Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Poem- "You Know"

God gave me this poem a few months ago when I was going through something very painful. I didn't share it then because it was too fresh, but I share it now with the prayer that God might use it to minister to someone else as it ministered to me. 

"You Know"
No matter what heartache comes into my life,
No matter what sorrow I bear,
I'll not be shaken, though tears wet my eyes,
My Jesus, my Savior is there.
No matter what darkness hangs over my life,
No matter what suff'ring I face,
I'll rest in Your shelter, held close to Your heart,
And walk in the light of Your grace.
Your love is so great, Your compassion so tender,
Not only because I am Thine,
But because You, my King, were acquainted with grief,
And knew much darker darkness than mine.
You knew what it meant to know sorrow and heartache
While you dwelt here on this earth,
Hated by those whom You came to deliever,
Despised and rejected from birth.
You knew what it meant to lay down something precious;
You followed despite heavy cost.
You gave up Your throne, and the smile of Your Father
In exchange for the shame of the cross.
That which You gave up was wholly more lovely
Than all I can see here below,
And the anguish You suffered, the cup which You drank,
Such sorrow now I'll never know.
So may I not tremble to follow Your footsteps,
Who holds every tear I have cried,
Surrender dear dreams, and trust through the darkness,
And find true, pure joy at Your side.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Of Axe Heads, Birthdays, and Elections

About a week ago, I was reading in 2 Kings 6, and was reminded of a wonderful sermon Eric Ludy gave on that passage while I was at Ellerslie. It was called "The Floating Axe Head", and I highly recommend listening to it. In the first part of 2 Kings 6, a man is chopping wood with a borrowed axe head, which flew off the handle and fell into a lake. Elisha makes the axe head float. The next verses contain a more well known story- Elisha and his servant are surrounded by a Syrian army seeking their destruction, and the servant is terrified. Elisha says, "Don't be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them", and then asks God to open his servant's eyes. The young man looks, and sees a heavenly army surrounding them. It's been nearly a year since I heard it, but I remember Eric making the point that God cares intimately about the small details of our lives, and works in them to build our faith and prepare us for even greater times of need.

Today was the culmination of over a month of planning a surprise birthday party for my brother Zach. We told him that we were making a video for a friends birthday after church, but while he was talking, my brother and another friend came up behind him in ski masks, put a pillow case over his head, tied his hands behind his back, put him in a car and drove him to the park where a big group of friends waited to yell "SURPRISE!" Our plan had so many variables, and I was nervous! I had been praying so hard over every detail, and was blessed to see God answer so many specific prayers. The timing went beautifully, Zach had no idea, God gave me and the other conspirators wisdom to deal with numerous challenges that arose, the party was so special, it didn't rain, we got a picnic shelter, and the list goes on. To say that I am so incredibly thankful is a massive understatement!

On Tuesday, the day after tomorrow, we will know the outcome of the elections which have been looming in our future for so long. I, as do so many others, have strong, prayed over convictions concerning my vote. It is my prayer that we will have men in office who's actions are most in alignment with the truth of God's Word, and it is a temptation to fear and be anxious when I imagine the way things may go.

The God who cares about the details of a birthday party is the same God who is in control of the nations. I trusted Him for the small things, but is He any less in control now? I saw Him work in this, and I've seen His faithfulness and ability so many times in my own life. When (in the natural sense) the course of our nation hangs in the balance, will I tremble and fear? Or, by God's grace, will I trust and rest in Him, knowing that He is in control? Hallelujah, we serve a God who is mighty beyond comprehension, and working His perfect purpose in the ridiculously insignificant and in the global. Pray. Vote. Pray harder. But oh, may we be a people who trust and obey our true King! May I be a sheep who gladly follows her Shepherd through hills and valleys!