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"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How He Brings the Dead to Life


I've been missing it the past week -

Joy.

I'm not quite sure how it happens -

Though I think a lot of it's my own fault -

How all that was full and blooming in my life

Withers in moments,

Vanishes,

And then I can't find it,

Can't get back to it.


I think I have a recurring case of soul-amnesia,

Always forgetting who God is,

What He's done,

Why He is worthy of my worship,

How He fills all my needs.

It comes on a regular basis,

This forgetfulness,

And I feel the apathy in my heart,

Have a hard time wrapping my heart around the concept -

The reality -

Of God.

My mind knows it,

Doesn't doubt for a second (during these times, that is),

But my heart is left empty,

Without even any real desire for the faint memory remaining,

The quickly-fading thought of joy,

Real joy.

How is it that someone brought to life can feel so dead?


I've been busy all week -

No time to search for that desire again,

No time to search for joy -

Buried under mountains of homework,

Projects that have taken up every waking moment,

And I've been up 'til one-thirty,

Two,

Two-thirty,

Trying to get it all done,

And is it just the homework,

Or am I trying to be God,

Get everything done myself,

In my own strength,

As though He's not enough?

Is that part of my problem?


I have been hard-hearted,

Arrogant,

Selfish,

Self-worshiping;

An emotionless,

Apathetic

Fool,

And so, so many other ugly things,

And I haven't even tried to change.

Since when did homework and busyness become more important than my own soul?


Finally, today, I made time,

And I took my apathetic heart in search of that joy

But joy doesn't come because I will it to,

It comes only as a gift from God,

And I only found a little bit of that joy,

A little of the life my soul is dying for,

And I found myself on my knees,

Just praying for desire,

Black jeans sinking into still-moist dark brown earth,

And me not even caring about stains or mud

Because I am stained,

Muddy,

A mess.

  
The breeze picked up

And my mind knew it was the One who tells the winds where to blow,

It was He who gently tossed my hair,

Caressed my face,

And I've missed this,

I've missed Him,

And how do I always, always get so far so fast,

Then wonder how I got there?


But in emptiness and darkness,

In rot and ruin,

He is the One who has stones rolled away,

It is His light that breaks through the darkness,

And His voice that calls,

Loud and strong,

"Come out!

Come out to me!"

This -

This is how He brings the dead to life.

Hallelujah!

Holy, Holy!

Great

 I 

Am!!!




Counting 588-707 this week,

119 more reasons to worship the Living Lord God!

(Just in case anyone was wondering, I beat my Lenten goal of 400 -

I came up with 654 reasons before Easter!

