Archive | October 2012

A Senseless Horse

God’s Thoughts to Me

I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and a bridle to keep it under control. (Psalm 32:8-9, NLT)

In Training

It is a great honor to participate in Amber’s Concrete Word Series. Amber paints with words and she brings the abstract to life through her use of concrete words. Amber can be found at http://therunamuck.com/2012/10/28/an-abstraction-on-the-horse/.

The last few weeks this Scripture has been repeating like a refrain in my mind and I was quite puzzled and uncertain about the reason my thoughts kept wandering back to Psalm 32. My heart quietly, without words, asked our Heavenly Father the reason for my predicament for I had a suspicion that I was being compared to a senseless horse or stubborn mule.

When I saw Amber’s invitation to write on An Abstraction on a Horse, I knew our Pappa was leading me to a painful, yet liberating revelation. The haphazard array of puzzle pieces in my mind started to fit perfectly as the scales, blinding my spiritual eyes, fell off. I could slowly but surely start to comprehend what our Pappa was trying to teach me.

For the past 8 years I have been suffering from Fm/ME and although I have come to a place of sweet acceptance and know our Lord will work His good through this illness as well, I have found it difficult to understand why our Pappa uses such a debilitating, chronic, painful illness to bring about His good. He knows how very sensitive I am to pain! But as always His thoughts and ways are definitely not mine!

Our Lord is very well acquainted with all my insecurities and shame-based self-esteem that causes me to gallop ahead like a frigthened, senseless horse, as fast as I can. During biblical times the horse was the fastest transportation available and I could relate to that. My whole life was consumed by my frantic galloping and racing, trying to outrun all the ghosts of my past: the feelings of guilt and condemnation for being so sinful and imperfect, my constant striving for approval and acceptance, etc. I was over-eager to convince my Pappa that with a lot of elbow grease and self-effort I could clean up my act and be worthy of His love.

I longed for His unconditional love, for His guidance and acceptance. I longed to walk with my God, but I was like a stubborn horse who lacked understanding. The jockey riding this horse was a very nasty fellow called Fear. He had a comfortable ride while I had to plow my way through the swamp of depression and despondency. I felt totally defeated as I was wallowing in the mud and mire of rejection and hopelessness. Mr Fear was a cruel man showing no mercy or kindness. Then that sweet day arrived when our God stopped this horse in its tracks with such velocity that Mr Fear flew off my back forever.

Our Pappa knew of my desperate plight and rescued me from this despicable man by allowing this illness to enter my life. It was the bit and bridle He used to lead this stubborn horse out of the marshland of despair into the beautiful meadow of His love and acceptance. Old habits die hard and I need to allow our Lord to keep a tight reign on the bridle of my life.

I am so grateful that He has, in His divine wisdom, allowed this illness to teach this galloping horse His ways and paths. Living with the constant pain and exhaustion that accompany Fm/ME is not easy, but is has taught me, like Paul had to learn, that His grace is always sufficient.

In conclusion, this is one horse that needs the firm Hand to lead it!

Hugs and blessings

Mia

The Emperor’s Image

God’s Thoughts to Me

But Jesus knew their evil motives, “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed Him a Roman coin, He asked,” Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Ceasar’s,” they replied. “Well, then give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar, and give to God to what belongs to God.”(Matthew 22:18-21, NLT).

So God created human beings in His own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27, NLT).

The Hurdles of Discipline

When my oldest son, Simon, was a secondary school learner, he was a provincial 400 meter hurdles athlete. At all the competitions his doting mother caused him endless embarrassment by, to put it mildly, proudly, yet noisily, jumping up and down, cheering him along and helping him to finish the race. Eventually he had to surrender, for he, for some strange reason, seemed unable to get his mother to behave more appropriately.

Then it happened! He stumbled and heartily greeted mother earth during a race he was about to win. My courageous, brave 18-year old baby got up and finished second…and then…collapsed! This mother hen quickly gathered her precious, bleeding chick under her wing, and that in front of an enormous crowd of spectators. So completely not cool at all!!

