And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
When I was younger I wanted to kill myself, and I had wanted to kill myself for a very long time. Except, less than wanting to kill myself, I simply wanted to die and preferred that it be beyond my control.
I never made any attempts because through it all I believed in God and the murder-of-self is still very much murder in-and-of-itself, but in my belief I would pray and beg in one instance to be filled with something more, and in the next that my ministry and witness, so that my life would fulfill some purpose, might be from the death bed and sooner rather than later.
The hardest thing for me was wanting a miracle. I wanted to just suddenly be happy, for my problems to be fixed, and I knew He doesn't always, very rarely in fact, work that way; but I didn't have the strength, I didn't want to use the strength He gave me to struggle, to begin fighting that He might back me up in the hard things of life and teach, both my heart and head, the healthy and good reliance on His strength that he desires.
I had too little faith and was afraid to step out should my God not be there as He has promised.
But now look at me. A year long commitment and for the past 3 months I've been living in another country and doing the good work God's given me, not for justification or for fear of His commands, but because of a great, great love.
But here in El Salvador things have been a little crazy. Not necessarily all a bad sort-of crazy, (though some of it has been definitely not great) but today I hit a wall of exhaustion that made everything very difficult.
First and foremost my problem is that I haven't been reading the Bible as much as I want, allowing other things to take a temporary priority, thinking I'd have time later, and gradually falling behind in my reading plan. (Again, "first and foremost": this is going to change.)
But while I am not making enough time to read the Bible, I am by extension not making enough time to read the amazing books Pastor John Piedmont from Potter's Field assigned as 'homework' (and that's really not for brownie points, "Spirtual Leadership" is one book that I plan to keep for a very long time and would encourage everyone, young and old, both physically and spiritually in their walk with Christ, to read.)
I have a responsibility and a desire to use my time here to encourage those back home, and with modern communications technology there is no reason and no excuse for my not ministering to my loved ones and those I am praying for a thousand miles away or more.
God has satisfied my longing soul,
He filled my hungry soul with goodness. . .
. . . though the road I took to that satisfaction was not easy, and now He has given me the honor of being a vessel to pour out love and blessings and His message of grace on others who suffer from a deep waywardness that I could never imagine.
I want to remember the satisfaction He has given me and trust Him to give joy and rest even while utterly depleted both mentally and physically; and will not find the time, but take the time to further God's kingdom in the states, in action and prayer, in whatever ways I can and He leads by His innumerable blessings. For while my body and heart is weak, His Spirit in us is strong and infinite: a flame that never dies, a well that never dries. Amen.
While this study is back from January 16th, I was extremely blessed to pull open the file today, more than a month since it was written, and find the encouragement of my Father within. Although Saturday is a free day, there is a lot for me to do and I had to pass up on an opportunity to visit an orphanage some friends Karen has made since coming to El Salvador go to from time to time. It was a perfect opportunity to minister to those children whom God loves, but I couldn't have any peace about going. I know it sounds strange, but I was unsure if it was the best, most productive use of my time.
I really, really wanted to go, but I had many responsibilities, and while it is not as 'glamorous' as visiting an orphanage, there were opportunities to do good works and ministries that God was calling me to, ironically, on the computer and in the comfort of the living room; opportunities to minister and witness that I usually only have today. I felt torn and decided the best thing to do was pray, and slowly became more and more sure that this time was best used for the Lord working online;
but when half your group has gone off to do something special and the other half is sleeping in and you've become used to a much more bustling, even if at times distracting house, it can become very lonely.
When you have a slight cold on top of it all and you aren't particularly looking forward to the things you need to do, your mood can go south fast.
Before posting any study I try and make a point of reading them as a reminder of the things God has shown me and to consider how successful I have been in applying them to my life.
Seeing this study took me momentarily by surprise, and I'll admit that in the beginning I could not remember much of anything written, so there was a certain curiosity as I proceeded in reading the above.
What I found was a great relief, a reminder for times such as these.
Finishing, I prepared to post before thinking to check and see if anyone had written anything lately that I had a particular desire to share.
I opened up Jamyi's blog almost by accident, and was pleasantly surprised to see her first blog entry since returning to the states, with a message that was of particular interest on a day like today and with a study like this to share, both for to day, and those many days long past:
". . . the most beautiful and wonderful things in life often seem the most frustrating and difficult." But what makes the difference in those circumstances? '. . .who was in control. The first time, I was driving. When I was in control, it was difficult. As soon as someone else was driving and in control of the situation, I saw how beautiful and perfect their plan would reveal itself to be."
Moving to Michelle's blog, "Meanwhile. . .", in which can always be found such beautifully woven and uplifting words of God's presence in their lives, I was surprised to find that not only had she updated, she had done so more than once.
Coincidence of coincidences, her's too spoke important messages to me in this time. The first, Here and Now, was simpler and yet another reminder in these last few weeks to stay focused on today and the things herein that God places in my life, unworried for tomorrow and trusting in Him.
When I am Weak... was notably uplifting while I am feeling sick and downtrodden and know just how bad my mood is, but each time beginning to give it to God and am given peace, receive some new curve ball and allow it to shake the joy He gives.
I was reminded that times like these are those that God most loves to use in displaying His glory through us; when He can be our strength and our comfort, when we can be such a glory to His name and He so wonderfully leaves none to our own.
What do you hear? What do you see? was a much needed exhortation for my life as a witness. That we do not 'witness' though we are witnesses, and that the plans we make might not be the same as Gods; and which plan do you think will be sweeter?
- If I listen only to the struggle, the loud wind, I would not be able to hear the voices of those around me. If I look only at the rough waters, instead of the strangers eyes before me, I would miss out on a heavenly glimpse. -
This post is already running on quite long, with links to many other thoughts and studies as well, but I would like to close by sharing just these two short studies written by my friends Kayla and Josh, included below.
Psalms 107:9 Salmos 107:9I pray
"Porque sacia al alma menesterosa,
Y llena de bien al alma hambrienta." RVR 1960
“For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.” NKJV
Once we were all lost, wandering in an endless desert searching restlessly for a meaning and a purpose. But everywhere we traveled our thirst grew, our hunger gnawed violently at our insides. And all the while He was there, beckoning us to come home.
Once we begin to follow our Lord, our Savior, on His path, we do find that our longing soul is satisfied, and our hunger is replaced by goodness.
“Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!”
Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who are humble in spirit, those who recognize what a wretched spiritual state that they are in, surviving by begging God to meet their spiritual needs, those who know that they are in great need of God. The poor in spirit realize the dire state that they are in, that without outside help they have no hope. They are fully dependent on God and in this dependence are given the promise of the kingdom of heaven.
Application- I pray that God will show me how desperate my need for him really is, and remind me each day of the blessing promised to those humble in spirit.
that He brings
for the reasons
He wants them.