Has Brexit maybe brought a little fear to your heart?

Does the world ever seem a frightening place to you?

It does to me!

Things can sometimes seem crazy and upside down and out of hand and I sometimes wonder how I can find a truly safe place to stand on. And, yes, Brexit hasn’t helped that feeling either. Of course, I knew it was a possibility, and it may have even been the best thing (I honestly don’t know- this isn’t meant to be a political blog post!), but it’s sure taken me by surprise. Maybe it has taken you by surprise, too. Maybe you also find a bit of fear in your heart. I hope these thoughts are helpful.

How can I respond to this big, frightening, unstable world?
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Well, there is an Anchor. His Name is the LORD and He doesn’t change no matter what may come or go. He laughs at the efforts of the nations to resist His rule (Ps 2). It’s all part of His big, amazing, sovereign plan. So I can be still and know He is God, and He is never, ever taken by surprise.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

And I am so, so loved by Him. I may be very small in this crazy world, but I am so very, very loved… held in a mighty Hand… and utterly, utterly secure. Hidden in Him, nothing can ever move me. No matter how uncertain or difficult the road may be, I am His… and He tells me not to be afraid.

“And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.”  Daniel 10:15a

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18 (KJV)

I am promised all that I need. So long as I am seeking His kingdom first, I will always be provided for. Abundantly. It doesn’t matter what the state of the economy looks like. His promises are not dependent on the economy. They are dependent on the faithfulness of my God, and He does not change, Brexit or no Brexit!

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matt 6:33-34

I still have a purpose. The orders haven’t changed, no matter what may come tomorrow. Live to glorify Him. Go tell all the world of Him. In joy or pain, in stability or chaos, in poverty or riches, in war or peace… No matter what, I have a job to do: to reach out to others with the Good News He gave His people to share with the lost.

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt 28:18-20

And maybe a season of instability is a ripe ground for sharing unshakeable hope in the One Who does not change: Who has promised forgiveness and eternal hope to all who repent, believe and put their hope in Him.

At the end of the day, He is God and I am His. Even if things go crazy, even if it becomes very difficult to live, even if I must die because of what I believe, still I don’t need to fear, because I am His. Paul said it so well:

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

So, how should I respond to Brexit? Just keep going! Keep praying! Keep trusting! Keep loving others! Keep reaching out! Keep seeking to reach the world for Him…

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

…and He will meet me with His abundant, wonderful provision… and peace.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Proverbs 26:3

(Oh, and if you don’t know Him as your Saviour yet, you need to! This world is crazy and unstable… and, to be honest,  it’s headed to Judgement Day- anytime! Please, please seek Him in repentance and faith so that you will be ready when that Day comes… and then you, too, can find hope and peace no matter what).

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Do you ever wonder where the time has gone?

This life is so, so short. Why do I forget that?

Any moment now, I could be in eternity.

And, yes, my future is secure. Yes, trusting in Jesus, my sins are forgiven. Yes, in Christ, I have eternal hope (and, if you don’t, believe me, you need it- the stakes are too high to mess around! Judgement is coming, anytime, and there’s only one way to be safe, and it’s by turning from rebellion and putting all your trust in what Jesus did for you on the cross).

No, my salvation is not dependent on what I do. Yes, I have sure and certain eternal hope because my trust is in Jesus. But… this life is so, so short, and I don’t want to waste it! So soon, I will stand before my King in eternity.

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We live in a strange, strange world. Much of what we spend our time on is empty: meaningless in the light of what really counts… while over 2 billion still wait to hear His Name even once in their lifetime. At the end of the day, what really matters is Christ: knowing Him, trusting in Him, living every part of life as worship to Him… and helping others to know Him, too.

Time is a vapour. It passes so fast! It feels like only a few moments ago that I was still a teenager. Now my thirtieth birthday looms right around the corner. And I’m more and more conscious that I cannot waste this brief span of life that I have been given.

