Monday, April 8, 2013

The Battlefield and Joy

I've done it again.  I haven't been posting.  My excuse...we took a hard life blow in the gut, the emotions, our spirit and soul.  In the beginning, it took faith alone to make myself crawl out of the bed and drop to my knees before Him or just put one foot in front of another. It has been a battle set before me to win.  We are more than conquerors rather we feel like it or not.  I've watched how He has gone before us every minute of everyday.  Placing people in position that I barely know or have not seen in years. I've been amazed they would even remember who we were.  There is so much I want to share but won't.  I have been writing in a journal the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Scriptures galore.  Every detail.  I stand in awe what God will do when we take our hands off and let Him be God.

Trust.  I always thought I trusted Him.  Then that day comes when you receive  the phone call.  The one you thought you might get but deep down wanting it to turn out anyway but the way it had gone down. Earlier in the day we had received another phone call that could have potential to wreck us; so now is the time the rubber meets the road. Again.  We've all had life trials where we have to trust beyond any other time in our lives. In reading "Beautiful Battlefields" by Bo Stern she reminded me every battle we have been in prepares me for the next one.  The more intense one.  She reminded me I had  been born for such a time as this and God was in the business of saving and helping people.  When we are done with this battle God will use it to do just that.  Helping people.  She reminded me that people are drawn to us not because we carry a bible, go to church, or seem to have perfect lives; but because they have watched us do battle.  So, it was time for me to take my hands off and quit begging and start praising Him.  It was time to trust Him with all that was in me no matter what His plan.  Therein lies the problem.  Fear of what He would allow to accomplish His plan.  When I took my hands off that untied His so joy returned & peace reigned.  Tears?  They still come and go. Pain?  Still there. Fear? Cast down. The unknown is still daunting but not destroying. My heart?  Examining it daily and asking Him to show it to me. Several surgeries have taken place and I expect more in my future.

Having finished a bible in plan in the You Version Bible online I was scrolling through the topical plans when I came across Holy  Emotions written by Carol McLeod.  I highly  recommend it as well as the book I mentioned above.  I could feel God's tangible presence when I saw the title and took it as my cue to do it. I find it amusing I had never noticed it before.  The plan was so good I ordered the book "Holy Estrogen" which I am only about half way through at this time.  (Guys, you would understand your women better if you read the book but the You  Version is geared to all.)  She recounted the story of Esther and her Uncle Mordecai.  Remember when he receives the news of the horrid future that was planned for the Jewish people? He puts on sackcloth and ashes and goes through town wailing and then the verse flew off the page at me. I knew where she was going before my eyes could get there.  "He (Mordecai) went as far as the king's gate, for no one was to enter the king's gate clothed in sackcloth." "Esther 4:2  

I miss my dad so much but if he were here he would be telling me to get that sackcloth off and to "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name." Ps. 100:4  And that is where Mrs. McLeod was heading and I knew it so very deep down I knew it was coming.  Honestly, through it all even with the sackcloth I felt His presence from the first phone call. He does want us to voice our pain to Him but I also knew I couldn't keep wailing; not if, I wanted His joy and peace.

Later I was reminded when our two younger daughters were with us at my in-laws who lived in the country.  They had walked down the road to a neighbor who had horses.  When they approached the fence to pet one of the horses he stuck his head through the barbed wire and took hold of   Daughter number 3's t shirt and began pulling her through the fence.  Daughter number two grabbed Daughter number three around the waist  digging her feet into the ground pulling her sister away from the fence.  I hope you can see the mental picture as one is pulling away from the fence and the horse has dug in pulling the other direction.  Somehow she was able to save her sister from being pulled through the fence but the t shirt was never the same again. I asked Daughter number three why she didn't raise her arms and slip out of the t shirt  She said, Are you crazy? I wasn't going to have to walk home without a shirt on!"  I looked at her and said, "So you would rather be dragged through a barbed wired fence rather than take the shirt off?"  It was an affirmative.

So many of us will not raise our hands in praise and slip out of our sackcloth.  We would rather be drug through the barbed wire fence of life that will scar us.  We will carry those scars and show them and wail rather than slipping out of the sackcloth and entering His gates with Thanksgiving. If my earthly dad were here I could tell him I have slipped out of the sackcloth. I'm sure the tendency to slip the sackcloth back on will always be there but His joy and peace is so much more appealing.   I don't want to be any other place but in His presence and He knows it. I  It is my hope that if life has handed you the mourning sackcloth attire, you will slip out and join me in His presence. Spend some time with your Daddy God today.  You will never regret leaving the sackcloth in the ashes.

Beautiful Battlefields
Can be purchased at Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Holy Estrogen
Harrison House Publishing
Carol McLeod

You Version Bible
topical plans
Holy Emotions by Carol McLeod