Friday, June 19, 2015

His loving kindness and faithfulness...



This will be a different kind of post. One not so much about learning more about God through my everyday experiences; but more about reminding myself of what I already know about Him...

I don't know if it was the news of the recent passing of a longtime friend, or the beautiful memorial for another dear friend that went to be with the Lord several months ago...or maybe it is that Father's Day is approaching, but I am missing my late husband.  Maybe it is a combination of all three of these things, but at any rate it has all affected me with a sharp reality of my husband's absence from my life.  Many of you will understand what I mean.  Even though it has been over 13 years since he has passed and through God's comfort and healing of my soul, there are still times when there comes a sharp reality of the absence of a loved one that has passed.


I am not depressed, nor do I feel sorry for myself. I am just experiencing a grief moment as I process the sad news (local and the media) that I have been hearing over the past few days and even the wonderful news of a life remembered, but sorely missed, as I converse with a wife and a mother and feel with compassion their grief.

I am reminded of what Pastor A. has been teaching about the Holy Spirit (God's Spirit) and how He is grieved at times (Ephesians 4:30); He grieves out of love, not anger nor frustration.  How grief is not from loss, but love. So I don't grieve for my husband because I have lost him, I know exactly where he is and I will see him again someday. But this grief is out of love, love that the Lord blessed the two of us with and will last forever.  Come to think

of it...love never goes away...yes even though that person has been gone from my presence for over 13 years.  Love is eternal...God is eternal...God IS love...and "Love never fails". (how my husband always signed his cards and notes to me) I Corinthians 13: 8a

So what I am experiencing is all about love, how God loves us and how He has blessed me to be able to love others and miss their presence. How He has blessed me to feel with compassion for others that are fresh on a journey of living without the presence of a loved one. How He has blessed me to be able to turn my eyes upon Him and see HIS beauty and know without a shadow of a doubt that He knows what I am feeling at any given moment and does not judge me, but takes my hand and walks with me. He lifts my head, wipes my tears and assures me that I am not alone, He will never leave me nor forsake me. He IS my Glory and the lifter of my head. Psalms 3:3

Pastor A. mentioned this old hymn a couple of weeks ago. Written by C. Austin Miles in 1913, but it still rings so true for me today. It was one of my mother's favorite hymns and I
can still hear her singing it in her light soprano voice when I as a child, sat beside her in the choir loft at St. John Methodist church in South Carolina so many years ago...

I come to the garden alone 
while the dew is still on the roses, 
and the voice I hear falling on my ear, 
the Son of God discloses. 


Refrain: 
And he walks with me, and he talks with me, 
and he tells me I am his own; 
and the joy we share as we tarry there, 
none other has ever known. 


He speaks, and the sound of his voice 
is so sweet the birds hush their singing, 
and the melody that he gave to me 
within my heart is ringing. 


Refrain: 
And he walks with me, and he talks with me, 
and he tells me I am his own; 
and the joy we share as we tarry there, 
none other has ever known. 


"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your loving kindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night..."
Psalms 92:1-2

Thank You Lord for your faithfulness and thank You Holy Spirit for reminding me that I have so much to be thankful for.  :-)



Saturday, June 6, 2015

Seasons...Changes...

"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born,
And a time to die; A time to plant,  And a time to pluck what is planted..."  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2


There is a season for everything, God in His Infinite wisdom and love for us knew that we would need change in our lives in order to be motivated to move forward; to complete His purpose .  Hmmm Change...something most needed and yet it is something that we fight so hard against sometimes.

In nature we see change all the time with each passing  Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. We complain about each one, rather it be too cold or too hot...too much wind or rain or bugs; and yet each season is so necessary and beneficial for the next one.  There are events that occur in each season that brings success to the next.  In Spring, seeds sprout and pollination of flowers occur to bring forth an abundance of produce and flowers in the summer. By the end of Summer and
the beginning of Fall there is a great time of harvest, a time to reap the benefits of the hard work of the passing Summer.  By Fall the plants begin to go into rest; coupled with the cooler nights and frequent rains, brilliant colors appear in trees and seed pods fall to the ground to die. Winter brings complete rest, necessary rest to gather strength for the coming spring when everything burst on the scene in beautiful pastels and fragrance...renewal...and the wheels keep turning...

Change...I have seen some changes in my life, some I've wanted and seemed right on time, there also have been others when I asked God "Surely you must  be mistaken this time?"  Knowing full well He NEVER make mistakes.  That is why He saw me go through the change and answered my prayers by giving me more strength to endure.  In the natural we expect that from a good coach, that they won't just make it particularly easier, but will be by your side to encourage you to go longer, to press in, to get a second wind until you can not only see the finish line, but actually run through it.  How much more important and excellent is He, our Lord.  He has started a good work in us and will be by our side to complete it.  "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

If we give up, it is by our choice, not His.  From season to season there are challenges, any farmer can tell you that, but with each one there are also successes: Seed time, Growing time, Harvest time and then the time of
rest.  So it is in our lives, there are seasons that come that we may never understand why they were necessary.  I am learning that when it seems to us that God is hiding an answer or is silent, He is actually protecting me and if or when it is necessary He will reveal it to me at the right time...His time.

Seasons...changes...we complain, we question: "How long will it last?", when we know all the time that the season won't last forever. We know that Spring, will turn to Summer, Summer to Fall and Fall to Winter. The seasons have changed for all the number of years I have been on this earth and will continue after I am gone. So should I complain about it or enjoy, learn and harvest everything God wants me to experience during that time, so that I can exceed and succeed into the next. So that I can become all that He wants me to be.


What season are you in right now?  Is it one of renewal, coming out of a time of a trial and now you feel the weight of some issues lifted? Maybe you're in a season of growing, maturing and finding out about your real self. Or are you in a time of actually seeing some of the things that you have been praying for come to pass.  What about rest?  Are you in a time of just taking time to rest not just your body, but your soul and spirit, I call it my ALONE time or as one author puts it our ALL ONE time. Time when we alone become ALL ONE with God, Him making us a whole person. Taking time to be healed in every area of our lives.  A little FYI: It is scientifically proven that the body heals itself during sleep, that is why sleep is so important.

Whatever season you may be in, know this...God is with you. As you trust Him, He is with you to make sure you  not only make it through, but that you succeed to go forward into the next season of your life. Be encouraged !
Tree from my Sister's yard in Virginia