In spite of this

It's raining.

I don't have to go out though, so I'm content with the bone-chilling dampness, the wind and the steady tap tapping of the drops against my windows.

It makes me feel safe, cozy - bundled in layers and sipping tea and typing by the warm glow of my desk lamp and a lit candle.

I was just writing in my journal, pouring out words that come from a heart obviously laced with anxieties and complaints. The kinds of thoughts that don't usually make their way to a blog post. (I like to spare you nice blog friends these things.) My journal holds many entries of this kind.

It works for me though - emptying my heart onto paper, and when I've gained a little clarity, or am finally still enough to listen, I put my journal away and open the Word.
Tonight, I saw this verse:

"Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me, In spite of this, I shall be confident." (Ps 27:3)
A well-marked and familiar verse.

Several years ago, when I was in Bible school, a young woman (who was about to move overseas to be a missionary in a predominantly Muslim country) came to my dorm to give a devotional talk one night.

It must of been her genuineness, her evident love for God, that made her lesson press into my heart so permanently, serving as a reminder and an encouragement many times since.

This verse in Psalms speaks of real, physical circumstances. David knew what it was to be oppressed, for his life to be threatened, to have "war rise up against him." I don't understand those things - not from a personal perspective.

But....if David could say, in the midst of very real danger - "My heart will not fear...in spite of this I shall be confident..." - should I not be able to say the very same in lesser trials?

I may be struggling with confusion in trying to discern the Lord's will in some areas, I may be growing weary in waiting (and waiting....) for answers to prayer, I may be fighting off all kinds of sinful heart attitudes - ungratefulness, worry, pride...all of this, and yet -

and yet, in spite of this...

I don't want my life to be marked by fear and distrust, but by courage and confidence in the One who cannot fail me.

Confident that the same God who sustained David in his trials (and countless Christians since) will be faithful to me as well. Even when I don't understand everything, I'm trusting in Christ.

All things.


Loris said...

Beautiful blog post! I really enjoyed it, and it was of great encouragement!

Thank God that even in times when “we are faithless,
He remains faithful” (2 Timothy 2:13)

Anna said...

Oh my, Stephanie. This post was so encouraging. I love how you described the process of journaling out your heart, and then turning to the Word.

Stephanie said...

Hey, thanks for commenting, Loris! I love that verse from Timothy.

Anna, I'm glad you were encouraged. :)

Homemaker Design said...

I was reading the other day and came across something I found encouraging for me and the things God is laying before me and my family and I also thought it might be of interest to you. So pick up your copy of "Don't waste your life" bu John Piper and turn to page 81. Read starting at the section titled Exploring the Myth of Safety and read until the end of the section "We will not serve your gods" I pray it brings you peace!

Jennifer said...

Steph, you are so right about David. I love reading in Psalm because of David's heart. I'm praying for you tonight. P.S. I love journally too. ;)

Stephanie said...

Kaitlin, I skimmed that passage but bookmarked it to read again more thoughtfully. Thanks for thinking of me, and for the suggestion. :)

Jen, thanks for your prayer!