JoAnna’s Journal

“Jesus Sky”

There was what I call a “Jesus Sky” as I drove in to work this morning. You probably have seen one. From a small breaking, the circle of the sun shines brightly through billowing clouds, and a just few feet down from the sun are smaller openings with long misty rays reaching for the earth. When I was little, I would pretend I could see Jesus floating down on one of the rays, coming back to get us. This morning, I have to admit, with expectant ears, I longed to hear the trumpet blast.

Not that twenty-five is “old,” but the older I get the more I realize that life is never going to have a long enough season of “good.” The bad times may always outweigh the good times, and even in the serene times there may always be something bad looming in the shadows. There is a song that begins by saying, “Wonderful is what I perceived this life to be, pain and problem free, but over time I found reality, and through it all I see You’re the only one who gets me.” I think I lived many years expecting that because Jesus was in my life turning all things into good that everything WOULD be good. I think I expected that I would never have to wait – never have to trust with longing heart to see Him come through. Why should I if He’s always with me, right?

Now I see that He doesn’t really work that way. He’s not about me; I’m supposed to be about Him. Don’t get me wrong; He loves us with a passionate love. Just like the song above says, “You’re the only one who gets me;” He is the only one who gets us, who loves us, who created us, who causes us to have hope for tomorrow. His hand reaches in to our inner places and heals the hurts, the pains, the rejection, and the disappointments so that in their place He can set up his hope and his love.

But that’s just it. He heals us, but the hope is

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Psalm 46

I just watched that video of my mom talking about the journey she (and of course our family) has been on (posted below). My first reaction was, “God, can’t you come back already? This illness stinks. The economy stinks. The world stinks. Can’t you come back??”

This was the response:
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields 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 Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. “
Psalm 46

He is faithful. He is coming. He is God. Thought maybe you would be encouraged too….

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He Never Lets Go

Discouragement.

Pain.

Discomfort.

Questioning.

Loneliness.

Hurt.

Injustice.

These are words I can think of when I think of my mom’s situation.

This is where it can be easy to dwell. This is where Satan wants us to dwell.

Christ came to bring:

Encouragement

Life.

Peace.

Resolution.

Community.

Healing.

Justice.

Hope.

This is where it can be hard to dwell. This is where Jesus wants us to dwell.

There are days when all I can hope for is that Jesus will one day redeem us. When life can feel like a big whirr of nothing, I can reach out in the abyss and find a mighty and outstretched arm to hold on to. No, sometimes His hope cannot be immediately seen in the circumstance. Sometimes blow after blow comes, and we almost forget that we are more than conquerors. But then in the fog of the moment, we hear a voice that reminds us that we can get up, that He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. The power of God is greater than any spiritual stronghold that might try to keep us down. He is always here. The following song has been very encouraging to me lately. It is by Matt Redman.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

Your perfect love is casting out fear

And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life

I won’t turn back

I know You are near

And I will fear no evil

For my God is with me

And if my God is with me

Whom then shall I fear?

Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go

Through the calm and through the storm

Oh no, You never let go

In every high and every low

Oh no, You never let go

Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on

A glorious light beyond all compare

And there will be an end to these troubles

But until that day comes

We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Oh no, You never let go

Through the calm and through the storm

Oh no, You never let go

In every high and every low

Oh no, You never let go

Lord, You never

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