Tag Archives: tears

A Closer Walk: Looking For Pain’s Logic

I could see the logic.

I mean, there are awful things going on in the world… and there are Christians who are suffering… dying… everywhere.

Where had I gotten the idea that the Bible taught I would always be kept safe from trouble?

When I started to search the scriptures again, it painted an honest and accurate picture of men and women who believed and trusted God, and yet suffered pain and loss, and sometimes even death. The scriptures were full of dirges and laments; songs of passionate questioning, pain, and deep sorrows.

Why had I believed that these songs would not someday be mine to sing?

I was being childish.

Who did I think I was to be entitled to a pain-free-life?

forgivenessI had wanted to only follow a safe God… a God who would always protect me from all hurt, in all circumstances. I decided I would listen more carefully to some of the teachers I had followed. Sure, they taught the Word of God, but I was beginning to see that they predominantly taught only one type of Truth. Yes, there is victory and prosperity for those who obey, trust, and believe… but sometimes, there is also sickness, suffering, sorrow, and loss.

As I began to honestly look at the stories of Joseph and Job; Isaiah and Jeremiah; the disciples of the early church, and the Apostle Paul in particular, my eyes beheld the worst kind of suffering. I had been taught that Paul was one of the greatest Christians that ever lived, and yet he suffered terribly for his faith. (And, who could have done more than he had?) Why had I believed that if I just, did enough… prayed enough… believed enough… declared enough—God would protect me from all harm? Wasn’t all my doing a sort of idoltry? Rub the magic lamp, or say a sincere prayer, and the genie will pop out and do my bidding?

performance condemnation trap

Wasn’t I really idolizing my own comfort; hoping for a way, or a formula, to manipulate God into giving me the comfortable and safe life that I wanted?

What selfish foolishness.

My eyes were open alright, and I was beginning to see, but I didn’t like what I saw.

(No, not one bit!)

I began to wonder if maybe, I really deserved all the bad stuff that had happened?

(Now I was really depressed.)

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SING!

Oh, My dear child, how I see you struggling to walk in freedom, but dear one, your jailers are not the condemnation of those around you. That is why you still struggle so.

(No, Sweetheart.)

The one who keeps you bound—is YOU!

Let Me explain.

making bricksYou grew up in terrible slavery. So did your parents, and their parents, etc., etc. Generations of “brick-makers” just like the children of long ago, enslaved to the Egyptians, making bricks. But you are no longer in Egypt child, yet you still have the voice of the evil taskmaster in your head. Instead of shouting, “Clay! Straw! Water!” he whispers, “Try harder! Do more! Perform!” and so you obey, and do, do, do… to the point of exhaustion.

But honey, I set you FREE.

What does My Word say?

“Who will set me free from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”    Romans 7:24-25 The next time your old task-master whispers, “Do more. Try harder.” and you are tempted to begin laboring, by bending your back in the “brick-pits of performance,” remember who bought your freedom. (Me!) I have released you from “performance-condemnation” forever!

free to be myself

Remember the song…

I’m under the blood of the Lamb; who covers the guilt of my past. By the mercies of God, Holy and righteousness I stand. I’m under the blood of the Lamb; I’m safe and secure from the enemies hand…Sing, Sweetheart, sing…

Your song!

a closer walk

 

“So now there is no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:1

 

God Is Real & The Bible Is Truth with Kim Bond

A Closer Walk: When God Asks Something Crazy

when God asks something crazyWhy would God ask me to do something so crazy?

I wanted to cry or wave my arms and scream at the unfairness of it all, but…

Sing?

It still amazes me how God will sometimes ask us to do the most extraordinary things at the most incredible times!

I thought, “Sing? You’ve GOT to be kidding!”

That was perhaps the very LAST thing I felt like doing. I mean, who sits in the ruins, life in shambles, a fresh scar on their face, and then sings about it?

Talk about asking something crazy!

I still believe in the old adage:

Pain is inevitable. ~ Misery is optional.

misery is optionalSo, I decided to try to sing.

Not an easy thing to do when you are hurting and choking on your own tears.

(No, not easy.)

