Friday, February 24, 2012

The Story Is Not Over Yet

This is a cry out to so many of my friends who are walking a narrow lonely path in the wilderness right now, trudging through estranged relationships, shattered dreams, sickness, huge awkward burdens that no one knows about, extreme loneliness, and the octopus-like strong arms of depression threatening to pull them down for good.  In these harsh realities and desolate places, it is so easy to fall for the deception that you are all alone in this and no one understands, screwing tight the lid on your raw emotions when someone says “how are you?”

But there are those people who, despite the pain I know they are going through, still have a twinkle in their eyes, a peace in their hearts, an endurance that exposes them, as if they have a secret joy the rest of us cannot see.

There is a reason for it all.  Play this video now.

The end of this hard path may not be near, the lights may not suddenly evaporate the darkness, the deliverance may be revealed in going through rather than being plucked out of.  A lack of courage within myself is one of the reasons I love running so much, because God uses running to remind me to double-knot my shoes and get out there in life…and that despite the pain and fear, He will  -- once again – bring me through it, not on my power, but on His.  He uses it to bring me to Him and give me the strength to do what is a lot harder than running 20 miles by myself through wind and sleet. 

Oh, that we would see differently what looks like a bleak landscape, transformed into a place of amazement.  In the book of Hosea, God promises to “make the valley of trouble, a door of hope.” (Hosea 2.15)  The story is not over yet.

Someday, we may glimpse a network of a bizillion redeeming purposes, as if the storm clouds part and sunlight beams through.  If not now, one of the joys of heaven will be gleefully shouting, “So THAT is why that happened!”  There IS a reason for it all, deeper meaning than we could ever imagine. 

I cry to God Most High,

to God who fulfils His purpose for me.

                 Psalm 57.2

Thursday, February 9, 2012


It is currently 18 teeny tiny degrees outside, and so, “Frozen!” is probably an appropriate title for a blog in the beginning of February.  But “Frozen!” can mean more than the outside temperature.  It is the times of being overwhelmed (or besieged – see February 9 verse at by barbarians both real and imagined.  Fears, worries, discouragements, the high and scary places of life, so many people who want a piece of you, way too much to do, or even the vast wilderness of loneliness – all these things can tie barbed wire around our feet or load up our daily backpack with more than we are capable of carrying.  Sometimes, I freeze.  I succumb to a paralysis of not knowing how to handle this huge day or task ahead of me.  Where do I even start?

I love how God’s Word speaks about paths and steps and following His ways.  Step by step by step.  Someone once told me that when I am in the grip of panic, DO ONE THING.  Just one thing that is needful.  “Empty the dishwasher,” she suggested.  I have always remembered that.  That may seem a bit absurd, but it is one little bold baby step you are capable of tackling.  And once you get going, He can lead you into His day for you, one step at a time, no matter the fears or foes.    When this frozen moment happens to a friend of mine, she intentionally calls someone to encourage them or does something kind or helpful for someone else.  It frees her to move on.  And to see those phantoms vanish before her eyes.

What is in your path today?  Pray that God would reveal HIS day for you, not just what to do, but even in what sequence to do it.  Let Him order your day,  and follow Him into it, one step, and then another. 


You shall seek those who contend with you,

but you shall not find them;

those who war against you

shall be as nothing at all.

For I, the LORD your God,

hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, “Fear not,

I am the one who helps you.

                Isaiah 41. 12-13