and the One who walks with me on it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shredded and Shattered

       Sitting just to the right of me is a handy little gadget called a paper shredder which is good for keeping confidential information private.  It beats cutting all those papers up with scissors which is far more time consuming and the newer machines cut the strips small so they don’t take up much room.  I remember once watching an 80’s tv show where the good guy gets the shredded strips and puts all the incriminating documents back together using tape, and I imagined it would have taken lots of hours.  Looking at the small pile in my shred pail, I can’t imagine anything but it taking weeks to put those together.

       There have been times in my life that I was so shattered/ shredded that I thought it was impossible to ever be fixed- kind of like Humpty Dumpty.  You look at your life and all you see are the shreds of it sticking out here or there and wonder how it is possible life could be so bad.  You aren’t able to put it back together- either your strength has been depleted or you don’t know how to do it, and you begin to think ‘this is impossible’.

       However, what might be impossible for us is not impossible for God (Lk. 1:37).  He is all powerful (Rev. 19:6), and I have ‘seen’ Him put my broken life back together time after time- never quite sure how He’s doing it and sometimes even unaware He is working until it is over.  He heals the brokenhearted  And binds up their wounds.  (Ps. 147:3 NKJV)  None of us are too broken to fix!  Woohoo!  That’s a good thing or I’d still be shattered on the ground.

       Some people might laugh in our distress.  Others might think we will never survive.  Sometimes it is us who think we won’t survive, or can’t ever be put back together.  Maybe we think it’s just too much effort and no one would want to take it on, but God does.  He doesn’t leave or forsake us (Heb. 3:5) just because we are a mess.  Yep, that’s right- when we wake up in the morning with severe bed head, stinky breath and blotchy skin, genuinely needing a shower, He’s still there with us, loving us.  He is near (Ps. 34:18) through all our troubles (even when we don’t ‘feel’ Him) and is there to lovingly pick up the shreds of our lives after and put them back together, better than before.

I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place.  The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?  The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.  It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.  Ps. 118:5-8
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,  And He saved them out of their distresses.  He sent His word and healed them,  And delivered them from their destructions.  Ps. 107:19,20 NKJV

       The Lord has all the time- and patience- in the world available to put all our pieces back together, and He won’t mess anything up.  As He takes the messy, shredded pieces of our lives and puts us back together, we become beautiful vessels once again.  So we need not fear for our Lord hears us and we can put our trust in Him for He is our Deliverer and our Healer. 

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust
Ps. 18:2
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  Is. 53:4,5

The Lord will heal us in our broken state!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Love Lifted Me

       They were late getting to the bus yesterday morning as all the other kids at the stop were already on board but this little girl, about four years old and ‘cute as a button’, was still being walked to the stop by her grandpa while those of us in cars had to wait.  He got there as fast as he could, gave her a quick hug, helped her put on her backpack, and then did the most interesting thing.  He lifted her up with his strong arms under her armpits into the bus and over all the stairs.  At that instant a song came to my mind... 
                   Love lifted me!
                   Love lifted me!
                   When nothing else could help,
                   Love lifted me!
                     (by James Rowe, 1912)

       Why did Grandpa lift her into the bus?  Perhaps he thought it would take less time, or he didn’t think she was able to climb fast enough on her own, or maybe it was just because he loved her and wanted to express his love to her by helping her out ‘just because’.  I like to think it was the last one because I was thinking about my own Father who lifted me out of many dire situations and set my feet on a safe, sturdy spot.  He’s such an amazing Father (Rom. 8:15) that I can’t think of a more perfect Dad in the whole world.  He loved me before I even knew who He was (Rom. 5:8) and His love for me never fails me (Lam. 3:22).

But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.  Ps. 3:3
You who lift me up from the gates of death,  Ps. 9:13 NKJV
He also brought (lifted) me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.  Ps. 40:2 NKJV
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.   Jm. 4:10

       God can lift us up out of the troubles we are in as I can attest that He has done on some occasions (out of the miry clay).  God can lift our spirits in the dark world that tries to oppress and depress us so easily (He lifts our head).  Jesus lifts us out of deadness into abundant life (gates of death).  The Lord will surely lift us up when we humbly surrender our lives to Him, daily, as we crucify the flesh (Gal. 5:24). 

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love for us even when we were dead because of our offenses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly realm in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might display the limitless riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  Eph. 2:4-7 ISV

       We are walking to the bus stop of life. Our Father will get us there on time, we can count on that.  He’ll make sure we’re prepared with our backpacks on, ready to go and give us a hug for support. Then He’ll pick us up, and with His strong, steady hands, He’ll position us over the troubles into that place of perfect peace and joy in Him.

Because He loves us!

     thank You!

Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trying Too Hard

       This morning I had a medical test that needed to be done.  The nurse told me I had to close my eyes, relax, and think of nothing for about ten minutes.  I’m thinking, ‘ya, whatever’ realizing that when someone tells you to relax and think of nothing is exactly when you can’t stop thinking: am I relaxed now, maybe I should listen to the sound of that noise, is it almost time for her to come back, I’m sure there’s light getting through, wait- relax, will any of this thinking ruin the results, this is impossible- I can’t just shut my brain down, ok- what do I do when I’m trying to fall asleep

        Needless to say, I was trying very hard to do what the nurse said and in the process of doing that, I was failing to succeed.  At one point I heard the Lord say something like, “you’re trying too hard.  You do that a lot with everything.”  He’s right of course.
-I try so hard to cook tasty food like hubby and that failure used to cause depression.
-I try so hard to be a good parent that I forget to have joy in my children.
-I try so hard to worship Him ‘just so’, that sometimes it blocks out the Spirit from working.
-I try so hard to honour God in these posts that I don’t relax while writing them.
-I try so hard to make all my creations perfect then get disappointed when they aren’t.
-I try so hard to say and do all the right (according to God) things that I neglect to live in and enjoy the moment.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Jh. 10:10

       My whole life is a lot of effort trying hard to do everything, and I’m not saying trying and effort is all bad, but that trying so hard all the time can interfere with the enjoyment of life or a relationship.  Sometimes our own efforts can get in the way of God’s plans.  We should certainly enjoy our journey, but in honesty, how many Christians can we say do that?