I thought, “Perhaps this is what the scripture means when it says, “Give the sacrifice of praise.” a sacrifice always costs you something.

I really was trying to cooperate with God.

Again, not an easy thing to do when nothing in your life is the way you want it and I had to admit, I was still feeling plenty “ripped-off.”

sacrifice of praise

There was a stubborn part of my heart that was looking at all the rubble and thinking, “Is this all there is, if you do your best, work hard, and try to do it God’s way? Is this what you get?”

I couldn’t stop thinking about all I had given up—the place I had loved, the people I had cherished, all the shining possibilities for a career in ministry, to come back to a place I hated—for this; these ruins!

spirit of entitlementI looked at the ornery, selfish, and downright dishonest people that I had laid everything down for, and this is the result of years of obedience and faithfulness?

That spirit of entitlement dies a slow and painful death.

I didn’t know who I was more angry with, God, or the people who I believed had let me down?

And worse yet, I didn’t know how to stop being angry, especially when I looked at the way things had turned out. And now I am supposed to, SING?

Still, with all this anger I wasn’t having fun-time, either.

A gray fog of futility had settled down on me.

gray fog of futilityBefore all this happened I had always felt I knew what to do or where to go, I had a sense of direction and purpose, I had a handle on life—at least a small one. Now, I couldn’t seem to get my bearings. I didn’t want to sing, but I didn’t want to be angry either.

In truth, I didn’t know what I wanted.

I felt stuck and I hated that, too!

There’s nothing worse than being royally ticked-off and stuck inside your own skin with nowhere else to go.

God had asked me to trust Him and I thought I had.

Now I wasn’t so sure.

What if my decisions had all been wrong?

And, if you couldn’t trust God…

Who could you trust?

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WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?

Ah yes, My sweet Dreamer, you are saved by trusting.

So, you found out the people who raised you weren’t the perfect people you wanted them to be.

Well, what are you going to do now? Be angry? Be depressed? Stay confused?

Honey, listen. What have I been teaching you for these past few years? You know. People fail. People let you down. People hurt people. Even the people we thought, never would, never could hurt us!

people fail

Where do you think that dream of yours was born?

I’ll tell you, through the things you’ve suffered. Dreams and dreamers that will change the hearts of men, and heal them, are not born in nurseries of perfect people posing, posturing, and pretending to have pain-free spotless lives!

Ugh, it’s a lie spawned from Hell itself.

Do you know how many of My children feel or believe, they are disqualified from their dreams because of their failure, or the failures of others?

you are not disqualified

MILLIONS—millions of hearts, full of millions of hopes, hiding!

Why?

Because they are convinced that all is lost before they even try.

And, how can these dreams be saved? How can these dreamers be salvaged?

They are saved by trusting.

Did you know TRUST is contagious?

Did you know HOPE is infectious?

Your enemy knows.

I guess you’d better get busy.

a closer walk

 

“We are saved by trusting…”

Romans 8:24

 

A Closer Walk: That First Faint Whisper

I remember after my accident the first faint whisper God spoke. I sat every day in the ashes of my burned-down-life, not sure if I even wanted to recover from all the devastation I saw.

life falling apartA weariness had enveloped me that was beyond anything I had ever experienced before.

That place, right in the middle of all my MESS—God showed up.

I wish I could tell you I was in this super-spiritual place but the truth is I was trying to contemplate a life without God. My disappointment went far beyond my rage at my circumstances. I was just “finished” and God and I both knew it!

That had been our deal.

I had returned to my faith from “the world” as beat-up prodigal who didn’t believe “a God of love” even existed. So, before I was even willing to try out this “Christian” thing again, I wanted a new deal between God and myself.

I wanted total transparency with no head-faking-bull.

I wanted no part of the phony church stuff I had seen growing up.

Actually, things worked out well for the first few years. I jumped into the discipleship thing for all I was worth. I studied my Bible each morning. I regularly attended church. I devoured every Christian book I could get my hands on. I began serving in church in all kinds of different ways. Life was good. I was growing. You might even say I was thriving.

