The LORD was dead. What else were they to think? Jesus had been violently taken away from the disciples. He was brutally whipped. He had His hair pulled out and His beard plucked. A crown of thorns was mashed into His skull. He was investigated, interrogated, isolated. And where were His followers? Gone, scattered like rats when a light comes on. Only a few close to Him witnessed His barbaric crucifixion.
Following the terrible ordeal the disciples met in quiet and in secret. Where would they go from here? I imagine their stunned silence was broken only by the spasmodic sobs of their inconsolable grief. Jesus’ death was surreal. It blindsided them. But why weren’t they prepared? Because none of them remembered that Jesus had told them He would suffer many things, be rejected, and be killed. The most important thing they didn’t remember was that Jesus said He would rise again. He would come back to life.
They were so deluded by what they saw and by what they heard in the natural that the very words of the LORD Himself were buried with Him. They didn’t pause to remember, to ponder, and to rehearse what Jesus had said. They didn’t pause to consider that it wasn’t that the Father couldn’t deliver His Son from the cross but He wouldn’t deliver Him because Jesus had a mission to complete. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. And not just any blood would do, but that of something, and in this case, Someone spotless, blameless. Without the gift of God and the sacrifice of Jesus all of humanity was doomed. But the disciples didn’t quite understand that yet.
While His disciples mourned His untimely death, Jesus went to the bowels of the fiery earth. While His disciples shook with sobs the demons shook in terror because the Son of God, the Holy of Holies, showed up on their doorstep. Jesus took from satan the keys of death and hell (Revelation 1:18). I have a notion that night wasn’t silent but it was holy. Unfortunately, the grieving disciples couldn’t see the truth beyond the evidence of the crucifixion. The evidence said their LORD was dead; the truth was that Jesus was alive and warring while the disciples were in unbelief and mourning.
I wonder what it would have been like if one of the disciples came out of his grief-stricken stupor long enough to ask, “Hey! Do any of you remember Jesus saying something about rising again on the third day?” And what if one of them answered, “Yeah. I do seem to recall Him saying something like that.” And what if another said, “Hey! Me too!” And what if their sorrow turned to joy? And what if they made cake and waited in expectation to celebrate with their LORD?
What if . . .
. . . we would be those disciples? What if we would stand and say, “I don’t care what I hear or see in the natural, I know what God has said. He said divine healing/miracles will come. He said nothing hidden will remain. He said Jesus will draw His sword and sing songs of deliverance over people in the night. He said He will not be mocked. He said He is not only able but willing and He will have His way. Therefore I choose to believe He will fulfill His Word no matter what I see or hear because I know what God has said and I know in whom I have believed.” What if we would be those people?
Join me in continuing to trust. Let’s be the people who believe no matter what happens. God is looking for faith in the earth. May we be named among the faithful.
Miracles happen just like that. Put on your seat belt. We’re going for a ride.
A few years ago my husband decided to learn how to play chess. Not having sat down at a board since I was in middle school, I was no help to him. After he taught himself the basics, it became a common practice for him to sit with his laptop in his easy chair and go a couple of rounds.
If memory serves me correctly, his learning experience took place one fall and into winter, then spring. Along with spring thaw comes outdoor activities and camping — which is when Bob’s newly acquired skills were challenged. Incredibly, one of our camping neighbors approached Bob and asked if he played chess. Bob’s answer was something to the effect of, “I’ve never played a person before but if you want me to, I’ll give it a try.” I think the guy was giddy just having found someone who’d give it a whirl. He happily grabbed what they needed from his camper and the game of chess commenced at our picnic table.
I admit it, I didn’t sit and watch. But had I known what was going to happen, I would have. Bob won. Mind you, I didn’t assume he’d lose; that’s not the point at all. The point is, Bob won and he didn’t even know it. His opponent pointed it out to him.
“Who taught you how to play? Are you sure you never played before?” he asked, near accusing.
“I taught myself. I’ve only ever played the computer,” Bob assured him.
“I have never seen anyone play like you before. I’ve never played anybody who begins a game with the moves that you do. They’re so aggressive.”
Many people may consider 2020 to be a wash. Consistent, disheartening news reports (I don’t watch, but sometimes hear from others) seeping into our brand new year, may make many a person fret. But the scripture that immediately comes to my mind is from Colossians 2:15 where it says Jesus disarmed (demonic) powers and principalities and made a public spectacle of them by triumphing over them through the cross. Jesus’ work on the cross is still valid. He is still triumphing over evil. I see this as a time of necessary exposure. When I was praying about all of this rot (covid, political crap, etc.) half a year or so ago, one of the things the LORD showed me was a gigantic spotlight. He said, “Nothing hidden will remain.” Nothing. I see this as the time when evil is exposing itself to its core. It isn’t fun. It definitely isn’t pretty. But it is necessary. Whenever we are doing thorough house cleaning, I tell the girls, “You have to make a mess to clean a mess.” I have seen no bigger mess than this on planet earth in my lifetime so then this must be the mother of all cleanings.
