a thousand words.

cross.

Lyrics are the most beautiful poetry. Thank Audra Lynn for these.

How I long to see the picture finished;
Painted as a perfect portrait,
Void of all the mysteries of my life.
The cares of life bend every corner,
Taking me in wrong directions.
Can I walk despite the pain and strife?

 

But what is life without all the yearnings of the heart?
And who am I to doubt all You have in store for me?

 

So I will take up my cross and I will follow, I will follow.
Day by day, choice by choice, I will follow, I will follow.

 

I will enter by the narrow way,
For Your cross is the better place.
I will follow, I will follow.

 

Come and take me by the narrow gate,
For Your cross is the safest place.
I will follow, I will follow.

 

Your cross, it is the sweetest place.

 

until You bless me.

I think one of the holiest places God has brought me in my short life is the place of emptiness.

And I’m really just learning to recognize it for what it is: good, holy, and necessary. Not a mistake, not without purpose and meaning, not an accident.

I’m experiencing what I’ve only really known one other time–the heart-posture of kneeling crumpled at His feet with open, empty hands. I have been brought low not through battle or storm, but through the pressure of the Potter’s hand. He has ordained this emptying, this waning of self-sufficiency.

I’ve tried to oppose this process, I’ve tried to ignore it, I’ve tried to drown it out. But there’s something unique about trial and pain when it’s coming not from the world, not from your own immaturity, not from the Enemy, but from the Good Shepherd Himself. It’s one thing to find yourself in the valley because you followed another foolish sheep there, or because you strayed away from the Shepherd, or because you were enticed there by something dark and evil. It’s entirely another to find yourself in the valley because your Shepherd led you there. How can you do anything but keep walking one more day? To fight the pain and the emptying would be to fight God Himself.

So now that the wrestling with God is over, I find myself clinging like Jacob and crying, “I won’t let go until You bless me!” And like Moses, I cannot, will not go on without Him. I need His presence, I need His glory.

I have been completely emptied of myself and I. have. nothing. And this is holy. And this is good. Because when God moves, when my circumstances change, when His fulfilled promises pour from Heaven like rain; it will surely not be because of anything I have said or done. Because I am nothing without Him. The ability to strike the rock and bring water; to break into my barrenness and bring glory–that ability belongs to Him alone.

So when I post again about the faithfulness of God, and when I stand in awe because He did exactly as He said He was going to do, know that it was God. To Him belongs the glory.

Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.
To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal
And compare Me, that we should be alike?
Remember the former things of old,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things that are not yet done,
Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
And I will do all My pleasure,’
Indeed I have spoken it;
I will also bring it to pass.
I have purposed it;
I will also do it. 
I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off;
My salvation shall not linger.
(Isaiah 46)

 

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