Marriage and Family

Returning Still

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It did not take me long to find the most serene place at the Jinja Nile for my God and I to meet.  I climbed to the highest point possible within the resort where the view was stunning, table and chairs to rest my bible, computer, Kleenex, and headphones.  This is the place I went for one last hour with the Lord before leaving behind all that God had done over the last 12 days.  This special quiet time place afforded me one last time to reflect and come before my God in desperate need of forgiveness and peace one last time.  As I worshipped and cried out to God through song and praying through His word, I was filled with His peace all over.  Just the day before I had so longed and struggled with how my soul could ever return to the states in the form that God had changed me.  I was fearful that I would not be able to maintain the work that God had done in me the short time spent in Uganda.  It was on that day, God whispered gently into my spirit as I began to slowly decline down the stairs following a special time of prayer with Scott.

“My child” came the voice.  “If I am here and have done such a great work in your life, what makes you believe I am not going before you to the states to continue the work I have started.”

Conviction.  Sorrow.  Unfaithful once again.

  • Who was I to question I Am about His faithfulness to provide rest for my soul when piles of laundry, dishes, chores, and children surround me?
  • Who was I to believe I Am is only in Africa during a mission trip?
  • Who was I to think I could bottle up the great I Am and take Him with me?

So here I was on the last morning of our time in Uganda confessing my sin of doubt and self-reliance once again and begging for God to hear and answer me.  My God is so gracious and merciful and did not have to answer, but He did.  As I read through the Psalms, aligning myself with David’s passionate heart seeking wholeheartedly after God, I was first lead to the very familiar Psalm 23.  Prior to this day I had only considered this Psalm during times of death.  But this day, God opened my eyes to really see my Lord as my shepherd.

“The LORD is my shepherd;
There is nothing I lack. (Psalm 23:1)

My child I am the good shepherd.  You have never lacked anything.  Why would you lack now?

“He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life;
He leads me along the right paths
For His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:2-3)

My child I have brought you to Africa to let you rest.  I have brought you here to see the green pastures and the quiet waters.  I have brought you hear to renew your soul.  I have brought you here to break so many chains that entangled you.  I will continue to lead you along the right path of freedom in Christ for My glory.

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“Even when I go
Through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
For You are with me;
Your rod
And Your staff-they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

My child the right path does include some dark places, but you have nothing to fear.  I am with you and my rod and staff will comfort you and bring you hope and rest during the turbulent times.

“You prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5)

My child I am preparing a table before you, even in the presence of Satan’s futile attempts to block you from my love.  I am anointing you and filling you up so that you can’t but help to overflow and spill out onto others around you.

“Only goodness and faithful love
Will pursue me
All the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
As long as I live.” (Psalm 23:6)

My child I have, am, and will continue to pursue you with my goodness and faithful love all the days of your life.  You will dwell with me in My house even while you live here on this earth.  Only continue to let me into your soul whether you are in Africa or Texas.

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Such a new perspective the Lord brought me through as I rested in my Shepherd’s house.  But God did not stop there.  The LORD calmly led me to Psalm 143 where my soul and body was overcome with peace and joy.  It was through the words of this Psalm that it has become my prayer for the days ahead.

“I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all You have done;
I reflect on the work of Your hands.
I spread out my hands to You;
I am like parched land before You.” (Psalm 143:5-6)

The special quiet time place was a place of reflecting over the last 12 days.  I meditated on all the Lord had done in and through our team.  As I reflected on His work, I often stood with hands raised to God still parched and longing for more of His living water to flow through me.   Then the prayer of my soul cried out…

“Let me experience
Your faithful love in the morning,
For I trust in You.
Reveal to me the way I should go
Because I long for You.
Teach me to do Your will,
for You are my God.
May Your gracious Spirit
Lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:8, 10)

There is nothing I did to deserve this outpouring of faithful love to hear my cry and answer my plea.  And yet, my God delights in seeing His children resting in pure joy and peace because of His love.  I have full confidence that my Lord will allow me to see His faithful love the morning I wake up in my own bed for He has shown me He is trustworthy.  I have full confidence He will reveal to me the way I should be going and what His will for me is each and every day.  My Lord has a gracious Spirit He wants to share with me and keep me on the level ground.  I will return still.

Praise God!! Hallelujah!!

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