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Posts Tagged ‘#godiswithyou’

The sun’s rise signals the start of a new day.

How I love to actually see it rise since we live in a place that sometimes called Raincouver, the Wet Coast or (more commonly, by me) the Monsoontown. For many months it takes faith (and hope) that the sun is actually rising … somewhere, up there.

Yet, when we get to this annual February repose from the Pacific Northwest winter doldrums our (wavering) faith is rewarded with glorious sunrises and sunsets, the daily growth of bulb plants emerging from the ground and even blossoms on the trees.

Wavering faith …

Like my mind and mood in the dark and damp winter months, our faith can sometimes waver. Perhaps it wavers due to the dark and damp months effects on our serotonin production. Perhaps it wavers due to external forces on our lives and loves that just do not make good sense. Perhaps it wavers due to hurts, so deep, that it could take a lifetime of mining to bring them to the light of day … the light of a sunrise.

To see the light of a sunrise only takes opening ones eyes, for the source of the light (the sun) radiates to wherever it touches. To steady faith that is wavering … that also takes looking to the source …

Ralph Waldo Emerson said,

Sorrow looks back
worry looks around
faith looks up.”

His quote fits well with Psalm 121. This Psalm/song to sing while travelling is known as a song of ascents. It is a song whose lyrics remind the traveller to trust in God during the journey … for he is not just at the destination, but God accompanies us throughout the trek, as well.

God is with us … in the mountains and in the valleys. He is with us when our faith is strong, but he is also with us when our faith is wavering. He does not move, he does not leave us alone. We need to look up.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

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Hopes not Fears

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Lately I have been pondering fears.

Though I have a bushel-full of my own fears, lately they have become especially apparent to me in others. Perhaps it is always easier to see fears in the lives of others than in ourselves.

It is, of course, wise to use caution as we live our lives, but it is easy for caution to also prevent us from being open to opportunities for learning and for life.

Last week I was assisting a student in his memorizing of Psalm 23. I have learned that, when students work to memorize it is good to give them ‘hints’ that are funny or shocking, for when they get stuck.

For instance, if a student is stuck before verse 5, which says, “you anoint my head with oil”, I will give them the hint, greasy hair.

The particular student I was assisting last week was struggling to get the following verses mastered:

“Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me”

Finally I said to him, if you were in a dark valley, how might you feel? To which he responded, “scared”. Then I asked how he would feel if he knew that God was with him, to which he said, “not scared”.

Dark valleys, traveling to new places, starting a new job, going to a new school, moving to a new community, and trying new foods are just a few of the ‘dark and twisty’, fear-invoking experiences in life. But we can never forget that we do not enter into those experiences alone …  for you (God) are with me.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.”
Psalm 23

 

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