Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Place of Security in the Midst of the Unknown





















by Danetta Kellar

for Teresa

I journeyed to an unknown land
Far across the sea.
I stood upon the darkened shores,
I heard the ocean breathe.

I listened for the sound of hope
Everything was still.
I wondered if the sun would rise
This new place to reveal.

I was afraid, my heart grew faint,
This place was not my rest.
In panic I searched troubled skies
For someone who would help.

I did not know I slept,
Until I gently woke
And found myself upon a rock
The waves crashing below.

The storm rolled dark,
The waters churned,
I closed my eyes to hide;
I opened them again to find
A Warrior by my side.

He shielded me and spoke aloud
To crashing waters deep;
The clamor ceased, my heart was stilled,
Upon my strong safe keep.

He lifted me then,
He carried me,
Over the land unknown;
He brought me gently, carefully
Again unto my home.

I find I have changed,
I am different now,
After my journey long;
The storms that caused such strife in me,
Are now part of my song.

My heart is still, my mind at peace,
And when I close my eyes,
I imagine still the solid rock
Beneath my weary feet.

I see the One who carried me,
I ever feel His strength;
I hear His voice in the tempest,
Quieting the strife,
My journey to the unknown land 
Has given me new life.


There are unexpected, unknown journeys we all must take in life. Sometimes they are exciting and delightful, but others are never wished for, devastating. 

For those who are faced with sudden, life-changing circumstances, there is a place of security even in the midst of the unknown. 

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. Psalm 112:6-8

I used to believe that Psalm 112:7 meant that for the follower of Jesus, there should never be bad news. It is clear to me now how immature that belief was. But after an early life of pain and trauma, I was desperate to interpret that to mean that I had suffered enough. Now, surely life would give me a break.

However, as the years have passed, I have come to understand that the treasure, the promise within this passage, is actually the promise of security, steadfastness, triumph, in the midst of the inevitable bad news life brings.

Suffering is part of our fallen reality, and it beckons us to a higher road. 

We are invited through the unexpected dark passages of life to walk with Jesus on the path of Trust, a path that is built high upon a Rock. It is a place where fear cannot stand, because steadfastness and security rule. 

This is the secret to facing bad news.

As we trust in the Lord, we will be changed. We will emerge from the storm different than we were before. We will not startle so easily at the sound of the thunder, we will not faint when the knock comes on the door. We will be held up by hands Stronger than our own, and our hearts will be secure even though the pain would slay us. We will look in triumph on our foes.

Lord, whatever we face today, and whatever we will face, increase our trust in you. Make our hearts steadfast, immovable, secure. And may we look in triumph on our foes in Jesus’ name. Amen.

What are you facing today? 

TWEETABLES



Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Responsibility to Rend our Hearts

by Danetta Kellar

Rend your hearts, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 
Joel 2:13

The ancient Jewish custom of rending, or tearing, one’s garments, is an outward demonstration of grief at the news of the death of a loved one. It is still practiced specifically as a symbol of the rending of the parent-child relationship in the face of the finality of death. 

The traditional requirement was that the tear for deceased parents must be over the heart. The rip in the apparel represented a torn heart. “Exposing the heart” in this way was an appropriate expression of deep grief.

Joel exhorts God’s people to rend not just the clothing over their hearts, but their very hearts, symbolizing their brokenness before God.

Some say we are experiencing the death of God in America today. Others declare God is not dead. The battle to silence Him in society rages on amidst the din of resistance and liberalism. Absolute truth has been exchanged for relativism and individualism. Human intellect, created and fashioned by Divine, has exalted itself above its Maker.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Our Hearts are the Same

by Danetta Kellar

I once lived deep in the bush of Africa among a homogeneous tribe of hardworking people.
Determined to learn their customs and language, I placed myself under their tutelage in all matters of daily life. 

I learned to do laundry by hand, flicking my wrist two times then scrubbing four quick swipes. I learned to peel onions with a dull knife and cut them in long slender slices. I peeled garlic with my hands until my nails burned, all the while carefully ensuring I squeezed the clove out with one quick movement. More would have revealed my inexperience, that I did not really belong. 

I swept my front step each day and made sure the thatch on my roof was straight. Every morning I rose early and carefully wrapped the colorful tribal cloth around my waist just so, stopping at the right spot above my left hip and tucking it exactly. Everyone did it the same way.

Everyone did everything the same way. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

When You are Too Tired to Ask for What You Really Need

by Danetta Kellar
@DanettaKellar

The little girl was crying pitifully, leaning on her mother's leg, pulling at her skirt. Her red face glistened with sweat in the hot and humid summer heat, and her bright blue eyes were tired and distressed. 

Her mother scooped the little one up in her arms and held her tight. Within moments, the tired girl was fast asleep.

We sometimes find ourselves so exhausted we cannot articulate to our Father God what exactly we need. 

We cannot ask for the rest we crave, we cannot think clearly, we are distressed. We stand tugging on Him, incoherent, groaning in misery. God understands the language of exhaustion. He knows what we need without our asking, and He picks us up and holds us. In His arms, we find the rest we need.

We do not need to work harder. We do not need to organize better, eat better, exercise better, produce better, be better. We just need to climb up in His arms and let Him hold us, resting us, bringing peace to the distress. When we awake everything will be clearer.

Like a loving parent, God watches over us and anticipates our needs before we even ask. 

He knows the weariness of your soul and mine, and He understands us better than we understand ourselves. His strong arms are ready to embrace us, to give us the refuge we long for but cannot articulate.

What is exhausting you today? Have you taken time to rest in God's love for you? 

Let God hold you today. Tomorrow will be clearer for it.

TWEETABLES

Climb into God's arms today and let him give you rest. #faith #rest (Click to Tweet)