A Prayer for Weakness – Upon the Waters -& Amidst the Desert

Today I wanted to share a prayer I wrote and one of my favorite songs for when I cannot see nor know what God is doing in my life. May you be blessed and your spirit made strong.
Mariana

You called me out upon the waters…..to the great unknown.
You called me apart to the desert…….to experience the arid climate of the human soul.

You called me to set my feet firm on sinking grounds.
To look up to you,
to keep my eyes fixed on you
regardless of the ground beneath me.

My heart yearns for you so
and is so heavy that I cannot sing my worship to you
only pray silently, that your spirit would govern over all the unrest,
weakness, fear and uncertainty that has woven webs around your servant.

Hear your servant oh Lord, Let your glory shine down from heaven.
That this broken vessel would be filled with your power and made whole in your sight.

“And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

You called me out upon the waters…..to the great unknown
Yes, you called me to wander in the desert,
to witness your great hand at work.

And although the heat may wither a thousand flowers
and there may be no water to drink
I know that I am safe
under the shadow of your wings.

Although I cannot sing, your praises are in my heart
although I cannot see what you are doing
I know your spirit goes before me

Hear your servant oh Lord,
let your glory shine down from heaven.

Amen
(©)

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I Am Who I Am

He whispers this to us, time and time again.
His gentle spirit reminding us of who he is and who we are.

“I Am Who I Am”, says the lord of the universe because he is confident in his plans for us, for a broken humanity.

He is confident of his plans for the woman who cannot bear her burden after years of bleeding and no remedy. (Mark 5)
He is confident of his plans for the woman who with a bowed head approaches the well to hear all that she ever was or did. (John 4)
He is confident of his plans for his humble servants who endure trial after trial and are broken into pieces like a loaf of bread.

“I Am Who I Am” he says to us because he is absolutely sure of who he is and who we are in his sight.
In our sinful humanity we are feeble, weak, dirty and blemished.
In his holiness he is pure, just, loving and merciful.

We need to encounter him,
to be cleansed by him,
to be made strong in his presence so that we may endure the many trials that confront us daily.

I may never be able to rest in my daily circumstances or find peace in them but I can certainly rest in “I Am That I Am”.
Although a thousand may fall at my side, (Psalm 91)
although rumors of war may fill the air. (Matthew 24)
although financial crisis may strike,
although laughter may turn to mourning;

I can find solace and peace in “I Am That I Am”.

———————————-

Friends, let us rejoice in our present trials as the apostle Paul reminds us. Let us find comfort in knowing that those who walk through the valley of the shadow of death are not alone and once they leave the valley they are made stronger.
I believe that God uses greatly those who have been thrown into a fiery furnace and have endured countless tests and trials.
No gold is made pure without fire. Let us then be persistent and keep holding on to the Word of God and to our salvation with fear and trembling.

To him be the glory, honor and praise now and forevermore.
Mariana
“In spite of sorrow, loss, and pain, Our course be onward still”
Adoniram Judson

Because you have made the Lord your safe place Psalm 91:9

A reminder during difficult times:

I am a pilgrim in the world, but at home in my God. In the earth I wander, but in God I dwell in a quiet habitation.  C. H. Spurgeon

When all hell breaks loose and everything around me seems like it is going wrong,
I need to remind myself that the Lord is my safe place.
My job may stress me, my friends may abandon me, my health may fail me
but in spite of it all I can dwell quietly in his perfect peace.
I don’t have it all figured out and I have no clue what tomorrow is going to bring
but I know that my redeemer holds tomorrow in his hands.
So during stressful and difficult times like these I must remember that although my strength may fail me his strength carries me.
Although my energy is lacking his spirit is ever present.
Although tomorrow may cause me to doubt I can trust that His word is true.

I must remember that nothing is impossible for God and although I don’t understand my circumstances I can renew my strength each morning and night when I pray.
I must remember that he goes before me in my battles and leads me to quite waters when my soul is weary.
I must remember that although I am imperfect, his ways are perfect and I can trust them.

