He’s Acquainted with My Grief : Daddy Knows

So this year has been one of the hardest years I’ve had for some time. In fact it has been a tough could of years, however I am still here. Better for it all. I can say that now – had you asked me a few months a go I probably would have side-eyed you and walked away in a full on stink.. I was hurt. I apologise to anyone who got side-eyed.. My Bad!

In a moment of deep despair and sorrow – feeling a deep sense of rejection, disappointment and betrayal, God sent me words of comfort that no other voice could speak.

I had spoken to a few sisters about the period of life that I was in, and many had offered many kind words. Many encouraged me -some with scripture, some with positive words of affirmation, others just got angry and the cause of my hurt – some seemed more angry than I was… Goodness, I had to calm them down.. like breath sister…breath!  But that’s what you call friends.

But in all honesty, none of it was working. None of it. The hurt I was feeling had sunk deep into the pits and the core of my being a place no one can reach.

The words they were offering – while kind, and true and sweet to the taste – none of it was getting to the real core of my pain. The pain I was feeling was not something I had experienced before. I was feeling more than I would express in words. And nothing adds salt to the wounds than feeling hurt and having no one that you can run to to make it all better. I would tell God.. “you mean I have to sit here, in this, by myself?” It was totally distressing. Utterly mortifying to feel like no one really got the way that I was feeling. And because no one knew how I was feeling – no one could fix it. No one.

I’ve talked previously about how I struggle with abandonment and feelings of being alone. This was all of that and a bag of chips rolled up into one messy blubbering mess. literally – BUT GOD!

I sat at my desk on evening and I heard ; Surely He has bore our griefs. He is fully acquainted with your sorrow…

It was a simple statement. Again, I knew parts of the scripture, but I went to read it in full. Isaiah 53.

I read it once.. and I read it again. And I read it again. This scripture lays out the life of Jesus from an emotional point of view. While he was about doing miracles and preaching an so on – Jesus was still very much human. He came in the form of flesh just so he could associate with how we feel – isn’t that amazing. He did that on purpose – JUST so that in times of grief and sorrow we could turn to him because he knows exactly how we feel.

I read the passage and underlined all the things he had endured – each of them related with me – deeply and genuinely. I read it in a number of translations – and it was literally like reading my present situation point for point. Feelings of being despised, rejected, turned on, avoided, pierce, crushed, oppressed, beaten, tormented, unjustly condemned, struck down, buried like a criminal.. all these things I was feeling and felt that I was totally alone in this – totally alone. But I was wrong. God is fully acquainted with my grief.

I wish I could fully articulate how liberating it felt to know that everything I was feeling – God knew and was acquainted with. So when I cry and say

“Daddy it hurts.. I gave my all and they still hurt me” He says “I know baby, I came to give my life for them and they still beat me half to death.. I know”..

When I cry and say “Lord why..? I cant do this”.. I hear Him say “I know it hurts baby, I know.. I wanted the bitter cup to pass too, I know”..

When those that hurt me walk past me like nothing happened and did noting – and I ask God “why?” – He says “I know.. my own disciples rejected me and swore blind they didn’t know me..I know rejection..I know it well baby”

And its not a sympathetic..there there, never mind.. it’s a ..I’ve been there, I’ve felt that, I’m acquainted with it, I fully feel your pain..

I just wanted to remind someone today OR tell you that you are in no shape or terms alone in your grief. Some heart ache is more that just sadness, its full on grief and sorrow you are feeling. Know that your Father is FULLY acquainted with what it is you feel right now. Nothing you are feeling is strange to Him, noting. All those feelings that are tormenting you and the feelings that tell you that you are doing life in isolation is a lie.. there is someone who has walked this road before and is walking it with you right now.. You’re talking to someone who knows…

Today He says “I know baby.. Daddy knows.. ”

God knows

Isaiah 53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

 

 

Strength of your Heart

Wait on the LORD. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the LORD! Psalm 27:14

During morning devotion – and no – that doesn’t mean I was sat on a beach front, watching the sunrise winging on a hammock in blissful silence. . . More like sat at my desk, in front of half eaten breakfast taking the few minutes I had between my 7 year old asking me to locate his left shoe, my 12 year old needing to be reminded to use deodorant today and me remembering to pack my lunch.. that I was caught by the scripture. 

