Welcome to my latest blog piece for the Irish Academy of Public Relations…
What is your PB? (And no, I don’t mean peanut butter…) =) If you have been gripped by the exciting moments of triumph and devastation that the Olympics bring, then you will know that PB means ‘Personal Best’, and it is usually the absolute desire of every athlete to beat their previous PB record, and win an Olympic gold medal on the way.
Every time I have watched these amazingly well trained Olympians champion their course I am reminded of my own PB, in various areas of my life. When I wake up in the morning I am learning to remind myself that today is a new day to challenge my personal best. I can always try to improve on the choices I made yesterday and give my absolute best in all I endeavour to do.
Michael Phelps has astonished all who have been watching his journey. He has come back from great challenges and a retirement, to win more medals than he even believed he could himself.
Michael’s 200m butterfly gold medal made him the oldest swimmer to win an individual Olympic title at 31 years of age. He has earned the title, ‘GOAT’ – ‘the greatest of all time’, and quite frankly he is a medal machine! As I watched him shed a tear as he held his new three month old son, my eyes filled with tears with him. It felt exhilarating to watch him kick his doubts, fears and physical challenges to the curb and go for gold. My blood raced with motivation and excitement as I watched the faces of the crowds who applauded him; I thought to myself how many of them have overcome their own PB challenges too, and are living testimonies to the same courage we see in Michael Phelps?
Your PB may only matter to you…there may never be a gold medal placed around your neck, but that does not diminish the innate value in giving your best. You can award yourself every day; every time you overcome a challenge or advance towards something you dearly want.
I took this photo here in Ireland. It’s a beautiful little pansy growing from solid rock. Beautiful things can grow in hard places… so chin up buttercup!
We all go through tough times, where life is literally as hard as rock, and everyday feels like we are walking through quick dry cement. Look at this pansy: it is fragile, delicate and easily broken, yet it has somehow overcome the obstacles presented to it by the surroundings it is trying to grow in. Feel familiar?
Are you trying to overcome the tests of life? Are you determined to rebuild what circumstances have demolished? Has your courage been ravished by disappointment or heartache? Are there just too many whys and not enough answers? You are not alone in this tough place. But there is always a lesson to learn, and the things that happen on the outside, can bring about a tremendously precious lesson on the inside of us. Changes around us can become the perfect soil for growth on the inside, where nobody sees, but God. Right in this moment of pain, there are gems awaiting your embrace. It’s hard, and absolutely overwhelming, but God will not leave you alone. You may be trying not to be lonely while you are alone, and that could be exactly where God will meet you and change everything about you.
“God gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.” C.H. Spurgeon
You are not alone, you are not alone, you are not alone! You must choose to embrace this painful season, and keep believing that this too shall pass, and one day you will smile again. Not a fake, pretend smile, but a real smile that comes from a truly happy place.
God knows how to get you there. He knows how to get your tender, delicate roots through the hard cement of life, just like the little pansy. The amazing thing is, that although this pansy was in fact tiny, I still saw it. Even in what seems like a season of ‘smallness’ in your life, God will cause the right people to see you, (really see you) and He will show you the why of it all.
Hang in there…even in this hard place, you are still beautiful, inside and out. God sees you and He is guiding you with His eye.
As I type, I am surrounded by construction work, drilling to the left, drilling to the right, and even drilling on the street outside my house. Everywhere I look there is rubble, or walls being torn down. While there is a lot of noise, in the midst of it there are things being quietly built back up: foundations being laid, walls being secured, and new designs being drawn. It is a noisy mixture of tearing down and rebuilding, in three different places. As I sit here, sipping my green tea and sharing a few quiet moments with God before the rest of my day kicks in, I am quietly reminded that our lives resemble the havoc that surrounds the place I currently call home.
Maybe you are in a season where all is being stripped from your life and things feel shaky and uncomfortable for you? It could be that there is a sense of old things dying so that they can be returned to you improved or mended? You may be struggling to surrender control over someone whom you wish you could change, or someone is trying to convince you that you yourself need to change too? Maybe you are in a glorious place of rebuilding and new things are appearing all around you, filling your heart and life with excitement and happiness? It is safe to say that all of us travel through these seasons at varying times in our lives, and we cannot always determine just when they will happen.