That was one of my favorite, precious God moments. Our Pappa taught me a most valuable lesson through this incident on His love and care towards us. Like the best parent ever, He lovingly disciplines us by allowing the hurdles of trials and tribulations during our race of life to teach us godliness and complete dependance upon Him. Every hurdle presents another opportunity to stretch those faith muscles to jump clear. When we fall, He lovingly picks us up and gathers us in His arms and wipes away all our tears while encouraging us not to lose heart, for He will always be there, right beside us, jumping up and down with joy as He cheers us on, rejoicing over us with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17).

As I was reading the above Scripture, the Lord opened my eyes to a big, bad insurmountable hurdle of misconception and wrong perception l had allowed to develop in my life, hindering my relationship with my Pappa to grow, to bloom and to blossom. My frame of reference told me that all our Lord Jesus’ anger towards the Pharisees and Scribes was also directed towards me. Our Pappa was, as far as I was concerned, a very angry, abusive God, expecting me to pull myself up by my own bootstraps and polish up my poor excuse of a life.

Our God patiently taught me through one of my favorite Bible teachers, James Fowler, my perception of His character was totally wrong. My frame of reference needed to include some “zits im leben” (setting in life). It needed to be based on the truth of  whom our Lord really was referring to, as well as the culture and traditions of that specific time. When I read the text in that context, scales fell from my eyes and I looked at this Scripture with new understanding.

Allow me to give a little background information. At the time our Lord Jesus walked the earth, the Roman authorities issued a silver coin, the denarius, stamped with the image of the Emperor. It was used as the standard payment for taxes. The Romans were well aware of the Jews’ scruples about “graven images” and out of respect for their religious traditions, they issued a bronze coin without any image for the use of those devout Palestinian Jews, without having to defile themselves when paying their taxes.

I have wondered why politicians and religious leaders often seem to be bosom buddies until I saw the truth of Solomon’s words, there truly is nothing new under the sun! (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The Pharisees and Scribes were hand in glove with the Herodians, inviting them along when they tried to soft-soap our Lord Jesus by commending His integrity. As if they were qualified to be judges of integrity! They tried to force Him into a Catch 22 situation by asking Him the famous question about taxes. These highly religious and righteous Jews, as they considered themselves to be, had no reason to defile themselves by touching a denarius, but when Jesus requested one, they provided the denarius from their own pockets!! I wonder if all the bronze ones went to the poor!

Our Lord saw right through their evil intent into their greed for religous power, position, prestige and money. They were unwilling to give it all up and to give themselves wholeheartedly to our Pappa. We are all familiar with the outcome of this story.

A question started to form in my mind, “As humans, whose image do we bear?” Our Pappa revelaled to my heart the precious truth that we are all created in His image!! He created us as spiritual beings to lavishly love us and enabled us to love Him in return. That privilege was forfeited in Eden and bought back on the cross at Golgotha. If only I could rid myself of that brood of “Pharisees” joyfully lodging in my heart, suffocating the loving relationship between my Pappa and me. Our Lord’s words became crystal clear to me, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this eternal life” (John 5:39-40, NLT).

I rejoiced when we together chased the slave woman and her son from my heart as Paul instructed us to do. (Galatians 4:30). Good riddance indeed! But little did know of  all the son’s siblings, cousins and cousins-twice-removed still stealing and feasting on the delicious fruit our Lord was producing in my heart, keeping me imprisoned and chained to the system of religious performance. I had cordially invited them in when I had gobbled up many false teachings in the past. The stone tablets of my heart had many laws, over and above the Ten Commandments. As the years passed by, I kept adding more and more, as well as erasing a few outdated, old ones.

