Friends, I apologize; I’ve been a bit MIA lately. I can blame that partially on the start of summer and the craziness that follows such a shift and partially on procrastination.
We all have those times, don’t we?
But, either way, I’m back with a reflection on what the Lord has taught me through this June. It has been a series of ups and downs, of achievements and busy-work, of difficulty and ease. A beautiful tapestry of moments, not a one of them wasted.
I love taking the time to write these posts each month. It is a cathartic way for me to see God’s faithfulness in action. It is so hard in our busy world to take time to really look at our fleeting lives, and God’s work within them. To examine both the beauty and the pain, the consistent and the change. It all whizzes by so quickly.
However, the Lord offers us His input if we choose to accept it.
My musings are greatly influenced by my time in the Word. Here’s what I read this month:
- Psalms 85-110
- Matthew 11:25-30
Here’s what the Lord has taught me lately about His whispers.
6/1: “I so often drown You out. But draw me near, Father. Help me draw near to You. Speak peace to Your people.”
6/2: “Thank You for Your grace and the hope that offers. May the whispers I listen to always be Yours.”
6/4: “I think I’ve been listening to the wrong voices lately. I’ve been focusing on the darkness. The ignorance. The hopeless view of this world. But You, the embodiment of hope, are the only One who can pierce the darkness.
I feel overwhelmed by the dark. But as troubling as the depths of our world’s evil is, You work wonders. The dead and asleep are not hopeless. The lost aren’t irreconcilable. It is a choice whether to listen to the lies, or the truth that our dark world cannot be changed without Your love and compassion for everyone.
Thank You for offering clarity and understanding… because this season of my life is full of confusion. However, my quandaries will keep. This world mocks You. But when I choose to give voice to Your presence and truth instead of the lies, You are upheld.”
6/6: “Lord God, above heaven and earth yet searching the depths of my soul, empower my weary soul. Strengthen my weary constitution. Help me spend more time coming to You to rest rather than flocking to the world. Lead me in peace, joy and faithfulness to the higher calling You’ve placed on my heart. To love You and love others.”
6/8: “Stressing over the miniscule details and working myself too hard won’t lead to good, as it is fueled by worry. This summer it will be difficult to put things to rest in Your hands. Yet, at the same time, that means it is ever more necessary to do so. Help me both do my best at what I do while also resting in Your peace, knowing that what is above pales in comparison to anything I could ever recieve here.
I need to spend more time in silence. With You. In prayer. My soul is thirsty from bleeding out onto the page. Help me make time, Father.”
6/9: “Keep my eyes fixed on You, as if my roots aren’t deep in You I will fail to share You, because I will only be digging from what I can muster from my heart.”
6/10: “So often I get so bogged down by my nitty-gritties that I lose sight of Your power. Truly, my life is but a breath – yet You loved that breath of Your creation so much that You were willing to die for it.
God, teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom [Psalm 90]. Teach me, Father, to sit at Your feet and in Your words. Relieve me of my incessant worries. I lay my fear, shame, stress, bad choices, secret struggles and all to You. For You satisfied Your wrath, that we may be satisfied by Your love.”
6/13: “Help me be patient and content when I’m not doing. It has been drilled into the mindset of culture that ‘doing’ nothing is lazy. That is true in a sense, but is prayer ‘nothing’? When I follow that cultural mindset, I miss the power and glories of prayer and You working in my and others’ weaknesses.
I am but a weak teenager fumbling towards the light like a clumsy klutz. Yet You promise to hold me, as You love me and consider my weaknesses to be strength; as they reveal Your power. Help me take courage in ignoring culture’s expectations and instead taking up the torch to shine Your light, even through the simple discipline of prayer. After all, how can one declare You without knowing You?
It’s easy for me to settle for the curated, easy, widespread sharings of the gospel – but it’s harder to dig into the Root of them. Walk with me.”
6/18: “Thank You for Your salvation. Without it I would be lost, drifting. Hallelujah for the song of the rain, a sign of Your faith even in our deserts, even in the middle of June. Help me to always love the rain, Father.”
6/19: “Lord God, we have such a distorted view of perfection. You are holy – pure and perfect – but not aloof. You care about our mess. You desire justice. You forgive, yet also avenge our wrongdoings through looking to the perfect, holy image of Your Son, who bore it all.
You are holy in sovereignty and justice; nothing escapes Your grasp. So even as the world accelerates at lightning speed, missing everything, passing the ball before looking – really looking – at it, nothing is truly missed.”
6/20: “I find it so hard to entrust the lives of those around me to You when You seem so silent. When I know they may never read Your words. Yet You’re telling me my story. I can only do what I can.
Help me walk in integrity, God, and accept the reality that what You give me to do is enough. Where You have me is good. And I can rest in the promise that it won’t always be silent.”
6/22: “God, the lie of my incompetence for anything is a complete and utter lie. False whispers. You are the one who decides my ability. And You say I can do all things through Christ [Philippians 4:13]. Hallelujah.”
6/30: “You know what? I’m blessed. I can get caught up on all of the messiness and imperfections in it, listening to the lies of why I need to be ‘perfect’, or I can embrace the messy; that I might fall more in love with You. I can live looking at what I don’t have… or I could be thankful for what I do.
Following You is beautiful. Sure, it doesn’t always feel beautiful, but it is. I just have to choose whether I’ll listen to You, or the voices that degrade You. I pray that You would help me choose those who uphold You, for You are worth being upheld.”
In this world, I think we can agree that there are so many things vying for our attention. From family to friends to work to education to clubs to teaching to politics to any other amount of little things… it’s easy to lose our souls in the dizziness. To forget the meaning of our lives. Our purpose.
Which is to uphold Him.
It’s easy to give voice to the negative. To the hopeless. It’s everywhere. And while it is important to be aware of the darkness, forgetting the Light in the process only causes more pain. Though harder to do, giving voice to the One who promises to give us rest is so worth it.
One night not long ago, I was feeling off. Bogged down, I suppose. And so I decided to spend some time on my knees. Without a pen, without a book, without any sound, I prayed. I sat in silence with Him and let the tears flow. And as He slowly revealed what was bogging me down through bringing things to mind, I was able to share my heart with Him. And I instantly felt weights lifted off of my burnt-out soul.
Seriously, my friends, take time to let your soul breathe. Feed yourself with silence – allow time to sit with the inandation of information poisoning our critical thinking and reasoning skills – to process the state of our world and the might of our God. For He is worth being upheld not just in our actions, but also in the unexamined and unseen (though just as crucial) state of our souls.
We cannot give of Him in our churches, jobs, family, friends, writing, leading, coordinating or anything else if we don’t first fill ourselves with Him. And that is sometimes best accomplished in silence.
So listen to the whispers, my friend. Not just any whispers, though. His whispers. He will give to those who ask.
And that is where I leave you today 🙂