Monthly Archives: December 2013

“I am Tired, Just Very Tired” (But only for a little while).

depression

 

Tonight the Lord seems to be reminding me that we, the children of God, are strangers & exiles on the earth (Heb. 11:3; I Pet. 2:11).  Strangers feel lonely, never feel at home, never feel completely secure in this world.  And we are giving up  on feeling that way here.  Longing for our real home in heaven. The war continues between finding our security here and finding it there.  “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul”. Someone said to me recently, “I am just tired, just tired” (spiritually tired).  Going to war everyday is very tiring. It’s a good thing the battle now is “for a little while” (I Peter 1:6); “After you have suffered for a little while” God will call us home to “His eternal glory in Christ” (I Peter 5:10).  Suffering is for a little while, glory is eternal.

Tearful but Glorious Day

joyful_tearsSpecial blessing recently being with an elderly couple while the Lord was calling the husband home to be with Himself. When I walked into the room, the cassette player was playing tapes of George Beverly Shea singing the old hymns of the faith. The wife, who is also not well in body or mind, was singing along with George, later quoting Psalm 23, John 14 when we talked together. Amazing! Worshiping at death’s door! The husband indeed went to be with Jesus even as tears and praise filled the room. This wonderful woman can’t remember what she was told two minutes ago but her heart still sings and quotes Scripture. Memorize those scriptures now, let your heart sing those old hymns now! Prepare yourself for that both sad and glorious day. Day of transitioning out of this world into His glorious presence.

“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” Hebrews 11:13

A Difficult Year, An Exciting year

As we near the end of another year there is something inside of me that causes me to evaluate the year gone by.  And I hope the New Year  will be even better than the last one.

How would you describe your year of 2013?  For me 2013 was a difficult year, an exciting year.  That description comes from a letter from my youth pastor, Lee Weiss, wrote back in about 1972 .  In that year, the Lord took Lee’s dear wife home to heaven as a result of a car accident.  Four young children left behind. A heartache I can’t even imagine.  A few months later Lee wrote to me a student at Moody Bible Institute.  I wish I still had the letter.  However, one sentence from that letter has stuck with me all these years since.  That sentence from Lee’s heart was: “This has been one of the most difficult years of my life, yet one of the most exciting spiritually.”

What? I didn’t get that as a 19 year old kid in Bible school. How can a year be both difficult and exciting at the same time?  Wasn’t an exciting year  a year where your dreams and hopes are coming true, not many problems, and pleasant circumstances?  How can a year that includes pain be exciting?

Some forty years later, I think I might have a slight inkling of what Lee meant. Maybe! My losses have not been anywhere near as great as Lee’s but they have been real to me nonetheless.  The losses have been difficult, sometimes leaving me feeling lost, without direction, and just plain scared.  Yet spiritually, it has been an exciting year, the Lord meeting and teaching me in ways I haven’t experienced before.

– Hope:  My hope for a better life is found in heaven, not on earth.

– Surprise: I shouldn’t be surprised when terrible, disappointing thing happen.

– Self-absorbed: I tend to be a self-absorbed Christian, who loves to grumble and feel sorry for myself when things go wrong.

-Thankful: God wants me to be thankful no matter what happens. (Psalm 50)

– Worship:  God is worthy of worship even when terribly disappointing things happen to me.  There is an evil within me to only worship God when things are going well.

For me 2013 has been a most difficult year, but also a most exciting year. What has your year been like? Share your stories here.

I Don’t Know Who I am Anymore!

I don't know who I amRecently a dear friend said to me and my wife, “I don’t know who I am anymore”!.  The cry came from her heart.  I was amazed and surprised to hear her say that. I was even more amazed to suddenly realize that is exactly what I had been feeling about myself.  Unwanted change will do that to you. Like our friend, this last year and a half brought with it lots of changes, lots of painful losses.   The roles and relationships and ways of serving the Lord were taken from us.  God does that to his children sometimes. “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21)”.  I like worshipping a Lord who gives, I don’t like worshipping a Lord who takes away.

“I don’t know who I am anymore!” How do I relate to the world around me now?  Everything has changed.  I can’t do what I used to do in the way I used to do it. Now how I go about living my daily life?  What does the future hold? And how do I get there?

My conversation with my friend that Saturday night was whirling around in my head as I went to sleep. In the morning, getting ready for church, it was still fresh in my mind.  Suddenly the Lord reminded me of  I Peter 2:9:

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

It seems like the Lord was saying to me:

“Now you know who you are! Who you are in me will never change.  How you live out who you are will change. Your role, relationships & ways of living out who you are will change. But who you are will never change.”

Wow!  Now I know who I am!  Who I am will never change… chosen by God, a priest before God, holy, belonging to God, belonging to God’s people. I still grieve the lost relationships and roles I once had. But it seems to me the Spirit is asking me to trust him.  Trust him that He will, in his own time, lead me to new ways and opportunities for “proclaiming the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”

Father, help me to look for new ways to proclaim the excellencies of your Son Jesus Christ, by the leading of your Holy Spirit. Thank you for showing me who I am.