Friday, August 26, 2005

August 26

"I remember a summer in which I said, 'It is the ocean I need,' and I went to the ocean; but it seemed to say, 'It is not in me!' The ocean did not do for me what I thought it would. Then I said, 'The mountains will rest me,' and I went to the mountains and when I awoke in the morning there stood the grand mountain that I had wanted so much to see; but it said, 'It is not in me!' It did not satisfy. Ah! I needed the ocean of His love, and the high mountains of His truth within. It was wisdom that that 'depths' said they did not contain, and that could not be compared with jewels or gold or precious stones. Christ is wisdom and our deepest need. Our restlessness within can only be met by the revelation of His eternal friendship and love for us."

-Margaret Bottome, quoted in Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E Cowman (August 26)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

back to trusting

It's been an awfully long time since I've posted anything, mostly because of our big transition back to the US, extra traveling, and preparation for baby. But God has been gently nudging me lately. There's been a subtle shift in my life from peaceful trusting to a driven kind of prayer that will not rest until my circumstances are comfortable, as if God owes me preferential treatment. It came to a head 2 weeks ago when I learned that I would probably have to have an immediate cesarean. A friend was good enough to say that his prayer is for God's will in our situation, not necessarily the most humanly desireable outcome. So here I sit, thankfully still pregnant, but ponderous of how I could have slipped so far from what He taught me during dry months in the Philippines.

This morning I read a devotional entry by Hannah Whitall Smith that brings it all back to center for me. "Is it not a glorious thing to know that, no difference how unjust a thing may be, or how absolutely it may seem to be from Satan, by the time it reaches us it is God's will for us, and will work for good to us? For all things work together for good to us who love God."

Tomorrow's entry, by F.W. Robertson, reads, "The best things of life come out of wounding. Wheat is crushed before it becomes bread. Incense must be cast upon the fire before its odors are set free. The ground must be broken with the sharp plough before it is ready to receive the seed. It is the broken heart that pleases God. The sweetest joys in life are the fruits of a sorrow. Human nature seems to need suffering to fit it for being a blessing to the world."

Thank you, Father, for your grace that will not fail until I'm found fully in You. Forgive my self-centered preoccupation. Show me again the way to find blessing in brokenness and the ministry of comfort in affliction.