Help! I’m Coming Undone

In the stillness-He is there

My emotions have been all over the map for many months, and with good reason. My mother died a few months ago, my sister is on a difficult cancer journey. I’m twelve hours away from her, and seventeen hours away from my grieving daddy. I also let go of some ministries I dearly loved. And, now we’re in the process of selling our house and buying another. So, there are many mornings I get up feeling crazy!

What’s kept me from totally unraveling is falling on my face and having a talk with my heavenly Father. That conversation goes like this:

  • I’m overwhelmed. God says. “I’m here.”
  • I’m sad. God says, “I’m here.”
  • I’m anxious over a big decision. God says, “I’m here.”
  • I’m scared. God says, “I’m here.”
  • I don’t understand. God says, “I’m here.”
  • I’m exhausted. God says, “I’m here.”

The Lord God, the great I AM – He meets me where I am.

My sister’s house is adorned with scripture plaques. Almost every wall is decorated with something spiritual. I love being surrounded by such beauty! My favorite plaque has these words:

In the stillness, He is there. 

These words are taken from I Kings 19 when Elijah is fleeing from Queen Jezebel who is ready to take him out. He is running scared. He is exhausted physically and emotionally. God miraculously fed him on the journey and gave him rest. With his replenished soul and body, he travelled 40 days and 40 nights to meet with his God on Mt Horeb, the same place God manifested his glory to Moses. After spending the night in a cave, God commanded him to present himself on the mountain for the Lord was going to pass by. God sent a powerful wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but He was not in those manifestations of nature. God came to him in quietness. “And the word of the Lord came to him…a gentle whisper.” F.B. Myer says of this encounter: There the forces of Nature spoke to Elijah’s varying moods. In the fire, the earthquake, and the tempest he heard the voices of his own soul. ….Then the accents of the “still small voice” fell upon his ear, calming quieting, soothing.

F.B. Myer also says that God does not judge us by our moods. I say, “Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus!” I can pour out my soul to Him sharing every emotion imaginable and in His still, soothing voice He says, “I am here.” The great I AM is with me. That is enough. I am helped. I am calmed.

 

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Comfort In Tragedy

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I am grateful for my spiritual upbringing. Going to church was a consistent part of my life and I loved going. I never had the desire to quit. Part of my spiritual life included being in a girls’ group within the church that emphasized scripture memory. Some of those verses were the 23rd Psalm. That Psalm must have embedded itself in me during those years between 10 and 12 because at age 12 tragedy came into my life. My sister and I were spending the weekend at my grandparent’s home. We adored them and loved going to their house that was in a rural area. The Friday evening after we arrived, my grandparents took us into town to visit other family members. One the way home a fence was down and black angus cows were in the middle of the road. Because it was dark it was difficult for my grandfather who was driving to see them so we ran into them. My grandfather, grandmother, and 5 year old sister were thrown out of the front seat. The car then spun many times and Grandmother was killed almost instantly. There were no scratches on the other two. I was in the back seat and those doors did not fling open, like the front ones, so I was physically safe.

The ambulance came. We all went to the hospital. There in the waiting room was a Gideon Bible. I knew exactly where to turn since Psalm 23 had been one of the portions of scripture I had memorized. There in those scriptures I found comfort in my sorrow. There was a peace that flooded my soul and stayed with me for years to come even when awful images popped into my mind. You see, the car ran over Grandmother. I saw her in her last moments struggling as she took her last breath. I know severe emotional trauma could have followed, but God’s presence and the presence of His Word in my life was what helped sustain me in the days that followed. There was also a peace that passes all understanding that came because I knew Grandmother had put her faith and trust in Jesus Christ and that she was home in heaven with Him. That accident happened 47 years ago. I continue being amazed at the rewards and benefits that come from having God’s Word embedded in my heart. Storms still come into my life. One of the ways I’m able to walk through them without drowning in despair is spending time reading God’s Word and meditating on those verses that bring comfort and hope. The Word of God over and over lets me know how much God loves me and cares for me. That’s the foundation that keeps me strong and lets me know I’m safe  no matter what comes my way.

Thirsting For God

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This morning as I was reading Psalm 42 I remembered hearing a great sermon 10 years ago while attending a conference in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico. I was at a spiritually dry time in my life. I can’t remember the reasons, but I knew something was missing in my love and passion for Christ. I knew something was lacking when I worshipped. I could see passionate worship in others, but it wasn’t in me. It was through the words of this servant of God and this particular Psalm that God spoke to me. The Psalmist wrote: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” I was thirsty and I was desperate and I wanted to be filled.

In that sermon, the pastor told a powerful story of a young man who was going into the ministry. Like most young ministers, he wanted to know the key to a powerful ministry. He knew of a godly older minister whose ministry had been amazingly powerful and fruitful. He sought him out to seek his wisdom. He had to find out the secret! The older minister asked, “Are you sure you want to know?” “Yes, I do,” the young man proclaimed! The older man then took the younger one to a horse tank full of murky slimy water. Without warning, he grabbed and plunged  the young man’s head down into the murky water. He held it there even though the young man struggled mightily. He finally released his vice-grip hold and raised him out of the water. The young man took in a huge gasp of air. It was a wonderful, deep freeing breath. The older man said, “When you’re as desperate for God as you were for that next breath, you will have the power of God.”

That night we sang a song that will always be one of my favorites that is taken from Psalm 42.

As the deer panteth for the water

So my soul longeth after thee

You alone are my heart’s desire

And I long to worship thee

You alone are my strength, my shield

To you alone may my spirit yield

You alone are my heart’s desire

And I long to worship thee.

I want you more than gold or silver,

Only You can satisfy.

You alone are the real joygiver

And the apple of my eye.

I know joy in worship returned for me that night. I was grieved that my love and worship for God had become lukewarm. I asked God to forgive me and I know He did. I expressed to Him how much I loved Him and that I wanted joy restored more than I wanted anything else. He knew my heart. He heard my cry. He responded. That’s the kind of God I know, I’ve experienced, and want to live for. Restore to me the joy of your salvation. And give me a willing spirit to obey you. Psalm 51:12