Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Sleep

I am encased by this deep fear.
Night after night sleep evades me.
I seek peace but I cannot reach it.
An enemy chases me that I cannot see.

I call out to my Father, but I don’t know if He hears me.
I am wandering this dark forest alone with no one to guide me.
I ask for direction and all I hear is silence.
I seek love and help from those who dwell on this earth with me,
but their aid is lost just as quickly as it was found.

The journey overwhelms me. I fall, and there is no one to catch me.

I call to my Father in hope that He help me.
That He heed my plight.

I want to give up on hearing His voice.
To claim that He isn’t there,
that He doesn’t care.

But I know He is there.
Standing quietly,
looking on lovingly.
Telling me that the night doesn’t last forever.
That light and relief come with the morning.

So I bide my time and wait.
When I can no longer form words,
and a cry is on my lips,
I just call His name,
Jesus, Jesus,
and I find the peace I need to sleep.

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Heal me, and I will be healed

“Pain is inevitable. But suffering is optional.”

Life is full of so much pain and hurt. Whether we are on the giving or the receiving end. And sometimes, it is the inner pain, rather than any physical pain, that hurts the most.

But pain is inevitable. It’s an unavoidable consequence of being alive. The moment we no longer feel anything, we have passed from this life, awaiting the next.

Whether you have inflicted pain on others or are subject to the pain others have inflicted on you, you must not let that pain control you. The most powerful weapon we have in this life is our mind.

Our minds control our feelings of sadness, inadequacy, fear, worry, hopelessness, and guilt. If we learn to control our mind, instead of letting it control us, we can overcome anything.

It’s easier to deal with pain that we feel is undeserved. Because then we can blame someone else. Or we can blame God. But on occasion we will find ourselves in pain that we have caused to come upon ourselves. Pain we feel we deserve.

We can choose to wallow in self-pity, or even self hate. But imagine if we could grasp on to the fact that God does not only heal the pain others inflict on us. But that he also heals the pain we inflict on ourselves.

Healing is a journey. It is not something that happens overnight—even if we want it to. Sometimes we need to sit back and not wallow in tears but rather actively seek God. Actively dwell on things that lift us up, instead of dragging us down.

“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:4-5

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” – Psalms 103:2-4

“Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” – Jeremiah 17:14

Safe/Control

feeling-safe
I run to him, and I am safe.

 

“But you will cross the Jordan and settle in the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and he will give you rest from all your enemies around you so that you will live in safety.” Deuteronomy 12:10

“When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!” Deuteronomy 20:1

“I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. ” Leviticus 26:6

 

Have you ever laid down to sleep in fear?

 

The writer Paulo Coelho writes in the Alchemist that “the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.” Our thoughts control us. Whether for good or for evil. We are often limited by what we think we can’t do. And often times we limit God by dwelling on the fears of what God has already said he will take care of.

 

We are human, and as a result it is in our nature is to value the things that are seen more than the things that are unseen. We are more concerned with the love of those we can lay eyes on, feel their touch, and hear their voice. We strive to please parents, friends, teachers, lovers. And we forget to seek to please God. We assume that attempting to please God is like walking with no gravity.Like praying for sunshine in the middle of the night. Or like grasping for an orange from an apple tree. 

 

Nevertheless, that is our claim to faith. Our belief in something more. Something more than the things we see with our eyes. Something more than the immediate pleasures and sufferings of this world. It is the concept of a greater plan, a greater purpose for our life. To nonbelievers it is wishful thinking, it is a conscious rejection of scientific evidence and ‘reality.’

 

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

 

But the amazing thing is that people of all walks of life, with varying experiences, upbringing, and cultures are drawn to this belief. And what compels them? It’s not the rejection of common sense as most atheists are want to believe. But it’s the openness and awareness of a thread that runs through each and every one of our lives.

 

Death is inevitable. Till then our actions play a large role in the outcome of our life journey. But what controls these actions? It is our thoughts. Descartes said it best, “I think, therefore I am.” If you knew the outcome of your life hinged on a single strand of thoughts, what would you focus your mind on? “To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” (Henry David Thoreau)

 

What are thinking of today? Are you dwelling on failures, doubt, worry, and weaknesses? Or are you trusting in God? Are you trusting in Him to protect you from your enemies? To give you security? To give you peace?

