Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One more thing...

“God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain” C.S. Lewis

I love this worship leader... the song is too short here, but the song... it's my prayer today...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sometimes it's hard...

This season is suddenly tough. We can never truly anticipate an attack, I think, but then I think... well, sure we can. If we're paying attention. If we are spending time before the Lord, in the place of prayer, He can speak gentle warnings- or strong warnings- to our hearts.

We haven't been paying close enough attention, I'm afraid.

And yet, when I went before the Lord yesterday, He had this to share with me:

"I was made very happy in the Lord that now you have revived your interest in my welfare after so long a time; you were indeed thinking of me, but you had no opportunity to show it."
Philippians 4:10

Well, you are perhaps wondering what this means...

But I had to laugh. I felt that the Lord was speaking through this dark, dark shadow of trouble (which I will not go into here for a variety of reasons, but will once it has passed), telling me-- though the words are Paul's and refer to his situation-- that He was happy that I had "revived [my] interest in Him. That He knew that I had been thinking of Him, but [smile] I had had no opportunity [read: was not desperate enough] to show it...

God is very kind. It has been so long since we went to bed praying and woke up praying.

It has been so long since I threw myself at the mercy of my God.

And His reply? "I'm so happy to see your interest in me has been revived." And my kids wanted to know the definition of "wry" the other day. My Father in heaven has every kind of humor there is....

God is faithful, even when we are hanging on for dear life and asking "Where are you? I'm afraid and confused and did not expect this at all...."

My friend Caroline reminded me today that everything that comes into our lives is allowed. It passes through HIS courts before any court here on earth.

And I can feel the squeezing in my heart, like His hand, squeezing out the things that do not please Him...fear, worry, anger, unbelief... And yet, I can also feel His hand holding me.

But when I go to lie down tonight, will the worries creep into my mind? When I lie down next to my wonderful husband, alive and healthy beside me, will I forget my blessings? It makes me want to stay awake. To keep vigil over my heart and mind. To bind His words to my head with a strip of duct tape. Get this, Samantha: He is good.

I want to throw my head back and scream, and laugh, and weep-- and I know this, too, that these things we pass through which feel so like the valley of the shadow of death are part of our journey-- our "odyssey" even.

And lo, He walks with us.

Thank You, Father, for this opportunity to show You my deep interest in You.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Still faithful

Here is something that I saw on a friend's blog earlier: "I hate not trusting; that is so difficult. Especially because I know he is faithful if we are."

Oh my heart! One of the most beautiful truths that was opened up to me in the earliest days of my relationship with the Lord, this verse that set me free, was this:

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13).

Oh to know that there is ONE thing that He cannot do! And that this thing is to my eternal benefit! He cannot fail! He cannot deny Himself-- another version says that He cannot prove false to Himself, while another says that He will never be untrue to himself.

Have you ever been to a party and talked to people all night long and laughed and worked the room all night long only to get into your car afterward and wince at something you did or said? Maybe remembering the way you slighted someone or cut someone off or snubbed someone or revealed something you weren't supposed to talk about? It's been a while since I pulled off an event of THAT magnitude (me doing all of those things in one night has definitely happened, I'm sure), but I have felt the burn of shame when I thought back over a thoughtless comment or word, and I think to myself, "Samantha, that's not YOU."

But God can never do that. He will never accidentally hurt or humiliate us-- we do not need to fear working on being good or faithful so that He will be, too. It's right to seek Him and to grow in those things, but to do them so that He will be of the countless beautiful things about Him is the fact that His goodness doesn't depend on a thing we do: He's going to be good whether we get things right or not!! Yay God!!

It's such a simple concept, but if we could get it waaaay down deep in our spirits, how much more freedom would we all be walking in? OH I want to get this word deep in my heart...

He is good because He cannot be anything but Himself.