Tuesday, June 30, 2015

But this I call to mind

It's been awhile, I know. Blah blah excuses blah.

Anyway, I'm in Wisconsin at my parents' house now, and things weren't quite what I expected in coming back here. My mom is pretty sick (which I knew) but I didn't really know how sick (the last time I saw her, at Christmas, she was still working and overall pretty well). It turns out it's pretty bad, and once I got over the shock of it, I saw the sadness and the difficulty.

I was processing all this and laying in my room texting friends and I just kept crying and then, from the depths of my heart,

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; 
his mercies never come to an end; 
they are new every morning; 
great is your faithfulness. 

Lamentations 3:21-23 

Lamentations is a book written by Jeremiah when everything is going pretty much as far south as it gets. And yet he has hope. He remembers the Lord in the midst of it.

And for me, what does it mean, in the day to day, to have hope?

Today, it meant I moved on. I did sun salutations. I tried to meet needs. I made a vegan lunch for my veg-curious aunt who was coming over. (In case you're wondering what I made, it was baked sweet potato loaded with salsa verde, garlic steamed broccoli and fresh avocado, a kale salad massaged with smoked hummus and lime juice, black bean and corn salad, and strawberries and blueberries for dessert). I ate a fresh, normal, meal with a normal person just wanting to eat healthier. I answered questions about what I eat and shared philosophies from Michael Pollan, "eat food. not too much. mostly plants" and every vegan blogger ever "a bean. a green. a grain" "eat food as close to its natural state as possible". My aunt called the meal such a treat and it reminded me that eating actual meals is a good thing. It's life giving.

After she left, my mom started crying as she thanked me. I realized that I don't have to be a nurse to love her well. I can do the things I know, the things I'm good at, and that's enough.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Something in Nothing

when the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert they cypress, the plane and the pine together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. Isaiah 41:17-20

I am poor and needy. I am thirsty. Only I'm lost. In the desert. And the only way out is through. Through the wilderness. Through miles and miles of sand. And I'm stuck. I can't move because I am so afraid of doing the wrong thing that I can't do anything. So the whole thought of getting out seems impossible. I literally cannot fathom what rescue will feel like or how it will come.

But that's exactly where Jesus meets me: in the impossible hope for what I cannot see. He promises an impossible rescue so that He will get all the credit and be known. He created everything out of nothing. Before I was formed, every one of my days was written in His book, and my frame was not hidden from His sight. God has been so faithful to write His word on my heart. I know His word. I know Him. But I can't see Him. I'm crying tears that aren't being wiped form my eye.

If I close my eye, I see myself in a sea, not of water, but sand. There is no sign of living water or bread. There is no door and no shepherd. And that's why there is a creation yet to happen - there are rivers and fountains to be opened. Pools and springs to be formed. Cedar and olive trees to be planted.

There is still so much something in all this nothing.

Even when it hurts like hell 
I'll praise You.
Even when it makes no sense to sing, 
Louder then I'll sing Your praise.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A quote

I started reading the Exell Biblical Illustrator on Jonah to prep for Bible study. I'm hoping to keep this thought in mind - 

You are not your own, you are not an isolated unit, you are a member of the spiritual universe; you have therefore no right to be dishonest, corrupt, ungodly, and throw your soul away. You were made to serve the universe, not to curse it; you cannot sin without injuring others. Homilist 

Friday, June 12, 2015

All other ground is sinking sand

This morning my dear friend T texted to check in with me. I have been struggling on all sorts of levels lately and am finally finding ways to admit it. She recommended a song off of Hillsong's new album, "Even When it Hurts (Praise Song)". I was walking back to the parking garage by my yoga studio as I considered the fact that I could not remember the last time I picked up my guitar. My practice of personal worship had once been a daily part of my life and the praise that had once flowed freely had dried up. I started singing there on the street

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness 
I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus' name

On Christ the solid rock I stand 
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand 

When darkness veils His lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil 

On Christ the solid rock I stand 
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand 

And that's how I found myself in a quiet, nearly empty parking garage choking on my words. I believe there is something powerful in publicly declaring truth to yourself, even if you're the only one who actually hears it. It's an acknowledgment that this world and our lives in it is nowhere near perfect, but that doesn't have authority over us. Jesus Christ, life and life eternal is our reality right now. This is why we sing.

When He shall come with trumpet sound oh may I then in Him be found 
Clothed in His righteousness alone faultless to stand before the throne 

On Christ the solid rock I stand 
All other ground is sinking sand 
All other ground is sinking sand. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Psalm 139:24

And see if there be any grievous thing in my, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

This is a big thing to ask. And apart from the righteousness of Christ, a terrifying one. You are asking the God who is all good, all light, all holy, holy, holy, to search your for sin. It will be instantly apparent.

So why bother? Why ask God to point out our sin to us?

If we see our sin, we can be led in the way everlasting. Those who fail to see their sin will miss their need of a Savior. If you think you're doing alright, you will never submit to be led by Jesus.

Early Christians were called followers of The Way. I wonder why...

And you know the way to where I am going. Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:4-6 

Oh. Yes.

As I come to the end of this series, I have to say: this psalm is so worthy of meditation and memorization. I am so thankful for my time spent here, understanding the greatness of God and His intimate knowledge of me.

Psalm 139:23

I didn't realize I hadn't blogged the last two...

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 

At the end of my last post, I said I thought David needed a heart check. Here, he asks for one. As Christians, one of the best things we can do is ask God to show us ourselves, how far we really are from Him. Then He will be faithful to, by the Spirit but to death what is earthly in us, that we may be holy as He is holy.

This is a verse to be prayed often, with a humble spirit in honest pursuit of the Lord.