Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blessings in disguise

"Birdsong" via We Heart It
Listening to: "Strong Enough to Save" by Tenth Avenue North
(Yet another song that has come at the perfect time. I like how God tends to speak to me through the things I enjoy the most: music, books, nature, friends... It's kinda cool, really.)

(I have a lot to say lately. To avoid writing the longest blog of the century, however, I think I'm going to break it up into smaller pieces. It's a little too much to take in all at once, even for me!)

I was reading some of my old posts the other day, and I came across one I wrote back in April that made me laugh. It wasn't actually funny, but oh, the irony! Life wasn't bad, just really boring and routine, and I was getting tired of it. I even went so far as to say that I missed sophomore year. Ha! Well, wish no more, because I'm pretty sure I'm living out fall 2009, round two. They're so parallel, it's a little freaky. That's what I get for asking God to teach me something. Never again! From here on out, I will be content with boredom and let Him teach me on His own time. This isn't quite what I signed up for! Geez.

Anyway. As promised, I wanted to blog about this song:
Laura Story
"We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

And all the while, you hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

And what if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?"
I think I could go on for days about these lyrics. To be honest, this isn't the kind of song I would typically like, but the lyrics are so meaningful that I can't help myself.* I heard it so many times this summer (it made me cry almost every time, but at the same time, I tried my hardest to ignore it. What my problem was, I don't know). The other day, though, I was driving around by myself for 3 hours straight, and it came on at the most perfect time possible. I've been hooked ever since. It is so fitting to where I am right now. A few lines I wanted to comment on...

* * *

"All the while, You hear each spoken need, yet love us way too much to give us lesser things."

Whoa. It hit me so hard the first time I realized what this actually said. God does hear every word I say; He's not up there ignoring me or withholding the things I so desperately want just for the heck of it. When God says no, it's for my benefit. Always. If what I'm asking for is less than what is ultimately best for me, He loves me too much to give it to me. He can't give me less than His absolute best. It sounds cliché in some ways, but when that kind of realization really hits you, it's huge. That's something I've been trying to get through my head lately. It's not easy. Most of the time, I feel like, "Well, I don't want better. I just want this!" Yet I can't see what's ahead. I have no idea what's coming next in my life. In reality, I have no idea what I really need. I just have to trust that He does.

* * *

"We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear. We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near. We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love, as if every promise from Your Word is not enough."

Well, that's my summer summed up in three sentences. Praying over and over and over for wisdom, for God to speak to me, to know what the heck I'm supposed to do next, yet...no answer. It's so frustrating, and yeah, anger has been my response a good bit of the time.

A couple of weeks ago at church, Allan Lockerman pointed out something that I had never thought about before.** He was talking about Isaiah 50:10-11, and at one point, it refers to trusting "in the Name of the Lord." Not in the Lord--in His Name. I've always kind of wondered about that, but assumed there was no distinction. Not so. He explained that, particularly in Hebrew culture, someone's name is who they are, their character. I can't always sense that God is near, but I can always trust Him to be true to Himself. I can always trust that His character will never change.

I doubt God so much, yet I have no legitimate reason whatsoever. He has proved Himself over and over again, not only in the lives of others, but in mine. He has never, ever shown Himself to be anything less than what He says...but still, I doubt. Why? He has promised me so much. That should be enough, even if I don't see it right now.

* * *

"What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are Your mercies in disguise?"

This is a concept I've struggled to grasp. I get it in my head, and I can totally apply it to other people. Actually, I can usually apply it to myself, but this time? I've had a really, really hard time with it. I think I'm starting to get it though. I don't understand much of anything that's happened over the past few months, but I'm coming the the conclusion: the less I understand and the harder the situation, the less I can depend on myself. That forces me to depend on God, causing me to trust Him and grow closer to Him. Even aside from the fact that it could be preparing me for something I can't see yet, or protecting me, or whatever...isn't that in itself worth it? He's worth everything. Knowing Him is the most important thing. Whatever it takes to get that is absolutely worth it, no question.

"And we know 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

* Generally speaking, I haven't been a huge fan of Christian music for the past few years. Lately though, I'm finding myself listening to it more and more. Go figure. 
** Common occurrence. I love that man. 

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