God has said over and over to me that He will not be mocked and that He will have His way. God is not required to disclose His strategies but we are required to believe that He will triumph no matter how great the presumed losses. Absolutely nothing looked worse for all of humanity than the day when Jesus took His final breath on the cross. I’m sure the hordes of hell celebrated . . . that is, until Jesus showed up on their doorstep and took from them the keys of Hell and of Death. Jesus won! Whenare we going to know it?
I’m thinking of another scripture in Isaiah 28 that says God will rise up and do His work, His awesome work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual act. Like Bob, God will win with unusual moves, moves that we will see as aggressive when once fully revealed. Unlike Bob, God knows He’s won. Truth will no longer be quieted. Justice will no longer be prevented. “When?!” we cry. When it is time.
God is not fretting. Why should we? Join me in prayerful, peaceful waiting.
Several months ago I decided to blog once a week. Down the toilet went my good intentions. Between a new adventure at church, end of camping season, returning to creative writing for profit, and battling some personal upheavals, God’s Word Girl slipped by the wayside. I actually signed in a few times and wheeled around my site, looking at posts, drafts, and stats and then logged off without so much as typing The.
Every now and again I look at my followers. We are few in number. I say “we” because I am my first follower, by accident, but then I let it be. I figure if I’m not willing to follow myself how can I expect anyone else to? (The details to that story can be found in The unIdentified Lone Follower @ https://godswordgirl.com/2018/11/09/the-unidentified-lone-follower/ ). Sometimes I sigh. Sometimes I feel defeated. Believe it or not, a lot of work goes into this blog with no tangible pay and little encouragement — which I cherish.
I considered quitting. But, like I said, I occasionally visit my stats. I click on my followers and scroll the names and faces (where available) and I think, I can’t let this person down. God’s Word Girl must go on as long as God says it must go on, paycheck or no. If doing this work costs me then let it be a sacrifice as unto the LORD.
I look again at the names and the faces. Sometimes I don’t look. Sometimes I send up a prayer for you without your name and your face before me because you matter to me. More importantly, you matter to God.
You are not in this world by accident. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5), and He loved you . . . and still does. God has a plan and a purpose for you (Jeremiah 29:11). But lest you think all of your future is going to come to you gift wrapped and tied up in a pretty bow, look beyond to Jeremiah 29:12-13 which says when we call upon Him and pray, He will listen. When we seek Him and search with all of our heart, He will be found by us. Our relationship with Jesus must be one of consistent pursuing. Isn’t that what we desire? To be wanted? To be pursued? To be loved?
Once pursuing is established, I have discovered that the plan and purpose God has for our lives often come in bits and pieces of information/revelation. It’s what we do with those bits and pieces that is pivotal to what comes next. I’ll use a couple of stories to illustrate.
My Mum asked me if there was anything I would like for Christmas. A few weeks earlier she had pointed out fleece lined knee high socks. Generally I’m not a knee high sock kind of girl, but fleece lined, in winter, with my chilled feet? There was nothing to deliberate.
“You know what, Mum? I would like to have those socks you pointed out to me at the Amish store–that is, if you get back there before Christmas.”
Guess what? On Christmas evening I was opening fleece lined knee high socks. She hadn’t made it back to the store; she ordered them. Did I feel loved? Yes! Privileged? Yes! Listened to? Yes!! Is my relationship with Mum contingent upon what she gives me? Absolutely not! But she asked and the socks were evident that shelistened to my answer.
Let’s look at this in contrast. The girls have an aunt who used to ask what they wanted for Christmas. They would tell her and their answers often had to do with anything Barbie. Mind you, none of their requests were unobtainable or expensive. But rarely did they find what they requested in the packages she presented. Do you know what happened? They gave up telling her what they’d like to have, figuring she’d buy what she wanted to buy anyway, so the practice of question and answer fell by the wayside. It wasn’t that the gifts they received weren’t nice, but they weren’t what the girls wanted.
Likewise, if you intend to do as you wish anyway, (like the girls’ aunt), don’t ask God what He wants if you don’t truly want to know. However, when we sincerely want to know what God wants, and He tells us what He wants, then we need to do as He says. Know this: He will not be pacified by anything else. Like us, He wants what He wants. Unlike us, He knows the reason behind the request . . . as usually whatever He asks for is all part of a bigger, beautiful tapestry called Life. He longs for the day when we can stand with Him and look at it and say, “Oh, I see now why You called for that color! And that particular weave. It’s beautiful!”
