Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On the Tidal Waves and Soul Quakes of Life and His Presence that Calms

Gellert Hill

Looking up at Gellert Hill and the Szabadsag Szobor {Liberty Monument} and the Szabadsag {Liberty} Bridge from the Pest side of the Danube River in Budapest.

Close up of the Liberty Monument {ironically erected by the Soviets in 1947 to commemorate the defeat of the Nazi’s.  The statue of the Soviet soldier was re-located after the fall of Communism} at the top of Gellert Hill named for Saint Gellert who was martyred by pagans in the 11th century.  He is credited with bringing Christianity to Hungary.


Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

~James 1: 2-4

Is it any secret that I, as a woman and mother, like to be in control?  Most of the women I talk to, and the ones I know how they roll, are like that, yes?

And then come the tidal waves.

For some it is a devastating illness.  For others it is the beloved child’s rebellion.  Or it could be the job loss, the church split, the relationship fracture.  Any of these are like soul quakes and our inner sense of security is shaken deeply and profoundly.  Sometimes, too, we don’t know what our hearts are doing, we just see this tsunami of the unknown, this moving living wall of forces beyond our control.

I find that I respond in two ways.  Either I cling desperately to the areas of life where I think I have some control and work like a madwoman to keep it.  Or I become paralyzed with fear or worry so that I cannot know the presence of God or what is to receive and give His love to others.  And surprisingly these two extremes can exist strongly at the same time.

Actually, I think, right now, this is a lot of how I have been living.  The tidal wave of this big overseas move in the midst of a pregnancy where those uncontrollable forces seem to grow in strength and number daily is definitely shaking and quaking me deeply and breaking up my peace. 

I struggle for identity, for some level of a sense of competence, when so much is new and I know so little.  This is all natural and understandable but I cannot be satisfied to stay and live out of anxiety or fear or doubt.

I must find a way to breath deeply and push past the walls of a faith that can seem so strong when I am in my own country.  So, in a way, this whole new life is exactly made up of the ‘tests and challenges coming at me from all sides’ that James is describing.

And just like with so many things this whole life journey, I need to dig deeper, to see more and more of the false stripped away so that the underlying colors of what my faith is can shine.

I say vulnerably and humbly that I don’t exactly know the way.  I know I need to know His Presence and find Him greater than the tidal waves and soul quakes.  The overarching Truth of this God who is over all the Universe shouts boldly that He. Is. God.

“Be Still.

And Know.

That I. Am. God.

{and I love how the rest speaks especially, to the missionary me living in a foreign land}

I WILL BE exalted among the nations,

I WILL BE exalted in the earth!”

~Psalm 46:10

It’s the same verse I’ve heard a thousand and more times, but it must sink deeper, I must embrace it further in the complex caverns of my fearfully and wonderfully made self.  And I cannot be satisfied with surviving and functioning in a self-made world.  My soul yearns, even faints, for His dwelling and my heart and flesh cry out for the Living God…

Spirit of the Living God fall afresh on me.  I need You in this new home more than the food I eat, the water I drink or the air I breathe.  I pray that I would settle for NOTHING LESS than the reality of Your Presence.  I trust in You.  Your Unfailing Love that has met me this whole journey through…all of my life and before I was born.  Your faithfulness that reaches to the Heavens.  Your Truth, the Reality of Your Love that have sustained me in every trial and need.  You are all I need.  Make my heart pure that I might see You and know You here and now.






1 comment:

  1. Abby, you will not drown! You are in the sweet spot- where trust and faith are survival skills for real living. It is so hard but so rich & good! You are so wise to cling to Him and let go of your control (not that you have much choice). O that I would pursue the Lord with such desperation in my day to day living! Praying for you, Jared and your 3 precious ones <3


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