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May 9, 2012

Straight Out Of My Journal…

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I think we all have this idea, this goal, this vision of what we want our life to look like. But life never really works out that way.

Robert Burns wrote a poem about it. John Steinbeck took that poem and wrote a book about it. “Even the best laid schemes of mice and men go awry.”

A wrench always gets thrown into our plans, no matter how perfect those plans seem to be. It’s just a fact of life. And it’s a fact of life that keeps me from wanting to do things in life. Nothing goes according to plan, and I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it anyway.

I have all these great intentions, all these plans and things I really wish would work out, but life circumstances are making these plans seem impossible. God seems silent. Everything just keeps getting worse.

Last night I went to church with my friends, and the message was really relevant. I sometimes dislike when that happens, because lately I’m always trying to find reasons to be bitter and uninterested. But the pastor talked about how when we decide to follow Jesus, our lives get better, not easier. There’s a difference. And a lot of us (myself included) are ready to throw in the towel on this whole Christianity thing because life has actually gotten harder since following Jesus.

But, he said, we don’t need to have faith when things are going well. We need faith when life is in shambles and we can’t see what God is doing. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is confidence in what we hope for an assurance about what we do not see.

Christianity is and always has been about trusting that Jesus is who he says he is, even in the face of persecution, oppression, uncertainty.

It’s not that I left church with some kind of epiphany. It’s not like stuff is suddenly better. I get the point though, I do. And I’m processing it. Sometimes, that’s all we can do.

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Yet

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“Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD.” Psalm 102:18

Over five years ago today, I didn’t know it. The farthest thing from my mind was having another child. But I was expecting a baby girl. I was probably about two weeks pregnant. I wondered why all the normal holiday foods sounded so very gross. I had purchased the materials for so much baking. I did none. I wouldn’t know that I was expecting a baby until after Christmas-time. For the first time in all our expectations, I was completely and utterly surprised. By the time I had visited the doctor, I would be over a quarter of the way there.

 

We had moved to Colorado with hopes for the future God was carving out. We had suffered loss like death, but no one had died. We still suffer from that alive-like death. So a part of me was really hurting. Another part was hopeful and trusting. And another part? A surprise in the making was taking place, a weaving, if you will.

 

I look at her today and see a balm of healing. All of my children bring me such joy. But our surprise package delivered in Colorado over 4 1/2 years ago is truly a fragrant gift that God used to repair a torn soul.

So today, I think upon the words above…that a people not yet created may praise the Lord. Not yet, but coming. Not yet, but expecting to see our testimony written, so that they may praise the Lord.

 

We are in a “yet” moment. So I decided to look up yet in the Bible. Read through them with me. See if you are in a “yet” moment and write down the testimony that God is shaping in your life. Take hope in the fact that yet also points to God’s YES. It is a tiny word that is packed with power and hope.

 

One thing God has been speaking over my heart lately is about time and Him. He has been reminding me that He is not bound by time.  He is already waiting for us at a time of celebration and a time of mourning. He is in the “yet” moment. He created it. I praise Him for it–in advance!

 

2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

 

2 Corinthians 6:7-10
in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

 

2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

 

Philippians 3:13
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

 

Philippians 4:14
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

 

2 Timothy 1:12
That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

 

1 John 3:2
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

 

Revelation 3:8
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

 

John 11:6
Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

 

John 16:13
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

 

John 20:29
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 

Romans 4:20
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.

 

Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

 

Habakkuk 3:18
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

 

Matthew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

 

Lamentations 3:21
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope

 

Psalm 42:5-6a
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

 

Psalm 73:23
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.

 

Job 8:21
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

 

Psalm 22:3
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.

 

Have any of these verses resonated with you today? For the final verse says it all…in every struggle, every trial, every time without hope…YET the LORD, the Holy One, the praise of Israel, yet He is on the throne.

 

He is working on our behalf. He is watching. He is timing it just right. He is orchestrating a symphony of the ages. And we? We get to be a part of His music.

 

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