Tag Archives: goodness of God

God IS

Sometimes life is hard.

Sometimes life is unspeakably beautiful.

I AM WHO I AM

Most of the time, the categories and seasons of this life aren’t so mutually exclusive. And somewhere in the middle, in the midst of the everyday that refuses to be so easily defined, I often feel like a hot mess of back-and-forth, up-and-down, I-don’t-know-which-way-is-up.

The inner tension and turmoil can become unbearable as I try to process and make sense of and unpack this life as it changes and unfolds.

There is so much that I just plain don’t know or understand.

The more I flesh out questions that don’t have easy answers, the more I try to make sense of how my life intertwines with others, the more I try to understand God’s plan, the more I realize how little I actually DO know and how far I have to go.

And it’s in those moments that I come closest to understanding the reality that I’ll never actually get there.

At least not this side of my eternal reality.

Because the “there” that I seem to be aiming for, that seems to exist only within the confines of my own brain, that demands nothing short of near-perfection and getting every little thing right all the time, doesn’t actually exist.

It’s a twisted perception that assumes if I just had this or were just better at this or could just improve this, life would suddenly be as it should be.

But that’s just not right at all.

And the weight of the error in that sort of thinking is downright crippling.

But on the other side, there is relief and release when I can come to grips with even a dim understanding that I’m not supposed to have answers to everything and that I’m more-or-less supposed to feel helpless and out of control.

Because the hard and unpleasant and I’m-not-even-sure-how-to-live-with-it truth is I am helpless and out of control.

I don’t call the shots.

I don’t control this life.

No amount of over-analyzing or self-evaluating or hyper-spiritualizing will EVER change that.

Yes, if I identify areas in this life that need work, by the grace of God and by the power of His Holy spirit within me, I can be changed. He can and will continue to sanctify me, to make me holy, to conform me to His image.

But I can’t get there by a sheer force of will or by maintaining the ideal schedule.

As I consider the future … having dreams and setting goals and making plans … it’s easy to become so task oriented and short sighted that I fall into the trap of thinking if I just make the plan and do the work, I’ll achieve success. Or conversely, that if I want something and don’t do anything about it, I’m just not driven or ambitious enough, and might as well accept failure.

But interruptions and inconsistencies and inconveniences are just part of life. That’s where God so often chooses to work. And the more I try to do all the right things or to have all the right answers, the more my focus ends up back on myself and my gaze slips from HIM.

This life still isn’t and never will be about me.

And when my eyes are rightly fixed on the Lord, when I’m seeking Him first, while I don’t have all the answers and I certainly still lack understanding, somehow perspective is restored and I can rest in the reality that I don’t make my own path straight. I can dream within the context of desiring more of Him (for myself and for others), but I don’t control how that plays out in this life nearly as much as I think I do.

So this is where I once again admit that I just don’t have many answers at all.

That this life is most right when my eyes are steadily and assuredly fixed on Christ.

That this life is more about seeking His presence than seeking all the right answers.

That this life is so much better when I trust the details and directions to His plan and His way.

That this life is not for me to make sense of because I’m not in control of it.

But in the midst of the unknown of this life, the one thing that I do know, that I can say with absolute assurance, that is beyond comforting is this:

God IS.

In all of His sovereignty, goodness, and holiness.

He’s the Great I AM, in control of this life and this world from beginning to end.

God IS.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
Exodus 3:14 (ESV)

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God is Still God

with faith and exploration and dreaming and possibility,

comes uncertainty and wrong turns and failure and messy.

but even if it’s messy, even if it fails, even if the worst happens,

God is still God.

he is still good and still sovereign and still in control.

so take the next small step. be faithful in the next small thing.

then trust and rest.

God is still God.

He’s got this.

—–

“…For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose…'”

Isaiah 46:9-10 (ESV)

Discouragement, Zombies, & Truth

It’s been a hard few days. Not exactly bad, but hard.

I ended last week completely, mind-numbingly, feel-like-a-zombie exhausted. Then on Sunday afternoon, as I was finalizing preparations to teach a Bible Study lesson on marriage last night (which as a single, is not exactly my area of expertise), I was battling some intense and inexplicable frustration. Then yesterday, as the pace of incoming work was so insane that I could barely keep up and my mind could barely process the cases that needed attention, I was left feeling overwhelmed. And bonus, my fridge died (gross!) and this morning I had an oh-so-fun orthodontist appointment that ended with my orthodontist saying to his assistant, “Stop. This isn’t going to work and we don’t want to hurt her or pop the bracket off or make her teeth any more sore. We’ll just finish it next time…”

In short, I have been dealing with some fierce and pervasive discouragement.

But y’all, in the moments when the zombie-like exhaustion and crippling discouragement have threatened to take over, God has repeatedly shown up (as if He ever left…)!

Not in dramatic or everything-immediately-becomes-so-much-better-and-easier ways, but in ways soft and subtle and full of truth

Through the prayers and assistance of a sweet new friend at just the right time,

Through the constant reminders to pray when I have felt most out of control (just to be clear, that is NOT my typical first reaction, and the conviction in this regard has been poignant),

Through an encouraging Valentine’s Day card from the preschool ministry at church,

Through a thought-provoking and meaningful night of Bible Study despite the prior frustration and feelings of inadequacy, which ultimately led me to wholehearted dependence on Christ (which, ironically, was a huge emphasis in the study in regards to striving for a Biblical marriage),

Through a “Happy Valentine’s Day” text from a dear friend,

And even through a Skinny Mocha from Starbucks.

Yes, the past several days may have been hard and I may have been battling discouragement, but God is faithful and loving and SO good, and by His grace, I am not in this battle alone!

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

5 Things

1. I haven’t had AC in my townhouse all weekend (it should be fixed tomorrow!). Thankfully, it’s been overcast and less than 100 degrees. . .and my parents have been gracious enough to put up with me for a significant portion of the last few days. I even watched the 93rd PGA Championship with my Dad on Sunday afternoon. Well, some of it. Then I came home and watched Keegan Bradley win the shoot-out. Is it strange that I actually like golf…?

2. I’m 98% certain I failed to put on mascara before leaving for church on Sunday morning. I blame it on being distracted by the heat.

3. If you had to title these oh-so-thrilling list posts (of which I have done far too many as of late…), would you prefer “5 Things” or “Monday Musings” (assuming they actually occur on Monday, that is…)? No, seriously. I’d love to hear which you prefer.

4. I slept on my couch until 2am Monday morning (it was cooler downstairs. refer to number one.). I haven’t done that in a while, and it reminded me of my undergrad days in Wilmington. Mainly because my pug and I used to fall asleep on the couch all. the. time. Oh, and there may have been about a month after the roach incident when I slept on the couch/futon intentionally. Roaches crawling on me in bed tend to freak me out. And I don’t care what the maintenance guys said, it was not just a water bug.

5. On the way to get a caramel milkshake from Cook Out on Sunday evening, as I was reflecting on the events of the day and recent weeks, I was overwhelmed by the goodness of God. In a world full of insecurity and uncertainty, it was humbling and satisfying to spend those moments considering His love and faithfulness. . .which He often makes known in the most unexpected of ways.