Thirsty in a Land with No Water

Desert

These past few days have been tough.

I feel God’s presence in my life- I am so thankful for all that He is teaching me- I am soaking it in.

But I miss my friends so much! I miss the effortless conversation- no awkward pauses or uneasiness.

I feel this surge of anxiety thinking about going to Bible Study tonight.  Why?  Because I am afraid I will say something too personal to a group of virtual strangers because I am so desperate for deep and meaningful conversation.

I don’t want to word vomit on anyone.  I have seriously thought about staying home.  I won’t- but I have thought about it.

I am a social butterfly- love meeting new people, love talking and sharing and laughing.  Love cooking for people and having them over.

But right now I am so socially deprived I am afraid that I will be completely selfish in my interaction-not to listening and supporting others but just talking about myself.

I don’t want to be that way, and I know that when I get home afterwards, if I have done that- I will spend several hours potentially replaying the conversations and cringing at the self-centered focus of my conversation.

I just find myself praying- Lord, I don’t know how to do this. 

I am so thirsty- and I know you can’t just jump in the deep end with relationships- most of the time you wade in the shallow for a while and slowly, tentatively step a little deeper over time.

Unless you have an amazing connection or an event takes place that makes you kindred spirits in either pain or joy- relationships just take time.

I know that, but how do I handle it when I’m parched? And the anxiety is stealing my joy.

So I felt bad for even thinking about this and I was telling myself just be joyful- be thankful- list the things you are thankful for in your head- stop thinking negative thoughts.

But then I remembered, you have to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones- with truth.  So, I reached over and grabbed my Bible.

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.

How does this Psalm start?

I waited patiently for the Lord.  I waited-patiently-for the Lord. 

Lord, I know that I need to trust you- to depend on your strength.  I cannot be the person I long to be apart from you.  May I rest in the shadow of your wings- Lord be my shield.  I rest my hope in you- knowing that you alone will bring the rest I need now in my spirit.

I love you- thank you for sending your Son to save me.  Thank you for freeing me from the power of sin in my life- that I may choose now, in this moment to trust you.  Bless my time of fellowship tonight- help me to love as you love and be slow to speak.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

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7 Responses to Thirsty in a Land with No Water

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  4. At Share A Verse I always check the websites of anyone who wants to pingback to my site. I need to make sure the message they are putting out there aligns with the mission and beliefs I desire to portray at Share A Verse.

    This is day two of God ministering to my hurting heart through the people who are linking to my site.

    Everything you say above is me. It is where I am. It is what I am struggling with and my heart is breaking.

    Thank you for your honesty and your heart felt sharing of something that is so deeply personal and yet, no doubt, what so many around us on every side are going through and we don’t even know it.

    You said, “I feel this surge of anxiety thinking about going to Bible Study tonight. Why? Because I am afraid I will say something too personal to a group of virtual strangers because I am so desperate for deep and meaningful conversation.”

    Wow. God has placed me in “time out”. I know He has a plan and a purpose and He is using this time to teach me to trust and to train me for something He has in mind for me but oh how very lonely. Oh how abandoned.

    I feel like David is my soul mate.

    11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
    12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
    They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.
    13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.

    I read the Psalms and I feel David is speaking my words from my heart. Troubles without number surround me. My heart fails within me. Please come quickly to save me Lord.

    Psalm 22:2 Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief.

    Psalm 88
    O Lord, God of my salvation,
    I have cried out day and night before You.
    2 Let my prayer come before You;
    Incline Your ear to my cry.
    3 For my soul is full of troubles,
    And my life draws near to the grave.
    4 I am counted with those who go down to the pit;
    I am like a man who has no strength,
    5 Adrift among the dead,
    Like the slain who lie in the grave,
    Whom You remember no more,
    And who are cut off from Your hand.
    6 You have laid me in the lowest pit,
    In darkness, in the depths.
    7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah
    8 You have put away my acquaintances far from me;
    You have made me an abomination to them;
    I am shut up, and I cannot get out;
    9 My eye wastes away because of affliction.
    Lord, I have called daily upon You;
    I have stretched out my hands to You.
    10 Will You work wonders for the dead?
    Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah
    11 Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?
    Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?
    12 Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?
    And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?
    13 But to You I have cried out, O Lord,
    And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
    14 Lord, why do You cast off my soul?
    Why do You hide Your face from me?
    15 I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth;
    I suffer Your terrors;
    I am distraught.
    16 Your fierce wrath has gone over me;
    Your terrors have cut me off.
    17 They came around me all day long like water;
    They engulfed me altogether.
    18 Loved one and friend You have put far from me,
    And my acquaintances into darkness.

