Wednesday, May 29, 2013

As Deep Calls to Deep

If there was ever a post I wanted to be so God's words and not mine, it's this one. Because I fear nothing I write will ever give Him adequate glory. The glory He deserves. The glory He is.

Just know that whatever is conveyed here, it was felt a million times more deeply. And my prayer is that you feel it just the same, in your own relationship with our Lord.

This past Monday I had the opportunity to go on a short hike nearby - an absolutely beautiful day to be in nature. I was reflecting on God's creation, His love, His provision. How He has been teaching and guiding me these past few months. I was reminded of this post, penned last October. Words written at a time when I needed to write (and believe) them for me just as much as for anyone else. A time when I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I mattered. My answer was to seek Him. In every situation, every emotion or hurt, to just seek Him.

To seek something is an act. There is nothing passive about seeking. It's a verb. Defined as "an attempt to find (something), attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something), ask for (something) from someone, seek someone/something out."

So I did. A lot. With time and energy. Study and contemplation. Prayer and a listening ear. Never perfectly, but with an honest desire.

And boy, let me tell you, was He ever found! All along the journey there have been new depths and treasures. Not always easy, oftentimes painful, but ever so joyful.

As I walked along the trail on Monday my heart was spilling over with God's love. I came to a point on the trail where some rocks were nestled amidst a brook, surrounded by trees with glimmers of sunlight peeking through. It was absolutely picturesque. And in that moment on that day, it was just for me.

I settled into a spot on the cool rocks and contemplated. Taking out my notebook and pen, I scrawled these words:

"I feel so incredibly loved. I don't even have words for what my heart feels in this moment. These past few weeks, months. My God, my Father, is wooing me. All of me. Mind, spirit, body. I sense Him in every part of me. Filling me with peace. Speaking words of love to me. He is opening my eyes to His glory all around me. It is a beautiful gift."

Moments later, I spotted a deer nearby munching on greenery. It reminded me of this verse...

Psalm 42: 1-2, 7 (NIV)
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God...Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

That's what it's like when you encounter the Living God. His waves and breakers sweep over you in such a way you have no hope, and yet you have every hope. No hope of escaping His loving embrace.

It brings these words to mind...

If you leave I'll still be close to you
When all your fears rain down
I'll take you back a thousand times again
I'll take you as My own
I would sing you songs of innocence
'Til the light of morning comes
'Til the rays of gold and honey cover you
In the sweetness of the dawn
(Future of Forestry's "Slow Your Breath Down")

No hope of escape. And yet every hope in the world. Hope of a future. Hope of the glory of God.

Hope that does not disappoint.

Will you soak in the rays of gold and honey, meant just for you?

Will you seek Him, as a deer panting for streams of water?

Will you welcome His waves and breakers as His deep love sweeps over you?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Warning Signs

The other day I was driving to an appointment. As usual, I left just enough driving time to get there. Driving up to turn onto a familiar road, a big orange "Detour" sign stared me in the face.


I proceeded.

The next big orange sign said "Road Closed Ahead."

Here I was faced with a choice. (Or at least I thought I was.)

I chose to continue on the path of the (supposedly) closed road. As if an orange sign wasn't enough.

But the road has never been closed before. Why would it be now? I knew there was construction on a nearby road, but not this one. I was just there and everything was fine.

So I barreled on ahead, casting furtive glances at my dashboard clock as time ticked on, feeling my blood pressure rise. I began to speed up as I mentally counted the stop lights left until I reached my destination.

So here I was, racing full steam ahead...on a (supposedly) closed road.

At this point, I would like to interject and say I hope I'm not the only one who would do/has done this. But in all reality, I probably am. And probably should be.

Anyway, so back to wildly spinning tires and my stupidity. I would periodically stretch my neck to see if I could actually lay eyes on anything resembling a closed road. Everything looked like it always had, save the periodic large orange sign stating "Road Closed in Such-and-Such feet." Those were obviously new to the scenery.

But apparently not enough to deter my current confidence in achieving a through route on said (supposedly) closed road.

I thought I'd just made it, one more curve and I'd be turning onto another road, which I assumed would also not be closed.

Then lo and behold, the road...was...closed.

At the very end, right where I needed to turn. There was about a ten foot stretch where no road existed. Literally, there was no road.

Welp. Any good person would chuckle, turn around and patiently take another route to her destination, right?


I promptly did a three-point turn in the non-closed part of the road and proceeded to race aaaaall the way back to the spot in which I first saw the "Detour" sign. And I was fuming. At myself. At the construction workers. At the stupid over-sized sign that tried to warn me.

I didn't feel very wise in that moment. Nor did I feel very proud as I picked up my phone and called the office to notify them of my delay.

As my swollen pride quickly turned into sheepish humility, I was reminded of words I had read not even hours before from the 21st chapter of Proverbs (NIV):

The proud and arrogant man - "Mocker" is his name; he behaves with overweening pride." (vs. 24)


There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. (vs. 30)


I was thankful no one but God had seen my folly. I am (gratefully) living proof He gives countless second chances. (Check out Rend Collective Experiment's "Second Chance")

And so today, when I was headed to the very same office, I chose not to head down the (actually) closed road.

And it got me thinking, how often in my life or daily routine do I do something I've done a million times before just because I've done it a million times before and all the while ignore the warning signs that maybe, just maybe I'm supposed to do something different???