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)

Five Minute Friday: Rise

Rise

Gentle Reader,

On the couch. Feeling sick.

Linking up with Kate and the crowd. We: rise.

Go.

Don’t want to rise to the occasion. 
Don’t want to get up on my feet. 
I want to pull the covers over,
And just go back to sleep.

These are the first words that came to mind tonight. I’m sure it’s the stupid thrush. Third time I’ve had it. I’m tired and achy on a good day, so throwing this pestilence into the mix makes things worse. Probably should have stayed home today, but we’re so busy at work right now…

Does anyone else feel that way? Feel compelled to get up, to go, to be there when you really shouldn’t? When someone else should pick up the slack?

I’m sure there are. I’m sure there are people reading this who feel that pressure. Who can’t discern if it comes from within or without.

We are schooled in this world of ours, this society obsessed with the vaguely-defined “American dream,” to sacrifice all on the altar of success. The house, the cars, the 2.5 kids. The corner office. The title. The not-necessarily-bulging-but-definitely-not-empty bank account. The race of rats and the Jones’ with whom to keep up are particularly plaguesome for the Type-A folks who really do want to do a good job.

But you know…it’s not worth it. Going to work when we’re sick and overextending and saying “yes” when we really mean “no.” Constantly covering the behinds of  the slackers. Automatically replying with, “No big deal” because we can’t recognize when we’re about to burn out.

Last night I listened to was is easily one of my favorite passages of Scripture. Psalm 119 starts off immediately confronting the franticness of our lives:

Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart! – vs. 1-2 (NKJV, emphasis mine)

Those who seek Him with the whole heart are blessed. Not the ones who ignore fevers and families for one more hour at their desks.

Stop.

I believe in working hard. That’s how I was raised and that’s why I find slackers so everlastingly irritating. I believe in doing the best you can do at whatever it is you do. But I wonder. I wonder why I put so much emphasis on my job in comparison to seeking Him. It’s not that I don’t seek Him. I’m thinking in terms of attitude and time. I wonder why I worry when I miss a day or two of work, even for a vacation, and yet don’t worry if I miss I day or two of Scripture reading.

It’s a dangerous place and a dangerous time we live in. No, there are not guns held our heads. We are not (yet) compelled to renounce Christ or die. But how easy it is to set seeking Him aside in the pursuit of that which lasts no longer than the smoke from an extinguished candle. The seduction of this Western world and the hope of winning the prize of the dream made real clouds our thinking. We blend faith with culture and think God wants us to have the house and the cars and the corner office.

But what if that’s not His plan?

Do we even ask?

I may just be preaching to myself here, but I suspect not. I rise early to get to work on time, but do I even think of rising for Jesus? To spend time with Him? To lay myself at His feet?

Time of sweet, holy, worship. Thanking Him for who He is. Seeking to know Him more.

That is an occasion is should rise to.

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Musing for a Monday

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com (2)

Gentle Reader,

A Contemplation in the Valley

“Just a closer walk with Thee,”
Is how the lyric goes
Yet I often wonder, Lord,
Why more ebbs than flows?

Mountain peaks and sun so bright
Last but a moment – then
Here comes another valley,
Racing ’round the bend

I do not understand
Why I must battle long
When others raise a toast, a harp,
And sing the joyous song

Could you not, Lord, teach me
In a field of ease?
Could I not be molded
Without this tug and tease?

Must my hair be knotted?
Must my face be stained?
Must I trudge through swamps
Made the worse with rain?

Must my hands be bloody?
Must my skin be bruised?
Must my clothes be tattered?
My aching joints abused?

The storm, it swirls around me,
The Enemy laughs with glee,
This war that I am waging –
I think You alone do see

And so if that be true, Lord,
Mind this beating that I take,
For if this is Your plan,
On this my life I stake:

I know not why the valley
Is my home down here
But I trust that You, O God,
Ever-hold me near

I trust that I don’t travel
This broken path alone
I trust that You are with me
No matter winds that moan

I trust that in this moment
With fight so fierce and pitched
You give me strength for every step
And all my wounds do stitch

I trust that somehow, God,
Made of one and three,
That this – You have ordained
For a closer walk with Thee

My journey to faith. (15)

31 Days of Brave: Presence

photo-1421986527537-888d998adb74

Gentle Reader,

God relents. He will go to the Promised Land with the Hebrews.

So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” – Exodus 33:17 (NKJV)

Moses could have stopped there. God invited him into the process. He listened to what Moses had to say. He promised to go with the people. But Moses went a step farther.

And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” – Exodus 33:18 (NKJV)

Talk about bold! God could have zapped him. But again He honors Moses’ request.

Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.  So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” – Exodus 33:19-23 (NKJV)

Can’t you just picture it? Moses has spent more time with God than anyone else in the Bible up to that point, with the possible exceptions of Adam and Eve. He knows what it is to be in the thickness of God’s presence. He knows what it is to receive instruction from the sweet, majestic, audible voice of the Lord. And yet that isn’t enough. It seems that the more time Moses spent with God, the more time he wanted to spend. The more he sees of God, the more he wants to see. The more he experiences, the more he wants to experience.

That time spent with God? That’s what made Moses bold.

Bravery craves God’s presence.

My journey to faith. (15)

  For all of the posts in the 31 Days: Brave series, go here.