Sunday, December 20, 2009

In God's Hands

"...I am not ashamed, for I know Whom I have believed, 
and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that Day 
what [I have entrusted to Him]."
(II Timothy 1:12)

You say let it go;
You say life is waiting...
You say You will be everything I need;
You say let it go.
What do I love? What do I hate?
What will I lose? What will I gain? ...
What if I bend? What if I break?
What will it cost? What will it take
For You to save my soul?
You say let it go.
—Tenth Avenue North

"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all;
but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."
—Martin Luther

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just Not Tonight

"I'll get you out of this place. It just can't be tonight."

"You're just going to leave me here?!"

"I promise I won't leave you here any longer than I have to."

—Belinda to her little brother Jacob, who were orphaned and split up in different homes. Jacob was in a cruel home, but they needed to stay put so they could be found by their father later on (From Love's Unending Legacy)

That made me think of the conversations we sometimes have with God. He's always right there, able to take me out of a tough situation or season, but, in order to fulfill a higher purpose, often chooses not to. Instead, He stays close by, watching out for me and "feeding" me day by day right where I am. Even though it hurts Him to see His child hurting, to hear the cry, "You're just going to leave me here?!"He knows I have to stay right here for a while.

Because this will bring a more glorious result, a much bigger deliverance than simply an escape from pain. He will instead give unlimited grace. Unexplainable joy. Inexhaustible strength. Unspeakable glory.

"Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the LORD is a God of justice; 
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; 
You shall weep no more.
He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you."
(Isaiah 30:18-19 NKJV)

So tell me, what is our ending? [It will] be beautiful, so beautiful...
(BarlowGirl, "Beautiful Ending," 2009)

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Wait

So I haven't posted many of my own thoughts here lately... but the quotes, lyrics and verses I have been sharing is always some glimpse of what's on my heart. Sometimes there just isn't anything to say that someone else hasn't already captured with much more clarity and wisdom than I can. One preacher put it like this, "I never have an original thought; I'm just a walking quote." 
I am working on a few things literary, but I'm not sure when/if they will be finished or if they will be posted. But, read on. Elisabeth Elliot's writing has been such an encouragement to me over the years, and I trust you will be blessed by it as well!

I wait.
Dear Lord, Thy ways
Are past finding out,
Thy love too high.
O hold me still
Beneath Thy shadow.
It is enough that Thou
Lift up the light
Of Thy countenance.
I wait—
Because I am commanded
So to do. My mind
Is filled with wonderings.
My soul asks, "Why?"
But then the quiet word,
"Wait thou only
Upon God."
And so, not even for the light
But for Thee, dear Lord,
I wait.

Passion & Purity, p. 72
(c) 1984, 2002 by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Hands Holding You...

Why do you say... "My way is hidden from the LORD...?"
Have you not known? Have you not heard? 
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.

(Isaiah 40:27-28)

These are the Hands that built the mountains
The Hands that calmed the seas
These are the arms that hold the heavens
They are holding you and me

These are Hands that healed the leper
Pulled the lame up to their feet
These are the arms that were nailed to a cross
To break our chains and set us free

You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world
Are holding your heart

—Phil Wickham, 2009, "Safe"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Why I Trust You Anyway

"No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, 
but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 
fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised."
—Romans 4:20-21

"As believers, we cannot always know why,
but we can always know why we trust God, who knows why.
A Christian does not say,
'I do not understand You at all, but I trust You anyway.'
Rather, he says,
'I do not understand You in this situation,
but I understand why I trust You anyway.'"

—Audio series: Suffering & Sovereignty, by C.J. Mahaney

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sit Still...

“...Sit still, my daughter,
until you know how the matter will turn out..."
(Ruth 3:18 NKJV)

Waiting is:

Steadfastness, that is holding on;
Patience, that is holding back;
Expectancy, that is holding the face up;
Obedience, that is holding oneself in readiness to go or do;
Listening, that is holding quiet and still so as to hear.

—S.D. Gordon, Quiet Talks on Prayer

Monday, October 12, 2009

When I Say I Am A Christian

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting, "I am saved!"
I'm whispering, "I was lost!"
That is why I need this way

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need someone to be my Guide

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I'm not saying I am strong
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting I have failed
And cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are oh-so-visible
But God is not finished yet

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartaches
But I want to bless His name

When I say, "I am a Christian"
I do not wish to judge
I haven't much authority
I only know I'm loved

-By Carol Wimmer

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I want to let you know Me more...

I feel Your hand pulling me away
I hear Your voice whispering the way
"Leave the noise of all that's vain
Meet with Me on higher plain
I want to talk with you
I want to let you know Me more
I want to show to you
More power than before
Yes, the journey may be long
And you'll feel you can't go on
But you'll find there, on the plain
I'll make you strong"

I walk alone across the rugged plain
And there You stand, You're calling out my name
Your glory is all around
I know I've reached that higher ground
And there You talked with me
And You let me know You more
And there You showed to me
More power than before
Yes, the journey had been long
And when I felt I'd not go on
I found that there on the plain
You made me strong

Yes, your journey may be long
And you'll feel you can't go on
But you'll find on that higher plain
He'll make you strong

-John Marshall Family, 2005

Monday, September 21, 2009

Take me by the hand...

