Tag Archives: Andrew Peterson

A Closer Walk: Looking At Loss Realistically

I am trying to become more pragmatic about loss; trying to see it more realistically.

In our part of the world loss is treated with shock-n-awe headlines—fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, all banner headline-makers.

But are we seeing loss realistically? And, more importantly, are we seeing it Biblically?

I am beginning to wonder.

Learning to let go of material things is painful.

Heaven is our home.As a Christian I am taught that, while I live in this world, I don’t belong here. It is not my home.

So, if this is not my home, if I am only “passing through” as the old song says… then why do I cling so tightly to the things that can never go with me when I leave?

I mean, let’s face it, we do cling tightly. Don’t we?

Why else be so devastated when we come face-to-face with loss?

And my losses do devastate me. I mean, if I’m honest.

Once upon a time, losing the most menial things could send me into a petulant tizzy. But I am learning that loss is a big part of my journey. Letting go, is an essential skill to traveling light.

Realistically looking at lossIn our western culture, we are encouraged to “travel heavy.” Stuff, and more stuff, advertisers cry to us is our passport to true happiness, prestige, and well-being. But, is it? I don’t know about you, but I am finding that a large volume of “stuff,” gets to be a heavier and heavier burden. In truth, the amount of things that I actually need, is relatively small.

Maybe it’s because I am getting older, and I am realizing that I am closer now to my finish line, than the starting line. When I step back and take a good look, and think about what I claim to believe, I begin to wonder if my losses are not just a natural part of this journey I’m on. Perhaps, to get me more heaven-focused, by necessity, I need to carry things here a bit more loosely.

The idea of realistically accepting tragedy and loss is uncomfortable to me.

And, perhaps, that is precisely the point.

C. S. LewisI will share with you that years ago I was “homeless” for a short time—twice.

It was unthinkable at first. I was stunned that God would let such a thing happen to me. I was angry and frightened. (Who wouldn’t be?) But shall I tell you? Something strange happened through those dark experiences.

With all my “stuff” in storage, and finding myself standing on a sidewalk with no money and one little knapsack, and wondering where I was going to go? I learned firsthand what Paul meant when he wrote,” …I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything.” [Phil. 4:11, 12Phil. 4:11, 12
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11 Not that I speak in respect to lack, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content in it. 12 I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need.

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I also have learned that God is faithful, especially in calamity. He kept me safe. He kept me fed. He kept a roof over my head. Though I found myself an unwelcome guest, sleeping on someone’s floor, more than once.

(My losses made others uncomfortable, too.)

Letting go of what you cannot changeYet, I discovered that all I really NEEDED each day was in that tiny little knapsack.

And, you know what?

Though sometimes uncomfortable it was liberating to learn how little is needed to really get by. I was forced to let go and trust God absolutely and so my emotions about my STUFF changed.

“Letting go” produced a kind of freedom and made me face a surprising and unexpected revelation: ALL CHRISTIANS ARE “HOMELESS!”

Loss is an integral part of this world, but for us, it’s only temporary because you see… we’re not home yet.

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LET IT GO!

Do not fear the clouds as though I had deserted you and left you to the mercy of this storm.

Who makes the clouds? Who creates the storm?

(Is it not I, your Father?)

Then, I say to you, “Fear not.”

I told you, you would go through floods, yes? (Isa. 43:1-4Isa. 43:1-4
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(Well, then?)

But, I say again, “…you will not drown.”

I come in these clouds as easily as in the days of blue skies and soft green meadows.

My child, listen… that thunder and lightening in your circumstances is the rumbling wheels of My chariots. Your deliverance is in those chariots! Do not fear them.

That fierce howling wind?

It belongs to Me. It does My bidding!

Storms are for your training child. You grow a little stronger from each one you weather.

Focus on Me. Focus on My faithfulness.

Let it goI AM sending into your life everything you need to grow you up and make you skillful for every task your destiny requires.

When your skies grow dark, and your enemy tempts you to doubt and unbelief, remember I created you! I have chosen you! Every storm is in My hand and does My bidding. If it washes out a part of your life, let it go!

I AM rebuilding you according to My plans and My specifications.

a closer walk

“The clouds are his chariots. He rides upon the wings of the wind.”

