The Lover Of Your Soul Sings Over You

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(Photo credit: flickr-rickr)

Here’s the thing, just as money can’t buy happiness, having a love in your life doesn’t guarantee you will feel loved.

It just doesn’t.

There is only One who loves perfectly. No other love will satisfy. Not fully. Not forever. The whole “you complete me” bit? It’s only gonna be found in one place, and that’s God.

He is your bridegroom, singing over his Beloved.

I adore this song by Kari Jobe. It’s a prayer, one that the Lover of your soul sings for you throughout Scripture.

Listen to it and read the lyrics below. There are verses embedded throughout this song, some of which I’ve listed by each line. If you mouse over them, you’ll see the phrases that are echoing throughout the Bible – a love song for you.

Soak in this prayer by your Bridegroom:

(more…)

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Just Write

Joining Five Minute Friday for the first time this year. The writing prompt is encouragement. Set a timer and write for 5 minutes. Go.

This is my first post since mid-November.

Sad, really. I posted daily through October, but then burned out the rest of the year.

It’s because if I can’t have a perfect post, I don’t post at all. If I can’t put an image that inspires next to my words, it’s not worth the time. If I can’t be an Ann Voskamp or Emily Freeman or Mary DeMuth (or Lisa-Jo), why even try?

Of course, you see the lie. I do, too, when I look.
A) God didn’t make me to be those women. I can reach people that they may never have the chance to reach.
B) They didn’t start at the top. They started with faithfully writing and asking God to guide their words. They worked – and hard – to get the platform/tribe/following/whatever that they now have.
C) Hidden in those complaints and excuses is a deeper question:

For whom am I writing?

Is it for some Facebook friend who I hope to impress?
Is it for a Five Minute Friday reader?
Is it for my glory?

Is it for the Lord?

Today’s encouragement is mainly for myself (though you may feel it, too). Write, not for others, but for God. Write to glorify Him and spread the light of His truth.

Just write, or paint, or raise babies, or deliver babies, or clean houses, or sell tools, or clean teeth, or type letters, or park cars, or answer phones, or whatever you do…do it for the Lord.


Thanks for joining this edition of Five Minute Friday. You can go to Lisa Jo Baker’s blog to read more posts on Encouragement.

barren 

Day 28: Tired and Heavy-Laden

I’m afraid I didn’t plan my time well and don’t have time today to do more than share this song. It’s by one of my favorite Canadian bands, Downhere, who are unfortunately taking a break from the full-time music scene. One of the guys, Marc Martel, is currently touring with the Queen Extravaganza as the lead singer. His voice is incredibly like Freddie Mercury’s voice, so he’s perfect for the role.

Without further ado…

Come to me you tired and heavy-laden…
Come to me with all your weariness…

I will give you rest.

Rest.

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Day 26: Nothing is Wasted

Nothing_is_wastedI think we’re on a trend here. This is not the post I planned to write today, but carrying over from the heartache posted on Thursday night and hope glimpsed yesterday, this is the right finish to these thoughts. These are truths I need to rest in. These are promises you need to rest in.

There are hurts that need healing (we all have them). And we serve a Sovereign God who uses the bad, the hurts, the hardships, for our good and His glory.

I was just reliving some past hurtful years through re-connection with a former classmate. While I would have loved to not have had those hard times, I can definitely see how God has used them to help me to grow, to give me compassion, to develop my character in ways that would not have happened if it had not been for those experiences.

There are specific people I have in mind as I listen to the words of this song. I wish I could name you, but that might increase your hurt. This may be for you, so listen closely.

God does not delight in the hurts that we receive, in particular, ones that come as a consequence of someone else’s sin. But he takes them, uses them, and shapes us through those hurts to look ever more like the image of Himself. Nothing is wasted.

This trial that you can’t see your way out of – nothing is wasted.

The pain that goes deep to your heart of hearts – nothing is wasted.

The tears you cry that no one sees – nothing is wasted.

In the hands of our Redeemer, nothing is wasted.

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again

When hope is more than you can bear
And it’s too hard to believe it could be true
And your strength fails you halfway there
You can lean on me and I’ll believe for you
And in time you will believe it, too

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
Sometimes we are waiting
in sorrow we have tasted
but joy will replace it
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

Today, Dear Friend, if your strength fails you halfway there, lean on me and I’ll believe for you. Nothing is wasted in the hands of our Redeemer. I pray in time you will believe it, too.

Much love,
Janice

Today is Day 26 of 31 days of being called to rest.

I’m linking up with

Day 25: Truth to Rest Upon

Yesterday, I let you peek inside a dark corner of my heart. And thank you to everyone who commented, both on the blog and off.