In the last few days, the word ABIDE, has grabbed my heart and invited me to be still, and to come away from the madness around me. This word reminds my soul that even in the midst of construction work, (whether internal or external), there is a place of deep peace. It is not found in rushing around glorifying busy schedules, but in the solitude of a quiet moment of surrender and reflection. Abide…Abide…Abide!
Are you rushing around in a state of mayhem, losing your grip on everything because you are trying to carry too much? A lazy man’s load never works, even with the things of the heart! Let it all go…surrender it to God. Choose to ABIDE in the knowledge that the only person you can change is yourself, and that God is walking and working with you to bring order to your life. I am right here with you…learning to ABIDE, when all you see is disappointment and change. Take a breath, put everything in His great big hands. Trust Him with the process, the outcome, the journey and even the tears. You are His masterpiece, so choose to abide, and let the Master take over…I know I am.
In recent days, I have had the privilege of sharing deep, honest, and raw conversations with people who are struggling through tough situations. I must say that your heartfelt transparency reveals a beautiful mystery.
The concept of finding peace in a broken place carries with it a contrast as striking as a solitary dove sitting in a broken window; sometimes there is peace in simply choosing to be still.
At times, life calls us to navigate through uncharted waters and unfamiliar paths. We may not have chosen this direction but must employ the greatest courage and strength in order to endure it. If you are a strong person, then strength is your default setting, but even strong people may still prefer to take an easier route. Unfortunately, in a broken place, there can be moments where you would rather break down than break through!
They, (whoever they are), say, “what does not kill you, serves to make you stronger“, and it is not until you find yourself in a broken place that you can honestly put these words to the test. What is a broken place? It can be a place where a promise has been broken, or a dream has been shattered. You, yourself, may feel broken, or overwhelmed by the road that lies before you, or indeed memories of days gone by. Circumstances have possibly left you tired or drained by this broken road of unwanted outcomes.
You may remember a recent post I wrote titled: “Broken Crayons Still Colour“, where I reminded our dear hearts that even in our broken seasons, we still possess the same incredible qualities and strengths that make us who we are. We can still find peace in a broken place, because the One who gives us peace still reigns and orders our steps. We may not have all the answers to our questions, nor the strength to wait patiently for those answers, but nevertheless, God is still who He said He is and He will never abandon those He is committed to. He sees what our weak human eyes cannot. He hears the unspoken prayers of our tired hearts. He listens when you sigh in the dark and pray for a way through the circumstances you find yourself in.
He knows. He hears, He cares, and He will make a way. It is in these hard circumstances that He will reveal new things to you. He is able to create something amazing where there seemed to be nothing visible or possible. He will reveal new things in His relationship with you, that will help you to trust Him, even when you are weary from wondering. There is a place of peace in this moment for you, even when all seems lost. You can walk through this situation with absolute assurance that God is walking with you and carrying you through every weary step, unforeseen challenge, and daunting decision.
Stop right now, and quietly surrender every aspect of your life to Him. Quieten your heart and allow His peace to come into your confusion and mayhem, and carry you. It is a daily choice where surrender and gratitude walk hand in hand. You don’t have to deny how you feel, but in bringing it to Him you allow the divine exchange to take place; where He takes your burdens and gives you His peace. I don’t write these words flippantly or easily; as I too am walking a road where I must decide to trust God even in the unknown. I write these words to let you know that you do not walk alone, for there are many of us walking this path with you. Others may never see the hidden disappointments and fears that we are encountering and overcoming on a daily basis, but God sees.
Even in this broken place, His peace can be your constant strength and companion.
I may not know you, but He does, and today I am praying for you.
As I sit here writing to you, I hear the soft flickering of my open coal fire, as heat radiates and the smell of warmth fills the room. I am grateful. Over in my kitchen, a freshly prepared, by yours truly, pot of Irish stew gurgles and bubbles as it cooks on my brand new stove. My nearby window, slightly ajar, lets me hear the birds singing to each other from their branches, and the funny screams of sea gulls as they soar in the sky. The sound of life!