Do you want to go to the next level? I do. So once we’ve settled that we are pursuing Holy Spirit, we are responsible for what He tells us. I believe God has given me God’s Word Girl and that is why I won’t quit despite the times when I feel like my offering is insignificant. I am not doing this faith walk perfectly, but I am doing the best that I can in the strength that the LORD has given to me. If you are doing the same, then take to heart the encouraging words that I gladly received from the LORD through a prophet several months ago: “You are doing better than youthink you are.”
I repeat, you have a plan and a purpose. You have a place in the body of Christ. No one is going to do anything exactly the way you do. You are necessary. Do you see your potential? I hope you do. It is past time for us to seek the LORD with fervor and endeavor to fulfill our purpose.
Join me today in praying one for another and persisting in seeking and following God’s plan.
My prayer for you today is a song. I want to send you into 2021 with encouragement and assurance that you are needed and loved.
The snow came hard and fast. It heaped up plenty in record time. I gazed out the window from my warm sanctuary and assessed the accumulation periodically. That’s when I discovered the casualty, my jolly, round yard ornament, face down in the snow with his butt lit. The snowman was reduced to nothing more than a snowy silhouette with a lighted derriere. I wanted to go out and stand him up but not bad enough to brave the elements. So, he lay prostrate the entirety of the night — and in the dark when our timer for the lights went off.
The girls and I went out to play in the snow the next day but it was actually too deep and heavy to enjoy. By and by we trudged over to the vehicles and did our best to unearth them. What a chore! It wasn’t until we had come in, peeled off our cumbersome outerwear, and light once again gave way to dark, that I looked out the window and realized that I hadn’t given the snowman a thought while we had been outside. Of course he was still face down; only this time I didn’t see a light . . . or much of a silhouette.
I was thinking that my once cheerful, lighted snowman could be a symbol for the year 2020. Who would have thought one year could hold so much fear, dread, and chaos? I never saw it coming. It’s almost enough to make a person feel like my snowman — laying face down in the cold, covered over, with the lights out. I said almost.
I haven’t been much inclined to buy the rot that the devil is trying to sell through lamestream media, misguided Christians, and full out haters of God. If anything, their unhinged accusations, attempts to bury the truth, and incomprehensible hypocrisy, have fueled my fire to believe even more fiercely that God is on the move. The devil doesn’t know what God is up to but I figure he’s certain sure He is up to something HUGE. Why else would he be trying so hard to discourage, distract, and destroy the remnant, the bride of Christ? Why else would he be raging so?
I don’t know how you’re doing. Could be that you feel like my outdoor snowman; prostrate, buried, and in the dark. If that’s so, stop it. That’s not especially easy for me to say. We’ve had covid. We’ve had financial strain. We’ve had loss. I stillchoose Jesus.I still choose to believe that He is able and willing.
The year 2020 was a great test. Did you make the grade? Is your faith still in tack? Luke 18:8 asks if the LORD will find faith on the earth when He comes. Will He? Will you be among those who still believe in God, hold on to His Word, and live righteously no matter how cold, stifling, or dark planet earth becomes? It is difficult to hold on sometimes. That’s when it’s most essential to remind ourselves that we’re not holding onto Him, Jesus is holding onto us. We also need to remember that with Holy Spirit inside of us we have complete access to warmth, freedom, and light. We can’t do anything on our own but all things are possible with God. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: God will have His way in the earth. Once His mind is set on something, He won’t be denied. Will you be one who will try to hinder and prevent Him? Or are you praying His will and speaking His Word to be done?
I’m imploring you today to return to faith if you’ve left it. You have that option. Remember the prodigal son?
I’m encouraging you to be still and simply stand if you feel like you can’t go on anymore. You’re not holding onto Him, God is holding onto you. Rest. He won’t let you go.
If you’ve been actively warring, keep up the good fight. You will not lose because you serve a God Who doesn’t know the meaning of failure.
The helpless infant Who came to us some 2000 years ago is alive and well and ruling the nations as King of Kings and LORD of Lords. I hope you believe it. I hope you know it.
Join me today in believing for a miraculous Christmas and a blessed beyond imagination New Year.
This year has been an exceptionally difficult year for many people in various ways. Our family, like others, has not escaped being touched by the wicked one (which I may share in detail at a later date). I have found that those of us who have maintained our faith in God, our relationship with God, and our gratitude for God are coming out of this year shining. There are many things that could discourage us but we have chosen joy instead. We know that God is not only able, He is willing. He will have His way. And the best is yet to come.