The slave woman and her son

I never was certain what the current religous modus operandi would be and was horrified of being rejected one more time, so I kept my list up to date, I never knew our Pappa could be so finicky for He seemed to change His mind from day to day, from denomination to denomination and even from congregation to congregation! Just to name a few of the silver denari, stamped with the image of religion, I was carrying in my pocket:

1. Only the Psalms and organ music are suitable for our Lord’s ears.
2. Communion must be served around a big table where everyone drinks from a humongous silver communion cup.
3. Tithe your gross income if you want to ensure God’s gross blessings.
4. As proof of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues.
5. Serve, serve, serve and then serve some more; give, give, give and then give some more.
6. You have to be under the church’s covering, submitting to their authority. Failing to do that is proof of habouring a Jezebel spirit.
7. Wives submit to your husbands even if it kills you or be warned of the danger that you might turn into Jezebel herself.
8. Never mention someone’s name while praying for them in church for that borders on idolatry.
9. Do not disagree with your pastor, or if you do; zip the lip!
10. Do not always be the one suffering from an illness, for that shows your lack of faith and without faith you are not pleasing God. So rather suffer in silence and pretend to be well.
11. Spread the Gospel. Failure to do so will hinder the growth of your fruit supply and if you are empty handed when you meet the Fruit Inspector one day, you might be in BIG trouble!

And so the list went on and on and on!! Keeping them caused me endless spiritual pride and I could teach the Pharisees and Scribes a lesson or two about hypocrisy. Today I realize that it was all due to my extremely poor and shame-based self-esteem for I always used to measure love, anyone’s love, especially God’s, as something earned through my performance, yet mine always seemed to miss the mark!

Although some of these practices are not wrong in and of themselves, they do become law the moment they become rules and therefore replace grace, bearing the emperor’s image. I realize now that the Great Deceiver, the Father of Religion, played dirty tricks on my mind.  Our Lord Jesus did not mince His words when He told the Pharisees, “For you are the children of your father, the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth.” (John 8:44a, NLT).

Dear Ones, even though Fm/CFS takes us through deep, deep valleys of suffering, I can now see and appreciate our Pappa’s hand of love and wisdom in my life, providing the hurdles of suffering to draw me away from the law-based road to destruction and steering me gently into His kingdom of light of love, of freedom and peace. He will personally carry you over all the many hurdles this illness and life in general bring into your life, looking forward to the beautiful butterfly that will eventually emerge from your cocoon of suffering.

May our Lord bless you and keep you secure this coming week, snuggled warmly in the safety of His Loving Embrace!

Hugs and blessings

Mia

Elijah, Mount Carmel and Me

God’s Thoughts to me

So Ahab summoned all the people of Israel and the prophets to Mount Carmel. Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions ? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent. (18 Kings 1:20-21, NLT).

The Contest on Mt Carmel

The last month I have been reluctantly travelling through the well-known Fm/CFS country, Mega-Flare Land. Actually, I was forced to accompany my unwelcome friends, Mr Pain, his ugly wife, Exhaustion, and their brood of brat-like kiddos: Fibrofog, IBS, Migraine, Desperado and all their siblings. They were joyfully irritating me, taking turns in giving me the honors of piggybacking them.

Taking a short respite, we stopped at a shady Inn called Quitters Paradise. This scaly looking building was situated in the middle of the desolate Plain of Despondency. I peeked through a dirty window and was not at all surprised to see a few very familiar felons already lodging there. Mr Self-Pity and his cousin, Mr Down-in-the-Dumps, were beckoning me inside, cordially inviting me to join their wallowing in a dark, dirty cesspool of muddy despair. I willingly capitulated and in the blink of an eye I was overwhelmed by a major Elijah moment. Remember that time after Elijah outran King Ahab to Jezreel?

Well, true to human nature and just following Elijah’s example, I offered our Lord my very famous BUT-GOD complaint. Yet, our gentle, loving Pappa patiently enquired, “What are you doing here,  Elijah? (Mia?)” (1 Kings 19:9b) He encouraged me not to waste my valuable little energy on my lamentations and languishing and invited me to rather join Him on another journey far back in time, thousands of years ago. I was not too keen to accept His offer for I did not want to leave my mud wallowing gremlin friends behind!

Double-Minded!