Psalm 104:3Psalm 104:3
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3 He lays the beams of his chambers in the waters. He makes the clouds his chariot. He walks on the wings of the wind.

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Never Losing the Light: My Favor

Now is the time to rebuild.

(All will come together quickly.)

You are walking in great favor.

(My favor.)

Breakthrough Jon BloomRemember, where I go the adversary is not far behind.

(Stay on your toes.)

We have much to do. Do not get caught up in this world. We have no time for that now. There is much to do and the days are short. Keep your sense of urgency.

Remember my servant Nehemiah?

One hand on a weapon; one hand on the work. (Neh. 4:17Neh. 4:17
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17 They all built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves; everyone with one of his hands worked in the work, and with the other held his weapon;

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Build to last.

This will make more sense later. For now, just do it. Nothing flimsy. On The Rock, remember?

Choose your workmen carefully. All great things that fall, fall because of inner decay, not outer attack.

Walk worthy of your calling.

(No more childish anger.)

Put it away. It doesn’t fit who you are now. Remember to come to Me. I will guide you in the way you need to go.

My favor covers you.

Be strong. Be courageous.

(Your abilities will astound you.)

You are a fine sharp threshing machine.

(My harvester!)

Come, the harvest is waiting.

The Harvest

“…when I bring you home again from your captivity and restore your fortunes, Jerusalem will be rebuilt upon her ruins;”

Jeremiah 30:18Jeremiah 30:18
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18 Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I will turn again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have compassion on his dwelling-places; and the city shall be built on its own hill, and the palace shall be inhabited after its own manner.

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A Closer Walk: Overcoming Dark Storms of Doubt

I was stunned at the size of the doubt-storms that were rolling across the landscape of my life. Suddenly I was being engulfed by dark clouds of questioning God, myself, what I believed about everything.

It is easy to believe in a God of Love when everything in your life is rosy, but when things fall apart? Then you begin to wonder and doubt creeps in.

Why has this happened?

Is it something I’ve done… something I didn’t do?

Or, am I just a victim of chance after all?

In the first days after I returned home from the hospital, I have to tell you, it was God’s silence that made these storms almost unendurable.

How could God be silent when I was in so much pain?

Dark, dark, thoughts paraded through my head daily.

I didn’t want the life I had just been handed. If this was what my life was now to be? I didn’t think I could bear it.

depression The darker my thoughts became, the deeper my depression grew.

It felt as if I was on a long slide into nothingness.

Nothing in my life looked good to me anymore. I felt broken, yes—but worse, I felt broken beyond repair.

This is what depression will do.

It takes you to a place where everything is doused in dark colors and shadows. All brokenness looks irredeemable. You feel completely disconnected from anyone with hope.

Because your hope, has been buried under a landslide of pain, and unanswered questions!

I found myself in a place where songs, sermons, and Christian cliches, could not even begin to reach me.

A severely depressed person sees no hope, because they see no future. Clouds of doubt and fear swallow you whole.

Only one thing was able to pierce my darkness: His Voice.

He whispered, “Life is not over…” and a small glimmer of Light pierced the darkness and found its way into my broken heart.

It was a start.

The dark and The Light began doing battle each day.

His Voice brought hope—but still the dark persisted.

The dark had all my broken evidence on his side.

He drew me outA tug-of-war was going on in my heart and mind; faith pulling one way; darkness and doubt pulling the other.

Strangely enough, it was an ancient song that turned the tide; a psalm of David.

His words from centuries past spoke to me with understanding and commiseration.

My present doubts and darkness were not unfamiliar to him…

“I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path…” Psalm 40: 1-2Psalm 40: 1-2
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40 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David. 1 I waited patiently for Yahweh. He turned to me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay. He set my feet on a rock, And gave me a firm place to stand.

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David was describing exactly where I was.

And, how I felt.

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RUNNING IN CIRCLES

Don’t let the enemy sidetrack you honey.

See how he taunts you; how he works to provoke you?

You’ve really got him worried Sweetheart.

The Light of God's VoiceJust settle down in Me.

(Abide, remember?)

Don’t let him stir up your inner man.

Don’t let him create chaos in your outer circumstances.

You have this power over him, not the other way around! If he can provoke you; get you running in circles emotionally; he can hinder My work in you and through you.

But you are too smart for him. You know what to do and how to do it! You have come, too far, to let him sidetrack you now.

