Tag Archives: sorrow

Know thyself…

I have been back in the gym for four years.  I have lovingly come to call my time spent there my worshipful workout.  Today as I was climbing my never ending imaginary mountain I realized that my workout has become even more, He has helped me turn this time into a time of self reflection, of self knowledge and confession as He so gently reminds me of my mistakes, failures and sprinkles in the few triumphs when I have truly let Him work through and in me.

Over the past few years I have climbed about 2500 miles on the elliptical at the gym, but the strides He has given me the grace to take down the path of knowing thyself are infinitely more meaningful.

Sweet Lord, as I dig deeper into knowing myself the demons within surround me… You alone are my refuge and I beg you to please let every sorrow filled tear that falls be full of pure and true contrition, and every joy filled tear that falls be full of pure and true praise and gratitude for You!

A sense of urgency

Some times when I am thinking of Him, reading about Him, listening to a song that fills my soul with Him… I feel a sense of urgency – a deep need to tell others of the great and overwhelming sorrow we will feel when we arrive at the foot of His throne and realize how little we did if anything and how much more we should have done to praise Him with every breath, every action, every thought during this short life of ours.

Then the moment usually passes and I slip back into the world, but NOT TODAY my friends.  Today is different… today I said a little prayer when this feeling came over me and I asked Him to give me the words to share.  Sweet Lord, I pray that these words are not from me, but from Your Sweet Holy Spirit.

Let our lives be nothing but the echo of God.

High on a hill

I saw a man high on a hill.  As I climbed the hill trying to reach him, the terrain became steep.  I called out to him asking for help.  He didn’t move and I realized he could not hear.  I waved my arms trying to get his attention and then realized he could not see.

Oh the irony and the great sorrow, that I have ears to hear and eyes to see my endless failures and flaws that keep me from ever reaching that beautiful summit, and his ears do not hear and his eyes do not see to let him realize that he has reached that beautiful summit.

Oh my sweet Lord, the thought of this is frightening and painful… please open our eyes to see and our ears to hear.

His tears…

We have an ornament in the shape of a cross that hangs on our Christmas tree.  It has tiny plastic jewels glued onto it in the shape of teardrops.

A few weeks ago as I was putting our Christmas tree away I found one of the teardrops on the ground.  It fell off the top of this cross as if our Lord was crying.

It made me think of His tears and the sorrow He feels when we are cruel, when we speak to each other without thinking, without consideration, and without kindness.  He cries as He sees the cruelty ripple outward and downward in a revolving cycle of hurt, anger, and gossip.  He cries as He watches His peace slip from our hearts as we lose sight of Him and begin this downward spiral.

I have hurt and been hurt with words.  Many times I have begun this cycle or been swept away by this cycle wasting minutes, hours and days obsessing over an unkindness rather than gazing at You.

Lord please let only kindness pass my lips or nothing at all, please open my ears to Your voice alone calling me out of this spiral, and please open my eyes to You alone so that I might not be a cause for Your tears of sorrow, but instead bring You tears of joy.

There is still more work to be done within me!

I don’t remember the exact context, but I was praying for my husband last week and part of my prayer was for something to change in him.  He didn’t know of my prayer for him, but within hours of this prayer my sweet husband shared a story of when he was young, a sad story that testifies again to his strength, kindness, consideration and the attention he shows others.  It is a story that he had never shared with me and a sad memory for him that breaks my heart.

Shame on me, shame on me to ever think that the work in me is done and I am ready to ask others to change.

The work we must do here is on ourselves.  We only fully know our own stories.  For everyone else we must have compassion, understanding, patience, kindness and love because no matter how close we are to someone, there is always something we do not know.

Jesus thank you for my sweet husband and for bringing us even closer.  Thank you for opening my eyes to even more of his love, kindness and strength and for gently reminding me that there is still more work to be done within me!

Sitting in comfort…

I prayed in a small, quiet chapel this morning.  As I sat there I prayed with my head bowed, asking for this, asking for that, apologizing for this, apologizing for that and then just as I was leaving I looked up and saw Christ hanging on the cross.

I was embarrassed to be sitting there so comfortably and so focused on myself without once regarding Him, without once humbly kneeling down to Him as He still hangs there taking on our sins as we continue to pile them on.

What are we doing my friends?  He should be a part of every thought, every intention, every action of our lives.

He still hangs there and we still wound Him… it is so sad.