But our Lord’s gentle charm won my heart and I followed Him back to the days when Israel was experiencing a severe drought and was ruled by King Ahab. Actually, by Jezebel, since Ahab was totally under the petticoat government. Our Father introduced me to those obstinate, double-minded Israelites who were comfortably resting on their religious laurels. Their minds were in a comfy state of equipoise and they had one foot firmly planted in the state religion of Jezebel, and the other one, in the Heavenly Kingdom of our Pappa. My Pappa gently showed me that the condition of my heart was in reality not much different from theirs.

To my sorrow, I realized that my loyalties were also divided between religion and my allegiance to my Pappa. In other words, I was also double-minded and conveniently ignoring our Father’s words, “He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:8, NIV). I realized that I was also dancing around two altars and needed to repent of my foolishness, allowing the sweet Holy Spirit to drastically renew my mind and change my heart’s desires.

I appreciated Elijah’s originality in using a metaphor from the world of birds when he compared the Israelites to the notorious habit of birds, hopping from the one branch to the next, quite finicky about choosing where to settle. I could relate to that!

Ahab summoned Elijah and had the audacity to blame him for Israel’s 3-year long drought. Elijah vehemently denied the accusation and turned the blame back to its rightful owners: Ahab, Jezebel and their large entourage of Baal and Asherah cronies. Elijah courageously challenged them to that famous Carmel contest. Since Baal was considered by the people as the presiding deity who had the power over fire, the Israelites considered Elijah’s challenge to be a brilliant idea to determine once and for all who the only true God really was. I found it quite interesting that Elijah had rebuilt the altar of our Pappa that was previously demolished by Jezebel and her Asherah and Baal hirelings. It consisted of 12 stones representing the 12 sons of Jacob, and therefore the 12 tribes of the Israelite nation. It reminds me of our Lord Jesus using each and everyone of us as a living stone to build the spiritual temple of which He is the cornerstone (1 Peter 2:8-9).

To eliminate even the slightest possibility of human help (works of the flesh), Elijah ordered the Israelites to drench the altar three times, each time with 4 big jars of water. We are all familiar with the outcome of this contest, but my Pappa patiently showed me my allegiance to so many of the modern-day Baal and Asherah prophets and I knew that I also needed my own contest on Mount Carmel. I knew that serving their God only resulted in extreme spiritual poverty and subsequent “cutting of flesh” and bleeding of my soul.

A Bronze Sculpture of the Prophet Elijah, by Australian Artist, Louis Laumen

I needed to allow our Lord Jesus to slaughter all my false prophets. Like Elijah, I knew that I could spare them not even the slightest hint of mercy. I placed all these false perceptions and beliefs on the altar of my heart, drenched with all my tears. Our Heavenly Father wasted no time in sending forth His fire from heaven to consume my offering and filled all the empty spaces, vacated by all the wrong perceptions and idols of my heart, with His Love, His Life and abundant grace. He gently opened my eyes to the futility of the so-called Health, Wealth and Prosperity gospel with its own legion of prophets who had already ushered so many people into apostasy.

He opened my eyes to the dangers of the doctrines of all the so-called “…isms”, like Fundamentalism, Evangelism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Pentecostalism, Calvinism and so forth. Although these religious systems all contain a lot of intellectual truth, they reek of a multitude of laws, rules and regulations, but very limited life, no grace, no love, compassion or the relationship with our precious Savior.

They can actually be quite detrimental to the wonderful freedom our Lord Jesus has called us to for a relationship of love and respect to blossom and flourish. Our Pappa is all for simplicity, “He has showed you , O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8, NIV).

He has shown me that Christianity is not and will never be a book religion, or morality, or a belief system. Christianity will never be a method of problem-solving, or a-what-would-Jesus-do role-playing or an ideological option. For, Christianity is and will always be Christ, a blessed life lived in our Lord Jesus, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27, NIV). Forever and ever. Amen.

Dear Ones, needless to say, I was then completely cured of my affectionate affinity to mud pool wallowing… if only until next time!! Thank you so much for once again listening to all my ramblings.

Lots of hugs and blessings

Mia

On Target…or…Sidetracked (guest post)

God’s Thoughts to me

God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins (1 John 4: 9-10, NLT).

