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Lord Of The Pain

Pain-Scale

 

Have you ever felt that your life is one of constant pain? That every where you go you have to face something painfully hard?  It seems to me that everywhere people are hurting. People are broken. The last few days for me, have been filled with encounters with people in agony, their souls broken, their bodies depleted. Continue reading “Lord Of The Pain”

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Shine upon us…oh Star of Bethlehem!

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This is a letter the Lord and I wrote to a dear friend of mine. I feel like I am to share it with you:

Dear Friend,

I see the brokenness of your heart, the deeply ingrained scars. I see your repeated attempts to pick up the sharp pieces of these relationships and the continual wounding that occurs that leaves you broken and shattered. My heart is crying out to our Father for I feel your pain.  I am holding you before our Lord, who never leaves us, forsakes us, or abandons us.

Here is what I hear our Father speaking to my heart about this situation:

Matthew 2:9-10

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!

As Jesus came into this world, He brought light. The Light was so bright that caught the attention of men in land, of a different race, and belief. The Light drew them.  I imagine they were set upon their daily lives, but they could not resist the Light. It totally changed their path.

This word encourages my heart for you. The Light of Jesus is steadily growing brighter and brighter in you.  You have allowed Jesus to be “born” in these places of woundedness. His loving Light is healing, warming, comforting you, but also catching the attention of those who need His Light in these areas too. His light shining in and through you is causing a change in direction in the paths of these relationships.  As you continue to look at Him, basking in His Light, you WILL be filled with joy!

Ask the Lord to show you that which you believe is the impossible in each of these relationships and see it, for nothing is impossible for our God.  Behold, now is the time of salvation and redemption for unto you, is a Savior born.

If you are reading this and find that you too are experiencing a deep darkness in areas of life, which pains your heart and weighs down your soul, please know, He is your Light. He is the Light of the world, which includes you and all that you face in your world. If you can’t see anything ever-changing or getting better, that is darkness. Let His light be born in those places of brokenness, discouragement and loss.  Please know that NOTHING IS TOO DIFFICULT for our God. Take this letter personally. Look for His Light in this hard situation and follow it. You too will see salvation and redemption.

You will see transformation!

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Conflict Allowance

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It began with this scripture:

Ephesians 4:1-2

1 I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service,

Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.

Making allowance for people…..not my strong point. I can’t understand why certain people don’t see what is so obvious to me. I often make judgments about those people, usually to their detriment and of course to my favor.  Obviously, this is not Godly love.

My allowance making ability is very small because my love is very small and very small minded. However, as I am growing and learning to receive the Lord’s great love, my allowance budget has grown by leaps and bounds.

Recently, that allowance budget was tested. It started with a conflict that was released into our family because one member feels her way is absolutely right. Furthermore, she feels the need to appraise us all of our faults and her righteousness, all with a religious flavor of speaking the truth.

This conflict has shown me where my heart is. My first response was to defend our family loudly and compare how wrong she is and how right we are. Not a great first response but a typical flesh one. This is not the allowance God has made for this conflict for me. I know from scripture that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but that is hard to remember when “flesh and blood” is attacking me.

As I was praying about this situation the Lord brought to me the story of King Saul and David. This is truly a classic story of great conflict allowance.

1 Samuel 18:5-14

And David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he prospered and behaved himself wisely; and Saul set him over the men of war. And it was satisfactory both to the people and to Saul’s servants.

As they were coming home, when David returned from killing the Philistine, the women came out of all the Israelite towns, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul with timbrels, songs of joy, and instruments of music.

And the women responded as they laughed and frolicked, saying, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.

And Saul was very angry, for the saying displeased him; and he said, they have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed only thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?

And Saul [jealously] eyed David from that day forward.

10 The next day an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved [madly] in his house, while David played [the lyre] with his hand, as at other times; and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

11 And Saul cast the javelin, for he thought, I will pin David to the wall. And David evaded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul.

13 So Saul removed David from him and made him his commander over a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people.

14 David acted wisely in all his ways and succeeded, and the Lord was with him.

David knew God had called him to be king. He seemed to be on the right track. He was in the king’s presence and had the king’s favor. Then in one day it all changed. Bam! Saul went from finding comfort in David’s company to total disgust for him, so much so that he wanted him dead. This was a major conflict in the path to the throne for David, dead men do not rule well.