 

Control your thoughts. Don’t let them control you.

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The Prodigal son returns (too long)

(This has also been sitting in my drafts for too long.)

 

 

I want to scream but no words come out

Not for lack of things to say

But an absence of words that could be accepted

I want to fall into your arms and cry

But I won’t because you’ll probably ask why

I would run to you

But you’re no longer there
my arms outstretched

grasping at thin air

I would speak, you promised to listen

But I face judgment, rebuke, and derision

It’s been hard, for too long.

 

 

Hope, hurts. Faith fails. Love breaks.

But moments of pain are buffeted by songs of hope

Words of love

Moment of peace

Reminders that you are not alone

It’s those small moments

Those tiny victorys

Those glimpses of light

And I remember he is still there

 

I find him when I’m no longer looking

I hear him when I’m barely listening

I feel Him when my hands are tied

 

I don’t know why but He hears

I can’t understand but He cares

I can’t fathom how

But He’s there

He sees me, falls on me and tells me to come home

It’s been, too long.

 

prodigreturns

A lesson in Hebrew

It’s hard to preach the truth, because people will start to hold you accountable to it. 

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“The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions.”

God is good. But when he saves us, he doesn’t tell us to stay as we are. He tells us like the woman caught in adultery, to “go and sin no more.” Her sin did not become less real because He forgave her. And his forgiveness did not take away her need to change. Salvation does not remove from us the responsibility of the law; it simply removes from us the fear of it. Salvation allows us to look in the mirror and face our fears, our sins, our inadequacies, and our worries, and enables us to say that God is greater than the things we let control our lives.

The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:18) The word for near in Hebrew is karov, and it means close enough to touch. We don’t need to shout for God to hear us, or kneel for him to listen, or close our eyes for him to act. God is close to us. Close enough to touch.

The truth is, much of the suffering we go through as Christians is inward. We are attacked with depression, self-hate, sin, temptation, lack of self-confidence, failure, and lust. Often times there is sorrow in our heart that no one else can share. But our brokenness is what draws us to Christ for healing.

God is near to those with a broken heart, or nishbar lev. The Hebrew word lev refers to our inner life: our affectations, our mind, and our will. Those who have a broken heart realize that they have no control over their own lives. They are inwardly broken, and are in need of God’s salvation.

Salvation, in Latin is salvare, to save, which in Hebrew is yoshia. In the Hebrew language yoshia signifies ‘making room from what restricts or distresses us.’ Thus Salvation frees us from what oppresses and constricts our inward life. It is God saving us from ourselves.

“A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer, and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.”

“A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer, and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.”

For God to work in you, he will often times remove the things you trust and cherish, so that instead of life’s priorities and passions you will focus on Him.

‘The flaming desire to be rid of every unholy thing and to put on the likeness of Christ at any cost is not often found among us. We expect to enter the everlasting kingdom of our Father and to sit down around the table with sages, saints and martyrs. But for most of us it would be an embarrassing experience. Ours would be the silence of the untried soldier in the presence of the battle-hardened heroes, who have fought the fight and won the victory, and who have scars to prove that they were present when the battle was joined.’

Oftentimes we want to be used by God, but determine by ourselves the time, intensity, and method of the trials and suffering we meet on the way. We want our strengths and abilities to shine forth, not our broken hearts, or our weaknesses.

We don’t have to look for suffering in order to be used by God—trials will always find us. But when they do, will we see them as God being indifferent to us, or will we see it as His hand molding and growing us so that we might enjoy being with him for an eternity.

Examine it further:
A.W. Tozer. Eric Jonas Swensson. Crossway. Hebrew4Christians.

To be condemned…

I sat in church. Second row from the front. Different week, same routine.
But I desperately wanted to leave. The tiredness of everything the week had brought hit me at that very moment, and I was so tempted to just get up and walk away. I had a ride to church, but at that moment I seriously contemplated walking the 30mins back home. But somehow.. I decided to stay.

I’ve started realizing that the moments when I most want to get up and leave the presence of God are the times that I need to sit and stay the most.

