I have contemplated leaving this blog behind and moving on.. but where would I go? It has a special place in my heart.. So many posts.. so many opportunities to encourage people and to share parts of my story.. I want to continue to minister to the brokenhearted and I hope that this is a place where that happens.
So here we are January 2019.. I just had another birthday and the Lord blessed me in ways that I did not expect. He brought healing in relationships that I thought were lost. He provided comfort for me as I continue in this new season of life.. unexpected wonderful moments that cannot be explained.. times when He showed Himself to me in ways that only I understand.. I am so thankful.
As I walk with Him in this valley..( the one in the 23rd psalm) He reminds me that He is my shepherd and that He leads me beside the still waters.. He prompts me to lie down in the green pastures.. He shows me in many different ways that He is with me and that because of Him ” I shall not want.” He restores my soul.
Yes.. He is sustaining me and reminding me that this is from Him.. that everything that happens is something that He is allowing and that we are in a broken world where there is suffering and so many unanswered questions.. in a world where we pray and wait and wonder.. He is providing for my needs in astounding ways.. revealing His sovereignty through the things that happen each day and even in the darkest times at night.. He enables me to finally sleep and rest.. and trust.
The scriptures remind us that we do not have the mind of God. His ways are not ours and we cannot try to comprehend all of this .. it is too big for us. So what can we do? For me.. I can be still and know .. I can rest and let Him come for me.. to fish me out of the deep water.. and breathe new life into me. Maybe you need that too.. We all have those times when it is all too much and the usual answers are meaningless..we can only fall into His arms and cry out for relief.. knowing that this too will pass.
He is good and He is faithful and you are not forgotten..
I like this word.. discernment. It is the ability to tell right from wrong.. truth from error. This is critically important in our present day culture. So many things that are not true are presented as facts.. everyone is an expert. We need wisdom so we can tell the truth from the lies..that is not always easy. Fortunately we have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. What that means for us is that there is a source we can go to and we can seek the truth about everything.. if we really want to know it.
Sometimes it is easier to just read something in a book and believe it.. the problem is that it may not be true.. unless that book is the Bible. There are no errors in the Bible, but there are many books that claim they are interpreting scripture.. in reality they are misrepresenting it.. very troubling. Our only hope is to pray and seek clarity from the Lord .. to use the minds He has given us and to realize that His truth is not hidden from us. It is available if we seek it with our whole hearts, minds, and souls.. we need to desire it and to search for it and to make it important enough that we would die for it.
This is not a popular outlook in our narcissistic culture..we are constantly being sold a bill of goods. Our lives are to be filled with comfort.. remember anything goes.. don’t rock the boat or question things too deeply. You may cause division or create conflict if you stand up for what is right.. better to just roll over and be a peacemaker. There are times when there is no way to achieve peace.. relationships are messy and they don’t always end well. Life is complex and the road to the Kingdom is filled with potholes and traps.. we may fall if we are not careful.
So.. let’s be discerning people.. opening our eyes to the truth.. searching for it and believing that God is revealing it daily as we seek Him and His ways. Don’t blend in and don’t fit in.. stand up and speak out. Let’s pray for courage and strength in these times.. God knows we need it.
” When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16:13)
These two words are themes that I revisit again and again on my blog. Do you know why? Because we can never get too much of either..in fact most of us seem to be starving for more of both. There is so information out there and so many stories making the rounds.. on social media, in the news, etc. How much of it is truly encouraging? Even when I watch videos that are supposed to be faith building, I often feel like these are exceptional stories.. not everyday stories..like the ones we live in.
I realize that God does miraculous things and He can turn things around at any moment..there is no way I am minimizing His work in this world. Yet I can’t help but reflect on the way He calls us to live fully in the times when nothing amazing or astounding seems to be happening..at least not those big things that are in testimonies and faith filled stories. He is with us in the struggle, in the sorrow, in the depression, and anxiety. He holds us up as we walk along..weary and worn out.
We continue to trust Him and to ask Him for the miracle and the turn around..we wait on Him and live fully each day.. not comparing our lives to others. We look around and see Him at work in the little things..we call out for strength and He gives it..we ask for encouragement and He brings it..we fall on Him and He catches us and breathes new life into our empty places.. These are the true miracles.. the evidence of His presence and His great love for us.. We are blessed!
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”( Joshua 1:5)
My husband discovered a labyrinth near our house by viewing a nearby park on Google Maps. We were walking in this beautiful park and found some trails that we did not know about. He was researching and suddenly found that there was a short hike to a labyrinth that was in the parking lot of an Episcopal church. We visited the church and walked the labyrinth (actually half of it) with our grand kids about a week ago. We were surprised that they knew what it was.. and of course excited that they could actually see one in real life. Later I found out that my daughter (who was away on a retreat) was walking a labyrinth herself .. near the retreat center.
Yesterday Steve and I did the hike to our labyrinth and walked the other half. We met the rector of the Episcopal church and had a wonderful conversation about the church, the labyrinth, and lots of other things. God blessed us through the whole experience.
After reflecting on the presence of the labyrinth over the last week, I’ve come to believe that all of life is exactly that.. one long labyrinth. We walk along and suddenly there is a turn and then we find ourselves going back the way we came..more turns and once again we are on the path..finally we actually make it to the end. It seems like we are going over old territory..like we may never find out way out and then suddenly we see light at the end of the tunnel. Our journey is confusing.. but we are on the path and if we just persevere we will reach our destination.
Here are some pictures of our hike and the labyrinth. Wherever you are on your journey.. I pray that God will reveal the next step and that you will continue to follow Him on this winding road all the days of your life.