Saturday, February 17, 2018

graves of craving

This week has been a sad week in this world. Tragedy struck and now everyone is looking to place blame. Who is at fault? Each group blames a other and the blame game becomes hate-filled and divisive.  No one actually seems to get to the real heart of the matter.  Evil exists in this world. Why does evil  exist and occur? Because sin entered this world and has corrupted the heart of man. The church of God, His body, needs to understand sin is at the heart of the matters occurring in the world, and the Body of Christ is supposed to have the answer. Rather than despair, we need to rise up and offer Jesus. But does the church realize we have the answer?  Are we walking in righteousness or have we given ourselves over to something else?

In Exodus chapter 11, there is is the account of how some of the Hebrew group began to complain about the provision of manna from heaven.  They became disatisfied with this miraculous  food that fell each morning and began to crave meat.

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food.
Numbers 11:4‭, ‬34 NIV

 Moses talked to God, and God gave in to the whining and sent quail to literally fall into the camp for them.  Those that began to eat the quail then become sick and died.  This verse is at the end of the chapter.

Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food.
Numbers 11:34 NIV

I looked up the meaning of the name Kibroth Hattaavah. It means graves of craving.  This means that these people brought about their own destruction by means of their own craving. What they had from God was no longer what they wanted. They began to crave for things that God did not intend . They began to crave for things that went against God's will. Here they had actual heavenly food provided each morning and it was no longer good enough. They remembered all the meat they had back in Egypt and wanted it, lusted for it, craved it.  Basically, they began to give in to freshly desires and sinful nature rather than walking in the will of God. They caused great problems for Israel and brought destruction because of their sinful cravings.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1 John 2:15‭-‬17 NIV

We have accounts like this in the Word of God to help us and show us examples of how to live and not live.  These people were God's people, just like the church is today. They stepped out of the will of God and were given over to flesh, the sinful nature. This lead to graves of craving.  When we disobey God, step out of His will, or open up to allowing our sinful nature to lead us, we are taking a path of destruction for our souls right into a grave of craving.  Our sinful flesh craves and desires to satisfy its lust. Lust for what feels good, what looks good, and what makes itself feel good. We are full of pride, selfishness, and wanton craving. We seek out what we want at no regard for the consequence. We begin to justify sin to make ourselves feel good about what we choose. We go against what God intends for us. We set up our own self as an idol that needs to be pleased at all cost.  We may still say with our words that we love God and He is Lord, but our heart has began to love self and self satisfaction above the ways of God. This is a path that leads to destruction. We are no longer effective, nor can we offer anything to those who need to understand God has a way better than what the world has.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalm 1:6 NIV

God has a way that is righteous, one way.  All other ways are against God and fall in the category of wicked.  When you choose a way that is not God, you are choosing destruction. Self gratification leads to hurt, depravity, searching for things to satisfy that really don't give what you need. Drugs, alcohol abuse, use of sex, depression, seeking of money, fame, etc, are all ways of attempting to fulfill a deep desire that is only filled by God. We give place to all these things, thinking we are looking for happiness, when really, all it takes is turning to God.  The things offering to satisfy, really take us to  a path that lead to  a grave of craving. Only Jesus can truly satisfy a soul that needs love and hope. Those in this world that give place to evil and commit evil acts are headed to a grave of craving. We cannot offer them any hope, if we also are given over to our cravings rather than God. If we aren't living effective lives, our words are just noise. Our lips may honor God, but our hearts do not. We are, then, part of the problem.

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:  “ ‘These people honor me with their lips,  but their hearts are far from me. 
Mark 7:6‭-‬8 NIV

God is a jealous God and He expects obedience. He is not pleased with disobedience. He wants all of us, including our heart. We should love him so much, that our heart desires Him and Him alone. Our desire, or craving should be His ways, His words, Him. Psalms 37:4 says Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Our delight should be God and our heart His.

