God knows how lost we feel in our dark times, so he calls out promises to guide us. Yet, when God gives a promise, like, “They have greatly oppressed my from my youth… but the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked,“* I tend to focus on the first half. I stay there, remembering the injustice and pain. I forget the second half of those verses.
God wants us to acknowledge our grief. He does. Yet it is essential to read on. For in every oppression God gives the freedom to move on. In every entanglement he cuts us free.
God’s promises always come in two halves. Our fear – his faithfulness. Our pain – his presence. Our confusion – his compass, leading us on.
* Psalm 129:2-4
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He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” when we feel alone.
He says, “My word is a lamp to your feet,” when we get confused.
He says, “Do not be afraid,” when life overwhelms.
Because, in every problem, God will ALWAYS fulfill his promise.
A few days ago someone assured me that I could still fulfill a dream I had as a youth. I had wanted to become a medical doctor, but no matter how hard I tried, the door slammed shut again and again. This ‘someone’ encouraged me to go back to school.
I declined. My doctor dream may have been totally crushed, but God replaced it with something else. You see, our talents can be expressed in many different ways. I had wanted to help people’s bodies to heal, but God wanted me to help people’s hearts
What about you? Has your life turned out different than you had hoped? Do you feel like it has been ruined? Don’t give up hope. Seek God’s perspective. Let him redirect you and you will find life.
I am surrounded by boxes. My rectangle house. My defined job. My acceptance of limitations in life. Yet I still dream of walking on water, of flying like a bird. What about you?
I also dream of writing extraordinary books. But, I have been told there is only one CS Lewis, only one JRR Tolkien, and sometimes I wonder if I should even dare try. That is, until I remember…
Jesus said something so freeing, it tears apart our cardboard walls. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things…” (John 14:12) Faith in Jesus isn’t a limiting box. Faith in Jesus means we can embrace big dreams. It means we can go and do.
I don’t know about you, but I am clamoring for rest. When a friend tells me they are flying somewhere nice, I wish I could too. Even the Bible says, “O, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” (Psa 55:6)
But rest isn’t
just a destination, it’s a person. God says, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Ex 33:14) It doesn’t actually matter where we end up, with God we will always find rest.
Often I wake up in the night, trying to break free from lies I picked up in my past. I have even prayed for Jesus to heal me. But the following day I end up right where I started, acting as if those lies are still true.
If I told you those lies, you would shake your head. You would say, “Eva, but those are just LIES! They aren’t true!”
I know that too. But breaking free from what has become a part of our emotional DNA is not an easy thing. Even Jesus knew that. Nowhere in the Bible (I have searched!) did he instantly heal an emotionally hurting person. Instead he stretched out his arms. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest… Learn from me.” (Matthew 11:28-29) Jesus is our comforter, our teacher, our gradual healer. He shows us how to live without lies.
I grew up in one country, but spoke another language. Now I live somewhere else. People sometimes ask me which place I call home.
“Home is where my pillow is,” I usually say, but it is much more than that. When I watch films I cry when lost people suddenly find they belong, when runaways return back to loving arms, when estranged families rediscover each other. In real life I too sometimes want to be found.
God said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again.” (Jeremiah 31:3) God opens his arms. He loves right now. No matter where we are in this world, we are home.