For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. Psalm 22:24
I’ve known heartache. Personally and in relationships.
I’ve cried tears of desperation to God when I was longing for deliverance from the demons who plagued me from childhood. I’ve suffered incessantly from voices in my head screaming lies about who I was. I’ve endured physical and emotional pain as my first child passed through my body without life.
I cried out in a loud voice to God when a friend went through a divorce. I’ve pleaded with God on many occasions to deliver a youth from an unhealthy and dangerous relationship. I’ve asked God countless times to bring comfort to a brother or sister who suffered as a result of a misunderstanding whether I was involved or not.
In each of these situations hope was always there and in his time, God brought about peace, comfort and restoration. Because of these experiences and more I know that God will work again in the areas where my heartaches.
He will work in the life of my friend whose heart breaks daily for her child.
He will work in the lives of a precious family facing divorce.
He will work in the lives of our youth who need to know unconditional love.
He will work in my church to bring unity.
Because he hears my cries and he is faithful.
I can’t think of a time when I didn’t believe in God. There must have been a time, maybe as a young child, but for the most part I have always known that God was real and that he was with me. At times I didn’t recognize his presence in my life but looking back I see that he was always present and acting on my behalf. At 16 I gave my life to Christ and for the past 11 years I have pressed on, slacked off, reached great heights and experienced crippling lows. This year especially has had some incredibly difficult trials but looking around at where I am now all I can say is, He has made everything beautiful in its time. At 16 I had no idea that the journey I was setting out on with Him as my guide, would be a rugged hike rather than a leisurely stroll. But I appreciate my God so much more for that. I’m so grateful that he has taken his time with me; perfecting me, pruning me, correcting me, purifying me and teaching me. The best part is that he’s not finished with me yet and when I get to Heaven there will be no time limit on how long I get to be with Him, it will be for eternity.
“Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” Psalm 130:1-2
I’ve been feeling distant from the Lord recently. Alone, tired and giving ear to the voice of the enemy saying that nothing will ever change. I’ve pulled away, hidden in my weakness, afraid for others to see. But I had a dream the other night where I was struggling with a demon, and he was stronger than me… The enemy wants me to keep quiet. He wants to keep me silent. Because that will ensure his victory over my life and in the lives of others. So with the last of my strength I am reaching out to my God and my friends; fight with me, fight for me. The victory is mine, I know this, I’ve put my armor back on but the battle ahead is fierce. Fight with me. Fight for me.
Although most people call my husband Zack, his full name is Zacarias, and I love it. I love it because of its uniqueness and meaning. Its origin is Hebrew and it means: the Lord remembers or remembered by God but my favorite meaning is Yahweh remembers. There is something about this most sacred name of God that just fills me with hope and a sense of being special, because Yahweh remembers me. I could go into great depths trying to explain the beauty and significance of the name Yahweh but for today it will be enough to say that Yahweh is a name of God used to describe his existence and presence. Today as I think of the ways I have fallen short of my desire to live my life as a sacrifice to Him I draw hope from Psalm 103:13-14 which says, “The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” How beautiful is that? Although God deserves all that I can give him and more he is merciful and remembers that I am weak, that I am only dust. That doesn’t give me license to sin or give him an unfit offering but it does lift my spirit and frees me from the condemnation brought on by the enemy when I fall short of my goal to worship him in spirit and truth. Yahweh remembers that I am a work in progress, He remembers that I do love him, in my imperfect way, He remembers his promises. He remembers ME. And for that I am thankful, humbled, blessed, honored and eternally grateful.
“Father, don’t ever let me drift away from your path of righteousness. Let your word be a light to my path and a light that shines through me into the darkness of this world. Help me to keep my focus on you always. To bring you praise and worship in ALL that I do and EVERYWHERE that I go. Give me the strength to subdue my flesh daily. Remember me and help me to remember YOU. I love you Father. Amen.”
I have experienced a lot of these “times” this week. The Lord has been speaking to me and opening my eyes to so many things and I am so grateful. Even the things that hurt me, that catch me off guard and make me take a sharp breath of pain and shock also give me reason to praise him. I KNOW I am in his will and when I am unsure of where I should take my next step his word shines on my path. I know he is getting ready to do a new thing in my life. He is restoring so many things in my life that I didn’t even know were broken. And I am so thankful that as long as I give myself to him, he will finish the work in me that he has started. Many people in my life will not understand, many will turn their backs to me but I will keep pressing forward because he has chosen me, called me and raised me up. For such a time as this…
If I could have been the author of any book in the bible it would be the book of Psalms. In all my reading of the word I have yet to find another book with such real human emotion as this book. In some chapters the author is rejoicing in the Lord and in the next he is in utter depression. What is more real than that? No, I don’t think he was bipolar. I think he was real. We all have our ups and downs in life and it is encouraging to me to read about a man of God who did as well and yet was still loved and called by God. Most of the book is attributed to David, a mighty man of God and also a man with flaws and falls. A psalm is defined as a sacred song or hymn and that is what I want my life to be. Not a catchy little ditty or a somber ballad but a sacred song, sung from the depths of my heart to the creator of all things. The one who knit me together in the secret places of my mother’s womb. Sung in melodies of truth and love. Kept in tune by peace. So this is where I will begin. We’ll call this chapter 1. The book of Psalms has 150, let’s see how long it takes me to catch up. 😉 “I will sing of your love and justice, Lord. I will praise you with songs.” Psalm 101:1