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Friday, September 10, 2010

Far Away

We’ve been far away. The six of us just spent five long, luxurious and wonderful days in the sunny, hot Florida Keys. A tropical getaway singing island songs and sipping boat drinks is my idea of a perfect vacay.

My husband and ten-year-old daughter scuba dived for the first time. All six of us parasailed. And we are all deliciously sun-browned and tired.

Thank you for all of your sweet and concerned emails wondering if I’m okay and encouraging me to take as much time away from the blog as I need to. I love you all and it warms my heart to feel your love.

Honestly I’ve been far away in other ways too. I’m in a season of asking God where are you?

I know that He’s here. I know that His presence and very being fills me. I know that when I draw near to Him, He comes near to me. I know. I know. I know. What I don’t feel is God’s presence. What I don’t hear is God’s voice. And that makes me sad. I ask is there a secret to drawing near that I don't yet know?

Even as I sit for hours and ponder His greatness, character and promises, His voice has remained silent for a bit. I know that sometimes in His silence He stretches us. Sometimes His silence is working to build our faith. Sometimes His silence really isn’t silence at all but a result of my faulty ears and heart. Sometimes His silence is an invitation to wait. And I know from experience waiting does not disappoint us.

And so I wait.

I am reading this book by Ed Underwood, When God Breaks Your Heart. It is a raw and real book about his terrible cancer experience. The lessons are deep and intimate.  The truth speaking to me today is Psalm 34:18. “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted.

Underwood says one of the surest ways to draw near to Jesus is find someone with a broken heart and follow Him there.
“It’s one of the surest ways I know to draw near to God: Find someone with a shattered life and go to him in the name of Jesus.” (p. 76)

So I pray. God, send someone to me with a broken heart. Help me draw near to you.

On the way to the bus stop this morning, I meet Mary. Mary is looking for her granddaughter’s lap dog. The granddaughter is frantic; the dog is her baby. Mary is upset because her granddaughter is upset.

She searches for over an hour as I wait for two buses and walk three children to meet the bus. As I walk home from the bus stop, Mary abandons her car and begins searching on foot.

She stops. We talk. I pray.

She thanks me, asks me my name and tells me she appreciates my concern.

There is no drama. No tears. No little white dog appearing from Heaven. But a new friendship is formed and genuine concern rests there. My heart is full from practicing one of God’s truths in a new way. I walk home thanking God for the opportunity and asking for more.

Twenty minutes later Mary knocked my door. The dog is home.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted … Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Psalm 34:18 & James 4:8 (NASB)


Sandy Cooper said...

I am so glad you were in the Keys. It's one of my favorite places. My in-laws live there, so we get to visit at least annually.

On the "hearing God" front, I'm right there with ya, sista (as always).

I just sort of feel like were sitting in the same room staring at each other, but neither of us is talking, ya know?

The problem is, I have a blog about hearing God's voice...which makes for interesting blogging...when you aren't really hearing anything for LONG periods of time.

I'm glad you are rested and tan.

Nana's Nuggets said...

Hi! Lisa, so thats where you've been!! Ok, you did not invite any of us!! Just left us hanging. Ha-Ha! So Glad to hear of this little get-a-way for you and family, pics look fun! It sounds like the story about the "little dog" just put you in touch w/God and what concerns Him! I Loved this because you were right where you were supposed to be! My post talks about "His Time". I really think that we as Christains all expierence this Where are You God?, moment. But he brought you out and showed His Glorious Time. Have a Restful and Blessed wk-end!

Gigi said...

Glad you had a get-away and are rested and refreshed!

Sister, I am brokenhearted...you can sit with me all you want. Just continue to be still...He will speak when He is ready. In the meantime, simply worship.

I'm so glad the pup is home. :)

Debbie said...

I'm so glad that you had some fun with your family in the FL Keys. It sounds like you did some fun activities too. :)

I met a blogging friend of yours this Labor Day weekend. Melanie Dorsey of The Bella Mella lives less than one mile from my sister. I stayed with my sister for two nights and Mel came over and we went for a walk. She mentioned you and how you've blessed her so. She is such a treasure and a godly woman. I wrote about our meeting on Heart Choices the other day. I also got to meet Lisa Shaw of Sharing Life with Lisa. Melanie got to meet her too and we all prayed together. What a blessing!

Kimberly said...

Sounds like a fun vacation! I recently did a blog post on waiting...I'm in that place too. Just...waiting. But this time I'm learning "how" to wait...calmly, quietly, confidently, peacefully. It's new territory for me, but its nice.

Anonymous said...

When in times that you are in, all I can simply do is trust.

"Jesus, even if I never feel Your Presence again, even if You never speak so softly to me again Your words of love, acceptance, peace and comfort- I KNOW You abide in me and I abide in You. I trust You. In all things, in all ways: I trust You. The fact of the matter is, You love me. You care for me. I am Your treasure, Your child. I am holy and dearly loved. I am a part of You, You are a part of me."

Then just rest in Him. Just be.

Starla Ellison

Denise said...

I missed you sis, much love and many prayers to you.