It is on that note that I wish to share something deeply personal with you. I have loved Jesus since I was a child — at least to the extent I could love and understand. I have loved my nation as well and have interceded for her since I was a teenager. Maybe 10 years ago, I asked the LORD for a story concerning my country and He gave it to me. I knocked on different doors and sought out various platforms but there never seemed to be the right time or place. Now is the time, here is the place. Some will be offended by the message but I have decided to take no care for that. The Truth sets people free and I unashamedly present it. This is The Time in Between. God is sorting the wheat and the tares. He sees who has clung to righteousness and those who have not. This is a time of repentance for those who have chosen to side with anything outside of His Word. He gives us this time, this opportunity, because God is love and does not desire that we suffer needlessly. But lest we forget, He is also just, and sometimes our choices bring our own consequential demise.
I add that this is a time of shaking for all of us. Those of us whose foundation is the LORD will indeed have a remaining foundation upon which He will build. And He will build with such speed and in such a fashion that we will be amazed.
Some may weep when you view what I present today and my hope is that all are moved to prayer and action for the United States of America. I encourage those of you outside of our borders that God is not exclusive but available to “whosoever will”. 2 Chronicles 7:14 includes you and your nation as well as me and mine.
A special shout out to my friend, Nicole, who has an incalculable amount of talent and boundless inspiration for what comes next. You can find more of her work on YouTube at The Memory Maker Nicole. Thank you, Nicole.
Thank You, God, Master Creator. You are amazing!
I gladly present to all of you:
A special mention of thanks to my daughter, Beth, for sharing the above painting.
Rachel and I walked across the brown field at the campground. The grass crunched beneath our feet and continued to shrink under the intense heat of the sun.
“We had a friend who used to say that the physical mirrors the spiritual,” I told her. “Considering how things look, I’d say we’re having a spiritual drought. The Holy Spirit is sometimes represented by water and rain.”
“Does that mean the Holy Spirit isn’t here anymore?” she asked, aghast.
“No, He’s still with God’s kids. It just means God is staying His hand and giving people what they think they want. Which seems to be a world devoid of Him.”
People, well meaning and some Christians, say God is in control. If God is in control then why is our world in the mess that it’s in? We are in control. Contemplating that tends to make a lot of people angry. I figure it’s because we don’t want to accept the responsibilities of our choices. I mean, if God is in control then all of this chaos is His fault and we’re free from blame and can go on living as we see fit. Only, it isn’t His fault. It’s ours and we’re immature brats who won’t take responsibility for it.
Here’s why I think the way I do. In a nutshell: God made Adam and Eve. He gave them dominion over the earth. He gave it to them to enjoy, love, and tend. They sinned thereby negating their authority and basically handed the earth over to satan on a silver platter. About 4,000 years later, Jesus came on the scene, kicked satan in the the head, and won back humanity’s authority. Read the Book, you’ll see.
However, we have just as much free will (choice) as Adam and Eve did. God is in control to the extent that I let Him be in control. I must make the effort to fellowship with Him and hear His voice and obey it in order to reap peace and blessings thereby. That seems crazy to some people, letting Him be in control. Why? No one loves us unconditionally like He does. I think people are crazy for trying to run their own show. I’ve seen it too many times and it’s often to their own demise.
God is sovereign. He is supreme in authority, rule, and power. I know that these things are hard to wrap our minds around, they seem contrary, but they aren’t. Although God wants to be involved in the affairs of men, He won’t impose Himself. He is like any parent — He wants to be chosen. When we choose Him we loose Him. We get rain, not drought.
I’m going to pause here and speak to my fellow Americans. Over 4 years ago the primary election was loaded with wanna be candidates. A young, first time voter asked me who I would vote for. To be of a truth, at that time I had no intention of voting for Trump. I told her I would pray about it and I meant it.
I vividly remember the day that I got my answer. I was sitting on the porch steps, taking a break from chores and soaking in some sun, when a scripture suddenly came to me: I will use the simple to confound the wise. On the heels of the scripture came an immediate thought: the media was slamming Trump for not having any experience being a politician. In other words, simple. The more I let the scripture and the thought marinate, the more open I became to hearing the heart of God.
I sought out other media outlets. The more I listened to what Trump said, unedited, the more I heard someone who loved the country I loved. I heard someone who cares for U.S. citizens and the unborn. I heard someone who could not be bought and would not yield to the elite whose concern is only for themselves and their selfish gains. I heard someone with common sense, a rare commodity in the political field. I heard someone who would die protecting my constitutional rights to freely worship and protect myself against intruders and a tyrannical government. I heard someone say we should have the right to keep our hard earned money, plan our own future, and choose our own health care. I heard someone who wants justice. I heard someone who desperately wanted to protect our nation from unwanted invaders such as criminals, drug runners, and sex traffickers. I pushed past the sometimes crude speech and listened to his heart. Trump sounded like someone seeking after the heart of God for him and his fellow countrymen; he sounded a lot like me.
