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Thursday, May 31, 2012

LOOK UP!!!!


If you ever visit the Children's Museum in Indianapolis... when you are in the basement be sure to look up to see a beautiful display of Chihuly blown glass.  This morning I received an email from a dear sweet friend of mine that has faced several years of drought and hardship, I prayed for her this morning and the Lord prompted me to write her back with encouragement from His word, He further  prompted me to share it here for any one who might be facing a difficult time right now.

"I am studying the book of Ruth and was confronted with how many times I make decisions based on my circumstances or desire for physical nourishment vs. waiting on the God of those circumstances.  It is truly the human thing to do, trusting in a God who can't be seen or audibly heard is hard and takes a lot of Faith (like Daniel was must purpose in our hearts). But  I am ever thankful that Jesus is the author and finisher of my faith and that it isn't something I have to try and muster up, I need only ask Him to do what He promised to do.  The Bible study posed the following question:
"Have you ever allowed your circumstances to direct you instead of leaving room for God's direction?  In what specific ways can you act on God's leading?"
I thought about this in my own life my circumstance OFTEN lead me to worry and anxiousness.  Then I thought about what the Lord would want me to do instead… 
- Don't worry PRAY
- With THANKSGIVING ASK
- BE STILL and know that He is GOD
- TASTE and see that He is GOOD
I read over your email again and just wanted to share some thoughts I had along the way…
I want to jump to the middle of it, since that seems to be the most tender… "I am begging the Lord for His mercy and His pardon and His rescue."  I wonder if you realize that you already have the first two.  Mercy and pardon are required in relationship to our sin.  God gave you his mercy in that while you were still a sinner Christ died for you, and when you gave your life to Him He issued a pardon for your sin, the sin of your past, the sin of your present and the sin in your future… His blood covers it all.  Your circumstances are not punishment for sin.  God has different reasons for allowing certain things into our lives, David, Job and Paul loved the Lord with all that they were but their circumstances were crushing at times. But their lives were forever changed.  Job said "My ears had heard of you but NOW my eyes have SEEN you."   David said "Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And as if this were not enough in your sight, O Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the hour of your servant.  Is this your usual way of dealing with man?  And Paul reminds us "this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God!"  

This is the place that I often get stuck, I am a doer… and if there is something I could be doing well, by golly I am set on doing it.  I was recently struck by a verse in Isaiah that has help me see the need to stop striving and trying to do it all on my own and to step aside and let God impress me with His Godness!!  It's Isaiah 50: 10-11  Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant?  Let him who has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.  (This is what I should do, but often I am doing on my own trying to make things happen, trying to light a fire and get out of the darkness, this is what the Lord says is the benefit of that.) but now, all of you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go walk in the light of your fires and of the torches YOU have set ablaze.  This is what you shall receive from my hand;  You will lie down in torment."  This verse is so true, when I try to do it, I do lie down in torment and worry. My thoughts and worry weigh so heavy it feels as if my flesh is being torn from me.   But that is so contrary to what the Lord has for us.  "He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil HE IS WITH YOU.   Sometimes, we will have no light but God wants us to trust him in the darkness and to stay there in the dark with Him… He wants to be the one that lights the way when He's ready, when the timing is perfect, when we will be blown away by the splendor.  (It's in darkness that we can see the stars, comets and even the beautiful northern lights, there is beauty even in the darkness). 

God LONGS to show me what He can do and so often I am too busy trying to make something happen on my own that I am not even looking to Him.   Oh am talking… I'm praying the whole while my nose is to the grind stone but what I need to do is STOP and LOOK UP!!!  And see Him seated on His throne and the train of His room filling the temple and the angels singing "Holy Holy Holy"!!  If I would look up I would also see Jesus at his right hand… standing!! In Acts 7 when Stephen was to be stoned, being filled with the Holy Spirit, he looked up and saw the glory of God and Jesus STANDING!  When we face difficulties Jesus doesn't just sit there He stands up!  Think about it, Jesus is standing up for you… right now!   

I want to encourage you with the words of Habakkuk 3:17-19  "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls YET I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD, AND I WILL BE JOYFUL IN GOD MY SAVIOR.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. "  I read a commentary on this verse and while deer's feet allow them to climb and hang on to rough and rocking surfaces he also pointed out  that he would " do more than merely plod along, he would skip about with life and joy!

God knows exactly what is wrong with (_________________) and just as king's heart is in the hand of the Lord and HE directs it like a watercourse wherever it pleases, He will direct in this situation because is He good and right and wants good things for his children.  So… pray about taking a day and laying all your efforts aside, turn the phone off,  and spend the day enjoying the green pastures of being a child of God and let the Lord worry about the rest.  He knows what you need (all things included) and His grace is sufficient!  He has a plan… and it's really good one!  So look up and see what He is going to do!!

Hugs to all of you!!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing! So beautiful! I am going to share this at my steering retreat this weekend for MOPS if you don't mind!