Don’t you hear it? The music? Don’t you hear what is flowing from your heart and soul? A new song—a new symphony from you to My world!

My feet are on The RockYou thought it was just for My people?

Oh, no. I have much bigger things in mind for you.

Why do you think the enemy torments you so, day and night?

I see. I hear.

But, child… oh, My sweet adorable one… the music!

The music!

Where once there were squeaky notes of discord, ah now… the rhythm and harmony… how I love it! (How I love you!) You are beginning to understand how much I love you. And together—together we are writing new songs for the whole world to sing!

Keep your peace honey. Don’t let him steal it, ever!

It is the prelude to music!

a closer walk“He has given me a new song to sing… many will hear of the glorious thing he did… and put their trust in him.”

Psalm 40:3Psalm 40:3
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3 He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God. Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in Yahweh.

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Never Losing the Light: Restless In the Raging Storm

You calm my raging seasYou think this storm has been raging way too long, yes?

There have been days when you believed, ” …this will be the end of me.” You looked at your depleted strength, your absent support, your meager resources, and you thought, “I can’t go on like this.”

And still the storms kept coming; kept beating down on you. And, oh how you wanted to just quit and walk away. But, you couldn’t. The storm wouldn’t let you. And, in your soul, where only we two can go, you would turn to the storm, and shake your fist, and curse…

(Yes, I know.)

Weariness does strange things.

Can I tell you something?

Calm my stormI do not condemn you.

(You thought surely I would, yes?)

No.

No, child. I love you, much too much, to pay attention to the tantrums weariness brings.

You yourself know, that a tired child, who is acting up, needs rest.

Are you a better parent than I?

You need rest child.

REST.

Lay down some of that frenetic activity of yours. Choose the things that bring restoration. These storms will not go on forever.

Meanwhile, you listen to your Abba—rest!

You cannot find release from your fears in all this restless activity.

I have your release.

Come…

Bring all to Me.


When the storm is raging“Soon, soon you slaves shall be released; dungeon, starvation and death are not your fate.”

Isaiah 51:14Isaiah 51:14
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14 The captive exile shall speedily be freed; and he shall not die and go down into the pit, neither shall his bread fail.

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Never Losing the Light: Overcoming Fear Storms

Listen child, we must deal with this fear.

I know you do a good job of hiding it from others—even yourself—sometimes.

But, not from Me.

His power for my weaknessI see your heart, remember?

I do not see as others see.

You know this.

I look not on outward appearances. I see the inner man with all the turmoil and tumult these silent storms bring. I see the damage they do.

Fear-storms—silent storms raging in your soul.

The storms you think no one sees. (Ah, Sweetheart, I know.) You are so angry with Me, yes? The bullies of your life have always produced these terrible inner holocausts.

Yes, I know.

You think, “… if I loved you… really loved you, I would have prevented the bullies in your life.” Yes?

stormsYes!

But, haven’t I told you? (You know I have.) Storms make muscle.

Haven’t I told you? Your calling is to overcome, not outrun.

I want to help you defeat these fear storms once-and-forever.

You are on overcomer.

These storms are for your deliverance not your destruction!

Every time you overcome, “…through the power of HIS might…” (Isaiah 40:26Isaiah 40:26
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26 Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these, who brings out their army by number; he calls them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is lacking.

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), you weaken the hold the oppressor has held over you all of your life.

Is this not a good thing?


Overcoming Fear“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”

Isaiah 40:29Isaiah 40:29
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29 He gives power to the faint; and to him who has no might he increases strength.

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Giants Fall

Francesca Battistelli

Everyone’s telling you
To let go of what you’re holding to
It’s too late, too far
You’re too small, it’s too hard
Throwing water on that spark
Living deep inside your heart
With oceans of reasons
The things you’re not seeing
But oh, maybe they don’t
Know what you know
That you’re not alone
Don’t you be afraid
Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight
He’s right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be too small
But watch the giants fall
We could really live like this
Can’t you imagine it
So bold, so brave
With childlike faith
Miracles could happen
Mountains would start moving
So whatever you may face
Don’t you be afraid
Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight
He’s right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be too small
But watch the giants fall
Ask and believe
You’re gonna see
The hand of God in every little thing
Miracles can happen
Anything is possible
Watch the giants fall