Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reflection from "The Rest of God" Restore-Chapter 10

Do you want to be well?

Lord, I think I do. But I think I don't. Oh there is this inner struggle. I want certain things out of this life. You have revealed to me my heart of self entitlement this year and I know that I am not entitled, but I still desire them. I feel as though You are holding out on me and yet, I know that I lack no good thing. I am struck by my dad's words about those of us who lose hope are wanting to find too much fulfillment this side of heaven. Lord, only You can satisfy. I don't know how to be well. I know You must heal, but I don't know what needs to be healed. So would You just heal me?

I have heard You speak, but I don't want to live on past promises.

"Come to me, trust me completely."

Lord, I want to say an enthusiastic "yes," but I say it with hesitation and with great fear of what may come. Lord, I think of Buzzie's talk and praying that You would make me a woman of faith no matter the cost. Lord, I am scared of what it may cost. 

"Do you still have no faith?"

Lord, help my unbelief. You are good, no matter the circumstance. You are more than enough. I will fear You more than I will fear singleness and walk down whatever road You guide me.

Has your illness defined you?

Lord, I think that my greatest "illness" is singleness, but its not really an illness, just a bad attitude at times on my part, for it is a gift from You. It has ups and downs, and its purposes, and is this not the way You have ordained it to be? And yet, could there be restoration? So not restoration as in no longer being single, but a genuine contentment no matter the circumstance?

"Contentment comes from knowing Me, finding your life in Me. You are too busy. You are laboring, at times, out of your own strength. Ministry will not satisfy you, even successful ministry. Only I will."

O Lord, forgive me for my foolishness, my forgetfulness. Lead me in the way of the everlasting, make me abide, lead me to the green pastures. You are my hope, my home is with You. I feel stupid, can I not be stupid anymore? I am guessing probably not this side of heaven.
Restore me, Lord. You are the Potter, I am the clay.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
-Romans 12:12

"now with patience in our suffering
perseverance in our prayers
with good reason this hope is in our hearts

hallelujah hallelujah
Christ our joy and strength
hallelujah hallelujah
Christ our joy and strength"

-Sara Groves "Joy in Our Hearts"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Liz Fry

I wasn't home for worship today in Blythe, but it sounded a bit more traumatic than normal. After the service and walking out the door, Liz Fry paused and said, "There is a pain in my ear," and with that she keeled over. Greg Johnson caught her on the way down, Teresa Quist began chest compressions and Sara, my prego sis-in-law, continued doing CPR. The ambulance was called, but when the paramedics got there they only found a faint pulse. Liz went home to Jesus.

I have known Liz Fry since I was ten. She was a sweet and spunky woman. She always wanted a hug on Sunday, especially on visits home from Long Beach. She was an encourager to me in unexpected ways, letters in my dorm mail box or random compliments in conversation. One time she told me I had great legs! Oh, she was good at making me laugh. Liz was lonely these last years, her son out of town and daughter already in heaven. I am thankful to have known her, thankful that her pain will be no more, thankful that her last minutes were with her church family and thankful to know that one day I will see her again.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." -Psalm 116:15

Friday, September 10, 2010

Aunt Anne

You know you love someone when picking out a birthday card for them inspires water works on the card isle at Target.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

dirt grows flowers

Yesterday, around midafternoon, I found myself feeling pretty mournful. I was sick of seeing the enemy at work and the way that men live out of their sinful nature. I was walking near a Starbucks and called my dad.

After a few minutes of talking he could tell that I was upset and He asked me if I was pms-ing. After responding "no," I shared with him some of the general things that I was grieving and frustrated about. My dad sympathetically shared some words of wisdom. We then talked about societies that deserve tyrannical rule when their men are so passive that they fail to fight for justice and stand up for what is right and how that was different than enduring persecution for one's faith. I shared with him how much comfort I had been finding in Psalm 34:21-22. It says,"Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems His servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him." After that he prayed for me.

As we talked, I found myself walking through Lowe's. I love hardware stores, I kind of feel at home in them. There are so many fun things to look at, touch and smell! So many different projects one could conquer with a little creativity, geometry and hard work, and a t-square! And yes, for me there are so many sweet memories of following my dad down isles trying to find the right nuts and bolts to secure whatever it was he was working on.

As my dad's prayer ended, I was in the garden section of the store. I stood surrounded by pots of planted flowers and trees, living things that the good Lord had made. I lingered in the isles. I walked up and down them all, looking at the grasses, the moss, the trees, the cacti, the bushes, the vegetable plants and of course the flowers in all their bright varieties. I smelled their flowers and touched their leaves.

Aren't they pretty?

Well, as I looked at all these flowers in their planter pots of dirt, I thought about the dirt...

...and the nutrients in the dirt and how they help the flowers grow with proper watering and sun exposure. And I was thankful. I was very thankful that God is God. He comforts those who are in pain. He redeems His servants. He makes flowers from dirt. He trades weakness for strength, ashes for beauty, death for life, and sin for sanctity. God is gracious and I do love seeing Him work for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purposes. Yes, yes, I was thankful for His reminder to claim hope in the suffering, even when the suffering was and is not my own.