Thursday, March 12, 2009

By Him and for Him.

The boys and I have been awed by God's creation as we watch the trees blossom every day as a sign that winter is almost over :). While we are driving, we all point out the white trees scattered around. I tell them, "Guys, even the trees obey God. Everything obeys God. He has created them and they obey Him. And when it is time, THEY BLOOM. When they obey Him, they are beautiful. Just as He created us... and when we obey, it makes us look beautiful to the world."
I love these verses. They give us a powerful image of Jesus being the Creator of ALL. Yes, it was Jesus Who made all things (long before He left heaven to come to rescue us)!!! How cool!?!? We were made BY Jesus and FOR Jesus.
As was nature and the Bible says it is GROANING for His return.
"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things were created by him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
Col 1:15-17
ALSO, check this out...
"...but in the last days He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things, and through Whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word."
Hebrews 1:2,3
There are seasons in our lives as well. Seasons where there is no rain, no flowers, no life.
I have lived that. It is NOT FUN.
There have been countless times in the last 4 years that I have thought that my days were just a waste. I would inch through those days taking care of the boys just to get back in bed because of joint pain, headaches and side effects of medication... thinking "well, that was a total waste of a day". Hopelessness greeted me as I crawled into my bed at night...just as it previously had when I woke up. Deep darkness with no sign of Spring FOR YEARS.
No sign of life. No sign of a bud on a tree.
It is HARD to praise God in the winter season of life. It is HARD to see beyond the dead trees and believe God for redemption. But... it is possible and it is glorious and really, its similar to what those trees are doing. They were created by Him and For Him too and they know in the winter months that they will bloom again-at the command of their creator's loving voice. The trees are merely His nature, the Bible calls us co-heirs, friends, children, treasured, adored, eternal...
so how precious do you think our obedience and worship is to Him? to do what we were ultimately created to do?
He knows how to make us beautiful. How to strip things away that are holding us back. How to prepare us, His Bride, for the wedding.
(If you have watched my end times video, you know I think our Groom is coming for us SOON.)
He wants us to reach our greatest potential! meaning less of us and more of Him. He even decided when and where we were going to be born in order to reach out for Him. CRAZY!!!!

"...and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’"
Acts 17:26-28
If He has created ALL things, chosen where and when we are going to be born so that we will know Him, sent His Son so that we can live with Him forever, etc, etc, etc....
Don't you think He has a plan for your life? Don't you think He is still at work? Don't you think there is a map full of blessings and trials in your life leading you directly to Him AND making you beautiful and life-producing? He can redeem even our sin and poor choices and breathe life into them. His light can pierce through any degree of darkness and change EVERYTHING.
Now, as the intensity of my trial is lessening, I can see how He was changing me, preparing me, GIVING to me, anointing my head with oil in the valley of the shadow as I was so desperate for Him.
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
Hab 3:17,18
I just want to encourage those of you who are suffering to HANG ON because one day, out of nowhere, "Poof!", you will see a tiny little bud with life popping out of it. And then another one, and then another one. Could it really be?
"poof!" Hope. "poof" Life. "poof" Redemption.
I don't know what is going to happen with my situation. Life still isn't fun on all of these medicines but it is getting easier. The true test is when I come off of them in 4 or 5 months.
I do believe God will heal me completely.
I will continue to believe that even if I am in the nursing home telling my forgetful new friends about the promise God gave to me for healing...and that
it is coming. I just have to wait until the perfect work He is doing in me is completed. Then, at exactly the right time, He will speak directly to my storm and say,
“Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm."
Mark 4:39
"He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves."
Psalm 107:29
I just want to encourage anyone who is in a winter season to continue to rejoice in the Lord. Continue to have crazy faith for His intervention. Continue being a Prisoner of Hope. Continue to know that the suffering isn't a waste--God is at work. He is drawing you to Himself. Worship Him (if we don't the rocks will!). And whatever you do, KEEP WALKING through the valley. Don't stop walking because of fear.... obey His Word and believe His promises. Ask your Christian friends to pray for you.
"I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."
Luke 19:40
Here are some pictures I took today of the tree in my front yard.
"I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit."
Lev 26:4

He has not forgotten you or abandoned you.
Quite the opposite.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me."
Isaiah 49:15,16
Spring is coming.


Mary T said...

AMEN and Alleluia, Stephanie.
Thank you for this blessing before I go to bed.
Love you,

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Amen! How I needed this word this morning.
Praise God, He is truly in control!
Love you,

Jenny said...

Stephanie, you are such an inspiration to me in my daily struggle with MS. Thank you.

Lynné said...

Praise the Lord!!!! I've had a really rough day today, and I REALLY needed some positive thoughts! Thanks gal!

LeslieTummel said...

One of my very favorite quotes...I have no idea who said it...

"Sometimes God quiets the storm. Other times, He lets the storm rage and quiets His child."

Thanks for all your uplifting posts!

Jill said...

I love this post....more since I just returned from the land of blooms...Tenn....I thought they were all dogwoods, but I guess they are branford pear trees...all I know is that they are gorgeous. And then there were some pink ones too...I loved it, but my eyes did not, I wanted to scratch them out of my head. What a gift of encouragement you have.

jord,ali,hal,kam and grae too! said...

Hoping all is ok with you!! Makes me nervous when you don't post for such a long period of time!!