Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
I’m sitting here at this keyboard today, facing sunshine streaming in my windows. Facing the end of Summer days…which are this year a bit bittersweet. I’m tapping out words, and feeling the weight of the unknown press in like the end of Summer, and I struggle to describe how I feel. What I am thinking. Is it the perfect storm coming?
I will turn 5o. Finally. Well…on August 24.
My family has been hearing me say I’m “almost 50“, for the last 5 years.
This year has been a blur of pain, joy, survival mode, betrayal, frustration and ultimately a letting go. A letting go of dreams, expectations, desires. This year has been like living with death every day.
Death of hopes and plans shared. Death of friendships that reveal themselves to be over. Death of both secular and spiritual community expectations, death, death and death…
I know this sounds morbid, believe me, when I tell you this in light of the fact that God so softly whispered into my heart at the start of the year the word Renewal.
So there I was thinking…FINALLY! A word I can live with, Whoohoo and thank you, Lord! I’m envisioning Spa days and family nights around the campfire, sweet church fellowship, rekindling of old friendships, new, new, new! I said to myself, after the words Less and Release for my One Word themes from the past two years, and circumstances that matched the words, that I would be having a great year.
This year I have seen the unfaithfulness of many, contrasted with the Faithfulness of an always Faithful God.
I have experienced the bittersweet betrayal of a few long-time friendships compared with the perfect friendship of the One who calls me His Friend and stands by my side through every adversity.
I have witnessed the failure and duplicity of medical professionals in light of the Great Physician who heals all disease, redeems from death, who crowns with love, tender mercies and good things all the while.
I have felt the loneliness of one who walks alone, and walks by hushed whispers of the unkind, the self -righteous, and the uncaring.
I have been misunderstood, misinterpreted in what I’ve said and done, and even misrepresented.
But in all this I want you to know the truth…
God is using it for good.
The saddest Christian in the world is the one who cares more for the things of this world than the world to come.
Friend, this world has no hold on me.
Death has come and it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. See, at the start of this year the verses that God wanted me to cling ever closer to were found in the book of Romans:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
At the start of this year I saw as one who sees from man’s perspective.
But He has held my hand and walked me through the dark, scary and lonely places this year.
He has shown me what it is to be close to Him in suffering.
To be alone, afflicted, in lonely places that no one can go…but Him. The place where control is relinquished to the only One who has control. I am with Him in the lonely place. Where husband, friend and children cannot go. Where loved ones fail, and friends dare not venture.
Where only God is.
Have you been there, friend? Have you been to the end of your rope, the edge of the sidewalk, the place where you are ready to look at your life and say…enough?
If you are there I’m telling you He longs to take you to Himself.
The place where dreams are relinquished might be the place where you see God as you never have before. Because this never-ending story is all that matters. This one chapter into an everlasting life is what counts.
If God calls you to the dark and scary edge of the Abyss, friend know this.
He is there.
You cannot take anything with you. Nothing. So lay it down.
Your one desire that distracts you from this One God who suffered beyond comprehension?
That idol that keeps you from seeking Him?
Is it what you have, don’t have, long for now or always, the husband child, fortune? The sport, business, hobby? Your status in the community? Your “witness” at church? Your good works, reputation, self-righteousness, misplaced hope, To Do List. Add your idol here___________. Because it is what it is. Whatever keeps you from Him IS your idol.
Maybe your idol is a person?
You cannot take your mother, father, husband, wife, friend…you cannot take the child you birthed. Not even one of them.
You must go alone.
But if you do…you will find Him.
And He is not lacking.
You know, this is not at all what I was planning to write to you today…but it is what I needed to write.
I guess if I could sum up in a prayer what I want to say about life, God and your trials as well as mine- it is clearly spoken in this quote best:
May God give us faith to fully trust His Word though everything witness the other way.
~C.H.P. (Streams in the Desert)
Note from Dawn :
May God bless the rest of your Summer friends, I will be looking to Renew myself in Him a bit for the next few weeks and unless the Lord leads otherwise I will be writing offline and see you back here on August 31– my scheduled post date for 5 Minutes for Faith.
In His Grace, Dawn