Posted in Childlikeness, Five Minute Fridays, God Memories, Marriage, Our Heavenly Bridegroom, Relationship vs Religion, Tents of Kedar, The Love of God, Uncategorized

Stay in Me

God’s Thoughts to Me

Then Jesus said, “Come to me all of you are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, NLT)

Abide in me, and I will abide in you. (John 15:4)

God is a Verb of Love

My feeble heart heard Your call, softly wooing me to come with you, to the garden of our Love. Teach me how to stay, my Lord! My heart is longing for your love to embrace me, for your kisses to ravage my heart. I know the sun of this world has darkened my skin like the tents of Kedar and the curtains of Solomon’s tent, but to you I am a beautiful dove, a gazelle. To you I am the lily of the valley amongst the thorns and thistles.

Take me to the cleft in the rock where I can see and experience your glory; where it will be just you and me. Please, rescue me from labouring in the vineyards of my brothers and take me away with you.

Where are you, most wonderful King of all. I ran through the streets of religion seeking my lover amongst religious rituals, performances, structures, but you are gone! Oh, where can I find my Love. Then I heard your still, soft whisper in the depths of my soul,

“Come to the vineyard of your heart, most beautiful of all, where I will whisper words of love to you, for you are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. There I will lift your veil and look deep into your eyes, for your eyes are like doves.”

Oh, my Lord, do you hear my song for you. Please, be the conductor of the orchestra of love in my heart. Let the violins sing of a love sweeter than honey, and the cymbals, of my lover. He is the shade that covers me and He feeds my heart with the dainty morsels of His love.

Much love and blessings

Mia

I am linking up with Lisa-Jo and many dear ladies at The Gypsy Mama (http://lisajobaker.com/category/five-minute-friday/) where we write for five minutes flat on a topic without editing.

Posted in Our Heavenly Bridegroom

The Cana Colony

God’s thoughts to me

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then He told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. (John 2:6-9a, NLT)

He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. (Isaiah 42:3a, NIV)

The Wedding of the Bended Reeds

Yes, I am back at weddings and I will forever be hooked on romance, love and the great sacrifices our Heavenly Bridegroom and Lover of our souls has made to win our hearts and affection. When I started to write this post, I realized that you guys might just wonder what FM/CFS, weddings, weak bended reeds and Cana have in common. When our Lord started to reveal to me precious truths about how these four apparently unrelated subjects were in fact closely intertwined, my heart rejoiced and I would love to share that with you.

The way our Pappa uses ordinary, everyday happenings and simple objects to explain to us truths about the glory of His Kingdom is such a beautiful testimony to His humbleness and wisdom. I think He realizes how much we need comparisons to things we understand to grasp truths about His World. I had one big problem though, I thought our dear Pappa preferred big, noisy, flashy, entertaining programs and religious events. I was deceived to say the least! FM/CFS disabled me to such a degree that I was unable to perform according  to my expectations to earn our Lord’s love and acceptance. I became so depressed that our Pappa had to teach me the same lesson He taught Elijah, “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)

I think as fibromites we can all see ourselves to some degree as weak, bended reeds. Cana means a place of reeds and there, dear ones, is the connection between the four subjects. Those of us who suffer from FM/CFS are a colony of  bended reeds; a Cana colony! Our Lord has promised us that He never ever breaks a bended read. Actually He nurses their hearts back to health. Our gentle, compassionate God seems to have a great fondness for unimportant people and places!

The village of Cana is only mentioned twice in the Gospels: at the wedding and the healing of the officer’s son. Cana was not an important town in those days. Biblical scholars today do not exactly know where Cana was situated in ancient times.They think it was probably 8-9 km north of Nazareth. I know we often experience those days when we are in the on-the-couch or in-the-bed mode. Those times leaves me so despondent, feeling worthless and of little, if any use to God, my family or friends. When I  succumb to those feelings, I open the door of my heart wide to those three nasty creepy crawlies: guilt, shame and condemnation. They try their utmost best to conquer my soul and snuff out my spiritual strength. Nasty little fellows, but what formiddable foes! Consequently a great, fierce battle usually erupts between them and myself. To beat them off, is not an easy fight. Sometimes they win, sometimes I do, but one thing is for sure, they always return, sooner or later!

