There are all sorts of seasons we encounter in our lives.  The good, the bad, and the ugly; sometimes we never know what is coming until it hits us in the face, but fortunately, the definition of a season is that it only lasts for a period of time.  This is part of life.  The ebb and flow of how life is lived.

Though we never walk alone, I’ve been in a season of solitude for some time now.  I don’t ever really feel lonely during these times, it is just as if God draws me into his presence, and I simply don’t desire to spend a lot of time with other people (no offense my friends, but seriously, I love these times of solitude).  I enjoy just taking off for a few hours on a run or walk, or coming home from work to cook dinner and just be alone.. well, you know what I mean, spend time just listening to God and thinking.

As I’ve been reading recently, we cannot fully experience an emotion, feeling or season without also experiencing the opposite of that, whatever it is.  When we walk through seasons of brokenness, solitude, and sadness, only then can we fully embrace and experience those seasons of wholeness, community and JOY that come out of the opposite season.  Sometimes the brokenness seems like too much, yet the psalmist says that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18) and later he also says that our tears are counted and kept in a bottle, and that he sees “tossings” (Psalm 56:8).  I don’t know about you, but even if I am experiencing a difficult season, I’d rather have the Lord close and with me than have times be good and not feel his presence.  The KJV reads like this:

“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book”

It’s interesting, the Hebrew word “tellest”also means: to number, to take account of, rehearse, recon…

And the Hebrew word “cepher” for “book” also is translated as an official record book, not just any random book, but a book for God to hold records in.

If you don’t believe me, check this out :

Psalm 126:5 says (KJV) “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy”.

The same word for tears is used in this verse, but what I found interesting was the verb “reap” in Hebrew “qatsar” which actually also means “to shorten”, not just “to reap, or harvest”.  And the word joy, I just love this:
ringing cry
of entreaty, supplication
in proclamation, joy, praise

A RINGING CRY.  Not just feeling joy, but an actually expression of joy!!  WHOA!

These are just a few verses out of many that tell us how much God cares about our feelings and emotions.  I’ve talked about this a lot it seems lately with friends, because I know I tend to rely on my emotions for so much, but seriously, God is near to us no matter what we go through, but he wants us to experience the joy that can be found in him.  Not only that, but the word “reap” also meaning “to shorten” tells me that though we will experience times of sadness and tears, he wants to SHORTEN those times, so that we will reap a time of joy.  So, we sow in tears and sadness only to reap those times of joy.  Two separate experiences, but one cannot be fully experienced without the other.

I say all this because though I still feel I am in a season on solitude, I have been coming out of a season of grieving.  Grieving for a relationship, and I had to give that time.  I had to invest in the healing process, and the grieving and sadness so that now, on the other side, I can truly say, “God you are good”.  And I can taste, see, and experience that goodness, not just read about it.

I feel it all around me.  I also feel is joy.  It’s never left, but I feel it more deeply now that before.

Taste and See

(Adapted from Psalm 34, Isaiah 55, and Bebo Norman’s “The Only Hope”)

taste and see!
come close and see!
that the Lord is GOOD

he is richer than the richest food
more beautiful than the finest silk
sweeter than the sweetest honey
more radiant than the golden sun

experience his goodness
drink in his grace
swim in his ocean of mercy
and inhale his awesome majesty

who can know the heart of God?
who could possibly understand?
his thoughts are much higher
and his ways are unfathomable

we reach for crumbs
but he gives a feast
we long for a note of beauty
while he writes a symphony

so let us tell of his goodness to all
let us worship his name together
until my last breath, let me continue to praise
i will never stop singing of his kindness

for i have tasted and seen
i have experienced his goodness
his goodness in the suffering and pain
his beauty in the ugly and dark

he shines.
he radiates.
he is beauty.
he is love.

and he longs to give these things to us

life seems to keep going

It’s crazy.  It’s August.  Summer is slipping by, but for some reason I’m okay with it, I’m looking forward to the cooler Fall days, and all that comes with that beautiful season.  Weather, and seasons seem to be able to transport you into places you long forgot, that happened to me today.  I was walking from one place to another at work, and noticed that the sky had begun to cloud up, which has happened a few times this summer, but never really started to rain.  Today was different, I could feel that it was going to rain, which actually is pretty unusual for us here, we don’t have Thunderstorms or ran much in the summer.  Strangely, I was taken immediately back to Thailand, naturally of course.  I just wanted to stand outside.  Soak it in.  Everyone always asks me, Do you think you’ll ever go back?, in fact I was just asked that again last night.  My answer is the same… I don’t know, maybe someday.

I miss it.  I miss all of you, my friends who maybe or maybe not still read my blog.  It doesn’t seem like that long ago we all arrived, met, and began our year-long adventure together, but it has been 2 years since that year began.  Crazy.  Some of you are still there, going on year number 3, 4….or longer.

The thing is this: life just continues moving on.  Never stopping so we can catch a breath.  It’s like a never ending marathon run… (since everything these days seems to relate back to running).

It’s still raining here.  I’m hoping the clouds will clear soon so I can go on my 4-miler today.  It might not.  I might be running in the rain.  Fun.

I was pointed to a few verses by several people day… just wanted to pass them along.  Psalm 3:3-4 “But you, O LORD are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.  I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill.” Psalm 34:10b “but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing”.

Last, but the best.. listen to this song.  Amazing.  I’ve been listening to it everyday, all day for the past few days.  For those who are thirsty, drink.

And I am desperate for Your touch
a glimpse of heaven through the glory of Your son
In a moment You can turn a life around
forever to be found in You

And I’m reaching out to find
there’s nothing greater then the love that holds my life
Your grace and mercy save me by Your blood
and swept away my shame away O Lord

Your love is like a fire, that burns for all to see
My only desire to worship at your feet
So let this fire consume my life
Let Your love take me deeper
draw me closer to where You are
’cause all I want is more of You
When you call I will follow
At the cross I surrender all
Jesus I belong to You

And I am surrendered to Your love
forever humbled by the message of the cross
I stand in abandoned in Your presence and embrace
I never be the same O God

Grace and peace to you.