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The preacher started speaking. His general topic: “the attitude of gratitude.” ‘Cute,’ I thought to myself. I settled in for the long haul, but my ears picked up as he slowly focused in on his point.

My eyes followed him as he spoke. He had a deformed hand, so whenever he spoke I always made a conscious effort to focus in on him and not his hand. The first time I had heard him speak, I couldn’t hear his words. I was staring. His deformity was all I could see. But I no longer let myself see him by what he was outwardly lacking. That day he spoke about how he lost so many fingers. I realized people around me began to stare at what was left of his hand. But my eyes never left his face. He talked and talked. At this point he had stepped down from the pulpit. He paced back and forth in front of the church, and then he reached out and touched me, with his hand that wasn’t whole, and I didn’t flinch. I only smiled and looked straight into his eyes.

Then he turned to me and said. “God is not going to bless you because you are good.” I almost cried. That was it. Those were the words. That was the message.

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As I grew in my Christian walk, it became less about how much time I spent with God, and more about how much I could do for Him. But the more I did, and the more I grew. The more I felt the weight of my sin.

I sought to be good. But word after word, action after action, thought after thought, condemned me. I recognized my self as a sinner, not a saint. I was so aware of my shortcomings, failures and burdens. I was consumed the knowledge that not only was I disappointing God, I was also disappointing myself. I was called to a higher standard. But it seemed like I could never reach it. Should I just give up? Should I accept defeat? Was it even possible to reach that perfection?

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Precept after precept, law after law. The bible. It condemned me. Shouldn’t I be struck down? Why would God even bless me?

I realized over time that I could never accept God’s forgiveness, if I couldn’t also subsequently forgive myself.

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His banner over me is love.

The law has seen me fall short time and time again, but his love always seems to lift me up.  Yes. It is indeed discouraging to fail in your walk with God, but never even trying to live God’s purpose for your life is akin to slavery. You become a slave to your every whim, want, and desire. No higher calling. No greater mission. No moral compass. You become consumed with pleasing yourself, and soon realize that self is never satiated.

The most amazing thing is that the people around you, those who proclaim to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, will judge you, condemn you, and rebuke you. But Jesus speaks in love, and tells you to go and sin no more.

I often wonder at the magnitude of the sin of the woman at the well. What a burden she must have felt to never sin again. How hard was it for her to leave her current husband, one that she probably loved, though she had no legal claim to him? How did she support herself without a male companion? Did her whole lifestyle change overnight, or was it a gradual process? Did she wake up the next day, a saint? Perfect in all her ways?

Somehow I know in my heart that after Jesus told her to go and sin no more, it was just the beginning of her transformation. That though she daily found new sin in her life, she daily went back to the source that not only convicted her, but continually cleansed her. The battle is not for the faint of heart. But how comforting to know that the battle is not ours, but the Lord’s.

Still, I wait.

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Night fell.

Again, alone.

Lights off,

Eyes closed.

 

I hear my heart pounding in my chest,

as I struggle grasping just for one breath.

 

Against the windowsill I lay

High up.

While the world,

Its lights, it’s glamour

quietly corrupts.

 

Cool breeze.

Chills race up my spine.

I lean in, shuddering,

Numbness making the scars feel just fine.

 

The anticipation rises.
Impregnated with fear

Resigned to deliver,

but unable to bear.

See. I’m never ready.

Again and again

I try to stay steady

 

I’ve tried to escape

But no longer

 

I just wait.

 

Tonight

I won’t fight.

 

Our understanding is simple,

I’m wrong, it’s right.

 

All day I’ve tried to hide

But the night always reveals

what the light hides.

 

I finally see things the way they are,

or the way I’ve created them to be.

 

Years of running and hiding

But never finding peace to set me free

 

Darkness.

It envelops me once again,

Covering me till I almost feel its my friend.

 

Every night it comes

And so now

I simply wait

No longer hoping for an escape

 

Seconds, minutes

Minutes, hours

 

I call His Name!

And that night, it never came.

 

I pressed

I waited

I urged it onwards

But tonight its hold on me was no longer.

 

 

 “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

(James 2:19)

 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

(Philippians 2:10)

“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood… but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.”

(Ephesians 6:12)

 

 

Fear and hopelessness is of the devil. But there is one greater. Call His name!