Thursday, September 16, 2010

Musings on the Christ-Life, Everyday Life

 Follow You
(Leeland Mooring, Jack Mooring, Ed Cash)

You live among the least of these:
The weary and the weak.
And it would be a tragedy
For me to turn away.
All my needs You have supplied,
When I was dead You gave me life.
How could I not give it away so freely?

Use my hands, use my feet,
To make Your kingdom come.
To the corners of the earth
Until Your work is done.
'Cause faith without works is dead,
And on the cross, Your blood was shed,
So how could we not give it away so freely?

And I'll...
I'll follow You into the homes of the broken,
I'll follow You into the world.
Oh, meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God,
I'll follow You into the world.

We've had this song, this CD for a few months now. I've sung along to this one over and over. It's beautiful and challenging and in fact over time, I became uncomfortable singing along.

Am I following Him into the homes of the broken? 

Am I following Him into the world, meeting the needs of the poor and needy?
Interesting how the Lord is double-teaming us. What I mean is that He has put this very thing - somehow relieving the suffering of the poor and needy - on our hearts and minds increasingly in recent months. How would He have us to share, to be more generous, to really meet others' needs here and far away? We are praying, seeking His will on these things, remembering that such things are not about being nice people but about being obedient to God's commands, imitating Christ's behavior, and about loving by meeting physical and spiritual needs. In other words, taking the gospel of Jesus to those who do not know Him. This part is harder. But the meeting of material needs means little without the soul being addressed as well! God, make us bold and loving witnesses to Your truth!

Reading Ann Voskamp's account (there are several posts before and after the one I've linked - all of them are excellent) of her trip to Guatemala with Compassion International has made a big impression on me. You should read what she's written. It's long, but worth taking the time.
I have to praise the Lord here for His tender mercies. In the hubbub of new-baby-plus-school-starting, I'll confess that my thoughts and feelings weren't exactly mirroring reality, Truth. Translation: I was very much living in a not-good, overwhelmed, fearful, narrow-earth-bound focus...and just plain tired, too.

After a short conversation with a dear friend in the school parking lot on Tuesday, I'm finding my mental/emotional/spiritual footing. We were talking about some looming uncertainties in my life right now and my friend said, "Beth, just praise Him! Praise Him and tell Him that although you don't understand what He's doing, you're thankful for it and will trust Him!" 

I needed to hear that. And from such a gentle-spirited person. I knew it, but wasn't living it.

What a relief, then, to turn to praise instead of burrowing deeper inside myself, analyzing every thought and feeling, mulling over how confused and absent minded I feel, hashing out different reasons to feel guilty and ways that I think I'm failing. Ah, but turning to praise...makes me see that if I look through a straw in order to get my view of life and reality, then I'm going to see a tiny, limited circle of what's happening. And, consequently, I'm going to miss everything else going on around me, in me, in His plans!

Oh, I don't want to miss what He's doing, nor fail to enjoy these happy days of having small children. 

I'm praising Him. I'm talking to Him. He's not absentminded and forgetful like me, and this is but a short season. All is well, all is well.

Top photo by me, just such a breathtaking cloud/sunlight scene!
Bottom photo by BB, taken with his phone! The heavens do declare His glory!
(and, sorry about the weird formatting...happens sometimes when I cut and paste info into a post)


  1. Beautiful photos, and these heart-thoughts that you've shared, beautiful too. I've come back several times to read this post. I'm realizing more and more, especially recently (since baby's birth), how much of my faith walk is anchored in returning praise for every blessing that He pours out. If I don't do this I become so nearsighted... so inwardly focused... that I miss His work, His fingerprints, and I only tangle myself up in the worries of this life and the irrational thoughts within my fallen mind.

  2. And, regarding living a life of ministry... I'm really struggling with this right now. Lately I've felt pretty useless in the part of the Kingdom of God that is outside of my own home and family. This is an area of prayer for me right now... where can I serve? how can I serve? Sometimes (well, a lot of times) I feel like I'm barely surviving just serving my family.

  3. C, to your first comment...well said..."and I only tangle myself up in the worries of this life..." Same here!

    To the second comment - the encouraging thing to remember is that our homes and families are the first place we can do kingdom work, by living and speaking and teaching the gospel to our families. Beyond that, it's about obeying the Spirit's lead on further ministry work...I don't know exactly what God has for me/us long term or even day to day, but I want to keep my eyes and heart alert for those little daily opportunities to love well and share Jesus (oh, i'm too timid!).

    And another thing God keeps reminding me of...though His will for me right now may be mostly ministering at home to family and "small" things he puts in my the same time, when I am walking in the Spirit's power, God can accomplish MUCH, anything He wants through me, on top of my "everyday" if He chooses!

  4. It's taken me awhile to find the time I wanted to read this. I also needed the reminder to praise God more - I think that praising God brings to focus back to Him - what he can do and has done, rather than what I can (or can't or don't) do.
    I could definitely do with focussing more on Him and less on myself (oh man am I self-centred). Thanks for the food for thought Beth (and thanks for checking in on me a while back) xo