The prettiest smiles hide the deepest secrets. The prettiest eyes have cried the most tears and the kindest hearts have felt the most pain. – Author unknown


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Keep a Grip on Hope

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It’s a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
    the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
    the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
    and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left.

Lamentations 3; 21-24 (MSG Version)


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Bankrupt Without Love

love others

In recent times I have come across many people that are busy with performance, busy with measuring up to the worlds plumb line of success, busy people pleasing, wearing ‘busy’ like a badge, like it’s a status to be coveted. In prayer and pondering I asked the Lord to speak to me about this busyness… should I be more busy so as to soak in the success pool? Here’s what I believe He whispered; ‘they keep themselves ‘purposely busy’ while I have created you to be ‘busy about your purpose’, your purpose is to love and be loved, Kingdom success is measured by how well you love’. This brought such a peace to my soul, and reminded me of the words penned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13;

The Way of Love

 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.  (MSG Version)


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When The Journey is Too Great for Thee… STOP, Relax & eat cake!

Stop_-Relax-dawnzy58Some years ago I studied a Bachelor of Science, many of the papers were based on the physiological study of the human body however, what caught my interest was the amazing ability the body has to heal and repair itself, a divine design indeed. Mel Wild at In My Father’s House has recently written about the importance of caring for our physical bodies read more here so I am keeping the theme running because I want to exaggerate the importance of physical care ;-)

I am currently writing a ‘healing for the body’ chapter in my book. Here I thoroughly discuss healing for the body on a practical level and uncover what is required practically for this dynamic creation, we call the human body, to heal from depression.

Physiological needs for healing is a topic which is often overlooked in Christian circles. In my experience with healing from depression, I met many well-meaning Christians that were intent on spiritualising every aspect of my condition.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood, there is a spiritual realm in which we must contend for healing. (see Ephesians 6:12) However if we are to contend for healing, I believe it is not to give the enemy so much ‘air time’ that we become paranoid and look for a demon under every rock. Rather, I suggest we must embrace what is required for healing of the spirit and soul alongside applying some practical steps towards healing our physical bodies.

Recently I read a daily devotion penned by L.B Cowman Streams In The Desert, she writes on the issue of confounding physical weariness with spiritual weakness:

And what did God do with His tired servant? Gave him something good to eat and put him to sleep. Elijah had done splendid work and had run alongside of the chariot in his excitement, and it had been too much for his physical strength, and the reaction had come on and he was depressed. The physical needed to be cared for. What many people want is sleep and the physical ailment attended to. There are grand men and women who get where Elijah was- under a juniper tree! And it comes very soothingly to such to hear the words of the Master: “The journey is too great for thee, and I am going to refresh you.”

The above devotion is referring to the story of Elijah written in the book of 1 Kings. Here we read the how this great man of God was running away to hide from Jezebel:

“ But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (see 19: 3-5)

It is clear from the context that Elijah was exhausted – mentally and physically.

I believe he had not been eating or resting, that he was running on a spiritual high. He had great victories, revived a widow’s son, called down fire from heaven and then finds himself running scared from a girl! As his body was exhausted so to his mind became irrational, ‘Lord take my life’ is suicidal thinking!. He had already stood against greater odds than one woman and yet he was fearful and perceived the threat irrationally. (Sounds like depression)

How did God respond to Elijah? He cared for his natural needs: Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again.  And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”  So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.” (see 1 Kings 19:5-8)

The Lord’s care, is always according to our needs. The primary need that the Lord saw was the need for the body to recover strength: to sleep, to eat, to drink. Elijah had a nature – a human nature, just like our own. Therefore, if exhaustion and lack of nutrition can cause Elijah to have a flat day, then it can happen to us because we have the same nature, a human nature that requires adequate rest and nourishment. So there you have it straight from the Word of God… a good meal and a lie down can literally refresh your perspective and lift your mood, now you go, eat a nourishing meal and take yourself off to bed early… let’s leave the sitting under a Juniper Tree for the wildlife to enjoy!


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Apprehended by a Spiritual Force

Hope

Lately it’s been on my heart to share an excerpt from my book, may you be encouraged that no matter how tough life gets there is ALWAYS Hope… always x

Overwhelmed with fear and alone I found myself calling on God, my God the God I had abandoned, the God I didn’t need. All the while I had been trying to do life my way, He was there waiting for me to come running back into His arms, all of my effort and strength was gone all I had left was to surrender to the hope that I once knew. Hope in God was buried deep within my spirit, early years of Sunday school had planted seeds of hope that somehow, someway there was a divine meaning to my life. As I turned my thoughts back to God, I cried out to the unseen, somehow I knew He was in the room with me as a profound peace swept over my being.

