I’ve been going through Psalms 119 in small sections. The other week I encountered the old pastor of a church I knew and he kindly remembered who I was. That meant a lot to me, but even more so was the “coincidental” (not really) verses we talked about. He said he had been asking people to finish what this phrase said and that no one answered the following from Psalms 119…”It was GOOD for me that?” Answer: I was AFFLICTED that I learned his statues.
God has given me a lot of time to think. In those time it’s often hard. My mind races, running and tripping over itself, in mindless paradoxes and dead-ends, broken thoughts, and forgetful lots. It wasn’t easy then and it isn’t easy now. We often feel alone in those times it seems only we fight these thoughts, maybe thinking we’re crazy to think and overthink so much. I know I have questioned God why he gave me a brain like He did that over analyzes and overthinks everything whose voices I can’t always discern.
In this time of being home I have often told people I feel as if I went from being pulled out of a pit to being placed in a desert. The Lord is still with me. I know this. However, something has come to my attention (well many things actually but let me start with this). We know a lot. We may “know” verses, “know” a fact, “know” so many things…but do we believe? When we search the Bible we should be searching to “know” Him as in to seek to find out who Jesus is…not just the knowledge aspect. Knowledge is important, I’m not saying that, the history of the bible and recalling verses are certainly useful to help us understand and so much more, but bear with me here on this part. I knew a lot of things before my accident. Before the loneliest time in my soul- but I didn’t really believe.
I was reading John 4:24 that says “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Whoa, did this hit home. (For all you Bible theorists and scholars, I’m not claiming this is the exact meaning of what this verse means. I am studying it deeper, but it certainly brought to light some things.) Sometimes we can often feel Him in our spirit, feel a sense of fellowship and connection. Other times…we don’t. Never have I felt more alone or separated from God as I have being home from the hospital. I remember feeling what deep joy was, sensing His presence, feeling as content roaming the streets of Paris as I did lying in a hospital bed, I remember feeling genuinely happy despite it all. Since being home I miss that, I miss that desire, that fire, that passion, that deep touch that reaches to my core- something I can’t even put into words. I just know that something is off. I still feel things, but something is lacking that grabs me to my soul. BUT let’s go back to that verse.
When I read that it was like a light bulb. I may not always feel Him. Our faith isn’t built on emotion and pure spiritual connection but also on His TRUTH on His foundation! Spirit AND truth. His promises, His words, His letter to us in the form of His Word! God may be quiet or we may feel desolate and lost but He has promised us in Psalms 23 that He will walk us through the valleys and deserts. He will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5-6/Joshua 1:5) He is faithful to complete His good works in us! (Philippians 1:6) YOU GUYS. He cannot go against His character! He cannot not be faithful, cannot not keep His promises!
Sometimes we may go through these times so that we seek Him with such desperation that He leads us to know Him more. To learn, to believe, and rest in His solid truth. I’m learning to really believe all that I know. Trust me. I know that often growing up hearing Christian quotes and clichés leads us to be numb and callous. I wonder if at times these truths we just “know” have not sunk in on such a heart level that we “believe.” It is the testing of our faith, the trials and tribulations that show what we truly believe and hold onto. What or who do we run to?
When I was lying in the ambulance still in shock I remember telling the ambulance man in French that God is good all the time. (Dieu est bonne, en tout temps.) He stared at me with pity as if I was crazy, like “you silly little American you were just hit by a car and you still believe there is a God?” But you know after that- the only thing in that time that I could hold to, that kept me focused, something to grasp in the insanity of what had just happened was a song I had found recently. I just remember brokenly singing that chorus as I tried to ignore the pain, the shivers of cold, to remain calm- “When you walk through the water I will be with you. When you pass through the river the waves will not over take you. When you walk on the fire the flames they will not touch you. You are mine, you are mine, you are mine…”
I know some of y’all maybe thinking- yes it’s just Isaiah 43:2. However, if you are like me I had no idea it was a bible verse until a sweet woman posted it as encouragement to me during my accident! I was floored. His truth is what I still was drawn to hold onto in the craziest of moments. It is a slow process I am still going through to believe these truths and promises. It is a daily reminder, a daily surrender. I just know and believe that even right now when I don’t understand this season I’m in-that He is faithful and His Word will prove true. It is all I can blindly cling to as my darkest thoughts, the enemy’s whispers, and distractions of the world assail me and try to beat me down. May we cling to what is true. What is pure. What is righteous. What we know…that turns into what we believe.
**This is just a short installment of what I have been learning since my accident. I am a pretty private person when it comes down to it. However, I have felt led to write down what I have learned and am going through. I know there are millions of other blogs to read, many better than mine. But my goal isn’t to be widely read but that if just one person reads and benefits then that is enough. I don’t want that anything I write be for my own glory. Honestly I want that it encourages someone and helps someone who may feel similar in their season of life. I believe that motive of heart is something to bring to attention daily. I want that my motive always to be to uplift or encourage and that God somehow can use these words to touch someone and work them for His glory. Thank you all if you were one who prayed for me, supported me in encouragement, and showed support in any other way.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart – these O God, You will not despise.” Psalms 51:17
I think today a lot of people think God wants the sacrifice of our money our time our selfish desires- and He may-hear me out. This verse struck a chord this morning as I sipped on my coffee.
Brokenness is something I was forced to explore after being hit by a car- but it went deeper than broken bones- it went to the heart. You see God starts in the heart. We always think of how Jesus makes us whole. He does. But we must be broken in order to be made whole again.
Are we coming to him broken over our sin? Are we putting forth a humble heart? Are we engaging in surrender each day? Do you shy away from the word broken, believing it’s associated with weakness? Remember the strongest of us are still weak compared to God, but thankfully He IS our strength and gives as needed. Maybe brokenness represents vulnerability to you. The Lord seeks a contrite heart. May we pray to put aside our pride and fear of vulnerability to be broken before the Lord. This He will not despise.
Have a wonderful day everyone. I hope that maybe this gets you thinking about brokenness or what it means.
Much love, Alexandria
“I already know more about my future than most on Earth because I know my future end is with Him…but so many have no rest in what their future holds.”
This morning as I sipped on my coffee a favorite song of mine began playing speaking of the future and past. (Future/Past by John Mark McMillan) As a planner I am constantly wondering and worrying about my future. However I realized I know exactly where my future rests: with Jesus in eternity. The time here being nothing compared to my future with Him.
We are surrounded each day by those who have no rest for the future. Who can you give a word of encouragement to that needs this reminder or this assurance?
“I have told you all this so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
Here is the link for this dear song, listen and rest. Future/Past, John Mark McMillan
(Side note: I don’t go super in depth with Coffee Thoughts posts, they are for short reflections to encourage and challenge a bit of thinking, but if you want me to expand on a subject please comment to let me know!)