Praise God for all He's taught me during this season!)
  1. He becomes jealous when His people worship foreign gods (Deuteronomy 32:16)
  2. He becomes angry when His people worship detestable idols (Deuteronomy 32:16)
  3. He rejects those who desert and forget Him (Deuteronomy 32:18-19)
  4. He hides His face from those who are unfaithful (Deuteronomy 32:20)
  5. He makes those who turn from Him envious by those who are not a people (Deuteronomy 32:21)
  6. He makes those who turn from Him angry by a nation that has no understanding (Deuteronomy 32:21)
  7. He kindles a fire by His wrath (Deuteronomy 32:22)
  8. His fire burns down to the realm of the dead below (Deuteronomy 32:22)
  9. His fire devours the earth and its harvests (Deuteronomy 32:22)
  10. He sets afire the foundations of the mountains (Deuteronomy 32:22)
  11. He heaps calamities on those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:23)
  12. He spends His arrows against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:23)
  13. He sends wasting famine against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:24)
  14. He sends consuming pestilence and deadly plague against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:24)
  15. He sends the fangs of wild beasts against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:24)
  16. He sends the venom of vipers against those who turn against Him (Deuteronomy 32:24)
  17. He dreads the taunt of the enemy, those who think they have accomplished great works, rather than the Lord (Deuteronomy 32:27)
  18. No one man can chase a thousand, no two can put ten thousand to flight, unless the Lord gives them up to that fate (Deuteronomy 32:30)
  19. No other rock is like Him (Deuteronomy 32:31)
  20. He keeps things in reserve, seals them in His vaults (Deuteronomy 32:34)
  21. He avenges and repays (Deuteronomy 32:35)
  22. He vindicates His people when He sees their strength is gone and no one is left (Deuteronomy 32:36)
  23. He relents concerning his servants when He sees their strength is gone and no one is left (Deuteronomy 32:36)
  24. He Himself is God (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  25. There is no God besides Him (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  26. He puts to death (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  27. He brings to life (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  28. He wounds (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  29. He heals (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  30. No one can deliver out of His hand (Deuteronomy 32:39)
  31. He solemnly swears (Deuteronomy 32:40)
  32. He swears by His constancy (Deuteronomy 32:40)
  33. He lives forever (Deuteronomy 32:40)
  34. He sharpens His flashing sword (Deuteronomy 32:41)
  35. His hand grasps His sword in judgment (Deuteronomy 32:41)
  36. He takes vengeance on His adversaries (Deuteronomy 32:41)
  37. He repays those who hate Him (Deuteronomy 32:41)
  38. He makes His arrows drunk with blood (Deuteronomy 32:41))
  39. His sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders (Deuteronomy 32:42)
  40. He commands His people to rejoice (Deuteronomy 32:43)
  41. He avenges the blood of His servants (Deuteronomy 32:43)
  42. He takes vengeance on His enemies (Deuteronomy 32:43)
  43. He makes atonement for His land and His people (Deuteronomy 32:43)
  44. He comes with myriads of holy ones (Deuteronomy 33:1)
  45. He shows His servant the promised land (Deuteronomy 34:1-4)
  46. People die when He says they will (Deuteronomy 34:5)
  47. He buries His servant – no one can find his grave (Deuteronomy 34:6)
  48. He sustains His servants (Deuteronomy 34:7)
  49. He sends to do signs and wonders (Deuteronomy 34:11)
  50. He gives His servants mighty power (Deuteronomy 34:12)
  51. He shows through His servants His awesome deeds (Deuteronomy 34:12)
  52. He gives His people every place where they set their feet (Deuteronomy 34:3)
  53. No one is able to stand against His people (Deuteronomy 34:5)
  54. He gives prosperity and success to those who do everything written in the Book of the Law (Joshua 1:8)
  55. He is with His servants wherever they go (Joshua 1:9)
  56. He gives His people rest by giving them the promised land (Joshua 1:13)
  57. He causes fear to fall on His enemies (Joshua 2:9-11)
  58. He is God in heaven above (Joshua 2:11)
  59. He is God on the earth below (Joshua 2:11)
  60. He does amazing things among His people (Joshua 3:5)
  61. He exalts His servants (Joshua 4:14)
  62. He causes streams to stop flowing and pile up in a heap a great distance away (Joshua 3:15-16)
  63. He cuts off the water flowing down to the sea (Joshua 3:16)
  64. He turns riverbeds into dry ground (Joshua 3:16-17)
  65. He makes rivers start flowing again after His people pass through (Joshua 4:18)
  66. He dries up both rivers and seas so that the peoples of the earth might know that He is powerful (Joshua 4:23-24)
  67. He dries up both rivers and seas so that the peoples of the earth might always fear Him (Joshua 4:23-24)
  68. His deeds are so awesome that the hearts of His people's enemies melt in fear and lose their courage (Joshua 5:1)
  69. He sends the commander of His army to speak with His servant (Joshua 5:13-14)
  70. He delivers securely barred cities into the hands of His people (Joshua 6:1-2)
  71. He is with His servants (Joshua 6:27)
  72. His anger burns against those who do not obey His command and are unfaithful to the devoted things (Joshua 7:1)
  73. He does not give victory to those who disobey Him (Joshua 7:1-7)
  74. He acts for His Great Name (Joshua 7:9)
  75. He refuses to be with those who do not destroy what is devoted to destruction (Joshua 7:12)
  76. He destroys those who violate His covenant and keep devoted things rather than destroying them (Joshua 7:15)
  77. He is honored and glorified when His people tell the truth (Joshua 7:19)
  78. He brings trouble on those who violate His commands (Joshua 7:25)
  79. He turns from his fierce anger (Joshua 7:26)
  80. He tells His people not to be afraid (Joshua 8:1)
  81. He tells His people not to be discouraged (Joshua 8:1)
  82. He promises (Joshua 8:2)
  83. He tells exactly what will happen before it happens (Joshua 8:2)
  84. He gives cities into the hands of His people – those who obey His commands (Joshua 8:7-8)
  85. He delivers cities into the hands of those who follow His instructions (Joshua 8:18-19)
  86. He gives victory to those who follow His instructions (Joshua 8:24-26)
  87. He allows those who do not seek His counsel to be led astray (Joshua 9:14-18)
  88. His wrath falls on those who break the oath they make by His name (Joshua 9:19)
  89. He gives His people's enemies into the hands of His people (Joshua 10:8)
  90. When He gives His people's enemies into the hands of His people, not one of His people's enemies will be able to withstand the army of His people (Joshua 10:8)
  91. He throws His people's enemies into confusion (Joshua 10:10)
  92. He allows His people to defeat their enemies completely (Joshua 10:10)
  93. He hurls large hailstones on His people's enemies (Joshua 10:11)
  94. The hail He sends kills more people than the swords of His people's army (Joshua 10:11)
  95. He answers the prayers of His servant – even to make the sun and moon stand still (Joshua 10:12-13)
  96. He makes the sun stand still in the sky over Gibeon (Joshua 10:12-13)
  97. He makes the moon stop above the Valley of Aijalon (Joshua 10:12-13)
  98. He makes the sun and the moon stand still until the people have avenged themselves on their enemies (Joshua 10:12-13)
  99. He delays the sun's setting for approximately one full day (Joshua 10:13)
  100. He listens to human beings (Joshua 10:14)
  101. He fights for His people and answers their prayers (Joshua 10:14)
  102. He kills the enemies of His people (Joshua 10:25-26)
  103. He gives entire cities and their kings into Israel's hands (Joshua 10:30)
  104. He allows His people to conquer all the kings in the region and their lands in one campaign because He fights for His people (Joshua 10:40-43)
  105. He defeats the combined troops of many nations (Joshua 11:1-8)
  106. He hardens people's hearts to wage war against His people (Joshua 11:20)
  107. He hardens people's hearts to wage war that His servant might destroy them completely, exterminating them without mercy (Joshua 11:20)
  108. He enables His people to conquer the lands of thirty-one kings (Joshua 12:7-24)
  109. He is the inheritance of the tribe of Levi (Joshua 13:33)
  110. He helps His servants to drive peoples out, just as He said (Joshua 14:12-15)
  111. He gives the land rest from war (Joshua 14:15)
  112. He blesses His people abundantly and makes them numerous (Joshua 17:14)
  113. He commands His people to designate cities of refuge (Joshua 20:1-3)
  114. He commands that towns be given for His priests to live in (Joshua 21:1-2)
  115. He commands that pasturelands be given for the livestock of His priests (Joshua 21:1-2)
  116. He gives His people all the land He had sworn to their ancestors that He would give them (Joshua 23:43)
  117. He gives His people rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors (Joshua 23:44)
  118. He gives all His people's enemies into the hands of His people (Joshua 23:44)
  119. Not one of His good promises failed (Joshua 23:45)
  120. He fulfills all His promises (Joshua 23:45)

