Thursday, October 27, 2011

from strength to strength

Sipping my morning coffee and reading the Word, I came across Psalm 84: 
"Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.  As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.  They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion."  (v. 4-6)
As I read the phrase "they go from strength to strength" I found myself praying...."Lord, help me to journey through life from strength to strength.   I sometimes feel as though I'm going from crisis to crisis or prayer need to prayer need." 
You know what I mean?  It seems like certain stretches of road have me going from drama to drama (maybe that's because I have teenagers) or concern to concern. Don't get me wrong.  I count my blessings every day and I know my cup runs over with abundance, but when I hit those places in the road where things are tough I find myself wanting the gentler road...the one without all the mud and all the mess.     That's when I long for the pretty path with flowers and paved roads. 
And then I quietly heard in my heart the Lord whisper to my spirit, "It's not your strength that you go from, it's Mine.  In those times of crisis or trouble or drama, it's My strength that you land on and take off from."  That Valley of Baca is a reference to a place of tears.  As I walk through the places that make me cry (and I will walk through those place...we all do), I find comfort and refreshment in Him.  He is the source of my strength. 
See, I was backwards in my thinking.  (again) What I was really wanting was 'cake walk' to 'cake walk', but I know enough to know that during those hard times, that it has been His strength that I've encountered and that has supported  me and held me up.   It's particularly during the hard times that I find myself leaning in to Him.  It's His strength that gets me through one trial and onward in my journey.  If I didn't have to pass through those Valleys of Tears, I wouldn't know His strength the way I do.  I'm so blessed.  I have been all along.   He reminded me that I have been walking from strength to strength.....not mine.  His.
In the end, it doesn't matter what condition the road is that I find myself traveling on...
just that I am found traveling in Him.  I've set my heart on pilgrimage and I'm so thankful that He supplies His strength for each mile of the journey.  

12 comments:

Lap Dog Knits said...

so beautifully written.

I've learned it's the hard times, the tears, the difficult roads that give me the most growth in my faith...I'm grateful for those roads...I'm always changed when I return to the smooth road.

Plain and Joyful Living said...

This is beautiful Lisa and your writing also reminds me that while God is our strength - He puts us through trials to strengthen us in our faith.
THank you for your beautiful writing today,
Tonya

notes of sincerity said...

Your post is beautiful. It is rich with truth. And one I can relate to, being in those same places at times. I find a very special place as I lean into Him during those trials and press on, walking with Him. Meditating on His word and praying with out ceasing. Longing for a chance to lift my head above the water that threatens to drown me. My seas are calm right now, but He knows when the next storm is fixing to strike, and I need to hold tight when it does. :o)
love and blessings. Trish

Ellen said...

Yes, I think God teaches us often through hard times that we need to lean on him and not on our own strength and that we need to as vs 2 says, have our soul long and faint for wanting to be in his presence. Hope these are general thoughts for you and not something overwhelming difficult right now. :)

wayside wanderer said...

Such good and true thoughts! And lovely pictures.

Tracy said...

You have expressed this so beautifully, Lisa! This truly lifted and inspired me today. And life can sometimes be stretches of, like you say, moving from concern to concern, from prayer needing met to prayer needing met. I am grateful for the road I've been presented, and do learn along the way, and especially through the hardships. Bu your strength to strength today really fired up my imagination on how I deal with difficulties and to turn more lovingly toward them in prayer and action. Thanks for the lift, Lisa! It's been a tough we as we say goodbye to a loved one, so this helped me a lot. :o) ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

This was just beautiful! I know exactly what you mean. I have been beyond troubled by my son's beliefs and actions of late. I woke up in the middle of the night the other night and such a feeling of oppression had come over me. I rebuked Satan, and came out to my Bible, and the Lord SO clearly took me right to Psalm 37:3-5 and then 37:7-8. I am to trust, to feed on His faithfulness, delight in Him, commit my ways to Him, rest in Him and finally, wait patiently for Him. I have now turned over my son to the Lord and He has promised me He will bring him back home to Him.

What a mighty, precious God we serve! ~Jan

Kristyn Knits said...

what a wonderful post full of strength and trust! love that you had a whisper to your spirit. I want one of those too. hope all is well.

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Very well put....I can certainly sympathize with the stress having teenagers in the household can bring. Hang in there.

christinelaennec said...

This was just what I needed to read right now (belatedly, as I've had so little time for blogging due to my teenage daughter's health problems). Thank you very much, Lisa, and also to all those who have left comments. It's so easy to fall into the worry pit, and so hard to trust as we "fall into the arms of Love".

Ruth said...

Amen! Not our strength but His.

Ruth

Renna said...

What a beautiful and inspirational post.