The LORD Himself Watches Over You!

Lordwatches

A male house finch chirped and scolded “That’s mine, so back off!” to a twice-his-size robin who was seeking out a place to nest close to where his mate was settled on eggs. After the robin flew away, he stood as a devoted husband protecting his bride from harm.

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My thoughtful husband took a wreath, wrapped more greenery around it, and nailed it up under the eave right outside my office window. A pair of house finches built a nest not inside it but on the top. The female is hidden to the left, but sometimes we can see her head or her tail. 🙂

God’s creation can teach me so much of God’s character if I open my eyes and ears to it. As I watched how jealously this finch guarded his mate, I thought of how sometimes Satan steals away my peace with all his lies and false promises, but he’ll never get past God. He can never knock me out of God’s nest of love, because God stands guard powerfully proclaiming, “She’s mine, so back off!”

As I watch the lives of these finches, I notice the male is not always there. I don’t always see him, but I know he’s always close by. Once in a while he eats at the feeder and then flies off again. Sometimes he sweeps into the nest and his head bobs as he feeds his bride. Other times he stands on the rooftop above the nest and belts out a cheerful melody.

God is like that. He never lets us out of His sight. Never. We can’t always feel Him, but He is with us always. Constantly watching out for us. Sometimes we tune in to His voice and other times we don’t realize He is calling us. And once in a while He swoops in to hold us near, to feed us His promises, and to cheer us on to believe He is always here for us. To remind us we can trust He sees, He hears, He knows.

There was a time in my life that I thought if God is always with me, why did bad things happen to me? If He has infinite power and He cares so much, why didn’t He protect me from so much pain? Is God punishing me for something?

Once in a while those questions still pop up, but now I realize God gives people choices. GOD didn’t hurt me. We live in a sinful world, and a perpetrator chose to harm me. I still don’t always understand why God didn’t keep me safe, but for now I’ll trust He knows why.

I just have to believe there is a purpose in pain. I do know I wouldn’t have such a deep empathy for hurting souls if I hadn’t gone through such pain myself. I think also it has led me deeper into what Jesus has willingly suffered for me all because He loves me so deeply. He was willing to be rejected so I will never be rejected by God. That’s why I know God is still watching out for me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
(Jeremiah 29:11)

I don’t know what you’re feeling right now, but God knows. He sees. He hears. He’s got your back. Like this house finch jealously guarding his bride, God is watching over YOU. I know it doesn’t always feel that way, but He does. You are His bride, His beloved. As a faithful Husband, he cherishes you and watches over you with such love and tenderness.

The same God who created the birds and takes care of them so one feather will not fall without His permission will watch over us, faithfully tending to all our needs.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
Yet not one of them will fall to the ground
outside your Father’s care.
And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
(Matthew 10:29-31)

A Child's Trust

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Faith Barista’s Writing Prompt:
Promise

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A Soft Gentle Voice

When We Hide Our Stories, We Hide Who God Created Us to Be

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I was standing at the kitchen counter mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies when I heard it:

“Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed.”

I stopped, stood by the radio, and sobbed. This song – “Need You Now” by Plumb – always touches a deep place in my heart. A wounded place. A place I don’t like to open because it hurts too much. A place I often protect because I’m afraid I won’t be believed, I’ll be hurt again, or my thoughts don’t matter.

I don’t know why I cringe in fear whenever I tell my story. Fear of letting out my innermost heart. Perhaps it’s because I’m afraid I’ll be looked at differently. Sometimes I hear these voices of those who say, “Get over it already. The past is past” or “Why do you have to talk about it? Rehashing the pain just makes you feel worse.” And sometimes I do feel more vulnerable and depressed afterward. But you know what? Those are the times when eventually, as I cry out my need to God, I am taught the deepest lessons of His powerful grace.

Not everyone understands that it’s my past story that has molded my today’s story. Silence except to a select few just doesn’t work for me anymore. It’s time for me to take the leap to speaking out more and trusting God will give strength. If anyone hurts me with words or with silence, God will make me stronger through it. God is making it more impossible for me to keep silent with a smile pasted on my face while inwardly my heart is crying every. single. word. of this song:

“I want to believe there’s beauty here
‘Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

Though I walk,
Though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take

How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?

How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

I need you now
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
I need you now.”

(By Plumb)

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What is my story today?
It’s this desperate need.
I can’t go one. single. step.
Without Jesus and His love,
Because without Him
I gasp for air
And I cannot live on.

When some days
My heart fills with fear
And can’t find peace,
I am so, so weary
Of myself,
Of my failure to rise above
Troubles in my life,
When memory triggers
Cripple my soul,
When illness and fatigue
Shatter plans,
When depression
Sucks me into darkness.

But still…
I will keep trying to hear
His still small voice
Above all the noise.
I will desperately seek
The presence of my Jesus,
My Savior and My Friend
So Faithful and True.
I will cling to His hand
And let Him lead me
No matter what happens,
Because without Him
I cannot breathe.

I will trust Him
And His purposes for me.
He has called me
To proclaim
Hope for the broken,
Healing for the wounded,
Freedom for the captives.
Perhaps He can use me more
As a broken soul.

I will remember
The times of joy,
No matter how fleeting.
I will remember
The precious blessings
He has yet given me.
And when the sad times come,
I will remember
My God still brings
Beauty out of ashes
And He never grows weary
Of His beloved
Needing Him.

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It’s always been easier to write than to speak my true feelings, but often I struggle to start a post. I know insecurity remains a giant roadblock. I have to force myself to write even when I’m downhearted, leaning into Jesus Who alone is my strength. But I believe there are some in cyberspace who feel alone and misunderstood, and my passion is to reach them. If you are reading this, know you are not alone. I’m here because I care so deeply about you. Above all, Jesus loves you so, so much. He understands you even when no one else does. He mingles His tears with yours.

What is your story? God cares, and so do I. Your story matters. As I open up myself more to others, I am learning it is healing to tell our stories because then we are actually being who we really are. When we hide our stories, we hide who we’re created to be. When we tell our stories, we are telling significant parts of HIStory – God’s Greater Story. So tell your story, my friend.

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A Soft Gentle Voice
Faith Barista’s Writing Prompt:
Your Story

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