Sunday, December 4, 2011

What If

"We must through many tribulations
enter the kingdom of God."
~ Acts 14:22 (NKJV)

Indeed, all who want to live a godly life
in union with Christ Jesus
will be persecuted.
~ 2 Timothy 3:12 (ISV)

And who is sufficient for these things?
2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NKJV)

← ↓ → . ← ↓ → . ← ↓ →

You, Lord, see.

The flaming arrows.
The rivers of waters.
The cost.

You, Lord, know the truth.

You know I bless Your name.
You know my will is to walk in Your ways.
You know my ailing heart is steadfast.

You, Lord, see my frailty falter.

How long, Lord?
How far, Lord?
How much, Lord?

You, Lord, hear my plea before I form it.

I said I can last no longer, go no farther, offer no more.
I confessed to seeing no way through.
I admitted my fear to go deeper.

What if the only way through is to go deeper?

(a question gentler than an answer)

I affirm, Lord, my trust in You.
I follow, Lord, where You lead.
I cling, Lord, to You alone.

^/\^ ~≈~ ^/\^ ~≈~ ^/\^ ~≈~ ^/\^

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
~ Isaiah 43:2-3 (NKJV)

"Be strong and of good courage,
do not fear nor be afraid of them;
for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you.
He will not leave you nor forsake you."
~ Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
~ Psalm 34:17-19 (NKJV)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Child

How is it possible to feel so old, and yet still feel like "a little child—I do not know how to go out or come in"?

I understand why You made this world so hard. Could sin not receive the full measure of its wages? And yet, Lord ... really? *sigh*

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalm 73:25-26 (NKJV)

I love Your surprises, You know, even when You rebuke me. Your tenderness is unfathomable. Who but You would speak such words?

It's just that I'm so slow to learn, Lord. You surely understand why I would kick myself for having to learn the same lesson, over and over. If I will always choose You first, I suspect things would go easier.

And so I berate myself for being weak. I tell myself I'm stupid. I shake my head and roll my eyes. I'm harder on myself than I am on anyone else. I'd never in a million years think of speaking to another person the way I was speaking to myself.

And then, Your voice.

Don't speak of My child that way.

Why do You love me as You do?

I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
~ Psalm 71:16-18 (NKJV)

Thank You, Lord. You are my all in all. I love You more than I know.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Not Worthy
Yet Willing

May one cross human authority and remain innocent?
Can the one condemned refute the plea of "guilty"?

My defense inadmissible
Without the right to stand mute
I accept my judgment
I accept my consequences
I accept my shame

I shall not deny that I have heard the voice of my Judge
Neither shall I assert innocence in Thy sight

It is better to trust in the LORD
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the LORD
Than to put confidence in princes.

Into Thy hands I commit my spirit
my soul
my all

If I retain any measure of favor in Thy sight
Give me courage to approach Thy throne
Permit Thy maidservant to yet wait upon Thee
Thy judgments and Thy mercy are never failing

I shall not die, but live,
And declare the works of the LORD.
The LORD has chastened me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD,
Through which the righteous shall enter.

I remain most unworthy
Of all the goodness and all the truth
Received from Thy scarred hand

I remain most willing
To receive whatever comes from Thy hand
As seems fitting in Thy sight

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I Do

Lord, You know how difficult it usually is to write here. You know how much this place feels like I'm put on display as a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men, even more than my other blog can feel that way. I didn't realize that there would be so many of Your people who haven't heard Your voice yet, who wouldn't understand. *sigh*

Yet I've trusted You to use this place in someone else's life, however that might be. I've become grateful for the way You've used this "journal" in my own life, reminding me of how close You've been in some very dark hours.

You see how the darkness still wants me. I did provoke it, I suppose. You answered that prayer swiftly and surely and mightily. Would I be so bold as to dare open that door again? I suppose I would, for You know I can't abide to simply stand and watch someone suffer if I think I can do something to help...

But what about all the lesser darkness that came before, that never overcame me? Was my crazy love for You all the provocation necessary? How inadequate I've come to feel, in both love for You and ability to face even lesser darkness. C'mon, Lord—I'm just a little child! You see that I cannot discern between my right hand and my left. You see that I am not sufficient as Your "aroma of death leading to death, and the aroma of life leading to life." Who sends a little kid out into such battle? It's too big!