The blessing of tears…

The first Easter that I truly mourned for Jesus was two years ago.  I cried as I went to bed on Good Friday as I finally scratched the surface of trying to understand how His disciples must have felt that night.  My sweet husband held my hand as I cried and we fell asleep.

Last year I mourned again and I cried and prayed a lot for Judas Iscariot.  I remember going for a nature walk with my family and my sweet girls holding my hands as the tears flowed.

I am not sure why I have been so greatly blessed with so many tears during Holy Week the last two years, but I pray for tears of true sorrow for my sweet Jesus to flow again this year.  I also pray for you to join me in this great sorrow NOT because misery loves company, but because following our tears we will together rise to great heights of joy on Easter morning as we again celebrate that He is Risen, He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed, my friends.

May all of the glory for ever and ever be given to Him! Amen.

Praying for Judas…

I love the song The Hammer Holds by Bebo Norman.

When I first heard this song about a year ago I thought of Judas Iscariot.  I thought of the love he must have felt for Jesus when he first met Him.  I thought of how fervently he wanted to follow Him, to be good and to care for and help the poor.  I thought of the dreams he must have had for himself as a follower, a disciple and a friend of Jesus.  He possibly imagined that God was shaping him into a perfect piece of art that would be displayed for all to see.  Then I imagined his pain, his sorrow, his despair and possibly the numbness he felt when he realized that God’s plan was not for him to be displayed as a perfect piece of art, but instead God’s plan was for him to betray Jesus, betray the blood of a guiltless man.  When I thought of this I cried and cried and cried for this man whom it would have been better for if he had not been born (Matthew 26:24).

Tonight I saw that a friend had taken the quiz, Which one of Jesus’s disciples are you? so I decided to take it too.  Guess which disciple I am?  Judas Iscariot.

WOW… I was shocked and so sad that this computer quiz calculated that if I had been there 2000 years ago and been blessed beyond measure to be chosen by Him as one of His 12 disciples, I would have been His betrayer.  I would not have been sleeping in the garden as He prayed, but instead would have been wide awake leading those blind with hatred and envy to Him, my Love.  It would have been me…

Ever since empathizing with Judas Iscariot through Bebo Norman’s song, I have prayed that Judas Iscariot only found the courage and strength to betray Jesus purely out of obedience to Jesus and faith in Jesus.  I still pray for this to be true, and my hope lies in the fact that so many things are upside down and turned around from what they seem, our treasure lies not in the bank but in our love, the first shall be last and the last shall be first, the veil is still drawn, the truth is still hidden, but someday all will be revealed… and until then I am praying for Judas.

Thank You

Almost every time I pray I ask for my family and friends to be blessed and kept safe, but what does keeping them safe really entail?  What does blessing them really entail?

Do I mean for them to be healthy and kept out of accidents?
Do I mean for them to be comfortable and happy?

Will keeping them safe and blessing them bring them closer to God?  I don’t know.

In Jeremiah 14:11-12
The Lord said to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people.  Although they fast, I do not hear their cry, and although they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I do not accept them; but by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence I consume them.

Was the Lord asking Jeremiah to refrain from praying for the welfare of these people because He knew that safety, comfort and blessings are not what would bring these people closer to Him?  Is He saying that that they will only cry out to Him, present offerings from their hearts, and truly come closer to Him in times of war, famine and pestilence?

I am not sure, but reading this made me take a step back and wonder.

1.  How often do I cry out to God in true joy and thanksgiving when I am safe, comfortable and blessed?  Do these blessings help bring me closer to Him?

2.  How often do I cry out to God in times of sorrow or conflict?  Do these difficulties and challenges bring me closer to Him?

God wants us to cry out to Him regardless of whether it is in joy or misery.   He wants to be there for us, He wants to be close to us and maybe sometimes we won’t let Him in until the difficult times arise.

God please help us to pray with humility knowing that we don’t know what is best, and help us to have faith that You do know what is best for all of us and will do everything in Your power to help us cry out to You.

Maybe my new prayer should be, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Empathy

I have been thinking a lot about empathy.  Empathy is the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another.

I think empathy is one of our greatest gifts because it gives us the ability to share not only the lows, but also the highs with each other.  If I am truly empathizing with others to the fullest, then every sorrow on earth becomes mine to share, but so does every joy!

Therefore if we consider a world with little or no sorrow, then the joy we could experience is INFINITE!

I am going to intentionally practice empathy at home, with my friends, with strangers, with anyone who I come in contact with… let’s see what happens!

Say it, live it, believe it and IT WILL BE!  It is Our Best Life!