Feb 19, 2012

nothing in the house

Thy servant, Lord, hath nothing in the house,
Not even one small pot of common oil; 
For he who never cometh but to spoil 
Hath raided my poor house again, again,
That ruthless strong man armed, whom men call Pain.

I thought that I had courage in the house,
And patience to be quiet and endure,
And sometimes happy songs; now I am sure
Thy servant truly hath not anything,
And see, my song-bird hath a broken wing.
. . . .
My servant, I have come into the house---
I who know Pain's extremity so well
That there can never be the need to tell
His power to make the flesh and spirit quail:
Have I not felt the scourge, the thorn, the nail?

And I, his Conqueror, am in the house,
Let not your heart be troubled: do not fear:
Why shouldst thou, child of Mine, if I am here?
My touch will heal thy song-bird's broken wing,
And he shall have a braver song to sing ♥

{this beautiful poem is by Amy Carmichael, and is based on the story of the
destitute widow of Zerephath in 1 Kings 17:15-16}.

How beautiful that we have a God who we can put all our trust in! Jesus felt the "scourge, the thorn, the nail" for us. He felt unthinkable pain for us. And He defeated Death for us

May we all have a "braver song to sing" as we dwell on God's unfailing love, faithfulness, and undeniable power above that thief "that men call Pain". 

  19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,    the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them,    and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind    and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,    for his compassions never fail23 They are new every morning;    great is your faithfulness24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;    therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,    to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly    for the salvation of the LORD. { Lamentations 3 }

Feb 9, 2012

{ waiting well }

I have been trying to keep a daily Bible journal to jot down different passages that pop out at me and lessons I feel the Holy Spirit is teaching me. So today, I did my usual routine and read a psalm while eating breakfast. I later read it again because I felt there was something my heart needed to remember. So here is the lesson I learned; from one heart to another.

 { Text: Psalms 40 }

heart lesson for today: what to do while waiting

If this psalm were an essay, I believe verse 1 would be the "topic sentence":

"I waited patiently on the Lord to help me, 
and He turned to me and heard my cry"

As I was reading this psalm the second time, I recognized seven things that King David mentioned in the seventeen verses that can be done while we are waiting on the Lord. I don't think I am alone when I say that waiting is hard. I tend to revert to my default modes: Doubt and Anxiety. But this is not God's plan for me {or you!} during these waiting time when we feel the Heaven is silence regarding our prayer request. 

So, without further ado, here are seven things that Psalm 40 teaches us to do while waiting:
  1. be patient for God's help {v.1 - "I waited patiently for                                                                      the LORD . . . "
  2. trust, trust, trust! {v. 4 - "Oh, the joys of those who                                                                        trust the LORD . . ."}
  3. continue to do what God has called you to do today                                                                     {v.8 - "I take joy in doing Your will . . . ]
  4. study + obey His Word {v.8 - " . . . Your instructions                                                                      are written on my heart"}
  5. share the Good News of Jesus {v. 9-10 - "I have talked about                                                      Your faithfulness and saving power"}
  6. pray honest prayers {v. 11-15 - "My sins pile up so high I can’t                                                        see my way out"}
  7. worship God for all He has done {v. 5, 16-17 - "You are my helper                                               and my savior"}
In The Treasury of David (a Bible study of Psalms), Charles H. Spurgeon describes how Jesus is the perfect teacher of patiently waiting on God the Father:

Patient waiting upon God was a special characteristic of our Lord Jesus. Impatience never lingered in his heart, much less escaped his lips. All through his agony in the garden, his trial of cruel mockings before Herod and Pilate, and his passion on the tree, he waited in omnipotence of patience. No glance of wrath, no word of murmuring, no deed of vengeance came from God's patient Lamb; he waited and waited on; was patient, and patient to perfection, far excelling all others who have according to their measure glorified God in the fires. Job on the dunghill does not equal Jesus on the cross. The Christ of God wears the imperial crown among the patient. Did the Only Begotten wait, and shall we be petulant and rebellious? "And he inclined unto me, and heard my cry". Neither Jesus the Head, nor any one of the members of his body, shall ever wait upon the Lord in vain. Mark the figure of inclining, as though the suppliant cried out of the lowest depression, and condescending love stooped to hear his feeble moans. What a marvel is it that our Lord Jesus should have to cry as we do, and wait as we do, and should receive the Father's help after the same process of faith and pleading as must be gone through by ourselves! The Saviour's prayers among the midnight mountains and in Gethsemane expound this verse. The Son of David was brought very low, but he rose to victory; and here he teaches us how to conduct our conflicts so as to succeed after the same glorious pattern of triumph. Let us arm ourselves with the same mind; and panoplied in patience, armed with prayer, and girt with faith. 
{from exposition of Psalm 40:1}.
 Whatever you are waiting for, may you wait in a way that brings glory to God. Model your waiting after Jesus and you will experience the joy of being under His care. And one day, you will join King David in praying the God who answers:

 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
      out of the mud and the mire.
   He set my feet on solid ground
      and steadied me as I walked along.
 3 He has given me a new song to sing,
      a hymn of praise to our God.
   Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
      They will put their trust in the LORD

found this in my Bible at the perfect time! 

Feb 4, 2012

here comes the sun . . .

Shine forth, O Sun of boundless love,
The night within our souls remove;
Be Thou our Light; be Thou our Guide,
O'er ev'ry thought and step preside.
- Simon Browne (1680-1732)

"Our lives have meaning "under the sun" only because of Him who dwells above the sun and beyond the stars - our transcendent Lord Jesus who alone gives us eternal significance" - R.J. Morgan in My All in All.

Today was the first sunny day in a long time. It was a beautiful glimpse of the warm, delightful days of spring and summer in a few short months. But more importantly, it was a sweet reminder of the joy and peace of knowing that my Lord is the "Sun" that drives away the darkness within my soul.

Let the Son shine!

{a beautiful Mexican Riviera sunset from my trip in 2010}