My broken heart carried a pain so deep that I could hardly breathe, still in grief from my father’s death, in shock from the promiscuity of *Jake and now I lay waiting, hoping for a miracle… the survival of my twin babies. Somehow that night my hurt collided with the healing power of Jesus, I felt simultaneously weak but strong. The apostle Paul tells of the strength he found in Christ “It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (MSG)

Letting Christ take over is hard for most of us, for me there was no other choice I had reached rock bottom with no options but to surrender my will to His. Often in a sorrowful situation we shout accusations at God and then turn and walk away, I have learned by my past to not shout at God but instead it is best that we stop and listen.

Amid the calamity, a monitor strapped around my stomach, intravenous drip and observations by the nurse every hour, I managed to drift into a peaceful sleep a peace which truly surpassed my understanding. I awoke early to the gentle nudge of the obstetrician on duty, before I could clear the sleep from my eyes he began, “good morning, we are making plans for you to be taken to a larger hospital that specialises in pre-term labour, it is the safest place to be should your twins decide to come early”.  Within the hour I was in the ambulance and being taken to Rockhampton hospital, alone and uncertain of how the following days would unfold the long drive in the ambulance ushered in the opportunity for my thoughts to begin to race and before long my peace had turned to dread.

Immediately upon arrival I was taken for an ultrasound to check on the twins, a cold stone-faced radiologist performed the ultrasound without a word spoken to me. All I recall is thinking “God where are you in all this, it’s all my fault this is my punishment for turning away from you”, why would He want to answer my prayers?  I was convinced that God was angry with me. Finally, the radiologist broke his silence; “we can’t do anything for you, one baby is very sick and will possibly die in the next couple of days and then the other will have a chance of survival, you need to be taken to Brisbane”. His words were like missiles flying off his tongue and straight into my heart, no warmth or empathy just very matter of fact.  The hours went by very slowly that day, as I lay and wait for the next report on when and how I would be leaving, the same incomprehensible peace washed over me.

*name changed for privacy ;-)


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You were meant to fly | Jonathan David Helser

beautifulcourageousyou:

Arise out of the ashes of your circumstances, disappointments, anxieties, confusion, and the mundane into the glorious tangible, overwhelming and transforming presence of Christ! Enter into His fullness of joy, living His life abundantly on the earth, under the radiant warmth of His smile. Turn your eyes of faith to where you already are. (Mel Wild “In My Father’s House“)

Originally posted on In My Father's House:

Beloved, you were meant to fly! You’re not an earthbound turkey; you’re a heavenly eagle. Stop believing lies and bad theology that tells you a different story. God designed you to soar into the heavenly realms with Him. You were meant to live from heaven to earth. You are a royal son, a radiant bride…a co-heir with Christ in your Father’s Kingdom…you belong to God. There’s no higher place to attain to, nothing more you can become. Arise out of the ashes of your circumstances, disappointments, anxieties, confusion, and the mundane into the glorious tangible, overwhelming and transforming presence of Christ! Enter into His fullness of joy, living His life abundantly on the earth, under the radiant warmth of His smile. Turn your eyes of faith to where you already are. As Paul encouraged us…

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A Thousand Sleepless Nights

Blessings as raindrops

 

This is by far my favourite song at the moment; “Blessing’s” by Laura Story ,  I believe the trials of this life are His mercies in disguise, I have doubted His goodness, I have doubted His love and many times after I have shared my journey with others, they are perplexed that I choose to glorify God. They have questioned how can I still believe in God let alone trust in His goodness? They perceive that when I was trusting in Him, He let me down?!

I have grappled in my mind with these arguments for the past 5 years, ‘is God good? Does He love me? Why do bad things happen to good people?,  in fact why do bad things happen at all? Finally I grew tired of trying to figure it all out and made the choice to trust in His Word and trust that He is a God of Mercy and deep, deep Love for us. My healing has come through tears and a thousand sleepless nights were what it took to know He is near, my faith has been renewed and I have entered His rest.

I still have painful memories and even present day sorrowful situations, but I am learning to transcend them by pursuing the heart of God in prayer and reading the Word.  Proverbs 3:5-6 implores us to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;6  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths”. Day and night I have meditated on this truth. Trusting in the Lord means, rather than blaming Him for what happens, rather than doubting His love for us, we relax and rest assured believe that our Heavenly Father has our life in the palm of His hand and never shall He loosen His grip, no never. x

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