Some of you know I have moved, and many of you have asked me to tell the story of how it all happened. First, let me take a sip from my freshly brewed cup of brilliance, and I will begin to pen the tale.
The story is long, so I will keep it brief and pertinent to what really matters. I needed to move, and time was running out on my lease. Days, weeks and months were flying past, with no real success in finding my new abode. I remained resilient and positive, but meanwhile back at the ranch, my heart was growing wearisome and tiresome. You know the feeling.
So, on a seemingly ordinary Tuesday morning, way back in November, I awoke with a sense of destiny, urgency, optimism and a certain, “Je ne sais quoi“.
I went through my usual morning routine, breakfast, reading, quiet time, etc etc, but all the while I knew today was the day I would find it. I decreed it in my heart, that today God and I would find it, as if God needed my help, and the day commenced.
Soon I was out walking on the street, in the south city suburbs of Dublin, with no real place to go, just watching people and looking for opportunity. This particular day, opportunity came wearing overalls and holding a paintbrush. He was a stranger to me, but I soon found myself interrupting his work to inquire if he may possibly be the landlord of said property. He wasn’t. But quite resolutely he took me into the house to meet the landlord of this lovely Georgian house. To cut a long eventful story short, I spent about half an hour chatting with a landlord, who had nothing to offer me, but took the time to offer me friendly advice and hear my story. He had just come out of a three hour meeting, yet gave me much more than the time of day. It was inspiring, but even more so, when he simply said, that he wanted to give me some timely and encouraging advice…”Don’t lose hope!..”
He said it calmly and resolutely. So much so that the tired heart in me was lifted up. I blinked the tears from my eyes and thanked him for this kindness and time. And ventured out onto the street again.
Moments later I saw another gentleman in overalls. So, yes, you guessed it. I did. I gingerly approached him on the front steps of another Georgian building, and inquired if he were possibly the landlord. And, guess what? No, he wasn’t. We chatted a bit about why I was out stopping strangers and the like. He then decided to call the landlord of this property to inquire on my behalf. And low and behold, he had just driven in around the rear of the building at that moment. So, had I arrived at this second property thirty minutes earlier, things may not have lined up so perfectly for me. I mused to myself, thank God the other landlord took thirty minutes out of his day to be kind to a stranger.
Soon I rushed round the corner to meet another stranger, who now is my current landlord.
It all did not go as smoothly as planned, and there were a few delays and hiccups to test my faith, but soon after, the keys to my brightly new refurbished from floor to ceiling, Georgian studio were in my hands. I moved in well before Christmas, with the help of family and friends. I have all I need, plus one extra, a real open log fire! That part was a pleasant surprise. Blessed with brand new fixtures and fittings, a new cooker, fridge and utilities. And this is where I write to you from, sitting in my own antique nursing chair, by my heat-yielding flickering fire.
And although there are challenges afoot, and things that greatly challenge my heart today, I can look around me and be grateful that I have more than some, and less than a lot, but I have what I need. I am ready to move on to the next adventure, wherever and whenever that is. Today the sound of life is beautiful, and I am grateful for the journey, and for the strength that tears can bring.
Anyway, I better go, the sound and aroma of my homemade stew bubbling signals to me that it is ready, and so am I. Oh, there is one more important thing I must tell you; remember when I met the second landlord? Well, he was not planning on advertising this property, so the only way I would have found him is if I met him on the street. So, there you have it. Get out there and meet people. Take risks, go out on a limb and see what happens. I did, and it changed everything.
Everywhere I turn this phrase is following me… be it on a greeting card, in a movie or a conversation… ‘Make sure you follow through.’ Any golfers out there will know how vital that is to your swing and your game of golf! Well, I am learning that is it equally as vital to my game of life!
Sometimes we have to stand still before we can move forward, and I am reminded of the days gone by where I thought I could not possibly take another step in the direction I knew in my heart I needed to go, but I did. So here I stand again, at the junction of more decisions where truth begs for my attention, despite what my heart may say it wants. I love truth, but some days we are led by our desires for what we want, rather than what may be the chosen path by God for us right now. He wants obedience, He wants surrender, He wants my willingness to trust Him despite my disappointment. HE wants my ‘follow through’. And deep down in my heart, so do I.
