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Posts Tagged ‘God’

the Great Sadness.

an excerpt from The Shack, by Paul Young.

“The Great Sadness had draped itself around Mack’s shoulders like some invisible but almost tangible heavy quilt. The weight of its presence dulled his eyes and stooped his shoulders. Even his efforts to shake it off were exhausting, as if his arms were sewn into its bleak folds of despair and he had somehow become part of it. He ate, worked, loved, dreamed and played in this garment of heaviness, weighed down as if he were wearing a leaden bathrobe—trudging daily through the murky despondency that sucked the color out of everything. At times he could feel The Great Sadness slowly tightening around his chest and heart like the crushing coils of a constrictor, squeezing liquid from his eyes until he thought there no longer remained a reservoir.”

Categories: Life Tags: , ,

God has not given us a spirit of fear.

“you’re a quitter,” “you’re giving up ’cause you’re not strong enough,” “this is wrong, too,” “it won’t matter; you’ll never be happy,” “because of how God made you, you’ll always be hurt,” “things like love and friendship don’t last a lifetime, not for you,” “they will all leave; you’re going to be alone,” “God can, and will, take things you love away from you so you’ll learn a lesson.”

these are lies the enemy has been feeding me. and yes, I know they are lies, but needless to say, it’s not easy. it’s amazing what fear does to someone. and though I know fear never comes from God, and that He has equipped me to deal with it, I don’t always succeed. fear ruins things.

Categories: Life Tags: , , ,

He knows.

February 2, 2011 1 comment

I’ve been here in New Orleans for almost 5 full weeks now, and most days I find myself breaking down in tears. In the shower, at my desk while trying to reading my Bible, in my car once arriving back at my apartment from wherever, and especially while trying to worship at church.

Tonight is no different. I had a crying session in the shower after a basketball game, and then calmed myself down enough to eat a bowl of cereal (which is a huge victory these days). And when I was catching up on my blogs, I came across this post from Jon Acuff. I read it when it was originally posted, and it touched me then. But tonight, it was as if God was speaking right to me through Acuff’s words, namely this section:

““I know, my son, I know. I know, my daughter, I know. That thing you wanted is not going to happen. Not the way you’ve always dreamed. I know this hurts. I know this stings. I know you feel like I am distant or not aware of where you are and who hurt you and what you think life was supposed to be like. I know in moments like this you doubt that I can count the hairs on your head or have your best in mind. But please, I am not done. I have barely started to reveal your life to you. I am the God who satisfies your desires with good things. That is me! And when it comes to your hopes and your fears and your dreams, I know, my son, I know.”

I think of this moment as the “soft x.”

I think of the tenderness of Israel with his arms outstretched and crossed. I think of our desires and our dreams and the times they don’t work. And above all, I think of a God who wants to tell you he hears you, he loves, he knows you. He is not disconnected or disinterested in who you are and who you want to be. Today, he says,

“I know, my son, I know.””

It’s all I have to cling to right now. That God knows how I’m feeling every moment. He knows.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , , ,

casting.

January 5, 2011 1 comment

I’ve been settled here in NOLA for a few days now, and today I found myself with absolutely nothing to do and weather not conducive to exploring the city. After what felt like a productive day yesterday, today I feel very purposeless. And once that attitude takes hold, it really is hard to get rid of it.

I find myself worrying. Mostly about things I have no control over. I need to quit that. I read an article today about casting your fears on the Lord, and while I recommend reading the whole article, here is what stuck out to me:

“I love the word image I get from the idea of casting, but I often misinterpret it. I think of casting my fears on God like a deep-sea fisherman… You baited your hook, cast as far as you could and then waited…

That’s how I’ve looked at casting my anxiety on the Lord. I do it once a day at best. It’s something I do in my quiet time in the morning and then maybe at night if something is really bothering me. It’s a singular event, like throwing out a deep sea fishing line.

But in the last few days, I’ve started to feel like I might be wrong about that. What if casting your anxiety is more like fly-fishing. Have you ever seen a fly fisherman? It’s a surprisingly active form of fishing. You have to keep your fly, or lure, in almost constant motion, tapping the water repeatedly in an attempt to attract a fish…

And into that space, into my panic and tangle of worry, I am told to cast all my anxiety on God. Not like a deep-sea fisherman, throwing out one line and waiting. But more like a fly fisherman, constantly sending out line. Constantly giving up my fears and worries to the Lord. Not as a single act, but as a lifestyle of surrender. As a constant release to the Lord.”

