I know I have been quiet for a while. I’m sorry and I’m back.
I started doing this writing thing to process some of my thoughts and feelings a while back. 2016 was “everything I ever wanted and so much less”. (I heard that phrase on a podcast and I decided it truly fit) It was the birth of my first grandchild, which was everything I never knew I wanted anyway, and so much less, the death of my Daddy. You know you always know that it’s going to happen but there is no preparing your heart for it. Then I was determined to make 2017 better at the start of that new year and then 11 days in, my sister died. I still some days walk by this picture I have of me and my 3 sisters in my living room and I think “really? Is she really not here anymore?” But it also brought more joy with the birth of my 2d grandchild.
After those events, as part of my healing process. I had done some things to tap into my creative side, painting and writing and I was thinking here goes. Who knows where this is going to take me. I was poised and ready to take on this blogging thing and see where the painting would take me. I am not that great but I do enjoy it and you can usually tell what the picture is when I’m done so I guess that’s something.
But then came 2018 and it started out kicking me in the gut too. My husband got very sick at the beginning of this year and then just some other things that kept happening to me and to people I love that almost crippled me. Well I guess in some ways it did cripple me. It was trying to take me out of the game, and by “It” I think what I mean is “Satan”. I think he was doing his thing and looking to paralyze me, but no I don’t intend to let it take me out. It may have made me limp along for much of this year. It did make me HAVE to pull back and find rest for my soul and spend some very serious time in prayer and alone time with my God. I felt very guilty about that at first. I kept thinking that I should be doing better about doing the things I felt God was leading me to. Then in the midst of all of this, I heard a podcast that brought out a scripture to me. I have always heard the verse:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
I have sung Great is Thy Faithfulness many many times and meant every word of it, but I had never looked at the context around that verse until this podcast that I heard. If you read the whole chapter it starts with “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.” The writer of this lament is not just using flowery words about the faithfulness of God. This writer has suffered. He has grown old and he has known hardship. He feels like his heart is pierced and that he is the laughingstock of his friends.
He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. So I say “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.” I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. YET THIS I CALL TO MIND AND THEREFORE I HAVE HOPE. (emphasis mine) Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:16-24
My friends have you ever been there? Have you ever felt so distraught and so so hurt over life events and JUNK going on in your life that you felt like your face was in the dust and you may as well have been eating gravel! There have been a lot of events this year that have made me feel that way! And when I read this lament and I realized that the writer was saying that he felt all of those things yet he was going to proclaim the faithfulness of God and cling to his hope because of the Lord. I was still feeling very guilty about starting the blog and then stopping the blog, starting a bible study then stopping a bible study, but then I kept reading.
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; IT IS GOOD TO WAIT QUIETLY FOR THE SALVATION OF THE LORD. (emphasis mine) It is good for a man to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while e is young. Let him sit alone in silence for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust – there may yet be hope. Lamentations 3:25-29
I took from that verse that sometimes it is good to draw close to Him who created me and has blessed me and is healing me! The one with whom I have walked for years and just be with Him. I needed my God to work on my soul and to bring healing to me so in many many ways that is what I have done for most of 2018. I have spent a lot of time reading, listening to podcasts and playing worship music so that I could let God heal my soul. I will call all of the things that He has taught me to my mind because they are the things that will bring me hope. I have one more passage to share out of this chapter:
For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. Lamentations 3:31-33
You see the grief and the hurt and the anguish and the pain, they are from the enemy. We live in a broken fallen world and Satan is prowling seeking someone to devour. If we aren’t careful we can get devoured so easily in the pain and the hurt of the things that happen to us. It is a fight to stay focused on the hope. But that is what I am learning. I will not let the hurt and the anguish paralyze me. I may walk with a limp. I may be quieter than I used to be but with the help of my God and the hope he brings to me, I will cling to his hope and his unfailing love and I will emerge stronger. Sometimes I may need to or you may need to “sit alone in silence and wait quietly for the Lord.” But the sitting in the silence is what helps us to see the hope that is already there. The Hope of the Lord that is new every morning.
In His Hope,