Discouraged. Waiting. Trusting. Rescued.

It was a tough week. A wandering and wondering week. Many battles between the old nature and the Spirit. Doubts. Debates. Turmoil.

The Dragon of Discouragement had breathed his fire all week, but by Saturday he tired of threats and stood ready to devour me whole. The last post on Eternity that I had planned … never took shape.

Sounds gloomy, I know. Don’t stop reading here, though.


I find comfort in the Psalms. Not only do they remind me of the goodness and unfailing love of God, they also depict writers who are so much like I am—seeking God with all their heart, yet sometimes so utterly paralyzed or sabotaged by human weakness. Many of the prayers in the Psalms I can make my own.

Somewhere I had read that Psalm 40 was “the writer’s psalm.” But it’s also the social worker’s psalm, the bookkeeper’s psalm, the taxi driver’s psalm, the care giver’s psalm, the teacher’s psalm, the mother’s psalm, the father’s psalm, the friend’s psalm ….

So on Sunday morning I went to Psalm 40.

Every now and then, the Scriptures absolutely startle me. Yesterday, that happened again.

I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair …  (Psalm 40:1-2a)

And I heard the word again, “Wait.”


Have you ever heard someone describing an experience when the Lord’s direction came to them as clearly as if someone had actually spoken? One woman told me once, “It was as clear as if I’d heard a voice saying…”

The closest I’ve come to that was a number of years ago, also during a time of questions and agonizing. Then, the word came clearly: “Wait. See what I have for you. Wait.”

And here, at the beginning of the very psalm I was planning to read as my prayer and cry for help, was the same clear word. Even before my prayer came out, the Word spoke: “Wait patiently for Me.”


There’s so much more in Psalm 40 that gives us comfort. Verse 3 talks about God giving us a new song, making us hymns of praise for what He’s done. Verse 4 exclaims that there is great joy for those who trust the Lord. Verse 5 looks backward to great things He has already done and forward to His plans for us, “too numerous to list.”

But for the present, for me in that hour, the word was “Wait.”


Now when you wait for something, you expect it, you know it’s coming. Wait for God. Expect His rescue. King David had a whole lot of tough weeks; at times he was even so discouraged or frustrated that he felt God had forgotten him. But he always knew rescue would come. He knew that unshakeable hope is found in only one Person and one Place.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken. (Psalm 62:5-6)

Wait quietly? I am much better at stewing and worrying and, really, getting quite carried away with my own fretting.

These words also came, this time from King Jesus: “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” (See John 14:1)

There it is in a nutshell. That’s faith. “Trust me.”

He says Trust me when we are all too aware of our humanity, when our old nature rises up and stomps on our best intentions. He says Trust me when we are doubting, when we’re discouraged, when we feel too weak for the battle. He says Trust me when we’re haunted by the past, fretting about the present, or worrying about the future.

“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Trust in God; and trust me.”

That’s not just a last resort, clinging to a straw when we are desperate. Trusting Him is the ONLY place we can go to live fully the life He died to give us. Trusting Him is the ONE place He wants us to live.

“Just trust me.”

The assurance of my King comes while I wait quietly.


A Confession and Cry for Healing

He suggested it, the boat trip across the lake. It was His idea, even though it was an ordinary move, a simple transition, and we got in the boat without much thought. None of us would have predicted the huge storm that bore down upon us and battered our small vessel so that I was sure we would all drown.

I bailed frantically, but my small efforts were of no effect against the huge waves that broke over us. I was angry with Him. It seemed He did not care that we were in such peril. Or at least, He was doing nothing about it. Did He not understand how fragile our craft against these storms? Of course He can sleep – He is God, what can a storm do to Him? But this storm could have killed some or all of us—why was He asleep and silent at a time like this? If He loves us as He says, why was He letting us drown?

Then, with one word from Him, the storm was over. And I see that once again, I have not done what I long to do. I have failed to live by trusting the Lord God Almighty who loves me.

He didn’t ask me to walk across the water to Him. All He asked was that I trust in His presence, that I rest safe in His love. Yet now, after the storm has calmed, I hear Him say, yet again, “Why were you so afraid? You have so little faith.”

His brother, James, wrote, Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

So now I confess. After all these years with Him, after I have seen with my own eyes proof of His care and provision and love—yet still I doubted. How little my faith. I hear His words and feel my own sorrow.

Lord Jesus! Hear my cry. Heal my unbelief and teach me to rest secure in Your love.


Weary and discouraged? “What do you choose to see?”

I am trying to open my eyes today, because it is the only thing that will keep me going. I am straining to see, looking through a dark and blurry glass.

It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going, because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:27)

Moses moves the children of Israel out of Egypt, no longer afraid of the people who had kept them as slaves for 400 years.

Walking away from that which held them captive for centuries! Walking away from a power that previously crushed and crippled! Walking away, without fear.

I want to walk to freedom, without fear, keeping my eyes on the One who is invisible.

But what if today I cannot open my eyes, much less see? I am blind and captive and weary.

So I go to the Scriptures for daily manna, ask for the Bread that gives life. I ask for eyes to see, eyes of faith.

Father, let me see.

Let me see the One who is invisible. Isn’t that what faith is? Seeing God in whatever we are looking at? Seeing, in the midst of all of my life, His gifts, His glory and power, His working for our good? Eyes not open to the One Invisible see only hopelessness, no redemption.

Eyes that can see are eyes of faith, able to live.

But Father, I cannot see today! Today, I cannot walk by faith. Help my unbelief.

The answer is gentle: You have eyes, child. What do you choose to see?

It is truth. Christ, the Truth, came to open eyes that are blind. His Spirit does that now, every day.

The Spirit reminds me: I have eyes. I have just been looking at the wrong things.

