“Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.”
And the many glorious days of a Florida Spring are what many of us think are such a worthwhile part of living here.
As I headed down 41 towards the Desoto Bridge over the Manatee River that is the only thing separating our little town of just 12,000 from the swelled tourist season of Bradenton, my heart leaped. I could hardly contain the joy inside from the beauty I saw. Once I got across the bridge I had to stop and take a few photos.
|Looking from Bradenton across the bridge to Palmetto!|
I don’t have enough of any one theme from things I do in life to fill up an entire journal since I’ve started throwing away, recycling, and giving away so much more in the last 16 or so months. For me a favorite theme is always God. I decided to make the Smash book on a theme of my God sightings. Since I’m just an old sentimental fool I decided this was a very creative and fun way to have a remembrance of the ways I see God working in my life and it doesn’t take up much space.
Of course, being the UNIQUE child of God that I know I am this book just couldn’t be plain or merely entitled “God Sightings” so I thought and prayed and thought and prayed and then it came to me. See what you think of my cover?
And I already gave it a first page full of scriptures about seeing God, along with the one scripture that I think encompasses the entire Christian walk:
*Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will bring them to pass.”
If you pay much attention to me and this blog, you’ll know all that I do with my hands! Although I just love all that God has gifted me with it seems to not come without consequence from overuse. To explain, I’ve started having carpal tunnel symptoms in just the last few days. Perplexing, to say the least, when I know I am so inspired by God to create through my art and writing. And I’m still quite perplexed but God has given me a peace about this. I know that He is working all things out for my good (Romans 8:28) but being the doubting human that I can be, I needed a little extra help with this, along with still praying and taking it one day at a time.
Early Sunday morning I was dreaming and dreaming. I hit the snooze and fell quickly back to sleep, dreaming again. I awoke suddenly to see that I’d overslept by 25 minutes. Thankfully a dream had startled me awake. In the dream, I had gone into church, walked into the sanctuary, and our pastor’s wife was sitting behind the drums just slamming out the beats. In the dream, my mouth fell open and I ran back out of the sanctuary wide awake. (I shared this with several people at church including her and this amazing, emboldened, prophetically gifted woman of God told me to not put it past her – what an amazing testimony she is!) Thank the Lord for sending me an alarm clock!
Then, yesterday morning as I was running out the door with my step-son to church I saw this little book lying on my kitchen table that I don’t read nearly as much as I feel that I should. It crossed my mind to pick it up and take it with me. When I got to church there was just a sweet, sweet anointing from the Holy Spirit over the sanctuary. (I so thank the Lord for His gift of discerning of spirits.) He was keeping me so drawn to Him and the purpose at hand: praying, worshipping, Bible reading and eventual greeting of the brethren into church (which has truly just become my heart on Sunday mornings – fits better than a favorite worn in pair of blue jeans! Thank Him and praise Him for bringing me into so many things that amazingly fit me so well. What a loving, insightful creator we have!)
I got situated in our favorite spot (and has been for several years) in the sanctuary and began to read:
“If you learn to trust Me — really trust Me — with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from My Peace. Everything you endure can be put to good use by allowing it to train you in trusting Me. This is how you foil the works of evil, growing in grace through the very adversity that was meant to harm you.
My deepest desire is to trust You with my whole being, but trusting does not come easily to me. I have, however, become more open to accepting adversity as a gift from You. Sometimes I just want relief from my difficulties. At other times I am able to receive them as blessings. Help me to allow my problems to train me in trusting You.
Beloved, it helps to have an eternal perspective if your life on earth were all there is, it might be reasonable to run from adversity and seek a life of pleasure. However, your earthly lifespan is minuscule compared with the Glory that awaits you in heaven. A large part of learning to trust Me is viewing your life through this big picture perspective.
Your openness to accepting adversity as blessing shows that you are indeed learning to trust Me more. Your anticipation of good outcomes in the midst of hard times is a profound form of trust.
Remember that the evil one attacks you continually with burning arrows of accusation. If you use your shield of faith skillfully, you can stop those missiles and extinguish their flames. Even if some of the arrows find their mark and wound you, do not despair, I am the Great Physician. My loving Presence can both heal your wounds and train you to trust Me more. When you are wounded, come close to Me and pay attention to My teaching. As you do so, your faith will be strengthened, enabling you to grow in grace and knowledge of Me — the Lord of Peace. (Gen. 50:20, Eph. 6:36, 2 Peter 3:18)”
Excerpt from “Dear Jesus” by Sarah Young
And, I was in awe! God knows me so well! He is not only my awesome creator but also my best friend who knows what I need to hear when I need to hear it! This fits me to a Tee! I’ve shared that I’ve realized for some time that I had trust issues but I also learned that I trust Him to always clear them up and He ALWAYS does!
I have also believed for some time that I’ve been given a ministry of suffering. May sound awful but it’s really not and it does help me to feel needed in this world. In my insufficiency I am able to call upon the Great Physician.
While watching a TV show last evening I leaked. To explain, I cry so easily at the misfortunes, infirmities, hardships (whatever you want to call it) of others. I shared with my husband who always notices my weeping at the very time it starts why this is.
*2 Corinthians 1:4 “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. “
I have been through so much adversity in my life that I know how so many others feel. And He showed me several years ago that people will come into my path that don’t know Him as I do and will need the comfort that I am able to give ONLY because of Him. One of my closest girlfriends who has been going through quite a bit of health problems would attest to how many times I’ve cried with her. I couldn’t do that if I hadn’t been through so much myself. And, it also helps me to feel so deeply for others since it also causes me to go to God in prayer for them. I can’t stand to not pray for them. And, I always have the fact that His comfort has gotten me through and keeps me going one day at a time. And, because of Him and His promises I know that this time on earth is Only temporary.
An additional thing to note: In listening to the sermon at church yesterday, the pastor shared that we need to have things to help us remember the amazing things that God has done. My “I See God” smash book?
Even more revelation came to me regarding healing and afflictions after this weekend which I will share in a Part 2 of this writing since it is getting so long.
What a memorable weekend and this blog post is being printed to go into my new Smash book, too!
I have another new song that particularly touched me today.
May God bless you through my writing. If He has especially touched you in any way, please leave a comment below. Your comments are so very encouraging to me to help me to keep writing. Also, click on the “Uptweet” button on the above right and share! I pray you will keep coming back. I fully believe that my writing is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so if I am writing, there is someone that needs to read it! Maybe it’s you? Also, please be sure to share any questions you might have with me and if you would like to keep them personal (just between you and me) please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I don’t know how to answer you, I will may every attempt to refer you to someone for more information. Thanks and may God bless all your days!