Monday, March 16, 2009

Beside Myself

The Christian life is not a constant high.
I have my moments of deep discouragement.
I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes,
and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.'
Billy Graham
I have to say a HUGE “Amen” to Mr. Graham here. I also have seasons of deep discouragement. And when that happens, I get a little bit beside myself.

But beside myself is exactly where I need to be. It reminds me of my smallness, my inability to inspire myself and to find pleasure in anything this life has to offer.

During those times, I’ve learned that the first place I need to go is to my Papa. I need to make Him the first one to wipe my tears and to comfort me. I need to ask for His direction. Sometimes He frees me up to phone or text a friend, or put out a few emails or even a public plea for help to ministry supporters. Often, He leads me to keep it just between the two of us.

But come to Him first, I must.
Psalm 42:1-8, The Message
A white-tailed deer drinks from the creek;
I want to drink God, deep draughts of God.
I'm thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, "Will I ever make it—arrive and drink in God's presence?"
I'm on a diet of tears—tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long people knock at my door, pestering,
"Where is this God of yours?"

These are the things I go over and over,
emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
right out in front, leading them all,
eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—
celebrating, all of us, God's feast!

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—soon I'll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face. He's my God.

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night!
My life is God's prayer.
Why go to Him first? Because HE is the only One who can forgive my sins, who can heal my dysfunction and brokenness, who can deliver me from my strongholds, who can encourage me in my inmost being (read Psalm 103). He’s the only One who can see into the locked broom closets of my soul.

Furthermore, He already knows me. He doesn’t see my hurts and pains as a reason to judge me. He doesn’t see my weakness the way humans do. He is completely forgiving and sees the absolute best in me.

So this is why I give Him my all, and first. These past few months, my Papa has seen the worst in me, and He has seen His best in me. I’ve been beside myself, while He has been my everything. And I love Him all the more, even though He couldn’t possibly love me any less.

“My life is God’s prayer.”
“And the God of all grace,
who called you to His eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while,
will Himself restore you and make you
strong, firm and steadfast.”
1 Peter 5:10

18 friends shared a comment:

Sharon @ Little Lessons said...

Laura, Oh how I needed this today. Thank you. Somehow you read into my mind and my heart and captured my struggles and put them on paper...well on virtual paper. Thank you!!!

Runner Mom said...

Oh, LauraLee! This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us!

Hugs,
Susan

Laurie Ann said...

So honest and transparent. Thank you, LauraLee, for reminding us to Whom we should go first. How precious! Great post, my friend!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

That I would FIRST go to Him with all of my need, my praise, my hopes and my dreams, instead of going elsewhere. It's been a lifelong lesson, friend, and if Billy Graham is still doing this in practice, we can take comfort in our doing and needing the same.

Have a great week.

peace~elaine

Terri Tiffany said...

LauraLee, I hate to see anyone go through times like this--I know God is refining us and we need to cling to the scriptures such as you posted. We want Him to give us an ending, a strong reassurance that He hasn't forgotten us. I know that if I look close enough at his word, I find it but those days when I too am "beside myself" I don't always do that. Thank you for sharing some much needed words. Blessings!

Debra said...

LauraLee,

Going to Him first. What a word..for today and always ... and especially for me!

Lovin ya sweet friend. Pray you are well. Sending you a big hug!

Sita said...

I think I started to realize this is what he wanted me to learn when no one's words could filter down to that hurt in my core..no one but Him had that access, that balm, that comfort, that knowledge, that love...and it was there when I thought I was angry with Him..I realized how much I loved Him...

Laury said...

Excellent post, Laura. I love how you run to God. I know He's gotten you through so much lately. Love you and always praying.

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

This is absolutely beautiful and so very true Laura Lee.

Joanne Sher said...

Incredible reminder - I don't do this near as much as I should. What a difference it makes when I do. So powerful, dearest.

Denise said...

Your heart shines like a bright beacon on a hill, bless you. I love you.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Going to God first.
Did I ever need to hear that tonight. Your post is beautiful and I really related!
Just this evening something bad happened and my first instinct is still to pick up the phone to call my Momma, yet she passed away two years ago. I know I need to talk to GOD... and don't need the telephone.. ya know?
Thanks so much!
Holykisses,
Lea

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

This post really blessed me today, Laura. I had never read Psalm 42 in the Message. It spoke right to me heart along with your timely words.

lori said...

Seriously...I could have written that...what a perfect post~ I need to take it ALL to Him and then he unfolds it before me...

Billy Graham's words just echo...that's exactly how I feel...often....KNOWING HE knows and the light is always on and the door always open is the HOPE I have in HIM...

perfectly said!
hugs to you!!
lori...
Just as God would have it...the last post to read before heading out the door...
you blessed me!

Lori said...

Awesome! How can I not go to Him first? He is my anchor. My only hope. He always shows me the way back to Him. Yes I too get discouraged quite often, but He's ALWAYS the way back! Thanks for this post. Blessings!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

A wonderful post and one I needed to hear today. This was my first visit to your blog, but will be back often.

I love your blog header.

I am new to the blog world, so stop by for a visit.

Teresa

Patty Wysong said...

I learn so much from you, La.
Many hugs and prayers, sweetie.

The Surrendered Scribe said...

Awesome, I can really relate to this. I feel like the last couple years He has stripped my life down where I have no recourse BUT Him. It's been quite the wilderness experience but even today I told a group I've never felt more romanced by God in my entire life. I wouldn't change a thing.