I wrote this poem a few years ago. It feels like moments ago, but actually it was years. I feel like I could step back to those days… only I can’t. They are gone. And the meaning is more profound with every passing day. Oh, Lord, let us not waste this one precious life You have given!

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 (KJV)

In This Brief Hour

In this brief hour before eternity,

Let me strain every nerve,

For time is fast passing and soon will be over;

The moments are passing on earth.

 

In this quick half-life of heart-lusts and lies,

Oh, let me have only one goal:

To know and pursue the great God of my life

To live with the Lord as my All.

 

In the short sprint of this passing day,

Let me not be weighed down with stuff,

But walk in the weighty and run in the lasting,

And live for the Prize of my Love.

 

In this breath fleeting, with lies so seductive,

So common, may I walk in grace;

Be holding life lightly, pursuing the joy

Of His gaze when I look on His face.

 

In this quick moment, when souls are still waiting,

May I never fear sacrifice,

But love with a passion that lays down my lifeblood

To bring the lost millions to Christ.

 

In this brief illusion when all is deceptive

And fleeting, may I walk by faith,

And live in the shade of the Shadow Almighty

And walk in the power of grace.

 

In this fast passage, when idols are calling,

May I only seek for my Love;

To gaze ever upwards and live in His presence

And live for my Treasure above.

 

And when, in the morning, I meet my Beloved,

May I never wish I’d done more

But live for the moment when, oh! His voice welcome!

‘Well done, faithful servant. Well done’.

Do you long to know that you are loved?

Knowing that you are really, truly loved by God your Heavenly Father changes everything.

I spent many years of my life struggling to believe that the Father loves me. I came to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord when I was very small (maybe 4 or 5), but, as I grew, I felt a lot of pressure to perform, as though somehow I could earn the salvation He had freely given. I’m not saying it’s completely sorted in me now, but God has done a deep work in me and, over time, something has changed. I’m beginning to believe that I am loved- really so, so loved, and accepted so very fully because Christ died for me- because I have been accepted in Him. When Jesus died, He took my place. His perfect life was credited to my account and my sins really were forgiven. And God my Father doesn’t just accept me. He delights in me!!

Ok, so disobedience to God is never ok (and, yes, continued disobedience that we’re not sorry for may be a sign of not being saved at all)… but my salvation is not dependent on my obedience, but on what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross. God has deeply impressed on my heart Zephaniah 3:17:

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” (KJV)

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Loved

If you belong to Him in Christ, you are so, so loved! And, if you don’t know Jesus yet, He is waiting for you with open arms: waiting for you to repent and turn to Him: waiting to offer you forgiveness, acceptance, eternal life… and eternal love.

I wrote this poem from a place of beginning to glimpse something of that love. It’s not perfect and it’s not Scripture, but it encapsulates something of what He is showing me about His love for me in Christ. I pray it speaks to you, too.

Love’s Lullaby

The rising sun kisses your soft, sleeping eyes.

You blink and awake to My crooned lullaby

And close all around you I sing my love song,

For you are My dear, sweet delight.

 

Your mind is fast clouded with troubles and fear,

But shhh. Hear My counsel. Feel My tender touch.

You’re held safe in My promises. Strength for each day

Is found in My strong words of love.

 

You don’t have to earn anything from My hand.

You’re accepted already. Secure. Reconciled.

For I see you clothed in My Son’s righteousness

And you are My dear, treasured child.

 

You don’t have to do anything to be loved.

You can be whole now: secure and at peace.

My Son finished all when He died on the cross

And now you are covered and free.

 

Yes, I hold you in love. Deep embrace in My peace.

Look to My grace and your soul will know rest.

Rejoice as you trust. You are sheltered in Me

For I am your safe hiding place.

 

You’ll always have all that you’ll ever need.

You’ll always be loved, in My care so complete.

So rest and relax in the love that I give

For I am your Father. You’re free.

 

So live with the joy of the life that I give!

Laugh with the light of My smile in your eyes!