Mariana

I know about God’s Design for Marriage but I Hate my Spouse

God designed marriage as a reflection of Christ’s relationship with His church but sometimes all we want to reflect is anger, disappointment and frustration!

Maybe it is when our husband ignores our needs and walks off in the middle of an important question or conversation. Maybe he ignores our needs because he believes that his work in more important.
Maybe we see an unjust or inappropriate reaction with our children and we want to discuss it with him.
And before we can finish or even ask a question an argument starts and he walks away.

Seeing him walk away when we were about to express something that is troubling us can be devastating. It leaves us feeling unloved, unwanted and opens a Pandora’s Box for all kinds of trouble.
Our reaction?
Most women tend to clam up, and up goes the wall.
We grab the bible or a magazine and while he walks around doing his thing as if he could care less about the conversation he just walked away from, we sit there,
our eyes peering over the pages we read,
pretending to be fine, and pretending that our heart is not hurt.
But boy are we hurting and in some cases furious.

If he knew just how much his actions affected his beloved, he would never even dare treat her that way. She is left confused and if she has not guarded her heart and made her faith in Christ her rock; she may begin to entertain herself with those who treat her right and listen to her.
And, before you know it an adulterous relationship may arise and hatred towards her husband may begin to choke her heart.

A few days go by and there we are again, still thinking about the conversation, the injury to our heart, the resentment we feel inside.
Other things may happen in that course of time that push us even farther away from our beloved.
And there we stay, letting old injuries fester.
Like crying children we refuse to go to the doctor to get our injuries looked at and healed.

Maybe it’s the wife who constantly nags her husband into a mental coma. She knows how, where and when he should live his life. I mean really, this man left his momma’s house to marry a woman just like his momma.
If it isn’t done her way, he isn’t getting dinner with a smile or kisses in bed.
She disrespects him, belittles him and criticizes everything he does. His anger and sadness break him down and unlike the wall created by the hurt wife, this man becomes a home with a faulty foundation and broken down walls. He is not trying to build walls to keep her out, instead he lets his guard down and the corrosion and filth of the world slowly rip away the paint and begin to destroy the walls of his heart leaving him vulnerable to adultery and other sins.

Are you nodding your head right now? Maybe a tear streaming down your face because you know what I just expressed has happened to you?
If this is you right now or if you still are carrying old hurts that have seriously damaged the bond between the oneness of your marriage please don’t delay going to the great physician.
Reading this and doing nothing about it won’t help you.
Thinking about how much you resent your husband or wife for things that happened years ago or yesterday won’t help you.

So what will help?
Getting down on hands and knees and crying out to God with a broken heart.
Asking Him to complete the emptiness and remove the anger that difficult situations have created. Asking him to teach you to forgive as he forgave you.
Asking him to help you become a better communicator so you can discuss these issues with your spouse in love and with respect.

You see our spouses were never created to fill in all of our empty spaces. They were not meant to substitute our relationship with the savior of the universe.
They can never be the loving and compassionate being that Christ is. They can only try to model it, but unfortunately they will never be perfect.
Nothing but Jesus can clean away the spider webs we have allowed to grow around our hearts.
Jesus and his infinite and everlasting love is the only answer to our brokenness and frustration.

People are never going to be perfect and if we constantly focus on their imperfections we will live an utterly miserable life and by doing so never fulfill the plan God has for us on this earth.

Don’t be fooled my dear one. Marriage is no walk in the park. It is not a diamond ring or a nice honeymoon. It is not sexy lingerie or having children.
Nope.
Although the world has made it in to this appealing romance fairytale it is not.

Marriage for the follower and disciple of Christ has only one meaning:
” To be a reflection of Christ’s relationship with His church”
This is what the bible tells us.
In modeling Christ’s relationship with his church we model the perfect love.
A love that comes from above and is made perfect in us only because of the greatest act of love ever displayed for humanity. The cross.