God is Love

I want to introduce my good friend, Markus Reins, to you. Not only is he my friend, but also a brother in Christ. He has been so kind to agree to write a guest post on my blog and for this I am eternally grateful. He is also passionate about sharing the Love of God with the rest of the world. The link to his site is indicated at the bottom of his introduction, so please pay him a visit and leave him your comments. Markus and his wife, Bettina, lives in Wiesbaden, Germany, serving their Lord. Thank you Markus, so over to you:

Markus’ words:

At the end of September this year I googled the Internet for Shulamite … because I love my dear Savior as much as we read about Shulamite in Song of Songs. Well, I found Mia’s post here (Link) and reading it, I was able to see behind her beautiful words… was able to see her heart.

I saw a heart that is consumed by a deep longing for her Master… yearning for His presence and intimate embrace. Of course, I had to express my heart to my dear sister and so a blessed exchange and friendship developed. Mia asked me if I would love to share about God’s love… and you don’t need to ask me twice about this one! With joy I agreed! So, you are going to read about the love of God… and the troubles we have with it in the beginning!

May the Lord touch you in your deepest depths… and rekindle the fire of burning love to the One who loved us first!

Dear greetings and blessings

Markus

www.seven–stars.de

On Target… or… Sidetracked

If there is one fact we can be very sure about, it is this one: GOD IS LOVE! And believe me there is no better news man can hear but these precious words: GOD IS LOVE! We all are on a lifelong hunt for love! Just look to the music charts – what is the theme most sung about?

Love! Love! Love!

We all have a very exact image in us of what love is all about:

Love is everything that makes me happy! Everything pleasing me, everything meeting my wishes and desires, I instantly regard as love or loving! And this even little children know:

When our second son had to get his first haircut ever, he didn’t like this procedure at all… and it was my “honor” to do this unthankful job! So he was placed in his baby chair with a large coat draped around his neck and he was supposed to sit as calmly as possible till this “martyrdom” was over. Well, I’m quite good at styling hair (even my wife trusts my skills!) but this was a “sweaty” workout… he didn’t make it easy for me!

But finally it was done! After we were finished, my wife told him how nice he was looking. He didn’t pay any attention to her and just said: “Daddy is bad!”

My wife was quite irritated hearing his tone and I have to confess – though I quickly pushed it away mentally – I felt a little sting in my heart, too. I didn’t speak to him, thinking it best to give him time to forget it but I listened to how my wife tried to convince this little guy that his father is so loving towards him. No way! For about a week his answer always was: Daddy is bad! But then eventually he forgot about it!

Today , having turned eighteen in August, he comes to me every couple weeks asking: Dad, I want this or that haircut…. please………………… :-)!

The same love that cut his hair as a toddler is cutting his hair today… no change at all! Till the end of my life he will be my beloved son! In the perception of the 18-month old toddler what I had done couldn’t be love at all! This daddy was a cruel slave-master… such a bad monster as you could hardly imagine!

Certainly you will smile at this story, thinking:

“Oh, yes, I know this, too! But I’m adult now… I’m mature! My perception of love has matured so I don’t think I would do this with God!”

Well, I have to tell you: We all do!

We all have our human perception of what we call love… but we forget that the love of God was sacrificing His only Son for us! Just imagine that you would kill your beloved son in order to save wicked, bad people!!!

God loved Jesus and no one forced Him to slaughter His beloved Son; delivering Him into the hands of a bloodthirsty, godless band of corrupted traitors… just… to save the very ones that killed Jesus! Is this how we express our love? Is this fitting the human imagination of love?

Never! This is utter cruelty… in our eyes! Absolutely insane… and I remember quite a reaction when a man first was confronted with this love of God!

This is blowing every dimension of understanding which we call love! If we love someone or something, we secure it, keep it safe and try to protect it. All our affection and attention turns around the ones we love. Yes, we would rather sacrifice ourselves to save our loved ones… but never would show our love by sacrificing our beloved ones to save wicked, bad people!

Often I think the people that talk so easily about God’s love have never sat down and visualized what they’re actually speaking about! They just got so used to Good Friday and Easter hearing all the stories again and again. They aren’t aware of the enormity of what happened on the cross anymore.