His church should be obedient to His word, not given over to selfish desire. His church is His body. If his body is rejecting His ways, or choosing self craving over God's  will , we become dysfunctional and destructive.  We are no longer representative of Jesus Christ.  I believe as the body of Jesus Christ, we are to place all trust, all desire, all faith in Him. We are to follow Him, obey Him, and walk where He takes us. We will find favor and great blessings when we are in that place of obedience.   His commandments are what matters.

Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is  what  matters.
I Corinthians 7:19 NKJV

What matters most to God is us. We are his love and purpose. When we are choosing Him, we find favor and blessing. We become right in God's pirpose. He can use us to shine a light into the world. We can speak His truth and be effective in ministry. We can have effectual fervent prayers, hear from God and truly know the hand of God is over us.

Surely, Lord , you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:12 NIV

When we are walk in obedience to God's will and purpose, we become right with God. We become examples of what God's transformative power does in a life full of love.  We are no longer a noisy cymbal (1 Corinthians 13:1), but a loving arm of God Almighty that beckons a sinner with the love of God. A love that can change lives and give us hope and peace in this world full of destruction. Rather than a grave of craving,  eternal life with God's love, hope and peace is found.  This world needs to see there is hope, there is peace, and it is only found in Jesus. His body, His church is being called to arise from its slumber, arise from complacency, arise from fear and selfish craving. The church needs to arise and declare the goodness of God. Arise and declare that salvation belongs to the Lord. Arise in righteousness with healing in its wings!

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say--living lives that lead others away from sin],
COLOSSIANS 2:6 AMP

We, as His body, need to humble ourselves, ask God to examine our hearts and see if there is any thing wicked in me.  Ask him to remove those selfish cravings and ask Him to lead us into right living,  into obedience to His commands, and become that light that leads others to Him. We are to  be a light that draws all men to God. A light that offers hope.  Let us turn to God rather than crave things of this world.  God has a Way that will change society, stop evil events, and bring joy rather than sadness. Lets fulfill His purpose and offer Jesus to this world that needs Him. Lets offer hope when sin brings destruction. Lets offer Jesus.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Psalm 143:10 NIV



Sunday, February 11, 2018

His promises will be done

As I read through the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament, there is one idea that never fails to be true. God kept His promises to His people.

Not one of all the Lord ʼs good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
Joshua 21:45 NIV

This is still true today for us. God is faithful and His word holds true.  Last Sunday, during worship, the presence of God was so evident and overwhelming. Words did not seem enough. Singing did not seem enough. And as the congregation began to sing the words from There Is A Cloud:

And  with great anticipation
We await  the  promise  to come
Everything  that You  have spoken
Will  come  to pass, let  it  be done

I could not help but kneel before the very throne of God. I was overcome by the possibilities and the truth of God's promises that I know He has for me and those I know. I could hear God reminding me of all the promises fulfilled and those still being fulfilled.  I felt like I could actually see them coming to pass. I can't even explain how this all felt. But it seemed as though I was literally at Jesus's feet hearing Him tell me that His promises would be done.  I don't know how anyone else was feeling at this moment, but I had a moment with Jesus right there.  Things are different now. I cannot get that experience out of my thoughts and I cannot stop rejoicing over His promises.  They will be done.  What he has spoken, will come to pass. His word is True!!!

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
Psalms 119:160 KJV

I have seen evidence that His promises are true I have seen hope spark in situations that seemed hopeless. I have seen prayers answered. This week, something horrible could have happened, but it was brought out into the light before it could occur. It was stopped beforehand.  I knew immediately that God answered prayers for my children's safety.  I knew he had made a way for their safety to be preserved. 
 I have heard my children speaking words of faith this week, words that give way to great hope in their lives. I know God promises to keep my children, and I see them happening in their lives this week.
 I saw a verse written in a notebook in my child's room and I realized just how much I cannot see into my children's hearts, but God can and His word is growing deep roots in their  hearts. I am encouraged and excited to see what God has in store.