Bob came home from work one day this week and told me a little of his conversation with someone who won’t vote for Trump because he “doesn’t like him”. I’ve heard of that happening a lot. I’m not even going to sugarcoat this one: That’s a stupid reason not to vote for someone. We must put aside personality preferences for platforms. What candidates most closely reflect your values? That’s who you vote for. After all, I don’t know of anyone who would turn down a gift of a million dollars from someone simply because they “didn’t like them”. Again, that’s stupid.
In Trump we have a President who’s been gnawed at by leftists and their puppet media since he arrived on the scene. He’s still getting the job done despite them. Taxes are lowered and businesses are returning; a wall is being built and sex traffickers have been caught; he respects Israel and our other allies; he believes that we shouldn’t be the world’s police and nations indebted to us need to pay us back; he respects the lives of the unborn and their right to live. I tell you that someone who does not respect the unborn will not respect you. Again, I’m not going to sugarcoat this: if that doesn’t entice you to vote for Trump then you do not hold dear the values of God.
I don’t usually write so forcefully but the soul of the United States of America is at stake. No, I’m not exaggerating. Nor do I want to stand before God and say I squandered my vote, which is my voice, on the premise of clashing personalities. That’s not a viable excuse. God has thrown us a lifeline in Donald J. Trump. We haven’t experienced the kind of evil that will be unleashed on our land if we refuse.
I would be remiss if I didn’t address those of you professing Christ. This election is different from any election I have known in my lifetime. Our choices are literally divided by righteousness and evil. If you vote on the side of today’s democratic platform, you are siding with evil and are thereby inviting a curse to come upon you, your family, and your descendants. Like I said, I do not usually write so forcefully. I would much rather encourage you and love on you because life is hard and people are broken. It is not my intent to cause harm. But, it is because I do not want to cause harm that I am telling you the truth. I also do not want to be held accountable for withholding the truth. The outcome of this election can not be overstated. You are free to choose who you want, but be advised that choices come with consequences. Choose evil, you’ll reap cursing. Choose righteousness, you’ll reap blessing.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.
I want to thank all of you who have been praying for America, whether you live here or abroad. I ask that you continue to do so beyond our election. There is much demolition and rebuilding, in the form of repentance and revival, that needs to take place. Maybe I’ll lose some followers over this post but at least I won’t lose my soul. I wish to God more people were concerned about that.
I don’t know about you, but we need rain both physically and spiritually. Join me in voting and praying for righteousness so that it may rain.
It is currently raining here. I will take that as God’s smile upon the work of my hands. My family and I, we will have rain. Will you?
Now that camping season is coming to a close, I hope to have more scheduled posts. Today, though, I am veering away from what you may be accustomed to here at God’s Word Girl. I don’t know if I have asked anyone who follows this blog to share anything I publish. I figure if it ministers to you, you will naturally pass it on without any petition from me. Today’s feature is different. Today I am asking you to join me in passing on the video I am sharing with you. Please do not discard what I am presenting without careful consideration and prayer.
This is a video which calls for action. I have since shared it with one of our small church groups and we are taking action in our community. I pray you will, too. This is not political, it is spiritual. But I do not live inside of lines. What I believe spiritually, the Bible upon which I live and love, seeps into every aspect of my life, as well it should. The person who says they are a follower of Christ but fail to live like Him outside of the walls of the church has ultimately failed the public as well as their Creator. God’s very nature is love, life, liberty and righteousness; anything beneath these standards is beneath His quality.
I want to add that although this video pertains to us here in the United States of America, it applies to those outside of our borders as well. For God knows no bounds.
I also want you to know that I pray for you. On occasion, I go down my list of followers and pray for your peace and blessings, for you to grow in God, and for your overall well being. I especially pray for those of you in nations where Christians being persecuted is an accepted way of life. God in us has the power to change everything through prayer. The Church has been silent and asleep for way too long. Speak and take a stand today. Tomorrow may be too late.
When I was a young girl, I thought horseback riding looked incredibly romantic. Hair flowing, horse elegantly galloping, peace, power, beauty . . . *sigh*. These are the things dreams are made of. When Bob and I were dating I finally had the chance to experience riding in real life. That dream became a nightmare in short order.
We went to a local stable and I got the “meekest, mildest horse” there. (Yeah, right.) The ride was nice until Bob expressed his want for a little more speed. He and the owner asked if I’d be okay with that. Feeling pretty confident as far as a first ride went, I agreed. I received further instruction and figured I’d be okay since I had the “meekest, mildest horse” they had. Honestly, she did seem a little old and tired, perfect for a newbie like me. What could go wrong? Ha! What didn’t go wrong?
As instructed, I gave the horse’s sides a little kick. And we were off for the races! My old, tired girl suddenly had the stamina of a stallion running for the prize cup. My hard, frantic tugging on the reins and hollering “Whoa!” amounted to nothing. Apparently she hadn’t been cut loose for a long time and decided I was the perfect novice rider on which to take out her pent up energy.
