I can’t get enough.

April 30, 2007

Jesus was not rebuking the disciples in this passage. Their faith was real, but it was disordered and unfocused, and was not at work in the important realities of life. The disciples were scattered to their own concerns and they had interests apart from Jesus Christ. After we have the perfect relationship with God, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our faith must be exercised in the realities of everyday life. We will be scattered, not into service but into the emptiness of our lives where we will see ruin and barrenness, to know what internal death to God’s blessings means. Are we prepared for this? It is certainly not of our own choosing, but God engineers our circumstances to take us there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is sustained only by feelings and by blessings. But once we get there, no matter where God may place us or what inner emptiness we experience, we can praise God that all is well. That is what is meant by faith being exercised in the realities of life.

“. . . you . . . will leave Me alone.” Have we been scattered and have we left Jesus alone by not seeing His providential care for us? Do we not see God at work in our circumstances? Dark times are allowed and come to us through the sovereignty of God. Are we prepared to let God do what He wants with us? Are we prepared to be separated from the outward, evident blessings of God? Until Jesus Christ is truly our Lord, we each have goals of our own which we serve. Our faith is real, but it is not yet permanent. And God is never in a hurry. If we are willing to wait, we will see God pointing out that we have been interested only in His blessings, instead of in God Himself. The sense of God’s blessings is fundamental

“. . . be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” ( John 16:33 ). Unyielding spiritual fortitude is what we need.

-Oswald Chambers


Holding Pattern

April 28, 2007

This is one of those posts of unusual vulnerability. It will probably be taken down quickly, so if you happen to see it, you check my blog too often. I’ve been sad lately. You gentlemen may not understand what it feels like have a perpetual need to cry – for no reason. But the ladies will understand. It’s completely irrational, and completely ubiquitous. I can’t even identify what brought it on. I just know that I woke up a few weeks ago and have been sad since. I remember waking up and thinking, “There is no practical reason that I need to get out of this bed today.” Absence of purpose is not good for a person’s soul, especially someone who is very “cause” driven. Since I’ve left my job in October, I have been waiting for direction. People ask me what I want to do, and I have no idea what to tell them. I think we get caught up in other people’s dreams because they can be very compelling. I have so many friends who are passionate about Africa. And the needs there are so great, and they are so important to me, but they are not what drive me. And so I have been thinking about what really engages my heart. And I have come up with a few things that have been important to me as long as I can remember. But how and when I will be able to use my gifts to impact those areas is a mystery to me.

On some level, I feel that my life looks the way it does ultimately because of the choices I have made. Even though God has made it so clear to me that I didn’t chose to leave my old job as much as I just responded to His leading. He was calling me into a time of discipline and dependency. How can my heart be sad when my Jesus wanted some time to draw me closer to His side? Just Him and me. It bottles the mind. (If you haven’t seen Blades of Glory, 1. You won’t understand “bottles the mind” and 2. You are a more discerning person than I.)

This week, God gave me specific direction and peace about a decision I had been vacillating over for months. The next day, I was again wondering if I had done the right thing. Dad and I were talking about this, and after listening to me evaluate every feeling and decision I had faced, he said, “You’re a good little legalist, aren’t you, Cheryl. You obsess over decisions you make out of fear that if you make the wrong one, God is going to club you over the head. You have a “quid pro quo theology” that doesn’t live in the light of the grace and leading of God. That’s what it’s talking about in Galatians. The legalists seek, but we wait on Him. You aren’t in a holding pattern. The hand of God gave you today. Today IS your life. Just go and live it.”

I know a lot of people who are “in between” whatevers. I know I’m not the only one enduring the pangs of uncertainty. Maybe that is why I was compelled to expose my heart about this dark season though which I am currently walking.

So I have made Psalm 40 my new best friend. I recommend praying this to the only One who can deliver. It seems that the more I plead my case, the more I notice that He does not address the specifics, but just lets me know that He is with me and that He is working. His joy comes from so many places. So many of you have been His hands without even knowing it. You may never know how a brief, laughter inducing conversation got me through another hour, or how sharing in an evening run brought a sense of peace, or how being allowed to be a blessing to you was received as a touch from His hand.

And to all of you who are also wondering “what’s next?” may I remind you as I remind myself, that He has not left you and He is still working. After all, my Jesus is never in a holding pattern.


“Out of context but still funny” Quote of the week

April 27, 2007

“I will sleep like a Calvanist tonight.”
-Steve Donley


Ps. 40

April 26, 2007

Friends?

April 26, 2007

The ladies I am working with now all have guy “friends” that send them roses. My guy friends don’t do that. Hmmm. Maybe it’s an age thing.


My ears like:

April 25, 2007

The voices of my nieces and nephew saying, “AUNT CHERYL!”
Cicadas at night, in the summertime
A screen door on a country house swinging open and closed
Mountain rain falling on rhododendrons
The 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony: Allegretto
The 1812 Overture and the Moonlight Sonata
The sound of “O!” at Camden Yards during the National Anthem


April 24, 2007

Sometimes it can be very hard to tell the difference between refinement and erosion.