When I spread my hands before You yesterday with all this, You spoke with such gentle strength. "I have been with you." Yes, You certainly have. And You're way bigger than the battle, which belongs to You anyway.

I want to feel my sufficiency in You again. I find I'm afraid to. What if it gives me that kind of boldness again? It seems safer to feel insufficient. Is the heat of war behind me, or do You only train me? (A little rest would be nice ...)

Thank You for loving me so much bigger than I'll ever comprehend. Thank You for the ways You assure me of that. I'm grateful for the reminders.

Like two days ago, when we brought home Elizabeth's new violin—the one she should have had before now instead of using that beginner one as she's advanced far beyond beginner. (Thanks so much for providing it BTW. What a miracle all that was!) I love her music so much. To my ear it already sounded lovely. And then she began playing on an instrument that took the same violinist, the same notes, the same song, and made them richer, fuller, gentler, and oh so sweet. What a difference!

She could hardly stop playing. As I listened to that sweet music, I became aware of how much different I'll look someday. I told You that I can hardly wait until the day when the stench of all the sin I hate so much no longer clings to me, when I no longer fail to behave as Jesus would, when my love for You is perfected. I told You that I want You to be able to see me as richer, fuller, gentler, and oh so sweet.

Only the power of Your precious Son's blood could make possible Your reply.

"I do."

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me.
~ Psalms 69:1-2 (NKJV)

When comes the dry season, Lord?

Reproach has broken my heart,
And I am full of heaviness;
I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none;
And for comforters, but I found none.
~ Psalms 69:20 (NKJV)

Even if there should be an 'alûph, there are no words to speak.

Give us help from trouble,
For the help of man is useless.
Through God we will do valiantly,
For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.
~ Psalms 60:11-12 and 108:12-13 (NKJV)

But You are ever with me. You do not release me.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalms 73:25-26 (NKJV)


Sunday, April 10, 2011

If You Let Me Choose ...

Hi, God.

Some time back, I made a public confession about being mad at You for the first time since our love story began. Although I've questioned You many times over my first 46 years, I never felt anger toward You until a year and a half ago.

I thought You'd backed me into a corner. (You had, of course. I just didn't see that You also had my back.) I got plenty angry then.

Anyway, I'm long overdue saying publicly what I told You privately a few weeks ago. I say it again now.

I could never count how many times I've wished for a do-over on my life. So if You were to come to me right now, and offer me one of these two options, I want You to know where I stand.

If You said, "You're going to live your life over again, with no memory of this conversation or the way you lived it the first time, and you get to choose how it will go until You finally end up with Me.

"You can have a happy and peaceful life on earth.

"Your idyllic childhood will offer all the comfort and education you could ask for. You'll be popular, you'll never be without a close confidant, and you'll feel good about yourself.

"You'll enter adulthood as a success wherever you put your mind to try. You'll neither suffer the anxiety of poverty nor experience the adversity and fear brought on by great wealth, but will always enjoy the exact amount of prosperity which gives you peace of mind.

"You'll find your Mr. Right at just the time you awaken to love. He'll be your first and only love. You'll grow old together holding hands through the raising of children, building a dream home, achieving all your goals. You'll die together in your sleep.

"But your peace will be artificial and temporal. You won't have Me until the last day of your life on Earth. Only then will You believe I exist and put faith in Me. You'll not feel My presence until your final hours of drawing breath, and you'll stand before Me devoid of any treasure stored up in Heaven waiting for you.

"I'm giving you another option.

"You can have the same miserable childhood, crying with confusion nearly every day, contemplate suicide often, have no close friends, and live in a home you see as anything but normal. You'll work like a dog, feel like a slave, and think you look like one of the two.

"You'll still make the same mistakes as you become an adult, thinking the ungodly people you've made your friends are good for you, and know the disappointment of looking for love and truth and peace in all the wrong places.

"When you get married, it won't be the comfort and rest you've looked forward to all your life. Of all the hard work and difficult challenges you've overcome when you say 'I do' at age 28, marriage is going to prove your biggest test of perseverance. You'll know more struggle and pain here than all that went before.

