What can hold back Your light, Lord?

You let me live in darkness
that searches
and sifts my soul,
yet is there any possibility that
its taunts
could ever succeed
in holding back Your light?
I struggle in a fight
that reveals the weakness of
my greatest strength,
but can my struggles
obscure, for a moment,
Your strength?
Must I leave my eyes
upon the shattered remains
of my ability,
when nourishment waits for me
in the winsome
contemplation of Your Love’s
control of me?

If my life should be a song–could I really sing it along with You?

What would be the soundtrack
if I should
one day happen to hear
God singing
the life behind my years?
Would the rhythm be composed of lilting melodies,
blended to lift the soul,
or would dark journeys of sound constantly converge,
bringing distress to the
very deepest parts of me?
Would it kill me to encounter
the unvarnished tension in the story
He would tell
or would I revel in the underlying current of strength
He held out to me
in every detail?

Would I long to join Him in the song
that flowed from His mouth
or would I faint at the idea
of being so personal with Him?
Would I let Him sing the song alone because I
was too afraid to lift my voice and let what’s inside of me
be heard?
Would I think it important enough
to expose everything that’s in me
to perform
this Original alongside its kind Composer
or would I prefer to sit back and critique
its taste
and discredit its potential for great acclaim?

I pray that mine should be a heart
that swells at the opportunity
to join my Maker in a song that bears His name
and reveals His heart in every
harmonized moment
between He and I.
I hope that I should gape in wonder at the interest
He would take
in my every weak attempt to carry the tune;
yes, wonder that He should
infuse each wayward note
with His own rich scales of
pure and undying Love.

With One like this behind the music of my life,
how should I keep from
embracing forever
this final lyric of joy:

Fill me up already, Lord!

My heart is occupied with grief, tonight, Lord.

I’ve run out of me

and there doesn’t seem enough of You to fill the gaps.

My heart has well been instructed by Your love,

to want what You want

but, what You want in this instance seems much too far out of reach.

I can’t hold on–

my limits are too restricted.

I’m so tempted to tell You this is just too hard:

my body threatens to give out on me

and my heart teeter-totters between hope and despair.

I wish I were stronger;

that I wasn’t plagued this way–

that I could make You proud by how I handle hardship.

But, God, I can’t hold out

for a salvation that comes from anyone but You.

How evident You make it that I need a firmer ground

than I can find in myself;

a place to call my refuge

when nothing You’re doing seems safe.

So, Father, I beseech You:

Lift my soul up till I can see Your face

and know that You are all I need.

I’m so weak; I feel like I can’t continue on,

even while my heart is in Your hands.

But, still You enable my confidence to grow

in Your love’s enduring ability to maintain my joy.

Can you celebrate today?

      I’m learning different measures for grading a “good” day;
      Learning how God’s grace takes different forms to balance the tray
      Of challenges that changes with each new circuit from dawn till dusk.

The past few days have all been blessings,
each with their own distinct texture and appeal.
The loving-kindness I came to know on Monday
was in the context of prayer.
Only God and I
shared this precious revelation and the bond it brought to us.
But looking at Tuesday night–
with it’s celebratory flare and award
given to two of the dearest people in my world–
you’ll see something very different.
The joy God was pouring into me,
in my position of observation,
was a mixture of pride and gratitude for family blessings which,
for that sweet time lost their familiarity and became as freshly polished treasure
once more.
Today, if you had met me in my kitchen,
you would have found me delighted in the sum of housework that God gave me
the energy to complete–
not necessarily with no sweat
(it was terribly hot today)
but with greater ease than usual.

Taking stock of what I’ve shared above, you will see that
the first day I reveled in fellowship,
the second in people-gifts that God has set around me
and the third in service and the equipment for it that God provides.
Do you see how each of these things
was a primary characteristic of the day I experienced it in,
and yet it did not linger beyond the limits of that twenty-four hour span?
In some of these instances,
I must admit that I coveted the gift delivered to me
more than I desired the Giver who bestowed it.
When I saw it beginning to wain,
I held on for dear life,
trying to be sustained by something that was only meant to bring me pleasure for
a certain number of tick-tocks.
In this struggle, I needed to be reminded that God alone chooses
what would make for a priceless gift today
and it is not for me to diminish what He’s apportioned for this day by yearning after what was the mold of His generosity yesterday.

Truly, I need to continue learning to be thankful in everything
because God only knows
What mercies would best affect me, so that my spirit grows.
My description of happiness must change
from the narrow confines
of what I want
to the specific and infinite plethora of what God wants.
Enjoying myself more in the ordinary things
will grow in proportion to a burgeoning consciousness
of the One who rules my taste of living,
my plate of activity.

Join me in this prayer, if you need help in celebrating
what He’s given to you today:

That’s okay, God,
I’m realizing that not every day
needs to look the same,

but even if they all begin to run together–
losing the excitement of change–

I will still find You in the rhythms of each one
because I know You’re the One who conducts me
in the song of worship
that runs through the mini sections
of my life.
Thank You!

A reason for living that goes deeper than I thought life could go

Have you ever been taken out of the game? Put on bed-rest? Prescribed a slower schedule and denied access to your super-man/super-woman cape and commitments? I have. Yes, in the grip of God’s loving ways, I’ve been “put on a shelf,” to a certain degree.

I have fought the idea that I can live without the world revolving around my activities. I have wrestled with the pressure to stop pretending that my assumptions do not need to change. I quietly begun to admit that others do not lose their reason for living because I am not beside them for all of their challenges and victories. I have lost my old sense of self and in its absence I look for a replacement. I feel uneasy in this new space. I cry out for help: “God, You got me here, now what are You going to do?”

While I am still in the process of accepting where I am and what God’s doing with me, I still have hope because God is yet doing something with me. He is changing–yes, renewing–my mind and it’s a gift. In all the confusion and frustration there has been deeper meaning; not everything has been lost. The wrestling has helped me discover something: Something I would never have applied to myself if God had not restrained my steps and severely limited my wanderings. Something that gives life even though it is so shamelessly tinged with death.

I did not know Christ

to any spectacular degree

before I found myself here.

But, now that quietness

has stole over me

and I have learned

to live out-of-the-way–

I hold a gift, a gift of

greater worth than what I’ve lost.

I have missed out;

I’ve been forgotten

but one thing I’ve gained:

Christ has become my peace.

He has come and sat with me;

made the emptiness a treat.

Overflowed my parched soul

with joy

and touch my weak points

with grace.

Christ is is known most dearly here.

And so I don’t fail to relax.

Instead, I give thanks.

My understanding is slow,

but one thing I know

He is true

and alone with Him

I still grow.

The wonder is that

I am not always (out) there

that I might remember

that I am not the One who’s needed;

only He makes this life

we live

a truly pleasant affair.

Does God know the pain?

Does God know the pain

with which I’m slain?

Does He know what it’s like to live without

And how if feels to be left out?

Can He change Himself to be like us, in our despair?

Has He ever suffered beneath a disgruntled stare?

I wonder if He sees what I suffer

Or does He prefer to hide behind a buffer?

I wish I could see Him in all the chaos

I don’t think I sense Him up on the cross!

I wish I could ask Him something but “why?”

If only I knew how not to cry.

But I have to believe all that I do, He understands

and no matter my failures, for me He stands.

In this is my hope, and my only true strength

My God’s love is assured me and knows no limits in length!

I will look forward with hope and make this my song:

My Lord is my Savior; and in Him I belong.