Today, after listening to a powerful teaching on Faith found in Hebrews 11 at New Life Community Church in Elgin – yesterday – I had to ask myself – Do I have faith to move this mountain? Or am I simply embracing the frailty of my own humanity? Do I actually have the strength to place my life in His hands…saying, “My Heavenly Father – whatever You want!” As I look at this seemingly insurmountable commitment which lays before me, to continue writing “The Stained Glass Window,” and I ask; “Where do I begin?” As I feel stuck with doubts creeping into my mind, heart, and soul…with questions of whether I have completely blown my calling. The commission given to me from my Father’s mouth way back in 2003; which now feels like eons ago. Wondering why I am still asking the same question, “Am I too late?”
Once again, I am facing the upcoming days of writing – I realize that I am at a standstill – standing, once again, at the doorway of my breaking – the death of me – the beginning of the breakdown of the person I once knew as me – and to face the painful cleansing again; as this is exactly where I stopped writing the last time. Because all of us must go through the door of our deaths with the Refiners Fire on many levels within our lives – if we want to experience the joy through the resurrection into the freedom of our new life in Jesus! As all of nature has to go through these very same stages from death to life, slowly and with purpose; through storms of darkness into the gentle light of the dawning of each new day – enabling them to grow and become fruitful, to flourish, to be healthy, lush and green once again – Yes! It’s a gift of life! This is the same for us!
“In “Leota’s Garden” by Francine Rivers” by all appearances, her garden looked dead and lifeless, with no hope. But her Granddaughter, Annie, chose to place her own life on hold – just so she was able to spend quality time with Leota. Annie had come to care and love her Grandmother – as she too was feeling lost and alone. You see both were treated as the outcasts within the family. Leota, was quite old in body and also in spirit; and was physically unable to care for the garden. So it died and so did Leota’s hope. But with Annie, together, they began to restore the garden that Leota had loved – which had given her a safe place during some very difficult times within her own life. With Annie it had now became a labor of love – a special joining between them.
Yes! Annie became the Keeper of the Garden…who tilled and cultivated the soil, watering and feeding it with all the necessary nutrients to strengthen it; while cutting away the barren dead branches to allow the air to circulate and refresh. Slowly, very slowly, the garden began to come alive…new life had begun – blossoms appeared as their scents filled the air around them. Birds sang their songs while drinking the flowers life giving nectar – who had built their nests within the branches of the trees; as bees came to bathe in the pollen gently buzzing from flower to flower, as wild life appeared to help cultivate the earth who also took refuge within the foliage; and built their homes within the beauty of the restored garden.” So it is with us…
So this morning, as I shared my heart with my Heavenly Father, while being washed by God’s Holy Word. The Holy Spirit whispers “Don’t rush – stop and rest awhile – drink deeply – so you are refreshed in your heart, spirit, soul, and mind – to be strengthened! So gratefully, I choose to continue on life’s journey knowing that I am not alone – as my Shepherd, once again, is gently laying His Staff by my side, with the light of the Holy Spirit to guide my way. So I am then able to rest safely and securely, under the shelter and shadow of His Wings…restored in His care…to complete His calling on my life! As He has a plan – as it says in Isaiah 55 – “His Word will not return void or empty but will accomplish what He desires!” It’s a Promise!
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”
From my heart…