You know when you are sat minding your own business and all of a sudden there is a flurry of activity and its like someone hit the download button and all of a sudden there is a surge of information and encouragement. Scriptures are just flying through your head, thoughts are being lined up that are then being layered up with more scriptures.. You don’t.. well I don’t.. even know where the scriptures are taken from but they are coming thick and fast. Almost like the Clark Kent to Superman transformation in a phone box. Often times I don’t even know what to write on which is why I have pens and post-it notes all over my home.. these moments of inspiration just take off and I need to be able to write them down as they come.. I don’t want to miss a single crumb..

So this particular morning, back to the half eaten breakfast – I hear “Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord”. I asked myself one question.. – Why, when I am waiting would my heart need strength? Why would it be promised that in my time of waiting that God would be the one to strengthen my heart while I am waiting?

I was reminded of Proverbs 13:12 that states that “Hope deferred, makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life“.

There is something somewhat sickening about waiting..There – I said it.

There is just something about waiting that is unsettling when it has been going on for some while. The proverb suggests that your heart becomes sick when something you have hoped for is delayed, and this is fact. Whether you are waiting for a bus, a delivery, or the microwave – something happens to our hearts in the state of delayed expectations. A strange mix of anxiety and confusion takes us. We know something should be happening about now, we are looking for it, listening out for it, but it’s not turned up. Then here comes the questions – Why has it not turned up? Where is it? When is it coming? How much longer will I be without? what’s going on?

All these are valid questions when waiting, however, after having asked yourself the same question for 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks, maybe 5 months, or the last 5 years, for some decades..(you get the picture) – something happens – literally – something damaging starts to happen. The questions that were once logical and rational have morphed into swards of furry that poke holes in our once whole and sound heart. Turning joyful hope into a toxic slurry of confusion and doubt if we are not careful. Having waited “too long” our heart has become sick..

broken heart.PNG

Proverbs 4:23 states this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it“. When your heart has become sick – believe me – its evident in almost every area of your life. Jesus while talking to a group of Pharisees notes that “..out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks..”(Mthw 12:34). Our heart and its contents are directly linked to what we do and what we say. A sick heart can lead us to do and say some out of Christlike-Character things.. Proverbs 15:13 tells us “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit”..

heart and mind

And this is why our heart needs strengthening – and reinforcing while we are waiting. God in His wisdom lets us know that if we can do the waiting – He will do the strengthening. This is His promise to us. He is well aware of the potentially effects of waiting for a promise given. He knows we have the tendency to become impatient and flustered and loose hope while waiting. Doubt is both toxic and hazardous in the life of the believer. As is fear – and guaranteed where you find one.. the other wont be far behind.

We owe it to ourselves to check the content of our heart and mouth in relation to things we are still waiting on God for. Have we started speaking negatively about that deferred hope? Have we sided with doubt and decided that maybe God cant? Or maybe you haven’t taken it as far as God can’t.. because that would be unheard of to find something God cant do.. so that cant be it – maybe we have consoled ourselves with the thought that God simply wont..we’ve sold our hopes because they cause us too much pain to bear. I dare not get my hopes up..

I’ll share a thought process I had concerning a wait of mines .. “I can’t, in fact I refuse to go to another wedding without a husband of my own…At LEAST a boyfriend.. and dare anyone ask me to be a bridesmaid… again.. in fact, please don’t even invite me to the wedding.. I don’t really want to know – I just can’t. I don’t want to hear how you wasn’t even looking for a husband .. “but look what the Lord did”…. No .. I’m not shouting with you, put down my tambourine and go away please.. and thank you.. #truestory .. one I’m sure a few of you can relate to. My heart had become so toxic in the season of waiting that I found it difficult to honestly (the key word there) and genuinely celebrate others who had received the answer to MY prayer…  err – excuse me!! – Anyways.. we thank God for deliverance.. I’m still single, but my heart isn’t toxic about it.. !

