Warm Wednesday Words: Perspective Rescued and Reframed

IMG_9722EditedBecause I believe in God’s sovereignty,  my perspective is constantly being rescued and reframed.  For years I have been closely effected by a roller coaster ride of heartaches due to the addictions and bad choices of a sweet adult child along with turbulence in some of the relationships he became entwined with.  Mixed in with the fun times we all have shared, there have been times that waves of despair have crashed in on our family.  Through it all I believe that God is rescuing and keeping those I have committed to Him, and in fact, our entire family.  (“…and that is why I have suffered these things.  But I am not ashamed because I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.”  2 Tim. 1:12) As Carol Kent points out so well in her book, “When I Lay My Isaac Down”, the entire family suffers when a family member is arrested; i.e. not just with the shock and heartache, but with a taste of the ill treatment that is often dished out liberally to the incarcerated.  From exorbitant phone call charges, visitation lines, changing rules, searches, lies, rudeness, scapegoats, assumption of guilt, etc., we have learned more then we ever wanted to about our system.   As Joseph said to his brothers after his long set of trials at their hands, “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result…”  (Gen. 37-45) Seeing things from God’s perspective caused him to be able to forgive his brothers for the evil scheme they had carried out.  It’s not always an easy thing to keep my eyes focused on God’s perspective, but when I do I see clearly His love and mercy even within difficulties.  Then there are the unexpected moments of God’s grace in the hard places, such as when a friend picks up the corner of our stretcher by encouraging words, cards, prayers, hugs (both virtual and real) or sacrificial actions.  There have been some who have sought us out just to help us stand strong in a hard place; as well as those who have essentially left us alone in it.

IMG_9719That thing that I would most like to erase from my circumstances is often the very thing God will get the most mileage from in His molding makeover plans.  This is something not understood by those who have not put their trust in God.  The lure of success, popularity, and power along with the slippery slope of pride can be too strong to welcome or see the need for a trial to sharpen spiritual perspective and increase trust.   Yet the most humbling things that I would choose to avoid, He uses for His glory and my good.

IMG_9707EditedLast fall I planted bulbs, which, like cocoons and butterflies, wombs and babies, and so many other design marvels, illustrate the amazing skill of a Master Weaver to use the dark and hidden places to yield something no less then splendid.  His transforming powers are not at all affected by my ideas of where they should occur, whether behind prison walls built by men or those constructed within hearts encased in a fine exterior in denial of the slavery within.  Meantime, true heart freedom is being forged in the hard places not the easy ones.

IMG_9706The beauty of flowers and spring is like a visual banner shouting God’s handiwork that was done in the hard and hidden places.  I am thankful for following through with the instinctive nudging to plant more bulbs last fall in addition to other landscape specimens already here. Beginning with helleborus, Magnolia Jane and white forsythia defying winter in the midst of freezing temps, the floral processional has begun.  Moving on from  hyacinths, viburnums and daisies to tulips, flowering almonds, spireas, Japanese Maple, lilacs, azaleas, and the unfurling of peonies, I’m feasting on an array of visionary and olfactory reminders of God’s creativity, faithfulness and love.

IMG_9708If the kaleidoscope of colors doesn’t settle the matter, there is the intoxicating aroma of hyacinths, Korean Spice Viburnum and lilacs to further prove He does exceedingly above all that we ask or think.  In “Eyes Wide Open:  Enjoying God in Everything”, author Steve DeWitt says, ‘…every created beauty was created by God to lead our affections to Him.  That’s why He made the pleasures of earthly beauty so fleeting – so that on the other side of the pleasure we might experience either wonder and worship and ultimate satisfaction in God or the pursuit of the pleasure that beauty provides for its own sake.  If we choose the latter, we will only be disappointed again.’

IMG_9701As one wave of blooms fades and another comes on, there is a rhythmic reminder that, like the blooms that come and go, my life, too is a vapor to be poured out in whatever channel He desires.  My response to the course He chose for me is sweet surrender, and yes, even gratefulness.  Since nothing happens to me outside of His permission, He must have confidence that I will  display His glory even in arid places.  Perhaps He has handpicked you for a hard place as well.