I have been looking at the Egyptian slave drivers, at bricks that must be made without straw, at the king who drowns baby boys in the river, at enemies who pursue me to snatch away my freedom, at the impossible Red Sea, at barren desert around me.

I must shift my soul’s gaze.

Let us run the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…
(Hebrews 12:1-2)

Jesus, the One who opens our blind eyes, also gives us new eyes of faith.
     Eyes to see the invisible.
     Eyes to see things that will last forever (2 Corinthians 4:18).
     Eyes to understand the hope, riches, and power given to the child of God.
            Ephesians 1:18)

Jesus, the Truth, will perfect my faith … is perfecting my faith. But if I do not keep my eyes on Him, daily take in the Living Water and Bread of Life, I become discouraged and weary.

Interesting, that the Hebrews 12 passage says that if you keep your eyes on Jesus, you won’t become weary and give up. And that’s exactly what happened to the Israelites in slavery. Even when Moses brought them God’s promise of rescue and a new land of milk and honey, they refused to listen. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. (Exodus 6:9)

Jesus, you have opened my eyes to the Invisible One. You are Truth. You have initiated my faith. Perfect it! 

The Might of Higher Communings

One more statement to add to the list of swallowings: My human desires swallowed up by His divine nature.


By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
2 Peter 1:3-4 (NLT)


Read the first statement in that passage again, and try to answer this question honestly:  Do I believe that?

On the days when you feel overwhelmed, on the days when all that is mortal within you rises up and shows its ugly face, on the days that living a godly life seems like a hopeless ideal … can you still believe that God makes available to you everything you need to live a godly life?

Even more radical, can you believe that your nature can change, that you can share God’s divine nature? Wow. Sounds extreme, doesn’t it? Spirit, help our unbelief!

Tucked between those two statements is the secret of “how” this happens. We have received all of this by coming to know him, and by acting on the promises He has made us.

In Diary of an Old Soul, George MacDonald writes:

And he who thinks, in his great plenitude,
To right himself, and set his spirit free,
Without the might of higher communings,
Is foolish also…..

How we long to have our spirits set free. On those days when discouragement, defeat, black moods, temper, selfishness, bitterness, unforgiveness, and a host of other mortal powers threaten to shipwreck our lives — how our spirits cry to be free of those things!

We struggle to right ourselves. But we’re very much like the disciples of Jesus, tossed about in a little boat in the middle of a stormy lake. We know we can’t save ourselves. All we can do is cry “Master, Master! We’re going to drown!”  

Only the Master calms the waves. Only the Spirit of God can cleanse us. Only the “might of higher communings” sets us free.

Isn’t it wonderful that Peter is the one who writes this to us? Peter, the disciple who walked on water, and then sank. Peter, the one who declared Jesus was the Son of God, and then deserted Him when He was arrested. Peter, who surely knew just as many ups and downs in his faith walk as we do, but whose life was changed by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Now Peter knows his death is near, and he encourages us, tells us that God gives us everything we need to live godly lives.

We receive what we need by coming to know God and by acting on His promises to us.  

Psalm 25:15,20

My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.

Only the LORD releases us from the snare, from the mortal. He rescues us, guards our lives, holds us in His hands, gives us everything we need to live His life. 

Our mortal is swallowed up by his divine nature. Amazing.

This is the hope to which you’re called today, child of God.

Gazing at the invisible

He was only 18 months when the first “incident” occurred, and from that point forward, I noticed that my youngest grandson has a special gift: He sees birds. Not the kind of seeing that we do when someone says, “Look! There’s a woodpecker at the suet.” No, this little boy sees birds that the rest of us miss.

On that Sunday afternoon we were in the front yard, involved in some kind of game, and suddenly my grandson said, “Look!” and pointed upward. There, so far above us that I had to search for a moment to find it, was a bird drifting serenely on the currents. My daughter ran into the house for the binoculars and identified it as a bald eagle, a rare sighting for our area.

Such incidents have happened often enough in the past year that I’m fairly certain:  This boy has eyes on the top of his head. He may seem to be intent on his sandbox or spraying everyone with the garden hose, but suddenly he calls attention to something in the sky. Everyone else is absorbed with what’s going on here at ground level, but his eyes are catching those things above us that we would otherwise miss.

I’d like to have his sight, see things far beyond ground level. Even when I’m totally involved in day-to-day work and busyness, troubles and pleasures, I’d like to be able to catch sight of the realm beyond the earthly, temporal, and finite.

We are not just waiting for some far-off day when we’re ushered into a perfect place called heaven. The kingdom of heaven is now. Jesus entered this world and established His kingdom and it is here. When God adopted you as his child, the Spirit opened a new dimension of life for you.

The apostle Paul put it this way:

we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Isn’t that an interesting choice of words? We fix our gaze — words that imply seeing — on things that cannot be seen.

Hebrews 11 recounts all the trouble Moses had with Pharaoh when the Israelites wanted to leave Egypt, but he did not fear the ruler’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.

Apparently, there are two kinds of sight: Eyes that see things we touch and eat and feel and own.  And eyes of faith, that see invisible things that last forever.

I know it’s easy to lose sight of Jesus’ kingdom and the One who is invisible.

I know our days get so busy and we are besieged by so many responsibilities and demands that sometimes we feel as though we can’t think clearly.  I know that sometimes troubles hang like a heavy fog that keeps us from seeing any clear path.

But if you look at the context of both these passages, the writers are saying that this is how we will get through our troubles, this is how we can cope with earthly life, this is what keeps us going — seeing the invisible.

I want eyes to gaze at the invisible, eyes to look beyond ground level and see Jesus’ kingdom more clearly.

May the Spirit grow eyes on the tops of our heads.


Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:18; Hebrews 11:27 (both NLT)