Now, He didn’t promise to speed things up, or put an automatic end out our wait. That wasn’t the promise. He promises to give us the ability to endure. Not something we do ourselves – something He says that He will take care of. However, should we become weary in the waiting – trust me – it happens.. Psalm 147:3 reminds us that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”.

You’ve still got to wait though. I know.. hardly the happy ending you were looking for – but know that God has prepared strength for you in His presence and His word that will strengthen and reinforce your heart while you are waiting. Even if doubt turns up with it’s BFF fear – God has the remedy for both of those.. and its usually wrapped in the demonstration of His love towards us.

Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage .. and HE WILL strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord..

Until next time..

 

 

It was the time for love : Spiritual Adoption #1

Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. Ezekiel 16:8

I’m going to use my hands to pull this scripture apart – think of it like tear and share bread! We are going to eat.. and at the end we are going to sit and let it digest.. !

Jesus is passing this way. The woman at the well was minding her own business unaware of the spiritual drought and deficit in her life. Jesus made the choice, He purpose to pass her way. Knowing that salvation would reach her by none other. He made / fixed an opportunity to pass her way. Knowing not only would salvation come to her that day, but via her testimony others too would receive life, and life

Jesus is passing this way. The woman with the issue of blood had a need. While she was not His intended destination, He was still passing her way. This one took the opportunity to cross paths with Him. She wasn’t looking to interrupt His journey, she didn’t even intend to have a conversation with Him. She just knew that this was her chance. Jesus was passing her way.

Jesus is purposefully passing my way. He sees my condition. He sees my state. He sees the void, the emptiness, the pain, the shame and the embarrassment and He’s passing my way just for me.

Why is he passing my way? Because He knows that I can’t do this thing by myself. He knows that if left to me I would be a write off in a matter of days maybe even hours. He knows that He is the only one that can make all this better. He alone knows how to stop the bleeding just ask the woman with the issue of blood. He alone knows how to call life from death just ask Lazerus.

Jesus is intently passing my way. Ultimately because He loves me. While I have no business here, no right, no inheritance, this makes it all his choice. Knowing the limitations, knowing I’m far from worthy, He is still passing my way because He wants ME. Ultimately He’s already paid the price for me redeeming me back to himself because I am what and who He wants. He is done with the tents and the tabernacles now He wants me. So He is passing my way to come and get me.

He’s passing my way he looked at me “behold thy time was the time of love”. He called time.

He called time, having wondered in my own way, filthy, naked, broken, bleeding He’s taken this all in when He looked at me and decided now was the time for love. Enough of the of being hounded by the past, enough of the hurts, the anxiety and depression, enough was enough, time for love now! He called time.

He called time on the season. While it was good for me to be afflicted that I might learn your statuses, eventually someone has to call time (ask Job). While we all have our limits everyone’s much is different,eventually someone has to call time and say enough is enough now. Boxing comes to mind. Sometimes the contender has been beaten so badly and is now delirious thinking they can go on but there is always someone who can proxy for that irrational state and call time. Sometimes we don’t even know when enough is enough, but He called time.

He called time on the suffering, time on the weeping and brought the morning. He called time on the guilt and  un-forgiveness that worked like acid, painful corrosive destructive  He called time. It was time for love!

It was time for love. Now love is not love till it’s been given away. There wasn’t a dialogue, there was no discussion  no judgement, nothing. The time was a time of love, a time to do and what is it that he did? He made me His.

Divine care, He spread his skirt over me. This was an act of ownership, selecting, choosing, identifying once choice. He put His skirt over me you can ask Ruth how that feels. He took what was used to cover Himself to cover me too. He brought me in, took me under to cover my nakedness. This He did for me. He took his righteousness and covered my nakedness as I had no means or method or way of doing this myself. Revelations 3:17 talks of a people who didn’t even know that they would naked, wretched, poor, but when He came by and looked at us He knew and He also knew that we had no means of covering ourselves so He did this for us. For me.. for you! The act of justification and redemption in one beautiful act. Garments were often used as coverlets, and the act described was therefore, as in Ruth 3:9 the received symbol of a completed marriage. Through this act; He became mine and I became His.

