Thursday, February 16, 2012

Finding Joy

The Lord has been reminding me to find joy amongst pain, just as he did so can I b/c He will never give me more than I can handle.

Laugh and the world laughs with you
Weep and you weep alone
For this sad old earth must borrow it's mirth
But it has troubles enough of its own

Sing and the hills will answer
Sigh it is lost in the air
The echos sound to a joyful sound
But shrink from voicing care

Feast and your halls are crowded
Fast and the world goes by
Succeed and give and it helps you live
But no man can help you die

In the halls of pleasure
There is room for a long and lofty train
But one by one we must all file
Through the narrow aisles of pain

~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

At some point in high school I memorized this poem and have never forgotten it. It is a reminder to me of what the world tells us versus the truth. Yes, suffering is hard. Yes, struggling is hard. Yes, it may be a narrow aisle but we are never alone if we have Christ. We have hope. The other day we were talking about the church as the body, community and/or family. Are we really all of these or any of these to each other?I hope so but in a busy world how often do we take the time to show we care? Think about it, smile when you don't feel like it. You never know who might be weeping inside and might just laugh out in thankfulness for the small pleasures of joy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My prayer

The Lord has been so good to me and brought me through so much, even when I cannot see past the pain He always brings me through. Prayer has gotten me through so many things in life and I am so thankful that He gives us so many different ways to worship him and for prayer (Him giving himself both literally and physically as a friend when it seems there is no one there.)This is my prayer for the day I hope it encourages you feel free to pray it for yourself too but you don't have to.

Master grant me the ability to do whatever it is you call me to
Humble me under your mighty hand
Waiting till time is due
Bless me with heavenly knowledge and wisdom too
May my eyes not look to the world but you
Casting my cares
Entrusting then to your mighty hand
May you filter them too
Strength to love others
And see them as you do
Strength to not get bogged down by the world
But to be so caught up in you
Author, Perfecter, Teacher, Creator too
Father you are wondrous beyond imaginable
Only thing tried and true
Bless me with the ability to lead a life that glorifies and honors you
Through humility and pain
Darkness and rain
May I love the world but not be of it to
Like you
Make me a shining example
Of your love
Through and through
For my life is not mine to own
But yours alone
Thanks cannot describe the things you've brought me through
You are my shepherd
I am your lamb
To you I yield my paw, my hand
I realize you're not through
Lead me in the path of your glory
So that my life may honor Thee
A small tribute to the cross
I cling
Eyes no longer blinded
No longer lame
No need to hide in a tree
For you my Savior
Every day dine with me
Cleanse me with your blood
Make me clean
May my life be full of days
Worthy of Thee
Grant me todays day a day worthy of Thee
Worthy of Thee
Help me instill a bit of heaven in everything
In everything

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Synagogue Years

" 'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this lifeIs the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise"~Laura Story

Wow! So yesterday I hit a low point. The Father humbled me under his mighty hand and I know in due time I will be lifted up. But this is not about me but Christ in me. Learning to let go of my will to pursue his. Paul cried many tears on the journey but God was faithful to him and he to Christ. I don't believe in running myself dry and although I learned a lot at BSF last night I truly believe that sometimes the best way we can serve is by giving our time to God. I know right now my energy and strength are low but He will never give me more than I can handle.

My mom told me "People in the church don't know how to rest, they are always substituting activity for intimacy with the Lord." While I do believe we must be active Christians like Paul I also believe that some of his actions were more about time than the activity itself. He allowed others to rest in Christ peace. I do believe that he rested as he prayed in the synagogues, but how much is talked about that in our culture? The 2 years, the few days? No, it's not but it is equally important.

Right now my way of serving God and others is through having time. We do not always have the luxury of this and this might not even be possible in your life but it never hurts to pray you'll get there. One thing that stood out that I miss so much about Laos is the face to face conversations with friends no matter the time or day, being together and living life, grading papers in a room together or reading a book as people sit around me and work on various activities.

Yes, right now, every day (well, let's be realistic almost every day)I wake up and what gets me through the day full of confusion, strife, frustration and various stresses? Jesus, Jesus gets me through. He gets me through prayer, his words, dreams and friends. All of these are his tools for right now I am in His synagogue praying for what the future holds. He humbles me continually and gives me strength reminding me that he is there always. The little blessings that bring such joy are my talks with Lao friends a far, my BSF group and a few friends here and there that I am still in the process of getting to know but are willing to take the time out for me and meet me face to face.

Too often we say serve here, serve there, serve NOW! For there will always be a need. Not there is anything wrong with this this is definitely honorable and necessary. But we forget that people need time to grow, to prepare their hearts before they burn out. In due time all should serve the church and community but in due time, because sometimes the Lord just wants us on our knees in the synagogues.