Saturday, May 14, 2011

Peace; Be Still!

Well, I started writing a post a couple days ago, but as many of you experienced, Blogger was acting up and I wasn't able to post it.  With that, and various exams and commitments, I haven't been a very good blogger.  I sort of feel like offering an apology for my lack of posting, but at the same time, I don't think you deserve it. :P Kidding!  Really, I don't feel like I have a lot of direction for my blog right now, so please bear with me, but I guess I'll keep posting once in a while when God lays something on my heart to share.

This may be less than coherent, due to about 6 half-hours of sleep last night at a friend's house, interrupted by three spazzing cats.  Nice kitties.  Sure...  Anyhow, I'm tired, but thankful to God for so many things - strength, the flowers and warm breezes today, my family, my friends, and the opportunities and conversations He brings my way.
He's been working!  There are so many beautiful and humbling things He does in my heart and life each day, and I know that He is working in so many hearts and lives.  Beyond each thing I see, there are, as John Piper says, a thousand things God is doing that I do not see, and know nothing about.

Last weekend my church had a True Woman conference.  Women of all ages gathered to listen to some challenging DVD sessions by Nancy Leigh Demoss, Kay Arthur, John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, and others.  I know many eighteen-year-olds who would despise sitting in a school gym listening to a call to being a godly woman who embraces the role of being a wife and mother and forsaking the lies of feminism, but young women today desperately NEED to hear this.  My heart aches for the many, many young women in our world, even Christian young women, who are without compass and direction because they are focused on themselves.  Rather than feminism, I believe that Christian young ladies must be embracing femininity as God has so beautifully designed for us.

Our culture and the media bombard us with the message that we deserve to be happy and have attention and be beautiful, but we cannot blame the world for a disease that begins in our own hearts.  That disease is sin, and it feeds on love of self.  I myself have justified sin by comparing myself to the world, or saying, "It's just something fun.  It's not really bad, it's not really going to affect me."  I know for many young women I know, this is manifested most obviously in the movies we watch and the music we listen to.

Throughout the conference this past weekend, my heart has been drawn again and again to the Word of God as the compass and the very center and foundation of our lives.  Without that, we are, as Ephesians 4:14-15 says, "children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming." Do you realize that we are tossed to and fro by our own thoughts and desires, unless they are rooted in the truth of Christ?

I have truly seen this in my own life.  The week before the conference was a difficult one for me spiritually.  I don't really know how to explain it, but it felt like there was a dark cloud separating me from God, like I was incapable of crying out to Him.  I wanted to feel His presence again, and to have assurance, but doubts were filling my mind and hindering my prayers.  I had been praying that God would speak to my heart at the conference and wake me up again to see my own sin and His glory.  He so faithfully answered, and showed me that I need to truly make war against the apathy of my flesh, and again reminded me to make it my aim to seek Him with all of my heart.  I again saw clearly that God is the greatest treasure, and that I don't need to doubt the goodness of His ways and His plans.  There is nothing in this earth, and nothing that I can imagine that compares to the glorious perfection that He is.  I was also reminded that I must not let my emotions carry me so that I am "tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind," but turn to the Word, which is the rock and the anchor in the storm.

When Jesus calmed the storm in Mark 4, He did not comfort His disciples with the reassurance that the storm was gone - instead, He rebuked them for their lack of faith.  As He did so, they were filled with great fear, and said,  "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"  I had to laugh when I read that.  They were no longer afraid of the storm, but of the One who had the power to command the universe!  Well they should be - and so should we!  Nonetheless, how much better it would be for us, if, like Peter, we would look to Christ with faith and walk on water through the storm!  Peter walked away from what any "logical" person would see as his salvation - the boat.  This is a beautiful act - Peter turned his back on earthly safety, and trusted that Jesus would give him the power to follow the Lord.  But do you remember what happened to Peter when he looked away from Jesus?  Matthew 14:30 says, "when he saw the wind, he was afraid" and began to sink.

For me, this is a time of life when often, everything seems to be spinning out of control.  I so often look at the "waves and wind" around me and am filled with fear.  Each step seems perilous, and Jesus seems far away.  Regardless of how old you are, perhaps you are also going through a time like that.  I want to encourage you with this - Christ is the anchor in the storm.  Look to Him; focus on Him; pursue Him, and live for His glory above all.  This is what I am preaching to myself in these days, and this is what brings my soul peace.  Thank you, Lord Jesus!  What a beautiful Savior!

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
   a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
   though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
   though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
   God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
   he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
   how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
   he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God.
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth!"
The LORD of hosts is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress.


  1. Maxina! This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Be encouraged in our fight against sin! Though the battle rages, the victory is won!

    I, too, have been faced with great doubts about God and His love and faithfulness, but I find that when I meditate on Psalm 42 I am comforted:

    "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?" These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me...Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. O my God, my soul is in despair within me; therefore I remember You..."

    Love Sarah

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Needed to read this this morning!! I might have to find the book your reading, he's one of my fav authors.