Dance and rejoice and be whole in My love.

I sing over you love’s lullaby.

 

 

 

When Waiting is Hard…

My little friend, Anna, is around 20 months old. There’s one word that she’s learned, but she doesn’t understand. If I say to her ‘Wait!’, she will repeat the word. She will wiggle her fingers, making the baby sign that she learned when she was very small. But she doesn’t understand! She asks for food that isn’t quite ready yet. ‘Wait’, she hears, and she repeats it, as though, by saying it, she will get what she wants… now! She doesn’t understand yet that ‘wait’ means just that: wait! And she quickly gets impatient when she doesn’t get what she wants. Anna isn’t so sure of what I can see: that, before very long, she will be tucking into good food, forgetting the struggle she had to wait.

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It’s fair enough. Anna is still very little! But I think we can all be a bit like Anna sometimes!

And I don’t mean to trivialise it. Waiting for God to act can be HARD. I know from my own experience. Sometimes it can seem like nothing is happening, and the wait is just excruciatingly too loooooooong. God has often encouraged my heart through Isaiah 64:4:

“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.”

I wrote the words below as an encouragement from things God has impressed on my own heart about waiting on Him. They are not always easy but, for those who are trusting in Christ and following Him, they are true.

Wait

Hold onto hope.

God is not done.

He is on His way.

Mercies new break every day.

Trust in Him, and wait.

 

Hold onto faith.

Don’t give up now.

God will make a way.

His promise will be fulfilled.

Just believe, and wait.

 

Hold onto joy

Though dark the skies.

God will make a way.

Look to Him through everything.

Sing! Rejoice! And wait.

 

Reach out in love.

He’ll be Enough.

God will make a way.

Sow through tears. You’ll reap in joy.

Give your all. And wait.

 

Share His words,

Though through your tears.

God will make a way.

You still have so much to give.

Spill your love. And wait.

 

Bring to God

Your sighs and fears.

God will make a way.

He will answer with His peace.

Ask. Believe. And wait.

 

Cling to God.

He’ll show His love.

God will make a way.

Find sweet comfort in His arms.

Nestle deep. And wait.

 

Press still forward.

Don’t look back now.

God will make a way.

Sun will spill through these dark clouds.

Still move forward. And wait.

 

Look forward in hope.

The dawn will come.

Dark will turn to day,

And, Forever afterwards,

Your reward awaits.

 

 

Do you ever feel your life doesn’t matter?

There are a lot of ideas in this world of ours that just aren’t true… and yet they can hurt our hearts and weigh us down. One is the idea of what a meaningful, successful life is.

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As I look around, I see precious women who love God and show their love for Him in quiet service of others (not just women, but this was written primarily for them, as I can relate to their struggle). Their lives are not about trying to earn anything from God, but just in gratitude for what Jesus has done on the cross, humbly seeking to serve and to tell others about what He has done for them. And I believe that such lives are deeply precious to God. They may not always be quiet in that they are willing to speak about what they have found in Him, but they are quiet in that they are often hidden, and seem to be unimportant.

In spite of what the world says, success is not about money or power or applause. It’s not even about being well known. It’s about faithfully serving God wherever He has called us to be… trusting that His opinion is what matters in the end.

I hope that the words below are an encouragement.

A Quiet, Faithful Life

“She is far more precious than jewels.” Prov 31:10b (KJV)

There is a gift oft overlooked

By those who rush on by:

A legacy of loyal love:

A quiet, faithful life.

 

Not loud applause or neon bright

But soft said, unsung days

And love lived out, sincerity:

Faith in the everyday.

 

In quiet ways and steadfast days,

Little things we may not see,

But God sees differently to us,

With His own currency.

 

The rich worth of a faithful life

In loyal love lived out

Is treasured high in Heaven’s realms,

Where different values count.

 

The normal can be beautiful

When lived out true in love,

And God can use a willing heart

That serves in simple trust.

