Monday, November 22, 2010

My Help

This is the thirty-sixth in a series of journal entries begun in October, 2009. See initial blog post on February 21, 2010.

December 27, 2009

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob. Psalm 146.

If I were to write this Psalm, I would declare, "Blessed is he who has no need of help…blessed is he who has the ability to help himself…blessed is he who has good friends near to help." But your word declares "Blessed is help is the God of Jacob”.

How can this be? Because THEN my hope is in the Lord my God who created all, who is faithful, who is just and compassionate, who sets men free and opens blind eyes. My hope is in the one who watches over me…a sojourner…a stranger and pilgrim in this land.

Oh Lord, remove far from me the idea that “God helps those who help themselves.” Help me Lord to grow up into dependency on you. May I be a child in my need of you, yet mature in my obedience unto you. I don’t fully understand it Lord, but somehow the more I grow in you, the more dependent I become. Truly it is the way of your Kingdom.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Filled with Wonder

This is the thirty-fifth in a series of journal entries begun in October, 2009. See initial blog post on February 21, 2010.

Christmas Morning 2009

Today we celebrate your coming! It seems like only yesterday I stood in that field overlooking Bethlehem....such wonder, such amazement, such understanding that you came to that tiny insignificant little town, making it…for that night…the most important place on this earth you created. Creator became one with His creation! Such mystery. Such love!

I cannot help but wonder….and I know you understand because you walked among us, as us….I cannot help but wonder where next Christmas will find me? Will this be but a memory, this time of ill health, of concern? Will I have walked through more pain, more surgery? Will I be home in heaven with you?

Oh God, I wonder, but most of all I am filled with the wonder of you, that I need not wonder at all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Refuge

This is the thirty-fourth in a series of journal entries begun in October, 2009. See initial blog post on February 21, 2010.

December 24, 2009

This is where it finally comes to, O Lord. “I have fled to you for refuge.”

As your word declares, even as your servant cried out, “Give ear to my pleas for mercy! I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done.”

You have been merciful, Lord, even when I did not plead for mercy. You have worked mightily in the lives and hearts of my family, my children. This I count dear. I remember Lord, and I know….I have deserved none of it, how often I have even failed to ask. Yet in your great love and kindness you poured out your blessings. I did not always understand, but as I remember, I see your hand so clearly.

Now Lord, “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” How I need you Lord, more than life itself. I need you TO live. Transform my mind, O Lord, that the first thought I have every morning is of you, that in every moment of each decision I make throughout the day, I will inquire of you. “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me.”

You are my only hope. Not doctors, not procedures, not “the odds”. In you alone I trust….indeed, I HAVE fled to you for refuge.

“What will this next week bring, the tests, the CT scan, the doctor appointment?” These are the questions which plagued my mind this morning as I gazed upon yet another glorious winter sunrise. With surety you directed me to Psalm 143. How it mirrored the very depths of my own soul. I throw myself upon your mercy Lord, I cry out to you alone who is mighty to save.

You alone hold my life in your hands, Jesus. It is only by your stripes I am healed. You alone bore the pain. I think of little Gabe last night, he was so sad as he understood, perhaps for the first time, that you had to go to the cross. Oh Lord, may I be as Gabe, sad over what my sin caused you to endure, yet rejoicing that you came as a baby, you endured as a man…and you died as a slain lamb to be my Savior. I am so sorry for my sin, my pride, my arrogance, for all that you bore on the cross…but so thankful you chose to die for me.

I know I can trust you my Lord, it is not in fear but with joy that I flee to you for refuge. In you there is safety. You are the secure place where I can be kept this week and in the weeks and months and years to come. Hide me Lord, keep me from venturing too far.

“For your names sake, O Lord, preserve my life!”

Friday, November 12, 2010

Do Not Fear

This is the thirty-third in a series of journal entries begun in October, 2009. See initial blog post on February 21, 2010.