IMG_9718A sweet friend encouraged me after a recent turning point in my family’s heartbreaking saga of the loss of a family member to incarceration, “Now you have the framework for the future.”  Her words were comforting and also reminded me that I’ve always had the framework for the future from the time I turned my life over to Christ at age nine.  Through ups and downs, valleys and “mountaintops”, seasons of drought and seasons of showers, God has always been there and been my Savior and my friend.  The gardens have not failed to rescue and reframe my perspective!

IMG_9693How about you?  What hard place are you in right now and how is God reframing your perspective through it?

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Warm Wednesday Words: Hope in the Night

joyful in hopeLast fall I was well into a dark and difficult season of my life in which I needed to cling to every scrap of hope just to function.   I longed for a time machine to jump in and travel to a few years from now and skip this season.  Since that didn’t happen, I did the next best thing and purchased several bags of beautiful bulbs and crammed them in every available flower bed and pot around the house.  Other then the times I was buoyed with the lifeline of empathy, encouragement and time out with family and friends (who are cemented in my personal hall of fame),  my “recreation” centered on bulb catalogs and wondering what mile marker I would be passed when each variety bloomed.  Bulbs symbolize what God, in His Divine Providence, is doing in the hidden realms that we don’t see.  Yet for those who love Him, He is faithful to work all the intricate details out and use them for His glory and our good.  He is a master weaver of our circumstances, even though we can’t see the finished tapestry yet.

pain prefaces birthAmaryllis  gave me just what I needed during the dead of winter to hold me over until spring and outdoors.  It was fun to buy several and share them with some family and a mentor who has stood staunchly on faith and determinedly propped me up a few times, as well.   Our faith filled prayers for God’s glory to be evidenced in difficult circumstances are synchronized as we tend to our amaryllis bulbs and watch their beauty unfold.

BeFunky_IMG_9104.jpgHis creation of the flowering bulb holds striking symbolism of my faith and trust in Him even when I can’t see what He’s doing.  Even the bulb, itself, holds symbolism.  While it is in the cold, dark, earth, it finds it’s sustenance from within to send forth the new growth.  While I am in the dark trial, I must find strength from my inner most core; i.e. the Lord and His Spirit and the comfort, direction, and even sure promises that I can only get from time spent alone with Him

hope that is not seenWhat do you hope for and how long term is it?  What visual reminders do you place in your life to help you hang on to hope?

 

Warm Wednesday Words: The Heart of the Matter

the heart of the matter

I am so thankful Jesus gets to the heart of every matter.  When I let His Words be driven deep into my heart, the burden will be personal and, in the end light, as I respond to Him in obedience.   (Matt. 11:30)   When I keep my eyes focused on Him, and my heart tuned to His, then I am eager to carry out His mission, which is tailored for me and also interested to hear the unique mission He has given you.  We then can celebrate His glory in unison, even if He displayed it quite differently in each of us.

don't waste a minute comparingThe Pharisees of Jesus day were forever trying to appear one up on their Jewish counterparts and even on Jesus.  Even the disciples fell into the temptation to one up their performance above others on occasion.  Jesus told them the folks they were concerned about would surely be changed by His own powerful name, which they were proclaiming.  He went around their argument to the heart of the matter.  He made it clear that His divine Words to the heart of each matter were superior to anything they had ever heard before.

come to meTo really allow God to get to my heart is a far different matter then tritely saying He does, and He certainly knows the difference.  To allow His Holy Spirit to soften my heart means allowing His hands, in effect, to take a hardened portion and squeeze it back to mold-ability and usefulness.  It may mean  a layer is pulled back to expose something starkly in need of correction.  It means I will be willing to accept His challenge to do more for Him.  It means I will be thinking on what He is trying to say to me, and praying for further revelation.  It means I will be open to wise counsel that embraces God’s creativity in accomplishing His purposes in myriads of ways, and that I will not feel peer pressure to compare with anyone else, nor impatience to run ahead of Him.  Peer pressure can be a good thing, if it wakes us up to what we’re to be doing and inspires us to get on with it, while giving us support.  Yet, as long as we are truly seeking God’s will and striving to perform it and support others as they do they same in whatever way they are inspired, there really is something to the strange saying, “There’s more then one way to skin a cat.”

responding to God's challengesResponding to God’s heart work means I will be putting into practice His mission in me that “fits” with my unique circumstances that I am in, unless He sees fit to change them.  When God gets to the heart of my matters, it changes me.  I am restless to hear more from Him.  What about you?  How does it change you when He softens an area of your heart?  Do you find it hard to press in to His will that is tailor made for you?  Do you feel the excitement of His personal revelation to you?  Is waiting for further direction hard for you, as it is for me?

