Recently, in my enthusiasm of a "Pick me, pick me!" I said yes to taking journaling class led by my pastor, Kris White, (www.huperwoman.com), who taught us how to dig in during our devotions with Jesus by having a "SOAPY" journaling bible study. This acronym stands for:
S-scripture (read a passage)
O-observation (maybe a verse or few jump out at you- write them down)
A-application- look up the Greek and Hebrew
P- prayer- believe, have faith, and write a prayer to God about what He just spoke to you about through His word.
Y- yes! Declare a yes Lord! :-) agree with God in the promise or truth that He is speaking over your life.
One of my many journals <3
In my excitement to do my first soapy, I found myself looking up a Psalm I've loved for a long time, it is poetic so it calls to my heart, "As deep cries to deep in the roar of your waterspouts, all of your waves and breakers have swept over me," Psalm 42:7. Beautiful and glorious and poetic right? Rrrriiiigggghhhht. To my surprise, I learned that the Hebrew in this passage referred to hard times and one commentary mentioned the waterspouts of Syria. The Psalmist frequently saw these, as did many of his time, and they were like a tornado in tubelike clouds of water that seemed to come up from the ocean but were coming down from the sky by means of electric fluid. (Also, here's more description in this link. http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/treasury-of-david/psalms-42-7.html) Yikes right? Can you imagine yourself just boating, enjoying your day when out of nowhere, beside you, in front of you, underneath you (ouch) somewhere near enough to scare the living daylights out of you, bam! (Tornado like confusion of wind, water, a boat at least rocking, if not even capsizing). I am sure we'd all rather stay inside the comfort of our homes. Isn't this life? We get up the courage to venture out to do what needs to be done, going through it as gaily as we can, trying to just enjoy it, and then bam!? Whether it's our emotions, a traumatic event, a struggle that seems to last a while, whatever the circumstance may be, it is as if the rug is pulled out from underneath us. Can I get a witness?
So this beautiful poetic bible verse I decided to do my first soapy was what one commentary described it as a "disaster following disaster." I'm sure that it doesn't only make this Pollyanna girl declare, "Check please, I'm out!" And run away in fear, but that many would after this sweet little soapy journal.I honestly felt a little miffed by God, like annoyed that this was the message he had for me. I don't want those tough waterspout times! But what I didn't realize, was that I would walk thorough some tough times of my own, times that would make me feel like I was in a cocoon, alone and uncomfortable, yet knowing I was growing. Times that would force me to cling to the newfound learning of these SOAPY promises for this season. A glimse of these toughish times looked a little like this: Some tough mommy moments (just picture 2 toddlers clinging to each of your legs while you try and make them dinner. And then the oldest son is emotional from his day so in his own way he is demanding my attention also. And hubby isn't home from work yet. This picture, while it may not seem dramatic can be quite chaotic in the moment.), some tough teaching moments (while I have loved this year, I am more tired than I've ever been because teaching Kindergarten is no joke, yet the only way to get through it properly is to NOT let my joy disappear), and then there's a bit of frustration, impatience and moments of confusion in the waiting on His promises (probably just because I've got A LOT going on right now). As these waves are crashing over me, a butterfly is emerging (in the ocean? Well, yes, or I'm not sure. Maybe it cocooned to the boat? Lol, it's there!). There is true beauty here. And it is GLORIOUS.
Here is what I have discovered in this cocooning process, there is such a propelling forward in so many ways, but at the same time, there is a withholding. There is a pressing forward and a tremendous growth, yet a patience and trust needed to not move before it is time. There is a knowing and assurance that each of my promises will indeed come, but a wisdom to not forsake the season I am in and rather to embrace it.
To move forward, it is necessary to look back. I cannot help but remember so well other seasons that I have bared through begrudgingly, thinking I was just ready to be done, move on, and wondering why I should have to endure such a dramatically terrible time. Only to realize after the season is gone that there was fruit I didn't bare that I could have if I had made a choice to enjoy it, but instead I had to realize this in my regret. I didn't realize I had been given everything (ALL the tools) needed to bare that graceful fruit God always promises we can produce. And now here I am again, in another season I think I'm ready to just be done with. But there is something beautiful and graceful here that I don't want to look back on in regretfulness and feel like I missed.
So again, I CHOOSE to embrace today and NOT rush this season, no matter how impatient or ready to be done I "feel," at certain moments; I will embrace this second, hour, day, this season. I choose to embrace my frustrations, my doubts that lead me to a greater faith, the honesty and vulnerability of these raw moments, this throwing my hands up in the air in sometimes in confusion. But hear this- I know that whatever "muck" I'm having to embrace- it is because it is a crashing of waves into an almighty Kingdom that declares a victory stamp over my life, a song in my night, a life in the death of my flesh, a pure and true grace of His strength in my utter weaknesses, a hearing of His whispering the grace in those moments when I listen, a joy in the mourning, a listening to the Father remind me to enjoy the moment that will pass all to soon, a leaning in to Him in prayer, a learning of the authority that comes with being a child of God, a loving my life not into death in my relationship with Christ, a resetting of my priorities, a disdain when it comes to the fears of man or the cares of the world, a dance to the King (oh a dance! A dance that puts the enemy back in his lowly place- under our heals!!!!) a knowing that there is NOTHING that can separate me from the LOVE that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Not even this ugly, hideous moment (insert the drama that is our emotions) can separate me.
Because what I want to call ugly and horrific moments, He wants to declare beautiful, timely, and adorned in grace- because THIS my friends, IS THE FRUIT; that outpouring of love and grace in our moments of weaknesses so that we have the strength to spread our wings and fly.
Photo Credit: pixdaus.com
My heart clings to the truth in these verses:
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.