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.  Ec. 5:18 ESV
A cheerful heart is a good medicine… Pr. 17:22 ASV
God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  1Tm. 6:17

       This is a very personal matter, and I’m not sure how many other people might struggle with this issue, though I am certain not all.  In my case, all the intense effort is occasionally blocking the moving of the Spirit- which is a bad thing.  Paul reminds us that it is up to God what He does and doesn’t do based on His own reasons, not on how often we pray, do right, go to church, worship, etc.  Therefore, God's choice does not depend on a person's will or effort, but on God himself, who shows mercy.(Rom. 9:16 ISV)  We do need to make efforts, but ultimately remember God knows best, relax a little and allow God to move in our lives simply because He wants to.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I’ve Got Nothing… but this

      Well, I started this post yesterday, and at 11:00 pm when I went to finish it the only thing on the page was the date.  After an hour of nothing, I went to bed thinking that it would be easier today, but apparently not.  Nothing comes to mind.  So, instead of leaving it off for a day, I’ll use the opportunity to post one of my favorite scriptures that just says it all about me and the Lord. 

But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you and knowing all is well between us.  And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face.  Ps. 17:15 TLB

       That says it all.  My contentment is not in anything of this world- even all its riches.  Give me millions or barely make ends meet and I am still content because Someone who never fails me loves me very, very much.  And He walks with me through the good times and the bad.  What more can you ask for?  It matters to me that nothing stands between us, not even my own selfishness or foolishness because I don’t want walls, or anything, keeping us apart.  True intimacy and unity with the Lord are my desire.

       One day I will truly be fully satisfied, and that is the day I see Him face to face, literally and forever, and I will never have to be apart from Him again.  I long for that day.  I long to see His glorious face.  I long to be with Him spiritually AND physically, and be together like I think He wanted us (mankind) to be from the beginning.  Oh, to see Him face to face.

I await that day!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wake-up Call

       Ever since I’ve been putting my subconscious into the Lord’s care at night, I’ve been sleeping through the night the majority of the time.  Friday night was an exception.  At 2:20 a.m. I woke up, and looked at the time on hubby’s clock, but in my gut I sensed something was wrong.  Everything sounded normal, so I decided since I couldn’t hear the Lord in it, to go back to sleep.  Next, I woke up at 3:30 with the same feeling, and since I still couldn’t hear the Lord telling me anything and still couldn’t find anything wrong, I wondered if hubby had checked his alarm clock as the power had flickered off earlier in the day which changes his alarm time.  The problem being he had to get up early for work, and he likes to get there early.

       At 5:00 when I looked at the clock I was seriously wondering if he had checked his alarm time, but I couldn’t check it myself without waking him up due to the position of the clock.  By then, I gave serious consideration to staying awake since he’d be up in half an hour, but I was really tired, and my eyes closed again.  At 6 am I awoke hearing my hubby still breathing beside me, and shook him awake knowing he’d have only 15 min. to get ready and leave- far too rushed and stressful, but better than being late for work!

       I can’t help but be very grateful to the Lord that He woke me up in time to ensure hubby wasn’t late.  You’d think I would have heard His voice telling me something, anything, but I didn’t, and I even asked Him if He wanted me to pray for someone, but I heard nothing and fell back asleep each time.  It is easier to just fall back asleep than to try and figure out what’s going on.  In hindsight, I should have done things differently.

       For the longest time in my journey with the Lord, He’s been trying to wake me up.  Wake me up from living a life of sin which put me in the bondage of guilt and shame.  Wake me up from a lifeless life where everything seems a drudgery or burden. Wake me up from the complacency that is so easy to fall into without realizing I am even in it!  Wake me up to what kind of relationship He really wants with me and then helping me to get there!  There have been many, many wake up calls He’s given me, but this last one I am hearing is by far the loudest.

for everything that is visible is light. That is why it says, "Wake up, O sleeper! Arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.''  Eph 5:14 ISV
How blessed they will be if he (the Master) comes in the middle of the night or near dawn and finds them (his servants) awake!  Lk. 12:38
This is necessary because you know the times-that it's time for you to wake up from sleep...  Rom. 13:11 ISV

       This one is the ‘final’ wake up call.  The- "I am coming soon" (Rev. 22:20 ISV), so you better be ready- wake up call.  The one that says, ‘the time is too short to still be playing around in the world,’ and ‘time’s too short, start doing what you know to do- NOW’ wake up call.  I’ve been hearing it for a while, and I’m not the only one hearing it.  There’s a mighty move of the Lord coming and we/ I must choose whether to be a part of it or to ignore the alarm that’s going off around the world in the lives of many believers.  The time is short.  Whether we believe it or not doesn’t matter, because all that ‘end time stuff’ from the Bible is going to happen, soon.  All we have to do is decide our part in it:

all in with God
without Him