Wednesday, May 23, 2012

path of peace


"Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up."
Psalm 71:20

i had lunch with a friend of mine today that i hadn't seen in quite some time.  we sat on the patio under an umbrella, the warm sunshine causing us both to squint a little, even through our sunglasses as a light breeze was blowing through our hair.  picturesque.  "so, friend, how are you doing?" she asked.  i thought about it for a moment.  a long moment.  long ago having learned the need for transparency and accountability within my Godly friendships.  i breathed in the breeze, filling my lungs with the summerlike air.  "i'm good."  and i thought about it a moment longer, "i'm really, really good."

and just like that, i had this surreal moment that brought me even more into the moment because... i really meant it.  and quite frankly, i can't remember the last time that i was able to say that with such wholeheartedness and mean it.  in fact, i can't remember if i ever have...

for so long, there was so much chaos and turmoil inside of me that i never could enjoy..  well, anything.  for so many years, when asked how i was doing, i would say i was fine, even when i wasn't.  even in the years since i surrendered my life to the Lord, i have often walked through paths and seasons of heartache, confusion, chaos, despair - all the while longing, and lacking.  during those moments, the truth is that i was following anything and anyone other than Christ.  i was following my heart, which scripture tells us is deceitful and wicked above all things.  i was following my own feelings.  i was following the advice and opinions of others.  i was following my own flawed logic.  my lack of trust combined with my desire to control the course of my life had me striving to create my own will, all the while hoping the Lord would somehow follow along, conforming His will to mine.  and isn't that just the very essence of sin? 

all the while, He was longing to conform me to His will and my heart to His heart.  and once again, in His faithfulness, He picked up the pieces of my broken life, and rescued me.  from myself.  from my will.  from the life i was trying to create apart from Him.  i've joked a lot lately that He has brought me full circle to the place where i began this faith journey with Him, but it is truth that He picked me up and set my feet on His path of peace - the place where i both long to be - and belong.

i look back on the pages of my journals, the pages of this blog and i reflect on a promise that the Lord spoke to me when i surrendered my life to Him just three years ago.  it was a promise of restoration and of redemption.  it was a promise that He would redeem my sinful past, and restore the family that i had broken.  it was a promise that He would restore my mouth with laughter and my lips with shouts of joy (Job 8:21); a promise that He would make a way in the desert, a stream through the wasteland (Isa 43:19); a promise that, from the depths of the earth, He would lift me up and restore my life (Ps 71:20).  somewhere along the way, i lost sight of His promise.  i lost sight of my faith in Him to keep His promise.  eventually, i lost sight of the promise altogether and was, perhaps, beginning to lose sight of Him.  But, God... 

Oh, Praise Him for never losing sight of me

i am so thankful that His faithfulness isn't dependent on my faithfulness - or my behavior - or my perfection.  that is the beauty of the gospel and of divine mercy.  mercy is not receiving what you deserve, and grace - grace is the picture you see above.  grace is receiving what you don't deserve.  when i look at the picture above, i see so much more than the family i'd always dreamed of, i see His grace and His mercy and the fullfilment of a promise spoken to my heart in the darkest moment of my life. and i can say, i can honestly, wholeheartedly say, that i have all that i need.  i don't pretend to know what the future holds, but i do know that if the picture above is as restored as my family ever gets, it is more than i deserve - and it is more than enough for me.   

in Christ, i have all that i want.  and all that i need.  and so, yes, i am good because HE is good to me. 

I pray to You, God of peace
I rest in You, my cares released
And I love You Lord, You rescued me
You are all that I want, You're all I need.
Hillsong Lyrics, Freedom

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
~ Psalm 27:13

2 comments:

  1. Still struggling with that same promise...."Is that really what He said?"

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    1. I think that is a natural struggle - and one that I wrestled with for years. Of course, I can't answer for anyone else, but for me, I know that resting in that promise is the only place where I have found true peace. For me, He confirms it through the Holy Spirit and through His word time and time again. All we can do is follow His word, the guidance of His spirit and the path of peace.

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