Monday, November 10, 2014

Struggling Through Song

While going through one of life's recent challenges I was searching. I was angry, confused, and bitter. My soul knew deep down I didn't want any part of these feelings. My flesh has a tendency to fight for justice, and it's not a bad general. However, I want to confront, argue, and defend when I feel someone is being treated unjust. 

As I was wrestling and talking it out, our pastor suggested writing a "psalm". I have to be honest, it hit me as the cheesiest idea I had heard and brushed it off. Until one night I felt as if I couldn't shake my feeling of bitterness. I couldn't help but open my notes app and start writing. Here is what came out:

Psalms of Annie 1:1

Hey God,
So, I know deep down in my soul you are incredibly powerful. I know deep down in my soul that you have amazing, amazing, life changing ways. 

I know God you want me to be deeply connected to you. To be intentional dependent on you. To be undoubtedly, instinctually crying out to you, desiring your will at every turn. 

God I know I want that. I know just a speck of what that would mean in my our relationship. Do I desire that? What would it look like to desire that? 

God, I fall short. I plan. I react. I think. I speak. I get angry. I feel offended. All without you. All without seeking you. All without waiting for your direction. Why? Don't I really get why my deep desires and my quick-witted actions are so opposite. 

I am thankful for that pastor who spoke that "cheesy" idea. I think I may continue my Psalms and may I suggest you try it?

*I am not trying to add to the Bible. Just recognizing David was a man, incredible and incredibly flawed man, who wrote and sang to God. Just doing the same. 

Passing It On

Recently I changed the screensaver settings on our computer to filter through all our family pictures (I am sure many of you have done this). What I didn't expect was it to draw such a audience from my children (along with myself and my husband). I have had to "encourage" my children numerous times throughout the day to continue with their chores and not stand around the computer. I almost changed the setting back because I was getting tired of all the "encouraging" I was having to do in that area. 

While studying Exodus 35-40 this week I was struck by how important it is to remember the past. How important it is to reflect on where God has brought His people. The Israelites had been saved from hundreds of years of slavery. They had encountered miracles that many of us won't see in our lifetime, been lead by amazing God-fearing leaders, provided for through incredible means, forgiven for turning their backs on the very God who lovingly supplied all of these things, and worked diligently on building a Tabernacle planned out by God. 

After asking God to forgive them and go with them to the promise land, they got to work building the Tabernacle and finished it right before they celebrated the feast of the Passover. It had been an entire year since they were delivered out of Egypt. Can you imagine as they celebrated this feast the overwhelming feelings they had? Gratefulness? Humility? They had been slaves a year earlier. They had seen/gone through the 10 plagues. Their 1st born children were spared death. They had the waters part before them while escaping the Egyptians. Mana and water had miraculously and sufficiently been provided. Moses had been appointed leader. They had been forgiven for worshiping an idol. Had asked for forgiveness. Spent many hours working on building a Tabernacle for God. And sooo much more. Overwhelming just to think of the emotions facing them as they finished this tent and prepared for Passover. 

As my children, husband and I have paused the last week to look through the pictures of our past we have laughed and cried at all the Lord has miraculously done, what He has delivered us from, what we have worked to build, and what He has provided our family. I am SOOO humbled. I am SOOO grateful. Words cannot describe the thankfulness I have toward all that God has done and the people He has brought into our lives. 

As I pause to look back at another year (or 5, or 10, or 15) I pray that my feelings of gratefulness become deeper as I realize how God has directed us through each twist, turn, and event.

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)