Wednesday, November 28, 2012

praying your tears.

there's a certain kind of inexplicable joy that comes only by way of sowing & investing our tears. the spontaneous praise and outpouring of thanksgiving is inevitable after having endured what seemed to be silence & even rejection from the Lord. as it appears, i so easily forget this but i know it's true b/c of psalm 126: 5-6- 
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.
i've been wrestling with God with a very simple request, on & off, for over a year now. i say simple b/c there's nothing really complex about this small favor. it's not a dire necessity. it's not some magic fix-it-all remedy or time machine to erase & redo the past. i just plainly told God, "it would be really nice if so & so happened." as uncomplicated & unadulterated as my motives were, i still thought it was impossible or at least highly unlikely, maybe even a tad bit selfish. although i can't quite explain or understand it, i believe the HS kept tugging at my heart to keep praying until it happened. throughout my walk with God, He's been teaching me, slowly & painfully, how to let go of offenses and injustices in order to allow Him to be the ultimate judge and redeemer. i think the most difficult part is feeling like it was a waste- all the tears, energy, time & love- just gone. so i find myself oscillating between letting go and pleading relentlessly with the Lord to do something. and although i don't need it, i feel that the result of my request would bring me a step closer to restoration.
it's like when i'm fully convinced that i'm as good as i'll ever be and i genuinely forgive & forget, a random & rude incident will provoke my desperation all over again. even when i thought the worst was just a distant memory, i'm dragged back down to where climbed up from & i realize i'm actually not okay, not even close.
there were countless times when i was so scared that i would never be redeemed or complete healing would evade me. i remember all the times i went running by myself and looked up & rhetorically asked, "it's gonna be so worth it, right, God? it's gonna be so good, right?" i got nothing.
as fearful as i was and regardless of how alone i felt, i was somehow overwhelmed with this crazy faith that it was all going to turn out really, really great. through all the tears that i cried when it was just me and God, i knew that this was just the hard part & it was going to be over soon. glory is coming. it's so like Him to not leave us where we're at & let us be just good enough. He takes our mediocre expectations & small dreams and blows them up to His proportions. is it possible, God, that You're even better than our wild imaginations will dare to believe? 
You're going to take these ashes & make them into something beautiful. right, God?
awaiting Your response...

I see heaven invading this place
I see angels praising Your holy name
I sing praises, I sing praises
I give You honor worthy Jesus

I see glory falling in this place
I see hope restored, the healing of all disease
I sing praises, I sing praises
I give You honor worth Jesus

we give You praise and all of the honor
You are our God, the one we live for
we give You praise and all of the glory God

Let Your presence fill this place
let heaven come
Let Your angels be released
let heaven come
We worship at Your feet
let heaven come
Face to face we wanna be
let heaven come

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

even if He doesn't.

one of my most fave bible verses is psalm 37:4- Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. whenever i lose hope or feel overcome by darkness, i remind God of this promise, as if He needs my reminder. on the surface and at first glance, this almost seems to imply that He's a means to an end or simply a way to get what i really want. over the past year, He's been unfolding multiple layers of this passage and inadvertently bringing revelation of what is actually deep in my heart. the more i spend time in His presence and find myself delighting in Him, He becomes the object of my desires. it's like the more i taste and see Him the more i need, like an obsession...w/o the unhealthy side effects.
i have to be honest, though. even with this revelation of being found more and more in His presence, i still get furious and baffled with disbelief as i continue to offer my prayer requests to the Lord. i won't claim to be blameless or have zero faults, but i sincerely pursue holiness and strive to have integrity and purity in my actions and thoughts. so why are hurtful things still happening now? why the added WTF situations on top of the damage that has already been done? seriously. (gosh, i sound like such a whiner, i know). just when i start to feel whole and restored, i find myself derailed and hurt on new levels. and the worst part is, i can't even fight back anymore. i used to be fierce and fiery inside. now i just become paralyzed with fear, my mind racing with everything i want to say but don't, just stupidly in shock. the confrontation comes later when i'm in my room crying out to God that it's not fair. (yes, i realize how silly it sounds to tell God what's fair & not. a whole generation of israelites died before they got to enter the promised land and i'm telling God what's fair).
looking back, i realize that although i thought i was just being cowardly and a pushover, i was actually allowing God to be my defender and righteous judge and to fight for me when i couldn't do it anymore. even when i was faced with accusations and piercing words, i was overwhelmed with ridiculous stillness and inundated with inexplicable peace. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5
so what if i never see redemption? what if He ultimately doesn't rescue, heal or provide? when i don't see the fulfillment of His promises or my heart's desires, will i love Him less if these are left unanswered? i don't wanna sound defeated or hopeless, or even worse, cynical. but i've been thinking a lot this week about petitioning with God and not getting the response that i want. is my love and commitment to God contingent on favorable results and abundant provisions? i'm reading through the book of daniel this week and the answer to all my previously stated questions in my heart are in daniel 3:17-18, "...the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not..."
what a privilege it is to choose God when we can't see Him through the darkness and fire that we're in. this short and fleeting life is the only chance we will have to be able to claim that we chose God even in the midst of our sickness and brokenness. although it hurts like heck and i don't understand, He's giving me opportunities to say yes to Him and still love Him when my heart is so offended and i can't make sense or reason out of what's going on. b/c that's real love, right? it's funny how this comes back full circle- in that, when there was absolutely nothing good in me, He first loved me. not that we could ever repay Christ for choosing us, but each time we choose Him, especially when it's extra hard, we're crowning Him with honor and glory. 
i'm still holding onto the promise that He will be faithful to my heart's desires as i continue to delight in Him. 
i haven't stopped praying for full restoration and crazy redemption and i know He's working everything out for my good. but even if He does not...