Tag Archives: God

Moving into the New

Can I just be a little vulnerable here for a minute? I’m really not too good at this, so bear with me.

I have always viewed my mind a little like a filing cabinet. I’ve been really good, most of my life, at compartmentalizing. This part of my life goes in this nice, tidy little box (it’s me, of course, it is nice, tide, color coded, and labeled). And that part of my life goes in this box. Home, School, Work, Church, Friends, Family–each in its tidy little place. For that matter, I have file folders and dividers for each part of my life. All carefully and prudently cataloged.

Yes, I am aware that might sound insane, but that is what my mind has always looked like. It’s how I function. To respond to someone, I have to dig through to the right file, so it takes me a little longer to process than the average person. And sometimes, it drives people around me insane. Sorry…well, not really. It’s who I am.

Lately, though…and this is where my heart moves to my sleeve now, people….my filing cabinets are in disarray! Especially things I thought I had carefully filed and archived, they’re on the floor of my nicely ordered mind and, to be frank, it’s a hot mess. I went out to dinner the other night with some really great friends and just burst into tears–twice. These friends are amazing and made me feel loved and not like a total geek for having a slight break down. If you don’t have friends like these, you are seriously missing out. The point, however, is my nicely controlled world has turned into chaos.

But you’d never know it just by looking at me. On the surface, I’ve got it figured out. I’m pretty put together and I really own my…quirkiness.

Yeah, I do. I own who I am, but I do not have it all figured out. Bless! I doubt I ever will, and that’s okay, but it got me thinking about a lot of different things. How people present themselves to the world, but their minds are still a mystery. God knows us, but sometimes, we hold out our hand and say, “Hey God, I know this is a mess, but you don’t need to worry about me; I’ve got this” and we frantically try to gather up our loose ends and stuff them back in filing cabinets or…shudder…under beds and in closets. If you can’t see it, then it ceases to exist. Right?

God’s standing there like, “Really, dude? You’re going to try to clean this all up yourself?”

And we do. Or we don’t. Either way, it’s still a mess.

And then, I had this really cool experience during GraceLife’s week of prayer and fasting this year.

When we started, I wasn’t really sure what I was praying and fasting for. I felt compelled to do so, but I didn’t really know why. Maybe it was peer pressure. Maybe it was guilt. But definitely, it was God. I spent most of the week praying for others and that was great! I really got out of that mess in my mind and focused on others’ and their needs. On the last day, I read Isaiah 43 as a part of my daily reading plan. Really, there was nothing special for me while I was reading, but then I started praying—it was a very specific prayer for something I want. Something that kind of is responsible for that mess in my mind (but only kind of). And then, I heard it. A whisper from God. 

For I am about to do something new.

New is good…but maybe a little earth shattering. Okay. Very earth shattering and new definitely screws with my nice little filing cabinets. A few years ago, I thought I really hated change and new, but then I came to the stark realization that I NEED change and new in my life. It disorganizes me and forces me to grow. Yeah, it’s painful (sometimes excruciatingly so), but I need it. So this whisper was not unwelcome, but it was surprising, especially when He continued with:

See, I have already begun! Do you not see it, dummy? 

I know what you are thinking. God did NOT call you a dummy. Well, actually I swear that’s what I heard–but it wasn’t insulting it was just kind of a push on the shoulder with a sly little smile. And maybe a wink. And that image of papers fluttering to the floor around my filing cabinets burned itself to the back side of my retinas. Like it all had to be laid out on the floor for me to see and wade through with HIM before I could truly see what He was doing for me and in me.

Whoa. And then he finished with: 

And then he finished with:

I will make a pathway through the wilderness [or, rather, chaos]. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

A few more papers might have shot from filing cabinets with those last few words. And there I stood, watching them flutter to the floor at my feet.

But instead of frantically trying to gather them all to me, I am now sighing.

And crying.

And healing.

It’s beautiful. It’s painful. It’s a mess. And I don’t really understand it at all (hey, I’m smart, but I’m kind a dummy sometimes too…I hope that doesn’t offend anyone; I’m just being honest).

Fortunately, I don’t need to understand it all right away, I just need to keep moving forward. With Him. Into something NEW.

Because He makes all things new.

Even you.


Life isn’t Fair, but God is: My Journey through Psalms (56-59)

Sometimes life just isn’t fair.

That promotion at work was given to a slovenly coworker.

Your boyfriend breaks up with you unexpectedly.

Those girls you’ve been hanging out with have started a vicious rumor about you.

Your parent dies.

Your child is sick.

You can’t get along with your mom to save your life.

Your dad abandoned you.

You got in a car wreck on your way to the hospital to see your dying grandmother.

A hurricane hits the weekend of your wedding on the beach.

There are complications with you pregnancy.

I could go on and on and on, but the only thing fair in all these circumstances is that life isn’t fair for anyone all the time. Though sometimes it feels like God plays favorites and maybe even picks on you more than most, he doesn’t.

Because then, he wouldn’t be God.

He’d be the product of an ancient myth, throwing golden apples in our path to distract us and entertian himself to fulfill some narcissistic desire.

But that’s not God.

In his Psalms, David epitomizes the nature and essence of God.

This man after God’s heart never asked to be anointed as King, but he was blessed with this great honor and for a short while enjoyed the favor of man.

But then life got unfair.

And David’s life of pleasure and privilege turned to life on the run, overnight.

You see, it wasn’t God playing favorites here either. It was man. And man’s approval is as unpredictable and changing as the winds. You enjoy the favor of man’s approval and maybe even seek it. Then when it shifts you’ll always be disappointed.

Life will always be unfair.

But when you pursue the favor and pleasure of God, that’s when life becomes FULL in spite of (and sometimes because of) the injustices.

“Do rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge uprightly among men? (58:1). All day long, they twist my words (56:5). [but] I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until disaster has passed (57:1b)”.

Because it will always pass.

“For great is your love, reaching to the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the sky. (57:10)”

Even though “I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me (59:4). My loving God will go before me and will let me gloat after those who slander me (59:11) [and] I will sing of your strength in the morning. I will sing of your love for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble (59:16).”

It’s always darkest before dawn, but because our God IS fair. He IS right. He IS just. If we fight until dawn breaks, we will see just how glorious that morning can be!

A Picky Eater: Psalm 34

l-472878I am an incredibly picky eater. I enjoy bland foods with minimal seasoning and little to no preparation or flourish. I’m not a fance of sauces. I don’t like my food to touch other food and I have a texture problem that rivals most people’s political criticisms. So when it comes to trying or tasting new foods…well, I’m cautious. Even pre-critical as I demand to know what I am eating and exactly what is in it.

Sadly, my preconceived notions about food often limits my experience and even appreciation of a place.

And that’s a shame.

Judgment, worry, and even fear should never stand in the way of experiencing something good, honorable and true. Food or otherwise.

But that’s often the way it is with God.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good” sounds easy enough. Our senses should welcome such new and delightful sensations, but we are picky. We don’t chomp down on this idea and expect something sweet. Instead we continually expect our interactions with God to be bitter or sour. We prepare ourselves to spit out the experience before we even have a chance to really experience the flavors of our great and mighty Lord.

And our Lord is good. Even when we are wicked, runaways, scared, insecure, unsure, controlling, doubtful…He is always good.

We just need to taste and see.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What are some of my pre-conceived notions about God that are limiting my experience with him?
  2. What do I fear about God that limits my experience with him?
  3. What are the good things about God that are evidenced in my life?