Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Few Thoughts

First thought: I like the song Ghost Love Score by Nightwish. That is playing right now. Good stuff :)

Second thought: I am leaving on a mission trip tomorrow morning, and I expect to have some things to blog about when I get back. I hope you are looking forward to them as much as I am :)

Third thought: In reference to a post I typed earlier...this week was night. And I'm not sure when the dawn is coming, but I am absolutely sure it is coming. To quote House of Heroes, I will hold on through the shelling of the night.

Fourth thought: Note to self-go to bed before you die.

Good night friends and random people who are not yet friends but are here anyway. I hope you do have a good day :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Before I begin to feel this weak...

Satisfy me, Lord of all.
Satisfy me, I'm begging You,
Help me see, You're all I want, You're all I need
Oh satisfy me Lord!

So I'm listening to the song Satisfy by Tenth Avenue North. And these are some lines I would like to include:

In me oh Lord can You create
A pure heart cause I'm afraid
That I just might run back to the things I hate

Do those words resonate with you? Because I don't know about you, but I definitely seek satisfaction in things that won't provide it.
I have sought satisfaction in music
I have sought satisfaction in friends
I have sought satisfaction in videogames
I have sought satisfaction in television and movies
I have sought satisfaction in many things that will not satisfy me. They may give a temporary 'good feeling' but if they don't fill me up...then is it worth it?

If you are thirsty, and you drink salty water, will it satisfy your thirst?
If you are hungry, and you eat a salad, will it satisfy your hunger?
If you are lonely, and you turn on the tv or radio, will it satisfy your loneliness?
If you are scared, and you pull the covers over your eyes, will that satisfy your fear?
If you are sad, and you decide to eat ice cream, will it satisfy your sadness?

The list goes on....when you are _____ and your try to satisfy it with ______ [not God] then what will you end up with? Maybe it will be temporarily lessened...but have you noticed that things like thirst, hunger, loneliness, fear, and sadness seem to come back...almost rhythmically?
Have you experienced the complete-ness, the fullness, the satisfaction that comes with knowing God and experiencing Him? Have you been more aware of God's presence around you in such a way that when you consider these auxiliary items of life, they just seem...inconsequential?
Do you want to experience that?

I sure do. I want to be consciously aware of God all around me in everything I do. I want to be more aware of His power, His Spirit that is living in me. I want to feel the love for others that I have felt before, the love of wanting them to feel the love that is felt for them! Do you know what I am talking about? ..Do you know that you are loved?

I want to be satisfied by God. I want Him to satisfy me so that I do not seek satisfaction in other things- in lesser things. I want God to satisfy me so that I would be reminded that He is always faithful and never gives up. I want to be reminded that there is so much more to our existence than this life and this world!

Really though, I think a lot of it comes to this: I want my life to be different. If what I am doing is not showing the results I am desiring...then why continue? Why keep doing what is not giving you what you desire? Why keep drinking salty water? Why keep eating only things that will make you hungry again?

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” [John 4:13-14]
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. [Deuteronomy 8:3]

A comment on society: We have, at this time, probably the most advanced civilization this world has seen. We have the highest standard of living. We have abundance that a hundred years ago was only dreamed of. We want water, we turn a nob. We want food, we open a door. We want a friend, we click a button. We want light, we touch a switch. We want to be entertained, we push a button. We have all this, yet we have at the same time, probably the most antidepressants used, and the most lives lost to suicide. Lost because they don't feel good enough. Lives lost because they don't feel like things will get better. Lost because they are hurting and don't think anyone else understands. What is wrong with us? Why are we so lost? Are we pursuing things that won't satisfy us? Or are we striving for the The One that will provide us with all we need? Do we know what we need, or does our Maker know exactly what we need to function, to thrive?

Do you sense my frustration? I am upset! I am tired of being let down by this world! I am tired of not caring, of not knowing, of not hearing! I am tired of being a fool, being a jerk, being broken! I want pure water. I want to be satisfied. And I know of only One that will satisfy me today, tomorrow, and forever.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. [Romans 8:22-25]
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” [Revelation 21:1-4]
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. [Revelation 21:6-7]

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If you are like me...

then you probably listen to music. Even sing along with it every now and then. And if you are like me, you may not often think about the lyrics of what you are singing, what they mean, and whether or not you mean them.
However! There was one night when I was thinking about the lyrics I was singing. They were, "There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning"
A variation is, "Though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes in the morning"

So I was thinking about this, and my first thought was, "Do I actually believe that? When I am stumbling and tripping and afraid of the dark, in the dark, do I believe and look forward to the morning, when light breaks through and warmth surrounds me once more?"
That is also my question to you. (or, I would encourage you to ask yourself that, since it is phrased in the 1st person ;P)

The following is (sort of) my thought process....

Well, do I actually believe that? Do I believe that, though the sorrow may last for what feels like a very long time, that there will be happiness again? I would like to think that I do, but do I really? To be honest, I would say yes, but that is not while I am in the middle of the night, trying to stay dry during a storm. This is not when I am trying to resist the winds and storms of this life. This is when I am in a warm house, with a comfortable chair to sit on and food and water surrounding me. What else should I want?

So lets go to a time when things were not so hunky-dory. I was confused, sad, disappointed, and wondering what had happened. I was feeling alone. I wondered what had happened, how things had progressed to where they now were. I was glad to be alone, but I so desperately wanted someone to be with, someone to hold. But there was no one to hold. No shoulder to cry on.
I wanted to see the light of dawn. I wanted to behold the joy of His truth and love. I wanted so badly to be reassured that things would turn out ok. That things would turn out good. That things would get better than they were. But, as they say, it is darkest before the dawn.

You know, I don't think that is actually true. Just before the dawn, you should be able to tell that the sun is almost up, and you should be able to see that it is crawling its way up over the horizon. No, I think it is darkest when the sun is the farthest away. When the sun is on the completely opposite side of this planet. When we may have the light of the moon to see by, if we are lucky. That is when it is darkest.
It is interesting though. When the sun is literally the furthest isn't much further away than it normally is. The distance from the earth to the sun is about 93 million miles. The diameter of the earth is (does a quick internet search...), at the equator, almost 8 thousand miles (7,926.28). (At the poles it is 7,899.80 miles in diameter. How about that.) So, when the sun is shining on the other side of the earth, it is only .0086% further than it is when it is shining on 'our side' of the planet. That is a pretty small difference. (yay maths!) Interesting, I find it, how our perception of things is not always accurate.

Long story short, things did get better. I realized that I do have friends I can hug and talk to and get advice and comfort from. I was reminded that God's grace extends beyond our brokenness. I have learned so much from that experience, and I have become much stronger because of it. I now know that things do get better, even when they feel like they have become the worst they can be. I have learned that I can go on, that I can keep on keeping on with the strength that God provides me. I have learned that when we are weak, He is strong.

So, I feel like yes, I can say that I believe that even when it is the darkest night, the sun will rise again in the morning. I believe that even though things will get bad, even worse than what I can imagine, they will get better, and even better than they were before. I am convinced that God works through all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. I know that even though I may not know what will happen, I know it will be good. I know that God is good :) and I am so thankful for His mercy towards me.