Fed and forgiven

This is just a raw journal entry from today. Because not everyday is perfect.

Tuesday
Jan 14th, 2014

How can I be so foolish as to not fill my life with the Words of God? How can I afford not to be memorizing and meditating on God’s Word daily?

There is no victory to the unfed, malnourished warrior.

These past few days as I have been struggling, I have asked God why it is so hard to follow Him. Why when He proclaimed “my yoke is easy and my burden is light?”

God as a loving Father sets a plate of rich food before us– His Word, His very presence. But instead of being still, of feeding on the food He has provided, I foolishly hop up and run out into the battle very near starvation. And I wonder why I fail.

It’s be strong in the Lord and int the power of His might.

Not mine.

And yet I push and push in my own strength until I collapse, too weak to move on.

I begin to wonder where He’s been. I am frustrated with myself for failing again. And in one black moment I believe that victory in the Christian life doesn’t exists.

He approaches me so tenderly. Tears fill His eyes as He sees His beloved weak and beaten in a state of delirium.

And He draws me back to His side.

He forgives me.
He loves me.
He feeds me.

And today I choose to thank God for what I most detest in life–failure. Because failing always ends up bringing me back to Jesus’ side.

Oh Abba, how prone to wander, prone to fail I am. Teach me to feed on Your Word and dwell in Your presence! I praise You for being so faithful to me and always–ALWAYS drawing me back to Yourself. Your mercies are renewed EVERY morning. Great is Your faithfulness. Selah.

A little girl and a loving God

SAM_2575

There have been many moments in my life that have greatly impacted me. But this one stands out among them all, for without this one, all those other things would not have impacted me the same way. I wrote this today as a writing project my brother started this month. So without further ado, I give you one of my fondest memories, whether you care or not. : )

It was more waiting than my five year old heart could endure. Why wasn’t Dad back from work yet? What could be taking so long? Didn’t he know how important this was?

My mind wandered over the last day and a half; so much to think about. It started the night before as I lay in bed listening to Richard and Melody talk in the bathroom. Their nightly custom, as I recall, was to talk while getting ready for bed; in my mind these conversations were sacred, and a privilege of highest degree to listen to. This night the subject was on Eternity, Heaven, and Hell.

Fear stole into my heart as I listened and realized with a horror never experienced—I am not ready to die.

Belief in God is one thing, but asking Him to cleanse you of your sins and live inside of you is another thing entirely. Yes, I believed in God, but I knew that if I died that night I would not be ready to meet my Creator.

Tearfully, I called out to one I esteemed as knowing everything. “Richard…Richard…”
Like a knight, my older brother came to my aid. Upon listening to my distress, he advised me to go speak with Dad, and assured me that he wouldn’t be upset that I had gotten up from bed. So I quietly crept down the stairs and entered my Dad’s office.

The colors of the room appeared in dull blues and grays with the only light in the room coming from a computer monitor. “Daddy–” my pathetic voice whimpered. “I w-want to g-go to heaven.” I climbed in my father’s lap and we began to talk. I asked questions, he answered them, then he asked questions to see if I understood. We talked of our sinfulness and need for a Savoir, about God’s love in sending His Son to die, and how He took the full punishment of our sins. After a good while, he prayed with me and sent me to bed, promising that we would talk more in the morning.

Like a hound dog, I ran downstairs first thing in the morning to find my father. I spotted him. There he was in the kitchen juicing carrots! With his hands still orange from the carrots we sat down on the couch to talk. We revisited the same things we talked about the night before. Enough talk. After all, I was five—which was so much older than four— wasn’t I big enough to understand everything? I just wanted to pray already! He left for work with another promise that we would continue this when he came home.

Anxiously, I awaited my father’s return; the day could not have seemed longer. The new information played through my mind again and again as I contemplated it all. This was a matter of utmost importance, and I knew my life was about to change forever. What was that? My heart skipped a beat. The door opened; a familiar voice. Yes–it was him! Still a few minutes passed until we both went to his office. In the quiet of that room he led me in a prayer.

I repeated each phrase slowly with great reverence meaning each word I said. “Dear God, please forgive me of my sins, and cleanse my heart. I believe in You and that You sent Your only Son, Jesus, to die in my place. Please come and live inside my heart and make me your child. I want to be your disciple.” Memory fails me of the exact words, but they don’t really matter. It is not the prayer that saves you; it is only God that can save you.

Joy washed over me as the love of Christ penetrated my little believing heart. Yes, I was overwhelmed with indescribable love and joy–pure joy—more than a five year old could contain. I would never be the same again. Never. My feet were swift as I ran to tell all in the household this great news. So much more special than any gift or toy, I had a relationship with God and I knew I would spend the rest of my life serving and loving Him.

