“…those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.”
When the days seem long and hard.
When the nights appear ever more dark.
When the heart carries wounds that do not want to heal
When the mind is weary from fighting hard to overcome fear
When worries and cares try to tangle and bind the feet
Then lift up eyes and let the Word of God speak
Look to the skies and the heavens great display
Know that on the clouds the Lord will come in holy array
Recall His promises and remember His might
Let grace take over and faith’s power be greater than sight
Hope is the anchor that reaches deep within the veil
Love is the hook that snatches from every worldly hell
God is the victor His Spirit will prevail
The Son the redeemer will rule without fail
Justice and mercy and righteousness soon abound
Life and peace a gift for all who in Christ are found
Until that day when enemies fall under the Savior’s reign
Hopefully wait knowing that none in Him will be ashamed
Do not grow weary of doing good or let times make faint
Persevere, endure, patiently press on in the midst of wait
Greater is He who lives within than he who lives without
Stand firm in the Lord and in His truth never doubt
He is coming and will rescue and will make all wrongs right
Lean into Him and rest knowing His own He holds tight
As I completed my study in 1 Samuel I thought of the main things that I learned through this historical book that contained the end of an era and the beginning of another in the nation of Israel. There were three main topics that the Lord focused in on me as I studied each week:
The character of God
The three are all related to one another and depend on one another. When we begin to understand the character of God we will see our lives change in the area of prayer and obedience. We will go through seasons in this life that are flat out difficult and we might find it hard to pray… even feel it is a vain pursuit, but that is a lie. When we understand the character of God it makes it a lie easier to defeat.
We might go through times when we are being instructed in a way that doesn’t make sense to us, and God will call us to trust and obey. There will come times in life when we will question our “need” for obedience and what exactly obeying looks like in our present situation. Knowing the character of God will help us make the right decision.
As I thought on all that the Lord has been teaching me and reminding me of through this time in His Word, I wrote this poem:
Crawling To Mount Zion
My God You are good
My soul knows this very well
At times my heart deceives me
Tries to make me doubt that You are there
Yet only so far will You allow the lie to go
You never cease to reach and touch me through Your Word
Your truth never fails to open blinded eyes
Your light penetrates the places where darkness tries to hide
When this world makes us weary
When this life makes us weep
Your grace never fails completely sufficient to be
Your mercies new each morning do renew our strength
Your everlasting lovingkindness help us when we’re deplete
My eyes lift up and look to the glory that I know
If I have to crawl on bloody hands and bleeding knees
To Mount Zion I will go
To Your cross my sweet Jesus
To my Savior and my Lord
You endured great hate and persevered until death
So I shall keep crawling until I breathe my last breathe
Though the world thought it over in truth it just began
For the grave could not hold You, death was not the end
What looked like defeat was victory finally won
Hope is fulfilled for those that trust in the Son
It was finished and begun all in one event
Though this world bring me trouble
Though fallen mankind bring me pain
Though the prince of darkness bid me, come his way
Though this flesh try and tempt me to deny Your sweet name
No weapon formed against me can prosper
For I am hidden in Your grace
My soul in despair might fall from time to time
Yet hope in You my Father will always see I rise
To God be the glory for You are good indeed
I will trust in Your Word and by it let You lead
Not to the left nor to the right shall I ever turn
For Your truth lights my path and I will not be detoured
I am looking for Your promise to my home away from here
And while I travel onward I will trust You through my fear
My prayers I will offer as Your face I do seek
Knowing that You hear me and Your arms are not too short to reach
Whether I stand tall and strong or am crawling small and weak
I know that You are with me and my purpose You will see complete
I wrote this poem for my mother and put it on this picture that my youngest daughter drew two years ago when our family began a walk into the hardest journey that our Lord has ever placed us on. I share it today for anyone else who needs to remember that the Lord is with you and that in Him you have all the courage that you need to face whatever is before you.
Crossing into a season that one never expected to see Opens doors of fear and doubt that were hidden within the soul deep Under this life’s trials and tribulations one can easily crumble beneath Raise me up my Jesus and gift me with Your strength Amaze me with Your grace that You promised sufficient to be Ground me in Your Word, let Your Holy Spirit speak Everlasting Father, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace…
my Wonderful Counselor, my courage for today I ask You to be
It’s been a really long time since I wrote any poetry. This past month my husband and I had an opportunity to sneak away for a few days to the beach and as I sat on a quiet, uncrowded, chilly beach I, for the first time in a while, wrote out a poem to my God…
My God I come to Thee
To lift my hands and sing.