    Psalm 130
    Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
    2 Lord, hear my voice! Let Your ears be attentive To the voice of my supplications.
    3 If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
    4 But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.
    5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.
    6 My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning– Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
    7 O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption.
    8 And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities.

    Psalm 142
    I cry out to the Lord with my voice; With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.
    2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.
    3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me.
    4 Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.
    5 I cried out to You, O Lord: I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.
    6 Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than I.
    7 Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, For You shall deal bountifully with me.”

    David was so real. He talked to God. He reminded God we are human. That our lives here are short and that while God is not ruled by time and space, we are. He frequently cried out to God to HURRY! and he reminded God that dry bones in a grave cannot praise Him.

    I too have longed for depth. Deep, meaningful discussion and digging into the Word of God to search out His hidden truths that are revealed to those who seek Him with their whole heart. Words that can only be spoken by the Holy Spirit after we have prayed for wisdom and discernment and revelation.

    I have no desire to read two chapters, say how that can help me at soccer practice, and then have some tea and a piece of cake. I don’t want to follow along in some formatted book that gently brushes over a few passages and waters them down so they are easy to swallow, get my check-mark for being a “good Christian” for the week and move on with my “real” life.

    I do not understand those who are happy with playing church or going through motions. And even though, like you, I prayed for God to help me reel it in and not overwhelm people, apparently my longing for the depths of God could not even be hidden by effort or almost biting my tongue off in order to “fit in” and I got kicked out of Bible study. Asked not to participate anymore because I “wasn’t a good fit.”

    They said, “I hope you understand.” “We will pray for you.”

    Oh yes. I fully understood. Still hurt. But I fully understood. The depths of God are scary and powerful and I never intentionally signed up to desire them. God called me out of my “real life” and said basically, “it’s time for your education so you can do what I have called you to do.”

    Like Jonah, I can run, but what good would it do? There is a whale at every turn. The message that has been imparted to me is, “do it willingly or do it unwillingly but either way . . . . ”

    Sometimes I tell God, “I don’t want to play anymore! Stop the carousel, I want to get off this ride. It’s too hard. It’s too much to ask. I am just one girl. What else will you ask of me?”

    Sometimes my heart faints. Sometimes I grow so weary.

    Like Job I have been told I am here because I have sin in my life. God is punishing me. But also like Job, I know in my heart that is not true.

    The Bible tells us in Isaiah 41 that God hardens us to difficulties. (http://shareaverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/god-hardens-us-to-difficulties/)

    God cannot harden us to difficulties if we never have any difficulties.

    The Bible also tells us that God disciplines those He loves.

    Heb 12:5-8 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

    Heb 12:9-11 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

    Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.

    Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

    Proverbs 15:5 A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

    Job 5:17-18 “Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.”

    1 Corinthians 11:32 But when God does judge us, he disciplines us as his own sons, that we may not be involved in the general condemnation of the world.

    This discipline is not the punishment kind. It’s like the Army drill sergeant kind. Pushing his men to the very brink of exhaustion and mental breakdown in oder to harden them. Make them tough. Make them warriors.

    It is hard. It hurts. Sometimes it seems too much to ask and too much to bear. I pray for it to be over every day. But God has promised it will be worth it.

    Please pray for me as I pray for you in your journey and thank you for allowing God to use you to speak a word of encouragement to others.

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you for sharing your heart and passion for God and being open with your own struggles. I will indeed pray for you, that God may use us as He will for His glory- and that we would be willing to be obedient to His call- no matter what it costs us. God bless you, my sister in Christ.

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