This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” Jeremiah 29:10-14 NLT
Ever had a time in your life in which you felt forgotten by God? Who hasn’t, right?
A few seasons ago, I went through a dark, grey, gloomy season of my life. As the weather went from the warm summer air to the crisp, colorful autumn leaves, to the colorless winter, I was facing my own monochrome world. The color of my life had disappeared right before my eyes. Some things were happening that I didn’t understand and I was just clinging for dear life to the hem of His garment.
I was hunting for hope. Hope that would only come from one place. I knew that God was in control, and I knew that He is good. All the time.
The only thing I could do during this time was focus on the many ways God had never let me down before. I had to turn my attention outward. Because the more I focused inward, the more I felt barren and bleak…
How funny that as I republish the post below, I find the same theme…my schedule doesn’t allow me the time to write as I would like to. Even though Jen Hatmaker posted this writing on her blog months ago, I just read it the other day. In it she says,
“You will not miraculously become a writer by carrying on exactly like you are. It’s a whole thing and you have to make room for it. Maybe that is in the earliest wee hours, which is when legions of writers make the magic happen…You don’t get to keep everything as is and also add writing. That is not how the time/space continuum works.“
Oh…so that’s my problem. I’m going to have to give up sleep. I was just having this conversation with my BFF today about how much I. LOVE. SLEEP. I do, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. So, having said all of that…here is the original post from April 6, 2014.
It seems my schedule hasn’t allowed for me to write in abundance lately. As I’ve discovered during this drought, writing is therapeutic for me…and I need it. So, yesterday morning, despite the fact that Elijah and six of his friends were slumbering in the basement and any one of them could have awoken at any time, I decided to sit and enjoy the gorgeous sunrise…and write about it…
I’m sitting on my bed – listening to “Hallelujah, Salvation, and Glory” and watching the sunrise as I drink my coffee. When I first looked out, the night sky was a shade of midnight blue and where the sun was beginning to come upon the horizon, there was a shade of magenta. Now, as I look out – only a few short minutes later – it’s a blazing orange with depth and shades of pink. The blue backdrop of the night sky is beginning to lighten up. I could see the silhouette of a bird in the tree branch.
The blue is really getting lighter despite the fact that the depth of the actual sunlight isn’t increasing. The words of the song strike me deep – ‘THE King of kings and Lord of lords.’
Everything is slowly growing more visible and the light is giving the trees more definition. I hear Jesus Culture singing to me now…’Your Glory surrounds me – and I’m overwhelmed.’
The sky is now a beautiful shade of sky blue – but still not what it will be during the day. Where the sun is rising – the color is a shade between orange and pink and yellow. The colors are rich with new beginnings and yet…the depth and width of the color has not overtaken the sky.
Where the colors were so strictly defined before, they are now beginning to bleed into one another. The sky is now a very pale blue – almost greyish white.
The clouds in the distance are now becoming illuminated with the deep pink of the sun. It’s so awesome to see the contrast in the clouds. On the top, they are the shade of the sky, but their shape and the outline of the bottom is defined by the color of the rising sun. While I watch the beauty unfold before me, I think about how me and my shape would be defined by the rising ‘SON.’
Jesus Culture serenades me with the glorious truth that is occurring before me: ‘the winter has passed and the springtime as come.’
The sunrise that is blocked by the trees reveals a sky that is almost translucent. And now – the colors of the sunrise are so narrow and thin – it’s just a sliver of orange across the horizon – barely visible. As if all of the glory that was just seen is preparing me for what is to come.
I can see things in the distance that I couldn’t before. There’s a farm and factory that are illuminated by the light peeking through.
In my headphones, I hear Kim Walker describing exactly what I’m witnessing: ‘Heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss.’
The sky is now a dusty light blue – with white streaking across like an artist carelessly casting his brush across his canvas. But THE artist is far from careless. Every detail of this sunrise was orchestrated and meant for me this morning. And I’m basking in the awesomeness of it all. My God is the artist…and the world is His canvas.
It’s an oddity – complex and yet so simple – that the sky and the earth would be lit up – but the actual sun is still not yet visible. I suppose it’s the same in life – we can’t see the actual SON, but we can see His light in those around us.
As I hear children beginning to stir under me, I take a moment to thank God for this time that is coming to an end. I thank Him for these revelations. For these illustrations and demonstrations of His character.