You Can Trust God

Trust in the Lord with all your (9)

Gentle Reader,

I had a different post in mind for today, something about basic logic and the insanity of our world. These words may yet come at a later time, but right now I simply don’t have the energy or the brain power for them. As the meme says, “I can’t brain today. I has the dumb.”

Truth is, I feel pretty awful. Chris and I went out to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday, which was cut short by my sudden desire to either faint or vomit. Both seemed like viable options. (As of today, I have done neither and I really wish I would. I think I’d feel better). My liver or at least the space around my liver is swollen and painful. Can’t really eat. There’s pressure behind my eyes; not quite a headache but enough to be irritating. Yesterday afternoon I fell asleep on the couch and didn’t realize it. Didn’t even hear my husband moving around or the dogs barking, which is unheard of for a light sleeper like me.

I don’t know what’s going on. Since I had a CT scan to check on all this stuff last Friday morning, I’m hoping that the timing of that test and this attack/flare-up/whatever has been orchestrated by God so that my doctor can easily diagnose and treat the problem. I’ll be seeing him on Wednesday.

So, instead of some sarcasm, I give you this:

You can trust God.

You can.

It would be easy for me to stop trusting God. It would be easy for me to become furious with Him. Why won’t He heal me? Why won’t He release me from this? Why do I have to suffer? All legitimate questions, really. All questions that I suspect each one of us will have to wrestle with before shedding these tents of flesh.

I don’t know the answers to those questions. Well, I know about things like the effects of sin. I know how genetic mutations arise and how they are never a good thing (so much for naturalistic evolution). What I don’t know is why this is happening to me. I don’t know why this has been allowed or why it’s part of the plan.

But I do know that I can trust God. It’s the hard choice. Sometimes excruciatingly hard. Yet when I want to let go of the cliff-face and drop into the sea of despair below, the beauty of His dear face above arrests me. His voice urges me on. His hand grips mine, no matter my weakness. He grants me eyes to see something good, something eternal, in the midst of the battering storm.

When the tsunami comes, He covers my body with His.

When the winds howl, He pulls the hood tight over my head.

When the pain stabs at my side, He holds me close.

He has not abandoned me. He never will.

Be encouraged today. Whatever you face, however bleak it seems, you can trust God.

My journey to faith. (15)

My Daddy

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

My dad pretty much never poses for pictures and my mom would kill me if I post the one family photo I do have on my computer, hence Stock Photo of Man Staring Contemplatively into the Middle Distance.

Gentle Reader,

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Compassion Bloggers post, so I’m glad I caught this month’s prompt. In celebration of Father’s Day, we were asked to answer three questions:

What would the ideal day with your Heavenly Father look like?

If you had an hour alone with God and could ask Him only one question, what would it be?

And with Father’s Day right around the corner…

What’s that one day or one moment with your earthly father that stands out?

The best part about these questions is that they reduce to the normally-verbose me (verbose in written form, at least) to simple answers.

My ideal with day with God: Sitting with Him in the shade of a giant tree, next to a clear, rushing river. Listening to Him talk about how and why He made the delicate flowers that blanket the meadow just behind us. Climbing up into His lap and listening to His heart beat. I wouldn’t want to say anything at all. Like a lovesick puppy-dog, I would just want to be with Him.

One question I would ask Him: There are many, but the one that stands out right now has to do with my brother. I would want to know why God allowed Him to suffer so much physical pain.

Stand-out moment with my earthly dad: Again there are many, but since my wedding anniversary was just two days ago, I remember how he held my hand tight just before we made that long trek up the aisle and into a new chapter of the story. He began to speak in a low voice, as he does, so that only I could hear. “We can leave right now if you want to. We can go get a hamburger.” Then at the reception he rocked out with me to our father-daughter dance song, “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seeger. That’s love, man. That’s love.

Father’s Day can bring up a lot of emotions. Relationships are strained or non-existent. Orphans wonder about biological dads and thank God for the dads who stepped in to raise them. Right now, my mom struggles as her father trudges through the tough valley of the shadow with pancreatic cancer.

Some fathers are distant and noncommunicative. Others are brutal in their violence. Some strive to be men of integrity, raising their children with love and care. There are funny dads and quiet dads, rough-and-tumble dads and gentle dads. Then there are the “other fathers,” the men like my husband who pour themselves into the lives of all the children they meet. They become safe people who help support and guide the little ones.

Father’s Day can poke at wounds and cause a strange mixture of sorrow and gratefulness to well up in our hearts. We mourn what is not and smile at what is. We thank God for the men, whoever they are, who wrap us in bear hugs and rise up to protect us. And yet we need more. We need something deeper than a human dad. And our dad’s need that something, too.

We need God. We need Abba. The Eternal Daddy. The one who holds the men who break when their children are ill. The one who holds the men who don’t know how to love. The one who holds the kids of all ages who feel the love and the confusion, the sorrow and the joy. So whatever we feel this Father’s Day, whatever the relationship we have with our dad’s, we must rest in this: Our Abba, our Daddy, is ever-near. Where our earthly fathers fail, He never does.

My journey to faith. (15)

Five Minute Friday: Fear

Image Source- oregonlive.com (7)

Gentle Reader,

I want to go play tomorrow in celebration of my ninth wedding anniversary, so housework instead of the chat was the game Thursday evening. Linking up with Kate and the people even though I missed the party. This week we: fear.

Go.

There are many places that this prompt could take me. Fear is part of my daily life. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there. This is a running theme here and so I don’t want to focus on that today.

Instead, I want to talk about the fear of others.

The fear those nine people must have felt.

I can’t fully grasp the horror and terror of the final moments of the victims of the Charleston shooting. I won’t pretend to. The world must have slowed to a complete stop as they shifted from fellowship and study to realizing that the end had come.

I don’t understand Dylan Roof. How can anyone be so twisted as to enter a house of worship and gun down people who were gathered in peace to study Scripture? What sort of twists and turns did he take in his mind to arrive at that place?

All I know is that we now have a young man in the national spotlight who clearly confirms the truth about sin and our need for a Savior. We now have families who will never be the same again. We now have yet another reason to examine our attitudes toward and ideas about both gun safety and violence.

Perhaps most importantly, we, the Body of Christ, have an opportunity to step up and say that racism is wrong. To say that we stand with our brothers and sisters of all skin tones. To refuse to let casual prejudices, the ones we grew up with, go unchecked. We have a chance to exhibit both the love and justice of God as we encourage forgiveness – as much as that word lodges in my throat in regard to this situation – along with supporting Roof’s prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

The Gospel doesn’t promote hatred. I’ll say it louder: THE GOSPEL DOESN’T PROMOTE HATRED. Neither does the Gospel support hatred. To have a Biblical worldview means to understand and accept the complete equality of every person in the eyes of God, for He made each one. Skin tone and ethnicity are gifts, not curses. They are expressions of His delightful creativity, of His penchant for drawing disparate people into His family so that

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)

If kids can grasp this, so can we.

Stop.

My journey to faith. (15)

P.S. – Extra bonus video.