Warm Wednesday Words: Consciously Dependent

Hope from God alone

Today I contemplate Who I am dependent on, not what I’m dependent on Him to make me or do for me.  He can change that as often as the wind shifts direction if He chooses.  And it’s not my business to hole up at any given “stop” and sing the praises of how used of Him I may be in that stage.  Nothing’s more boring and uncomfortable then hearing someone sing the arrogant praises of their usefulness to God, which can be a lengthy delusion.

arroganceTo truly take stock of His leading and “nudging”, especially in retrospect, can bring me to stark realizations of my failure to follow.  I become keenly aware of His gentle tugs and my reasoning to the contrary.  Of course, if I haven’t spent much time in prayer, meditation and Bible study, then I’m not as likely to have experienced His personal comfort, exhortations, nudging, and yes, even discipline.

Lean not on your own understanding

But once the soul searching has commenced, I fasten my eyes on Him and take a deep breath before “marching on”.  It doesn’t matter what others judgement of my walk is (within the guidelines of the Word).  “Theirs” is to take stock of His leading, which may be very different then mine.  “Mine” is to take His personal instructions and proceed, keeping my eyes on Him, without heed for the judgment, which some are sure to issue, and without indulging in judging or bitterness myself.  “He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold…” Ps. 62:2 HCSB.

the Lord is good for those who Wait for HImThe only definite thing we believers have in common, other than Christ and Him crucified, is whether we are striving to obey His individual calling in our lives; not whether our individual instructions look similar.

shift from logical reasonings

Oswald Chambers set the bar high in his November 15 “My Utmost for His Highest” devotional, ‘When we are consciously being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, there is another stage to be reached, where all consciousness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is eliminated.  A saint is never consciously a saint; a saint is consciously dependent on God.’

humilty vs pride

 

Warm Wednesday Words: Intensive School is in Session

 

from dark cloudsI am in a Master’s Degree School Program as I trudge through some one way valleys.  After over 25 years of homeschooling seven children I have become accustomed to curriculum, whether bought as a package or whether I put it together hodge podge style.  I spent many an August watching kids and sometimes grandkids swim at the city pool while I poured through the following year’s school plans and calender.  Implementation of each year took off with grandiose thoughts of how organized I would be, how much they would learn and what balance of study versus hands on and field trips would be used.  In addition to hours of planning, there were many, many more hours of reading out loud, drilling of tables and verses, etc.  Admittedly, I did fall asleep a few times while reading out loud in the evenings, and my kids won’t let me live down the way I mastered “reading” in my sleep.  There were a few such times when I sent them to bed, but still under the spell of sleepy delirium, told them to do such interesting things as “Brush your teeth and get in the toilet.”  But none of those years of homeschooling required my focus as much as the intensive classroom of praying and keeping faith while an adult child wades through serious troubles.

As I focus on standing on many scripture promises, I can’t allow myself to indulge in logic and reasoning.  Oh no.  I serve a big God who is able to do exceedingly above all that I ask or think.  (Eph. 3:20).  Nothing is impossible for Him.  (Luke 1:37)  He can reach where I can’t.  (Isa. 59:1)  He will rescue my children, even when they’re not innocent if I keep my hands “pure” because of Christ.  His rescue is first and foremost the soul, but sometimes he rescues circumstances also, if He chooses to bring glory to Himself from them a different way.  (Job 22:30)  His Word that we helped them store away, won’t return void.  (Isa. 55:11) He is able to bring our children back to the Way; i.e. their own spiritual “land”.  (Jer. 31:17)  And best of all He is able to accomplish all this in spite of me, and all of my teaching efforts, because He will actually be their teacher and give them peace.  Not only does He not judge me, He makes up for my lack.  (Isa. 54:13)  That is my teaching retirement verse.  The very spring of my last year of supervising our home school, God caused that one to stand out in “neon” letters, both as a wake up call and a comfort, so that I can get on my knees before Him each day and give the teaching results to Him.  Then I’m able to start a new day with renewed faith knowing He made this day for my faith to land on and soar in, no matter what circumstances I’m in.  He causes me to repeat such promises as “What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee.”  (Ps. 56:3) and Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil. 4:6)  And most of all, He brings me around to a sacrifice of praise to Him even when I’m down.  My praises may come out in a sob but they switch my focus to Him and bring His presence into my circumstances or that of someone I’m praying for, sometimes with a surprising turn of events.

