Our growth and our progress in following the Lord is a much more cyclical process than I ever first perceived it to be. Like the way plants spring up from the ground in the spring, smile and stretch toward the sky in the summer, turn their faces down to the ground in the fall, and become nothing in the winter — only to begin the cycle again. The walk of faith can feel like that…

“I am filled to be emptied again. The seed I’ve received, I will sow.”

Isaiah described it this way:

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Is. 55:10&11)

Like the good old process by which rain comes down and evaporates right back up–the linear side of faith, the race toward the prize, is complemented by the cyclical, almost circular side, as if the race is around a track.


I often marvel at how a lesson I thought I’d learned some time ago comes back, and how I need to learn it again. Though I first I feel frustration at my forgetful heart, yet I think this is instead the way we were created, with these cyclical seasons in mind. It was promised from the beginning, just after the flood, that seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease. (Gen. 8:22)

I found myself just yesterday, hiding again, without realizing it. I’ve been disappointed, but afraid to admit it. I had some hopes that didn’t come to fruition. I had some expectations that weren’t met.

Disappointment became discouragement.

I didn’t want to admit all this to the Lord, and so I hid.

Rather than say I don’t like what You’ve given, I’d prefer to say nothing at all.

I sat in the garden and sewed fig leaves, carefully weaved out of “We’re doing fines” and “We’re really thankfuls” and “Look how much we have to be thankful fors.” And though all of those are true, they aren’t honest. They aren’t real.

I didn’t even realize I was sewing. I didn’t even know I was hiding. I simply thought I was pressing on with life. I just thought things would get easier and all would be well.

Praise God for the brothers and sisters He gives us — that first Not Good in the garden {before sin!} was the It is not good for man to be alone. Indeed.

A friend, a sister in the faith, spoke life to me, pointing to the thing I wasn’t willing to admit, perhaps without even realizing she was doing so. I saw my leaves, and saw that I needed His healing, His help letting go.

Letting go is often a necessary part of moving on — but it’s a part I wanted to skip.

And letting go sometimes requires being honest and admitting you have something you need to let go of. Or something of which you need to let go if I’m attending to my grammar.

Why do I forget that I can be honest with God?

Why do I try to hide anything from the One who knows everything? Why am I ashamed and embarrassed of emotions that are the natural result of the way I’ve been created? He already knows I’m a sinner. He sent His Son to cover that.

The breastplate of righteousness I can wear, the one paid for by Jesus — it is the only true covering, but it is so true. And it covers, and it means He looks at me and sees His Son.

Why do I try to dig in my own little drawer of fabric scraps and piece together my own covering?

I am making an outfit out of filthy rags, when the most beautiful, white, flowing robe I could ever wear is hanging in the closet.

Don’t forget that you can be honest with God. If you’re angry, hurt, scared, confused, disappointed and discouraged — He is big enough to handle it.

Psalm 46:10 spoke this to me for the first time, just two days ago, in a way I never understood it before:

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in all the Earth.”

If you get really still — still enough to even try to take that ginormous thought in — you suddenly see how small all of this is. Your hurt and your emotions. Your failures and your fig leaves. That doesn’t belittle your importance — God sent His only Son for you. It gives you perspective — He is on the throne. It is well with my soul. This is all going to end in Glory.

I will not surprise Him, disturb Him, or even belittle His greatness by bringing Him everything — the crowns and the crossed arms, the Hallelujahs and the WhyWhyWhyWhyOhWhyOhWhyOhWhys.

I said I was hurt. Disappointed and discouraged. I said I was sorry I hid. I sensed Him hearing all of it — as if He’d been right there waiting for me to see all along. I told the Lord I loved Him with tears in my eyes — and it was perhaps for the first time in a while that 100% of me meant it.