Monthly Archives: January 2013

Dry Docking: A Place of Rest

DryDock

Dry Docking.

This bores me greatly.

I’d rather face the roar of crashing waves while the wind forcefully blows on my face. I am sailing and most importantly I am moving…ahead.

This is the excitement and adventure of making progress. Getting things done. And that’s how I like it.

But, any experienced seaman knows there’s a time to dry dock the ship. Just as our experienced Creator knows there’s a time to dry dock our hearts.

This, my friends, is known as a season of rest. 

It’s awkward and uncomfortable. My heart is completely exposed as I’m stilled before the Lord.

And while I rest,  I begin to grow.

The term ‘dry docking’ is the process in which a large dock is emptied of water, and then used for building or repairing a ship below its water line.

As this occurs the hull of the ship is completely exposed.

Much like resting in the Lord exposes the areas in our own hearts that need supernatural repair.

Resting isn’t a lackadaisical stroll, it actually takes effort.

It demands courage, strength, and a load of faith.

  • The courage to omit the opinions and criticisms of others. Even those derived from within my own self.
  • The strength to face each day with the fact that He is in control of my life and I can trust His voice.
  • And the faith to believe in what He is telling me to do despite all the strings pulling me in several different directions.

These are the scriptures the Lord shared with me this morning as He spoke about rest.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

We know this passage captures the heart of God as Moses prepared the hearts of both Joshua (his successor) and the Israelites to enter into the promised land.

I personally wouldn’t have chosen this verse in a response to rest. But, He is all knowing and incredibly wise. So, I sat and listened as the Holy Spirit began to speak:

“When the Lord calls you into a time of rest, it serves as preparation for what’s coming up next.”

If the Lord is speaking to us about rest, we must rest, beloved. Because the road ahead will require us to give all we have, we may miss out on some amazing opportunities if we are not rested in advance.

May we heed to the words of Jesus in Mark 6:31 when He spoke: “come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Dry docking: A place of growth and refinement through rest.

 

Photo provided by: Keith Becker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Standing Still

Dandelion Clock in a Field

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Standing…still

This isn’t easy.

And it’s exactly what the Lord has asked me to do.

I want to move forward, but He wants me to wait.

Sound familiar?

This morning my heart was desperate and yearning for His direction, when the Holy Spirit began to speak:

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Waiting.

Not one of my personal favorites. Yet, I find it interesting that waiting requires strength. Why would the Lord tell us to take heart and be strong?

Because it’s hard. And often times there are many setbacks (or so they appear) intermingled with distractions that can cause us to get off course. Our gaze needs to remain on Jesus.

My gaze needs to remain on Jesus.

Why must I strive to understand all the details of my future life? I need to be still and recognize that He is God. He’s got it all under control.

His Word enforces this very truth: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

This discouragement and anxiety produced by my lack of understanding is absolutely pointless. Nothing good is yielded by my striving.

If the Lord is telling us to wait, then we must wait.

Here’s another scripture the Holy Spirit directed me to this morning:

My heart is not proud (arrogant, pretentious, domineering), O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; do not concern (worry, to engross, to be absorbed, distress) myself with great matters or things too wonderful (miraculous, incomprehensible, amazing, puzzling) for me. But I have stilled (settled, calmed, soothed) and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned (managing without something on which they have become dependent on) child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.” Psalm 131:1-3

This scripture blows my mind. It’s completely relevant to where I am today.

This is what I’ve learned:

  • I cannot dictate when the Lord reveals things that are beyond my understanding.
  • I don’t need to focus on the things God has chosen not to reveal.
  • I am to remove myself from the infatuation of my unknown future like a weaned child and to put my hope in the Lord (because He is good!).

What about you?

If you my friends, are also in a season of waiting. I pray that the Lord may grant you the strength and patience you need to complete this journey.

He is faithful beloved.

And He sees you standing still.

Photo courtesy of freestockimages.com

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The Danger of Assumptions

freeimage-2619742

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24

Last time I checked there were no crystal hearts. None within the human body at least.

Yet, day in and day out, we treat others as though these exist. We presume to know exactly what people are thinking and feeling, forming unfair judgements about them. Or about a situation.

Assumptions.

These are most often misguided beliefs that can lead us into serious danger. They cause us to judge, to complain, to gossip, to form prejudices, and to become apathetic towards others.

And most of all: assumptions catalyze division within relationships. The very thing our Lord teaches against in His Word:

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10

An assumption is defined as something that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof (reason, argument, evidence, verification, confirmation).

We form judgements of another person(s) without any evidence to secure these beliefs. We look at people as though they have crystal hearts with their souls on display.

This is far from wise. In fact, assumptions will lead us down a highway of deception. They limit our thinking and understanding of others and produce tension in our relationships. We are called ‘to love one another as we love ourselves’. And assumptions build walls that hinder this call to love.

Let’s take a look at what the Word tells us regarding this issue of assumptions:

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NASB

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” – Psalm 139:23

“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”- Proverbs 27:19

The Lord is the only one who understands our own hearts. We cannot even fully know ourselves without His help.   I encourage you, beloved, to love one another as Christ loves us in fulfilling His command:

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and will all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40

And avoid the trap of assumptions. Because there are no crystal hearts in the human race.

 

Photo courtesy of stockfreeimages.com
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