“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)
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Monday, April 19, 2010
When I despaired long ago....
These verses spoke loudly to me one day, when I was in despair:
Sometimes the circumstances of life cannot be put into writing. At the time of my despair, I felt like I was being devoured, torn in two, and destroyed by the heaviest of waves.
Isaiah 55 1-3:
Come! EVERYONE who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without price. Why do you spend yoour money for that which is not bread and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear to me, HEAR, that your soul may live.
I won't type all of this, but a few highlights:
Jesus asked the woman at the well for a drink. (She was a Samaritan)
She replied, "how is it you ask me, a Samaritan for a drink?"
Jesus replied, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink', you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."
"EVERYONE, who drinks from this water, will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give, will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will be come in him the Spring of water, welling up to eternal life."
The woman went on to talk about where to worship. and Jesus said, "God is spirit, and those who worship him, must worship in spirit and truth".
She then said, "I know the messiah is coming,when he comes he will tell us all things."
And Jesus said, "I who speak to you, am He."
John 6:51 Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give, for the life of the world, is my flesh.
6:52-58 Jesus said, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life. Whever fees on my flest and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day. FOr my flest is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever fees on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in meand I in him. As the living father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died,. Whoever fees on this bread will live forever.
In the circumstance of my life at that time. I had no life. I was looking at my circumstances and not putting my eyes on the Lord. Like the woman at the well, who was empty and broken....I was distraught, empty and broken. As I read those words in Isaiah I came across another verse that screamed at me.
FEAR NOT! For I have redeemed you! I have CALLED YOU BY NAME< YOU ARE MINE. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. ANd through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you, when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Fir I am the Lord your God, the Holy one of Israel, the Savior.
This time in my life, I don't share in public. It was a dark time. It was a time where I felt like I was being destroyed. Yet the Lord, held me and kept me in his hand.
I was compelled to read this:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven, and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory, he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit, in your inner being. So that Christ may dwell in your hearts, through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the Love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with ALL the fullness of God.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from you presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "surely the darkness shall cover me and the light about me be night", even the darkness is not dark to you; the night as bright as the day, for darkness, is as light to you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well. My frame is not hidden from you, intricately woven, in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, in your book were written every one of htem, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious are your thoughts , Oh God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.I awake, and I am still with you.
And then, I went to Psalms 86:15- But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
And, when I awake, each and every day.... God is still with me. He holds me in his hand. My circumstances do not matter. My God, in Him do I put my trust.
When I feel despair today, I am reminded of my journey to wholeness.
And once again, I am reminded that He holds me in His hand.