Counting 10,000 Reasons to worship Him:


<a href="http://maryschieferstein.blogspot.com/search/label/10000%20Reasons" target="_blank"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8zkGH23srZ8/T2i3Bun0O9I/AAAAAAAABSw/8giPvnJmCPI/s320/10000ReasonsButton.jpg" /></a>
Counting in community:



And linking up at A Holy Experience today, talking about Resurrection - how He brings the dead to life.



Also, please look at some of the other beautiful posts found at the bottom of this one.  Maybe bless the author with a comment?  It's a blessing to know that God has used your imperfect words to bless another.

  

5 comments:

Sylvia R said...

There are so many "memory stealers"! And busy tops the list. But there He is, He knows our frame, and raises us back up! Beautiful! God bless!

Mary said...

Thank you, Sylvia! I felt kind of bad blogging from the middle of my "funk", but it's so true. He is there, He does know our frame, and He always raises His people back up. It's just hard waiting sometimes. Fortunately, I think the wait's over this time . . . but that's a story for Wednesday. Thank you so much for your encouragement!!! God bless you, too!!!

Laurie Collett said...

What a beautiful, moving post! It is so easy to get caught up in what we do that we lose the joy of just being His child. Yet when we draw close, He is always there to revive us!
Thanks so much for visiting & commenting on Saved by Grace! Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow Saved by Grace:
http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/
Love in Him,
Laurie Collett

Mary said...

Oh, thank you Laurie! It is true, so easy to lose our joy, but He really, really is always there to revive us. Thank you for your blog and your words of inspiration and encouragement. You are a blessing, by His grace.
At this time, I do not follow any blogs because I don't feel it's a good idea for me to do so, for various reasons. I will definitely try to stop by frequently, though. Your blog always has the most beautiful metaphors packed with wonderful truth. I truly appreciate everything you share.
Thank you so much!
God bless!

Laurie Collett said...

You're very welcome, Mary, and thanks so much for your encouraging words! You are a blessing to me.
God bless you and your ministry,
Laurie

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