Giving the results to God as I bow my head in the “faith” school takes focus, but is rewarding.  I have set backs, where I just don’t really want to display His glory.  I’d rather stay under a pile of blankets (at least mentally) and indulge in some grief over some latest turn of events.  He is patient with me as I need a little “down time” before forging ahead in this Master program He has me in.  During those times I feel all the brokenness and all the pain and know that it is real.  There is healing in this acknowledgement and in tears, which God collects and keeps.  He hears my cries and yours!

But back in the faith classroom, He carries me to the table where I don’t see my brokenness anymore.  I see things from His perspective and it’s so much better then my own.  I’m whole and I know He is fulfilling His promises as He sees fit in my life and that of my family.  This degree program doesn’t commence until eternity, but the dividends can’t be equaled in any other program out there.  There is faith and peace for character enrichment and future crowns to lay at His feet.   This is a program that some of the most intelligent folks don’t acquire; since it requires a surrendered heart.

Who am I to question His ways or His timing.  It is enough that He carries me to a table I don’t deserve.  Do you struggle with trials and His timing?  What ways help you not see your brokenness, or that of a loved one, anymore, but rather the One who carries you?

Warm Wednesday Words: God Won’t Waste Our Affairs – He Cares

God is with me

When hope lingers slow and the mountain stays the same
words mean little minus public acclaim
When hypocrisies loom bold
and love waxes cold

When you live too many days
under friendly fire haze
And what was real
is denied by hearts of steel.

When friends join the throng
of the popular traitor’s song
it may hurt
but you learn – don’t dessert.

When vision is blurred
And your cries obscurred
Steps grow weak
and hands work meek

Fears grow strong
and doubts come along
God is there, rising up
to fill your cup.

When the promise is broke
and love wears a cloak.
Hate wins a round yet
angels rush to surround.

When the swords come clanging
Radicals at the door banging
shouting “Deny!”
or to your children say goodbye!

But you’ve taught them well
They won’t choose hell.
They close their eyes
and wait to meet you in the skies.

Storms may gather
but God would rather
we look to Him, not the storm..
He’ll transform.

Jesus is worth every trial
there’s no room for denial
His love grows more dear
with every year.

Regardless our circumstances
and the uninformed glances
He won’t waste our affairs.
He sees, He hears, He cares.

LaDonna English

faith makes things possible

Warm Wednesday Words: The Right Posture and Accessories

Hannah postureThere is something about a good posture that can make us or undo us.  Recently our youngest daughter competed in a couple of queen pageants.  In the first competition (last spring), the parade car she had arranged broke down and she ended up walking in the parade separate from the other contestants.  For a while, we were unaware and were left to wonder what had happened when the queen candidates went by in there cars and there was no Hannah.  Then, at the recent talent contest of her second queen pageant, the curtains were drawn back on the stage and we, her family, did not see her in the row of girls sitting on the stage.  We wondered what had happened this time, as their entertainment began.  After a minute that seemed much longer, someone spotted her in the center of the row of girls.  The difference was her posture.  Being a typical tall girl, she often unconsciously slumps her shoulders; however, that night she had beautiful posture and carried herself very elegantly.