There are some big promises He has for those around me, and I am anticipatong seeing them happen.  I am praising God this week.  I cannot help but feel excited about what He is doing all around me.  There are many people I know who have asked for some big things from God, and I see these things coming.  I  cannot wait to be a witness of the promises of God taking place.  I want to shout out praises because God is faithful and good. He keeps His word and His word is true. When we put all our hope and faith in Him, we can be sure that His word will be done.

And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
John 14:13‭-‬14 NKJV

Sunday, February 4, 2018

self-control

In Galatians we read about the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who  are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22‭-‬25 NKJV

This list gives characteristics of what a person will have and do, and be like, when they are walking according to the Spirit of God. This is not a list that is easy for most of us.  But, it is only through having the Spirit of God operating in us and through us that we are able to live a life filled with these characteristics.  When we are missing part of this fruit, we might want to examine where our relationship with Jesus is and if we are not as close to Him as we should be.
I know each of these are very important, but I really want to talk about one characteristic in particular.  Self-control,  or temperance, as the King James Version says it, is moderation, self-restraint in action, statement, etc. Why did this stand out to me? It is last on the list. It hit me, that self-control is needed to apply most of the other characteristics of the spiritual fruit.  Loving others requires us to control self, not be selfish or self serving, and put others first.  The same goes for having longsuffering, being kind, good, gentle and faithful. Self-control is also needed to rest secure in Jesus and have His joy and peace in all situations. Faith applied is giving control to God rather than handling it ourselves. That takes restraint of self.

We often allow circumstances to dictate how we act, respond,  and speak. We may allow a 'bad day' to be an excuse for our own bad choices in attitude. We feel justified in being grumpy or   even using hurtful words. We have not remained temperate or even keeled.  We have allowed selfish desires, selfish feelings, and emotions to take control rather than staying centered in Jesus. Jesus doesn't want us to be ruled by our flesh, but to walk in the Spirit.  When we give our emotions, frustrations and grumpiness control, we have just pushed Jesus out and are bearing fruit of the flesh.

Yes, I realize we are human and, yes, we have to deal with being human. But, if we are made in His image, we are really a spiritual being robed in flesh and that spiritual being is the part of us that will live on forever. This is the part of us that matters most.  We must learn, that our spiritual person, needs to be attended to first and foremost.

Self-control means we are holding ourselves in check, not reacting out of hurt, fear, anger, grumpiness,  etc, but choosing to react, instead, with the fruit of God's spirit.  If we choose to react with the characteristics of the fruit of the spirit, we may see big changes in our lives. We might see a decrease in hurt, in strife, in distrust, and brokenness.  We might see more lives turning to the Savior. Our walk will be different. Our talk will be different. Our actions will be different. We would be closer to living a life full of what God has for us.

Self-control doesn't mean we are boring, lacking in life, nor flat in our response. It means we are giving God control of how we respond. We respond by the Spirit, not the flesh. We are living in the Spirit.

 In Galatians, Paul also listed fruit of the flesh:
 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

These fruit characteristics sound so familiar in our world today. I would much rather bear the fruit of the Spirit. Most of the fruit born in flesh brings about destruction of the soul. This fruit is born out of our sinful nature and leads to destruction.

Self-control is a big part of the fruit of the spirit and works hand in hand with each of the other characteristics.   It takes self-control to notice others and put forth the effort required to pour out true love into their lives. It takes self-control to respond with kindness when you are actually frustrated, angry, tired, and cranky. It takes self-control to respond with faith,  joy and peace when your world seems to be falling apart around you. It takes self-control to respond with faith and patience when you want and need  an answer from God in the rough situations. We need this fruit of self-control to keep all the other fruit operating when we don't  feel up to challenge on our own.
May we all strive and pray for self-control that only comes from walking with God. In His spirit. May we bear His fruit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who  are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16‭-‬25 NKJV


Monday, January 8, 2018

be intentional

Intentional. This word keeps resonating and activating something deep inside my spirit. To be intentional is to act with purpose. So many times, we allow our spiritual walk with God to become almost stagnant or accidental.  What do I mean? We forget that we have purpose and we must act with purpose. We may go through the motions. We may not understand the purpose of what we are doing. Why do we pray? Why do we study the Word? Why do we meed to be a light and witness? We shouldn't just hope we get some prayer and study time in, but we must intentionally plan and purpose to pray and study the Word. We must be intentional about how we pray and what we pray. We must study the Word with a purpose. We must intentionally seek out ways to witness and love with the love of God. We need to seek purpose.