Then life fell apart. An undetected illness and the resulting visit to the Emergency Room brought everything crashing down.

Each day I sat in the ruins trying to decide if my “return to God” had just been another colossal mistake in a long line of mistakes.

Was this Christian-thing just one big con job? I felt betrayed. I was recoiling from all the stuff I had believed.

If you tust God is THIS what you get?

So I stopped reading my Bible.

I couldn’t pray.

I wanted nothing to do with a God like this!

world in ruinsHow did I get here?

My doubts that had begun as whispers were now shouting at me, “Is this what obedience brings?”

Everywhere I looked I saw only devastation and chaos!

I wondered, “What kind of a loving God loves like this?”

God hears even the faintest whisper in our hearts.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is hidden from God. He was “listening in” on all my doubt and inner rage. I didn’t know it then, but He was counting each broken-hearted tear. He was letting me grope my way along in the dark for awhile—just waiting. Waiting for me to finish venting all my frustrations, and for the silence to descend.

Now in the inner quiet He began to whisper.

I grabbed a pen and began to write.

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ONLY CHANGED

You there.

Yes YOU sitting in the ashes.

These ruins you see all about you? They are not who you are.
They are not your final destination or your destiny.

I AM!

You are in Me and I AM in you.

Our two lives are as inseparable as a brook that flows into a river. Where does the brook end and the river begin? Hah, you can’t tell Me! That’s how it is with us. My life flowing in you. Your life flowing in Me.

ashesYou look at these ashes and think, “It’s all over now.”

You see ruins where once stood bright hopes and shining dreams, and you think, “What’s the use of dreaming?”

But Sweet Heart look up.

Turn those tear-filled eyes toward Me. I AM still here. You are still here. We are not going to dwell forever in—this place. This is only for a moment in your eternity. A wink! I AM your true Vine not your dreams. Your life flows from Me, not from people, possessions, or calling. Come, dry those eyes. Life is not over. Only changed. But remember what I told you? “I do not change!” I AM the One you can always count on. I AM the Foundation that does not move.

We will be leaving here soon. As we step out of these ashes to begin again? You will see Me transform these ashes of yours into radiant beauty.

You’ll see.

a closer walk

 

“To all who mourn… He will give beauty for ashes.”

Isaiah 61:3

Tiny Sparrow

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A sparrow on mountain top far, far, away

Turned its eyes to heaven and began to say

Can you really see me God? Hear me when I pray?

Will you reeeally come  –  watch over me today?

~~~

When God’s angels heard, “This foolish bird!”

They gasped… and looked at God.

Would wrath replace His loving smile?

(They all began to nod.)

Surely impertinence like this

Would be met with lightening rod!

~~~

But God reached down and gathered up,

His frightened little bird…

And turned to speak, to angel host,

“Your judgements are absurd!”

Then He placed the little fellow,

Where he wouldn’t miss a word…

~~~

My dearest little sparrow,

I AM the God who hears,

All your questions, all your doubts,

And your every fear;

I AM the One, who gathers and saves,

Each tiny little tear!

~~~

When all gets dark, and you lose heart…

When hopes begin to quail,

When heaven seems like brass to you,

And songs turn into wails…

Remember, I AM watching…

And My grace will never fail!

~~~

Don’t fear what you can’t understand…

What trials and hardships there demand;

For each and every day on Earth,

I hold you… in My mighty hands!

Just trust, that everything’s designed…

According to My perfect plan!

~~~

In all of My creation, whether near or very far,

My eyes behold your greatest need,

… don’t wish upon a star!

