Monday, April 30, 2012

Hope

I've recently been through some things that have left me feeling dispensable, easily replaced and erased, instantly forgotten. I have been blessed beyond measure to have never felt those things until now. It's only by the mercy of God He has allowed a cloak of covering around my heart that has prevented me from experiencing that type of pain. And it is the mercy of God to allow me to experience it now.

"I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted."
Job 42:2

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." 
CS Lewis

If you know me at all, you know the Lord has given me an outlet for a healthy dosage of tears. :) This past month I have felt broken, exhausted, and weak in ways I never have before. The days and nights of constant tears have drained me and brought me to my knees on countless occasions. It's the first time in my 18 years as a believer that I can say I've understood (as much as a human can) what is means to rest in the comforting arms of my Father, the Creator of the whole universe. It's a cherished thing I wouldn't change, despite the pain that brought me there. My pain pales in comparison to so many, but I've learned what Paul says in Corinthians: "when I am weak, He is made strong." There have been days I've felt as if I had not one single drop of love or energy to give anyone, let alone praise God with zeal and passion. I've sat at the feet of Christ just begging for Him to fill me because I just didn't know what to say or do. So, I sat. I'm not a sitter...I'm a doer. I'm your classic Martha - and in His love, God is pricking and prodding and disciplining me, and making me to yearn Him and desire to sit with Him. To "be still" and know that HE is God...

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."
Psalm 51:17

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love." 
Washing Irving

I saw October Baby tonight. Talk about a heart-wrenchingly beautiful film. In it the main girl expresses her confusion and anguish over feeling unwanted. I related in my own way. I began to realize how often we all fall prey to the lie that we don't matter, that we are forgotten, that we aren't enough, that we're replaceable- whether through death, divorce, betrayal, abuse, cancer, neglect, loss, etc... The problem is, to humanity, it's true. To many, we don't matter. We are easily forgotten. We aren't enough. We're replaceable. That's a hard pill to swallow... What's even harder to swallow is that the One who should leave us, based on our track record, is the Faithful One, the Strong Tower, the Ever Present, the Protector, the One who sings over us with joy, who shields us under His Almighty wings. To Jesus, we are His chosen people and He will never, ever forget us or neglect us. He was bruised for our transgressions, scarred for our iniquites. It's by the stripes of Jesus Christ that we are healed.

"I will not forget you, for I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.." 
Isaiah 49:16

"The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want."
Psalm 23:1

That's hope. Hope isn't in your situation or circumstance. Regardless the condition of your heart today, God is God and He is good. He defends you, loves you, protects you, and sustains you. Nothing touches you that doesn't first got through His hands. He IS in control. Your life IS written by His sovereign hands. There's something beautifully hopeful and life-giving in that. Surrender. Rest. Hope. The Creator of the Stars has chosen you, the very hands that whole the world holds your heart.

You are never alone. I am not alone, praise God!

"If you are God's child you have reason for hope no matter how hard things are, or how weak you feel, because Christ live inside you."
Paul David Tripp

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in You...You have kept count of my tossings. You hold my tears in Your bottle; are they not also in Your book?"
Psalm 56:3, 8

I am chosen, hand-picked by my Father, to show the world who He is. I am indispensable to Him, He will never grow tired or weary of me, He will never replace me, I am not forgotten, He wants me and adores me. I have His stamp of eternal ownership on me, and nothing and no one can take that away. THAT, my friends, is where joy is found. I am His and He is mine.

"For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but His joy comes in the morning."
Psalm 30:5



hope.