A wise old saint once said, “Never doubt in the darkness what God has told you in the light.” We are not God, hence our reason for needing Him. I am learning that there is a blessing in not knowing it all, in not having all the details of what comes next. All I have is NOW, and I must follow through despite my feelings on the matter. Today while reading the book of John, I was reminded of the truth that God wants our ‘joy to be full’. Okay, so for some of you that is old news, but sometimes God resurrects a phrase of truth to hammer it home a little more, and to serve as an anchor of hope when we are being tossed about my life, and today He did just that for me. He cares that I am joyful, and that matters so much to Him that He wrote it many times. How beautiful!
So hang in there… the breakthrough comes when you survive the breaking point… The bumps are what you climb on, they are the things that you hold onto along the climb to the mountain top. Yes there will be sacrifices that you will not understand and days that seem so hard to fathom, but He is there, cling to Him. Make a choice to ‘soul-cling’ to Him. Your breakthrough is coming, and God will follow through on all that He has promised.
In the Free Dictionary by Farlex, Breakthrough is defined as “to change direction or move suddenly”, how beautiful a thought that is! We love ‘sudden moves’ once they are good for us, but sometimes God brings a change of direction that we may find difficult to embrace. That is where the rubber meets the road of our journey of faith, and we must choose to surrender and trust.
For once we make it past the breaking point, our breakthrough will come!
So ‘follow through‘ and ‘break through’.
From the pen of a grateful girl,
All rights reserved. Copyright by Denise Kennedy. May 2014.
Np part may be copied or reprinted. Feel free to use social media links to share.
My eyes opened, and immediately thoughts captured my waking moments with busyness and today’s to-do list! My feet had not hit the floor yet and already I was running around in circles in my mind. It is the first day of May, and I have lots to do. I determined to silence the chaos that tried to envelope me in panic, and allowed myself five more minutes of duvet time, as it was only 7am. I listened to the birds in my garden singing victoriously in the rain. The heavy downpour that most likely was pelting them on their little heads, did not seem to bother them at all. I smiled.
Then I arose, and greeted my day with faith, hope and intent. I prepared my cup of brilliance, and sat at my table by my window. The sun was not shining this morning and somehow I actually welcomed this cloudy day by lighting my favourite vanilla bean candle. Ahhh aroma and flickering light, a beautiful combination. Then I quietened my to-do list and hushed the busy thoughts that clamoured for my attention. Instead my focus turned to my God, and surrendering my entire day to Him. I waited, read, prayed and pursued stillness. He came, whispered hope, promised strength, gave encouragement and reassured me with His presence. “Today is Yours God”, I whispered with great loyalty, love and expectation. Then I reached over to open my window further as glimmers of sunshine broke through the clouds. I sat back down and closed my eyes and let my Saviour’s peace take precedence over my morning. Then it came, the most beautiful interruption imaginable. In the still air came these beautiful melodic lyrics, accompanied by a choir of voices and instruments:
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see…”
I held my breath with surprise, my brain curiously trying to figure out where this music was coming from. In all the years I have sat by this garden window on the third floor of this building, I have never heard a song fill the air like it did this morning. I sat there, soaking up this incredible truth, as the song continued to play, hauntingly and boldly through the south city air. It was amazing. Yes it was amazing grace. The lyrics continued to pour out upon the unsuspecting audience:
”Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.”
I was silent, as tears fell down my face, this beautiful interruption was so perfect. So brilliant in its magnitude, that the truth of these words overwhelmed my soul with hope. I felt like God orchestrated the whole encounter, and serenaded me with the reminder of His “Amazing Grace”. Moments later the song ended and no other song or music followed it. Even now I hear no radio, or further song choice filling the air. Just one song played, and the only one necessary.
