Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Be Of Good Courage

I HURT.  My heart mourns and my foundations have been tested as of late.  Grief and sorrow, the kind that try your faith like an iron in the fire.  Disappointment Betrayal.  Raw, real pain.  The Lord has a way of keeping our hearts even when we don't know they're being kept.  He has a way of carrying our helpless souls through the storm when all we know is that we really JUST. DON'T. UNDERSTAND.

It's very easy for me to fall back on my own empty understanding in times like this.  The kind of reasoning and thoughts that consist of really nothing.  Reasoning that leads to conclusions about how the more I give, the more they take.  Or the more I try, the more I fail.  And above all....that I'm just not ever going to be good enough.  And the harder that I try, the harder I fall flat on my face.

And then I remember.....that I AM NOT MY OWN.  No.  This family is not mine, it is His.  My life is not my own....it is His.  My days are not numbered by my wishes and desires, only by the maker from whom they came.  It's an easy thing to say, but a very, very hard concept to really live.

When I began to realize that the Lord was preparing my heart to trust Him, I had no idea what was to come.  And perhaps I still don't.  I do know that since that day, parts of my heart and life I thought were foundational have been tested, tried, and they have failedFallen short.  Completely and utterly missed the mark on what I believed to be the definition of family. 

Doing the only thing I know to do in my grief, I reach for a hand, a help, to a promise I know is there.  And I find.  Perfect.  Complete.  Understanding.  It is not fixed, it's really not even okay.  But I know that something bigger than myself is at hand.

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. 
               Psalm 27:10
I believe you Lord.

Wait on the Lord:  be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
                                                     Psalm 27:14

I will wait.  I do not have a strength of my own.  I will wait.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. 
                                                Psalm 31:24

Again, You tell me to be of good courage.  Today, it is courage I seek.  Not courage of my own, but courage of Yours.  To you who gave the courage of your only begotten son to die for me, for them, for all who loved and all who hated Him.  It is to you I will turn to for my courage.  Jesus DIED for me.  The least I can do is wait.  And that I will. 

I will wait.  I will trust.  I will PRAISE Your great name Lord for the work you have done in my life.  For the works you continue to do.  Even for the pain I feel and the burden I bear.  I am not my own, I never was.  My purpose lies in what You intend Dear Lord, and I will trust you with my pain.  When my strength does not exist, I will remember that it is Yours that carries me, as it was yours that carried Jesus on the cross. 

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  
                                                 2 Timothy 2:1
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 
                                                 2 Timothy 2:3
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.  And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 
                                                2 Timothy 2:19
Lord, please help me to remember that this is not about me.  Let my life be a living sacrifice to my family, my husband, my children, and above all to you.  Let your love shine through my heart, even if it means through pain, and let me not grumble and complain of the works you see fit in us all.  Please let every failure of mine be covered in your grace and used to Your glory.  Most of all Lord, let my children have hearts after your very own and let them serve Jesus Christ with all of who you've created them to be.  Only then will they be complete and have an unshakable faith to stand when this world....and this human, imperfect Mama.... let them down.  In Jesus' sweet name.  Amen.