Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I do not post about this part of my life often. I have struggled with anxiety issues for most of my life. Though God has healed me of so much and my life is now completely different in many ways - there are times that my anxiety kind of takes over. Not to destroy any longer, it is more like an inner storm. Anxiety attacks not only arrest ones attention and bring clouds of their own, they can leave you feeling like you are collapsing. Many who suffer from this feel like they are going to die or go crazy. Neither will happen in God’s care, I know. Yet, the turmoil is not something that easily lifts. The more progressive my life goes toward goals, the more this inner weakness is provoked.
I have chosen this self portrait as a companion to this writing as it was created during another period of turmoil in my life, some years ago. It was a time of change, confusion, the end of things and new beginnings full of vulnerability and anxiety.
God has not called me to be comfortable, so to speak. I must admit at times I might wish a period of that, yet that is not where I will grow. Such a desperate monster will not die easily in me - perhaps never fully. I am so glad I have a Savior who lived, felt, and faced the things we do. A Savior who is powerful and brings transformation, even as all seems inward defeat. It is certainly true that momentary valleys can seem like they will never go away when it is all we allow ourselves to see.
One of the biggest lies of the enemy, when we are brought low, is that our struggles are just not worthy of God’s attention. God loves real people in real life, and gave a Savior for us in our deepest needs. Life in Christ is not lived in stained glass scenes of victories that we can not relate to, but in the valleys of pain, trial, and our own personal obstacles. When we feel alone, He is there.

Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You. Psalm 38:9

Saturday, January 16, 2016

My Strength Comes from the Lord.

Why have a quote focusing on strength, with an art piece that is so infused with peace and tranquility? Why not instead feature soaring mountains, a sword, or bursting rays through clouds? Though it is certainly true we can seek and experience God's enabling aid during times of high emotion, it is in the quiet moments when we come away from the world, that we find a transforming strength. As we regularly look to our Father in prayer and reading the Scriptures, we are fed with His light. In all our troubles we find rest to enjoy, not only in those moments of refreshing, but to build us up for battles ahead.

Mankind has created a great deal of stress. The world is full of it. From events around us, sin, the mad pace of today, and conflict - or from our own churning hearts full of anxieties, there is much that robs us of peace. The Author of peace, the giver of life in the midst of pain, awaits for us to lay it all at the foot of the cross and listen to His truth, above all the commotion.

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful". John 14:27.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Life is Full of Trials

Life is full of trials. Some of them are very painful. They can be without, from events or circumstances around us, or within us with things we struggle with. Much of the time God may not remove these things – though there are times He may. It is what God does with them while He does not remove them that is significant. 

In each circumstance, by lifting them up to our Savior, God uses trials to draw us closer to Him. We find that God is not the God of the small, the maybe, the almost, or the nearly. He is a God of overcoming power. For the latter, we may sometimes get confused because we think this needs to conform to what we think victory, healing, or help should look like. Our views here may be skewed by many things. Yet, we know and are promised, that for His children all things work together for good. In our darkest hour we can lean on the enabling strength of a mighty, yet loving, Father.

In the end we are awed by the beauty of God and the personal grace of His love in Christ. We can have this love even when we fail, with the hope that though that may happen again and yet again, God will not leave us this way. We do not have to wait until the trial passes or until we finally climb out of the deep valley of our own weakness to rest in this love. We can do that right now. It is as near as a desperate prayer or the reading of His Word. It is as near as God’s tender grace in Christ, the defining truth of our relationship with Him.

Artwork: © Jeffrey M Green. "Shadows On the Moss", 8" x 10", pastels.