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#verseofthemonth
just hanging with my buds.
We have a new key ring around here, if you know what I mean...... • • “Yes, I truly have reason to bless the Lord for abundant supplies; His treasury has been wide open to me, His riches have constantly outweighed my necessities. He has multiplied His mercies above all my desires.” -Susannah Spurgeon
“I am afflicted and in pain; let Your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.“ -Psalm 69:29-33 That last verse holds more weight for me than it ever has. But, more than that, as I read this passage this morning, I realized how appropriate and applicable it is for the current landscape of our national state of emergency and the worldwide pandemic called the coronavirus. So many words have been spilled on this topic and I don’t presume to add any additional wisdom to those of medical professionals, trusted church leaders, or those with greater insight than I into what is going on. I don’t know any of that. What I do know is that which I am compelled (and commanded) to say. So here I stand (sit), joining my voice with thousands of others by proclaiming what we pray and believe is more pleasing to the Lord than a sacrifice of ox or bulls, and that is this: God has not left the throne. He has not and will not ever abdicate. He faithfully remains in sovereign control over every molecule in this universe. Therefore, we have every reason to praise our God with a song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. We should let our hearts revive by commanding them to bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103) because He hears the needy (spoiler: that’s us all the time, not just in a global crisis). He does not despise his people who are prisoners—whether imprisoned in a jail cell or in isolation or by physical ailments wracking their body. He does not despise His own people. Period. End of story. Christ’s blood is too precious for God to waste by despising those purchased and covered by it. Therefore: “Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them.” -Psalm 69:34 No caveats. No conditions. He is worthy.

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Growing Pains

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Growing pains.

They’re called pains for a reason.

They hurt.
Ache.
Burn.
Strain.
Torment.

They agonize and cause discomfort and distress.
…Especially when the pain occurs because of something you did.

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Today I hurt two (or more) of my best girls.

Two of the four girls in my Core Four discipleship group were hurt because of me.

Although unintentional, my words and actions sparked pain in them and, as they respectfully brought it to my attention, sparked and compounded my own. Their honesty, while encouraging, devastated and shattered my heart.

growing pains.

As I cried (and continue to do so) while receiving their words, my weaknesses burst on the scene like meteors against a black sky.

What hurts more, their pain or my lack of perfection?

The fact that the above question even came to mind reveals how much corruption remains in me.

growing pains.

Oh how I need a Savior, even after 12 years of walking with the Lord, and oh how richly and undeservingly God has provided One.

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As I (unsuccessfully) blinked back tears, apologized and asked for their forgiveness, I saw it.

The Gospel.

Demonstrated in their forgiveness.
Displayed in their patience while I stumble (repeatedly) trying to be a good leader.
Evidenced in their loving me despite my sin, flaws, ignorance and growing pains.

I don’t deserve them, their graciousness or their love.
…all of which whisper of the undeserved kindness of the One who made them for ultimate joy.

there’s grace in the growing pains.

God’s there. 
He knows true hurt, agony and torment.
He swallowed it while dying to rescue us from it.

Now my eyes leak in praise for the humility and mercy of God and for a group of four girls who, like Jesus, love me through my sins and in spite of my weakness.

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Because growing pains are strategically orchestrated by a sovereign God who has promised to use them to make us more like Christ, we can be grateful in the tender wounds of a loving Savior.

there’s purpose in the pain.

Growing pains from a Holy God produce holiness in us.

Praise the One who remains with us through the furnace of growing pains.

 

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