Prayers

“For I know I shall be drawn, not driven,
    out of the world.
Until then let me continually glow and burn out
    for thee…”


“I am not afraid…
for I know I shall be drawn, not driven,
    out of the world.
Until then let me continually glow and burn out
    for thee
and when the last great change shall come
  let me awake in thy likeness,
leaving behind me an example that will
glorify thee
while my spirit rejoices in heaven,
and my memory is blessed upon earth,
with those who follow me praising thee
    for my life.

– Retrospect and Prospect, The Valley of Vision

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The Land… and the Promise

An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates

Geography affects history — Trace any civilization back to its origin, and geography provides the stage for history’s drama…
The lands of the Bible offer more than a backdrop for the stories of the Bible. These places played an integral role in shaping the lives of those who lived there. God designed it so. And for us, understanding how the land shaped its inhabitants gives us tremendous insight into understanding Scripture. Even more, it provides us with a glimpse as to why God has placed us where we live today.

W. Stiles, Going Places with God

 

God takes us places we would never choose that we might become what we’ve always wanted to be — that is, all that He created us to be.

Focus. Find Freedom.

Let us then look on what we have and give God thanks for it, and know that if we should have more, He would give more. – R. G. 
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Reviewed the scene in Numbers 32 today… Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. Just a river away. It took one more fight.
But by our own wits and rationale, we make a rash choice.
And we will miss out on God’s best.

Come. Listen… And we come back to this:

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10)

“The grass will always seem greener east of the Jordan. But can God also not richly bless within His will?”

… Help me believe that what You want to give me is far better than what I want You to give me. I only see today, but You see the implications for eternity. (WS)

#901

Music, sculpture, poetry, painting–these are glorious works; but the soul that creates them is more glorious than they. The music shall die on the passing wind, the poem may be lost in the confusion of tongues, the marble will crumble and the canvas will fade, while the soul shall be quenchless and strong, filled with a nobler melody, kindling with loftier themes, projecting images of unearthly beauty, and drinking from springs of imperishable life. | EH Chapin

jab.jpg

Tell me about anchors.
About security. About the things you count on.

Tell me, again, why they fail.
The best of them.
Not on purpose. But simply because — hmm. (I don’t quite know why…)

[Recently things have been changing faster than normal. The trees that sheltered us were removed. One thing, then another. And another. The effects of the storms are felt stronger than before. If there is a twinge of disappointment, it is covered by a stronger sadness. Grief toward an end. Tossed into uncertainty — strangely, the only thing that is familiar. And I realized all our sources of security can be taken away. If that was all we had — all we have relied on — then certainly, our world has crumbled.]

But in the stillness, there was a quite reminder:
There is One who will never fail us.
And most days, we don’t doubt He has the power the help.

Some days, we waver because we are not sure He cares.

But Friends, He is the only source of security who never fails.
The only One who is unchanging, faithful, and good.

So as the days bring uncertainly, run and look to His Word.
Find Him, and here, find peace, rest, joy, and love.

Psalms 40:10  I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;  I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;  I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new  every morning; great is your faithfulness.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. |LB Smedes

 

Human. Nature.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Fair-weather friends. We know what that means.
But recently, I’ve been thinking how much people are like the weather — not in a negative sense, more so the nature of it — coming and going. Little of it is in our control.

Work since the start of 2016 has given me a chance to meet new faces in various walks of life — these have been more like the breeze — here briefly, rustling in curiosity, taking little, leaving a small impression. With a few exceptions, they are likely (and soon) forgotten.

Going further — considering this walk of life:

Sun: A few have been like warm sunshine, cheering up the clouds that come. Their friendship is always welcome.

Rain: Some have been like rain, nourishing and necessary for growth. More serious, but calming.

Hurricane: A number have been like a hurricane — blowing through and leaving naught but chaos in their wake. With their departure, the only option is to pick up and rebuild.

Fog: Some are like the fog… Not quite sure how we came about. Much hesitation, and the fog thickens. Dancing shapes and guessing at figures. Sometimes a light shines through and there appears to be hope. Sometimes we work through the fog. Many times, in fear (and uncertainty), we allow ourselves to be shrouded again.

[There is a couple here. One day, I should hope to know you if you’d let me.]

Wind: Most have been like the breeze — here for a bit, back for a while. Bringing news from afar… and gone again.

[No… we cannot trap the wind. On some quiet evenings, the questions and memories flood back. Your goals and pains — I should always marvel at your courage, and wonder what became of you. Fragility and strength. Until I learn more, you are in my prayers. If there is a reason for your pain… I pray that yours will lead you to Him.]

So which one, you ask. Which one were you? Which one are you now?

At first, I thought one was better than the other.
But I see now that the best ones may be all (or most).

Some will only be as the sun — but too much sun, and its heat scorches. And we withdraw to seek shade.

Too much rain, and we drown.

The best ones are both.
When the clouds become too much, your light dissipates the clouds and remind me of the joys and blessings I have.

You also bring rain in due time — quiet rest and reflection for growth.

Every once in a while, a thunderstorm. A loud and serious reminder but much needed.
And enriching all that needed to grow.

Yes, sometimes we are more comfortable with one than the other.
But the best of friends will be willing to shift as needed to help you grow.

 

Humans. As explained by nature.

(If we have been too comfortable hiding in the fog, or too removed as the breeze. For fear. For self-preservation… May we look to the One who is in charge of the weather — and our lives. For mercy and grace: To care, to bring joy, to nurture, and to be all that we are to be as we walk Home.)