I am being restored

He restores my soul.

It might be one of the most famous passages of scripture:  

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:1-3 ESV)

He restores my soul.

My soul feels…tattered.  It feels bent and broken, by sin, by suffering, by this world.

But He restores my soul.

Perseverance in disguise

I still remember the way the chair squealed slightly as she twisted toward me.  I remember the thinly veiled urgency in her voice as she looked at me with pleading eyes and asked me: ‘Where is He?!’

I remember the rasp of desperation in her tone and I remember feeling a moment of doubt.  It was one of the first times I realized that my churchey answers weren’t enough for the hurting and the broken.  My simple and shallow theology didn’t know what to do with a God who wasn’t showing up.Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.51.57 PM

Fear

The fear is always there.  It lurks just below the surface prodding and pushing, demanding and dragging me places I don’t want to go.

I’m not afraid of death.

I’m afraid of life.

I’m afraid of waking up to a world I reject.  I’m afraid that the words ‘it won’t always be like this’ are hollow and void of any real power.  I’m afraid that the next bend in the road will lead me somewhere darker than death.  I’m afraid of being unknown, unwanted, rejected and alone.  I’m afraid that the next time someone asks me how I am doing I will tell them the truth and then I will have to watch their eyes widen and their face flush before I make a joke to relieve the awful pressure of reality pushing down on us both.

Consider Jesus

For the hurting, for the suffering, for those in pain today: consider Jesus.

Consider Him who was by His nature exempt from all suffering, who entered into flesh and pain and death so that He could look at you today and say ‘I know.’  Consider Him who had access to any means of deliverance, (which you and I would gladly take in our pain), and yet He walked steadily into a pain beyond any we will ever experience.  Consider your great High priest who has born your sorrows.

For the failures and the flawed, for those who feel the burden and weight of shame today: consider Jesus.

I am not hard pressed

Raise your hand if you’re done with this whole life thing.

Raise your hand if you’re ready to be in the arms of your sweet Savior, away from the pain and suffering of this sinful and broken world. Raise your hand if you’re ready for a home where husbands don’t get shot, and 3 year olds aren’t taken out by tumors almost overnight, and friends don’t feel so alone that they take their own lives, and moms aren’t lying in hospital beds even now – destiny unknown.

Both hands up over here.