Bring it On!

Seasons come and go, sometimes without much disturbance to life and living. However, since Hurricane Ike hit our home two years ago, it seems the seasons of life have been more rough. As soon as I start seeing light and hope, another storm of life hits, throws me under the waves, and then under again.  I catch my breath, start seeing calm, and then several heartaches of life hit. Routine and rhythm sets in only to be knocked out of commission again. I struggle to the surface. Is anyone there? Everyone seems to be in their rhythm and routine while I flounder to catch my breath. I ask “Why?” “How long?” I put “DO NOT DISTURB!” over my heart and I sink into a bubble of self-pity.

Recently I wrote a post entitled A Heart for Home which admittedly now seems a bit prideful in my home and life.  This is how my home looked this week, undergoing restoration from a broken water heater:

Barren Cement Floors

Jumbled Mess

Former Signs of Life

Through each season, I seek God and His timeless Word.  He speaks.  He corrects.  He brings hope “when I listen.” He remains faithful, even when I doubt, even when I fear, even when I fall deeper into despair.

Today was an example of a special way He speaks to me.  Today I am reminded there is a God who sent His son, Jesus, to die for ME.  Today He spoke to “my” heart.  He knows my name.  Today He spoke because He loves me and He wants me to speak to another and another.  I know I’m not the only one struggling.  I know others are hurting far worse than I and there are others who even question God’s existence.

But today God spoke to me ,first, through His creation.  I’m taking a photography class through www.bigpictureclasses.com and the assignment was “Open Heart, Open Mind: Visual symbols can go a long way for visual people. Today, make some room, even if it’s only in a photograph [to find symbolism in nature].”  As I took my photo walk, acorns seemed to speak to me.  They were everywhere popping out, making me notice their delicate beauty.

When I came home I looked up the symbolism of acorns on Wikipedia (I know, not the greatest resource).  But it said: “Acorns appear only on adult trees, and thus are often a symbol of patience and the fruition of long, hard labor. For example, an English proverb states that Great oaks from little acorns grow, urging the listener to wait for maturation of a project or idea.”

I started thinking, “Hmmm. God only brings fruit to adult trees.” And “Hmmm, God must think I can withstand long hard labor in order to bear fruit in my life.  Fruit like patience.”  Then I thought of the verse Romans 5:3-5 “…but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us…”

Another way God spoke to me was through song.  As I journeyed on my photo walk I was listening to some old tunes of Steven Curtis Chapman.  The song “Bring it On” seemed to pop right out of my iPhone into my ears.  Here are the words and a link to the song:

Bring it On

Steven Curtis Chapman

I didn’t come lookin’ for trouble
And I don’t want to fight needlessly
But I’m not gonna hide in a bubble
If trouble comes for me
I can feel my heart beating faster
I can tell something’s coming down
But if it’s gonna make me grow stronger then…

Bring it on
Let the lightning flash, let the thunder roll, let the storm winds blow
Bring it on
Let the trouble come, let the hard rain fall, let it make me strong
Bring it on

Now, maybe you’re thinkin’ I’m crazy
And maybe I need to explain some things
‘Cause I know I’ve got an enemy waiting
Who wants to bring me pain
But what he never seems to remember
What he means for evil God works for good
So I will not retreat or surrender

Now, I don’t want to sound like some hero
‘Cause it’s God alone that my hope is in
But I’m not gonna run from the very things
That would drive me closer to Him
So bring it on

Bring it on
Let the lightning flash, let the thunder roll, let the storm winds blow
Bring it on
Let the trouble come, let it make me fall on the One who’s strong
Bring it on
Let the lightning flash, let the thunder roll, let the storm winds blow
Bring it on
Let me be made weak so I’ll know the strength of the One who’s strong
Bring it on
Bring it on

Part of my immaturity fears the words of this song.  I worry that something worse will happen (especially to my kids).  But more importantly, my kids will eventually have to stand on their own two feet someday. They will need to know how to stand strong, stand mature, stand secure.  I am chosen to show them the way.  So come what season, come what may, Bring it On!

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