My voice I do raise
That my tongue might give Thee praise.
Wholly I surrender to Thy own will and way
Knowing Thou art good and holy is Thy name.
Thy justice I can trust
When I am hurt by deeds unrighteous.
Thy mercy I can find
When the world has crushed my mind.
When my heart and soul feels faint
I know that Thou art still my strength.
When the winds and waves crash round
I know that the Rock on which I stand shall never let me drown.
Thy unchanging love which never fails me not
Shall hold me steady still when I forget what Thou hath taught.
Thy own faithfulness carries me when I am found faithless.
Thy righteousness covers me when exposed by flesh’s weakness.
When tears fill my eyes and no words can I find
Thy Spirit gently comes and guards me like a lion.
He utters and He groans with the voice of my unknowns
For He knows how to pray when all my words are gone.
When sins effect has wounded in depths no man can reach
Thy hand my God is able to heal the hurts so deep.
Thy Son who came and lived on earth to sympathize
Understands the pain of here and does not condemn me in my cries.
I adore Thee. I adore Thee. My God Thee I adore.
I thank Thee and I praise Thee for all that Thou restore.
By Thy cross, not hell, not death, nor any scheme of man
Has power to ever stop Thy will or Thy plan.
Although I cannot always see
In this valley of the shadow so deep
I hear Thy word tell me that my sight I do not need.
By faith I take each step
Trusting in all Thy promises that Thou has already kept.
Knowing that Thou art good and this life is not the end.
For by the blood of Thy Son Thou has called me friend.
So into Thy loving hands my soul I do commit.
I am bought by Thee and at Thy feet I sit.
My ear is leaning in to hear what Thou wouldst speak.
My hands and feet are Thine to use as Thou see fit.
When you walk though a season like my family is currently traveling through you deal with every emotion known to the heart. I have never felt the depth of hurt that I have in the past couple of years. My faith was shattered and shook in and from all directions. I saw ugly things that have changed me forever. There are people that I will never see the same this side of eternity.
There are words in my heart that I so desire to speak, yet I stay silent as I wait upon the Lord. I have learned that I could and probably can forgive anything, but I cannot restore until someone sees the need to seek that forgiveness. It’s a whole new depth to the gospel that I have come to understand. There is a difference in knowing someone has the ability to forgive and actually coming to that someone and asking for that forgiveness. However, I have learned that in this it is okay to shake the dust off my feet and leave that to my God. I am not obligated to carry that burden.
You see THAT is what it means to forgive. In Matthew 6:15,
But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
The word forgive is aphiémi and it means I send away, release, remit, forgive. It also means to lay aside, leave, let go, omit, to depart from one and leave him to himself, so that all mutual claims are abandoned, to leave, go away from one; to depart from anyone, to give up a thing to one.
Sometimes to forgive is to simply let go and walk away. To forgive is to simply give up the hurt to God and let Him deal with it. He alone knows what is going on in the heart. He alone knows the motive, so it’s safe to release our pain to Him and trust Him to make it right in His time.
Today is the first day of the last month of the year. This month we remember the day that God kept a promise that He made way back when sin made its first ugly stain.
And between your seed and her seed… Genesis 3:15
The need for forgiveness has its beginning way back there in the garden. Our God was the first to extend the forgiveness He asks us to extend. He never asks of us what He is not willing to do Himself.
I bow before You, I lay at Your feet
My dear Saviour to my ears do speak
Fill my heart with Your heart
Consume my spirit with Your Own
May the cares of this world fade to black
And might I into Your arms collapse
Breathe Your breath upon me
Surround me in the warmth of Your breeze
Like the wind, is Your Spirit
Oh Father blow upon me
Cover me fully by the strength of Your hands
Lift me up by Your arm that before You I might stand
Wash me clean by the washing of Your word
Purify me with hyssup dipped in the ashes of the heifer
May the praise of my lips and the offerings of my heart
Be as a soothing aroma to You that by my sins we not be apart
I wait for You Lord, my Father I wait
Oh how I long, so long, to behold Your face
Forgive my iniquity, the trespasses of Your law
I cling to Your promises, I cling to Your cross
Oh Father I desire to do Your will
I lay my life down and before You I am still
I know that I am nothing more than dust
So into Your hands I place all my trust
Your love is everlasting and Your compassion knows no bounds
Your mercies are ever enduring may the trumpet over the burnt offerings and peace offerings sound
Might I be reminded that You are the Lord my God
And as You live all the earth will be filled with Your glory
As Your glory filled the tabernacle at the bottom of Sinai
Fill me with Your glory until upon my face You shine
You are my God, it is the glory of Your name I seek
That every tribe, every tongue, every nation would bow at Your feet
I am but a jar of clay, nothing of myself
You are my potter and I rest upon Your shelf
If Your presence does not go with me, then do not move me from my place
But if You go, I’ll go, toward Your will I’ll set my face
But now, just now, I seek and I wait…
I wrote this in February 2008 while studying through the book of Deuteronomy..
