Today, instead of our home church, we attended a church with our youngest son in his college town, as we were visiting him and watching his weekend basketball games.
We joined together with strangers with whom we share a common bond of desiring to honor God by going to “His house” on Sunday mornings.
As we left the service, we heard reports that today in a church in Texas, an evil, reprehensible man carried out an evil, reprehensible act.
We may never know or understand why it happened, but we can be assured and we can assure others of what we DO know: God IS with us through absolutely every moment of our lives. We sang about it, as you can see on the screens in the photo: “I am not alone. I am not alone. You will go before me. You will never leave me.”
Other lyrics from this powerful Kari Jobe song remind us we need not fear. “In the midst of deep sorrow, I see Your light is breaking through. The dark of night will not overtake me. I am pressing into You. Lord, You fight my every battle, and I will not fear.”
And another line of the song is, “You bring healing to my soul.” Oh, so many hurting people are in need of healing because of this senseless, horrendous event, but we know the Healer. The hashtag, “PrayersForTexas,” is thoughtful, but empty, if not accompanied by the actual act of lifting these victims’ loved ones to our Heavenly Father.
If this isn’t the time to share the love of Jesus with others, and to earnestly pray for Him to make Himself known to those that doubt Him, I don’t know when is. Love others. Pray for others. Assure others. God is here, He will never leave us, and He heals.
An extended length of time has passed since I have written a song. There have been phases in my life when new lyrics and new melodies seem to flow, but recently the songwriting well has been quite dry.
In all honesty, my spiritual life has been in a bit of a dry spell lately also. I do not think it is far-fetched to surmise there is a connection between feeling distant from God and the lack of a new tune bubbling up from my soul.
Throughout my life, the faith I have had in the fact that God loves me and has a plan for each and every one of us has not faltered. I stand on those facts, and since I was a little girl I have felt compelled to strive to live in a way that hopefully encourages others to believe more strongly in those truths as well.
However, lately I have struggled to align my feelings with my knowledge. I know He loves me and has that perfect plan…but I have not felt it as strongly or confidently as usual. Questions about being worthy of receiving answers to my prayers have flooded my soul. Questions of whether or not God is truly concerned about certain details of my life have blurred my vision. I have been distracted by my emotions.
Simply put, my eyes, my mind, and my heart have been focused on some difficult circumstances in my life instead of the One who is in control of those circumstances. Instead of the One in whom we can have confidence that “…in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
There is a verse I take great comfort in. The Message version of 1 John 3:20 says this: “For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.” God is greater than our worried hearts. We can, and should, put stock in the promises of God rather than the emotions that a number of us may give too much credit to.
Just because we do not feel God’s presence does not mean He isn’t with us. The truth is He is omnipresent. Just because we do not feel God’s love during certain times of our lives does not mean He has suddenly stopped loving us. The truth is He so loved the world He saved it through His Son. Just because we do not feel like God is answering our prayers does not mean He is avoiding us or our pleas. The truth is often He is working behind the scenes or in a different manner than we expect, because His ways are higher than our ways.
Focusing on facts, the Father, and faith very recently brought a new song (literally and figuratively) to my heart. It has also begun to reenergize my relationship with Jesus and bring some sprinkles of joy to this dry spell. A dry spell that is sure to soon come to an end. I can feel it. : )
I hope that this encourages any of you currently experiencing a dry spell, to believe that focusing on facts, the Father, and faith will bring a new song to your heart too.
Psalm 40:3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him,” and that is precisely what my prayer is…that this new song might bless you. That it might cause someone to see the Lord, be in awe of Him, and strengthen their trust in Him.
Fix Your Eyes
Verse 1: You are trying to wait patiently in the middle of this mess. You are staring at the sadness and the struggle. You’ve forgotten God’s past faithfulness. Friend, your eyes are focused on temporary complications instead of our eternal God, who’s in control of every situation.
Chorus: Fix your eyes on your Father. He will never let you down. He works all things for our good as only God, our loving Father could. The burdens you’ve been asked to bear just simply don’t compare to the future that He has in store for you.
Verse 2: God knows just what your hurting heart needs. He calls on you to press on. Your faith will deepen. You’ll feel His strength, and He’ll refill you when it is gone. Friend, your eyes are focused on temporary complications instead of our eternal God, who’s in control of every situation. Chorus.
Bridge: Faith believes in what it cannot see – through every trial; every test. Faith believes in God’s sovereignty and that He knows what is best. Chorus. Fix your eyes on your Father.