What is the purpose for our lives, our prayers, our study? Do you have a purpose or are you just walking haphazard through  life hoping all works out?  We can feel that way at times.  But, we can take some time to talk to God and re-evaluate purpose.

I have a purpose. God gives me purpose just because I am identified as His child. I have been redeemed, sanctified and justified because His blood has washed me and saved me.  My purpose is to have relationship with Jesus, real relationship, that changes me, directs me, and makes me over in His image. I can see His will fulfilled in my life. (1 John 4:12)

My prayer has a purpose. It is a time of communication with my Lord and Savior. It is a time of conversation, speaking and listening, humbling of self, communion with God's Spirit, and allowing Him to reveal himself to us.  Prayer should be  intentional and focused. It should be a time intimacy where praise and love is declared, as well as a time of presenting needs to God. It can be a time of just hearing Him speak. It should be a time that has great purpose. Great men of God in the Bible and throughout history have understood that prayer is a lifeline for our souls.  Prayer is where relationship is built, where we hear from God and he hears from us.  That's why the saying, "Prayer changes things" exists. Prayer moves the mighty God to reveal himself to us in response to our petitions.  Prayer is powerful. (1 Timothy 2:8)

Studying God's Word should have purpose. It should not be just something we do to fulfill religious duty. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. To spend time reading it, learning it, understanding it, is time spent becoming more intimate and knowledgeable of who God is and how He relates to us.  Wisdom and knowledge are revealed through His word.  His word is living, alive and powerful. We cannot go through this life without developing our knowledge of the One who created us, loves us, and redeems us. The purpose of study is to grow spiritually. We need to fall in love with the Word, crave the Word, learn the Word so it can be used to uplift ourselves and others, reveal wisdom and who God is, and help us understand truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

We all have individual purpose created in our being. God has given us each talents and gifts that are meant to be used for His Kingdom and purpose. So many of us do not understand that God has given us each a purpose for His Kingdom. We are members of the Body and are not meant to be identical, or all the same part. But each is created to fulfill our individual role.  I can't be a hand, when I am meant to be an ear, or a leg.  (1 Corinthians 12)  we all have a reason and purpose for our talents and gifts.  God has equipped us to be members of His Body (Ephesians 4:12).

May we become intentional and allow God's  purpose to become our purpose, for that is truly when we find peace and joy. When worry fades and fear is destroyed. When failure and sin no longer reign. Let's fulfill God's purpose for us.

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Philippians 2:13 NIV

Thursday, December 21, 2017

true blessing

Do you understand what it really means to say, "I am blessed?" I believe we have a misunderstanding of what it means to be blessed and this leads us to misunderstanding why we go through tough times.

Being blessed is often seen as having a lot of things and things going good for us.  We quickly say we are blessed when the bills are paid, health is good, and we have what we want, but when things don't go the way we planned, do we find ourselves thinking we lost our blessing? Do we question and feel confused or wonder why God isn't blessing us?  What about people who serve God, but don't have all the things we have? What about the poor who are Christians, are they less blessed? What about the Christians around the world who suffer persecution? We have blessing all wrong.

One definition of bless is to consecrated or sanctify by a religious rite; make or pronounce holy (definition.com)

This gives us a different idea of what it means to be blessed. It is not what we get but what we are made.  When we come to Jesus in repentance and allow Him to change our hearts and our lives, we become consecrated  and set aside for His purpose. We become blessed and holy.

