Passion week has kinda crept up on me. If I still my soul, if I stay calm, I know that there is so much more to this life than I am allowing. This idea that I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength leaves little room for fear, doubt and worry in me. I sit here wondering what if, what if it is that simple and I have made it so much more. I cling to worry about my husband’s job, our car falling apart, our children, how people view me and all of a sudden I’ve crowded out every image of the Lord in my life. I am just rolling through each emotion.
James 1 puts it in a new light for me:
12 ·When people are tempted and still continue strong, they should be happy [L Blessed is the one who perseveres endures trials/temptations]. After they have ·proved their faith[stood/endured/passed the test], ·God will reward them with life forever [L they will receive the crown of life; C alludes to the laurel crown given for a victory]. ·God [L He] promised this to all those who love him. 13 When people are ·tempted [undergoing a trial], they should not say, “God is tempting me.”[L For] God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But ·people are[L each person is] tempted when their own evil desire ·leads [lures; drags] them away and ·traps[entices; lures] them. 15 ·This desire leads to sin [L Then, after desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin], and then the sin ·grows [or becomes full-grown] and ·brings [gives birth to] death.
Today is an open slate, my friends. Today is the day He has made and He asks us to come and rejoice in it. Be glad. I can be paralyzed or I can extend my hand to joy. We are promised nothing about material success, however if we remain strong during the storms and trials, we can be happy, be blessed. Am I reading that right?
I get so focused on now. Or the future. Ugh! One day I’m going to stand before my Savior and see how all the pieces of my life fit together. Do we understand that these emotions of fear, worry and doubt are sin? I keep getting this image in my mind of me playing in a pit of mud (my worries, my fears and my doubts) and the Lord is extending His clean, beautiful hand to me saying, “Come out, come here, come clean” and I keep splashing in the mud because I can’t let go of fear. And I can’t, you can’t. We cannot do this on our own.
I waited patiently for the Lord.
He ·turned [bent down; inclined; stooped] to me and heard my cry.
2 He ·lifted [drew] me out of the pit of ·destruction [or desolation],
out of the ·sticky mud [miry/muddy pit/bog/swamp].
He ·stood me [L placed my feet] on a rock
and made my ·feet [L step] steady.
3 He put a new song [C celebrating victory; 33:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Is. 42:10; Rev. 5:9;14:3] in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God. Psalm 40 EXB
Get out of that pit, Cara! Allow Him to lift us out of the pit. Allow Him to put our feet on a rock. Give Him a chance to make our feet steady. (Not in our circumstances, or status, or anything else but Him) I’ve heard it said that God is a gentleman. He will not push Himself in. I like that. God wants to put new songs in my mouth, your mouth. Sing for joy. He puts new songs in my mouth. Your mouth. Celebrate the victories! Ever notice how this Psalm has the writer waiting patiently? Friends, He is here now. He is just waiting to be asked in. He hears our cries. He responds and now we respond back. Do we just cycle through the worries in our prayers or have our prayers become an opportunity to praise Him?
3 Sing a new song [C celebrating victory; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; 149:1; Is. 42:10; Rev. 5:9;14:3] to him;
play well ·and joyfully [with a loud/a victory shout].
4 God’s word is ·true [upright; virtuous],
and everything he does is ·right [faithful].
5 He loves what is right and ·fair [just];
the Lord’s ·love [loyalty; covenant love] fills the earth. Psalm 33 EXB
Friends, in the midst of our trials, songs of truth and praise can fill our mouths. Rather than sadness and worry lines filling our faces, allow His truths to smooth the lines. So as I begin my day, I ask the Holy Spirit to fill me. I ask that His word come alive in me, my words to my children, to my husband. Jesus has the victory! He has won over sin and death and here we are wringing our hands with our circumstances. Mercy, I have a chance to bring Him glory today! I have a chance to stand on the rock and invite those around me to be lifted up. Join in singing the anthem of the Lord’s renown!
The earth is filled with His glory. Filled. Seriously!
So, as it is Holy Week starting tomorrow, I want to focus my blog on Him. Not my circumstances, but His glory, His revelation in the power of Jesus Christ. So, want to join me? Pray with me.
Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
To pay thy morning sacrifice.
Thy precious time misspent, redeem,
Each present day thy last esteem,
Improve thy talent with due care;
For the great day thyself prepare.
By influence of the Light divine
Let thy own light to others shine.
Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways
In ardent love, and cheerful praise.
In conversation be sincere;
Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
Think how all seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.
Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.
All praise to Thee, who safe has kept
And hast refreshed me while I slept
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake
I may of endless light partake.
Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,
O never then from me depart;
For to my soul ’tis hell to be
But for one moment void of Thee.
Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew.
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.
Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.
I would not wake nor rise again
And Heaven itself I would disdain,
Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed,
And I in hymns to be employed.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Let’s do this day, friends, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pray on. Oh wait! My thankfuls!
233. God’s wisdom revealed in the Scriptures speaking life this morning.
234. Thankful for a day with my kids, as I pray for these precious kids with cancer that kills the body, I pray for these families. Moms and Dads who cling to the now with their precious babes.
235. Thankful for a dog who just makes me smile.
Pray on! Pray on!