Thoughts on Quiet Seasons

I’m in one of those quiet periods. Nothing much seems to be happening on the surface, but in the depths of my being, during my alone times with God, my soul is undergoing more reparative work. More cleansing. More healing.

 It’s not always comfortable or convenient—those reminders of painful times or past mistakes & missteps…the ones that have not been fully dealt with or covered by the blood of the Lamb. Things have been bubbling to the surface again- memories, wounds, anger, regret, disappointments. I have learned over the years to not stuff them down, or automatically rebuke the thoughts in a knee-jerk fashion. Instead, I bring them to God, to the foot of the cross, to the base of His throne, to His altar of burning, to His seat of mercy.

 I give it all to Him- the ugliness, the anger, the confusion, the sorrow, the pain. I confess my weakness, my inability to let go or forgive…and I ask Him for help.

Years ago I would beg and plead, wondering if He had heard me, and if so, would He be willing to show me mercy. Now I know that He is faithful. He has never failed me before. Whenever I have been unable, He is always able. He is my strength, my Helper, my Advocate, my Redeemer, my merciful Savior. He doesn’t condemn me, He simply knows what I need and He freely gives it.

 So I have learned to trust Him and go with the flow. I don’t resist His gentle conviction or hide my face from uncomfortable emotions. I love His peace and healing more than my temporary unease. He never leaves me in the condition He finds me in at those particular times. I always come through them feeling lighter, stronger, forgiven and free.

 Blessings, renewal and peace during your quiet seasons.

 My soul, wait in silence for God only,

For my hope is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold;

I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest;

The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

Psalm 62:5-7

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Just for Fun

Innocence and joy are beautiful to witness. As I watched this short video I started to cry, even though I had a big smile on my face. The laughter of these babies is precious. I thought about the parents of these quadruplets, and how tired they…

True Beauty

I was driving down a tree-shaded country road a few days ago, enjoying the view while thinking about the goodness of the Lord.

I could feel joy and wonder and gratitude welling up inside of me. I began thanking God for His extreme mercy, goodness and grace in my life. I started to recall times of conviction, healing, repentance, blessing, freedom, struggle, fear, peace, comfort, worry and anxiety, faith and trust…

So many memories jumbled up together, opposites and contradictions, yet clarity and coherence at the same time. I marveled at God’s ability to take ugly, seemingly overwhelming incidents and obstacles and turn them into something beautiful and right. To make the crooked things in my life straight; to heal bruised and wounded places; to bring joy and laughter back after dark and painful times.

The revelation of God’s love for me continued to increase until my focus was solely on the Lord. I could see Him in my mind, simultaneously high and lifted up in glory, but also battered and bruised on the cross. I became overwhelmed by His sacrifice on humanity’s behalf…on my behalf…then the following words flowed forth from my lips:

“You are so beautiful, Lord.”

As I heard the phrase in my own ears, the true meaning of the word beautiful came into view. My mind filled with thoughts of mercy, kindness, humbleness, gentleness, compassion, patience, freedom, hope, faithfulness, forgiveness, joy, sacrifice and of course, unconditional, unwavering love…all attributes of the One I love, yet have never seen face to face.

And yet I have seen Him and He is beautiful to behold.

In my youth I was obsessed with physical beauty and perfection, but as I spend more time with my wonderful Lord, my primary desire is to become like Him. Physical beauty will fade but the beauty that comes from a life conformed to the image of Christ increases with time.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 

2 Corinthians 3:18

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Blessings!

Encouraging Word

Passing along a good word from Francis Frangipane, a minister of Christ:

“Read the Word with an attitude of willingness, with humility and faith. Even if you cannot fully obey it, determine to keep it in your heart. It is here where many fall short. For if the Word seems impossible or unreasonable to them, they disregard it. Yet Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me” (Jn 14:21). Before we are able to fully obey the Word, we must first determine to keep it, holding it in our heart until it germinates. You see, the Word is God in seed form. It will produce life within us as long as we keep it.”

~ excerpt from Holiness, Truth and the Presence of God

Blessings!

Sowing seeds

Avoidance Is Not The Answer

I readily admit that I do not like unpleasant things. I know this sounds like an obvious “no, duh” statement, but I’m being transparent for a reason.

 I like things to go smoothly. I want life to go smoothly because living on this planet is painful at times. And not just painful, it can also be ugly, horrific, confounding and surreal.

 Sometimes the ugliness and pain we experience is unavoidable because it is out of our control. It comes as the result of another person’s actions, or from an unforeseen occurrence or natural disaster.

Then there are times when we have issues in our family, in our friendships or at our jobs that REQUIRE attention. We need to be engaged, clear-headed, knowledgeable and able to respond in the best possible way so that the issues get resolved, or at least get on the right path for resolution.

At other times the problem is staring at us in the mirror…

Yes, sometimes the unpleasantness, the ugliness, is in ourselves. We can try to avoid the mirror, pretend like the issues don’t exist or that they aren’t much of a problem. This is deadly avoidance, spiritually, relationally, physically and emotionally. God does not want us to avoid sin and difficult issues, but to confront them in His power, love, wisdom, mercy and grace.

There were times before I became a Christian that the issues in my life were so complex or overwhelming that I would just shut down mentally. My brain couldn’t figure out what to do, the people in my world didn’t know what needed to be done and I all I wanted was peace. Or escape. Or both.

It is natural to want to run away from difficulty, to try to avoid an unpleasant truth, to feel overwhelmed by challenging circumstances. We lash out in anger at friends and loved ones or we hold everything in for fear of offending anyone. No one seems to have a viable solution for our problems and we believe that no one can possibly understand how we feel…

 There is someone. His name is Jesus. He is intimately acquainted with physical and emotional pain, with rejection and humiliation, with lies and slander. He was misunderstood, misquoted, mocked and tortured. He lived His earthly life in obedience to His Heavenly Father, pouring Himself into others by teaching, healing and delivering them from oppressive influences. He prayed for people and served them, living an exemplary life, never doing anything wrong, never sinning, and yet He suffered a sinner’s death.

And He did it willingly, for you and for me. He does know how we feel, so we can trust Him with our feelings, with our difficult and/or tragic circumstances, with our issues and our sin. He will never reject us or fail us when we go to Him for help:

“He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.

 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.” ~ Isaiah 53:3-5 New American Standard Bible

 Go to Him with you troubles, your quandaries, your problems and your sin. Don’t believe the lie that tries to convince you He has better things to do than deal with your petty little issues. He suffered tremendously for you, He has the time. And He has all the answers.

 With much love!

Jesus Christ Crucifixion on Good Friday Silhouette