Hello! It’s me…long time, no see (or read anyway).
[Editor’s note: For those who have been reading my blog over the years (starting with my CaringBridge blog before my late husband Chris passed away in 2009), I apologize I haven’t written since April of last year. The reason I haven’t is somewhat complicated, but the desire of my heart has always been to showcase the goodness and glory of God, who is my Life, and my All in All. Our world is in such a state of spiritual upheaval, and it needs Jesus. And we, His followers, are the ones who have an incredible opportunity to show them the hope that is found only in Him. If we lose our hope, how will lost and broken people find it? I am writing again, not because it’s easy; it’s mostly because I need to hear words of encouragement to stay in this race. We know who wins. It’s Jesus. But we don’t know when our race will end. I want to run strong and finish strong…wherever the finish line is.]
We live in a dangerous time. There is so much going wrong in the world, in our nation, and possibly in our own lives personally. Not only have I been grieving from witnessing our country being torn apart, the last two years of my own life have felt like I am being torn apart – there have been many moments I have felt quite helpless, distinctly alone, and most definitely incapable of doing life, except by the mighty grace of God. It’s no wonder my blogging pen has been silent for over a year now. How can you write when words are hard to come by, and you feel it is wisest to be silent and just wait on God?
One thing I do know. The enemy of our souls would love to conquer us by blinding us to God’s goodness and mercy, which He pours out on us undeservedly each day. And our pain and sense of entitlement can tempt us to live in the muck and slime of discontent. Even if we are personally working hard to be thankful, just being around others who are routinely complaining and ungrateful can discourage us to the point of becoming complainers!
What is the remedy? My soul needs to breathe in the sweet grace of God’s Word and meditate on His kindness and faithfulness each day to win this battle. My lips need to whisper, sing, and shout the goodness and praise of our God. I need to run into my Father’s arms every day and find that the heartbeat of His love is unwavering, strong, and for me.
And my heart needs to repent.
Knowing God’s deep love for me in Christ, who covered all my sins on the cross frees me up to see that I deserve nothing, and yet He has given me everything I truly need, all because He is good.
Not only does God pour out His provision for my life and lovingkindness when I don’t deserve it, He gives me His Word, and it comes with the power of His Spirit to believe it, embrace it, and walk in it. Without it, I am truly helpless. How generous He is to help me in all these areas – believing, embracing, and living in His truth!
Walking in His wisdom for us each day involves learning what pleases Him, and then asking Him to give me the grace to let His truth transform my mind as His Spirit transforms my heart.
A couple of verses I keep on hand to remind me of what pleases Him, when it comes to contentment and my words:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14, NASB)
Yes, practicing this is the hard part, especially the darker the times look, or the more we suffer. But belief leads to obedience. My steps so often are like the disciple Peter, when he wanted to walk on the water to Jesus, yet saw the frightening waves all around him and started to sink.
Yet, as Jesus reached out to him and lifted him up to safety, my faltering heart can be strengthened by God’s Spirit, as I purpose to walk in contentment, “I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8, NIV), and cry out, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24, NKJV)