"But you'll still have Me. You'll know My presence, hear My voice, understand My truths. You'll feel lonely more often than not. Yet you'll never be alone, and you'll never, your whole life, not even before you know Me, doubt that I'm right here. When you see My face, I'll show you all treasure you've been laying up in Heaven.

"The choice is yours."

I know You'd never say all that. I know that's not the way it works. I feel more than a little afraid to admit this, knowing that You may test me.

All the same, I just want You to know, that nothing I've ever suffered or may yet suffer would be worse than not knowing You. Even if I had a shot at a life that looks and feels perfect, it wouldn't be worth it without You, Lord.

If You let me choose my here and now, and even if I'd end up in Heaven either way—if You let me choose whether You or Happiness is my Lord and my God during this visit to Earth—I'd still choose You.

I ♥ love ♥ You ♥ God, with all my heart. ♥

I can hardly wait for the day I'm able to express it as fully as You express Your love for me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So the other morning I was lying in bed, aware of the Lord's presence, thinking about revisions to my names of God project, thinking about how long I've worked with His names, wondering if something will come of the work—wondering how long before I even know if something will come of it. (Something outside of me, that is, since I've already been enriched personally by studying God's names beyond my wildest dreams.)

I'm acquainted with many people who have worked on much larger projects for far longer. I also make frequent additions to my mental catalog of people in the Bible who waited long upon the Lord. Knowing that I'm in good company reminds me that the Lord may be trusted to bring His purposes to pass, whether or not He makes His actual purpose known in what He asks.

Whether I wait on Him or He waits on me to get into step with Him, my God seems to specialize in waiting.

My thoughts rabbit trail from the names of God and about His waiting and back to His names. A mental whine traverses the path, that my waiting is still my waiting. Then a notion slips heavenward.

"One of Your names really ought to be 'God-of-Waiting' You know."

I immediately sense in my spirit that one of His names is about waiting, but I've just never seen it.

I sit stock still. Which name did I miss?

El Olam. Everlasting God.

Light bulb! How did I not catch this nuance when it's right there in the Scriptures?

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, YHWH,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
~ Isaiah 40:28

No one outlasts Him. He set his plan in motion six thousand years ago, and still He waits.

Tsur Olam. Rock of Ages.

Trust in YHWH forever,
For YAH, YHWH, is Rock of Ages.
~ Isaiah 26:4

My mind's eye looks upon the Rock of Gibraltar, imagining the ocean's waves and storms and winds relentlessly pounding upon it and never wearing it away. It is solid, immovable, reliable—like my Lord, as He waits.

My waiting suddenly becomes very small as I recall that He is bound up with me in the waiting. It isn't really even my waiting, but our waiting—mine and His.

Yes, the waiting of seven billion other people too.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Beyond Your Ability

He has redeemed my soul in peace
from the battle that was against me,
For there were many against me...
Cast your burden on the LORD,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
~ Psalms 55:18,22 (NKJV)

Thank You, Lord, for the healing I've experienced. Thank You for all the healing yet to come. Thank You for carrying me when I felt too weak to move.

Thank You for showing me, once again, that You can be trusted; that even when the fire feels too intense to bear, the word You have spoken to me holds firm: "You will not be tested beyond your ability to stand."

Therefore humble yourselves
under the sovereign hand of God,
that He may lift you up at the right time,
having cast all your anxiety upon Him,
for His concern is about you.
~ 1 Peter 5:6-7 (author)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


My seat is among spectators
to a circus named lawsuit
I have no place on arena floor
where Man of Malice is encompassed.

What is hatred's boundary?
How far does its cancer spread?
Can numbers compute its injury?
Does Mammon reward its minions?

This is not court of my recourse
for You, O YHWH, are my King and my God.
My heart seeks You for recompense
and waits upon You for restoration.

But let there be before You
no testimony against injustice
nor argument for equity
for I am too poor to pay.

The bondservant needs no audience
from the Lord Who is Judge.
You own injured and injury
to You alone belong all debts.

If your maid has favor in Your sight
if any plea is brought before You
let my Lord give award to whom I injure
let my Lord restore what I have damaged.