We galloped across the open field. (I wonder if my hair was flowing?) I had fleeting concerns about her falling into a groundhog hole. I was also concerned about the treeline ahead that was rocking from side to side in my vision. I knew I didn’t stand a chance in the woods. Heck, I didn’t stand a chance in the open field. I was doomed!!!
Then out of nowhere comes my hunk of burning love — Bob, in case you didn’t realize it– on a big white horse. No, I’m not kidding. He got the big, white horse to accommodate his tall, muscular body. Who knows how fast he galloped to catch us but, thank God, catch us he did. He reached out, just like in the movies, grabbed my horse’s bridle, and got ole meek and mild to slow down and finally stop. I’d had all the galloping I could tolerate for one day.
We took a slow, quiet ride back to the stable. I remember the owner’s face; he looked white. Bob, still in movie fashion, gracefully dismounted from his horse and once again came to my aid. He offered me his hand and his strength which I stubbornly refused. I was mad! I’d get myself off that meek and mild nag so, No, don’t help me!
I was surprised to discover how heavy my leg felt when I swung it over to dismount. I could barely lift it; it felt like a bag of sand. I should’ve taken Bob’s assistance but I was already in motion . . . and I had my pride. I slid off the side of the horse and much to my surprise my butt hit the ground. I couldn’t help it. My weakened legs betrayed the trauma I felt inside; they had no strength to support my body. Sitting there in the dirt, looking up into Bob’s handsome face, well, that was the end of my pride . . . and the end of my romantic notions involving horseback riding.
That memory made me wonder how many times have I refused God’s help? How many times has He extended His hand and offered me His strength and I stubbornly denied it? How many times have I assumed I could do it on my own, only to look up from the dirt into His face and realize what a fool I’ve been?
We are in perilous times all across the world. Our only hope is to take the hand offered us and receive the strength of God. Join me today in humbling ourselves before the Almighty. And hear me: We will be humbled. We can choose to humble ourselves on our own before our God and let Him lift us up in due time or we will fall in the dirt . . . and ache from saddle sores and butt bruises for days following. Let’s not refuse the aid of our rescuer.
For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: . . . And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Isaiah 2:12; 17-19 KJV
Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Isaiah 3:10
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6 KJV
She sat on a large, flat stone beside the spring, a sandal lying on the ground as she rubbed a travel weary foot. Her bags littered the space around her. She sighed as she considered having to pick them up and walk again. She was tired. No, more than tired. It was the kind of weariness that began seeping into the marrow of ones bones. She didn’t know if she could go on one more day. She didn’t know if she wanted to go on one more day.
Movement, a shadow drawing closer, drew attention from the corner of her eyes. She discretely lifted the sandal and put it in its rightful place then dropped her foot to the ground. A man wearing olive colored cotton shorts, a light weight linen button shirt, and brown leather sandals approached the spring. He nodded a greeting. A smile revealing white teeth shone in contrast against the deep tan color of his skin.
She suddenly realized she was alone with a stranger in the middle of nowhere. She contemplated heaving her heavy bags and moving on.
As if reading her mind the man answered, “There is no need for you to go.” He motioned to the spring and the large stone upon which she sat. “Rest. This is plenty for both of us.”
Her taut muscles eased. She still did not speak, but nodded. She watched intently as he cupped his hands and drank his fill. He splashed water on his face, little beads glistening in his neatly trimmed beard, and then splashed his head which was a mess of unruly short curls. He looked strong, healthy, all man, yet he possessed an alluring innocent child-likeness. She didn’t mean to stare, didn’t realize that she was, until he sat on the stone with her and smiled openly. She felt her cheeks warm and nervously tucked some long, dark hair behind an ear.
He motioned toward her luggage. “Very nice luggage, but very worn. You must have been gone for quite a while. Are you now returning home?”
Home. A word she hadn’t considered for a long time. What was home? It seemed to be a place the whole world longed for yet so very few had the privilege of finding. She didn’t know how to answer him.
“I suppose your luggage contains cherished souvenirs from your travels,” he continued. “Would you mind showing me your favorite mementos?”
She squirmed on the stone. The air seemed to increase by ten degrees. She marveled that he looked so cool in this unrelenting heat.
Again, as if reading her mind, he pointed to the smallest of her bags. “Please show Me.”
She was doubtful but his smile was inviting and his hazel eyes sincere. She couldn’t resist the urge to expose what she’d been carrying to this stranger. She was certain he’d never believe it. She knew he would be in shock. She lifted the smallest of bags onto her lap and pulled out a rock. Amazingly, the man did not look one bit surprised by what she produced but encouraged her to continue with a nod. One by one she plucked out rocks and named them. “The man who cut me off in traffic. The women at church who would not accept me. The neighbor who vandalized my property . . . .” On and on went the list of offense.
