this is life.  it’s intense sometimes…and right now is sometimes.

in many ways, growing up is not nearly as exciting as i thought it would be.  not that i regret growing up.  it’s good and despite the previous sentence…yes, i am excited for the future.  it’s just that life is so much more complicated and confusing and crazy than i ever dreamed it could be.

it is having piano lessons for which you have not practiced.

it is realizing that you are more emotionally vulnerable than you thought that you were…and that it’s ok.

it is deciding that snuggling with a precious bright-eyed baby sister is more important than studying.

it is listening to this song and this song over and over again while you read shakespeare, just to keep your focus where it needs to be.

it is going to bed at midnight and not falling asleep for hours because you just can’t shut off your brain.

it is waking up at six and not being able to fall asleep because your brain is still spinning from the night before.

it is being desperate for the Word of God, so thirsty for it that you sometimes can’t read it for the tears in your eyes.

it is hurting for friends who are hurting.

it is realizing that in all likelihood, you will not be around a whole lot longer to watch your baby sister grow up.

it is feeling completely inadequate in the face of all that lies ahead.

it is having to literally getting on your knees on the bedroom floor in the middle of the night to cry out to your Savior in tears and confusion, begging for wisdom, for peace, for wisdom again…

it is life, and it is painful sometimes.  growth is never easy.  sometimes it’s harder than other times.  right now, life is sometimes…and it’s intense.

but Life is also intense these days, intensely joyful, so much more intensely real than it ever has been before. when my weakness is revealed, so is His strength. when everything is changing, i have to cling to the Rock with all my strength, which is not mine, but His.

i’ve been into reading psalms lately.  i never really appreciated them until the last few years, but more and more i am coming to love them.  psalm 71 in particular.  “be to me a rock of habitation to which i may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my refuge.”

oh, that is precious.  i don’t know about you, but i’ve become so used to the language of the last part of that verse that i tend to think of Christ, my Solid Rock, as the place where i go “in time of trouble.”  which is good and right…He is that.  but i also tend to forget about the first part of the verse: that He is not just a tower to retreat to when all other strongholds have failed, but a citadel.  you don’t retreat there.  you live there, in the shadow of His wings.  you dwell there continually, not when all other strongholds fail, but because you realize that there are no other strongholds

(more from psalm 71) “…but as for me, i will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. my mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your salvation all day long; for i do not know the sum of them.”

that’s the other amazing thing.  that the joy of the Lord is not just enough to “get you through.”  it’s not like God just enables you to endure until the next “good” day.  good days don’t matter any more than bad days, honestly.  we’re not just surviving the night until day breaks again.  this joy that we have in Christ, in our salvation, is much truer and deeper and richer than that.  it is a joy that is eternal and it can’t be bound by riches or poverty or marriage or singleness or health or sickness or anything other than Christ, His death, His resurrection, His glory.  it is sustaining, not just when life is crazy, but when it’s not.  it’s that rock of habitation again.  we don’t just go there sometimes…we live there.

so.  in the middle of my crazy schedule, my bleary eyes, my raw emotions, i intend (not by my own strength, but His) to praise Him each painful step of the way.  to remember that the joy of the Lord is my strength, not sleep or coffee or weekends.  to count each wakeful moment of each wakeful night an opportunity in which to glorify His Name.  to take joy in the very intensity of this life of mine, because God is on His throne and His will will be done.

~c. a.

  1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

    • Refrain:
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
  3. His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.
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