This Life....It Isn't Easy.

Psalm 13 - The Message

(1-2)Long enough, God
    you’ve ignored me long enough.
I’ve looked at the back of your head
    long enough. Long enough
I’ve carried this ton of trouble,
    lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies
    have looked down their noses at me.

(3-4)Take a good look at me, God, my God;
    I want to look life in the eye,
So no enemy can get the best of me
    or laugh when I fall on my face.
(5-6)I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—
    I’m celebrating your rescue.
I’m singing at the top of my lungs,
    I’m so full of answered prayers.

My last post was from New Years. Full of excitement and hope for 2014. 

My excitement has not dwindled, and my hope has not left. 

But some days.....

Some days are hard. Some days I walk into terrible stories and hard days and I can spot the metaphorical seedling poking through the dried out dirt. And some days I can't. 

I can't see it at all. I can't find that potential for life to burst forth into bleak situations. 

Tonight I attempted to do a Ladies Night program on the idea of "hope". It turned into many tears of girls sharing their stories of hopelessness, and their anger against the idea that hope can be just conjured up. I didn't have answers and I didn't pretend to either. I simply sat with them, cried with them and hugged them. 

It was a hard night. As I drove home my mind was filled with a million "I wish it was this way..." "Why can't this be easier...." "Please God, show her that...." thoughts. And it just feels heavy and unending.


God is still God. I am still not. Hope is still there. The seed may not have grown into even a seedling yet. But it is there, hidden from my eyes. The only answer is to wait.

These thoughts drew my mind back to a Psalm I turned to in the hard days after Ebony passed away. Back when I was so angry with God because He hadn't healed her. He hadn't healed her in a way I could see. He took me through a long journey to understand the depth of His love for her and how much it outweighed mine. And how His healing may not happen in a way that I see it, but it happens. 

Psalm 42 - The Message

(1-3)A white-tailed deer drinks
 from the creek;
I want to drink God,
    deep draughts of God.
I’m thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, “Will I ever make it—
    arrive and drink in God’s presence?”
I’m on a diet of tears—
    tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long
    people knock at my door,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

I ache to see Him show up. I wonder when it will happen. I admittedly even wonder IF it will happen. Will He still show me that He is who He says He is? As I hear story after story it weighs on my heart. He calls me to attune to their hurt, to feel it with them. I willingly and joyfully do this - but only while trusting Him to meet me there and soothe their hurt and mine. 

As they tell me their stories they are looking for that soothing, and sometimes the only thing that I offer is my own listening ear. It doesn't feel good enough. 

(4) These are the things I go over and over,
    emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
    right out in front,
Leading them all,
    eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—
    celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!

I have had seasons of my life where I didn't bat an eye to assume the best result would happen. A result that would be beautifully wrapped in a bow because "God was in control." The reality is, God is always in control, but His bows that He wraps up things with - don't look good to my eye. The resolutions of situations are hurtful to my eyes. They make me take seasons away from leading the voices into saying "God is good!" Sometimes I need to sit and know it quietly. Today was one of those times.

(5) Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.

Life happens in seasons. I know these seasons will end. That doesn't mean a harder winter won't knock me down and cause me to close my windows and stay inside more than usual. It WILL end. I will have a refreshed view of His love for me, His love for these daughters He asks me to love with Him. I know it will come. It always has come in the past. And the joy will be in an even deeper recess of my soul. 

(6-8)When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
    everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,
    including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos,
    to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers
    crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day,
    sing songs all through the night!
    My life is God’s prayer.

The great testimonies of Who God is remind me that He does great things. He has done great things for me, and I will once again be able to have these things first on my mind. The aches will melt a bit and the resilient core of the truth of God's character will remain. 

(9-10)Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
    “Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
    harassed by enemies?”
They’re out for the kill, these
    tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

Some moments it really doesn't feel like He is there. And others point to those moments and ask why He hasn't shown up. Why He hasn't stopped the hurt. I don't have answers for why. Because I am not Him. I can only learn to trust Him more as I wait. 

(11)Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.

Praise Him. He is my God.


Emily said...

Your heart is beautiful. Every last piece of it. Even the parts that we have a hard time seeing as beautiful. This life isn't easy, but we are lucky to not have to walk it alone. Our God is faithful. Our God is powerful. Our God is loving. I am so thankful that we are able to walk through these valleys and climb these mountains together. It is one of the best blessings. Even states or oceans apart I know I have someone who can walk the journey of life with me :)

Dumas said...

I love the fact I get to work with an incredible young lady, who loves her girls like you do. It is always good to know that when we are in a meeting and there is pain or joy shared, I know when I lift my head and wipe my tears of joy and pain, I can always look for "Flinn", because you are most likely crying too! God's love is so strong in your heart and he blesses you to keep it fresh, always. You are awesome buddy!