I feel a little out of sorts today. Which is why I started this blog in the first place. To go back and remind myself of the shake-my-head-in-awe moments He’s given me over the last handful of years.
The of-course-that’s-the-cross-reference moments. The I-have-no-words-because-You-left-me-speechless moments.
This is still very new to me – this whole wearing my heart on my sleeve thing. Actually… I take that back. I wear my heart on my sleeve easily. It’s wearing my emotions that I struggle with. And this blog is one giant emotional exclamation point. These words and these very real emotions are those in-between-the-chapter moments that I always wonder about in Scripture. I know the story of Sarah. I know all about her decades-long wait for a child. And I continually remind myself that those small chapters in the book of Genesis spanned over years and years of waiting. Hoping. Praying. Begging. You don’t read about the parts when Sarah’s body starts to slow down. Or her hair begins to turn grey. Or the wrinkles begin forming. And with each new age-progression she feels like she’s missed the boat. These snippets are my between-the-chapters moments. The mornings that I have to stop and take a breath (or five) because I’m a little weary from running so long. He stops with me. Gives me some water. Allows my heart rate to slow a bit. Then pats me on the rear and sends me on my way. Off to run another day.
We’ve all heard the advice: try thankfulness. Renew your mind. Meditate on the promises of God. It’s so much easier said than done. For awhile, every single day, I had my quiet kitchen table time in the morning, and the tears would be flowing by the afternoon. As hard as I tried and as much as I prayed… the sorrow was still there.
One night, I found myself on the floor of my closet. I was in the throws of an ugly cry. I felt like I was standing in line with the rest of the world, holding a tray, and waiting for my portion of life’s helpings. One by one, the people around me were served. Then they were going back for seconds. And thirds. And fourths. And I was still standing there with an empty bowl waiting for my first. Between sobs, in the darkness of that secret place upstairs, I whispered.
You’ve forgotten me.
My faith knew He hadn’t. But part of me truly felt that way. And that disconnect between faith and feelings has been one of the more difficult hurdles of this journey.
Soon, I had no tears left to cry. I got up, washed my face, and got into bed with my phone to read my favorite devotional. And just when I thought I had no tears left, they started to fall again. After I whispered to Him, He whispered right back.
You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again…
– Psalm 71:20
Never doubt God.
Never say that He has forsaken or forgotten.
Never think that He is unsympathetic.
He will quicken and revive again.
There is always a smoother place in every skein, however tangled.
Be steadfast, your labor is not in vain.
God turns again and comforts. And when He does, the heart which had forgotten its Psalmody breaks out in jubilant song, as does the Psalmist: I will thank Thee. I will harp unto Thee, my lips shall sing aloud.
– Streams in the Desert for September 27th
I had no words. I was entirely overwhelmed with how specifically God showed up. I was incredibly humbled at how powerfully He used a devotional written years ago (and assigned to that particular day) to quickly deflate the unbelief ballooning up within me.
I love how He speaks.
The next morning, I got up and read another devotional for another day. But He wasn’t done yet:
Though leagues of distance lie between the finite creature and the infinite Creator, yet there are links uniting both. When a tear is wept by thee, think not that God doth not behold; for ‘like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him’. Thy sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; thy whisper can incline His ear unto thee; thy prayer can stay His hand, thy faith can move His arm. Think not that God sits on high taking no account of thee. Remember that however poor and needy thou art, yet the LORD thinketh upong thee. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him.
– Charles Spurgeon, Morning & Evening, September 28th am.
It’s these moments – when He helps bridge the gap between faith and feelings – that somehow make the journey easier. When I realize anew that He hasn’t left me alone to my own defenses after all.
Through the LORD;s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:22-23