Thinking of the village of Cana and its unimportance to the economic, political and religious systems of the days of our Lord’s sojourn on earth, brings joy to my heart. To our Lord, Cana was so important that He attended a wedding at the Place of Reeds. In those days Jewish weddings were quite a grand affair and steeped in tradition. It was a community affair where everyone gathered together to celebrate the 7-day feast. These were poor folk. Nevertheless, when it was time for a wedding they tried their best to provide an extravagant feast and to make it a very special occasion. If something went wrong, the bride and groom could easily lose face and it was also seen as bad luck for the married couple. They considered that quite humiliating. Yes, we humans are all the same!

At this specific wedding they encountered a big problem. Their wine supply ran out, but they had a very special Guest of honor in their midst, our generous, loving Lord Jesus. When I was at the crossroads of my FM/CFS journey, I had to admit to myself and my Lord that I was completely empty too; spiritually, emotionally and physically . I had no reserves left to give or to do to try to impress our Pappa and I desperately needed to learn to look up to our God to provide in all my needs. Oh, and He did, abundantly so! The only thing that seemed odd at the time, was that our Lord’s list of my needs differed greatly from mine. Significant to this wedding were the six stone jars.They were used for the Jewish ceremonial cleansing  ritual. According to the Jews the number six symbolizes incompleteness.

When I was deep, deep down in the proverbial pit, angry at God and severely depressed, I truly was a very big number six! I am convinced that many of you know exactly what I am talking about. Take heart, dear ones, for I think we all need to come to to that unwanted number six place before we are even able to consider that we might not have what it takes to just live an ordinary, healthy life; never mind coping daily with a chronic illness. Has anyone perhaps noticed along the way that we humans tend to be quite stubborn with a humongous big, over-inflated estimation of our own capabilities? I wonder why! Our Heavenly Father certainly is not surprised for He says, ” For I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. (Isaiah 49:4a, NLT)

My stone jars of futile efforts and good works were completely empty after my valiant efforts to battle this illness on my own terms. I felt so completely lost and so alone. I had no other choice, but to turn to the only perfect One, the only number seven; the Jewish number for perfection and completeness. My emptiness poignantly reflected the barrenness and futility of the Jewish purification rituals and ceremonies. All the Jewish traditions and ceremonies are such a good example of the incompleteness of the number six. Actually it shows the incompleteness of all religions , no matter what it is called. Our Lord  did not come to bring us the new religion of Christianity, but to reconcile us to our God and to restore the intimate relationship that was lost in Eden when man decided to live independently from his Creator!

All my striving to please our Pappa actually separated me from Him and prevented me to drink FREELY from the abundant, wonderful Fountain of Life. I urgently needed to humble myself before our Father and King and He showed me how totally ineffective and even dangerous any form of  law observance could be. Allow me to add that I did not only have ten, like our Lord’s Ten Commanments which we cannot keep in any case , I had ten times ten times ten. Fortunately fibro fog made me quickly forget most  of them! Paul did warn us that it was either grace or law. It can never be both. I needed to become lowly and unimportant like the servants at the wedding before our Lord could fill the empty stone jars of my heart with the best wine ever, His Life. His wine was not diluted with water like the wine the Jews used at weddings. I have come to experience that law and grace never mixes like diluted wine.

The new wine of the finest quality was kept for last. The Blood of our Lord Jesus spilled for us on the cross and His abundant Life will never run dry and it is always pure. No mixture of water and wine will be served at the wedding banquet of our Lord and His Bride, the church.

Dear ones, I want encourage you to bring all those crippling emotions, all the pain and terrible symptoms of this illness to our Lord as your gift to Him. Ask Him and allow Him to fill you every second of every day, moment by moment with the pure new wine of His life, His grace and His love.

Thank you so much for allowing me the honor of sharing with you my love for our Lord and King, Jesus. May He carry each one of us this week like a little lamb on His shoulders on this road of Fibromyalgia.

Hugs and blessings

Mia

Posted in Marriage

The Ketubah

God’s Thoughts to me

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice  and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. ( Rev. 3 : 20 , NKJV )

The Betrothal

Having always been the incurable romantic at heart, as I am sure most women are, I have forever been fascinated by weddings and the beautiful mystery of the love between a man and a woman. Everything that pertains to the wedding ceremony like the bride’s dress, her entourage, the wedding vows, the reception etc. has an ethereal quality that totally captures my heart.