In the Bible, when a father, like Jacob, would bless his children, he would speak over them the will of God and purpose for their lives. (Genesis 49)  He did not speak that life would only be good and they would just have a lot of possessions. Their blessings were to be honorable to God and live a life that glorified God.  This was to be through every good and every bad event in life as well. He would speak over them that they would please God and love in His purpose. That was blessing.

O Lord of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!
Psalms 84:12 NKJV

King David reminds us that trusting in God is how we are blessed. David trusted God through every situation, through the times when Saul wanted to kill him, through the trials and difficulties.  Rather than allowing his trust to be dictated by circumstances, David remained faithful and in return cried out blessing and praise to God.  He didn't cry in despair and question why he wasn't getting blessed.  He understood, that his identity as a servant of God meant he was blessed despite  the circumstances of life.

We all face this life with ups and downs. We all have times of trials, difficulties, health and finance problems, but does that mean God's favor and blessing left us? No, God  does not take away his blessing from his Children. Instead, we are blessed in the fact that we are God's chosen and we are blessed in the fact that He gave us salvation. We can find our blessing in His ultimate gift of redemption. We have been redeemed and have God's favor and blessing in the fact that we are consecrated  for His purpose.  God's blessing does not inoculate us from hard times, it gives us purpose to go through tough times.  It gives us hope and joy that endures through every circumstance. It is a joy and peace  that cannot be understood. (Philippians 4:7) Our trust in God should not waver based on circumstances.  We need to be unwavering.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he  is  a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:2‭-‬8 NKJV

We must not waver in faith and trust in God. We must not interpret the things we have or don't  have in the natural as blessing. Blessing is a spiritual matter and while physcial things can be blessing, those things do not matter when it comes to the purpose we are given in God.  So what if the car breaks down or the heater stops working. That is not where our blessing lies. Our blessing lies in who God is and what he formed us to be.

I will forever remember the example of Sister Edith Mayes.  When asked how she was, her answer was always , "I am blessed." When she got home from church one night,  her family was waiting to tell her that her son had been shot, she immediately replied,  "I am blessed." No wavering in faith or in trust in God.  She began to praise and pray. No fear. No questioning of where God was. She trusted beyond the circumstance.  I know she never had a lot in this world. She was born in a time of adversity, endured racism, poverty, and great loss in her lifetime. Her testimonies of God's faithfulness, healing power and answered prayers will forever inspire those who heard them. She prayed prayers that were answered. A dead child brought back to life, a flow of blood stopped and never again occurred. A wayward child restored to God. And yes, that son that was shot, was healed.  We cannot expect answers from God when we waver and are tossed about by this physical life. We are not experiencing God's  true purpose and favor by looking around at the waves and storms. We are instead, denying Him and not keeping our eyes on Him. He is the author and finisher of our faith. We only need to rely and trust in Him completely.  One of the descriptions of the fruit of the spirit in Galatians is 'temperance.' This temperance is to be even keeled, unwavering and faithful through all things that come our way. I know I need  to work on this aspect. My trust and faith in God needs to be temperant and unwavering.  I need to know and trust I am blessed at all times. We will not be double minded and unstable. We will instead choose to praise and bless God. We will choose to trust and remain faithful.  We will live in the true blessing of God, not in the moment, nor in the things that are really secondary in this life.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalms 34:1 NKJV



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

remember the blessings

Sometimes we forget how truly blessed we are. As I woke up this morning thinking about all the things I need to do and all the things that bring me to worry, I came across an old song online. I listened as the words poured into my soul, I realized I am truly blessed.

There's a roof up above me, I've a fine place to sleep.
There's food on my table and shoes on my feet.
You gave me your love, Lord, and a fine family.
Thank you,  Lord, for your blessings on me.

I remember hearing that song over the years. I remember those who sang it with deep conviction about how blessed they were. I remember how blessed I am right now.  Tears fell as I listened and realized that I am sometimes forgetful to take notice of how truly blessed I am.  I get caught up in cares of this life. I worry about finances, health, jobs, and things that I cannot fix. God has been and always will be good. I could hear him speaking and reminding me of how much he loves me and how much I have been blessed. I heard him say, "I am still blessing you and I love you. I will not stop blessing you."