We read in the bible: God is love… quickly using all our human imagination and project it on God’s love.

We project our way of perceiving love and expect God’s love would be like we think it is! We’re off target… absolutely sidetracked! If God’s love was revealed in sacrificing His only begotten Son, why should His love for us be different in character?

When God’s way of showing love is revealed in allowing His Son to be tortured and killed… why do we expect that His love for us would just give us a cozy and comfy life???

(This is just a rhetorical question… a little push to think about God’s love a little deeper!)

God is still love… pure love… even in choosing to let you suffer for the rest of your life! This would just show the same “character of love” as He showed with His beloved son!

The disciples counted the sufferings of this earth nothing compared to the eternal glory… and what do we do? At this point I have to mention the enemy.

This tricky guy knows about the “perception problem”… He knows about God’s character of love… and he knows very well how man thinks and feels about love. And so he starts his delusion by waving the Bible as much as he can! No, no, no, he wouldn’t tell you about God’s love and how this love is shown… he just would point to all the scriptures speaking about God’s love! Knowing he could appeal to your perception and fantasy to create a wrong expectation of God’s love in you!

You will start to believe in a God of love… but be totally sidetracked in your expectation! He knows God wouldn’t change His love just to fit our human expectations.

He knows this loving God would start to love us His way… no matter what our expectations are!!!

We have found that the love of God differs quite a bit from our way to show and receive love. When the love of God is touching us, this means suffering for our old nature and so we’re prone to puzzling experiences, tormenting questions, critical doubts and unbelief!

The enemy then is quickly at hand whispering:

“Is this a God of love? How could this God be love? How could the taking away of things you love so much, be love at all???”

Do you see how dangerous it is to be sidetracked? How many believers I have counseled just because they were taught wrong concepts about God’s love… concepts they quickly swallowed because they fit into their old nature! How often have I tried to revive their faith after their illusions and misconceptions about God lay in shambles!

God isn’t man… and His love isn’t man’s love! As high as the heaven is above the earth His love is above the earthly emotion we call love (mostly our love is just pure selfishness!). – Isaiah 55:8+9

The enemy knows this and starts his seduction right from the beginning.

He fears disciples knowing about God’s true love… not caring for their earthly well-being but just living under the unction of God’s Spirit alone!

The enemy so loves to keep the truth from us. He loves to keep us sidetracked with wrong expectations… knowing it will cause us much trouble. But there is no need for this to be so. You can face the eternal, unchanging facts about your God (Mal. 3:6) and set your faith on the unshakable foundation that your God is love… no matter what you will see, hear or feel and by this your faith will be the victory that overcomes the world (visible realm).

In His Service

(excerpt from article ‘On Target… or… Sidetracked’ by M. Reins)

 

Eden’s Delight: A River Song (Part 2)

Creation through the eyes of Michelangelo, Sistine  Chapel

God’s Thoughts to me

A river watered the garden and then flowed out of Eden and divided into four branches. The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. (Genesis 2:10-12, NLT)

Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Revelation 22:1, NLT)

A Song of Love

Special Assignment, an investigative current affairs program on a South African television channel, broadcasted a disturbing story of Megan Adams and Alecia (a pseudonym). They are two teenage girls living on the streets of a township near Cape Town, the Cape Flats. These precious girls are addicted to crystal methamphetamine, locally better known as Tik.

This crystalline substance has become the city’s drug of choice, being cheap and widely available. In most cases Tik is smoked in a glass pipe. The girls sell their bodies into prostitution to feed the cruel monster that is consuming and destroying their lives. They are only two of the hundreds of addicts and have been brave enough to tell their stories of growing up in extreme poverty and subsequent falling into drug abuse. Many of these girls are just continuing on this wicked road of destruction.

Looking at the world-wide problem of drug abuse only confirms the reality of John’s words, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19, ESV). He only comes to steal, to kill and destroy everything and anything he can possibly lay his hands on.

