Preaching to Myself

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“For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” {Isaiah 55:10-11}

Life continues to press on in ways that seem impossible to overcome by human standards. The rebuilding of a broken church, reconciling fractured relationships, care for an aging and disabled parent, raising up 4 young boys into men. I can’t do it on my own.

Maybe that’s what this season has been about for me. A recognition once again and a real deep and visceral understanding that I am not in control and I do not have the power to change circumstances to the way they ought to be.

If I’m completely honest, doubt has been a companion of mine for the last year. Although I have never felt the absence of God, there have been times where I have wondered if what He promises is just for other people and not really for me. Or if the the promises of God that are eternal in nature are really just that. That the verses following the one above that speak of “going out with joy and being led forth in peace” are only for the days of leaving this earth and entering into the full on presence of God. Not for now, but later.

Jesus promised that in this world we would have tribulation and suffering and when I read the news about two seven point something earthquakes within a week in Nepal or pray for my friend, a mother of two precious girls and an adoring husband, who faces a potentially difficult diagnosis, I feel like a big baby. My trials are different than theirs but they are for my own good as much as shaking earth and uncontrollable disease is for their good. The “all things” that God works together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes are different for each one of us. We each have to face our own “all things” and know that there is purpose and according to Isaiah, the way God deals with his people is that his word, the things God has said, all of his promises are for the success of those whom he sent it. Maybe not worldly success, definitely not in a prosperity gospel kind of way, but maybe the success that looks like faith refined in fire and steadfast assurance that this is not my home so why should I even try to be comfortable here.

Rain and snow are beautiful elements to behold especially in Southern California when they rarely present a threat but actually are welcomed in the midst of a drought. But what if we looked at rain and snow as not literal but figurative elements that come into our lives, lock us in and dampen our days and yet we stand firm in the belief they are here to bring forth and sprout the things of God that will bear fruit in our lives. Fruit that creates more seeds to be sown and bread to not just be provided with but enjoyed.

See it’s in these times of uncertainty when doubt is my companion that I must, that we must recognize how we are feeling but understand that the word of God goes deeper and lasts longer than any feeling we have and that it does not change. Even if it feels that I am neck deep in this dirt and my nails have become black in search of the seeds God is sowing in my life.

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” {John 1:1-5}

The written word and the person who is the word…none of it or him starts empty neither is it returned empty. So when these truths feel vacant or we are worried they might be… we just can’t. Because they are not.

The light shines in the darkness of doubt and the impossible and behold… just stop what you are doing look and hold on…He has already overcome all of it.

So be it.

3 thoughts on “Preaching to Myself

  1. Heather says:

    “….this is not my home so why should I even try to be comfortable here.” I have to say, this is totally resonating with me and actually describes more and more how I feel the older I get and the deeper I get in my walk. It’s uncomfortable here and it should be. This isn’t the world the Lord intended for us and we won’t be comfortable until we are in heaven and we should seriously question things if we are comfortable. Sobering….love you Suz. Right on.

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