“For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:” Isaiah 44:3
Have you ever just felt like something important was going to happen soon? That God was preparing you for something that you can only vaguely anticipate? I’m feeling that way now.
Quite a while ago I heard a speaker talk about how she wanted to live her life in light of the reality that she was desperate for Jesus and the Word of God. I remember looking up from my note-taking frenzy as that statement hit me like a wave. I’ve known in my head that I am truly desperate for and dependent on God. Sometimes I even know it in my heart. But if I were to be honest, and I suppose I must, I rarely fully live in light of that reality.
I want to know and feel the reality of that desperation. I want to live it! I want my children to remember that I was reading my Bible, talking about Jesus, and walking in a genuine and honest Christian walk. I want them to be compelled by the relationship they see me having with the Lord. I want to be compelled by it myself!
I’ve been praying for God to help me with whatever it is in me that prevents that vision from becoming a reality. Praying for a long time. It’s kind of scary to ask God to make me desperate for Him. That’s the kind of thing He’s likely to answer in a powerful and oh-no-that’s-not-what-I-meant way.
He is answering me. Some time ago I took a personal retreat that really focused me on a message that seems simple, but is really hard for me to live out: more of Him, less of me. It was an important time for me, and the emphasis seemed to be on the vertical relationship between God and I.
It was another wave.
But alas, I’m thick-headed, and have to learn lessons several times before I “get” them. I went through a difficult time of depression during this pregnancy, as well as the loss of a friendship that was dear to me. Even though I’d had some depression with my second pregnancy, this one really caught me off guard. God taught me the lesson again: more of Him, less of me. This time the emphasis seemed to be about experiencing His love and guidance through His people.
I think I’m in for an extended lesson. God has really been impressing these words on my heart: “…lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” (Ephesians 4:1). Someone brought it up in a meeting a bit ago and it became a part of me.
On the other hand, He has also been showing that far too often I rely on my own understanding to find my way in a situation or to implement the direction that He has given me. It nearly always ends in frustration. I rarely remember to really fall on my knees and seek Him out for guidance in certain areas of my life. And when I do get that guidance, I rarely depend on His strength and wisdom to carry that guidance out. I’m so ridiculously stubborn, I annoy myself!
A few years ago Aaron and I went to a marriage seminar. One of the sessions was by a fairly famous Christian speaker and author. He said that as he got older, all of his own advice, perspective, wisdom, etc. had ceased to do him any real good. The culmination of his experience and advice, and the thing upon which his daily life now relied on, was to wake up, get on the floor and bow down, spending substantial time talking with the Lord. He said he’d confess himself and his insufficiency, ask to be emptied of himself and anything that was not of God, and to be filled up with the spirit and wisdom of God. Because he knew he was truly desperate for God. That nothing he could say would ever measure to God’s words. Nothing he could do would ever amount to God’s movement in his life. I think about that often. I wish I could say I follow this man’s example.
Things are not going badly for me at all. Things are going really well! I have a pretty comfortable, quiet, and easy life, even with two small children. 🙂 My troubles are small. And yet I thirst terribly for the living water of God. I go through times of wilderness and dryness in the midst of this quiet valley God has placed me in. I know it’s a draught brought on by my own weakness. But I also know that this is I hear God most clearly.
For the past several weeks, I have been moved to tears (and in tonight’s case, sobbing) by a song sung by Fernando Ortega. I’ve posted about this album before, but the song “Oh God, You Are My God (Psalm 63)” just rips me apart. It’s like my most secret self is pouring out to Jesus and in response He is pouring Himself back out to me. My soul thirsts for Him, and I cling to Him in weariness.
Here are the lyrics and a link to a sample of the song:
“oh God you are my God
earnestly I seek you
my soul thirsts for you
my flesh yearns for you
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water
I remember you at night
through the watches of the night
In the shadow of your wing
I sing because you help me
My soul clings to you
and your hand upholds me
And to reaffirm this, I have been fixated on the following passage from a recent Bible study I started participating in (emphasis mine):
“The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs.
I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41: 17 – 20)
I feel God’s comfort and His power in this. I truly am poor in spirit, and my soul is needy for Him. He sees my desparation and my thirst, sees my feeble attempts to reach out to Him alone, and He’ll answer me. I will have yet another example in my life where I can see, know, consider and understand that HE has done this in my life.
This time I think it will be even greater than a wave.
This time, I’m getting ready for a flood.
I can hardly wait!