As I sit here, I continue humming the tune as I type. Still moved by the incredible truth of its lyrics. Did anyone else hear it? I have no idea. All I know is I am glad I was silent enough to do so, and that my morning became still enough to receive the beautiful interruption of a message from heaven. My heart has been reminded of the multitude of ways God wants to invade my ordinary moments and fill them with His beautiful masterpieces. I am in awe of the mysterious timing of His glorious ways, and the reminder that it is His Amazing Grace that carries us on.
Be still enough to hear it, the sound of truth trying to get your attention, and fill your day with grace!
On a recent short stay in America the beautiful, I learned of two astounding growth phenomena. Mistletoe and Resurrection Fern. Yes a strange combination, but linger with me a few minutes and I will unveil this incredible mystery.
We were driving along the swampy marshes of Alexandria, Louisiana, en route from Baton Rouge to Dry Prong. While we were cruising along the motorway I commented to my dear cousin about the unusual vibrant green circular plants growing on most of the trees that filled the watery bayous. I found what she told me truly fascinating. She explained that this is mistletoe…and it grows in abundance there, but what is so impressive is that it can thrive on even the deadest of trees. I stared at it for the hours, days and weeks that I spent in Louisiana.
All the while it spoke to me of a deeper lesson. Let me explain…
Mistletoe is one of the most luxurious green plants you will ever see. It is shiny, vibrant and altogether lush. Every bunch I have seen looks so impressive I almost thought it were fake. So, this incredible green leafy plant can grow on the most lifeless host you have ever seen. And God spoke to me. Are you in a season where you feel or sense that absolutely no fruit or good thing can come from your heart or life? You look at your dry branches and make the evaluation that this is just a lifeless season where you have nothing to give. My dear friend, even if you despise these days of struggle, unanswered questions, difficult dilemmas, or heartfelt loss, hang in there, fruit can grow in these times. You are able to bless others in this time of transition, so do not write yourself off and bow out gracefully from life. You are bearing fruit that may seem unseen or impossible to you, but you are. Sometimes, the toughest seasons we walk through actually yield the most precious harvest. In due time you will see it and be amazed at how God uses your selfless surrender as a means to encourage and motivate those around watching your life. As mistletoe grows in the lavish way it does, so you are growing as you wait on God and trust His perfect timing and providence.
A week later, I walked down St Charles, a beautiful street in New Orleans, with a dear friend and her son as our tour guide. As we walked they told me about the incredible stately oak trees that stood like tall soldiers down each side of the bustling trolly-train street. On these monstrous trees, with roots almost longer than the trees themselves, grew another phenomena: Resurrection Fern. Incredible.
Resurrection Fern is found growing on the trunks and branches of oak trees. It gets its name ‘resurrection’ from the way the fern acts during certain weather seasons. During a dry period, the fern will be brown and completely lifeless.
It will appear to be dead and you would be forgiven for never expecting it to yield any appearance of life ever again. But as soon as the season of rain comes, that same moss will explode with green life again. As I stood there gazing up at these magnificent oak trees and the fascinating resurrection life of this beautiful fern, I was struck by the cycle of life it goes through.
These two contrasting plants spoke volumes to me of the seasons we all walk though in this journey called life. There will be times when we appear to be lifeless and sense we shall never radiate with abundance or blessing again, but when the rain of heaven comes, life appears and our thirsty soul transforms into an oasis of growth and abundance.
Dear one, which ever season you find yourself to be in, know that the Master has a plan for this transition time and by remaining close to Him you will yield a beautiful harvest in abundance. You are producing a precious fragrance that will touch and inspire many. Lift up your weary head and thank Him for the new thing He is doing, soon it will spring forth, soon you will see life appear. Whether you feel like mistletoe or fern, to Him and those around you, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
♪♫•*¨*•. In The Hallway .•*¨*•♫♪ by Denise Kennedy
For several weeks now, a phrase I heard has rolled around my head, at times causing me to literally stop all I am doing and let it impact my heart deeply.
♪♫•*¨*•.“Until God opens the next door for you, PRAISE Him in the hallway!”.•*¨*•♫♪
As I sat in the garden to begin writing this piece, and had simply written the quote at the top of my blank page, my cell phone rang…my dear friend shared this exact quote with me as we talked, having had no idea what I was writing about…perfect timing and confirmation!
