Escape or Rescue?

Getting Off the Coaster

I was caught up in the roller coaster rescue last week because I’ve always been afraid of getting stuck on one. God used the image of riders hanging for five hours in a sharp turn far above the ground to help me see my heart was in a very similar predicament.

I can’t scream loudly enough to stop a roller coaster if I want off. I can easily catch the attention of the person controlling the Merry-Go-Round and get off; but the noise and excitement of a roller coaster drown out any pleas for help, so I’m stuck until the ride stops.

Five hours seems like a long time to be suspended in the air on a hot summer day, but God reminded me that it’s much worse for my heart to be left hanging by a thread. My heart broke when I heard Robin Williams committed suicide last night.  I imagine he simply saw it as a way to escape. I’ve been tempted to escape myself rather than allowing God to rescue my heart.

Pain will always come with living and loving, and no one understands that better than God. My heart stopped in a very dangerous curve this weekend, and I found myself screaming for the ride to stop and for someone to get me off the roller coaster. God bid me to take His hand and trust Him to rescue my heart.

What’s great for a carnival ride isn’t necessarily great for a heart. The word carnival gets its meaning from the 1540’s when folks would make merry before Lent. It literally means “flesh, farewell.” Staying on the coaster is staying in the flesh and enjoying the thrill that comes from all those unnatural highs and lows that come with the flesh. Spirit offers a very different high which lasts longer and is much stronger than the flesh. God made it clear that the ride He has in mind for my heart is much better than anything I can imagine on my own, and His rescues are always better than my escape plans.

I know it will take some time for my heart to make the transition God desires, but I also know His transformation will be just what my heart needs. While my heart heals, I plan to keep the promise He makes in Psalm 30:5 very near my heart.

“weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” NIV

 

Rain + Sunshine = A Beautiful Sunset

As I watched the sunset last night, I was taken aback by the changes occurring right before my eyes.  I took several photos but they were not even a glimpse of the glory unfolding as I watched with a wonder that allowed me to see God’s love in the moment. His love is always present, but sometimes, it unfolds like a sunset after a rainy day. His love is never the same, never what I expect, but always just what I need. The tragic death of an eleven-year-old girl in our community reminded me this morning that lives, like sunsets, are subject to change at any given moment.

Like a sunset, clouds create a more profound beauty than a clear horizon. The sun interacts with the moisture in the clouds just as God’s love interacts with the tears of His beloved children. Without the tears, life would be a series of sunrises and sunsets that all looked alike.  I thank God for the clouds and the tears because they create a delicate beauty that can never be replicated or captured. Suffering creates a beauty in a wounded heart that cannot be described, only shared with another wounded heart. There are never words to adequately describe the pain of suffering or the joy of healing, but Psalm 30:5 gives the reassurance I need when clouds come into my life. “Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” NASB The old saying about a red sky at night being a sailor’s delight also applies to my heart. When the storm clouds leave, the evening sky comes to life. God clears away the heaviness and brings a deeper joy than I can imagine to my heart if I wait upon Him. Just as I could not capture the beauty of the sunset last night, I cannot describe the joy that comes when my broken heart finds healing.

Life can change for the good or in a tragic way at any given moment, and that makes me look at life in a new light. The glass doors and windows of my bedroom open out to a western horizon that takes my breath away with sunsets that set the sky on fire. Yesterday, as I was driving home, I noticed a house that had closed blinds on all the windows. I wondered how anyone could live shut up in such a house, and then I remembered that I shut my heart off the very same way for much of my life. My curtains and my heart are open now, but the breathtaking views from my room go unnoticed when I’m too busy to stop, and love slips away if I don’t have time to connect as God desires.  Hearts and windows must to be open to the sunshine and the rain if I want to see sunsets that come when the two come together. It is truly a glimpse of what is yet to come.

Sunshine + Rain = Amazing Sunset

All Things Work Together

All Things Work Together

As we sang the beautiful song “Your Love Never Fails” by Chris Quilala yesterday during our worship service, the words touched my heart in a powerful way. Romans 8:28 wraps around me in a way that transforms my heart. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” NASB

The song captures those words in a way that makes my heart want to sing for joy. Several beautiful verses come together in the song. Psalm 30:5 has always been a favorite, and the reassurance it brings is beyond compare. “For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” NASB

Look at the lyrics and listen to the song and see for yourself.

Nothing can separate

Even if I ran away

Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes

But You have new mercies for me everyday

Your love never fails

Chorus:

You stay the same through the ages

Your love never changes

There may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage

I don’t have to be afraid

Because I know that You love me

Your love never fails

Verse 2:

The wind is strong and the water’s deep

But I’m not alone here in these open seas

Cause Your love never fails

The chasm is far too wide

I never thought I’d reach the other side

But Your love never fails

Bridge:

You make all things work together for my good

God makes all things work together for my good, and that puts all things into His perspective and out of mine.

For those who are keep up, I’ve lost three pounds and two inches in two days. I feel great and plan to enjoy the side effects:)