December 23, 2009

You have opened these blind eyes, Lord, plainly I see I am that woman with the issue of blood. Without your touch I will grow weaker and weaker, not just physically but in my spirit, in my soul. For too long I have looked everywhere else to solve the issues of my life…how I desire to rely solely on you.

Lord Jesus, I reach out to touch you... to grab hold of the hem of your garment ….knowing that in you comes not only my physical healing but the healing that comes from your words, “Go in Peace”.

I am done, Lord, with trying to do it my way, with believing that God helps those who help themselves. I want to abandon myself to you…where ever that takes me. Touch me, Lord, as I touch you.

And I hear you whisper……”Do not fear, only believe”.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Heart of a Child

This is the thirty-second in a series of journal entries begun in October, 2009. See initial blog post on February 21, 2010.

December 21, 2009

The shortest day of the year has come. Always it is a turning point, always a day of celebration for me. Will this mark, as well, the beginning of the end of a long, dark season for me, Lord? The darkness has at times threatened to overwhelm me. If it had not been for the glorious light of your love, your mercy, your comfort, your presence…surely I would have been swallowed up.

I see more than ever Father how utterly helpless I am. All that I thought I could do, I could handle, all that was in my realm, I tackled without thought of even asking you. I see so plainly now I have missed so much of seeing you at work in my life. Give me the heart of a child, of a Zach, of a Jude….one who still asks, who needs, who may even cry now and then…one who may question when I don’t get my way but is quickly comforted by your arms. Make me as a child, needy and dependent on you. Though you have enabled me to do so much, may I see I truly can DO NOTHING without you!

May you be the first place I go, the first thought that enters my thoughts, the first hope I have when I have need. May I not, “climb in secret to the top of the fridge to sneak the cookies”, but rather ask, that you in your great love and compassion, your justice and mercy, might give to me as you deem wise.

You have broken me Lord, but it is good. The drive, the need to do, to be personally involved…. slowly you have brought me back to a place of wanting nothing more than to sit here and be with you, to talk with you, to hear from you, to know our heart, your plans, your solitude.

Oh Father, Abba, may you become bigger and wiser in my eyes….may I see you for who you are…the giver of all good things….the one who does not withhold from those who love you…the one who asks…almost begs…that I come to you and ask of you. Teach me what it means to ask in your name…to seek you…to know your plans and desires and to ask that I might come along for the ride. Take me with you Lord, wherever you choose to go.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

In The Fire

This is the thirty-first in a series of journal entries begun in October, 2009. See initial blog post on February 21, 2010.

December 13, 2009

James 1…As brought to my attention by the Holy Spirit in Brett’s teaching this morning…..

Why have I not landed here before, Lord? Was I not ready to hear? Was I afraid to ask why? And yet, without my verbalizing the question you respond…

“I have a purpose in the trials you are walking through. As metal is put to the fire to purge it of impurities, so I am placing you in the fire of fear, of questioning, of anxiety….that I might purge these things from you. They are impurities that weigh you down, that hinder your faith. Let the fire burn away all fear…‘Lo, I am with you’, all questions… 'I am the Alpha and Omega', all anxiety…’My sheep know my voice’.

I desire that you not simply endure, but that this will be turned to extol my greatness and glory…for others, yes… but truly for you to see. I want to lift up your eyes as you have so often prayed, to see me in My glory, to see me and no longer fear sickness and death…to see me and no longer question what I may or may not do……to see me and be at rest…no longer anxious about what tomorrow may bring. In seeing me you will trust…absolutely….and in turn I will give you strength to bear all that comes your way, for nothing can harm you….the you that is eternal.”

Ah Lord, may it be. Open my eyes, burn away all that hinders me from seeing you. Lift up my head, teach me how to rest and trust in you. I chose to count this time as joy, Lord. Let complaining be removed far from me, let your praise be upon my lips, even as it overflows from my heart.