After watching this broadcast, my heart hurried back to our Pappa God to tell Him of their terrible suffering, asking our Lord Jesus to rescue them from the Kingdom of Darkness. I begged Him to break down all those fortresses of lies in their minds that are holding them captive. I nearly suffocated in a cloud of sorrow when I thought of the total mess and destruction the human race, the crown of our Father’s creation, brought to the beautiful world our Pappa created and  prepared in the beginning for their enjoyment and sustenance. The words our God spoke through the prophet Isaiah, suddenly had a much more and deeper meaning to me, “Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner, but my salvation will be forever. And my righteousness will not wane.” (Isaiah 51:6, ESV). Yet, because of love, God provided a way out of this darkness through the cross of our lord Jesus.

I sighed contentedly as my heart gratefully followed our Lord back to Eden and sensed a love story being told by the river in the garden which divided into four branches. To my delight I found this river flowing all through the Scriptures, the river of life, providing the eternal life of our Lord Jesus. Because of our Pappa’s keen eye for even the smallest detail (like the number of hairs on my head), I realized that the names of the four river branches was not randomly chosen, but for a specific reason and asked Him to reveal to me this chapter of the Divine Story of Love.

Picture of mosaic representing Pishon from Church of Theodorias ca 539CE

The name of the first river branch, Pishon, means bursting forth; fast and strong flowing. I am humbled by the strength and force of the life of our Lord Jesus, bursting forth into the wasteland of our hearts after the Holy Spirit has planted that first little mustard seed of eternal life. The river Pishon surrounded the Land of Havilah, a land noted for its gold, bdellium (aromatic resin) and onyx.The name Havilah literally means circular. The gold was of the finest quality and indicative of the purity, the acceptance and security of our God’s love encircling and protecting that exquisitive relationship between our King and us. I am reminded of the golden censer filled with incense and the prayers of the saints, “And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and He was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne.” (Revelation 8:3, ESV)

Bdellium, a tree resin, is an aromatic tree gum like myrrh containing essential, aromatic oils and is largely used for therapeutic purposes, perfumes and incense. This land of Havilah, the Eden of our hearts, is beautifully described by the Lover of our souls, “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.” (Ezekiel 28:13, NIV). It reminds me of our prayers being a sweet smelling sacrifice that brings so much joy to our Pappa’s heart. I love spending time with my sons and, to their chagrin, I always want to know everything about everything that happens in their lives! Our Heavenly Father, being the Father of all fathers, surely longs for His children spending time with Him, trusting Him enough to talk to Him about anything!

The onyx is a gemstone and was widely used in jewelry, ornaments and carvings since antiquity. In the book of Exodus our Lord instructed the Israelites to use onyx stone in the tabernacle and the garments of the priests. The breastplate of an Old Testament High Priest contained twelve gemstones, representing the twelve sons of Jacob. The eleventh stone had to be an onyx, representing Josef. To me it symbolizes the abundant life of our Lord Jesus, delicious fruit of the Spirit and inner strength that would be added unto us and abundantly increased daily according to our need (Josef means, God will increase/ adding on).  Since our Lord Jesus is our only High Priest in heaven, taking us all, in Him, to our Pappa’s throne of Grace, we can rejoice in the fact that we are all little gemstones in His breastplate of Righteousness. He carries us so close to His heart that we can hear the heartbeat of His love. Even the world considers the onyx stone a symbol of “spiritual” strength and protection, peace and confidence.

Breastplate of a High Priest

Dear Ones, as Fibromites we are all acquainted with fibrofog! Clear thinking does not come easily to us, even less to me since my husband firmly believes that I was born with my head in the clouds anyway! Nevertheless, I hope and pray that by now you can perceive, if only a little, the treasure of love our Lord has hidden for us curious ones to seek and find in the garden of our hearts.

In a following post I would love to continue on this expedition, seeking all the wonders buried deep in the ancient soil of Eden, and its rivers, waiting patiently to be discovered and enjoyed by our Pappa’s children. I am so grateful to be able to share that beautiful River Song bubbling up in my heart, singing of my love for my God, praising His goodness and glory.