So I will try to make this season of Thanksgiving one of remembering how truly blessed I am, a season of thankfulness  and joy in recalling where He has brought me. He has carried us through so much and has never left us.  I can look around and see so much He has done. I can see my husband and children sitting here healthy. I can recall all the answered prayers and all the times God has met needs. I can testify of His healing power and His provision. I can tell of the love He gives and the amazing people He has placed in our lives. He has done more than I can even understand. I am grateful for His love and blessings.  Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of You.

I will give thanks to you, Lord , with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1 NIV

Friday, November 3, 2017

from ashes to beauty

I love fall. Where I live, all the leaves are turning colors, red, orange, yellow. It is so pretty to drive around and see all the trees in glorious color. Kids ( and adults) love to crunch through the leaves. I realized though, that these leaves are dying. They are turning colors and releasing from the tree where they originally grew, the tree that has nourishment. It is a sign that winter is coming and that tree is going to lie dormant for a season.  I think even in the midst of this loss and death of these individual leaves, we see amazing beauty.  It can be the same for us as well. We all go through seasons in our lives. Some seasons are full of growth and gain, while some seasons are seasons of loss or even restful dormancy.  Each season, even loss can still reveal great beauty in our lives.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,  a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,  a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,  a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,  a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,  a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1‭-‬8 NIV

The Bible reminds us that we have a time for everything in our lives. I am quite sure, that when we go through periods of loss, we may not realize there is also great beauty.  We focus on the loss and the sorrow, or on the pain.  We struggle, at times, because we cannot see the beauty in the midst of the loss or trial we are in.  This is hard to do as a human being going through the season.  Yet, with God's help, we can take His perspective and see the beauty in our ashes.  Rather than keeping our eyes on the pain, sifting through the ashes of what we have lost, we need to draw closer to our Redeemer and find the joy, the peace, and the beauty even in the loss.

I can tell you losing a loved one is a deep pain that is so hard to get through.  It is a pain that seems to never go away and may rile up suddenly at the slightest reminder in a smell, an action, or an upcoming holiday.  But even in this loss, we can still find beauty.  I can tell you, with all honesty,  I still miss my mother and may still cry when I think of her at times, but I also find great comfort and even beauty as I can share memories of her with my children, as I catch myself doing something she did, or even talk about how she died.  Yes, even in her tragic death, there was still peace, blessing and hope.  It was hard and difficult, and sometimes it still is,  but I have beauty there.

I don't know why this is my topic today, but I feel deeply that God wants us to know that even in loss, there is still beauty.  He is always there and brings us through the struggles this life holds for us. Yesterday, I watched as my husband held our little boy and spoke comfort to his troubled heart as he struggled with fear after a being in a car accident. I watched a loving father bring peace to a scared child. I felt God speaking peace to my own heart and sensed His loving arms holding them both.  I saw a glimpse of what our heavenly Father does for us. He is there with loving arms to hold us, carry us and wrap us up as He whispers His word to our troubled souls.  How comforting it is to know my Heavenly Father is always present in my struggles.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,  to proclaim the year of the Lord ʼs favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,  and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:1‭-‬3 NIV

I am thankful today as I know seasons come and seasons go. I am thankful to know that God gives us joy instead of mourning, beauty instead of ashes, and praise for our despair. He is our Comforter and our Freedom.  Most of all, He is our loving Father who brings us through each season.

This song, Joy, has been running through my head and my heart all week. It is a reminder of the beauty in the midst of loss and a reminder that God's Word is true and faithful.


There's beauty in my brokenness, I've got true love instead of pain, There's freedom though You've captured me. I've got joy instead of mourning.

You give me joy, down deep in my soul. down deep in my soul, down deep in my soul.

https://youtu.be/LIN85G3J4fY

Rest in His arms, find the beauty, and feel His joy and peace. He will bring you through the season and into a time of rest that is waiting. Growth comes as we rest in Him.