Sunday, June 30, 2013

Psalm 30

Psalm 30
I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord my God,
I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;
You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Now as for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I will never be moved.”
O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;
You hid Your face, I was dismayed.
To You, O Lord, I called,
And to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
10 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me;
O Lord, be my helper.”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Go

I laid on my back silently gazing up
The stars above me shone brightly
Occasionally twinkling as if they held some secret
The only sound I heard was the song of the crickets
and the croaking of frogs small and large
Memories swam through my mind
A tear slid down my face
I sat up and hugged my knees tightly
My heart ached with the pain of loss
"God," I prayed silently. "I don't know how I will get through this."
Tears flowed freely now.
"I feel so battered, and lost.

 I have lost all I care so much for."
Then His voice came all so clearly.
A whisper in my head.
"I have a plan for you, Clareesa.
A plan that far surpasses any plans you have ever had for you life."
I sobbed.
"But, God, what do I do now? In this moment...I don't know where to go."
His voice came again.
"A few years ago I told you to go, to go serve."
My mind wandered to the time when God had used a squirrel to show me that He wanted me to go.
To go and serve.
"I removed from your life something that held you back .

Something that was stopping you from going.
Now that i have taken that away, you are free to go.

 Go, Clareesa. Go and serve. Go and don't stop.
Don't let anything hold you back.
This is what I want you to do right now."

I wiped away a last tear and looked at the creation of the stars.
The God who had created these very stars
Had a plan for me.
And right now, He was telling me to go.
To go.
And not stop.
My heart still ached.
But I felt a renewed hope.
I would go.
I would serve.
And I would fail.
But I would keep going.
Without stopping.
Because my God was faithful.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Path

The walls loomed above me
In vain I searched for an escape
For even a window of light
Nothing.
Darkness.
I knew not how I got here
When I had first started on the path it had looked harmless
I all too quickly learned the trust danger that lurked here
I felt bruised and battered
I pounded against the walls once more
"Someone, help me! Get me out of here!"
I felt something wet dripping down my hand
Blood and the dirt of the walls.
"Please, anyone."
I sank to the ground, my voice hoarse from crying out.
"Help me."
My salty tears mixed with the taste of blood around my mouth
If only the walls were gone
Then I could see the light
Oh, how I longed to see the light
Feel it's warmth upon my face
"Please, someone."
My voice was barely a whisper now
"Take these walls away."
The earth began to tremble
The walls - they were coming down!
I felt a renewed strength and jumped to me feet
I shut my eyes, waiting to feel the light against my eyelids
The walls roared as they crashed around me
Then silence
I slowly cracked my eyes open
Darkness.
My heart began racing in a new fear
Why was it still dark?
Why couldn't I see the path?
The wall were gone...
so why couldn't I see the light?
I stumbled forward
Soft dirt squished under my feet
I was on the path again
But the darkness remained
I strained my eyes in every direction
Desperately seeking even the smallest ray of light
"Where do I go?"
I cried out into the darkness
My question was answered with silence
Then I knew
At the end of the path, there was light
 The walls hadn't been blocked the light out
There was no light on the path in the first place
And if I could just make it to the end of the path
I would find not only light
But the guardian of the path
The Creator of the light
The One who would watch over me as I made my journey
My journey down this path
This path were I could not see ahead
But the Guardian could
The Guardian could see everything
As long as I remained on the path
the darkness would remain
And the journey would be long and painful
But at the end - a glorious light I would find
And each time I would stumble
I would know the Guardian was using that injury
To mold me into His image
But for now
I would continue on
With my eyes fixed ahead
Even though I could not see
On this path call life.

 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

It wasn't the smile...

     It wasn't the fact alone that she smiled.
     It wasn't the the way she laughed.
     It wasn't the words she said
     It wasn't her
     It was the fact that she could smile
     It was why she was laughing
     It was what she didn't say
    
     The fact that in such a difficult trial, instead of showing a face of sadness and pain, her face radiated with joy.
      The fact that in such pain, her laughter still came from the heart.
      The fact that she wasn't complaining about what she was going through, but speaking praise to God.
      It was Christ shining through her

    That's what stands out.
    That's what shining the light of Christ looks like.

