The wind is howling. I can hear it through the palm trees sitting on the patio of the back porch. The temperature is cooler here. The water is so still, so peaceful. The moon reflects some light into this dark night. The view is exceptional both during the day but also in the evening. My favorites are the sunrises and the sunsets where the sky looks painted with reds, oranges, pinks and blues. That is one thing about Florida and living by the beach that always puts me at ease. That I can look up and experience this picture of creation that’s being created by my creator. It’s this sense of I am not in control even when I think I am. I am not capable of painting the skies like this and if I was, I know for certain that it would never look as good.
So peaceful and a calming in my heart. I must admit I have had a day of wrestling with God and it’s taken me a while to get this place. Tomorrow may look exactly the same, I don’t know. There is something deep down inside of me that can’t ignore God when He is trying to say something or there is a truth that He wants me to stand in. Sometimes I wish there was an off button, like I could turn my brain off, like I could shut out His voice but it just doesn’t work like that with me. It never has. It’s connected to my every thought.
The territory that God is calling me into now at this moment and in this season is uncharted. It’s new, it’s scary. Terrified might be a better choice of word. It’s like fear and faith battling it out. Nothing is safe anymore, nothing can be held onto tightly. It’s a love hate relationship. There are times when I embrace the adventure and other times where I stand in resistance wanting nothing more to surrender in defeat. It’s entering into everything with an open hand and being able to rest in that place. It’s trusting in the character of God in the middle of the storms; it’s claiming God’s promises and truth when everything else is attempting to sway your focus and steal your attention. Too often this is what happens. We look at our circumstances and that determines our picture of who God is when it should be the opposite. We should be looking to God for help in interpreting our circumstances knowing He doesn’t shift nor change, it’s just the crazy world that we live in that does. Human beings long for something consistent and I’m finding that the world is not, so why not trust in a God who is.
Tonight Lilly, Suzanne and I were laying upstairs in her bed praying but more of being still and resting in the presence of God. God promises his presence and after this day, it’s exactly what I needed. A fresh perspective that wasn’t based on my own understanding. I was reminded of a prayer that was said over me last week at the International Christian Youthwork conference by my leader Linda that echoed the story from Luke 8
“One day he and his disciples got in a boat. “Let’s cross the lake,” he said. And off they went. It was smooth sailing, and he fell asleep. A terrific storm came up suddenly on the lake. Water poured in, and they were about to capsize. They woke Jesus: “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” Getting to his feet, he told the wind, “Silence!” and the waves, “Quiet down!” They did it. The lake became smooth as glass. Then he said to his disciples, “Why can’t you trust me?” They were in absolute awe, staggered and stammering, “Who is this, anyway? He calls out to the winds and sea, and they do what he tells them!”24-26
I love this question. Why can’t you trust me Jesus asked them.
It’s this whole idea of the world around us spinning completely out of control and there is nothing you can do to stop it. How do we stay grounded? How do we stand firm when there is so much uncertainty? And how do we get to a place in ourselves that no matter what the outcomes are of the things we go through, that God is still good and that He is for us. That’s an intense approach and requires raw faith.
A voice echoed in my head over and over,
“ Do you trust me? This is a simple thing, you either do or you don’t and all this running around in circles in your brain to figure me out, it’s not working. Do you trust in me enough when these winds are blowing all over place, that I am enough? That only I can make them stop and in the midst of them give you peace.”
When we want the answers all the time or try to play God in our own lives it is no longer faith. God is wanting us to be completely dependent on Him.
What I love is this, I have great community around me that constantly encourage me, that help me to stay focused on the right thing, the only thing…..Jesus. I think of the women that are walking so closely with God. All unique in personality, giftedness, talent, and expression of life. Women that are not perfect and don’t attempt to be. Women that are slow to speak and quick to listen. Women that are not judgmental but gracious and compassionate. Women that are fragile, vulnerable, and human and love Jesus with everthing that they have within them. Women that are not proud or boastful but are humble and bowed down. “We are, each and every one of us, insignificant people whom God has called and graced to use in a significant way. In His eyes, the high-profile ministries are no more significant than those that draw little to no attention or publicity. On the last day, Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas, or honors but for scars. “
Name dropping here: Katherine, Mel, Suzanne, Lilly, Lindsay, Momma Molle, Melissa F, Alysen, Hannah, Julie, Rachel and my little Becks, Lou, and Moe. These women inspire me. All of us have scars, all of us have faced pain, some more severe than others but all of us are on path of redemption. I love that I can be free when I am in the
presence of these great women regardless of whether I stand in conflict and uncertainty or whether life is making sense. The reality is we all feel both of those emotions at some point and its liberating when how you really feel can be communicated and understood.
As I was writing this I heard a song by Florence and the Machines and it caught my attention. Never let me Go- off the new album. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j9Bu1oo6Gw I felt myself worshipping to it. I am not sure how the song itself is to be interpreted or understood but this particular line resonated with my spirit.
God presses in on us when He is at work and calls us into deeper waters. He promises to be there, to remain consistent and to never leave us. This can seem too scary of an adventure but when we walk through the threshold into a new place, there is freedom. And what I am encouraged about in all of this is the idea of how we never have to do this on our own. We are each other’s cheerleaders.