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Archive for January, 2012

Never on my Own

Jesus, I stop and give thanks today that I am not left on my own, but that You are willing to teach me, to counsel me, to give me wisdom.

You are patient and faithful and will not leave me to my “own understanding”.

Proverbs 3:5-7  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

What if all I had to go on, all that I had to meet the difficulties and troubles of my life was what “seemed right” to me, what seemed necessary or fair or efficient?

What if when looking at those I love I had no deeper well to draw from than my own thoughts and understanding.

What if when dealing with those with whom I am in conflict, I am left to the pitiful reserve of my ability to see the true purposes of the Lord in this matter?

Philippians 1:9,10 …that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,so that you may approve the things that are excellent,

Ah, leave me not to my own self, Jesus, I declare and confess my great need of You.  I take a deep breath and rejoice in the confidence that it is Your intent and good pleasure to stay near me, to guide me, to give me wisdom and insight.

I delight in it, I do. It is truly better than silver or gold.

Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!

Over the years I have found great comfort in the promise that You will never leave me.

Heb 13:5  “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

But this morning as I looked back on all of the years that You have been revealing Your Word to me, instructing me as to path I should walk, it was as if You allowed a fog to lift. You let me see the many times I have unknowingly been walking along a steep precipice, and that if I had gone on “in a way that seemed right to me” I could have ended in destruction in so many ways. I became aware of how the path ahead would be impossible without You.

You will never leave me to myself.

Good heavens, how can I thank You.

Receive the hymn  “Be Thou My Vision” as my love song today.

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Leaning

 

I need to vacuum my room this morning, seriously vacuum it.

 

That means to move the furniture and get at the dust balls that have been building up in the corners of my room as I have been away these last several weeks. I cannot see them when I glance around my room, but they are there and they need to be gotten rid of.

 

A few weeks ago we were singing “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms”  at the Rosewood Convalescent Hospital.  (By the way, I used to pray that God would meet us there and bless these dear men and women who live so alone and forgotten.  Then, I heard the Lord so gently correct me,  “you don’t have to ask Me to join you here.   I live here.   It is good that you join Me”).

 

So there we were, joining Him, and singing, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”.  Sharing about the delight we can experience, and the peace we were intended to know when we lean upon Him. I asked them to share what kinds of things we can find ourselves leaning upon; the things that we hope will give us a sense of well being and rest. The answers came… “Money, health, alcohol, food, friendships, reputation, control…”

 

So as I vacuum today,  I think, what are the dust balls that are hiding in my soul? What are the things that I am “leaning upon” that go unnoticed with a quick glance, but need to be searched out and gotten rid of,  revealed and repented of as a false hope… what are they?

 

Psalm 139:23,24  Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;  And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

 

As I read Psalm 23 this morning…I saw this familiar scripture in a new way…

 

“Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me,”

 

The staff was a strong support, used to lean upon, to lean upon….hmmm

 

Often the thought of being in need, of having to depend upon something or someone other than myself brings forth thoughts of anxiety and stress, but David says that the staff of he Lord “comforts” him.

 

My nature is to be sure that I am in control of situations, and I have often labored under the delusion that I can handle what life brings my way; but not lately, not at all. As I look at the lives of those pilgrims around me whose walk is steadfast, I feel in comparison like a virtual “fondue pot” easily brought to my melting point. Why?

 

I too often “lean” upon my strength, my understanding, my resources or the relationships around me.   I am reminded again that it is the Lord’s design that I lean, and lean hard upon Him. That it is His pleasure to reveal His strength in my weakness….

 

Romans 8:26  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 

 

2 Cor 12:9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

 

The Father knows my frame and has compassion upon me.

 

Psalm 103:13,14 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

 

Dust, so there it is, dust.

 

God reveal it, expose the dust of myself that I have been leaning on.  I will again put my trust in You and find comfort in the leaning.


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I have decided to believe You for great things, why not?

You are amazing, You made the sunrise this morning on my curtains, the colors changing every moment.  I imagined You holding the planet in Your hands, slowly turning it so that the light of the sun would give this spectacular show to whoever would be watching. I was watching. I loved it. Can’t wait to see it again tomorrow.

I have been in sackcloth for weeks, Jesus. Crying out for my Dad who is in great physical pain, and in greater spiritual darkness.  I was sucked into that darkness and I despaired. Each day brought a new crisis of where to find help for him. From his home to convalescent home, where he deteriorated faster than the speed of light, to a Board and Care, to the Emergency Room, to being admitted to the hospital, to being transferred back to him home with 24/7 CNA care, and yesterday back to yet another transitional care. Each place I thought would be the answer, each place I prayed for his body and his heart to be settled, and each place brought only minimal help…and the need to move again.

I slept little and prayed even less. I tried to figure it out, how to help him, through this and to know You.

I have been looking for answers. I needed to be looking for You. If I believe Your Word:

Psalm 139:11,12  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Then I must accept that there will be darkness, and not panic in it. Darkness will not be dark to You.

You see the dawn when I cannot, You are turning the globe.

I sing this hymn as a battle cry, and as a love song,

“When darkness hides His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” 

Eph 3:16-21  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN ALL WE ASK OR IMAGINE, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

So, I ask You to control my mind, and I ask You to do more than I can imagine.

You are not deserving of this anxiety, but of praise and trust and lightheartedness.

 How gently You turn this globe, and hold our lives.

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