I wrote this after studying through the book of the Romans several years ago…
In Christ alone my hope’s secure
No fear is found, my future is sure
Once a fool, believing a lie
Walking in ignorance, yet professing to be wise
Once a slave to my lust
And a deceitful heart I could not trust
Was once filled with filth and hid in the dark
Until I turned toward the Light and righteousness my God by faith did impart
I tried on my own to keep all the rules
On the outside played along I knew what was approved
My life adjusted to the crowd I was in
A different face, different character for family and friend
I knew what was right, knew what was true
I just couldn’t get it, but could point a finger at you
Oh but of this struggle I grew weary and tired
And finally my God to Your Christ I did cry
My Jesus I had been told that You had died for me
Bore my sins on that cross atop of Calvary
Your blood had been poured out and spear pierced Your side
But I heard the grave could not hold You and up You did rise
I was told that You were promised from long ago
And then I searched the Scriptures and I saw that it was so
From Adam to Noah to Job to Abraham
My Jesus You were promised the Savior of all man
From Isaac to Jacob to Judah to Moses spread the fame of Your name
My God Your kingdom would come and was promised forever to reign
Through David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, through all the prophets You spoke
You told us of the One that one day all eyes will behold
And at the right time, my Jesus, while helpless in our sin
You died for all the ungodly who seek to be free and desire to live
Through one man’s disobedience all mankind did fall
Sin came, death reigned, and spread through the world, spread to all
Yet through One Man’s obedience, One Man’s righteous act
Sin was cleansed, death defeated, those who will believe no longer are under wrath
Before God justified by faith in His Christ
Grace obtained, and in my heart God’s love poured in, His hope now I have
I rejoice in everything, whether good, whether bad
Knowing He is with me and all has passed through His hands
Saved from well-deserved wrath, once dead now alive
An enemy before, now in Christ reconciled
Glory, Hallelujah, praise to Your name
Glory, Hallelujah, thank You Jesus for the sacrifice made
Glory, Hallelujah, worthy are You the Lamb who was slain
Glory, Hallelujah, because of Christ my sin God forgave
Glory, Hallelujah, in Christ I am free, no longer am I sin’s slave
Glory, Hallelujah, my Jesus You are King and in my life You shall reign
Glory, Hallelujah, all praises to Your name
Lost in thought, lost in His eyes,
Dreaming of the day I’ll throw off this disguise
Watching the clouds drift slowly by
Listening and watching for my Knight to arrive
Drifting away from the weight of this world
Eagerly anticipating my freedom unfurled
Oh to dance with my arms open wide
Singing and shouting to the Love of my life
To twirl and to trust as a child understands
To walk in a faith that is able to move mountains
To swim in a sea of forgiveness freely gave
To be firmly established upon the Rock that never caves
Throw off all inhibitions, all chains destroyed
No cords encompassed, no locks on the door
Cast all cares away, all fears to the depths
No burdens bore, no worries felt
Oh this world how captivating it is
The serpant’s a charmer he does persist
Forsake he says, forsake your first love
Forget His voice, ignore His shove
No need to give all, what you’ve gave is enough
Your His, you are, no need to fanatically rush
Stay a while enjoy this place, after all life is short
No need for these pleasures for you to abort
Isn’t God good, doesn’t He want happiness
Then come says the serpant, with me dance
I’ll twirl you and spin you and give you a high
Keep your eyes on my world for soon enough you will die
Come fill your plate with the things of this world
Don’t you know when you go these will be no more
No regrets I promise after all would I lie
Would he lie? Would he lie? I ask you twice.