Then He swore unto us, entered into an agreement with us. Now who better to enter into an agreement then with the God who’s words are settled in the heavens, who changes not, and is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent. He makes a long standing agreement with us – enters into a marriage with us, making it clear that we are His.

And Thou Becamest Mine… this hit home with me! Personally I have always struggled with belonging – not feeling that I really belong to someone can be quite troublesome when it comes to relationships, self confidence, self esteem. You hear of teens at various stages of their lives going to “find themselves”.. assuming because they just don’t feel they belong anywhere. But this statement got to the core of me.

After passing by me, after looking at me, after calling my time of love, covering me with his own righteousness, taking me in, making a vow and agreement with me I have now become HIS!

ADOPTION PROCESS COMPLETED 

Beautiful right… Thou becamest mine! say it out loud…. let it digest!

Thou Becamest MINE! 

 

 

 

Keep Your Eyes On God

Where are your eyes? Often time the things we see go on to affect our subsequent action. It’s important that we as believers have a grip on what and where our focus is.

To be focused is to keep our attention on Him.

Matthew 14:24-31 KJV

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

A good place to put your eyes and focus: Psalms 121:1-2 KJV I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord , which made heaven and earth.

The benefits of keeping your focus on God, He’s the only one with insights into your future. Jeremiah 29:11 KJV For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

When you face trials it can be very easy, in fact too easy as its a natural human reaction to be fixated on what seems like the greater power – the problem. But God’s words provide us with the assurance we need to make a choice to focus on God who has all power.Job 23:10 KJV But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

If you wanted to know the ins and outs of a story, who better to talk to than the actual author. God has predestined every aspect of our lives to the finest details. He has planned orchestrated our life in His wisdom and love. So who better to focus on and follow than God? He knows how the story ends.. #spoileralert WE WIN! Hebrews 12:2 KJV “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”

Life is full of distractions, often the aim of which is to plant our aims and hopes in a feeble, lesser power that will ultimately fail us. The enemy knows the power we would possess and the benefits we would obtain from just having MUSTARD SEED size faith in God.

Try Looking Away From:

– Yourself; beauty,  humanity,  skills, talent, own abilities. Prov 14:12 reminds us that; “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Each of us would have our preferred method of doing things, a way that makes sense to us. But we all need to take account of the fact that we are on a journey, one that has a very particular route that we are require to keep to if we want to make it to the promise land. It’s not really about us, but what it is that God would have us do at all times. Not my will!

-Man : expectations of another humans: Jeremiah 17:5-8 , “Thus saith the Lord ; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord .  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord , and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” The scripture goes on to talk about how wicked the heart can be and that it cant be trusted. Often times we assume others intentions towards us are good and would want the best for us, but this is not always the case. Again, who better to trust than your creator.
-Alternatives: stop looking for everyone else and everything else. People in the 3rd world and deprived nations only have God,  which is why they seemingly receive so much from God. They literally have no other helper. They have no plan B, they have no back-up plan, they have no other person to call other than Jesus. This is trusting the Lord with ALL your heart. Not looking at or even considering others, simply  looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12.2)

-The situation/ environment : the winds the waves, the fire. Refuse and Reject anxiety,  worried, fears. He that keepeth Israel neither slubers or sleeps. (Ps 120) He is very much aware of where you are and what you face.

-Looking back… God is Ahead!
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. Philippians 3:13.

My friend.. the wind will blow.. the storms will rage..life at times will flip you upside down. But its ok. This is life.. it’s not an all inclusive life time holiday in the Bahamas. The aim is to be presented back to God, having been born in sin, as pure gold. This is going to take some rough and tumble, some heat, some pain, some pressing, but keep your eyes on the end goal, be assured that God has got you. Be confident that He is ever present and He knows what He is doing!