    Matthew 5:16, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

    James 1:2-4, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. "


      We all go through trials.
      But it's very rare to find joy in trials... but it's what we are called to do. And when we do...we shine a light greater than any light there is.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Wooden Wishing Well

     I was skimming through one of my notebooks from last year and came across something I had started writing and never finished. And since it was midnight and my insomnia was keeping me up...I decided to finish it.

The Wooden Wishing Well
At the end of the path now overgrown with weeds
I stood at the edge of an old wooden wishing well
Ready to drop a coin down and make a wish for a new car I wanted
I looked down and, though dark and far off, somehow I saw the bottom
Only small puddles of water remained
Twisted vines crawled up the cracked sides
But in those puddles of water, I saw hundreds of shiny relfections
Wishes
Some of the wishes took the form of dimes, others of pennies 
Some of the wishes even took the form of coins from another country
I thought to myself 'What if I could read those wishes?'
Then I found myself falling
Down into the wooden wishing well
Once I hit the bottom no pain did I feel
Inside I felt a sense of awe as each wish sparkled up at me
I bent and picked up a penny and felt my eyes widen
For clearly, without explanation, I knew this penny's wish
The wish had been made by a girl, no older than seven
Wishing for a new pink dress with ruffles for her doll
I picked up another wish, this one in the form of a silver dollar
A wish for a new bike 
Amazed, I continued to pick through the wishes
Some made me laugh
Like the wish of the little boy who wished he could be a real superhero so the girl next door would like him
Some made me cry
Like the grandpa who wished his grandson would beat his battle for cancer
If even just long enough to make it to his next birthday
A wish for a pony
a wish for her mother to come back home
A wish for a new job
A wish for the pain to go away
But no matter the wish
Each one was different
Unique to that person who wished it
And with each wish
I found myself realizing all the more clearly
That each life
Though so different from the other
Was imporant
Meant something
The pile of a wishes around me
Had become much more than a pile of wishes
They had become lives
Then I once again found myself standing above the wishing well
Staring down
I walked back down the path
Not looking back
I felt burdened with that thought that every life
Every person I passed on the street
They weren't just a another face
They had wishes
Struggles
Needs
I suddenly wanted to be part of all their lives
To show them that they were important in their own way
I never went back to the
wishing well
But I never forgot what I learned
It is easy to get wrapped up in our own desires
To think little of the lives or others
To view them as just another face with a wish
But they are so much more
They are a life
And some of those lives
I have the chance to impact
To show them I care
And maybe even answer one of their wishes
That is what I learned
at the wooden wishing well

Monday, June 10, 2013

Trials

    When God gives us trials, He also gives us new opportunities to serve and honor Him. Whether it be a distraction that is now gone or the ability to shine His light through suffering.

Just something to think about....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's okay to smile.

     When life gets rough sometimes its hard to smile.
Lately life hasn't been easy for me easy-it's been harder than I ever would have thought possible. And I've been tempted to feel depressed. Tempted to think I don't have a reason to smile.
I think a huge reason is we feel that when we smile, we are ignoring the hardship that we're going through. We feel like if we smile, it means everything is alright...when inside we are struggling so badly.
But ya know what? It's okay to smile when life is hard.
In fact it's good to smile.
There is a time to be sad, yes.
But when we smile through trials, we aren't showing people that the trial isn't hard...we're showing people that we have a God who is bigger than our trial and we have the strength and joy in HIM to smile.
Yes. Just smile.

Is life hard right now?
Are you smiling?If not...its okay. Go ahead. Smile.
When we go around with a frown on our face...what are we communicating? Are we communicating that we trust in Jesus completely with every aspect of our life? Or are we communicating that life is so hard, that the fact that God is in control, doesn't matter? 
Because if you've been born again...you have more than enough reason to smile. No matter the circumstances.

And who knows...that smile? It may just affect someone else in ways you never would have imagined.
And for the record..I can promise you that you look far better with a smile.