A Warrior Princess: Restored

The Warrior Princess lie in mud in a cloudy darkness and had been there for about a week, although she couldn’t really remember how long. She groaned as pain pulsed through her bruised body. Weak and head throbbing, she slowly pulled herself up from the ground to a sitting position. She was covered in dry blood and mud.  Running her fingers through her mud-caked hair she tried to recall what had happened.

“Where’s my armor?” Horror filled her heart as she realized she didn’t know where it was. Squinting her eyes she could make out the outline of her armor strewn in the darkness around her. It all came back now.

It started when she took her eyes off the cross. She hadn’t meant to, she just became unintentional about her focus. After she had traveled on for awhile she put her sword in her sheath thinking that it was getting rather wearisome to hold out all the time. Plus, she saw no signs of the enemy, surely they wouldn’t attack. On she walked oblivious to the fact that her enemies’ greatest desire was for her to put her sword in her sheath.

 She continued her way unaware that it slowly grew darker. Soon, she was lost in a thick dark cloud and instead of crying out for help she stumbled on. Her shield of faith slipped out of her hand and dropped with a slow, dramatic thud to the ground.

All of a sudden, she found herself surrounded by the enemy. Frantically, she looked for her shield, but it was too dark. In her nervousness she couldn’t manage to pull her sword out of her sheath. There she was, trapped and defenseless. Her enemies mocked and laughed at her as they danced around in glee. They were all there–Flesh, Pride, Emptiness, Failure, Depression, Loneliness and others.

In the darkness they spoke lies to her and tormented her. Fear filled her soul and she felt as if she’d never experience joy again. For as they danced round her, one would knock her down, another would throw a rock at her, another would slap her cheek, and so on. It was utter distress and agony for she could not see her attackers, nor what they would do next.

She felt so ashamed. “How could this happen?” “Will I ever live in victory?!” She wept, and groaned, and pleaded with them to stop. But it was of no avail, the enemies’ attacks didn’t let up—if anything, they increased.

“Look what you did! You failed again!” “You’ll never be like your precious Shepherd King—never!” “Just give up!” They called out in torment.

My Shepherd! Oh how I long to walk in fellowship with Him again! She lifted up her eyes and screamed out with all the strength she had. “Shepherd! Shepherd! My precious Yeshua! Come seek me out and deliver me from this miserable dark and cloudy day! Come quick–” Her request was cut short from a well aimed rock to the head. Everything went black and she sunk limp to the ground.

As she sat there remembering these things tears sprang to her eyes. Her tormenters appeared to be gone—at least for the moment. And it seemed to be a little brighter—maybe? But where, oh where was her Shepherd?!

She wiped her tearful eyes on her sleeve. Just then she saw with dismay the state of her garment, and it made her all the more sorrowful. Her beautiful white dress with the pale blue trim was torn and caked in mud—it was a very sorry sight. Had it been one of her other garments she wouldn’t have minded so much; but this is the one that He had given her. She thought back to the time when Yeshua had given it to her…

He was beaming with delight that morning when He surprised her with it. It was so funny to watch Him try to suppress His joy as He held a parcel behind His back, trying not to look suspicious. It ended in one big goofy grin and lots of laughter. When she opened it she gasped at the beauty of the garment. The Shepherd smiled with pleasure at her reaction. He said, “It is called the Garment of Praise, dear one. It is a gift for you.” “Oh thank you!” she stuttered to find words to thank Him, never quite finishing a sentence when He snatched her up in His arms and they embraced.

She smiled as remembered; “Thank You, Yeshua.” She whispered. With that the cloud lifted a bit. Is there a connection? She thought. But I don’t feel like praising…Guess it couldn’t hurt to try though.

“My Shepherd, You are good. You have done so much for me; I praise Your name.” The cloud started rising and her heart started pounding with excitement. “You made the heavens, and they declare Your glory!” She stood up on her shaky legs and continued, growing louder, “Your love is so great, so wonderful, more than I can comprehend!” Growing even louder and stretching forth a hand she said, “Your merices are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness!” With the cloud almost lifted she stretched both arms as high as she could reach and looking into heaven praised Him at the top of her lungs. “You have conquered death and the grave! O death, where is the victory? O grave, where is thy sting?! You are the Victor! I praise You, oh I praise You!”

She pulled her gaze down from heaven, and there was her Shepherd in front of her. She fell down at His feet worshiping and asking for forgiveness. He reached down with His nail pierced hand and pulled her up saying, “I have already forgiven you, precious.” Then He scooped her up in His arms and took her to the still waters.

There He washed her, fed her, and bound up her wounds. There, beside the still waters, He restored her soul. He taught her once again to abide and rest in Him, and how to let Him reign in her life. And He restored to her the garment of praise.

For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. Ezekiel 34:11, 12

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3