Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Perplexed but not in Despair, Cast Down but Not Destroyed

A month or so ago I began writing some posts that were straight from my heart, sharing the emotional terrain that I would have otherwise kept for the places of my personal journal.  I felt the Lord led me to share my heart experiences.  I think because it is very common, normal, to be expected- to deal with heart ache in this lifetime.  Whether death, sin, circumstances we WILL have trouble in this world.  And, though I would prefer to only notice the pretty and pleasant sometimes the ugly must be acknowledged.

If you have not read some of these other posts of mine and would like to start there- click here.

I have been very conscious of my spiritual walk this past month- who cannot be conscious when traversing a dessert?  I have wanted to share with you my heart, my thoughts along the way.  At least journal them for myself to record God's hand in my story. Do you journal?  I have since I was a little girl, however in these last busy years raising young ins (well eighteen years, really) I have only seemed to have found time enough to record the hallmarks of my journey- not the everyday stuff that makes up the many stitches of this patchwork.

I consider journaling a sort of way of memorializing God's work.  Like God told Moses, "Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua" when the Amalek was crushed by Joshua and His people. (Exodus 17:14)  Moses even went further to build a memorial. (verse 15).  Joshua learned this as an act of worship and put it into practice by building a memorial of stones himself representing the twelve tribes of Israel in order to remember that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.  (Joshua 3:6-8) 

I have never built a memorial of stone with my own hands but I have placed pebbles of words together to be cemented as a memorial, in order for me to pause before it at that moment and many more later to consider the Lord's hand.   Do you build memorials of words?            

I am digressing from my original purpose of this post.  But as I naturally diverge in a "teaching" mode, well, THAT is a good sign to me indeed.

This post is another bead strung next to June 2nd's post.  If you like you can read that here.  There have been many beads that I could have strung between these two which would have produced an intelligible connection; however, I was not up for writing or could not carve out the time to do so.  So I name this next bead to be the centerpiece of this necklace.  It is worthy of focus as this past month has been a turning point in my heart and soul.  I feel myself ascending into the mountains again and I do not want to forget how and Who is bringing me there.  Thus, I create this ceramic bead as a memorial.

I begin by stating that I have been these passed months as Paul ,

"(I) am troubled on every side, yet not crushed;
I am perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
cast down, but not destroyed."

-2 Corinthians 4:7-9, paraphrase mine.

I read my June 2nd post before commencing to write this and I can testify that probably for the first time in my life I really did feel like thisCircumstances, relationships, and the actions of others pushing, pressing, extracting- till I have been troubled on every side, cast down. 

I just searched the word "perplexed" and found its meaning in the concordance to be having no way out- when traversing to see no clear direction (anyone just think of being in the wilderness spiritually?), to be at a loss mentally. EXACTLY...but for God.

... He orders my steps, delights in my way, and though I fall, I shall not be utterly cast; for the Lord upholds me with His hand. (Psalm37:23-24) 

Are you dear one feeling crushed today? cast down? perplexed?  Do you feel the gentle hand of our Father holding yours?

Our journey is not about getting to the mountain top but how we spend our time with the One holding our hand along the way.  I am learning that He WILL allow me to go through uncomfortable things; but He is right by my side.  Though I may be perplexed, I need not be in despair because He is guiding me even if it does not look like it.  And though I may be cast down; I will not stay down because He is upholding me. 

Good things indeed to memorialize.

Come back next Wednesday as I add more beads to this string.