But, Lord

(Written October 2014)

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2 NASB)

As I sit here on my front porch I am overlooking an incredible view–dark skies churned by lightning and invisible winds, with ingredients of grey clouds and cold rain and peals of thunder; the pitter-patter of millions of water droplets kissing the earth with their nutrients to replenish and help it to grow again; sunlight still shining beyond the firmament, determined to be seen fully again soon.

Another streak of lightning, a distant rumble of thunder, the steady progression of rainfall.

Here, in this moment, this is my view, and it sets me in awe, which brings me to wonder.

Two words haunt my heart; on some days much more than others, yet they remain: But, Lord.

I see and I desire and I seek and I long. I know what I want–I think–and I want it badly: happiness; but who can obtain it?

I’m surrounded by all this wondrous, impeccable beauty, much more glorious than I could have thought up on my own with this simple mind inside my head. There is so much of it, in fact, that I miss most of it, even when trying so hard to see it all.

It surrounds me, this loveliness He created, and yet I want more, am dissatisfied, whether I admit it with my mouth or not. Deep down, in the secret places of the depths of my heart, my soul says, “But, Lord, send me still more goodness to behold.” And He does. Yet again, with more and more beauty encompassing my soul in this world, I still find the ghastly gall to whisper, “But, Lord.” I ask Him for still more. And with MORE come more challenges. I am still dissatisfied, so with MORE plus more challenges, I murmur helplessly, “But, Lord, now it is too hard. I can’t handle this. Take that part away from me.”

Why can I not simply be satisfied with what He gives me? I try, yes; I try very hard. He gives me MORE than I need, MORE than I could ever begin to deserve in ten thousand-thousand lifetimes.

I know that with all this beauty there will surely be hardships too. Of course. But why can I not only, fully, truly focus on just the good He sends?

Yes, there is a storm brewing outside. Yes, there may be damage from the electric streaks beaming light across the sky or from the harsh, unprejudiced winds that howl and blow, or from the floods that come with heavy downpours of rain.

But there is so much beauty in all of this. Look at the rain, how it falls on the dry, dusty earth that screams for redemption: each droplet falls from the Father’s hand to revive the thirsty ground. The lightning streaks fiercely across the horizon with so much power and speed, and its beauty can only be witnessed for a fraction of a moment. The thunder bellows and rumbles in baritone cries and shakes the mountains but it reminds and comforts me that He is in complete control of it all.

“The brave who focus on all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, LIFE grows.” (Ann Voskamp)

If we can only start to see the glory of it all–yes, even the fearful and hurtful things–then we can begin to learn and know His matchless love, the MORE that He has so unsparingly given to us, His own adopted children, and we won’t have time in our lives or room in our hearts to focus on anything negative.

He grants us so much in so many beautiful moments, and yes, there will be trials and heartache along with these, but we ought to learn to see the grace of our Lord in even the difficult times. Look at the bright side: Only in a storm can we behold such incredibly breathtaking thunderstorms, and only after the rain can we have the chance to witness a rainbow, the promise of mercy and love from an eternal God of grace.

“My heart overflows with a good theme…” (Psalm 45:1a NASB)

“I say thanks and I swell with Him, and I swell the world and He stirs me, joy all afoot.” (Ann Voskamp)

I look out into my view and two words haunt my heart, today more than usual: But, Lord.

… But, Lord, I don’t deserve this. But, Lord, I am so very grateful!

“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good…” (Genesis 1:31a NASB)

“By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; who establishes the mountains by His strength, being girded with might; who stills the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples. They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy. You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; the stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth. You water its furrows abundantly, You smooth its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth. You have crowned the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with fatness. The pastures of the wilderness drip, and the hills gird themselves with rejoicing. The meadows are clothed with flocks and the valleys are covered with grain; they shout for joy, yes, they sing.” (Psalm 65:5-13 NASB)

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8 ESV)

Have a blessed day!


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