Clearing the Stream


Stream “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1.9

What does “strong and courageous” look like? What is the picture that pops into your brain? Is it a person that keeps silent, holds their chin up and moves about their day pretending that no one can see behind the pasted-on smile and half-hearted laughter?

Has someone hurt you recently? Has something happened that caused your inner world to crash? There is no denying that betrayal hurts. We get that kicked-in-the-gut kind of feeling that hurts like the worse symptoms of the stomach flu. So now who do we turn to? Who can we trust?

I don’t think Papa God wants us to “fake it till we make.” I believe there is a time and a place to process all the pain that we feel when we’ve been hurt or damaged. But it is important to keep moving…go beyond the processing.  If we are serious about wanting our soul…that “stream of life” to be in unison with the ONE who created it…to be clean and pure, free flowing and free, then we must continue tending the stream.

I recently had to go back to recreate a scenario that has to be examined by others in order for a decision to be made. It was an arduous process; one that took me back to a time that was incredibly disconcerting. As I uncovered the past and dug under the “rocks,” so to speak, I felt the ugliness resurface of what once was. It wasn’t just the ugliness of the circumstances, or the ramifications that are being realized even now, but also the ugliness of the emotions that I remember all too well that once again caused my gut to wrench.

And in this process, almost on a daily basis, I had to self-examine. I had to ask myself, “What is the motive of my heart?”  It’s easy to get caught on the emotional roller coaster of the “old memories” and allow them to take you down the road that leads to the pit of disgust and self-pity. The challenge is not only to remember clearly what happened. The bigger challenge is to remember the healing that happened since then and embrace the positive rather than the negative.

I had to ask God to allow me to see the individuals involved through His lenses and not my own. And yet… I had to lay out the truth in a way that may cause some discomfort, not just for me, but for others. I have found that discomfort is sometimes necessary. It gets us moving. It gets us out of the well-worn ruts of complacency and allows us to see the boulders and debris in our own “stream.” We need discomfort in order to keep moving…in order to learn from our past and make better and wiser decisions.

“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” ~ Proverbs 18.10

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” ~ Psalm 91.4

“Papa God, help me – help us – to see the debris in our stream in a way that will cause us to look at others with compassion and understanding. Help us to lay down anything that would get in the way of Your work in our lives. Pour mercy and grace into our day, and let us demonstrate Your mercy and grace to others throughout our day. Let it be You that takes the lead. In Jesus name – Amen.”

In His Strong Love,

Rose

Seeing Life Through My “God Lenses”


RainbowsTHE WORD: “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea…Be still and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world” ~Psalms 46.1-2,10

I have been through many dry spells during my 55 years of living. I have suffered great loss, have experienced betrayal and have been wrongfully accused. I have been mocked because of my faith in God. My faith has been tested and tried, and every single time, regardless of the outcome, God has never failed me.

To say that I did not allow anger to overwhelm me when the circumstances seemed insurmountable would make me a liar. I have experienced a state of depression so great that I have uttered the words of Job, “May the day of my birth perish…That day, may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine on it.” ~Job 3.3a-4 NIV. Like Job, there have been times in my life that I questioned God; never His sovereignty…it was His silence that I found most deafening.

“Suffering is not always the result of sin, just as prosperity is not always the result of faithfulness. In fact, at times just the opposite appears to be true. Only God understands why things sometimes work this way. Very often God is beyond our comprehension, and that is not easy to accept. What we can accept, however, is that God wants us to remain faithful to Him, just as Job did” (authors, Bickel & Jantz).

Just as it happened for Job, it was in the midst of my deepest, darkest hours that I have raised my voice to the heavens, cried, and repented of my unbelief. My heavenly Father has always answered. Time and again He has breathed life back into my dry bones. In those desperate moments, His sovereignty has been magnified…His undeserved grace…His everlasting love…all freely given for us on Calvary’s Cross.

As I look back, I now try to see my past through my “God’s lenses.” I see clearly that it was in the valleys where Papa God has dealt with me most intimately. He has proven time and again that His mercies are new every morning. As Jeremiah wrote, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him’” ~Lamentations 3.22-24.

I have made peace with God. He has restored all that the locust ate in my life [Joel 2:25] and has placed a joy in the center of my heart so great that I cannot contain it. “I lift my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” ~Psalm 121.1-2 NIV.

My prayer for you and me today is that we trust in the ONE who can make all things new. Let go of the worries – let go of the doubt. Let us be grafted into the ONE TRUE VINE, and allow His Spirit to flow freely in unencumbered souls.

May our heavenly Father bless your day! May He fill you with hope and renew your strength. Let this be the day that you turn challenges into opportunities. And in all that we say and do, may our Heavenly Father receive all the glory and praise!

Spiritual Blood Transfusion ~ HOPE!


“This confident (or living) hope gives us the encouragement and enablement we need for daily living. It does not put us in a rocking chair where we complacently await the return of Jesus Christ. Instead, it puts us in the marketplace, on the battlefield, where we keep on going when the burdens are heavy and the battles are hard. Hope is not a sedative; it is a shot of adrenaline, a spiritual blood transfusion.” ~ Pastor John Piper

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