For Those Who Are Grieving…

482 Hidden sunlight

My heart has been heavy in recent months as I have witnessed increasing division in our country. And this morning, as I prayed and sought the Lord, my heart broke all over again for our country. A song has been on my mind (song attached at the end), and as I read this passage it came to me again,

“Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us!
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness meet;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
and righteousness looks down from the sky.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him
and make his footsteps a way.”

Psalm 85:4-13

Oh Lord, only you can heal the hurts within us, and within our country. Only in recognition of how much we need you- our healer, our sustainer, our vine- the one to whom we must be connected. You are necessary for life. In you we find the only abiding peace that this life offers. We long for your peace. We long for your presence. We long for your glory to dwell in our land. Redeem and restore us Lord. Thank you Lord for the reminder this morning, that the answer isn’t in looking at others and what they “should” be doing, but availing myself to the work that needs to be done in me. May your glory and righteousness dwell in our land, and Lord, may we be faithful to your very personal call to each of us, and be faithful in the work you have called us to do. In Jesus Name, Amen.

The Beauty in Monotony

megan running down bergis road - DSC00065

As I was running today, I was thinking about the many miles that I have logged running over the course of my life.  I have run in over a dozen different states, with many different people, through many different seasons.

And no matter how many miles I travel, there is something so peaceful when my body hits that stride.  Feeling the wind blow my hair, listening to my breathing, feeling the muscles in my body flex and tense and do their job…

But it is easy to forget the simple pleasure in running sometimes.  To take for granted the ability to run daily.

And then my mind wandered to the hummingbirds out our front windows.  I have confessed before and will gladly tell again- I NEVER get tired of seeing them.  I could watch them for hours.  Their beauty and uniqueness fascinates me- I love to watch them interact- (sometimes we have up to four at our feeder at a time).

Being an at home Mom, there is much monotony in my life.  Many things that I do over and over again- say over and over again- teach over and over again.

There are things that I see so often, it would be easy to miss the profound joy that could be found in them.

Watching my children play and pretend.

Races through the living room.

Singing and dancing to music.

Putting my children to bed.

Meal times (making those favorite foods dozens of times each year)

Hugs and snuggles shared- my daughter leaning her head onto my shoulder as I read to her.

Sometimes, when we have been a Christian for a long time, we forget the profound gift of salvation.  The newness wears away, and our hearts don’t exult like they used to.  When we sing, “Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves”- we forget what it was like to be so utterly lost- so desperately in need of redemption through his blood.

Walking with Jesus can seem monotonous.  Or just become habitual.

Where we mindlessly go to church on Sunday because I have been going to church on Sunday every day for years and years…

Or, there can be beauty in the monotony.

The rhythm of life wrapped up in Jesus.

Times each day when we seek him and quiet ourselves before him.  Fellowship at church that grows sweeter as we draw closer to one another in love, and share with vulnerability the joys and trials of walking in faith.

Abiding in him, because we can’t imagine any other way.  Scripture or spiritual songs (hymns)  come to mind naturally because we treasure him above earthly things.

Then our heart and soul sings.

We see beauty in the sameness of life.

Some things will change- “but the word of God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

He will be there to catch us when we fall (Is. 41:10, Ps. 37:23-24).

To wrap up, I want to share a quote from a book that has challenged me deeply- to return to meditating on the gospel, what God has done for us through Jesus Christ His Son.

“The gospel reminds me that my righteous standing with God always holds firm regardless of my performance, because my standing is based solely on the work of Jesus and not mine. On my worst days of sin and failure, the gospel encourages me with God’s unrelenting grace toward me. On my best days of victory and usefulness, the gospel keeps me relating to God solely on the basis of Jesus’ righteousness and not mine.”

A Gospel Primer for Christians   by Milton Vincent

The definition of monotony according to a google search was:

lack of variety and interest; tedious repetition and routine.
synonyms: tedium, tediousness, lack of variety, dullness, boredom, repetitiveness, uniformity, routineness, wearisomeness, tiresomeness;

lack of excitement, uneventfulness, dreariness, colorlessness, featurelessness;
“the monotony of everyday life”

The last part really stuck out to me.  The monotony of everyday life.  It can easily become the monotony of the gospel- and with it- all these things can be true- dullness, dreariness, lack of excitement- or we can find joy in monotony.

We can exult in the repetition and routine- and let it revitalize us as we meditate on our Savior and the cross.  As we review again and again the character of our God and rejoice in thankful praise for all the beauty of His holiness.

We never outgrow our need– nor do we ever surpass the depths of his love, nor the reach of his forgiveness.

Praise God.

Lord, revive us.  As we continue to seek you, to meditate on who you are and what you have done for us- I pray for a fire of passion to grow inside of us.  May your Holy Spirit guide us deeper into truth- and help us to see areas of unrepentant sin.  O precious Savior, as we consider the cross where you died for us- I pray that thanksgiving and praise will well up inside of us- and in light of your sacrifice we will be willing to follow you into hard obedience- into the loss of some things that might be uncomfortable.  O LORD, for your glory alone, may our lives wear the mark of your Name.  May other people see you through us- the unveiled beauty of your presence living in us- that lives may be transformed through the power of your love.  In Jesus Name we pray and in whom we endeavor to abide, Amen.