Sunday Psalm: Breakthrough is Coming

Open up the heavens, we wanna see You.
Open up the floodgates, a mighty river flowing from Your heart
filling every part of our praise.

-Meredith Andrews

When I feel blue or
down in the dumps of
my despair,
You breathe
the truth of who You are
into my spirit,
and stir my heart
back to life:

Breakthrough is coming.

No matter how it looks,
however You choose
to set me free, Lord
I willingly accept it.

For not only is freedom
just ahead,
You remind me
it is not based on
anything I can do
to earn it.
My part is to receive.

But Breakthrough
and Freedom are
one & the same…
for they are found in You,
Jesus.

Living breathing
fully man & fully God
wherever You walk in,
Your freedom abounds.
When You speak,
Breakthrough obeys
Your command.

So I will continue to wait,
praising You for who You are,
seeking all You have for me.

In Your time,
from Your hand,
for Your glory,
may the breakthrough
I am waiting for
& You have promised
come to be.

#SundayPsalm
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snapshots along the way: inbetween

In between the tomb and the reveal was time.

Time spent in flustered confusion.
Waterworks of weeping.
Loud lamenting.
Deep sorrow.
Grief.

Not only over the One nailed to the tree, but also for their betraying brother who ended his life distraught over his part in harming the One they all loved.

They lost Judas too.

They didn’t yet get that Jesus wasn’t lost forever.

The big question everyone was either speaking about loud or in the forefront of their minds:
“Why?”

If Jesus was who He said He was, why did it have to go down that way?

Why the anguish, the suffering of Jesus? 

Why did the people turn on Him, after all He did for them?

Why did Jesus speak about remembering Him, and the temple being restored after 3 days?

Why is all this happening, God?

Why didn’t I pay closer attention to Him while He was still with us?

Not that much has changed in 2000 years, has it?

If you are being honest too, we all hate to wait. Being stuck in that inbetween, that ‘limbo’ holding space between actions. Waiting for what we cannot always know is coming. Waiting with wavering faith, shed tears, shattered dreams.

Jesus can relate.

I believe He took that time, not necessarily because He had to but to show us He understands the tension in between, coz He’s been there.

His whole life on earth was just such a tension. Fully man & Fully God, waiting for His big reveal.

We have a Savior who has lived through all that humanity has to offer us here on earth. 

He can relate.

Coz He has been there.

Instead of reminding us of what is about to come, we need to wait.

Remember the tension between reality and what we hope for yet to come.

And wait….

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Sunday Psalm: Wherever I Go

Everywhere I go
I know
You’re not far away
You’re right here,
You’re right here

-Jeremy Camp

I have wasted
so much time
so much effort
trying to hide
to run away from You
in my shame,
to try and cover up
how undone i really am.

It didn’t matter how far I ran
You were there along side me,
offering me quenching water
as I ran the race
which i secretly wanted
to lead me to You
despite my taking off
in the wrong direction.
I missed the subtle detours
You placed along the path
I ran until
I saw You waiting at the
finish line
as You waited
to congratulate me
for making it back
home to You.

It didn’t matter how deep I dove
to try and cover myself
in the very mud of the pit
You had rescued me from
when You found me,
You continued to serenade
Your love song
of longing and freedom
until I couldn’t take the stench
of the pit any longer,
and reached up to take the
outstretched arms
which had been waiting
all along.

It didn’t matter how high I tried to climb on my own,
the landslide of my pride
once broken
slid me straight
into Your embrace.

Everywhere I go,
You are.

When I take my eyes off
the passionate love that glows
for me
in Your eyes,
and tune out
the devotion, freedom and truth
You speak over me
I falter
and lose my way.

Yet everywhere I find myself,
You are waiting for me there.

You will never let go
of Your bride,
for You are the One
who paid such
a costly dowry
to purchase me,
such is Your great love
for me.

My heart pounds,
my spirit leaps in response:

I surrender God.
I embrace You,
and want to join You
everywhere
You are.
Instead of making
You chase after me,
I chose to chase after You
today.

May this be my prayer
all of my days.

#SundayPsalm
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open arms await at the end of your journey home

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The part of the Prodigal son story that really got me in the gut?

The fact the son knew the Father would take him back in.

