Friday, May 24, 2013

Ruth's Poem

We were in Colorado this week to be together with a group of friends that we have met with on a regular basis for the last 21 years.  Initially when we started this, it was for a couple of specific reasons. Accountability - we had seen too many ministers become casualties and didn't want to walk this journey alone.
Growth - we wanted to learn.  Dick and Ruth Foth agreed to meet with us once a year.  Our commitment was 5 years....which has continued for 21 years!

This year's time will be unforgetable.  Ruth is a quiet, strong, deep, Godly woman.  Dick is the teacher, the story teller,  the traveller.   

We spend this time together sharing, talking, praying - which we were doing on Tuesday morning.  Ruth "leaned in" to look me in the eye and share the following....

"Dear Child, God does not say today, 'Be strong.'

He knows your strength is spent; He knows how long 

The road has been, how weary you have grown.

For He who walked the earthly roads alone,

Each bogging lowland, and each rugged hill.

Can understand, and so He says, "Be still,

And know that I Am God. The hour is late

And you must rest awhile, and you must wait

Until life's empty reservoirs fill up

As slow rain fills an empty upturned cup.

Hold up your cup, dear child, for God to fill.

He only asks today that you be still."

~Grace Noll Crowell

She shared this poem with strong eye contact with me that reached into my heart.  Very clear.  Very from her heart.  Very much from heaven.  That fact that she rarely voluntarily shares out loud was unique in itself, but....the Presence of God was so incredibly strong.  Hard to adequately express this.  After she finished the last word, she leaned back and went into cardiac arrest.  

Surreal.

Amazingly fast response from the Estes Park emergency crew.  Amazing medical teams.  AMAZING GOD.  Today the question of brain damage from when she coded for a few moments is answered.  This morning she has woken up and is responding to complex commands.  She still has a road of recuping ahead of her.  But......wow......

For the last few days - during the waiting - "He only asks today that you be still" - has been repeated many times.  

And again today I will hear and respond to His desire for me/us to be still.....


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Upended?



"Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous fall."
Psalm 5:22

Here's an excerpt from C.H. Spurgeon's devotional book, "Morning and Evening:  Daily Readings" . . . 

Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin.  The precept to avoid anxious care is earnestly inculcated by our Saviour, again and again...the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into His place to do for Him that which He has undertaken to for us.

We attempt to think of that which we fancy He will forget;
we labour to take upon ourselves our weary burden , as if He were unable or unwilling to take it for us.

...Anxious care often leads to acts of sin.  He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God's hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself....

Anxiety makes us doubt God's lovingkindness, and thus our love to Him grows cold;
we feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God,
so our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking.

Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from Him;
but if through simple faith in His promise, we cast each burden as it comes upon Him...
it will keep us close to Him,
and strengthen us against much temptation.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee
because he trusteth in Thee"

Beth Moore recently shared this devotional thought in her blog, along with this addition....

"THROW YOUR BURDEN UPON THE LORD, AND HE WILL SUSTAIN YOU.
HE WILL NEVER ALLOW THE GODLY TO BE UPENDED."
Ps. 55:22 (NET translation)

A friend of mine sent me a copy of this blog entry and I have been carrying it with me for - let's see - over  10 weeks.  Now I'm sharing some of it with you - along with a prayer from my heart...

Oh Father - You see.  You know.  You get what we are walking through.  You long for us to have light burdens - not because we are in denial - but because we fully lean in to You - we fully throw our burdens to You to carry. You catch them and hold them and reveal Yourself in the middle of them.
My heart feels very heavy right now over someone that doesn't think You are moving fast enough on behalf of their situation.  Help them, Father, to KNOW that YOU KNOW and YOU ARE ACTIVE in that circumstance even when we can't see You.  
Thank You.  I pray because of Jesus -   Amen.