I began to be a semi-frequent contributor to our church’s woman’s newsletter. I was originally set up just for a one time submission, yet Alison has encouraged me to write more. She knows that therein lays my sustaining joy. Catharsis. Renewed energy.
My first one was something I had written years ago, that I keep coming back to. It was so truthful and remains so today. I thought perhaps, it would be relatable to others beside myself.
The second one, which was included in this week’s circulation email, was a fresh-write.
It’s been a dark month for me. Days were too much to tackle at once and minutes became the most I could experience at a time. Something amazing was in the midst of my Psalm 42-living days (a legitimate and supremely accurate way of describing my emotions and moments during this barren time), I was given an abundance of faith. I mourned. I grieved. I wrestled and wailed. Yet my Keeper (also relishing in Psalm 121) was ever-present beside me. Oh how I felt His presence surrounding me. He gave me a greater gift than a change of my desperate circumstance (which still hasn’t altered), He gave me such an influx of His Spirit – a 1000% pure “Helper” oxygen supply…I cannot even fully describe it.
I can say with sincere truth, that I never once thought or felt that He abandoned me. I knew He was there, stroking my hair as I lay curled in His lap. I knew my unceasing tears were being collected by Him, as he mourned with me.
I audibly reminded myself, and spoke out the FACT: “In you, my LORD, there is NO darkness at all. You – Are – Light. Even darkness is light to You. So I know this pitch-black experience is NOT from You. You did not bring this to me. Yet you remain beside me in this valley. You are my immediate help, for You are here – You are the very one who holds my hand.” (1 John 1:5; Psalm 139:11-12; Matt 14:29-31; Psalm 37:23-24)
(*There’s been much hand-holding imagery in my relationship with Him lately. He knows this particular touch is life-saving for me and had brought me scripture after scripture and prayers of this very reminder. My hand securely in His. It’s a warmth unmatchable. Ointment ever-soothing.)
I will include that submission here, and may continue to share the contributions. Merely because I know these are not words I conjure up. They do not come from me. They FEED ME. And I have to believe they are not meant to give one-time nourishment. What’s meant for me is meant for all. Love. Security of Spirit. Hope. Compassion. Intimacy.
So if sharing what He is pouring on my head, preparing for the day of my ultimate reconciliation, will help the growth of fruit in someone else – how can I be unfaithful by keeping it to myself? I must be faithful. I must share and proclaim. I cannot live any other way. A city on a hill cannot be hidden (Matt 5:14). I know this more and more, each day I have breath. Until I lay prostrate at His throne, I am an instrument – with His very breath playing the melodies and harmonies of my life. Every single thing of beauty given me or in me is His creation of clay. I cannot quit, nor cease to move forward on the path He lays before my feet. Even if some days I crawl instead of firmly planting my foot on that Rock – even if I cannot move without assistance – I will know that every day, He is making my feet like that of a deer. He is healing my crippled self. Enabling me to pursue the heights, not cower in the depths. (Habakkuk 3:18-19)
Here’s to one more day.
*For the EveryWoman Newsletter on October 18th 2010
“Lord, I will need Your strength, if I’m to be any good for anyone today.”
Do you ever find yourself needing this prayer? Perhaps before your feet hit the floor from your bed? Perhaps again, even before lunch? Do you ever find yourself wondering where your supply of oxygen is coming from, because the air sure feels thin?
Psalms can act like the Spirit sometimes, giving words to our groanings previously inexpressible. Have you read a Psalm and thought: “This is exactly how I feel! This author says it better than I could. I can completely relate.”? It happens to me often. It’s what I love about the book of Psalms – it’s filled with people who walked with God, through every day, every trial, fear, failure and even every outburst of incandescent joy, every note of worship. They express their most raw emotions on the page, and the Sovereignty of God included it in the living Word for us all to relate to, learn from, and echo in the walls of our souls.
Psalm 121: “I lift my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD…He will not allow your foot to slip…the LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade…He will KEEP your soul.” (v. 1-3a, 5, 7b NASB)
What is your pain today? What act of strength and help do you need from your LORD today?
Do not cease asking. Do not neglect to turn your heart to Him – for He cares for it as precious treasure.
He counts every tear: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.” (Psalm 56:8, NLT)
We all have days we’ve barely made it through. We each have our sorrows to bear, our blisters that burn. I believe it is safe to say we have all made meals of our heartache: “My tears have been my food day and night,” (Psalm 42:3).
Sister, I am here to tell you – Hope in God.
“Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him. For the help of His presence…
The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
and His song will be with me in the night,” (Psalm 42:5b, 8 NASB)
That food, which for now may be your tears, will be His lovingkindness instead. Day and Night. Yes, you will have new nourishment. As soon as immediately, for when you cry out “Lord, save me!” – He will “IMMEDIATELY reach out His hand and catch [you].” (Matt 14:21)
That is a promise. Your situation may have its own timetable of change – your circumstances may remain for a time unknown, yet you are IMMEDIATELYcaught. Your food can immediately become compassion and love instead of salty sorrow. Be caught dear sister. Be caught. Feel His embrace, for He never looses His grip.
Psalm 30:5b – “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
That is a promise. Yours to keep.