My thoughts are in a puddle today. They seem to have no structure, no reasonable process that they are flowing thru. They run everywhere, this way and then that way. I think we are going one way, and then suddenly they are on another tangent altogether.
You see, life, pain, disappointment, and hard questions are really real to me today. At the same time, joy, relief, and a deep, heart-yearning for Jesus are just as real.
I received a text this morning at 4:00 that I didn’t want to get. My uncle who has been fighting to recover from pancreatitis for the last 2 months left us this morning to cheer us on from heaven.
I feel so much joy for him, relief that he is pain and bleed free finally, and jealousy that he is right this minute living in the fullness of The Kingdom in Jesus’ presence.
At the same time, I feel such loss for his wife and children as well as for our family. It doesn’t seem fair that Logan, Samantha, and Vanessa will go through the rest of adolescence and all of adulthood without their daddy. It doesn’t seem fair that Verda will not grow old with him.
Not only does it not seem fair, it really ISN’T fair. Not.at.all.
Why do some couples and families get to stay together until they are old and have lived a long life together, and some are together for too short a time?
It’s not fair.
But nowhere does God promise us “fair.”
And while my flesh kicks and screams out against that fact, in my heart of hearts, I know that He did promise us something much better.
He promised us HIS PRESENCE.
He promised that nothing would come at us that would keep His Presence from us.
No test would come that would push us past our limit when we are walking in His presence.
He promised that His grace would be sufficient.
He promised He would NEVER leave or forsake us, EVER!
Last week as I was wrestling with God about Robert’s fight to live, I was insisting that Robert’s family absolutely needed him for much longer than this short time that they have had as a family with him as husband and daddy! Yes, you read that correctly! I was insisting on that to God and was very bullheaded about it. I really was.
alert: [rabbit trail here]
I am a firm believer in being very real with God about what I am feeling. I don’t try to sugarcoat my feelings or pretend that I’m not feeling what I am. I figure He created me to feel, He created emotions, and He knows what I’m feeling anyway-so I may as well be real.
He knows our feelings whether we are honest with Him or not-we may as well be real, people!
Reading through the book of Psalms showed me that David was raw, real, and loud with God about what he was feeling. That, along with reading John Eldredge’s book Beautiful Outlaw, helped me to come to a place of not hiding or pretending about my feelings. If you struggle with being real with your feelings, I highly recommend you read this book. It was life-changing for me!
[end of rabbit trail]
About my insistence with God…
Over the course of several days and the events that came with them, Jesus gently kept trying to bring me back to our conversation. I refused to go there until it literally smacked me in the face. The questions He had for me were these-
“Do you believe that My Presence is enough? Are My promises true for this situation? Do you trust Me?”
As I allowed my heart to go there and for His peace and Presence to wash over me, the tears came, the yielding came, the believing came.
“Yes, Jesus, You are enough. I trust Your promises. I trust Your grace.”
There are parts of me that are still unsettled and discontent. Where is the healing and power that followed the apostles in Acts? Why couldn’t that have happened for Robert? Why? Why?
I really want to know why, but if I get stuck in why I will totally miss “what?” And “What is God saying to me right now?” is important.
I have no illusions that I completely understand and have answers for the what questions, but I do know a few questions that God has been gently taking me through today.
He’s been asking me if I will trust Him with my family or cave in to fear of what could happen that would leave my marriage and family to feel broken and incomplete.
He’s been asking me if I will learn to love intentionally all the time.
He’s asking me if I will learn to come into His Presence no matter whether my circumstances are fabulous or heart-wrenching. Will I cling to His promises whether they feel true or not?
He’s been reminding me that He.Is.Good. Period. End of story.
HE IS GOOD.
So in the middle of my feelings being in a puddle and seemingly running everywhere, I choose to let them be surrounded and contained inside the promises that
- He is good.
- He is enough.
Always. No matter what.
These verses have been on my heart today-
But now, this is what the Lord says—He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:1, 2)
Please pray for Verda, Logan, Samantha, and Vanessa as they begin a new phase of this journey of life. Pray for God’s peace to penetrate every pore of their beings. Pray for them to know deeply God’s goodness.
And, for all of us, do we live in His Presence? Do we know Him? Do we know His goodness and promises to be real and true?
In the storms of life as well as the green pastures and still waters, He is the ONLY ONE who is constant, never-changing. Always, always there for us.