Similarly, when we “stand firm” in God’s truths, the enemy doesn’t see us, but God.  Though his roar may be deafening in our ears, he can’t have the victory over us as long as we are standing firm in the truth of God’s Word.  He may wreak serious havoc in our lives, but he can’t mess with our souls.  As Jack Graham says in his book “Unseen”, ‘When we feel helpless, standing in the face of too-big, too-daunting circumstances, we must remember that it is actually God who does our fighting for us.’  We need to be on guard and watch ourselves, but know Satan’s days are numbered.  As long as we stay with God and stand believing his Word, ours are not.  As Moses told the Israelites when Pharoah’s army was upon them “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation He will provide for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.” (Ex. 14:13-14 HCSB)

respectable armorThe first important accessory to wear while standing firm is the Belt of Truth.  In Bible days belts were worn to keep the robes pulled in and to hang weaponry on.  Now days we wear them to keep things up and in as well, and sometimes we hang an important key ring on a belt or belt loop.  It is imperative that we live a life bound up in God’s truths while pursuing holiness and honesty and keeping our eyes trained on Christ.  The Breastplate of Righteousness was made of heavy material and designed to protect the vital organs.  Our vitality is protected by Christ’s righteousness, which is purity and living rightly, made possible only in Christ.  To continue to walk in sin obliterates the breastplate and leaves us dangerously vulnerable.  Our footwear is the peaceful submission we have in knowing that God is our Savior and, though we are going to have trials and hardships, we will have His presence and power in them and on through eternity and this is the good news we must keep telling.  Our footwear should mobilize us to keep testifying to God’s goodness, first in saving us to eternity and always in His presence and guidance in our daily lives.  Like the author of “Unseen”, I absolutely treasure the steps taken toward me by friends, mentors and Bible teachers along the way.  The steps of encouragement, reconciliation and counsel take time, prayer, humility and thoughtfulness, sometimes rare commodities these days.  “How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!” (Romans 10:15 HCSB)

beautiful feetAnother mandatory accessory is The Shield of Faith.  Ephesians 6:16 says, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one”.  In Bible days the battle shields curved back on the sides and were designed to cover the front and sides of the body.  They were not designed to cover the back, since soldiers advanced in a forward direction only.  Our shield coverage is in believing God’s promises, of which there are thousands, and in not taking one step backward into unbelief, doubt or the discouragement that we are often surrounded with and sometimes indulge in.  Relying solely on God’s truth is how we fend off the fiery darts of Satan.  When soldiers were under attack, they not only used their shields in defense, but would link their shields together in order to make progression.  As Jack Graham said, “Sometimes when our faith is flagging, we need to link our shield with another whose faith is flying high.  It is often only in the context of such unity that we find protection from the enemy’s assault.” 

soldiers linking shieldsThe Helmet of Salvation is extremely important.  It is simply deciding to let God’s truth override any of the lies of the enemy that come into our heads.  It may take a little time to dislodge a lie of the enemy that is tailor made for our situation or our weakness, but it is imperative.  Again quoting Jack Graham, “….every sin we’ll ever know can be traced back to a single, errant thought….all ground given to Satan is given first and foremost between our ears.”  He says there are five key danger zones for these errant thoughts to occur:  1) on the heels of spiritual victory; 2) when we’re alone (because we are built for community); 3) when we’re tired; 4) when we’re in church (Satan loves to cause misunderstandings, unfulfilled expectations, disappointments, complaining, gossip, backbiting, pride, etc. to flare up in the body); 5) when we’re attempting something great for God.  Oswald Chambers refers to entertaining thoughts that don’t line up with the Word as “wool gathering”.  Satan may not take us out of the game and that may not even be his goal, but if he can cripple us up, even with just one errant thought that festers, he has accomplished much.  Instead, “We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.”  (2 Cor. 10:4b-5)  How I love the friends and mentors who are humble and who value friendship over pride by forbearing and persisting in good communication. 

train your mind

take every thought captiveThe last “accessory”, which is indispensable for defense, is the Sword of the Spirit.  Ephesians 6:17 refers to the Word of God as the Sword of the Spirit.  The Word is living and active, sharper then any two edged sword. (Heb. 4)  Though a sword is a weapon both for offense and defense, because of the victory Christ’s blood shed for us on the cross, all we have to do is stand firm and protect the ground Christ already gained for us.  Our challenge is to gain an appreciation for the Word as our two edged sword of defense.  We can do this by reading it daily, thinking about what we have read, writing and sharing about it, praying the promises and truths personally into our lives, and living according to it.

the armor of GodAs you face life’s challenges are you standing firm and wearing the right “apparel”?

having done all stand

 

 