Now, I know he missed exactly how much his father loved him under the weight of his shame, but he still knew he had a place with God.

So do you and I.

God gets that we will sometimes stray, wander & journey far. He intimately knows each of us, and as our Creator He knew this would be an lasting impact from the fall.

But He never stops waiting for us to come home.

Wherever your journey takes you today, He both waits and keeps watch over you.

His love is radiating out His eyes as He follows your steps.

His heart beats loudly as it yearns for your return.

He doesn’t have servanthood in store for you, but sonship.

He will restore the damages done as you wandered, pilgrim.

Wherever your feet may have strayed.

Come home.

when the wait seems too long…the embrace

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee.

The people of Israel had been waiting…while in captivity in Babylon, through their rebuilding of their homeland, during the Roman occupation.

Messiah?! When are You coming to deliver us?

And they waited, and they waited; some still wait today.

God didn’t just want to deliver His people again from their physical fears and oppression.

He wanted to save them, from the inside out. To set them free within.

His plan was and is Jesus. Immanuel, God with us.

When the waiting is long, we tend to get fixed on how we think things should be when we get our answer to our prayer, don’t we? We begin to picture it in our minds, and expect it in our hearts.

But God doesn’t like being boxed in by human expectations.

For He is bigger than that, uncontainable in His Godness.

Yet, in the long awaited unfurling of His plan, He contained Himself within Mary, in a act that set off a chain reaction for the rest of time into eternity.

He demonstrated God could live within man…by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God acted so we could know God can be with us. Not just with, but within us. Always.

Apart from God Himself, i believe no one understood this miracle more than Mary.

God extended an invitation to Mary, allowing Jesus to move in.

That same invitation is available for us all.

The wait may have been long, but what a present awaits us, freshly opened Christmas eve.

God’s presence was the present the world had been waiting for.

His embrace is the grace of the gift of God with us, not the familiar of God set apart the world had become accustomed to.

Mary carried Jesus for 9 months, waiting and longing for the day she would meet her Messiah dace to face. I am sure Mary was also inwardly terrified at the wonder of it all. The God she worshipped living with her, to be born to live in the community He came to bring into His embrace.

The embrace is the point of the wait.

When we haven’t seen a loved one for a long time, there is something about that embrace we share when we are reunited.

That is the exact embrace God delivered & offered us all on Christmas Eve:

Come, I am waiting for you.
I am with you.
I love you.
Welcome Home.

#TheWhenSeries
#AdventuresinAdvent

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When how long becomes too long

What do you do when your answer isn’t coming?

Because the loving God I know intimately has only the best for me…I know this deep deep within my soul. I believe His promises. I know His character never changes. He says He is for me, and He is all in, all the time.

So what do I do when after 31 years when an old adversary rears its head again, after being kept under control for the past few months?

When not only does it swiftly come back with a vengeance, but does so embarrassingly and very, very publicly?

I got mad.

So mad that the tears I wanted to cry didn’t have a chance to come out, as I am still mamma bearing over the continued bumbling over my daughter’s health situation.

I cleaned myself off as much as possible, and shifted from reaction mode into full tilt pursuit of God mode.

The enemy picked the wrong time and wrong person to piss off this time.

I prayed. Not long, or with many words, but:

“Enough, God. Shift the atmosphere around me to repel this attack, because if You are for me, this isn’t Your handiwork. I have had enough in my own strength. I need Your strength and endurance to help me through. Be my never failing hope, right here, right now.”

And I have a peace despite my stirred up emotions.

I know that I am in good hands.

I know He has plans for me to bless, prosper and lead me to a future beyond what I can imagine as I lie here now in discomfort and wearily type.

The same God I proclaimed and praised this morning at church, in the car this afternoon, and as I write this early evening….is with me.

He is more than enough for the worst the world can wrangle my way.  He continues to be there, helping me cope with the crisis, change as He calls, and cooperate with His Spirit as He lovingly leads me forward with care.

God is all in, always.

All in? As in all of Him is for me: when Jesus gave His all on the cross,
in whatever I am facing in this moment,
always, and forever.

In good times and through the bad, I am all in.

My hope is found in God.

Life, in its ups & downs, is temporary.

God is not.

I choose God to keep my focus and hope upon.

