and he takes pleasure in my victories. He will make me into more than just a child to be cared for; He will build me into someone He can trust. How I long for the day when he sees of the travail of his soul, and is satisfied!

Jesus, You deserve better than I have given. Since You have so loved this heart and this life, let me give it all to You. Make me the kind of prize that You deserve.
And He is jealous for me: Loves like a hurricane; I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy:
When all of a sudden I am aware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us, Oh how He loves us so.
He is our portion and we are His prize;
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes... (from How He Loves, by John Mark McMillan)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

He Loves

Father, here I am again. Afraid, again. Afraid that You aren't the One I thought You were; afraid that the Good you give is less than the Good I can imagine; afraid that I am just too not-enough to expect You to make my life into something. I am bringing this fear to You because underneath, I know it is a lie. I know that You cannot be less that the God who suffered, that You cannot give less than the greatest Good, that You had a plan when You made me, and that I am precious to You. 

Break me down, if you will, but build me back up again. Use this fear and this weakness for something. Bring out of this roiling confusion a light and a song that will echo your praise far beyond my life and my paltry dreams. All that I have comes from You and all that I am belongs to You. I confess my wrong - my twisted thinking and lack of faith - before You. Father, I lack the power to change myself: change me. I wait for You. Order my thoughts and straighten my way. Let me see spiritual truth. Remove from me this deep self-hatred that raises itself against You, despising what You have made and whispering - always whispering - cruel, unceasing criticism of the me that You love. Remind me who You are.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


O God, in this dark, I can't see. But I know You can.

I am tired of controlling my emotions, strung too tight; I'm tired of willing myself still when I want to run away, throw a tantrum, bite and kick and scream; I'm tired of saying nothing when my heart is full of words. I believe that You are able to fill up my whole heart with Your love. You are able to make me what I long to be. You are able to set me free from myself, from my narrow perspective and my self-centredness and my stumbling. I know that You are giving me Good, even here, even now. I trust You.

What are You teaching me? Where are You taking me? I am too weak for this journey, but change me and make me able, Father. Set me free to love as You love, always willing to be hurt again, always giving and seeking and giving again, even when nothing comes back to You. Fill me with love from the Source, so that I can keep giving when I do not receive in return. Teach me to give away what is precious, not from the overflow, but out of what I want most. Put love in my heart, Father. There is no love in me. Have mercy on my smallness and my weakness, God. Read my deep heart - You know me to the depths.

When I am emptied from giving all I've got, and when everything I have and am is still not enough, then come to me and fill up all my empty places and my stricken heart, and hold my hand, and teach me how I am Yours, and remind me how Your love always finds me, Father.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Ride of Your Life

Live...with great grace, no expectations, and lavish love....
give away what you wanted most...
Love never gives up but lays itself down...
go find your soul by losing yourself, in the muck and mire and the beauty and the love and the way down, in the impossible made possible, straight through the fears that always turn out to be mirage —
grabbing everything you ever wanted by pouring everything right out.
The ferris wheel and the fear and the world spinning on—
and you getting off to have the ride of your life. (Ann Voskamp,
So this is the way to live full and free, to really's not climbing up, but bending down. It's falling again and getting back up. It's giving what I want to clutch tight. It's being willing to hurt; it's being willing to take the hurt that cuts deep and hold it and not turn it to hate and not pass it on. It's forgiving - letting people off scot-free - not because they deserve it but because I let go of the responsibility of punishing them, and because most of all, I let go of the responsibility of protecting myself. It's walking back in, despite my disappointment, not because I trust that I won't be disappointed again, but because I am willing to take the hurt. For what? For what deep purpose am I willing to accept rejection and insult? Only for this:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings... (Philippians 3:10)
And learning the Christ is the ride of my life. It is hard, and sometimes tiring, and it hurts, but it's surprisingly good. It is altogether worth it. He is worth it.
My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you...
Lord, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
Lord our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us,
but your name alone do we honor. (Isaiah 26:9, 12-13)