God opens doors it’s true – sometimes He opens them as soon as we ask, while at other times He chooses to open them whether we ask or not. There are occasions when God seems to keep us in the holding pattern, circling to land, and we wait and wait. Recently a huge open door presented itself in my life, and as I currently walk through it, I’m very much aware of the other doors I want to open in my life. There is a lesson in ‘doors’ and a learning curve in how we handle them.
Is there anything grander than that perfect ‘door-swinging open’ moment? When at last that brilliant big door you have been waiting on, opens wide before you and you rush right through it with heart-beating expectation, and excitement. It is a wonderful time, and we thank God as we run with our arms waving over our head like a giddy child at Christmas. So, what happens when the door seems to be solemnly closed, at least for now, or forever? Do we sit sunken and despondent in the hallway of our life, dreading the season of waiting? Do we sit there quite possibly drooling at the door handle begging it to open, and tiresomely hating even the wallpaper or paint on the familiar walls around us? In this place our attitudes can become indifferent or nonchalant, despairing and forlorn. But read again for me if you will, these thought provoking words: “Until God opens the next door for you, PRAISE Him in the hallway!” ~ read them again, this time slowly and let them sink deeply into your tired heart. Let them rest there unshaken and still.
♪♫•*¨*•.“Until God opens the next door for you, PRAISE Him in the hallway!”.•*¨*•♫♪
What door are you waiting on? Are you imagining a new career which will suddenly bring success and comfort into your life? Is there some new quest or adventure beckoning you on to a place of wonder, that somehow seems out of grasp for now? What or who are you possibly waiting for? Well, stop right now – could it be that in all of the time you are waiting for these doors to open, that God wants you to learn to be content right where you are, with Him in the hallway of your life? With Him in the hallway could be the preparation place for what is behind that yet closed door? There could be amazing secrets, words of wisdom and songs of ascent that He longs to share with you, as you sit in the hallway of your present life. Don’t wish this season away, there are diamonds and gems to be gleaned at your feet.
Have you ever locked yourself out of your hotel room? You sit there on the soft plush carpet hoping a room porter will come along, or you wait on that family member who said they would be with you shortly. You suddenly notice the hallway you usually rush hurriedly down, in a whole new light and from a very different view now that you’re sitting on the floor. You see the beautiful light fittings on the chandelier above you, or you admire the ornate mirrors and exquisite paintings on the walls. You take time to appreciate the flowers in the cut glass vases and the stunning antique furniture beneath them. You see, sometimes God causes the doors to close so that we simply learn to appreciate what is around us, and we begin to praise Him in the hallway of paused moments. True it has to be said, when we finally get inside to the other side of the closed door, we truly welcome it with a greater appreciation, having had to wait for it. The delays can cause a deeper appreciation to grow in us, which will make the grand door opening event a far more delightful experience. Sometimes, what the heart must wait longer for, it also grows to miss and then value much more!
God may open the right door but in a different way, He may even open a completely different door at a time we had not foreseen or planned. He may even lead us through a door we do not want or desire at any time in our lives, and these are the moments that show us whether we really trust Him or not. These seasons reveal to us what is really in our heart – if we trust Him as the ‘Door Opener’ of our lives, then we trust His timing too! You may see others rush through the doors that you yourself wanted, and as they disappear through it leaving you with only the sound of their laughter, you sink again onto the carpet of your life and wonder why? It seems so unfair you feel – but for now, just leave the lives of others in His hands, their journey is not any of your business, let it go. Don’t envy the lives of others, when really only they and God know the journey that took them to that place of His providence.
The same God of providence and provision is also with you. He longs to be the One your eyes are fixed upon as you sit in your hallway. He wants to be the One you lean on, run to, sing to, cry to, talk to, laugh with, live with, rely on and depend on! The doors that you walk through are important, but timing is crucial and critical, indeed the right door at the wrong time is a disaster waiting to happen. So whether someone else has closed a door for you, or indeed if it were you who slammed it shut yourself, start trusting God that He can open it again at just the perfect time.
