Monday, July 23, 2012

where i'm at {and the truths that comfort my heart}

It's hard to miss people.  As I was putting away a long-overdue basket of clean clothes last night, I pondered what it was that I really miss about having people I like be far away.  It's the lack of shared experiences, of time spent together.  And even when time is spent together over the phone or Skype, it's catching each other up on non-shared experiences that have occurred.  That of course creates a shared experience, but it's just not the same as actually having coffee together or walking at school or driving somewhere.

Despite all of my human, selfish emotions and self-pity, God so graciously spoke to me through His Word this morning.  Isaiah 50:10 seems to sum up the lesson of the summer:

"...Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on His God."

Who am I to turn to in these difficulties?  The Lord.  What is to be my response to times where my heart hurts?  Trust Him.  Rely on Him. {how does it seem so simple and straightforward, yet so difficult to do?}

When I don't like the situations I'm in, Lord, please let my heart's cry be that of Jesus' in the Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:39.  He was facing the biggest trial ever.  Lord, in these small things, please help me to be faithful and say,

"...yet not as I will, but as You will."

In Jeremiah 31:25, the Lord speaks of how He meets everyone in their time of need, and I've seen that this morning.

"For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes."

Thank you for refreshing my heart, Jesus, for strengthening me in my weariness.  Please empower me with Your strength to finish well.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

lessons of the summer (part 1)

i've come a little past the middle of the summer.

and i thought i would be a lot stronger than i was when the summer started.

but in actuality, it's as if this point in summer is just as hard, if not harder, than the beginning of the summer was.

the waiting has been long. it feels like even though 6 weeks have passed (and there are only 3 weeks until the moment i'm counting down to and 5 weeks until the other moment), that the waiting is just as hard and seems just as long. it's hard to look back and see the victories and lessons God has taught me so far. it's hard to keep moving forward with an eager heart to learn more lessons from God. i think i've been stuck in a bit of a stagnant pool. (that's one of the grossest mental images i can think of).

but it's time to move forward! what lessons has God taught me this summer? in each of these areas, i can still continue to grow, and I want to still grow.
  • Priorities. Am I putting the good in place of the best? Is Jesus my #1 priority in life? How am I exhibiting that in the way I live? Am I showing that I treasure Him above all else?
    • One day I read Psalm 27, and verse 4 stood out so clearly.  The Lord is all that matters.  Even if I had nothing else in life but the Lord, I would be satisfied, fulfilled, whole.  How i want to long for the Lord above all else!  If I chose a life verse, it would be this verse:
          One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.
    • Isaiah 46:9-10 holds many reasons why I want to know the Lord. There is no one who is His equal. He knows all that will happen and has happened. His purpose will prevail. How I want my heart to be in tune with His!
       "...For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.'" Isaiah 46:9-10

  • Loving others. God has put it on my heart so much that I need to love people the way that He loves them.  There needs to be genuine, Christ-like love exhibited in my actions.  I've realized that the way I want to love people is not necessarily the way that makes them feel loved and is essentially not loving them.  As various opportunities have come up for me to love people, God has graciously put it on my heart so that I consciously think, 'This is an opportunity to love,' and hopefully, by God's grace, I act on that!

  • Trusting God.  God is sovereign and He is good.  That is the comforting answer to the bewilderment of life and the situations I don't understand. It should be easier for my heart to accept that foundational truth.  I've seen sad and tough patient situations that are hard to surrender to God's perfect will, but I must do that.  There are some things I'm not going to understand this side of heaven, but I can pray.  And I can love those families like crazy during the 12 hour period I have with them.
There are many more lessons, but maybe I'll do this in chunks.

Okay, that was chunk #1. :)

Please keep teaching me more, Jesus!  I want to learn from You!

Monday, July 9, 2012


I've been reading the last 26 chapters of Isaiah recently, and today was Isaiah 44.  These chapters have been such an encouragement.

Again and again, the Lord says "Do not fear" for so many reasons... He formed me, He will help me, He is with me.  It's so easy for me to fear the future and the unknown, because I get scared that the things that I want to happen won't happen. But whatever does come in the next week, month, year, I know God is walking right through it with me. My Creator will not forsake me. Plus, He is sovereign over all these events that are to come and He is working in and through them for my good. That adds another reason to have peace.

Six weeks into the summer, six weeks of summer school to go.
Now's the time to choose trust, to choose to love God's way and His plan.
Please help me, Jesus! I can't do this on my own.