Not only did David have to face the fact that the king hated him enough to murder him but also how he personally felt about that. This is what is happening in my life too. How do I honor God with my need to defend myself, my need to strike back? I am wounded, there is great pain, and anger is the loudest voice I hear. Yet I know that I must be Christ like but all I can do is like Christ while being Jenni. Love is nowhere to be found. Great! Another conflict on top of the one I already am facing. Small love makes for a very small allowance. I cannot afford this conflict. Anger depletes my reserves. This conflict bankrupts my soul and unlike David, my behavior is not wise at first, but slowly I heed His leading and He helps me.

David did not pick up the spear that was aimed unjustly at him. He dodged it not just once but twice. I too must not pick up the spear that has been aimed at me, no matter how many times it is thrown at me. God helped David and He is helping me. God gave David all that he needed to deal wisely with King Saul. In like manner, God is giving me all that I need to deal with all the emotions this conflict has raised in my soul. God sets my allowance; my job is to seek what that allowance is.

David allowed God to promote him into the throne. He did not try to bribe, beg or steal it. His desire was not the throne but God. In this conflict, my heart desires to be right and to make her pay. That aim will only get me heartache. My desire must be God’s in order to succeed. I am in this conflict to fulfill the purpose God. Slowly but surely, that is becoming my aim. His allowance is flowing into this conflict moment for me. As it flows, my life becomes worthy of living, my behavior a credit to His divine calling. That is the path I am now on by His grace and through His grace. Thank you Jesus!

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Laboring to Enter His Rest

Hebrews 4:11 (AMP)

10 For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own.

11 Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].

My heart is seeking the Lord’s rest.  What I am finding is,  I need His definition of rest.  This scripture points me to this: REST IS A RESULT OF LABOR.

Let me just say, my mind immediately goes to childbirth.  I have had the privilege of labor four times. All four times it was stink’in hard! In fact each time I faced it, I promised myself I would never do it again.  Did I mention I have the rare privilege of natural child-birth? So, I have experienced labor in its fullest glory! Amazing, and yet not something I would immediately associate with rest. My labors did not feel restful in any way. I will tell you what they felt like: PAIN! WORK! PAIN! Laboring is the hardest, most painful work I have ever done in my life.

So how is rest, a state of being I imagine as being calm and serene, reconciled with my screamed filled labors?

First, labor is an all involved process. Every part of my body was involved in that process, whether I wanted it to be or not. The same is true for us as we are learning to trust God. We must allow all that we are to labor in that process. Our meditations, our feelings, our words, thought and spoken, all need to be involved in entering into His rest.

Second, labor is a process filled with contractions that are specific and goal oriented. Laboring to enter the rest of God is a process too. It is filled with “contractions” of unbelief and doubt. These feelings of unbelief and doubt rise up and make us quite uncomfortable, even agitated. If we use our faith muscles to process these pains then we have a goal oriented process of birthing the Promise of God in our lives. If we don’t use our faith muscles, then we have what is known as false labor. Labor that produces nothing.

Thirdly, labor requires cooperation. My first two labors, I fought it. I held my breath when I should have breathed. I allowed the pain to dominate my thoughts, so my body could not relax and cooperate with the process. I hindered my labor. I find that this also happens when I am in trial.  The pain of the trial is so great, that it overwhelms me. I forget to order my thinking according to His Word. When the contractions of unbelief and doubt rise up, I complain and murmur, instead of speaking His word in faith. By my third labor I learned.  In fact, I regulated my breathing and thoughts and I actually slept through most of the labor. My body labored much more quickly when I was at rest. This is true of our trials. When we cooperate with God in the process,  His rest ushers us into His promises.

Lastly, Labor is what causes birth. Our trials are meant to birth the power of God in our lives. They are meant to expand our beings and allow more of God in our lives.

What I have learned, is that the place I always want to be is at rest in Him. My part to reach this place requires labor.  That labor looks like this: setting my whole being, my mind, my soul, my body, my mouth, my eyes and my ears to what God says about me and the trial.  This is a constant process that requires my attention and diligence. Did you hear the words: EFFORT! EFFORT! EFFORT! implied in that statement? Truly, that is what it takes. Women in active labor focus on one thing, the birth. That is what we need as we are seeking the Lord for His rest about our trial. Focus! Every time a pang of unbelief rises up to question us, “What if?” or “did you really hear God?” We focus our hearts and minds on His Word, with full expectation of the birth of His promise in our situation. Then we will know and experience His rest for ourselves.

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