Disturbed, Satisfied, and Enough

Why are you crying? C’mon, you can tell me. What’s wrong?

The last click of high school[Day155]*

Photo credit: Chapendra (Creative Commons)

Has anyone ever asked you this, but you couldn’t answer? More than that, you didn’t know the answer?

I can picture myself on the floor by my high school locker, with my best friend, Andre’, patiently trying to figure out what was going on.

Poor boy.
Like he could ever understand a teenage girl. He had no idea what was wrong.

Problem is, sometimes neither did I.

There was so much comfort when I discovered David’s words,

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

David, king of Israel and called a man after God’s own heart, knew what it was like to be down and not fully understand why. Wow! As a confused, hormonal teen, that was music to my ears. Even today, that is so comforting.

Now look back at the beginning of the Psalm (verses 1-2):

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?

It all begins with desiring God as a basic necessity for life. Like water to a living thing. Do you remember, as a kid, how you would play and play, not thinking at all about food or drink, when suddenly it’s hits you – you’re starving! And you’re dying of thirst! That’s when drinking from the hose tasted the best (yeah, I know kids aren’t allowed to do that anymore and this blog does not endorse such behavior, blah, blah, blah). But it’s only after being that thirsty that the water tasted best.

I love this song that we sometimes sing in Karis Church, Satisfied in You. It’s one of those songs that I often have to sing as a prayer, because I’m not often in the place where I can say I’m satisfied in God. I want to be. But I’m often not there.

Yesterday, Justin and Trisha Davis posted The Most Important Question on their blog. Please click over and read the whole post, but in case you don’t, here’s the question: “Is Jesus enough?…Is he truly enough or do I desire the things he gives me more than I desire him? If everything else goes away…is Jesus enough?” The post goes on to list specific scenarios. You may find yourself in one or more of them. I did.

So where are you today? Disturbed and downcast? Satisfied and thirsting for God? A little of both?

Will you, with me, live these words from the song?

Let my sighs give way to songs that sing about Your faithfulness.
Let my pain reveal Your glory as my only real rest.
Let my losses show me all I truly have is You. Because all I truly have is You.

I’m linking up with

No Time To Grumble

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Photo credit: Cali4beach (Creative Commons)

There’s a tendency in me to grumble and complain. It’s easier for me to see the dark side than the light. The glass is half empty. The penny is tails up.

I’ve been reading through the Pentateuch recently – the first five books of the Bible, containing the Law. Where most of the Thou Shalts and Thou Shalt Nots are found. The Israelites? Yeah, they knew a thing or two about grumbling.

They’re freed from slavery, but Moses brought them to the desert to starve. They’re given food in the desert, but there’s no meat. They find a place to rest, but the water’s bad. God guides them daily with fire or a cloud, but he’s led them out there to die.

The story that really gets me is Korah’s rebellion in Numbers 16. This guy, Korah, gets 250 men to rebel against Moses. And God’s like, Oh no, you didn’t. So he warns Moses and Aaron that he’s going to punish the rebels and for everyone to stay clear of them. Then fire comes from heaven and kills Korah and the ground opens up and swallows the rebels and all their possessions. Hello? Get the picture, Israel? Don’t mess with God!

Then Numbers 16:41 – this blows me away, if I didn’t see the seeds of it in myself – “But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron…” The VERY. NEXT. DAY.  This time there was no warning, God just started punishing them with a plague. Moses and Aaron rush out to make atonement for the people, but before the plague is stopped over 14,000 people die.

When I read Psalm 44 in light of the passage in Numbers, two things jump out at me:

1) This psalm is attributed to the sons of Korah. Descendants of the one who began that rebellion.

2) The flow of the psalm makes it appear that maybe they have learned from the past.

So these sons of Korah are obviously undergoing some challenging circumstance. They talk about being rejected and disgraced. They have lost battles against their enemies and been sold into slavery. They say that people laugh at them and scorn them. It’s a rough time.

But they don’t grumble. The psalm is book-ended, beginning and end, with hope. It begins with a reminder of all that God has done in the past, deeds performed in days of old. And it ends with a call for God to come to their rescue and redeem them once again.

If I spend more time remembering all that God has done in the past and asking for him to help with the challenges I face today, I don’t think I’d have time for grumbling. It’s time to start seeing the glass as half full and to recognize that, heads or tails, I found a penny!

I’m Walking Through the Psalms at Everyday Awe.

The Greatest Rescue Story You Can Share

Do you get chills when you hear a great rescue story? This tale is no sad, in-the-arms-of-the-angel kind of story. It even has the unique use of a smartphone to speed the story to it’s exciting conclusion.

Isn’t that remarkable? Why do stories like this inspire us?

Sonia at Copyblogger has broken it down from a storytelling standpoint. Storytelling has proven effective for marketing or to share about your non-profit organization (shout out to our old friend, Dan Portnoy!). Too often, however, we are so quick to share absolutelyuselessinformation.

What does it mean for us as Christians? We are sitting on the greatest rescue story ever. We are not just watching from the sidelines. We are the ones being pulled away from danger. Are we telling our stories?

In Psalm 40:9-10, David says,

I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.

What has God done for you? Is your story being told? Do the people around you know that you’ve been rescued from darkness? Have you shared recently with a friend about how God brought you back from death to life?

Have I?

Karis Church is starting a By Name initiative for the next seven weeks. We’re being asked to commit to pray for one person in our life and then look for ways to connect and share the gospel with that person. The timing has been incredible for me as nudges to pray salvation prayers for people have come at me from multiple directions.

It’s frankly convicting and a little scary.

Psalm 40:5 says,

You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.

David proclaimed God’s wondrous deeds. It’s our turn to share the gospel. It’s time to tell the world our amazing rescue story.

Is there someone for whom you can pray and share your story?


I’m walking through the Psalms with Steph at Everyday Awe:

By Name

Day 8: When You Cannot Find The Words

Today, I find my heart is distressed. I cannot do anything but cry out to God. What better cry than some of the prayers given to us from God, through men who loved him. If this resonates with you, pray these prayers with me today.

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.  Psalm 61:1-5 (more…)

Day 4: When Failure Sinks Your Ships

creative commons photo credit: John-Malone on Flickr

My sister and I loved to play Battleship as kids. It was such a challenge to find the right spot so she wouldn’t guess where my ships were!

You sunk my battleship!

But, did you ever try to play Battleship by yourself? Playing both sides, you sink all the battleships fairly quickly, since you know where they are. It’s a game you can’t win. (more…)

  • 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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