Thursday, August 26, 2010

It is Good

"Sunny days, keeping the clouds away. I think we're coming to a clearing and a brighter day..." - Jars of Clay

It seems my personal season of darkness lies behind me - at least for now. There are still certain elements of my life that I would have planned differently, that I would change if that power rested in my hands. But overall, my circumstances look a lot more favorable. And more importantly, my heart seems to be healing. I sense in me once more a genuine love for the Lord - weaker, perhaps, that it has been in other seasons, but present and deepening again. The ways in which I have sort of "gone through the motions" in recent months are increasingly fruits of Spirit-granted desires again...and it is sweet!

I got to spend a good deal of time in the Word this morning, and I was reading Lamentations 3. This is one of those chapters that I love each time I come to it, but often do not call to mind between readings. I was so very refreshed by it today.

"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth
Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him;
Let him put his mouth in the dust - there may yet be hope..."

There is so much about the last season of my life that I do not understand, but I can cling to this: that the Lord is good! And that somehow, it is GOOD that I had to wait quietly, that I had to bear my yoke, that I had to sit alone in silence and be humbled to a point of desperation. There is good in all of it.

"For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love..."

May I never make God so small as to say that he only allowed or permitted me to grieve. No, He caused it. And he caused it in a way that by no means diminished His care for me or His perfect love. Today, my heart believes this.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I'm nearing the end of the 2nd week of my new job. I could probably write 10 pages about all I've learned, thought about, prayed about, loved, been stressed out by, rejoiced in, etc during this time. But I'll try to limit myself to one theme...

I'm a group home supervisor, working with 9 other group home supervisors to supervise 15 or so group homes. I have a boss, we'll call her "S." She's great - very capable, very organized...but also very quick, to-the-point, no-nonsense. She's been helpful and kind, but over the last few days I started worrying because I feel like i just keep asking questions, and I was afraid it was getting frustrating for her. I prayed about it, prayed that I would do my job with excellence, be a blessing to her, to my peers, to the staff I'm over, and to the residents we serve, and then also that I would not base my self-worth on her opinion of me. This is something I DEFINITELY dealt with in New York, during my internship, that hasn't been an issue the last 3 years cause my last job was very independent and didn't involve a lot of feedback.

Today S was in a meeting all day long. I met with her peer, who's the boss of 5 of the other group home supervisors. We'll call her "C." I was glad for the chance to bombard somebody else with questions for a little while, and she was super helpful. She also brought up the fact that "S" told her that I'm picking things up really quickly. That was her only comment regarding S's opinon of me, but it made me breathe SO much easier. Much as I try not to care, I DO care a lot about S's opinion, and just that little comment was so reassuring.

And then I tried to put things in perspective. My boss, a sinner like myself, seems to have approved the job that I've done over the last 9 work days. My God, the Creator of the universe and the only true God, has also given his approval. S's approval is based on 9 days of me learning and completing certain tasks, and probably certain elements of how I've related and communicated w/people in our company. Her approval could mean a good future within a company - an excellent company but surely flawed like every company. And even if I was to stay an employee of this company for the rest of my working life, that still is less than half a century. And S's opinion could change tomorrow.

My God's approval is different. It is eternal. It means eternity with Him. It is unchanging. And it is based only on HIS finished work, by Christ's death on the cross that covered my sins. Some truths from Colossians that this brings to mind:

"giving thanks to the Father, who qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light" 1:12

"And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him." 1:21-22

"And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." - 2:13-14