I only see things from my view point. God sees all things in all time. I can trust He is in control, even when I cannot see it.

And when a new situation suddenly shows up, sooner versus later, as one always seems to?

I will remind myself again that God is my true home. My refuge.
And I am safe in His embrace through it all, always.

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in the wait

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Sometimes, all you can do in the wait is worship.

I am so thankful for my best friends today. I was awaiting some test results (i have some inflammation in some joints not going away) and instead of hiding myself away (my usual for things that concern me directly) I asked God to help keep my mind focused on something else instead.

Impromptu coffee with 3 girlfriends before my appointment helped, as did reading through the Psalms this morning.

Sometimes all you can do in the wait is worship….

I have several friends seeking answers and direction right now. We all tend to have a question or two we want God to answer, right?

Sometimes God says no because He doesn’t want us to go through that door, because He knows the damage we could encounter on the other side.

Sometimes God seems silent, because we really haven’t asked Him the real question on our hearts, because we are afraid He won’t love us anymore.

Sometimes God seems distant, because we withdraw inside ourselves from believing the blessings He has are really for us,  because if God really knew us, He wouldn’t want us any longer.

Sometimes God says yes, and confirms yes in a miraculous amazing way that dumbfounds us until we cannot contain the joy within any longer.

But sometimes God doesn’t appear to answer, because His answer is to wait. Not yet.

And its the not as clearly answered times, the feeling like we are in a drought, or on our own, where the secret to maintaining our hope becomes more evident.

It is in worshipping Him where we can rest in the waiting.

The laying it all down before Him, our hopes, dream, questions, wounds, hurts, brokenness, questions…. is an act of worship.

Giving our all to the One who deserves our attention 24/7, 365 days a year because of who He is, let alone what He has done for His people over the centuries, and what He will do into eternity.

Worship in the waiting opens our eyes to see who He really is, opens our ears to hear His quiet loving voice, opens our minds to sense His leading, and opens our hearts to receive His love.

Sometimes our waiting is designed to reach us, change us in a deeper fashion than a quick yes or straight no can.

Because sometimes we aren’t yet ready to hear the answer, let alone accept it.

When we draw near to God in worship, He equips us for what we need, right now, for what we are dealing with right now.

Sometimes His Presence is more than enough to help us through.

Today, God clearly demonstrated that although I had some test results come back, I need to wait until the next assessment coming up for more clarity.

And He has given me a peace beyond what I expected, as I keep my eyes fixed on Him on this path.

Whatever His timing, I choose to place my hope in knowing He has the best in store for me no matter what I see.

In a new way today, I found hope in His Presence.

holding pattern

The limbo of waiting and being in between.

There is nothing quite like it.

The pain that comes from holding yourself back.

The tension of the not quite yet.

So close you can almost taste it.

In my life, it usually is a time of self examination.

What do I need to purge from myself to be ready for what is coming?

Am I too impatient? Controlling? Indecisive?

Do I have a bad habit or behavior I need to pull out by the root to make way for a healthier new one?

Is there something that I have left unfinished that I need to complete?

Is God wanting me to trust more, leave fear and worry behind and amp up my faith factor?

Not only time itself will tell.

Time spent with God is the difference maker.

Worshipping who He is.
Pouring out our thanks in praise for what He has done in our lives.
Listening and looking for His promptings and whispers of direction.
Soaking in His presence.
Filling up with His truth in the Word.

Somehow interwoven together with all those actions above, is waiting.

The waiting is that limbo in between what is now, and what is to come.

When we actively wait, expecting God will move and answer us, we are changed in the process.

Saving up or working for something we long for has such a sweet satisfaction attached to finally achieving it, like buying a car or paying off your mortgage.

God works the same way.

We are somehow stronger in depending and waiting on God, instead of jumping right in.

You see, we only see time as linear, moving forward minute by minute.
God sees all of time, history from before the first of creation right until the forever of the new heaven. Forever, each ever has been, is and will be moment of existence.

If He thinks we need to wait, there is a good reason for it.

I have decided to trust in the holding pattern I am in, even though I want what I want now.

Sound familiar?

That is the worldly kingdom talking.

And I want that bad attitude out of me.

Which is likely why God has me waiting….

So may I hear Your plans for me, God, and make the changes I need to to join where and when and what You have for me.

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