To Life

The dark has given way to a dusky dawn, the grey of morning birthing its first signs of pink light as the sun moves in a slow salute across the sky. I touch flame to a candle in my living room in hopes of illuminating 5:30 with warmth, in hopes of chasing the shadows of night to the corners.  

I am pouring over Isaiah, my mind grappling with the words as the fog of sleep begins to lift.  And then I see it, a light pouring out of word.   I slow down, back track, re-read.  I hold the page a little closer to the light and I see it there, hope in print – “For the Lord is God, and He created the heavens and earth and put everything in place.  He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos” (Isaiah 45:18 emphasis added). 

Why is it that we feel like we need to swallow the word of God whole?  Why do we struggle with savouring this life – the bread of heaven? 

I. slow. right. down.  And I read it again “He made the world to be lived inlived in.”  And I feel this settle on me like a mantle, a cover that envelops me, holds me close.  The weight of the words press and I feel the breath of Yahweh close to my ear…

“The complaining Tonya, the complaining stops now” – and I feel His gentleness as He presses closer and whispers, “enough.”  

Complaining has become my posture and God is whispering -ENOUGH.

 And, it’s difficult to see the grace of God when discontent drips bitter.  My lips should be uttering thanks – eucharisteo and instead a litany of foul, stench ridden complaint moves across my tongue.  This taming of the tongue, taking captive the thoughts, it’s hard work.

How can I find deep joy in God if I cannot make it through a single day without throwing His provisions back in His face?  My unbelief is what fuels my discontent and makes me forget that God has spoken and said, “I am the one who creates the light and makes the darkness.  I am the one who sends good times and bad times. I AM {emphasis mine] the one who does these things” (Isaiah 45:7).  My malcontent is what darkens the doorposts of my heart and makes fallow the field of God’s provision and opportunity.

“Enough,” God says “Enough!”  He has brought order to my life and my steps have been measured and counted.  And, if God has counted my days and ordered each moment, should I not then stop counting my failures?   And my discontent it rises large in me, a desperation – “Fearof failings, of falling, of falling behind, it can make us fierce.”– Ann Voskamp


Oh yes! These are the words that echo in a sometimes anxious heart.  Each beat a drum, a pounding, a countdown of failures.  Each pulse fills me with an ugly anger – a fierce anger.  The shock wave of my howl is far reaching.

So why is it so difficult for me to have David praise?  A man hunted by his best friend and haunted by his conscience – He turned his praise outward to a waiting God.

I must seek refuge in God when I feel the anxiety, the wail of complaining begin its drone.  I must seek refuge that comes from rejoicing in God and His wonder – the whole earth is full of His wonder.

And this rejoicing it can be a lament – this praise it can come from our deepest fears and sorrows from those moments of pain that we give over and count as joy. 

The complaining, the whining it is a siren – the pitch of which causes confusion and panic as my anger rattles and shakes my faith and the foundation of my joy.   But rejoicing, there in the shadow of His wing – that will keep me singing, keep me living and moving in grace.

Today I choose to live.  Live.


  1. Yes, to seek refuge in Him, to express gratitude instead of complaint, to rejoice! All such important things! Thank you for sharing!

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