For this page I used a simple beautiful picture from my rummage box of magazine clippings. I think the ‘stack of cosy blankets’ image came from a department store catalogue originally. To me, this image speaks of that cosyness and comfort that you can feel inside when you are fully relying on God’s strength.
I often like to rip around the edges of the images I use when making a collage, as it gives a soft edge and adds movement and interest.
I used my favourite White Uniball Signo broad gel pen to do the lettering. I did outline the letters first in pencil but decided to erase them before going in with the pen, as I wasn’t sure if the pencil would show through the white ink. So I did the wording freehand in the end, though I had a rough idea of where the lettering would go.
TIP: make sure you let artwork dry properly in your journal to avoid smudges – some inks take a while to fully dry, especially gel pens!
Give thanks to the LORD, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
Psalm 105 v 1-4
This Psalm opens with wonderful words of thanks and praise! And an encouragement to everyone to rejoice in all that God has done for them. The psalmist goes on to tell the story of how God rescued his people from Egypt and brought them into the promised land, listing miracle after miracle, as a testimony of all that God has done for his people.
The key verse that spoke to me was to look to the LORD and his strength. We simply cannot go though life in our own strength, it’s impossible. At some point, from time to time we all come to the end of ourselves and feel that we just cannot cope with all that life is bringing us. Things get too much, burdens weigh heavy and however strong we are, we crumble. Whether inside, or outside. Some of us are better at hiding this than others, but the truth is this, that we all struggle.
This Psalm encourages us is that it is perfectly possible to live this life in the strength that God Himself can bring us.
How? All we need to do is to look to the LORD. Change our focus from us, to Him. We can do this by remembering who God is and what He has done for us, and giving him thanks and praise.
This helps to change our perspective and makes it easier for us to trust God with our present situations and difficulties, and to feel at peace about what the future will hold.
I only know this because I have lived it. One specific experience that I have walked through was incredibly challenging and painful, yet through that time I just tried to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. In my mind I could see myself clinging on for dear life to the mast of the ship in the storm – in fact I had chained myself to the ship’s mast! I wasn’t going anywhere without Him. I just knew He would see me through.
And He did. And still does!
Like many people, I have the tendency to forget, so this blog post is a reminder to me and hopefully an encouragement to you.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11 v 28-29
John Otberg puts it this way, in his book, ‘Soulkeeping’:
“The soul was not made for an easy life.
The soul was made for an easy yoke.”
You can find strength in the LORD when you look to Him. Can I encourage you to seek His face? Talk to Him, lean on Him, and you will find Him there, at your place of brokenness, ready with His strength.
Father, thank you that you have always been faithful to me. You have never left me, even when I have come to the end of myself, you have always been there ready to give me your strength. Help me to remember all that you have done for me. And to remember that I can fully trust you to see me through whatever I am facing, whether good or bad, seasons of growth or struggle.
Father my heart says, ‘Seek his face’. Your face, O LORD I will seek.
In Jesus’ name,