Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chasing

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever He does prospers."
(or as The Message reads:)
Instead you thrill to God's Word,
you chew on scripture day and night.
You're a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.

I'm not gonna lie. Today has been a day I'd like to toss aside and feed to the birds. I felt it coming on yesterday, thankful when the day ended because I knew new mercies were just a few hours and a pillow away. And I joyfully chased after that. But, with the dawn came a deepened awareness of my own increasing fragility.

It's been a day where struggles suffocate and discouragement makes it hard to breathe. Oh, how I beg for God to redeem this situation we find ourselves in...while at the same time faithfully attempting to be fully present and embrace the good and painful work He is doing in us in the process. I sense that He hurts to see us hurting...that He desperately wishes we could see the full plan and picture, because He knows that if we did, we would not stand in doubt or discouragement. He must think this is what's best for us right now, and I trust the One who loves us so...even on days such as this.

Ever feel like running away? All day, weepy, on the verge of tears...one small incident away from falling apart. Feels like arrows of discouragement are coming from all directions. Not a discouragement that is hopeless and despaired. Thankfully, resolve has pushed me past that point. But, in this broken world there really will be no permanent escape from discouragement until we are safe in heaven's arms.

So today, as my head said, "Run away," my heart cried louder, "Chase after Him." And that's precisely what I've done. I avoided media and cyberspace and anything that could possibly seep discouragement or envy into my fragile spirit. This meant avoiding the computer, and yes, even facebook and the glossy glamorous, yet corrupting, status updates that proclaim dreams realized and desires met and exceeded beyond expectation...and at times scream "my life is easy and always good" (or so it seems, even appears to intensify when in a state of sensitivity). Too much for this heart to handle when I am just longing, seeking, and fighting to achieve "average" and "normal."

A nice clean, healthy break. Air in my lungs...Ah, to breathe Him in.

So I've run to a place where discouragement can't possibly exist...His Word. His song. His voice. Conversing back and forth throughout my day. Beginning this very day in Psalm 5:3 fashion; "In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." I actually decided to read through the Psalms, and have started an exercise in the process (I'm sure I'll probably blog about later). And with that, encouragement has begun to shine in the dark unreachable places.

A dear intuitive, "ever listening and hearing the stir and voice of the Spirit," prayer warrior friend got in touch with me today. She recommended a healthy holy dose of Psalm 31. A quite beautiful passage, that perfectly aligned with my new "Psalm" challenge. Nuggets of truth and hope and treasure unfolded in these 24 verses. So much that they were deemed worthy of reading several times over, and in several translations.

Beginning with a heart cry of rescue and redemption. One I can relate to (verses 1-5).

Midway offering up request, "Let your face shine on your servant," "Warm me, your servant, with a smile." Enough to sustain a weary heart (verse 16).

Moving deeper into the essence of Him and the hope and life we find in Him, "How great is your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in You" (verse 19).

Allow me to pause here. I have notes in my Bible, but don't know who to credit for this insight and perspective I'm about to share below. I'm willing to bet it is either Beth Moore or our Pastor Andy. Either way, they are words of wisdom. The teacher explains: "God has great things stored up for those of us who esteem Him and take refuge in Him...not trivial earthly riches, but things that matter...Like:
-a life of purpose
-tremendous fruit
-deep satisfaction
-godly influence
-open doors for ministry
-restoration of relationships
-astonishing breakthroughs"

These are the things I am after. And you? Oh, such the gift to run from the world just to hide in Him (even for just one day). I'm chasing hard after His heart. And I believe, He too, is chasing after me. I live for those moments when we collide, when He enters my brokenness and the mess around me and graces me with His goodness. A goodness that spills over onto insecurity, discouragement, and woundedness and whispers hope in the redemption and restoration that is sure to come for those who wait upon the LORD.

Speaking of waiting...
This Psalm eloquently yet boldly ends with this:
"Be brave. Be strong. Don't give up.
Expect God to get here soon."
(verse 24)

Until then...
I remain chasing.

3 comments:

  1. Oh, how I am with you. Chasing. Leaning in close to hear his voice all through the day. Carefully guarding my heart...knowing how quickly my heart can turn to the voice of the deceiver and agree with his estimation of my situation.

    I am so glad to hear that as discouragement and setbacks come (and they will...as you said), you have chosen resolve over despair. And you are rooting even deeper in the Vine for your supply. I feel like God has been teaching me this very thing, and that I'm breaking new ground in my journey. It has been worth the wrestling and struggle to abide in this trust and freedom.

    I so look forward to beginning James with you and the girls tomorrow. I have thought for weeks how appropriate our session would be for me...how James opens instructing us to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds, because the testing of our faith develops perseverance. And perseverance must finish its work so that we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. I betcha the Holy Spirit's got a good encouragement coming for our hearts tomorrow...
    see you in the am,
    e

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  2. That was my day yesterday. Today his mercies met me--and even thought the growing pains are a bit difficult, and incredibly humbling--I'm going there--because the outcome will be good! thanks for listening. You're a treasure.

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  3. Thankful for your honesty. Always makes me giggle when I read posts about how wonderful life is in the facebook world. Not as many honest evauations of our lives and dreams. You are correc run to the One who made us. The One who knows are dreams and desires our best even when we don't really know what that is. He is faithful and just! He has plans for us! Plans to give us a hope and a future. I have stopped trying to assume what that future is an am accepting that He knows what He is doing. Some days it is a daily battle on my part to remind myself of this, others not so much. Don't give up on your pursuit of Him! He will never disappoint! He goes before you!

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