 

Not perfectly, for Christ paid all.

He died upon the tree.

But thankfulness; a tender heart

That just serves gratefully.

 

Like gemstones hidden in the sand

Or diamonds in the rough,

This treasure of obscurity

Is precious, rich, from love.

 

And when we stand on Heaven’s shore

We will be surprised

At how God honours love lived out

In quiet, faithful lives.

 

When it Just Doesn’t Make Sense…

Sometimes life in this world is just tough. Sometimes things are so very, very hard and we just don’t understand what God is doing. I’m in a good season right now, but I’ve been through dark times in the past, and I know it can be so hard to trust our Father’s loving heart when we just don’t understand His ways.

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For those of us who are trusting in Christ as Saviour and following Him as Lord (and His invitation is open for everyone to do just that), there is always hope, because we know our Father has a plan, and He calls us to trust in Him. I wrote this poem to try to be an encouragement to those going through hard times. It’s not Scripture but it’s an attempt to share things that have encouraged my heart. I hope and pray it’s a blessing to you.

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Ps 126:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”  Prov 3:5

Trust Me

Trust Me in the dark, child,

Before you know the way,

When the dark of night hangs

Blinding round your face.

Trust Me. Let Me lead, child.

Do not be afraid.

Darkness is not dark to Me

And I will light your way.

 

Trust Me in the cold, child,

When your heart, it aches,

When you cry so lonely,

When the world is grey.

Let Me hold you close, child.

I am always near.

Hide beneath My wings, child.

Wait on Me. I’m here.

 

Trust Me in the night, child,

When you cry to Me.

I am here to strengthen

All who wait for Me.

Do not lose your hope, child.

I am on My way.

Weeping last for just one night

And soon it will be Day.

 

So lift up your eyes, child,

I am coming soon.

Darkness does not last long.

Soon the dawn will come.

In Me find your peace, child.

I have overcome.

I will wipe your tears, child.

I will bring you Home.

Do You Ever Long to Find a Place of Safety in this Crazy World?

Towering high, nestled in the limbs of the tree outside my window, there is a nest. I’ve looked up at that nest for days now, wondering what’s happening inside. I’ve see birds coming and going to that tree. I’ve even glimpsed movement between the branches. But it’s just too high up- and I’m not one for climbing trees! But, oh, I just wish I could see inside!

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It has got me thinking, though, about what it means to be safe. Those baby birds are very, very high up. They are balanced precariously at the top of a very tall tree. Wind blows and rain falls. And yet, those little babies are held secure. They are protected. They are fed. Though they are so very small and so very vulnerable, they are safe.

Sometimes, I feel small and vulnerable too. Maybe you can relate. This is a frightening world, where people get hurt and terrible things happen. It can feel out of control, and very frightening.

And yet… there is a place we can hide, beneath the shadow of the Almighty, under the shelter of His wings. He is our hiding place. Trusting in Him, following Him, no matter what happens, we are secure.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”  Psalm 91:1-2 (KJV)

It reminds me of a poem I wrote a while ago, thinking about the dwelling place of the Almighty: a place so secure that the swallow lays her nest there: a place so secure that I can hide myself, too. I hope it blesses you.

“Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.” Psalm 84:3 (KJV)

The Swallow’s Nest

Where swallows lay their babies,

My heart finds her rest

In refuge strong, Almighty,

By tender, loving Breast.

When tears and tearings bleed deep,

I can come away.

This bruised reed finds her comfort

Where nestlings sleep, all safe.

 

If lambs lie in His bosom,

And chicks beneath His wings,

Then I can still be broken

And healing find in Him.

For though He rules the thunder,

He holds the little lambs

And fragile ones find refuge

Close to the great I Am.

 

The winds may roar around me

Wild waves toss round my way,

Or cruel tongues mock and taunt me

Or darkness dim my day.

Where swallows lay their babies,

My heart find her rest.

How lovely are Thine altars

Beside the swallow’s nest!