When she was finished, he held out his hand. “May I?”
One by one she gave him the rocks and one by one he pressed them between his hands and made them powder which the wind took away. She stared in wonder, suddenly feeling cooler and lighter.
He pointed to the next bag. “Show Me.”
She did not set the next bag on her lap but began opening it from its place at her feet. Again, she pulled out one rock at a time and began naming them. “The peers who thought me too fat, too poor, and too ugly to be part of them. The teacher who said I’d never amount to anything. The friend of the family who continually compared me to their daughter. I never measured up . . . .”
“May I?” he asked again.
She briefly hesitated. These rocks were bigger. Could he do the same to these as the ones before? Wanting more relief, she began passing the rocks to him one at a time. Once again he pressed them to powder and released them to the wind. She’d never have to carry them again.
His smile enlarged as she turned her face to the sun and took a deep breath. When was the last time she had noticed the beauty surrounding her and breathed it in? He let her revel in this newfound feeling before pointing to the largest piece of luggage.
She stretched from her seat on the rock and reached for the final piece. She drug it to her feet and marveled that she had been able to drag it for so long. But could the man do anything with these rocks? They were practically boulders.
“Show Me,” he softly repeated.
She slowly unzipped the top of the oblong bag and peered in. She looked at the man. Did he really want to see this? Did she really want to show him? Suddenly the prior cool and relief she had experienced dissolved. She broke out into a sweat and her heart began to race. As painful as this piece of luggage had been to carry, could she really let it go? To empty this bag would be emptying herself. Would there be anything left of her soul? She gave the man a sideways look. His eyes possessed no mockery or rejection.
His voice was barely above the sound of the wind but she clearly heard him say, “Trust Me.”
She heaved a very large rock and sat it on her lap. She felt her cheeks heat with emotion. “He said he loved me.” Her voice broke. “Then he left me . . . .”
The man gently placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. He let her cry until there were no more tears then motioned for the rock. She nodded. He picked it up, placed it between his hands and pressed, and just like that, it was powder.
She blinked away the traces of tears on her lashes. If he could squash that rock surely he could crush the next. But the next . . . those wounds ran deep. She hesitated, took a deep breath, and heaved another rock onto her lap. Her legs disappeared beneath it. “The person that . . . that sexually abused . . . me.” She lay her forehead against the rock, her body shook with sobs. The man sat silently, waiting for her to be emptied of the pain of that rock. This time she did not wait for him to ask. Having no strength to lift it again, she nudged the rock toward him. He effortlessly lifted it and just as effortlessly pressed it to powder.
Ah, the last two rocks. She wasn’t going to attempt to heave them. At the moment, she felt too weak to lift a butterfly. She bent at the waist and let the cover slip away to reveal the top rock.
“My baby.” Her voice was barely a whisper. “The clinician said I’d be relieved . . . .”
Her pain was palpable. Once again she was engulfed with anger and shame and more regret than any human could conceivably bare without losing their mind. She didn’t offer that rock right then and the man didn’t ask.
She proceeded. She forced the remaining fabric of the luggage over the final rock. How did she carry such monstrosities for as long as she did? “My dad,” she croaked. “I was never enough. Never, ever enough,” she woefully repeated.
The man knelt on the ground, on the other side of the rocks, and looked up into the face of the broken young woman. He gently tipped her head up by lifting her chin so that her eyes met his.
“May I?” He asked.
“Yes,” was her hoarse reply.
He placed his strong hands on the top boulder and then the bottom and easily crushed them to powder between his hands as he had the others. With nothing now in between them, the young woman fell to her knees and threw her arms around the man’s neck. She sobbed for all she had loved, for all she had lost, for all the liberty she suddenly felt and for all the time passed which she wished she had been free but wasn’t. When the last of her emotions were spent the man took her by the hand and they both stood.
“Do you want to see your exchange for the rocks?”
He opened his enclosed hand and revealed a clear-as-glass whole heart. “It is my gift to you. Will you receive it?”
She weighed his question carefully. She instinctively knew that it cost him everything to make her whole. She also knew it would cost her to keep his gift. Was she willing to forsake all others for the sake of following him? She looked into his compassionate eyes and knew there never had been and never would be anyone else like him in her life. She needed him. She loved him. “I will receive,” she whispered.
She closed her eyes and felt a firm yet gentle pressure in her chest where he pressed. It was pure love and it exploded in her being. For the first time in years she felt like she was home.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you,” was his solemn vow.
She threw her arms around his neck again and held him tightly. This time she pulled away, laughing. “I must go! I must go tell everyone what you have done!”
“Yes, yes!” He agreed. “Tell them so that they all may come.”
She practically skipped away. She twirled around and blew him a kiss, taking away his presence within her.