The husband who claims to love and follow Christ is supposed to love, cherish and care for his wife as Christ does the church.
He is supposed to protect her from harm and build her up spiritually. With love and care he teaches her about Christ’s love through the way he treats her and honors her.
He does not belittle or ignore his wife’s needs. He does not yell at her and intimidate her with his actions and words.
He does not force her to do things against her will or aggressively impose his will on her .
Christ never acted that way with his apostles or with the people he encountered.
Men you got to own up. You are meant to follow Christ’s model of love towards his church. Your love to your wife should be how Christ loves His bride.

The wife who claims to love and follow Christ is called to respect and support her husband, to be his right hand gal and help him through the rough patches. She is an encourager, a lover a supporter. I believe that when in Genesis 2:18 the Lord mentions creating a helper for Adam, people have taken that verse and interpreted it in meant different ways some of which are completely wrong.
The word Helper in the original Hebrew is Ezer which originates from the word Azar, which means to: aid, protect, support, offer non material encouragement, give aid in the form of military assistance in battle.

That changes things completely from the ignorant thought that men are to take on all of the responsibility and handle all the stress of the world on their shoulders while their loving wives stay home and say: “Oh well, he is the provider, if he screws up it is his problem, I am called to raise my kids and get my hair done.”
No way Jose, we are called to be one and in that oneness let the light, love and longsuffering of Christ prevail.

Without the cross there is no hope for true love,
there is no redemption for the lost and hurting soul.
Without the cross there is only selfishness and despair.
Without the cross our marriages will surly fail.

But with the cross there is hope. It wont be easy but there is restoration. It may take time to get passed the hurt and pain but I believe that with God’s help all things are possible.

Lots of Love,
Mariana

Hebrew 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Ephesians 4:2-3 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Colossians 3:12-17 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Note: I wrote this post to express some of the frustration that all married couples face. However, this post is not directed to those people who are in an abusive marriage where physical and emotional abuse is occurring.
No man or woman should EVER have to stay in a relationship where they are being physically, mentally or emotionally abused.
If you are in an abusive marriage please seek help from your local church and local law enforcement agency.

Uncertanty in Trials – Can I really Stand This Lord?

These last few years especially 2012-2013 have been extremely rough.  But this past year has been almost unbearable.  At times I find myself repeating It is well with my soul over and over again.  The words of this famous classic transcends time and manages to whisper its melody quietly to my soul.

This song was written by Horatio G. Spafford after loosing all of his children and his business.
As he rode the waves on a ship to take him to his grieving wife he penned these powerful lyrics, When sorrow like sea billows roll; it is well, it is well with my soul.

And so today as we encounter loss of life, disease, unbearable trails, depression or financial loss, we can look towards heaven amidst the sea of violent waves and proclaim It is well with my soul.

I do not know when trouble will cease or when good health will be restored but I know that my Redeemer lives and He is with me.
I know that like the apostle Paul I must boldly confess “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
The last part is the key to learning to be content in every situation.  It is understanding that we can do all the things the Father has placed before us if we allow His power to make us strong.
That does not mean that I will not break down and cry or feel pain in my illness or suffer.
No beloved friends, it means that while I am in the valley of darkness He is with me.  He walks beside me so I can endure through His strength.

In my strength I can only be irritable, depressed, angry and fearful.  In His strength I can find peace, solace, joy and hope.

The road is not always easy when constant suffering is involved, but we know that God uses greatly those who go through His school of suffering.
When we suffer we are closer to His heart, we are more human and we depend on Him more.

Let us suffer then, with Him beside us and sing:

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.It is well, with my soul,Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

    • It is well, it is well, with my soul.
  2. Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  4. For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
    If Jordan above me shall roll,
    No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
    Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
  5. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
    The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
    Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
    Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
  6. And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
    The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.