I haven’t been very diligent about posting the last few weeks and even now I feel overwhelmed trying to pick one thing to write about for this blog. God has shown me so much the last few weeks and I want to somehow get it all down on paper (well, virtual paper) to share with you.
Eastern Europe is beautiful.
The people are even more beautiful.
About a week into our two week adventure in Europe my heart literally felt as if it was breaking. This may not make sense to you (it actually sounds ridiculous to me, too), but despite having an entire week left with these amazing people I was actually grieving leaving.
I’m afraid there are some dangerous side effects to giving your heart away so fully to people so quickly, even if they are amazing people who love Jesus so much.
Sometimes people don’t break hearts, but situations do… situations like leaving people you love.
That’s what I wrote in my journal during my “day of depression”. I knew I was borrowing trouble but couldn’t figure out how to cope with saying goodbye to people whom I felt God had so tightly knit my heart with.
My typical reaction in a situation such as this would be to shut down completely, close off my heart from the people or situations and remain guarded–at a distance–in order to lessen the hurt.
However, that wasn’t an option this time and the God of inexhaustible mercy saw fit to (once again) lift my eyes from looking at myself and fix them on His beauty. “But He gives more grace” (James 4:6), definitely became a reality.
As did Psalm 16.
Joy Comes in the Morning
Never before has a passage of Scripture been so enormously rich to me. That’s a big statement. There have been seasons of my life where one or two verses will become real and lock in my heart but after a few days God has illuminated a different text. Not so with Psalm 16. God is still using it in my life daily and it seems like every day there is a new facet and treasure He reveals. The Word is truly living and active and full of splendor.
The entire 16-verse chapter is what I call ‘a defining moment.’ The words feed my soul daily, but were extremely significant during my time of grief over leaving Romania.
I want to highlight a few of the main verses our most glorious High Priest used for me.
Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from You.” (vs. 1-2)
That was my prayer and part of preaching to myself. I wanted to take refuge in Him but also wanted to remind myself that there is nothing good without Him.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; (vs. 4)
Wow. This was like a flashing neon sign. Was I running after another god? A lesser god? A cheap imitation of the hope and satisfaction only God can provide?
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
You hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Is this not two of the most beautiful verses ever? It certainly is to me. What hope, comfort and security are tucked gently but fully within these words. God knows my present situations, He holds my cup and my future. He is preparing a beautiful inheritance and because He is my chosen portion I can rest in Him.
But why can we rest in Him?
I have set the LORD always before me;
because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let Your holy one see corruption.
- Because with Him at our side, we won’t be shaken.
- He won’t abandon us.
THEREFORE, our hearts can be glad.
Our whole being can rejoice.
Our flesh can dwell secure.
No matter the circumstances.
Regardless of the situations.
No matter what the world, our mind or the enemy tells us.
We can have joy in His presence.
You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
I’m so thankful for truth-saturated pages of God’s Word and for the love of the Father to never abandon us, never forsake us, never leave us helpless and never leave us without joy.
He restored my heart through Psalm 16 and continues to remind me that I have no good apart from Him.
I’ll conclude (this really long blog) with something that came out while journaling right after reading Psalm 16 for the first time in Romania. This continues to be my daily prayer:
May it be so.
Wishing you all the life-sustaining joy Jesus died to secure for you,