His smile lingered as did his gaze. Then he slowly pivoted and scanned the horizon. A man, tie askew, jacket crunched in the crook of his arm, loaded down with a brief case and several pieces of luggage was slowly making his way to the spring. He was tired. So very, very tired.
In the distance beyond was another man wearing jeans, a hard hat, and dog tags. His burden was a huge duffel bag slung over his shoulder and he pushed a large wheel barrow loaded with rocks of assorted sizes. He could barely lift his boot clad feet . . . .
The Man smiled. He was ready to receive them.
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; Colossians 2:14 KJV
Jesus took everything satan could legally hold against us and canceled it on the cross. Will you join me today and lay down your box of rocks? Let’s also ask God to help us see ourselves as He sees us: Flawless when covered by the Blood of the Lamb. Oh, and let’s not forget to tell everyone what Jesus has done for us.
My youngest daughter, my mother-in-law and myself were standing outside of a shed/garage type building. Two doors hung wide open which revealed the contents of hay and tools and random, miscellaneous stuff. We turned from the cluttered view at the bottom of the drive and looked instead to the road at the top end of the drive. It was a pretty day. The trees were full of green leaves. There was a two story white house sitting to our left on the gently sloping lawn that looked peaceful and inviting.
Suddenly, a very large pink bus drove on the road above. I’d never seen anything like it. Rachel and I faced each other, expressions full of amazement and exclaimed at the same time, “A life sized Barbie bus!” Who would’ve guessed?
When we turned to face the road again, I realized with horror that the bus was backing down the driveway and would soon be upon us. We did the only thing we could think to do — all three of us went straight to the ground, flat on our backs, just in time. The bus straddled us. We lay underneath, unscathed. I extended my arms straight behind my head, curled my fingers around the bumper, and rolled the bus off of us. I could do that, you see, because the bus was made of plastic.
Knowing the girls’ deep affection for anything Barbie, I couldn’t wait to tell them this crazy dream. We all burst out laughing when I told them how I rolled the bus off of us. It was ludicrous, thinking I could move a bus . . . and that it was made of plastic.
“You know,” I said, “I was afraid when I saw that big rear end coming toward us but I wasn’t afraid while we were underneath it. I didn’t even pause to consider what we’d do, I simply grabbed a hold of that bumper and pushed.”
Rachel said, “It shows that you never thought you couldn’t move the bus.”
That’s faith, don’t you think?
Some of you may have gotten some bad news recently, maybe even today. There’s that bill or debt that looms like a ghost in a closet and you’re not sure how it’s gonna get paid. There’s that doctor’s report that sits like a brick in your gut ’cause the “professionals” have said there’s no hope. There’s that person who walked out on you, the one who said, and the one you thought, would be there forever. Now you stand at the door looking out at a big expanse called the world. It looms like a nightmare before you as you consider walking it alone.
F.E.A.R. is an acronym that stands for:
Did you know, that if you have put your faith in Jesus, all of the bad things above may be factual but they aren’t necessarily true? If we let the world get in us, then we’re in trouble. But if we hold the Word of God inside of us then we see the above examples of “bad news” through a different lens.
Fact: I have bill/debt and I’m not sure how it’s gonna get paid.
Truth: This bill/debt will be paid because God said He will supply all my need according to His riches in glory. (Philippians 4:19) I am not impoverished because Jesus became poor so that I might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Fact: The doctor says there’s no hope.
Truth: There’s always hope because Jesus says that by His stripes I am healed. (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24) I will not die but will live to tell what the LORD has done for me. (Psalm 118:17)
Fact: My loved one is gone and I am alone.
Truth: I am not alone for Jesus said He will never leave me nor forsake me. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5 *Hebrews 13:5 is really cool to read in the Amplified version.)
These are simple examples of how to combat the facts of life with the truth of God’s Word. Joshua 24:15 says to choose whom you will serve. Our choice. Is choosing truth easy? Not necessarily. It requires discipline which requires persistence and consistence. I wrote often in earlier posts about not being conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) — which happens by being submersed in the Word. Carving out time for God and His Word can be difficult at times, especially when life is coming at us full tilt. But making Him a priority brings great joy, peace, and an enlightening view to all that life brings. Even when I’m frustrated, angry, or in shock over what’s going on in the world around me, it’s difficult for me not to look at it all through God’s scope. That’s where God needs His people to be. We must quit looking at the world around us and seeing what we see. Instead we need to ask, “What does God see? More importantly, what does He say about it?” Do you realize how much peace we would have if we’d all view life the Creator’s way?
That’s God’s Word Girl’s offering for today. If you feel like the bus of life is on top of you, realize it’s made of plastic. Curl your fingers around the bumper and push. We can doall things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). WithGodall things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Join me today in pushing off the weight of F.E.A.R. that this world has to offer and trade it for childlike faith in our unfailing God.