“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” John 15:8
It is coming to closing time for my husband and I to move on to his next duty station. Since we have been here there have been so many blessings that it’s hard to count them all. Spending time with both of our families, mending those broken relationships and meeting some truly amazing people that will be lifelong friends. We were even blessed by being able have another baby and also found the time to do major clean up/renovation to our new property. Looking back on it now I’m not certain how we had time to do all the things that we got accomplish.
One of the biggest things that changed for me was when I rededicated my life to the Lord last April. At first I experienced a lot of depression and battled some past wounds that were in desperate need to be healed. I found myself focusing on all my failures and not on Christ and what he had accomplished on the cross. Honestly, I did not have a real good picture of what grace or salvation was all about. Unfortunately at first I felt like I had been called to a life filled with legalism, lack of love, confusion, and full of doubt. There were just a lot of unanswered questions that needed to be explained. I’m so thankful now that the Lord has delievered me from those bondages and shown me his love.
A few months into my journey I found myself sitting outside at a church picnic table. It must have been written all over my face that I was struggling and was only making the best of being there. One of the brothers came up to me and asked, “Sister, which tree is the strongest between an oak tree and a pine tree”? Very hesitant I said, “An oak of course”. “Good” he said. “Which one grows faster yet would be more easily blown down if a storm was to rise upon it”? I thought for a minute and said, “A pine of course because the roots are so shallow”. “Great, now how does that apply to the Christian Life”? Then he went on to explain that an oak is more deeply rooted into the Earth (which is the word of God). Even though it grows much slower, it’s a lot stronger as where the pine grows faster and it is more easily blown down when a storm or “trial of life” comes along. At that moment a light came on and realized that I was battling my identity of which out of the two that I really was. Then the blessing came knowing that even though I was that little sapling, there was great hope of knowing someday I’ll be that mighty oak. Praise God!!!
So I began to slowly grow in the Lord. Then about a year later I reached a point where I lost my focus and all I could do was compare my walk with other Christians. Have you ever been there? I thought well if my circumstances were different then I could live a better life too. If I had faith like Mrs. So and So, I would be able to move mountains too!!!! We are all guilty of looking at what we do and not getting our focus back on Christ. So once again I found myself outside church sitting on another picnic table only to meet a very special lady “Sister Della”.
She was such a joy to be around. Her personal testimony of when the Lord healed her was just fantastic and it was filled with so much hope and encouragement. She’s the kind of person you could sit and listen to for hours. It was amazing to me that even though she is in her late season of life and has walked with the Lord since forever ago that she would know all things. Right? I was shocked when she asked “What do you think the scripture means when it says, “In your anger, sin not”? She honestly did not have the answer and was seeking revelation. I thought to myself… Really? I did not have a clue!!! I was guilty of being mad all of the time and sinning quite frequently. Hey, kids will just to that to you! We had a great laugh about it all. The only thing I could think to say was “Well, acutally I was thinking perhaps you could shine some light on a few things for me”. We just knew the Lord sent us together. He is always so faithful to come on the scene to his children when they need ministered to and encouraged to move forward.
She told me a story about how she had 3 apple trees in her front yard. She explained how beautiful they were and yet how each of them were so different in every way, shape and sizes. Some of them produced more fruit than the other ones did. And then she looked at me and said, “But my dear, they are all apple trees”! Why was she telling me this? She new that I was struggling with comparison. I was in awe of her great wisdom and discernment. In her sweet and yet simple way, she was trying explain that Christians are all different. Some us of bear more fruit than the others do but that does not make us any less than Gods Child. Do you see this? This is not a comparison of how you or I do or is my faith bigger… so on and so forth. That’s Religion not Love!!! It is all about Him and what he accomplished on the cross and what he is doing in each of us for his own glory. It reminds me so much of the scripture “It was he who gave some to be apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelist; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Ephesians 4:11-12.
Giving my life to the Lord was the best decision that I could have ever made. When we make him our friend it just becomes sweet. First thing we have to realize is who we are in him. When he applies the blood of the lamb to our lives then we are able to be used for his own glory. After you begin to grow a little you start to bear much fruit.
I pray that you will be encouraged to move forward out of those trials that enemy puts before you. He never wants to you to grow to know the truth or have that inner peace that you are Gods child. And remember even though each us are are different, we are really all the same.
May the Lord bless you.
So you just thought I was perfect. Yes, you were so wrong. I get tempted often. There are times when I’m able to overcome and get the victory while others…. Well, no so much. Maybe this will help someone else who has possibly done the same thing.
Yesterday morning could not have started out to be more beautiful. The girls were being good, everyone had gotten up on time, had a great breakfast, all showered and dress. You would have thought that we were the picture of a family that was about to go off to the house of the Lord for worship. Right? Well, that is certainly where we should have ended up. But here is what actually happened.
It was a drill weekend for Mike so he had already gotten up and gone to work. I was up ready to go to either re-visit my brothers church in Hot Springs or to go our family church. But without a real plan I got off on the wrong track. The enemy saw weakness and here he comes like he always does. Walking to and fro the earth seeking whom he can devour. Needless to say he made a right turn onto the path that I was stuck on. He come up behind me and started whispering his little lies saying “Well, tomorrow is a big school day and you really need to go finish your last minute shopping for the girls to all be ready”. “It sure would be a long drive to church all by yourself in this old car with all these mile on it”. “Are you really going to go set on a pew all alone”. Now, since when did the enemy start caring about my well being? Unfortunately that temptation worked just as he planned. I literally found my at the crossroads on which way to turn. The girls in the back seat saying “Momma, are you lost”? “Where are we going”? “What are you doing”?….. “Hold on girls, I’m thinking”. What I should have said is “Hold on… Im trying to reason with the stinking devil and this might take a minute”. So what did I do? Unfortunately I did the opposite of what I should have.
