Monday, February 29, 2016

Goodnight Moon!

Goodnight moon, goodnight stars!

Such meaningless and silly words from a kids book that the little ones I watch Love for me to read to them.
But is it really meaningless?

Think about it.
"Good" "night"

There's an idea stirring in my brain. Perhaps even the darkness can be good. There can be beauty there, not just fear. I mean, I know I sleep the deepest, hardest, and longest nights when I am in the darkest rooms- those completely void of light can bring the greatest rest.

Could this literal idea of rest in the darkness translate to our spiritual lives? Or our mental, emotional ones?

How would one regain that childlike innocence to look the Darkness in the face and say "goodnight," dismissing the evil with a sweet carefreeness?

Then my mind wanders again.... I find myself sitting in a dark room, eyes about to close, comforted by the storm.

But it wasn't always so. I remember when the storm used to terrify me. I remember when the dark nights used to paralyze me, when I couldn't sleep without a night light.

So what's changed? Is it just that I grew up?
No, there's something more. I learned to trust my foundation. I have learned that even if the storms cause power outages, I will never be lost in the dark, for I have a light. I have learned  that even if the storms come, my good shelter won't falter from the moisture or the wind. The roaring thunder will not shake the protective walls of a well built refuge.

A storm rages outside my window.
I find myself in utter darkness.
And yet, it is a good night.
The moon, the stars, whether or not I see them, stand as silent witnesses to something beyond the storm.
The walls around me stand, unflappable.
The sun, half way around the world, seems to whisper a promise.
The light will come back at its appointed time.
But the dark has the same Ruler as the day.... So I will not fear.

It IS a good night.
Rest is surely a gift....
One that can come even in darkness.
....perhaps, especially in darkness.

And my mind remembers the poem- you know, the greatest ever written.
"...through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me...."
Could one be comforted in darkness? Could rest come in despair?

And another line.... "He restores my soul...."
And the final line- "...shall follow me all the days of my life...."
They don't specify- on good days or bad? During the night or the light?

Could it be, that our bodies are made to rest in the darkness of night, so that our spirits can understand a deeper truth?
If He is Lord over all, could He not give rest in the darkness....?

Amazed by the thoughts coursing through my head,
Of One who can use darkness? Does this also mean He can use chaos, despair?

Hm. Enough to think about tomorrow. Now the night beckons.
I hear the whisper of the Ruler of the Day and the Lord of the Night- "Rest, little one...."
And I'm back to where I started-
       "Goodnight moon. Goodnight stars. Let us all rest together, knowing that even when the moon and stars fail to govern the night, it is yet good. For Another King reigns over all, and He is good! So good night, good night, for it is indeed just that kind of night!"

Thursday, February 18, 2016

and He spoke

I lift my head up.
Air has returned to my lungs.
My heart remembers You--
It has not forgotten Your promises.

A friend sees and asks.
They look to my care, and without noticing touch my heart.
In that gentle moment, I see You,
And my heart remembers its Hope.

Make the hope firm.
Tread again the steady paths of the wise.
He says, "Listen, I will speak to you."

My heart silences its noise, its fears are quieted.
With the eager anticipation of a child, the desperation of one who knows I'd be lost without Him, I sit.

I am still.

I wait on my God.

He is my Hope, my Deliverer.

And then He speaks.
My head lifts to listen better.
From somewhere in the distance I hear a song
.... it is my heart singing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The day I lost control and it was the best thing ever

So, yeah. I'm not in control. And I'm ok with that.

Before I start, can I just clear something up?
Feeling humbled does not mean I feel less,
only that someone Else has become more.
Someone greater than myself has risen in my esteem,
so my thoughts are turned towards Him.

This isn't a classic romance, ok?
It's a sweeter one than the world can give.
And my heart has been touched in the deepest places.

Want to hear?

The Lord has humbled me.
He took me up from the places I had set myself.
He took the control out of my hands, and in its place gave me freedom.
I know it sounds contradictory, but it is the truest thing I've ever said.

The Lord took me out of control and gave me freedom.


He humbled me.
He turned my thoughts from me to Him.

In my arrogance, I thought I could control them.
I could tell the people what to think, and they would listen to me.
And they did- many were swayed by my fancy words, my 'wise' speech.
But the sound of my wisdom rang with a pang in my ears.
It was not true, but somehow off pitch, off kilter, lost..

He humbled me.
He closed my mouth and opened my heart.
He is teaching me to listen, to love, to really truly LISTEN.
And I am learning...

I'm finding that my word is not the final word, nor is it always the best.
I'm finding that I really just don't know it all, and that is actually a good thing.
I'm finding that I still have a lot to learn.

But that's not all.

The Lord humbled me again.
He turned calmed my rage and ministered to my soul.

In my pain, the hatred and violence came from my breast.
In my anger, I wanted to destroy, to loathe, to conquer, to shun.
I wanted to hate.
But the hatred left a bad taste in my mouth, the bitterness made the bile rise up, the anger made me swoon.
This too, was not of God.

So the Lord humbled me.
He spoke to the unforgiveness, and He called out my folly.
He challenged me to more, He said I was capable of more than hate and mindless rage.
He said I was capable of love.

Then He loved me.
He showed me love through people- even those I was supposed to serve, they began to speak words over me. The Lord used those I was 'supposed' to minister to- He used them to touch my heart.
He reminded me that He saw, that He cared, and that He had made me for more.
He cleansed me, washed me in water, and made me new.

So I gave my rage to him.
I gave up control.

But still He humbled me.
"Your hard work, your image, those are Mine too," He said.
So He took them, and He molded me into something.
He took the determination I had, and gave me a perseverance to endure past exhaustion, to even find rest in the storms.
He took all my skills and talents, and melded them with His.
He discarded the waste- it fell off in the fire.

What need have I of image? of status? of recognition?
I have been recognized by the Most High God.
Called His Own, given a place, trusted with His work.

He has humbled me to my core,
and He has made me His.
I am not my own, I was bought with a price.
Yet what freedom is mine! What Peace! What love!

I have lost control.
I cannot do it.
I am humbled by my smallness.

Yet the Lord!
He stands enthroned on High,
and He- He cares even for me.
In the valleys and on the mountains He has walked with me.
Through the storms He has carried me.
He has tended my heart.

I am not in control.
I don't think I ever really was...
But today, I recognize it again.

Yet I have hope.
I look to my Jesus, the One who is glorified over all!
Surely, the greatest reward is to be with Him.

So, "Return to your fortress, you prisoners of Hope!" (Zechariah 9:12)
The Lord Himself is coming.
Today is His day.

Not mine.
Isn't that the best?