Forsake? No! Forsake my first love ?
My Savior, my Life, draw me unto You from above.
Fill me anew, afresh from Your heart
Pour down Your Spirit, Your truth do impart
Flood my mind and my soul with Your joy abound
Make me drunk with Your passion, I am Your renown
I shall shout I shall sing I shall declare Your praise
Lift high, lift high, Thy banner I raise
I run this race, I shall run till the end
For Jesus, my Lord, has also callen me friend
I love You I do, I love You so
My Jesus teach me, into Your image might me You mold
Into your hands I fall, into your arms I rest
Encompass me Father, let me inhale Your breath
Fill my lungs with Your life, my mouth with Your song
Oh my Father, it is here, in You that forever I belong
“If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5
If I fall in a land of peace
If I crumble in the face of the free
How shall I stand in a day of battle
How shall I reign victorious over my enemy
If I can not stand at attention in obedience to my call
When there is no war raging have I ever stood at all.
If I can not live the truth in the protection of this peace
Then how shall I fare when a weapon of hate is pulled on me
If I stumble in this day of priviledged liberty
Will I stand when shackles for the gospel are placed on me
If I shrink back at the fear of the loss of approval of man
If my life is threatened how shall I believe I could stand
If I fall in a land of peace
How will I do in the thicket of the war
If I can not stand strong against an enemy already defeated
How shall I win against an enemy that is still yet to come
If I truly am a soldier enlisted and secured
If I lay down and sleep in the hour of still
If I put up my armor and remove my shoes
If I take off my helmet and lay down my shield
If my breastplate is placed on a shelf
My sword sheaved and dicarded
I am already defeated though the battle be not started
The day of peace is not for leisure
The time of freedom is not for play
The hour is for training so that I will not be ashamed
So whether in the thicket of the Jordan or safe in Jerusalem’s walls
I shall stand, stand firm, by Your grace never shall I fall.
I was looking through old journals this morning trying to find a letter that was written several years ago that will be shared about in a later post… but as I searched I found a couple of poems I had written. I wrote this one after studying through the book of Ruth. I thought this one fit this Easter season. I also added a Poetry category to my blog, so if you enjoy reading poetry, you can easily find them.
Here is the Easter Poem. Worship with me… or maybe you read this and maybe just maybe… you are led to cry out to this Beautiful Redeemer to be saved.
My Jesus, my Savior, my Friend
In complete awe of You I stand
To know that You Creator and Lord
Rich beyond measure, willingly became poor
You left the majesty of heaven, Your glory behind
To become flesh and blood, to live and to die
You looked down from Your throne and my chains You did see
I was a slave to sin, in bondage, in death, unable to be free
I was sold for nothing to a stranger in this land
Owned by one who ruled with a deceptive, evil, heavy hand
He kept me in shackles and blinded me with his lies
Surrounded me with darkness, convinced me that in shame I should hide
But You in Your infinite mercy and grace
With love beyond measure left your heavenly place
I needed a redeemer and this You did know
I needed a blood relative willing and able to purchase my soul
You fully God and fully Divine
Became fully Man to become a relative of mine
God in the flesh and on earth You did dwell
You humbled Yourself in the likeness of man to know how I felt
You saw my depravity and experienced temptation all for my sake
With a heart beating and lungs breathing You were willing my place to take
You in Your holiness never did fall and You became able to pay the price for us all
The price was high for my master was sin
I was deep in debt my life blood dead and dying within
For the wages of sin is death, and eternal destination to fire
I needed forgiveness, I needed life for my life, this alone I could not acquire
Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin
But not just any blood, but precious blood, blood not stained within
You, my Jesus, the Christ, the living Son of God
The Word made flesh became obedient to death, even death on a cross
You became my Kinsman so my Redeemer You might be
You gave Your life for my life, took my sin upon Yourself
Committed Your Spirit to the Father and said, “It is finished”
Yet You being perfect having no sin of Your Own
The grave could not keep You nor could death keep its hold
Three days passed and out of the tomb You came
The Living Risen Christ, my Redeemer, forever to reign
The free gift of salvation through redemption by Your blood
Offered to all who will believe, and receive, and obey just as You showed
I love You my Jesus for I was purchased by Your blood
You are my Redeemer, You live, therefore I live, free from sins great hold
The writing and teachings of Nicole Love Halbrooks Vaughn