I chose the path that lead me to go ahead and get the school stuff done. I KNOW!!!! OH Trust Me, I KNOW!!!! The whole time I hear the Lord screaming to my heart saying “Come to me”!!!! “I have a message for you”!!! “I’m want to spend time with you feeding you with my word”!!! “There was a blessing just for you”!!! “I’m jealous for you and I have all of this to offer…. “WHY ARE YOU TURNING THE OTHER WAY”? “Don’t you think I’ll take care of your girls tomorrow with their supplies”? Isn’t it not written: Luke 12:24 “Consider the ravens:for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the fowls”? His just kept getting louder and louder. So finally I thought Ok… I have to get my mind on something else. ok… ok… ok… Ummm…. This is no big deal I’ll just turn on the radio and think happy thoughts. Conviction my friends is never fun.
So in that beautiful Sunday Morning moment on the radio, what do you think I thought was going to be on? Some gardening show? Perhaps a political debate or maybe the weather. Of Course, You pegged it…. It was a sermon. The Lord was not finished talking to me so he said “OK!!!! You’re not going to drown me out my child, the president does not have anything on me, IT’S MY DAY AND I’M ON EVERY CHANNEL”!!!!
The Lord worked me over… Blessed be his Holy Name. The sermon was about putting idols before God. I knew that I was about to get chastened and deserved every bit of it. All I could do is say “Yes Lord, I am guilty”. What could a person say? Would you argue with him? It’s one you would not win at. Im sure some of you would say that I was just thinking to much and that need to just move on. Why don’t you try that then and let me know how it turned out for you. It did not work for me. Conviction is a very real thing. If you don’t have conviction and the Lord does not get after you about things in your life, then I can say for certain there is a problem. Hebrews 12:5 says “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every sone whom he receives”.
As for my last minute shopping trip for the school supplies…. That was the worst shopping trip I have ever been on and did not walk away with anything that I needed when I could have walked away with a blessing.
So what is the lesson that was I learned? God spoke to my heart and said “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my prescense only, but now much more in my absensce, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. Philippians 2:12. And not to stop there “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. Matthew 6:33.
May the Lord bless you greatly and convictions be plentiful.
Genesis 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
The girls and I have really been sincerely praying for God to show us a rainbow. This may seem silly to some but this really was a big deal for for them since they have never actually seen one in the sky.
For weeks now when a storm was coming we would start praying, watching, waiting, just anticipating his beauty to be shown. Even tough the conditions seemed to be just right the result was nothing. We saw rainbows everywhere but Up! In photos, cartoons, stickers, shirts, just everywhere. Even yesterday I bought a purse with a cross on the front, got it to the car, laid it in the seat and the sunlight hit the crystals just right and hundreds of rainbows projected all over the car. The girls when wild!!! It started becoming funny! I would say each time “Lord, thank-you but that is not what I asked for. My sincere prayer was…” then I would re explain my prayer as if he was not aware or he misunderstood. Have you ever done that?
Doubt started moving in. Maybe he is not hearing my prayers. Maybe this is just silly to be asking. But God laid it on my heart to look at my prayer in a different light. Look at it like the healing that I have been asking for Allison’s battle with diabetes. How God? How does this relate? His response was more beautiful than I could imagine on my own.
Over these few weeks he has been showing me all kinds of rainbows. Not what I wanted or expected but just what he was providing. Just like he is bringing healing in ways like a sweet touch from soul who has battled it for 40 years, or an encouraging word from a new found friend who’s daughter has the same battle, in the medicines that have only been out for a short time, or the deeper prayer life as a result. Psalm 103:3 tell us that Christ is the one “Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;” Do we see him working in our life showing his beauty and healing in many ways? So I say to the Lord, “Yes Lord, I see but you have not shown me the Glory that I asked for”. 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. “ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me”.
Every time I would respond, he would point me back to his word. What about the story of the disciples in John 9:2-3 “Rabbi, who sinned that this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him”. Deep down I have been thinking have I done something wrong for this to be sent on my family? Have you ever been there? God hears our prayers and is the High Priest of our confession Hebrews 4:14. I am learning that it is not always right to direct punishment.
He then spoke to my heart and told me to write this testimony for all so that it may be a blessing to others. So I say “But God, you have not completely healed her yet” or better yet “God you have not revealed your glory yet” his response: Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” And I promise you has sure as I’m setting here right now when we were leaving last night from dinner, I looked up and out of the east to our amazement a beautiful rainbow coming down out of the clouds. Praise God!!! I nearly caused Mike to have a wreck with my shear excitement. The girls were going crazy. He blows my mind!!!! And then he spoke again Matthew 8:26 Oh yea of little faith… Why did I doubt. Why did I not see that he was teaching me something so much deeper and more meaningful?
He cares about the little things in our life. Just like this rainbow I believe when her healing comes that thousands will be able to share in seeing Gods ultimate beauty revealed. We are given a promise and hope in Christ. He is our silver lining behind every dark storm cloud in our life.
Where is your rainbow you are praying for?
May the Lord Bless You.