But turn your eyes to Heaven,

For I’m watching where you are.

~~~

And if you need Me… I’ll be there!

I’ll take good care of you!

Before you call… I’ll answer;

Open up the skies of blue!

You’re My precious… tiny… sparrow,

What’s that? Ahhh, yes, I love you, too!

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The Taste Of Tears

medium_the-pain-of-the-world-and-the-purposes-of-god
Tasting my own tears again. Thinking, “This is not how I would have done it.”

How often God takes us a way we would not have gone— points to a path we would not have chosen.

Dear Reader, have you often pondered the words:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

How often I have pondered God’s ways with the taste of tears in my mouth.

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Perhaps there are Christians that can walk the path of captivity with great joy, but I confess to you, I am not one of them.

… My thoughts are not your thoughts…

Yes.

I remember the LORD whispering to my heart before I came here, “…there is no other way.”

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I confess I did not truly comprehend the enormity of those three little words until now…

 

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No other way.

Looking back… to who I once was, I now know:

⦁ There was no other way to bind the wounds of betrayal without being betrayed.
⦁ There was no other way to learn the words of comfort for the abandoned without being cast out.
⦁ And, how else could one sing the song of deliverance, had one not felt the chains?

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To become a wound dresser one must endure many woundings; one must taste their own tears, over… and over again.

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To receive “a new heart” (Ezekiel 11:19) indeed… there is no other way.

The DREAM~MAKER’S Promise:

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV

The Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Father help me to believe in the process of transformation, though it may be full of pain, it is also a miracle in the making. I don’t want my tears to blind me to the miraculous things You are creating, in me.

And not just for me, but for others, too.

A CLOSER WALK: The Valley of Tears

valley of tears

The Valley of Baca is translated The Valley of Weeping and though I suppose it signifies a geographic place, I also think of this “valley of tears” as a soul-place.
All of us will have those circumstances and events that will bring our soul’s into this sorrowful place. Loss is a part of life none of us can avoid. Neither can we avoid the shadows that come with it. (We can try of course.) We can valiantly attempt to bury it, or outrun it, or deny it, but grief won’t be ignored forever. Eventually it will assert it’s domain.
I have grieved many times in my life. The deaths of my parents. The loss of cherished relationships. The crash of my health. That “halocaust experience” I wrote about earlier. In each journey through this valley of weeping I have to tell you, they were not all the same.
Grief is strange stuff. Not one of these trips through loss was the same. All were different.
I wonder now if that was because there were different lessons to be learned each time. Grief, like a kaliedoscope, held the same bits of broken glass each time, yet with each slight turning the light and shadows would shift and fall in different patterns, revealing beautiful and distinctly different things for my eyes view.
Sometimes these views simply arrested me. Taking me captive for a time against my will. But even in my captivity I began to learn. The value of rest; of stepping aside from the mad rush of life for a time of communion, just God and myself.
Then there were the times, when with brutal realities, grief taught valuable lessons about people. About where I should, and should not, place my trust.
Perhaps this is what the psalmist was trying to convey when he said,

“When they walk through the Valley of Weeping it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains! They will grow constantly in strength…” [TLB]

Grief is a harsh school-master. Yes, but I eventually came to understand the real value in her harsh lessons. I began to see the depth of character birthed by pain rightly borne. Truly, sorrows are the birth pangs of a deeper, richer life. Hope for others flows from such places.
It makes me think of the lines of the poem by Robert Browning Hamilton:

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow;
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.

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THE VALLEY OF BACA

These days will soon be over, and shall I tell you something?
(It will surprise you.)
You are going to greatly miss this time of sorrow and suffering?
There, that’s got your attention!
You dream of getting your freedom of movement back; of days when you can feel “normal” again. (All your thoughts are open to Me child.) But I AM here today to tell you that you are going to miss these quiet days, when all the world was just we two.
(Sigh!)
I confess, I will miss them more than you.
This journey through the Valley of Baca has been difficult for you. (I know.) Especially those first weeks. There was more confusion than peace, and joy seemed to be dressed in black crepe. Still… you must admit, after things settled down a bit, after you began to get in step with Me…
After we developed this habit of making, of those tears of yours, a wayside well…
(Ah, after.)
It became quite pleasant in places, didn’t it? And you must also admit, that though we had been close friends, our friendship has deepened and grown richer through the things you’ve suffered.
(Yes?)
Yes. All in all, it has been a highly satisfactory journey!
And, I will say it again, you’re going to miss these days. Ah, but never mind. We must be up and going.
We have to be about the Father’s business, you and I.
Let’s go.

“Let your favor shine again upon your servant…”

Psalms 31:16