I have been married to my teenage sweetheart for 27 years and I have to admit that an intimate marriage relationship is still an enigma to me. Who can explain that tender look of love and admiration in the groom’s eyes when he looks at his bride or that shy, subtle look of invitation when she glances at her groom from underneath her eyelashes ! Breathtakingly beautiful and mysterious ! Even though real life awaits every newly-wed couple, that mysterious, strong bond of love makes them one and hopefully will carry them through all the storms of life. Someone once told me that marriage involves three rings : the engagement ring, then the wedding ring and then the suffer-ring ! It comes as no surprise to me that I am absolutely fascinated by the fact that our Lord Jesus calls His Church His Bride.

Fibro/Cfs has the nasty habit to often force us to take ” extended compulsory sick leave” with lots of  leisure time on our hands being in the on-the-couch mode. When I am in that mode, I love to spend the time researching the ancient Hebrew and Jewish culture and traditions. It was only when I started to understand the Hebrew tradition of the marriage ceremony that I truly could appreciate the metaphor our Pappa God used in Revelation 3 : 20.

According to their tradition once the prospective bridegroom had made up his mind about who the future wife would be, he and his father would pay the lady a visit at her home.They would take a pouch containing a betrothal cup, wine and an estimated bride price. On arrival they would knock on the door. The girl’s father would first peek through a small window in the door to identify the visitors. He would never open the door without his daughter’s consent and confirmation to welcome them in. Unwelcome suitors had to make a u-turn and go back home, tail between the legs. On the other hand, if she allowed them in she gave them, for all practical reasons, permission to start with the betrothal process and the marriage arrangements. This was quite a binding commitment on the part of the groom. Only the bride could at any moment stop the proceedings without even having to give a reason for her decision to cancel.

To me it paints  such a beautiful picture of our Heavenly Bridegroom knocking on the door of out hearts. He will never use force to win our love and affection. With my stubborness and being as deaf as a doorknob, I sometimes wish that He has broken down my heart’s door long ago. But, no , that is not how our Lord operates. He is the perfect gentleman. It is only if we hear His voice and willingly allow Him to enter, that He will come in and ask for our hand in marriage. If we accept, He offers us His covenant of betrothal, the Ketubah which He has already prepared beforehand. The Ketubah is a beautifully written wedding contract ( like the picture above) including a bride price to compensate the future in-laws for the girl’s upbringing and also as a token of his great love for her. The choice to accept our Lord’s marriage proposal lies completely in our hands.

The reason for the betrothal cup and wine is beautiful beyond words and never ceases to grip my heart in speechless wonder. Just to imagine the lengths our Lord has gone through to win our hearts ! In the ancient tradition, the groom would, after the negotiations had been completed and they had shared a meal, pour the wine in the cup. He would take the first sip and then offered the cup to his sweetheart.  Accepting the cup and drinking the wine were her signs of acceptance of his hand in marriage. That was the moment when she would utter the YES word ! They were  then officially betrothed.

Following that magic moment, the groom would then give his bride beautiful gifts and then left to prepare a home for her as an addition to his Father’s house. It reminds me of Abraham’s servant giving gifts to Rebekah after she has accepted his proposal to marry Isaac. It humbles me to think of our Lord Jesus giving us those costly gifts of His Eternal Life, forgiveness, acceptance and unconditional love. Actually, He gives us all of Himself ! The bride on the other hand started with all the titivating to make herself beautiful for her beloved and to make sure that their big day would  be the best day of their lives. Jewish marriage celebrations actually last  for a week. It is soooooo romantic !

I admit that after I allowed our Lord to enter my heart, my titivating consisted of  an endless scurrying to prevent our Lord from having second thoughts about His proposal and calling the whole marriage thing off. Foolish ? For sure, I truly was !

I will be forever grateful that our Lord brought all my ” good efforts ” to an end when He gave me the gift of Fibro. It forced me out of my trying-to-be-good mode into simply accepting out Lord’s Hand in marriage. All His gifts are free without any strings attached. I can picture in my mind’s eye how our Heavenly Bridegroom is offering me the betrothal cup filled with His Blood, His Life and His Kisses ! He offers us His Ketubah and has already paid the bride price on the cross with His Life. It brings to mind the beautiful Scripture : ” My Beloved is mine, and I am His. ” ( Song of Songs 2 : 16, NKJV )

It fills my heart with so much joy every time I drink of the cup at communion knowing that by this simple act, I confirm my acceptance of  His marriage proposal, of His Love and His Life. A dear Christian lady once said : ” His Kiss is in the Cup. ”

I hope our Lord will fill us all with a new appreciation, understanding and wonder every time we drink from our Lord’s betrothal cup which He offers us at communion.

Thanks for allowing me to share something so beautiful with you.

Hugs and blessings

Mia