To put it plainly, God is breaking me. And it sucks. It hurts badly. And while I know it is bringing Him glory and will make me more like Him in the end, it’s still difficult to want it when it feels like this. I don’t know how long I’m going to be in New Orleans, and I need to stop worrying about it. I need to cast it to Him.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , ,

eve of more than a new year.

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, all my stuff is moved out of Lexington, and bright and early on January 1st, I will be driving to New Orleans. The past few weeks have been what can only be called an emotional roller coaster, as I battle times where fear overtakes me & anxiety cripples me, and times where I am okay with the new adventure I’m about to embark on. I try to remember the restlessness I’ve felt in Lexington, and the affirmation the Lord has given me that moving to NOLA is being obedient. I try not to dwell on the doubt Satan has been feeding me, as well as the lies of infinite “what if” situations, and my tendency to think too far down the road.

I do believe God will take care of me. I wholeheartedly have faith in that. Where I’m still coming around is that I think I know how I want Him to take care of me. I mostly don’t want Him to take care of me by replacing my current friends with new ones.

If you’re the praying kind and would like some specifics…
• Pray the anxiety problems I’m having will ease (problems eating & sleeping, etc.)
• Pray that I will stay present. And as Joe Joe says to me, “Live where I’m at.”
• Pray that no matter what, I will go to God for strength, comfort, and peace.

Categories: Life Tags: , , ,

still missing them 2 years later.

When I sat down to write this blog post, I realized it may not make sense to some people how I could still have things to say about the accident that happened two years ago tomorrow. A good friend and a potential friend were killed, and another friend was critically injured. And yet, even now, I am in tears remembering.

It’s weird what time does. In the past two years the name Tom has become almost foreign to me. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. I don’t have any other friends named Tom, and maybe that is why. It’s also weird how life goes back to a new form of normal. I-75 near Mt. Vernon was always home for me growing up, being where my grandparents and Aunt and Uncle lived. But now it’s a place of sadness. But that isn’t what’s mostly on my mind today.

I know as believers in Jesus Christ, we can celebrate that Tom and Brad are in heaven now, where there is no death and no tears, but I still struggle with celebrating. Maybe it is where I am in my life, about to uproot from Lexington and move for seemingly no good reason other than God is telling me to do so. I just don’t think its fair that Tom had to die for me to realize how much like Jesus he was. And I’m not exaggerating things for the sake of being kind. Tom was so much like Jesus. And I’m ashamed that I didn’t learn from his example until he was gone.

That day is engrained in my mind forever. The sound of Erin’s voice on the phone breaking the news to me, Ben catching me when the news was final, and the funeral. What a horrible day. It all changed me, even when its not obvious to me.

The facts haven’t changed. I still can’t believe Tom and Brad are gone, even two years later. The sadness and disbelief are still very real, even for someone like me. But God is using Tom’s death still today, and in that I will myself to celebrate.

I want to be so much like Jesus, just like Tom was. That’s what I learned this past year. When I get to heaven, I want Tom to be proud of me, and then we can play Killer Pong, Assassinations, and SmudBall for eternity.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , ,

affirmations.

06.20 (608, Jon Weece) He is calling us to leave our nets behind. Nets of our comfortable vocation to where He’s calling us, where He will provide.
Obedience to Jesus Christ is the number one thing for a disciple. Peter wasn’t influential, but obedient. Jesus doesn’t want people with influence to increase their faithfulness, but people who are faithful to increase their influence.

7.1 (Romans small group study) God has equipped me with everything I need for ministry. I pray for increase in wisdom and increase in faith only. I have everything else already. I am completely equipped!

7.4 (Mike Brady) We are called to be responders, not initiators. Faith is responding to Gods promises.

7.13 (My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers) “Over and over again God has to remove our friends in order to bring Himself in their place, and that is where we faint and fail and get discouraged.” “It must be God first, God second, and God third, until life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever.”

8.22 (608, Jon Weece) Acts 17:26, …God has determined the exact place for me to live.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

God has given me a vision that doesn’t fit my circumstances.
I can’t speak for myself.
I can’t make plans for myself.
I only exist as an end to the glory of God.

Categories: Life, Ministry Tags: , , , ,