Thursday, July 28, 2011

Streams on the Dry Ground

Hannah and Hostas-1
For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water. This one will say, 'I am the LORD's', and that one will call on the name of Jacob; and another will write on his hand, 'Belonging to the LORD,' and will name Israel's name with honor. Isaiah 44: 3-5

Jesus, stood and cried out saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' " But this He spoke of the Spirit. John 7:37-38, 39

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11
Sunflowers in bloom-1
Are you parched? Is your Spirit in need of refreshment from the only well that never runs dry? So often, I look to the wells of the world to satisfy. I look to what the world offers and wonder why I'm exhausted, run down and discouraged. With my head hung low, I slowly come to the realization I need to look up and realize where my help comes from. I need to look up and see Him as He is and put Him in His rightful place in my life, which is in the forefront of everything. He is everything. His provisions are perfect, His water overflowing, His Spirit within me COMPLETELY PERFECT. His Spirit is more than satisfying and His Word is the means by which He satisfies. He has made provisions for every one of my days and it is up to me to trust in and take hold of these blessings, not for my glory but to be used by Him to bring Him glory and to let the Living water within me overflow into the lives of others. Particularly my children who are walking in my footsteps and my husband who is leading the way. May my hands not tear down and instead be used to build up my family and those the Lord puts in my path. Living water, which is alive within me and bubbles up to overflowing. A fountain of grace, for no other Name could have set me free and placed my feet on the solid Rock of Jesus. His love never fails, His mercy is new every morning and His grace sufficient in weakness. As the world grows darker may my light shine brighter and the living water within me refresh those He puts in my path. May I declare with boldness all He has done for me to those who have no hope within themselves. Are you barren within, parched? Jesus has the power to satisfy and water the areas within you that are dying. He will pour down his blessing in abundance to all who ask, the blessing of Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit who is alive and active within us and turns our barren desolate souls into lush gardens of grace. He is our Comforter and Helper. The One who was poured out like a drink offering is the only source of life for the barren soul. The One who has declared the end from the beginning, who knew every one of our days, is the same today, yesterday and forever. No matter how dark your life is right now, He is the everlasting light. His glorious light is a beacon in darkness. For you, He has set His sights.
"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ' I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me. ' Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming and the events that are going to take place. 'Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it? And you are my witnesses. Is there any other Rock? I know of none." Isaiah 44:6-8

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Barren Lands

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11
A sun-scorched land is the way the Lord describes Israel during Isaiah's lifetime. A land that was barren, dying and desolate.
I got to thinking about the term, a sun-scorched land, as it applies to my personal life. When my life fails to bring any real life sustaining water to those around me, it becomes a land that soaks the life out of others.
My life becomes a sun-scorched land when my anger gets in the way of nurturing my girls. When the pressures of keeping up with those around me becomes my priority. When I expect my husband to meet all my emotional needs. When I start chasing after the temporal instead of the eternal. When I fill my time with the pleasures of this world. When my life is about others sacrificing for me instead of me sacrificing for others. When I start to think that this life is all about me. It is at these times that my life becomes a sun-scorched land. A land were the word doesn't overflow from the recesses of my heart. A land that will die if not watered.
Reflection can lead to repentance and change. Reflection puts my life into perspective. It forces my focus to shift from me and unto Him. What is my desire? My desire is to be a woman who walks the road of redemption and doesn't turn around to chase after the former things. A woman that remembers the road she used to frequent and treasures the Lord's redeeming grace. A woman who longs to be comforted by her Savior when the past lures her to turn aside grace and wallow in self pity. A woman who isn't tempted to turn down the road of regret. A woman who walks to bring glory to the Lord alone. A woman who sacrifices her desires and walks the road of bringing life sustaining water to those the Lord puts in her path.
"The Lord will guide me always when I loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free. When I share my food with the hungry. When I cloth the naked and do not turn away my flesh and blood. Then my light will break forth like the dawn and my healing will quickly appear; then my righteousness will go before me and the glory of the LORD will be my rear guard. "If I do away with the yoke of oppression with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if I spend myself in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then my light will rise in the darkness, and my night will be like the noonday. The LORD will guide me always; he will satisfy my needs in this sun-scorched land." Isaiah 58:6,8,11

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cultivate

Post written January 2009
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for man to be alone I will make him a helper suitable for him."
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beast of the field. But for Adam there was no suitable helper found. Genesis 2:15, 18-20
How often does the Lord reveal a desire, sense of loss or incompleteness, within our own heart that He desires to satisfy BEFORE satisfying the desire or completing the task? Have you ever wondered why God declared, "it is not good for man to be alone," then gave Adam the task of naming ALL the animals, as if showing him his own incompleteness and need, as there was no suitable helper found? I have been thinking about this lately.
I don't want to presume too much for we do not know the mind of God. This post is purely speculative concerning the fascinating sequence of events documented in Genesis.
I believe sometimes God places within us a desire He is going to cultivate in His time and then opens our eyes to the need or desire before fulfilling it, so we might experience our human depravity and our inability to meet these desires and needs apart from God's divine intervention. I believe He desires for us to lay our hopes and dreams at His feet trusting in His declaration, "it is not good for man to be alone" and realizing that ONLY He has the power to fulfill our needs and desires that He himself has placed within us.
If you are struggling with infertility or a desire to be married. If you are suffering the loss of a beloved. If you are consumed with grief over the plight of the orphan or if God has given you a vision for your life that will not succeed without His divine intervention. God's desire for you is to surrender your needs to Him and wait for Him to take your need and cultivate something beautiful out of it.
God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground. He formed Eve from the rib of Adam. God took Adam's need and desire and turned it into something beautiful when He created Eve. He did all of this while Adam was sleeping. He did what Adam could not do and created something beautiful in His time and for His purpose. God brought completion to His creation by meeting the needs of a man. What needs does God desire to cultivate within you?
Pictures above: Me and my beloved on our wedding day.