Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bring Us Home

[The below was inspired by "Bring Us Home (Joshua)", from the Music Inspired by The Story album. The song imagines the thoughts of Joshua, the second leader of the Israelites as they traveled home, and the man who led them around the walls of Jericho as they waited for God to work in power. Lyrics source; song video. I claim no rights to this song.]

Bring Us Home

We remember the chains we carried, 
won't forget about the day we left 
Every heart still beats with hope of a promise made, 
a promise kept. 

We are a broken and hurting world, Lord. We need a home, somewhere to rest and find the connection and hope for which our hearts cry. We need this home now - we can't survive without one. Bring us home.

No mercy in the high noon desert, 
no shadow gonna block the sun 
Still covered in dust from all our yesterdays 
and days to come

Father, You have built this need into our hearts. We are created in Your image, and therefore we instinctively know the truth of Pascal's words - "there was once in man a true happiness...this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself". (Pensees, pg 84) We try to fill the abyss with so many things - four walls, two arms. Small waistlines, large bank accounts. Desperate goals, promises of peace, dreams turned into harsh taskmasters. Golden calves & extra manna. But in the end, those are houses of cards and they collapse like the walls of that city.

Every turn is a new temptation, 
you wanna bow down to something new... 
Yahweh, oh Yahweh 
bring us a new day

Pain points us to this home, but we shrink away. We know that You have the answer, but it seems safer to cover our ears and close our hearts and take the easy way out. Because if one home won't welcome and keep us in the way we wished, another one surely will. And so we become nomads looking for the next watering hole, the next oasis, the next house built on a foundation of sand.

Bring us home 
Lead us to the highest wall 
Every single stone will fall 
We have never walked alone 
Only You can bring us home

You have a home for us, though. Praise God, You have a home for us. A home we can find safety and solidity and peace in, right now, and His name is Emmanuel. Because of Him, You tell us that we cannot fathom the depth and breadth of Your love, that You will give us all things, that You went through the ultimate rending and tearing for us, that You love us with an everlasting love, that You are our Father. Our help in ages past and our hope for years to come, and our eternal home.

Every teardrop in the sand 
Longing for a distant land 
We have never walked alone 
Only You can bring us home 

You tell us that we can find security and fulfillment and a rock - a permanent home - in Christ our Lord, now. And so we, by unimaginable grace, enter this home and are told that here, we are forgiven. Here, we are free. Here, we are loved. Here, our dead hearts and failed card houses are not held against us. Here, we are righteous.

...In seven days everything was made 
And in a week, 
It's crazy how everything can change 
Yeah, and we gonna march around this wall 
'Til we hear the Lord's call, 
hoping life will never be the same

So we unpack and learn to live with the other occupants, in love and truth and wisdom and grace. You guard us with a fierce love and You break down our sinful habits and hearts. You feed us with the richest bread of life and the sweetest water from the most bottomless of wells. When it hurts, You remind us that You work every last thing for our good and You will walk every dragging, stumbling, crawling step with us.

So when your life is all a wilderness 
And your darkest night is every one you took a breath 
All you know to do is follow hoping for a new tomorrow 
Where your sorrows don't exist and pain is put to death

We see this and we say, "Lord, we are truly grateful. But we would know - when will the painful steps end? When will we be able to leave our fear at the door? When can we shed our frail selves?"

As we stomp around a seventh time 
I anticipate a taste of what He says is mine 

You answer us and say, I go to prepare a place for you. And I will come again and take you to myself, so that you may be with me. I am leading you to your Canaan. This, my sons and daughters, is your eternal home.

Cry, cry, until you see it fall 
Until you look beyond a wall and you see it all 

This home, my children, is perfect. There is no pain. There is no fear. Every tear is wiped away and every scar is healed. Every weary soul is finally and fully refreshed. Here, anger does not build callouses over your hearts; in fact, anger does not exist here. Here, voices are not raised and barbed words are not slung. Bodies do not break and brains do not panic. Here, sirens do not light up the night, bullets do not sear the air, screams do not echo across the landscape. Wind and water do not destroy you here, and fire does not wipe out your lives. Enemies do not attack my pilgrims, men, women, and children. Here, metal does not crush against metal and vehicles do not spin off into ditches, shearing neurons and slicing skin on the way. Here, your hearts will not race in shock and fear. Families do not shatter, children are not murdered, and my Word is not defamed. Here, you have the answer to your questions and hopes and tears and prayers.

Bring us home 
Every single stone will fall

Here, you are healed.
Here, you will lay down your burden and stand straight and tall.
Here, you do not have to fight anymore.
Here, you will finally know the depths of my love.
Here, you are with me.

We have never walked alone 
Only You can bring us home

Here, you are home.

Bring us home...

Bring us home, Lord.

Only You can bring us home

Bring us home.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


I haven't posted here in a long time. Just over a year, to be exact. For many months, I've wanted to come back and write more, but the thought usually came to me while I was driving and therefore unable to do anything about it. But I'm back now, and a completely different woman than I was on September 19th of last year. The Lord, in His providence, gave me both great joy and great sorrow, both very unexpectedly. Right now, the sorrow has the upper hand. I don't know how long that will last and how long He will lead me through the waters, but I know - I know - that He is here. Always.

I know that the Father is with me. When the pain leaves me shaking my head and in tears and the shock hits once again, I am reminded that He sent His only begotten Son through unfathomably worse pain to reconcile me to Him and bring me home. None of this shocks the God of heaven and earth, owner of infinite galaxies and tender of my heart. He shows me that He will restore the fortunes of His people (Psalm 53:6) and that He alone makes me to dwell in safety and sleep in peace (Psalm 4:8). He reminds me that I am His. He is mine. He is my Father, and I will not be afraid. He is my Deliverer. He does only wondrous things (Psalm 72:18). He rejoices in me, which I can't quite fathom, and He exults over me (Zephaniah 3:17). That blows me away, but even in that...


Kansas thunderstorm, I-70

I know that the Son is with me. When earthly comfort cannot ease the ache, He whispers that He is my comfort, that I can go to Him. An overheard conversation between two friends brings the reality of His perfect life, lived for me, to the forefront once again. Music, the one thing guaranteed to calm my racing heart, tells me that "He will raise [me] up on eagles' wings, bear [me] on the breath of dawn, make [me] to shine like the sun, and hold [me] in the palm of His hand". (Shane & Shane, Psalm 91) He tells me that I am clean. Safe. Loved.

He loves me.

I know the Spirit is with me. The lessons are coming fast and hard all over the place - this is what it means to have Me as your all, to turn to Me in grief and confusion, to be an adult in My strength. To be willing to give up everything, everyone, for Me. Do you trust Me to be with you even if the darkness closes in and the fear seems to win? This is what He is speaking to my heart. This is His fellowship (2 Corinthians 13:14). And yes, this is His joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

The night is dark, and I am far from home

Lead thou me on.

He answers, "I am."

Fall, Colorado prairie

I would have never wanted to learn this, this way. I would have kept my life the way it was - my relationship, my plans, my dreams. Three years ago, I would have kept my brain health, my peace, my great designs on life. I could go back to each of the major trials in my life and pinpoint exactly what I wanted to keep before it was all torn away. But I don't get to choose. I don't get to hang on. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away - and without that, there is unmoored insanity and frightening meaninglessness. So - by His grace - I grit my teeth and rise to stand with my brothers and sisters in Christ, around the world, across time, in all eras and situations and trials and sufferings and experiences and tragedies, and say...

Blessed be the name of the Lord.