Can You take me by the hand?
Can You use me as I am?
Break me into who You want me to be
When the time is finally right
You will open up my eyes
Show me everything You want me to see
This life is not my own

To God alone be the glory
To God alone be the praise
Everything I say and do
Let it be all for You
The glory is Yours alone
Yours alone

Take the offering I bring
You want more than what I sing
Can I give You every part of me?
Turn these pennies into gold
Take this life I call my own
Until I'm running after Your heart
I'm needing to let go

We will rise and we will fall
But You remain after all
You're glorious and beautiful
You're beautiful

To God alone be the glory
To God alone be the praise
Everything I say and do
Let it be all for You
The glory is Yours alone
Yours alone

—Aaron Shust - "To God Alone"
From album Take Over

Saturday, August 29, 2009

You Are Good

When the sun starts to rise and I open my eyes
You are good, so good
In the heat of the day with each stone that I lay
You are good, so good

With every breath I take in
I'll tell You I'm grateful again
When the moon rises high before each kiss goodnight
You are good

When the road starts to turn, around each bend I've learned
You are good, so good
And when somebody's hand holds me up, helps me stand
You are so good

With every breath I take in
I'll tell You I'm grateful again
'Cause it's more than enough just to know I am loved
And You are good

So how can I thank You?
And what can I bring?
What can a poor man lay at the feet of a King?
So I'll sing You this love song
It's all that I have
To tell You I'm grateful
For holding my life in Your hands

—Sung by Nichole Nordeman, and Point of Grace

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Path of Slothfulness

"The wise man ... knows that
the sluggard is no freak,
but, as often as not, an ordinary man
who has made too many excuses,
too many refusals
and too many postponements.
It has all been as imperceptible,
and as pleasant,
as falling asleep.

—Derek Kidner
[Commentary on] Proverbs (IVP, 1964), p.43

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Most Richly Blessed...

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might sit still.

I asked for health, that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might strengthen others.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might learn contentment.

I asked for light, that I might see the way ahead.
I was given darkness, that I might learn to trust.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was humbled, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for — but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all people, most richly blessed.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

The most beautiful shade of red...

"Be Mine" the words said
Written in the most beautiful shade of red.
Never before had her eyes beheld
Nor, in the depths of her heart, had she felt
This kind of feeling before.
She wanted to know more.
She read on quickly with excitement
And in amazement her soul leapt
As the words made it all so clear,
The very thing she needed to hear.
"I love you more than life,
My Dear, and in My love there is no fear.
You see, it was for this Holy love
That I gave My life and shed My blood.
I've given freely, to you, this treasure,
This gift which is beyond measure."
Could it be true, her eyes opened wide.
For it was at that moment she realized
The emptiness she had felt inside
Would now be wholly, completely satisfied
With this love, offered without cost.
It was true. She had been lost.
"There is only one thing I must ask of you."
"What is it?" she asked. "Anything I will do."
"Be mine and only mine, you must give me your life,
It's kind of like becoming my wife.
You'll be my bride and I will come back for you.
And I want you to be ready in all that you do."
Her answer was "Yes" and in those words,
The angels singing in heaven could be heard.
"Be Mine" the words said with sacrificial love
Written and sealed in her Saviour's blood.
—Author Unknown

Monday, February 09, 2009

That Which Concerns Me

Father, it hasn't been an easy road to walk lately. The road is awfully winding. I'm confused. It's a dead end in front of me, and it seems such a long way to have to back-track. The path back is all uphill, and, to top it all off, it's pouring rain. More clouds are rolling in so that I can hardly see where I'm going. There is no way I can make it without slipping again! I really can't see any way out... How can this be Your way? How can this be Your mercy?

That sounds embarrassingly like the cry of my heart much of the past few months... as I learn a little more of what it means to be helpless, humiliated, hurting.

But not hopeless.

Tempted so, yes; more than once. But I have watched in wonder and thankfulness as the Lord delivers a Hand-picked passage or verse in my quiet time just when it's most needed. A word, note or prayer from a friend. Encouragement and help from my family. Faithful sunbeams when the clouds are darkest.

In my devotions this morning, I was reading in the Psalms, again seeing God's power in ways He has led and rescued His people in the past, how "His mercy endureth forever," how He does not forsake His own. And as I read on, my eyes fell upon the summation of all of it: "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."1

Isn't that the best reassurance I can have? The Creator of heaven and earth (of ME), Who is also the Redeemer of that creation, has a plan to enact through every thing in my life, both good and "bad." And not only that, but has promised to make it a perfect plan, that He will carry out!
“God sometimes allows people to treat us unjustly. Sometimes He even allows their actions to seriously affect our careers, or our futures viewed on a human plain. But God never allows people to make decision about us that undermine His plan for us. Never. Why do we struggle then with disappointment and resentment when someone else’s decision or action adversely affects us? Is it not because it is our plans that have been dashed or our pride that has been hurt? Trust His sovereignty, trust His wisdom, trust His love.”
—Jerry Bridges

Trust. Yes, that is what I must do. Trust Him for the daily strength He has promised... and wait.

1:Psalm 138:8