I’ve been spending more time alone recently, thanks to night shift and grown up obligations like…work.
The struggle, after months of bedtime company, is quite real. I’ve reverted to the wolf-dreaming child who lay awake with nervous cramps – fearing, dreading, imagining the worse.
I haven’t been this way for years, but in His goodness, the Lord has brought sunset as a way to teach faith. To teach that reason is not always the antidote to fear.
My cynical mind can’t be convinced of innocence anymore and as result, I find worry can’t be swept into the back of my mind. The unknowns put on convincing masks that no strategy of mine can untie.
So when night comes, my wisest course, the strongest choice; is to challenge them into the open and introduce a Protector like no other. The one who knows the End, the Truth, the Reason.
To admit fear out loud and give it up, is the only way to grow an inch. The only way to step outside and breath the dark in deeply. The only way to close your eyes.
So goodnight – I’m taking the gifts of busy hands and brave heart – and just hunkering down in the wings of Providence.
He knows where we are. He knows who sins against us, and who we sin toward.
He knows our thoughts and failings and the very things that keep us awake at night.
And there is nothing that can shock or shake Him from relentless, sovereign mercy.
Our sins are many. Our hearts break.
And new every morn, His mercy is more. A shelter to the brokenhearted.
Lickety split they grow up, turn out, pop off ridiculous words. And one of the best things about living far away, is the very feeling of coming home to all their dear faces.
In a twelfth grade answer key, there was a list of the evidence. A checking list of ways that the grass and mountains and man declare there is Beauty after all.
Last in the list was the Lord’s voice and it stopped me, because how often this is true.
His words, His commands, the speaking of His will is always the plumb line of beauty and truth. We measure our actions against it. Our eyes through it.
His voice, sweet to children and confounding the wicked. Be careful to hear it.
Quick to listen, slow to speak. And maybe this applies to our Father as well as brothers – the beautiful sound waves of a loving parent.
His Mercy is More.
Not to fuel defiance. No get out of good behaviour free card. And certainly not an immunity to the consequences of rebellion.
But what these words whisper, is to remind us that what Jesus did, we can not undo.
What He purposed for His children is our new hearts and redeemed souls.
And He got what He came for.
So let’s not mince words in shades of gray or excuse ourselves politely as an exception to the rule.
The story goes…New Hearts get busy with God’s work.
And no yoke, obedience becomes instead, the most joyful expression of a brighter sky.
- When you’re writing a card and a word doesn’t look right, it’s OK to scratch it out and fix it. Don’t rip up the whole card.
- Don’t worry if the music makes you homesick. It will be the most pleasant kind of sadness there is.
- Never wait until you’re thirsty to drink water.
- Never wait until you’re bored to read a book.
- Muscadines are the sweetest, best, plumiest grapes that I’ve ever tasted. They also make my lips tingle and burn.
- Keep more stamps around than you think you need.
- If you turn your back on a plant, it will be do much better than lots of careful attention.
- Changing sheets is the quickest path to getting your act together.
9. A company makes personal essential oil diffusers. Oh my. Oh dear.
I’m an emotional chameleon. Give me a sad story and I will twist myself into knots to avoid the sadness of it, shade myself to some less mindful clime.
Too often, I don’t stay to fight, the flight instinct is strong and carries me through nodding, smiling and beating a quick retreat to denial.
Friends are not made with denial however. And we don’t take breaths because of a God who winks at our tears.
Instead of flinching, we are told to lean into the mess. Just a little longer. Just a little dearer.
I’ve been thinking a lot about it these weeks, and realizing that if I weep for the world or someone else’s hard news – these aren’t tears falling out of line with Scripture.
Instead, we are agreeing with God’s design for burden bearing, not the fixing, fussing or fleeing that I love so much.
So I’ll seek out the sad and stay awhile. Put up a tent and boil some tea.
Keep them close. And tell them the truth.