"We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." 1 Corinthians 13:12-13
I was driving to Holy Yoga (Christ-Centered Yoga) at Blackbird Farms the other morning and was amazed by the thick fog that hung over the corn & soybean fields on my 20 minute drive. I can't remember the last time I had experienced fog like that, maybe on the pacific coast when I was living in Portland, Oregon a few years back. It was not uncommon to experience thick fog there, or even in the city for that matter. But I had never seen it in Lima, after living here for 6 months. I have been going to Holy Yoga at Blackbird Farms for almost two months over the summer. Each morning, week after week, has been filled with sunshine, so that morning was really strange to see the fog and miss the sun. It has been a beautiful space for women to gather together in community, draw closer to Jesus, experience the beautiful summer sunshine & breeze, while practicing yoga.
I listened to worship music as I drove to the class, feeling sort of out of it, my brain and heart feeling in a fog of its own. Needing Jesus, needing coffee, needing rest for my soul after a whirlwind of travel and emotions from the day before. Just before we started our practice, I captured this picture. It was so gorgeous, peaceful, so heavenly feeling, seeing the fog surrounding us. I was feeling particularly tender and sore in my right shoulder, low back and hips, and I was truly amazed to see the way the gentle flow helped to stretch and create space around those tender spots. The prayers to Jesus, and having my heart centered on Him through our practice helped fill my soul in only the way that His living water can. Our teacher Sue, read from 1 Corinthians 13:12-13, the message translation, as I shared at the beginning of this post. We were all in awe with how the Spirit helped guide that scripture and how it connected with the mist and fog that hung over us on our drives and in our practice. Only, to see the foggy weather clear by the end of class with the sun shining. I found myself clinging to those last words... TRUST steadily in God, HOPE UNSWERVINGLY, and LOVE extravagantly.
TRUST steadily in God, HOPE UNSWERVINGLY, and LOVE extravagantly
I needed that Hope more than I realized. Just the other day I had asked a friend to send me a few teachings that had been encouraging to her recently. So, I decided to listen to the teaching by Melissa Helser from Bethel Music called, "Engaging Hope in Seasons of Disappointment" on my long drive home Tuesday night. When I first saw the title, I thought 'not sure how or even if this will speak to me... but I like Bethel and Melissa.' Little did I know that the Lord would speak through it very boldly and clearly. I was already feeling a bit emotional as I started to listen to the teaching, and I found the message resonating and connecting with my heart. The tears started flowing as I could relate so much to what Melissa was sharing. She talked about how we can be so out of tune with our own hearts and in that, even far from God because God dwells in our hearts. That by denying our emotions we can lose touch with our own hearts. As a Believer, it is easy to try to hold back emotions so as to avoid looking like we don't truly trust God. She talked about the heaviness of disappointment and the importance to truly feel our emotions and be real with God. The tears coming.... I realized in that moment that I am afraid to HOPE because of the fear of disappointment. It's honest and real.... it's not that I don't trust God.... but sometimes it's just hard to see and believe.
I realized I am afraid to HOPE because of the fear of disappointment.
Sometimes we put up this front to try to protect our own hearts... not realizing that GOD KNOWS OUR HEARTS. He sees us, He hears us, He knows our prayers, He knows our desires, He knows our struggles. If only we would surrender enough to truly open our hearts and pour out the honest truth of what we are feeling. Melissa talked about Mark 14 in her teaching, how Jesus in the garden, went before God, begging for another way. He knew what was ahead, the denial, the betrayal, the crucifixion. But he still asked God for another way, He was so open and honest, pouring out his heart because he was so in tune with the heart of the Father. We too, can come to God with the same heart of full honesty and surrender. I know that it's okay to be afraid to Hope... as long as I'm honest with God. The key is to not dwell there. To acknowledge, surrender and push forward TRUSTING steadily in God, HOPING unswervingly and LOVING extravagantly. I'm going to cling to the HOPE (even when I can't see) that God is in control, He is faithful, He is sovereign, He is a loving good, good father and I will trust Him steadily.
Surrender at the feet of Jesus & push forward TRUSTING steadily in God, HOPING unswervingly and LOVING extravagantly.
Thanks to Sue who has led our Holy Yoga classes, she has touched my heart in the most beautiful way this summer! And also thank you to Deb who has allowed us to gather week after week and practice Holy Yoga at Blackbird Farms. Check out their website here, such a beautiful venue for events and weddings too!
Lastly, I will leave you with the lyrics below, such a beautiful song about surrendering, trusting in God, allowing Him to awake our souls, dancing in diappointment, continuing to worship God, allowing Him to make all things new. Listen to the song here.
"Let the heroes rest
Let the striving cease
I lay down my crown
Here at your feet
I will, trust, here in the mystery
I will, trust, in You completely
Awake my soul to sing
With Your breath in me
I will worship
You taught my feet to dance upon disappointment
And I, I will worship
Let the weary rise
Lift their eyes to see
Your love crushing every lie
Every doubt and fear
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, You are making all things new"
-Lyrics from "Heroes," by Amanda Cook