Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pilgrims, not settlers

I'm on my way out to sit on the back porch with my coffee and my journal (you know, those blank books people used to write in before there were blogs). I am facing an unusually hectic day and wanted to pour out my woes in paper form, which is generally the form my journal entries take. Woes, that is. I wish I were a faithful chronicler of my journey with God. Instead, I tend to only turn to my journal when overwhelmed or panicky or some other extreme emotion. Rather than an account of my journey of faith, my journal becomes instead the record of one "fit" after another. Before God, of course.

Awhile back I was cleaning out my bedside table and found a couple of old journals, one from over ten years ago when my firstborn was my only-born. Intrigued, I sat down to read and remember. As I glanced through the entries, I began to realize these pages read like my current journal. Same struggles, same stresses, same "fits." In fact, you could almost rip the page out of one and paste it in the other and never notice the difference. And over ten years' difference between them.

"Haven't I learned anything?" I cried out to God. "Am I really so shallow? So un-teachable?"

I thought of Psalm 84:5, "Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimmage." I want to journey with God. I want to go forward. I want to "set the Lord ever before me" (Ps. 16:8) and follow Him wherever He leads. I want to know Him in ever-increasing intimacy. I want a heart set on pilgrimmage, a heart that refuses to settle for status quo, a heart that "strains toward what is ahead." (Philip. 3:13)

Yet the Holy Spirit is teaching me there is no shame in taking the same issue to Him. Even for ten years or more. He is the only safe place to take it. Whatever weighs on me, whatever weighs on you, keep taking it to Him. Daily. Hourly. Minute by minute if necessary. "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." (Ps. 62:8).

What's on my heart today? What's on yours? Pour it out before Him. He wants it all.

So today, as I head out to the porch (after this little side trip to the computer), I will set my heart on pilgrimmage, looking to Jesus. I will pour my heart out before Him, casting my cares on Him, knowing He is my refuge. May you do the same, and be blessed as you find in Him your strength. Let's be pilgrims, not settlers.

*Originally published on September 25, 2006


  1. Oh Lisa, this post was such a blessing to me. So often, I have felt like a complete failure because I can't "master" certain issues, struggles, worries. I wonder if I'm growing at all, if there has been any progress toward my life becoming a reflection of Christ. I am reminded that anything (even struggles that seem to never go away) that drives me to my knees is being used by God for a good purpose -- to remind me of my need for him, my utter helplessness without him. Thank you for sharing this, encouraging the rest of us pilgrims.

  2. Thanks once again for a great reminder for us. Pilgrims not settlers! Blessings on you...

  3. Thanks, Lisa. I also get frustrated with my willingness to camp in the desert. I am telling myself 'move on girl'.

  4. That is so true!

    I found out about your blog today by reading another blog which I found on the Beth Moore’s website. Anyways. I am touched by what you are writing.

    I am a 25 year old girl from Montréal in Canada.

    Thank you for writing "Pilgrims, not settlers" and thank God for the opportunity to share to one another on the web!

    (my mother tongue language is French, so I'm sorry for the mistakes...)

  5. Thank you so much for this post! I'm feeling pretty down today, and it's good to be reminded that God is there for us and wants us to "pour it out before Him".

  6. You write so eloquently. I have read a couple of your posts and thought, "yep, that is what I was trying to say".........but mine comes out all jumbled. Anyway, I have been thinking this same thing a lot lately. God wants to help us, it is us that doesn't let him. I will be on this "pilgrammage" with you.

  7. Excellent post, Lisa. I've done the same thing when perusing old journaling. Thank you for the better perspective on things. I definitely needed that!

    Dianne :D

  8. Oh how I love your sweet heart.

    My journals also go round and round. Well, except for the whole boyfriend issues. Those are a thing of the past. *hallelujah* ;)

    I'm so thankful that God doesn't tire of my heart. even though I sometimes do.

  9. you sound like me with journalling your woes. :) interesting to find you're a journaller. i'd cringe at the thought of re-reading some of my old journals yet i keep them. :P