When Changes Come In Waves

August 21, 2019

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.  Psalm 42:7

Have you ever been knocked over by a huge wave?  I have.  As a child of 5 years old, I almost drowned when I was knocked under, then tumbled round and round for what seemed like an eternity.  I couldn’t get my footing for the next wave that came so down I went again.  My parents plucked me out of the water.  To this day, I’m not real fond of the ocean deep.

Too many changes in one’s life, all at once, put a person in a fragile place emotionally. It seems too much to process as each change knocks me off my feet like a towering wave.  I have no perspective as I struggle to discern direction.  When I initiate the changes, it’s easier but most change is what happens to me and I have no control over it.

How do you handle change? Do you have a strategy? It’s easy to conceive man-made ones. 1.) Cope with today and don’t borrow tomorrow’s trouble. 2.) Lean on family and friends.   This is usually the best that we can initiate without God. If things are really hard, these won’t sustain. Inner stability will deteriorate.

There is a certain kind of personality that thrives on change but I contend that it’s change they control. No one likes an unexpected knock on the door that brings tragic news. I’ve had my share of seasons where everyday brought some kind of bad news. Difficult times never seem to last a year. Instead, five years, twelve years, even twenty-two years. I’m very familiar with how that looks since severe depression runs in my extended family. I’ve seen some break with reality. Feeling that I could also follow my genetic leanings, I knew that I must draw close to Jesus and follow His lead in developing spiritual strategies.

What did Jesus do when he felt the pressures of his life? Got alone with His Father to pray. He reviewed the scriptures and God’s history. This is the prescription for any of us today who know that the only stability available to us is the foundation of our faith in God.

  • God knows all things future. He’s not wringing His hands over this change in my life. Acts 8:26
  • God already knows the outcome and, if I’m willing, will lead me safely to the other side. Numbers 23:19
  • God is unchanging. Though my life shifts, He is always the same. I cling to Him and not temporal things. James 1:17
  • God is still a righteous Judge even when it appears evil is winning. Psalms 7:11-13
  • God is faithful and true.   Deut. 32:4

When I’ve lost my footing and can’t see my way forward, when too many changes are happening all at once, I bind myself to You since You are my future.  You pluck me out of the deep and set my feet on solid ground.  In Jesus name, Amen



Can You Rest In God Without Trusting Him?

August 19, 2019

Who out there fears God, actually listens to the voice of his servant? For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going, anyone groping in the dark, Here’s what: Trust in God. Lean on your God!  Isaiah 50:10-11

One of my all-time favorite songs is Be Born In Me.  It’s sung by Francesca Basttistelli.  This past week, this lyric arrested me.  Did you wrap yourself inside the unexpected – so we would know that love would go that far?  When unexpected events come, especially tragic ones, my love for God can be stretched.  I wonder if it will go as far as my fears, doubts, and theological struggles that have never bothered me before.

The unexpected can encompass something I feared might come true – and something I’ve prayed against for years.  Prone to worry, I kept entrusting my misgivings to God and then I rested ~ believing that He would take care of that thing for which I prayed.  When my prayer wasn’t answered as I anticipated, is God no longer a refuge?  Is resting no longer possible?

It takes effort to disentangle myself from the conflict of my soul and to go home as a ‘weaned child rests against his mother.’  (Psalm 131) I spent nearly a day wrestling with this issue last week.  I felt God gave me this picture.

Envision a child in wartime.  He’s playing in the street with his friend while his mother looks on from a distance.  Suddenly, bullets are flying, and bombs are dropping.  This child runs to and fro in frantic need for safety.  His eyes search for one person; his mother.  She watches him from down the street and she’s frantic.  She’s calls him, opens her arms and urges him to come to safety.  Her embrace invites him to shelter in the midst of danger.  Now, the bombs may still maim, even kill, but he will not suffer it apart from his mother’s embrace. 

God told His children that we are in a war and we are not home yet.  Perhaps resting is to catch my breath in God’s arms while the storm rages.  It is to settle my soul in His embrace while violence swirls. It is to collect my thoughts for my next steps in a posture of repose.  It is to believe that even in the worst of things, He will have the last word.  It is to cling to the Victor when it appears Satan is winning.  It is to compose a song of faith even in chaos.  It is to trust God when Satan would tell me I’ve been betrayed, to stay faithful even when circumstances would argue that He’s not been faithful.  I rest in the character of God and not in the expectation that He will deliver me from all pain. Peace is found in the security of One all-knowing and wise.  He sees what I cannot, and as it was for Jesus, God’s plan is redemptive though the plotline appears to be senseless.  My life is hidden in Christ and is also destined for glory.

You are my firm foundation in confusion, my rock of refuge in sinking sand.  Amen

Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling.  Psalm 2:10-11 Worship and trembling go together.  I’ve been so moved during worship that I could no longer stand up.  It’s a beautiful thing to be overcome by the Spirit.  He may be …

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