The Rest Of The Armour

In my last blog post I spoke about the Belt of Absolute Truth and how important truth is to the believer..But we can’t forget the rest of the armour…

Breastplate of Righteousness

Righteousness talks of the quality of being morally right, or justified. It talks of goodness, virtue, uprightness. A breastplate has the function of covering the chest. A large majority of the vital organs are in this area of the body. Essentially the heart. We understand that the issues of life flow from the heart (Prov :4:23) We also hear that the heart of man is desperately wicked according to Jeremiah 17:9. We also understand that this armour is not our armour, so this covering of righteousness is not one that we have established, not one that we have created. If we were left to create this covering with our own righteousness it would malfunction at the first opportunity because our own righteousness is of no effect when it comes to warfare. It’s the righteousness of God that protect our hear and acts as a filter to what comes in and what comes out from the heart. The virtue of God covers our heart and allows better governance of our emotions and reactions. We are made righteous through HIS righteousness.

Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace

We understand that shoes are an essential part of any outfit. We may be fully clothed and have all we need on, but we are not ready to leave the house and accomplish anything without our shoes on. We can’t leave the house, we can’t go out and do what we plan to do with no shoes on. Also, it’s important that the shoes we have on are appropriate for where we are going or what we are going to do. Shoes are a protection from the ground that we have to walk on. The stones and harness of the ground would make walking and travelling long distances difficult and act as a distraction to the journey. Especially in warfare, it’s important that the shoes were purposeful and efficient for battle. They could not be too heavy or they would slow them down, and no too light or they would not protect against the hard ground. Our mission is to walk with and in the Gospel of Peace. This is the message we look to bring everywhere our feet tread.

Shield of faith

A shield has the function to protect, defend and cover. It is not attached to any fixed part of the body so it has the ability to protect anything from the head, to the feet. It also has the ability to cover and protect others. Faith we know to be the substance of things hoped for (what it’s made out of and made up of), the evidence of things not seen (the proof of things we don’t have yet) Heb 11:1. So how can faith be a defence? When the fiery darts of the devil come, aflame with doubt and fear, it’s the shield of faith that will render them powerless. Our faith allows to remain confident in the ability of God. It’s our faith that stops the attack to our mind, chest, feet. Faith disables anything that might stand against what God can do. We can cover ourselves and other with faith.

Helmet of Salvation

A helmet has the function of covering the head, and depending on the style, the face which holds the eyes. Salvation talks of deliverance from harm and injury and ultimate ruin. Christ has brought us salvation via His death on the cross. From that act of love we have been rescued, preserved and delivered all at the same time. Salvation talks of deliverance from sin and it’s consequence (death). Romans 7:25 (NIV) says “Thanks be to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinketh, so is he”. We understand from these the power of the mind. The power of Salvation and our deliverance and ability to walk in the newness of life starts in the mind. We know that most things we do start as a thought in the mind which is why Romans 12 begs that we be renewed in our mind. Salvation acts as a covering to our mind and ultimately what we do. Because we have been changed, new born and our life has been rearranged, the things we used to do we do them no more, places we used to go we go, we go there no more thanks to Salvation and the change and covering of the mind.

Sword of the Spirit

The sword is a powerful part of the armour. One that is again in no fixed place, but can be directed to the enemy at hand. The Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Hebrews 4:12 tell us that the word of God is alive, and quick and sharper than any two edge sword, penetrating, and dividing. Such is the power of the word of God. The word of God is the only part of the armour that is used to attack. The rest of the armour is used to defend but the word of God is set to attack and fight back. The believe must have access to a sword to make it through warfare. The undiluted word of God that is forever settled in the heaven is the only line of attack that we have against the enemy.

Prayer:

A forgotten part of the armour. Prayer. It is here where we suit up. It’s here where we get repairs and replacements and reinforcements to our armour. It’s in prayers that we learn more about the enemy and receive insight about it. It’s here that God allows us to communicate and strategies and plan and attack. Its where we meet the captain of the Lords host (Joshua 5) and rally together with others in the war and boost each other up ready for war. It’s here where we heal from a battle that we may not have won. Its hear where our wounds are bound together and oil and wine is poured in. It’s here where you can be encouraged to go and fight again!