Warm Wednesday Words: Fresh Starts and a Grateful Heart

photo.phpFresh morning starts for me involve breakfast and coffee with Tony, cool morning air (preferably sitting on the “chicken yard bench”,  a scripture promise to focus on throughout the day, some worship time with music and a grateful heart.

ytyGod really is greater then all my concerns and as a friend texted me this week…”Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—”(Eph. 3:20).  There is so much in that one verse!  Yes, He is able.  He can do so much above and beyond what I even ask or think!  Last is the catch, if there is one.  It works according to the power that works in us, which hinges on our belief and trust in Him.  This morning I am again thankful for fresh starts to to humble myself before Him and let His power be at work in me. 

forgiven much loves much

As our pastor said in another great message Sunday, we have to make a choice who we will be like, the prideful Pharisee who was consumed with a judgmental, critical spirit, or the humble woman known as a sinner, who could not stop her tears of gratefulness for her Savior.  (Luke 7:36-50) Though the Lord is exalted, He takes note of the humble; but He knows the haughty from a distance.”  Ps. 138:6 HCSB

“Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning great is Your faithfulness! I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.”  Lamentations 3:22-24

Warm Wednesday Words: BUT TAKE HEART

Tonight I am torn between two worlds.  The one my feet are in is full of burdens and heartaches.  There are sweet moments with family and friends but oh how I long for the world I really live in in my heart and soul.  The one my soul is in is full of celebration and good cheer.  My God doesn’t waste difficult circumstances.  He makes hearts soften, turns them radically toward Him, proves His Word and glorifies His Name.  When I focus on this, how can I not rejoice no matter what circumstances I find myself in?

Recently I was thinking about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel chapter 3).  I had always remembered their story as one of God dramatically rescuing them from their trauma although they had boldly alleged their trust in God no matter what He chose to do for them!  But God didn’t rescue them immediately.  They first fell headlong into an intense fire that consumed the guards standing at the top.  And we don’t really know if they had immediate assurance that they would be brought out of this fiery furnace quickly and restored to their “normal” life.  We DO know that there was divine protection while they were IN the fire, and that they were aware of the presence of the very Son of God with them!

And that’s the promise we have.  We will always have God’s divine presence in fiery trials when we have made Him our Lord.  Whether or not we have deliverance before we end up in the midst of a trial is not the important thing for those of us who love God and devote ourselves to Him.  His presence is precious and personal and gives us strength and that is the important thing.  The joy of knowing His deeply intimate love in fiery trials is truly worth the suffering and heartache.

9ac24c0816603ad346de59b79bb522d9As Oswald Chamber says, “God does not give us overcoming life:  He gives us life as we overcome.  The strain is the strength.  If there is not strain, there is no strength.  Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy?  He cannot, unless you will accept the strain.  Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength…If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted, but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength.”

if there is no strain, there is no strength

 

Warm Wednesday Words: Watch for God

watch for God

As we do Vacation Bible School this week at our church, we are wearing bracelets that say “Watch for God” as reminders to keep tracking God in our personal life.  Since God’s mercies are new every morning, it takes “watching” to see them each day.   If I’m not watching for God and His mercies then I often not only miss the sweetly personal supernatural, but default to complaining, fear, worry, etc.  The more I train my eye to watch for God, the more I see Him at work and my eye becomes trained to see the blessing in something that at first glance may just seem like something negative.

To watch for God at work in trials is like seeing drops of water in arid places.  The first definition for “arid” in Dictionary.com is: “being without moisture; extremely dry; parched: arid land; an arid climate”.  In our lives arid places can symbolize those times of trials and stretching, often lengthy and difficult.  But unlike geographically arid regions, which result in fruitlessness, “arid” life seasons can actually stimulate “fruit” production.  Our difficult seasons cause us to either watch for God and see His mercies, or become bitter and miss the God sightings.  

When we choose to watch for God at work in our arid places, we see mercy drops and sometimes showers even in our deserts.   Oswald Chambers said, “…God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality.”

“And the parched ground shall become a pool” (Isa. 35:7),  “I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys.  I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” (Isa. 41:18).  I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.  I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” (Ezek. 34:26)  God promises showers of mercy and blessing upon our arid places.  Are you watching for Him in faith?

Holley-Gerth-Button-250x250