Psalm 18:1-2

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psalm 18:1-2

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A new land

"Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass." Joshua 21:45

My son and I are reading through the book of Joshua.  We just finished the run down of the land distribution to the twelve tribes of Israel.  It read a lot like a genealogy, a list that goes on and on with lots of names my East Texas twang has a hard time pronouncing.  We had a lot of fun trying to decipher the different names of cities and villages.  I often reminded my son, and myself, as we read those chapters that this list, though tiresome at times, is actually very important for many different reasons; one of which is that it displays the faithfulness of God.  The Lord promised the Israelites this land, and this list is evidence of His fulfilled promise. 

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" Isaiah 55:11

But, after wandering around in the desert for 40 years, I wonder if maybe the Israelites grappled with letting go.

Letting go?  Of what? 

Well, of the wilderness.  Of the identity that went with it.  Of the miraculous provision of the Lord.  Of the anticipation of the promised land. 

The Lord promised them the land, and He is faithful.  Forever faithful.  But forty years is a long time.  A long time.

I have found myself entering a new land recently.  Land promised over ten years ago.  Ten years of praying and waiting, and faithful provision from the Lord.  Ten years of adjusting to the wilderness.  Of learning to live and breathe and be in the wilderness.  Of becoming one 'who waits on the Lord for the land of promise.'  Ten years of creating an identity.

And now?

First, please hear me.  I am in no way desiring the wilderness again.  I pray every day that this promised land stays, and I never go back to that wilderness.  I take delight in the Word of the Lord, and His promises.  He is faithful, beyond compare and comprehension. 

It is just a lot different than the wilderness, and very surreal.  When you pray for something and pray for something and wait for it, it is almost unfathomable when it finally arrives.  There is a way of life in that wilderness which will not suffice in the promised land.  You can not be a 'wilderness man' and dwell in the land of promise. 

But, hallelujah, the Lord changes us in the wilderness.  The majority of the children of Israel were not ready for the promised land initially; they were down right scared.  The Lord 'changed' them, literally to a great degree, until they were ready. 

And He has changed me.  I am not the same person who entered that wilderness ten years ago.  He has prepared me for this land. It has been long and it has been hard, but He is long suffering and His love endures.

So, though I enter with slight trepidation, I also enter with trumpets of praise and shouts of joy!

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Ps. 100:4-5

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Simple or Easy

We moved.  We did. 

We moved from one small town to another, even smaller, town. 

It all happened so fast there are times it is hard to believe.  If you knew the whole story you would wholeheartedly agree that the Lord is up to something in all of this.  Isn't He always?  But He chose to make Himself undeniably visible in this one.  Undeniably. 

You know how sometimes you are moving forward to something that is good, better even, yet you do not want to let go of where you were, where things were comfortable and safe and familiar.  It may not be the best for you, but you 'know' it.  And, though where He is leading you is much better, it is new, and unknown, and let's be honest, a little scary. 

Why is it that we hold on to that which is bad for us when that which is best for us is right there?  What is it about comfort and security that we crave more than our own good at times?

Jesus once spoke to a man, an invalid for 38 years, by the pool of Bethesda, as recorded in the gospel of John chapter 5.  Of course, a man like that would want to be healed.  Of course he would want to take up his mat and walk away from all of it.  Yet, Jesus asked the man, "Do you want to be healed?"

Seriously?  After 38 years, do you have to ask?

Apparently so. 

The first night in the new house was just awful.  I was tired, extremely tired.  The washing machine and the dishwasher were leaking.  I couldn't use my shower and we did not think the other shower worked either, so I had to take a bath.  At 10 o'clock that night.  After everyone else was nestled warmly in bed.  With no hot water.

It was cold.

I would have cried if I had the energy.  Moving didn't seem like such a good idea at that moment. 

Isn't it funny?  He moved us.  Clearly, He did.  But since it wasn't all smooth sailing and peaches 'n cream,  I wasn't sure I wanted to do it anymore. 

When did He say it would be smooth, or easy?  Today in language arts, my son had to take a survey asking three people what they thought was the difference between simple and easy.  Simple, for me, means not complicated or complex.  Easy, on the other hand, means requiring little to no effort.  No, I wouldn't say following Christ is easy.  Simple? Yes, but not easy.

Amazing and life-altering?  Yes.

Requiring little to no effort?  Not so much.

Worth it?


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Somewhat of an update

 Things have been a tad busy around here the last couple of weeks.  Big changes are coming.  I guess I should say 'MORE' big changes are coming.
  It has been an eventful year thus far.  Blessed for sure, but eventful nonetheless.
 The last three weeks have been especially full of activity, and fast-paced activity at that.
 So, the other day we took a walk through some neighborhoods in our small town. A quiet afternoon.  A chance to slow down and be still.

 It was a beautiful day, a very 'spring-like' day for the middle of winter. 
 We found this creek and explored up and down its banks.  I grew up on a farm and spent many days wandering along creeks, and in the woods.  I am so glad that my kids have the opportunity to do the same, especially since we live in town.  The beauty of small town America.
 This frog is a new favorite. He makes me smile.
 So does this one. 
 As I was looking through the pictures again, and thinking about the craziness that has been our lives the last few weeks, I was reminded of Psalm 46.
"God is our refuge and strength,   a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,  though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. SelahCome, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 11 The Lord of hosts is with us;  the God of Jacob is our fortress. "

He WILL be exalted.