in the midst of my escaping

I’ve been listening to this song by Young Oceans, called The Gates. It makes me uncomfortable because in the middle, if I sing all the words, I am a liar. The music sounds more confident than I feel, but the words betray a heart that feels so many other things.

I wanna wake and feel Your glory
I wanna speak in tongues of angels for You Lord
I wanna sing a song eternal
I wanna trample on the curses of the earth
I wanna call upon Your healing
I wanna see the sick and weary be made new
I wanna swim inside the blessings
I wanna swim inside the blessings of the Lord

It’s all the things I want to want, but I’m too weak or frail or scared or lazy or tired or selfish. Or I am all those things.

The beauty of Christmas – Christ coming to earth – came wrapped inside wrapping inside wrapping inside wrapping this year. It came slow like the full nine months of labor pains, much deeper than I’ve ever anticipated this season before.

And when I shake with sobs in bed or pray for water hotter than my tears in the shower, I need Emmanuel. I need the truth of “God with us” on earth. When I wish I was 13 years old again or when I go to sleep to be hidden, I need Emmanuel.

I’m not proud of wanting to escape. But when life is hard, you just dream of it being easier I guess. Easier commute to work, easier free time, easier time management, easier professional life, easier marriage, easier living, easier. Not lazy, just better. I’m not proud of wanting easier.

Maybe that’s why I love liturgy so much. It makes me say the words I do not feel. And that’s why Scripture memory is a life vest these days. Even if those are the only words I repeat, the only ones I sing… even if I don’t feel them completely, I know there is a gift wrapped inside a gift wrapped inside a gift that is more inside than any thief of joy.

God with us. He is here, even when I am not wanting Him. He is here, when I want to be elsewhere. God with us, pursuing us in love.

Did You say, ‘seek, you will surely find’?
I am searching, Lord turn Your eyes to mine
But I’m weary, pacing at these gates
Jesus come, come now, don’t delay

Like a child, ever faithful may I be
This I ask, God of mercy hear my plea
I have wandered with a soul impure
For this scorn, Father, send a cure

Last week, I memorized from John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die…”

It’s one of those verses that’s hard to say, but I stumble through. I speak and trust God will grant the belief I need to be moved by these words. He is good and true and He is holding me up in the midst of my escaping.


 

Find all the writings on grief at this link and join with us as we mourn in hope.

joy blooms

My grandma is incredible at noticing the little things about flowers. She has a beautiful garden in her backyard, but she often brings in the blooms to set on the counter. She watches and often narrates the process as the bud breaks out into full splendor. I love hearing her talk about her blooming flowers, because that’s what flowers were made to do: bloom.

There are drought years and there are flood years and there are late years and early years, but the fact remains: flowers are made to bloom.

I think we are made for joy.

It may not manifest at all times in the very same ways, but God has designed us to enjoy Him. We are growing and budding and reaching for the sun as His grace builds the bloom, but it’s always in there – even in droughts and floods and in years where seeds are planted late.

We are made for joy and I’m not sure when we feel it more, when we are desperate in drought times or when we are displaying the glory of a full bloom. But it doesn’t really matter when we feel it, it matters that we are made for it – made for enjoying God.

The weight of this enjoyment is like gravity – pulling us ground-ward as we walk out life on earth, but lifting our eyes upward as we marvel at the power of such force.

Joy is in full bloom and I am made to display the splendor.

This is that post where I ask you to excuse me for being absent – where I tell you I have been living life away from my keyboard and I’m not sorry. Well, maybe I’m a little bit sorry because “living life” means I have a very long list of inspiration that needs to find its way on here soon.

What have you been up to, meanwhile?