If an employer, friend or family member has let you down with regard to a door you were pounding on, stop pushing it! Begin instead to look to the only One who holds all the keys to all of the doors, all of the careers, jobs, plans, adventures, and dreams you’re hoping for in the future. If you’re tired of pounding doors or screaming at them to open, decide to sit down, not in defeat but in strength. For you know that the Key Holder is in control, and at just the right time and in just the most perfectly beautiful way, He is able to unlock that door, sweep you up and walk you through it.
As I walk through doors, and contemplate many new ones, I know that there is a still, quiet place called the hallway – and there are wonderful lessons to learn there, there is strength to be found there, with the Key Holder of my life.
“We have the choice to: Worry or Worship. Panic or Pray. Tremble or Trust.” – Rick Warren ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
There are doors we are called to wait at, keep knocking on or keep believing for – these are the ‘Faith Doors’ in our lives, and we keep on asking and seeking, and God will honour us as we trust Him. But whether the doors open that we want or not, we must learn to ‘Praise Him In The Hallway’, while we wait – God also waits, on our honest response! So sit down in strength, in trust and in the knowledge that the One with the keys and time in His hands, knows what He is doing –
He is doing something in our hearts in the hallway!
Well…These recent days have been filled with a sense of loss and a deeper surrender than I have ever walked through before. It is easy to trust God when all your heart’s desires are just a heartbeat away…but when He is calling you to an ‘Abraham’ moment, or day, or life, it is not so easy to rise to the challenge and let go!
But that is where I am. And where He is standing beside me! With all this in mind, I surrender my Isaac on the altar of letting go! I found myself saying “OUCH! Lord!”…and the word OUCH says it all…My heart is hurting and I looked up and said “Lord, do you not care? Do you not see me, hear me, or feel the loss I do? Why do I seem to have to walk a path of learning to always let go?”…
For some (silly?) reason I went to look up the word OUCH in my dictionary application on my phone…
Read on…Here is the exact definition of OUCH…
~ A setting for a precious (of high price or great value; very valuable or costly: precious expensive or rare) stone ~
~ “Ouch!” is used in writing to represent the noise that people make when they suddenly feel pain. ~
~ The place for holding something excessively delicate, refined, or a precious gem ~
If you are not WOWED by now than read this…
~ (Ouch) An Old English word denoting cavities or empty places in which gems were set (Exodus 28:11).
~ “With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold.” Exodus 28 v 11 (KJV)
…See what I mean? Ouches are a place for gems to be set… They resemble an empty place…A place that waits to be filled with something better…
They provide the perfect setting for a gold finish!! That even when we are “Ouching!”…we are still becoming a gem to be set in a place of gold! It will not be wasted. Pain and ouching will lead us to a place where the King smiles down, and declares that it is alright to weep, because we will shine like gold, as we come to Him and allow Him to reveal something precious from the ouch places in our lives.
So when I found myself asking the Lord if He cared at all? I soon was shown in a sensitive and loving way by my Master Craftsman that all will be revealed. That you and I are on His work table, where He is refining, and making the ouch places a sweet altar of surrender, where He will perfect His will in us and make us perfect gems set in gold. I want to be as gold to Him. I want to run the race set out before me, even when it hurts and I would rather retreat away from the heat of the refiners tools….
But then where would the precious gem or beautiful stone be set? We would never know what may have been created by the hand of the Master, unless we surrender to His loving care and the knowledge that He knows exactly what He is doing.
May I sit still enough for You to work. May I not choose to run away to happier days. May I surrender to You on painful days of loss or disappointment. May Your face be seen in me, as You craft me to be what You desire!
“Jesus Wept…”…. He is acquainted with grief…He is not afraid of our pain because He holds the balm that will heal us. He knows exactly the setting that is needed to make us beautiful, stunning and precious gems in a golden ouch! May our OUCHES be golden, simply because we choose to worship Him through every ouch that yesterday, today or tomorrow may bring!! For His glory and in the careful gentle grip of the best Jewelery maker the world has ever known or my heart could ever trust.
for the display of His choice!