I want to love you and leave you with the following: suffering causes only one of two things; it either breaks you or creates a passionate love for God in the depths of your heart!

Hugs and blessings

Mia

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My Excellent God Moments

God’s Thoughts to me

And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:12, NLT)

A Memory Repertoire

Through the years our Heavenly Father blessed me with many special, memorable moments. It brings me joy to share these precious gifts with you.

With nostalgia I remember a little girl of about five on her way one afternoon to her pre-school cathecism class at church. She was in no hurry to attend the boring class, but the thought of the candy she would buy afterwards at the corner cafe, made the coming ordeal more bearable. Sighing, she looked up to the sky and noticed the thick array of cumulus clouds. To her it looked like a snugly, snowy, puffy, cotton wool curtain and she wondered if God was living behind those clouds. Him, being God and all, surely needed a big place to stay and behind the clouds was as big a place as her little mind could fathom. She was trying to figure out the mechanics of that dying and going to heaven business, since adults were still unable to answer her questions to her satisfaction. I  know now that on that day my Pappa was whispering to me through the beauty of His creation.

Then, life happened and I followed in its footsteps. Through my growing-up years, all through adolescence, our Heavenly Father, on a few occasions, used His creation to catch my heart and draw my attention to Him. Of late, it seems as if He is using the yellow finches in our garden as a megaphone, measuring by the high-pitched decibels of the off-key symphony of noise they seem to be playing to their heart’s delight, having no concern for any melody! I actually envy their vibrant energy (a precious commodity to Fm/CFS sufferers) and simplicity. A finch is a finch is a finch with no striving whatsoever trying to be something other than a finch, except their coloring of course. Their wisdom is above human comprehension.

I can still vividly recall a time when I was truly a lost soul and my heart was wandering through a dark, cold, frightening 3-D forest: the forest of depression, despair and despondency. I could not even perceive the faintest glimmer of hope, when one evening, as I was gazing at the wide starry expanse, our Pappa reached down from heaven. In the tiniest of instants, through the vastness of time, a shooting star wrote a love letter on the tablets of my heart. My heart caught a whiff of liberty and I started my journey back to an uncertain somewhere. At that moment my mind raced back through time to the beginning when our Lord said, “And let there be light, and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3, NIV).  My thoughts were silently enquiring:

Another breathtaking moment entered the centre stage of my soul, a few years ago when my sons were still just bambinos. One windy day I was taking a stroll down a lane edged by many pine trees, enjoying a small respite from motherhood. I suddenly “heard” the most beautiful music as the wind was frolicking through the pine needles. As I looked up, I was awed by the tree branches respectfully saluting me, while the pine needles were waving delightfully. I knew I was standing on holy ground and ran back home to fetch my two angels. When we arrived back at the scene, we could only hear the wind howling and see the branches fighting against the brute force of nature.

Forever edged in my mind, is the memory of my cat giving birth to a beautiful litter of kittens. I fulfilled the role as a cat’s midwife and had the honor of helping her deliver both her babies. The brave mommy was looking into my eyes all through her labour, purring contentedly, trusting me completely, a mere human. At that holy moment my heart was filled with gratitude and awe, knowing that I could always look into the eyes of Love personified, our Lord Jesus. I knew that I could trust Him to deliver me from the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous Kingdom of Light and Love.

My fondest, most precious moment is of the day I stood at my father’s sickbed. He was slipping in and out of consciousness. For a moment my heart touched his and I could experience his deep, inner joy and peace. I knew he was on his way home, being promoted to heaven, to be re-united with his heavenly Pappa for all eternity. My earthly pappa, with all his human limitations, was the one who showed me that God is love.

Dear Ones, these are precious moments which I cherish in my heart. I know that irrespective of what lies ahead on this road of chronic illness, these gifts from my Pappa are in His safekeeping, for He encourages us, “Store your treasures in heaven, where moth and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not  break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20, NLT). I know that Fm/CFS is a crippling disease, physical and emotional, but allow me to remind you that this thief is unable to touch that deep spiritual relationship between you and your Lord Jesus.

Hugs and blessings

Mia