Secret Garden

What was purposefully missing was the wrap up. The promises. The blessings. The hope. And I was so encouraged that so many of the comments brought those to light.

God is always with us. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

Everyone feels alone at some time. Our sin which separates us from God, also separates us from each other.

Comparing ourselves to others comes from hearts prone to sin. Hearts that are deceitful and don’t tell us the truth.

There is grace for when we fail others. There is grace when we fail ourselves. There is grace when we fail God.

Light inside the garden

These are truths to rest upon.

What other truths of God do you need to rest on right now?

Today is day 25 of 31 Days of Rest. If you missed any days, click here to go back to the beginning.

Day 22: When Words Fail

See more at emilyburgerdesigns.com

I’m kind of at a loss for words tonight, so I’m sharing some quotes, mostly scripture, on rest. I hope they speak to you the words that escape me.

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”  — Isaiah 30:15

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.  — Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8

Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee. – Saint Augustine

What thoughts on rest have you uncovered recently?

 

Day 21: Jesus I am Resting, Resting

Two weeks ago we sang this song at church, appropriate since the sermon focused on the Sabbath (you can find the link to listen to Aarik’s sermon here). My mom also brought the song to mind in a recent email.

This is my favorite of all the verses…

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

…partly because of those middle lines, “satisfies my heart; satisfies its deepest longings, meets supplies its every need” – wow. That’s one of those phrases that I have to sing as a prayer, asking God to make that be true, because so often I don’t feel that anything is satisfying all the deepest longings of my heart.

I often find I sing that way – not boldly stating something, but begging God to give me what those words are saying. Have you ever felt that?

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

I may not be able to claim I am resting, but I can whisper it in prayer, Jesus help me to rest in the joy of what you are.

Jesus I am resting

Today is Day 21 of being called to rest.

 

Day 18: Rest for Those Who are Worn

Are you worn out right now?

Does it feel like you’ve been treading water for a long time and your energy and spirit are about to give out?

Sometimes the answer is not a quick fix. There’s no magic formula that will instantly make all your problems go away. Even if you had previously rejected God and now you turn to Him for help, you may still be stuck in a hard place and frayed to the edges of your reserve. Still turn to Him, because in Him there is peace and hope in the middle of hard times. As Jesus encourages,

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.  — John 16:33

Filling a Water Jug

Photo credit: Water for South Sudan (Creative Commons)

You may be worn out and using up the last of your strength. That’s when it’s time to give it all up and cling to God for His strength. It was amazing to me the difference it made when I finally started reading the Bible regularly – not to check off a to-do list of how to be a good Christian, but as if making a daily trip to a well to fill up with water needed for life.

There’s also a future promise that God is making all things new. This struggle will end.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.  — Revelation 21:1-7

We will see Redemption win, as the song longs for. We will see God redeem the ashes of broken lives and a broken world. He will make all things new.

Rest here today.

Day 8: Rest right where you are

penguin_Omaha_ZooLast year, during the 31 Days challenge, I wrote a post on Rest. You’re welcome to read it, of course, but I’m going to share the meat of it here.

In that post, I talked about how some days of October 2012 were hard. There were days I didn’t have the emotional strength or energy to share anything else, especially a prayer for hurting people.  And I realized that I, too, was hurting, much like the people I was trying to pray for.

It’s another blessing of community. We hurt together. We cry together. We sit in mourning together. We wrestle through the hard stuff together.

If you feel alone reading this, with no one else understanding your pain, please pause a moment. Take off the blinders that keep you from seeing the hurting people right next to you.  If you don’t have anyone right next to you, if you have been isolated from the fellowship of community with believers who know and love God, go find them. We are not meant to live alone. We are not meant to hurt alone.

penguins_Omaha_ZooThankfully, God is calling us to rest. To stop trying to overcome our hurts on our own strength. Rest in these things:

One: God is strength when we are weak.

Two: God has put us in community to help one another.

Three: God meets us where we are, in the middle of our hurting and pain.

The lyrics of this song give me such peace. God the Father whispers to your heart and mine:

Hush my child. Fall into My arms.
I’ll give you rest right where you are.
Yes, I know, you feel lost and alone.
Let me hold you. How I love you.

If you’re reading this in an email, click through to listen to and view the video of this song by Derri Daughtery and Ellie Bannister:

31Days_Rest_thumb  ← Click to find links to each day in the series.

Day 3: A Place of Quiet Rest

Near to the heart

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

This version is instrumental, but also beautiful.

Draw near to Him and rest.

Day 3 of
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  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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