Looking to my Father
As I think about this being my first post in over a year, I couldn't help but reflect on where I was at the time of that first entry. My first summer of support raising to intern with Cru. Such a time of growth and walking by faith. A few weeks after I published that entry - August 1st to be exact - I saw the Lord fully complete my support team and I was able to report and begin my intern year. I was able to thank Him for the work He had done and look back at my fear as such an opportunity to trust Him.
Now here I am.
My intern year is done, which led to the decision to join staff with Cru this summer [which was one of the best experiences, by the way!] And here I am, ready to embark on a whole new season of support raising.
And I find myself in the same position.
Fear. Doubt. Worry. Anxiousness.
This leads me to this post. What first started out as a desire to revamp my blog has now turned into an opportunity to reflect on the fact that I'm constantly having to fix my eyes back on Christ and bring myself back to the foot of the cross.
A few nights ago, I found myself overwhelmed with fear. One event after another led to a night of tears and prayer, then more tears and more prayer. I found myself in what might have been an even deeper "valley" than I thought I was in at the time I had written my first blog.
I'm thankful for a God who hears.
The following morning I woke up [puffy face and all] around 7:30 [super impressive for me] and went outside to spend some time in the Word to refill and repair my hurting heart and was reminded of this truths like this:
"...your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." Matthew 6:8
This falls right in line with the theme I seem to be experiencing lately. I tend to categorize what the Lord has been teaching me into a general theme - made up of reoccurring words, song lyrics, scripture, etc. - that keeps coming up in my life and point me back to a truth about who He is. Currently that has been directing my focus on Him as a Father.
It seems that when I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on what He’s teaching me, He allows another experience to take place to show me how I haven’t even begun to understand the vastness of His character. Again I must fix my eyes and heart on Him [which, by the way, is a little teaser for my next entry].
The great thing about not having an adequate grasp is that, being a Good Father, He is patient with me. I can rely on the promise that He works in me for “His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13)
A book I’ve been reading is Strong Women, Soft Hearts by Paula Rinehart. In the following part of the book, Rinehart is talking about the root of trust and how various experiences and things like disappointment can make trust “like the rarest commodity in the world”. The hardships of life can make it hard to trust God Himself. But again, this is why we must constantly turn back to the truth of who He is. I think she says this [and so many other things in this book] beautifully:
“When the future looks bleak, or someone has trampled on your heart with football cleats and you’re struggling with trust, there is something gripping in the word already. You are already loved. Before the foundation of the world, in a way you can never earn, beyond the validation of any human being, you are loved. The essence of what we long for is already ours, in the truest sense. Disappointment drags us back to the well. Perhaps this is what the apostle Paul meant when he practically gushed about the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of God. No matter how often you return there is more to be had. Always more to be had.”
Always more to be had.
I’m thankful for a God whose love is unending.
I was also reminded of a page in a journal from last year. I probably wrote it around the same time I wrote my last blog entry. Written on the page are lyrics from an Audrey Assad song – Sparrow. It was a definite reminder that I needed at the time, and I find myself needing it again.
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all of these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:26-33
I’m thankful for a God who sees, cares, and provides.
Jesus is always having to correct and refocus my view back to Him. I am in constant need of the reminders of His character, and I’m thankful that He is a Good, Good Father who is personal, whose love is tangible, and who is always accessible and willing to still my anxious heart. I simply need to ask Him, and He meets me in my need.
"Or which of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:9-11
Below are some links to any songs I may have mentioned within the entry. Consider these as resources to check out if you find yourself needing to be reminded of these truths too:
// Good, Good Father - Housefires -- This song was also a huge love for my circle of friends at Cru’s New Staff Training.
// Sparrow - Audrey Assad
“still my anxious heart”