Thursday, August 25, 2011

Can we be this kind of friend?

And do we need friends like this? ... I don't find myself agnostic at this moment but in my lowest points I have surely felt the ways described in the post below. I think most of us have at one point or other, if we are honest. Are we afraid to admit it because we feel that not even God can tolerate our deep doubts?
And when we have been there, have we found disapproval and rejection from others, ...or have we dished that out? 

Daily Meditation for Thursday 25th of August 2011 by Dale and Juanita Ryan
A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
Job 6:14
At some point during the recovery process we re-examine our most fundamental beliefs. A long process of sorting, examining and questioning takes place. And, in that process, our relationship with God is challenged. It is possible that our relationship with God will deepen and strengthen in the process. But it is also possible that we will find ourselves pulling away from God. We may find ourselves angry with God, or afraid of God, or unable to believe in God at all. This can be a frightening experience. It can feel like the very foundations of life are being shaken.
In times like this, we need many things. But at the top of the list is our need for friends who will accept us even if we turn away from God. We need friends who will not minimize our struggle or discount our feelings. We need people who will not be shocked when we are full of rage at God. We need friends who are able to hear the deep pain behind our words and who know that this, too, is part of our healing. We need people who can see beyond the immediate pain to the healing that can come.
Even when we forsake the fear of God, we need friends who understand, who are committed to us for the long haul, and who plead with God on our behalf.
Sometimes I feel agnostic, Lord,
I just don't know anymore.
Sometimes I want nothing to do with you.
Where were you when I needed you the most?
Sometimes I despair, Lord.
Sometimes I can't seem to hope.
I need friends who will not abandon me, Lord.
I need friends who will be patient and grace-full with my anger and fear.
I need friends who will stay with me as we wait for you to show yourself once again.
I need friends, Lord, who will give me courage to hope again in you.
Send help, Lord.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Groaning for good things

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. (Romans 8:26&27)
 Wow, wow, wow. Amazing...
Have you ever groaned and you were just full of wanting...
Today, I dropped my little girl off to her first day of 1st grade! It was SO HARD, and scarier for me than maybe for her, although I thoroughly checked out the school and feel it's a pretty decent one (fingers crossed).
My sweet girl was excited and scared. God bless her tender heart. She was so brave and I know she will do great. She didn't cry... She had a little sticker on her hand to remind her of how much she is loved (taken from The Kissing hand book...)
When I left the school I was kind of a mess. I saw a little boy outside her class weeping and clinging to his momma and that just sort of threw me over the edge. I wanted to stay and just hang around outside her class, and as I lingered there, I realized it would be better if I went for a drive and tried to pray (besides I was starting to get weird looks)
I felt so full. As I drove (and got less cranky as I got away from all the traffic) the verse I shared above came to mind. I wanted to pray for Maggie, her safety and comfort at school, her teachers, the school, and then myself, my life, this state, the world, the children's hospital I passed... I had felt overwhelmed as people had rushed around me, and the crazy traffic and everyone running to their jobs; such is modern life, I know, but I wanted to be still. I realized I NEEDED to be. I think the realizing it and taking action (by getting away) was the breaking point for the light to enter. That's usually how it works for me.
And the verse above brought me comfort. God himself groans and intercedes through us and for us and we can offer our deep longings for good things as prayers, even if we can't articulate all of it. I was able to articulate some of it and felt more peace as I prayed... And I felt amazed at God and his mercy.
Amazing that we can just offer up prayers here and there, any time of day, as our hearts lead, and his Spirit leads. Some will be clear prayers, some will be groans (is that part of what "tongues" is .. ?). But I know our Father wants us to be still and know He is God- for our own comfort, cause this world is just too much sometimes. Whatever helps us be still and know him- a drive, a walk, a song, a prayer, whatever, is well worth the time. It helps unjade things just a bit at a time. And we all need to make more time for that.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Not ever in vain

Sometimes you will do things
and no one will understand,
except only One

Sometimes you will feel things
and no one will understand,
except One

only your conviction will carry you
And walking alone
will be your strength
though to many it appear as weakness

People fear anothers' sorrow too much
It reveals to them
their own fears,
To some
it mirrors their frozen pain
that they dare not face

But without heartache
you can't grow
or really love
or learn

or come to fully understand
what you need to

nor can you know
how close God is
when he carries you
and the heap of pain that you feel you are
as your strength wavers and your thoughts falter

though you falter...

you learn that the sorrow
you so feared
is a faithful teacher and friend

and your real sighing and tears
are not ever in vain