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

 

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A New Year’s prayer

Ah, it is 11:49 PM, almost the New Year…what a year this has been. The Lord has brought me so far. So far. And as I look at the new year ahead, I see that I have so far to go. So far.

This song describes what I want for the New Year; this is one of the things that if I could write poetry, I would have written this.

A Passion For Thee

Set my heart, O dear Father,
On Thee, and Thee only,
Give me a thirst for Thy presence divine.
Lord, keep my focus on loving Thee wholly,
Purge me from earth; Turn my heart after Thine.

A passion for Thee;
O Lord, set a fire in my soul, and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lord, Thy power impart.
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.

Father fill with Thy Spirit, and fit me for service,
Let love for Christ every motive inspire,
Teach me to follow in selfless submission,
Be Thou my joy and my soul’s one desire.

A passion for Thee;
O Lord, set a fire in my soul, and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lord, Thy power impart.
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.

This song is definitely my prayer for this coming year–I want my heart to burn with an all-consuming passion to know and love God. I want to serve Him with a motive of love, and not of pride. I want Jesus to be my true joy and my soul’s one desire.

O Lord, I thank you so much for this year; it’s been wonderful. In fact, it’s been the best year of my life. After last year I didn’t think life could get any better…but oh! Every year walking by Your side gets sweeter still.
 Abba, don’t let me stray, please draw me closer to You. This year You have taught me much…You have taught me how to die daily, how to be a leader, how show others Your love, and how in Your presence is fullness of joy…You have held my hand, guided me, and carried me…You have been so patient with me gently teaching me truths over and over again untill I realize that You’re trying to teach me.
It gives me so much joy to know that You continue to hold my hand and guide me in this new year. May I grow to love you more. Oh make me a vessel of Your glory! May people see You and not me.

Well I’ve had a wonderful evening, and a wonderful year; but I’m ready–bring on the new year!

Hello twenty-twelve!

11:56 PM

Lord, may You be glorified in every aspect of my life this coming year.

-Grace
Psalm 16:11, Galatians 2:20

And my sisters and I start the countdown….

Broken cisterns and Living Water

This morning I decided to start working my way through the book of Jeremiah, and thought I’d share some gems. Honestly, I chose Jeremiah because I thought that it would be a tough read with all of the judgments and prophecies in it. And I want to learn to love and delight in reading all of God’s Word, even if it’s a list of names; not just picking and choosing what I love to read out of it.

So before I began, I prayed. O Lord, show me something out of Your Word, anything. “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.”  He did not disappoint me.  

I suppose the first thing that made me stop and think was Jeremiah 1:5-9.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

How wonderful is it to know that God formed me for a distinct purpose and plan. O Master, let me only follow the path that you have ordained for me…I need Your strength.

“Then said I, Ah Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.”

Often I feel so inadequate or too young to accomplish anything for God’s Kingdom. But see, little things like age or disability don’t stop God. Watch how God turns around and does something beautiful with little Jeremiah.

“But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for though shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.”

O my Lord! Would You do the same thing with this little girl, as You did with Jeremiah? Would You touch my mouth, and put Your words in my mouth? Yes, even in this faltering, little mouth. Oh may everything these lips utter bring honor and glory to You…how often they do not.

These were good and encouraging, but just a warm up for Jeremiah 2:13:

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”

After reading this verse I paused to reflect—something here seemed all too familiar. Forgive me as I fumble around for the words to describe what the Lord showed me through this. (This will be a very ruff explanation of what it means to me).

You see, God created us with a void inside that only He can fill. He created us for something exciting—a full and exciting relationship with Him. But so often, instead of pursuing a relationship with God, the Fountain of Living Waters, we set up idols–we hew out our cisterns. But the thing is, our cisterns are broken and cracked, and can’t hold any water. So what do we do? Out of desperation to feel full, we do the same pointless things over and over again. We spend countless hours on the computer, joking with friends, reading fiction, and etc. (These things in and of themselves aren’t bad necessarily, it’s when we let them become idols). But the water [fulfillment] only lasts for a short while, and then leaks out just as fast as it came in, leaving us dry, broken, and empty. A broken cistern is anything that you replace the Fountain of Living Waters with, good or bad: Friends, family, relationships, books, computer, school, drugs, addictions, etc…

I have seen this pattern many times in my life. First, I have substituted The Fountain of Living Water for a cheap imitation, a pathetic broken cistern. Then I try to fill the cisterns with something “exciting” (because having the Fountain of Living Waters coursing through your veins is thrilling, so we try to leave something “exciting” in its place). But it only fills me up for a short time because the cistern is broken, and holds no water. So I fell empty. And then I try to fill myself up more and more with the same things, but it only left me emptier still, and more broken than before. The only way to get out of this rapid cycle of emptiness is to replace your pathetic, broken cisterns with God’s Fountain of Living Water. I promise, when you do this you will become alive, full, and yes, your cup will run over.

            To me, this is such a beautiful picture. And I wouldn’t have seen it had I not asked the Lord to open my eyes. He is ever faithful to me; always answering my prayers when I pray according to His will. Hmm… Lord, I praise You and exalt Your name.

I don’t know if any this makes any sense to anyone but me. Often, what is the greatest find and treasure to me, is a simple fact to everyone else. But if perhaps, this does make sense, then join me as I examine myself for the cisterns that I have hewed out in my heart. And let us allow the Fountain of Living Water to flow out of our lives.

All for Christ’s glory,

Grace

Psalm 16:11

 

 

Bits and pieces~

My heart is so full of joy right now. So full. Mmm…Jesus, I love you. Thank You for leading me closer to You today, and being so patient with me, even through tears and the desperation I felt today.

 This evening I got to errands with my Dad; we had a wonderful time. Daddy, you are so wise, and have such a heart for God. Everyday I marvel at how I ever got you for a dad; God is so good to me. Please know that I pray for you everyday as you lead our family. Talking of spiritual things with you is the best.

 On another note, we got to try our first batch of homemade sauerkraut today! Can you say “yum?” J

 

This quote from Charles Spurgeon literally stopped me in my tracts when I read it the other day:

 “If you never have sleepless hours, if you never have weeping eyes, if your hearts never swell as if they would burst, you need not anticipate that you will be called zealous. You do not know the beginning of true zeal, for the foundation of Christian zeal likes in the heart. The heart must be heavy with grief and yet must beat high with holy ardor. The heart must be vehement in desire, panting continually for God’s glory, or else we shall never attain to anything like the zeal which God would have us know.”

 I want to be this kind Christian. I long to be dynamic, radical, zealous…I want to be a true follower of Christ. May I be the kind of Christian, who, when knees tire in prayer, fall flat on their face before their King and keep on praying. May I be a real Christian ready to give up all comfort for the sake of Christ, and not shy from persecution. Oh, may all of my life glorify Him.

 

Also, this video clip I watched the other day really encouraged me so I thought I’d share it. I can not tell you how encouraging it is to see young people zealously living for Christ, and willing to give all to Him. Even if that means giving up seemingly fun things like dating just for the sake of being in a relationship. Relational purity is so important, and is something that I don’t think is stressed enough. Anyway, had I more time, eloquence, and wisdom I would write more about this; but for now I’ll leave it at that for now.

 

One last thing and I’ll be done. This verse has been popping up in my mind recently:

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8

 I realize I have so much more than food and clothes, and yet, so often I am discontent. Right now though, I am perfectly content. God provides well beyond my needs; I am so blessed! That said, it would still be pretty neat to get this for Christmas. *smile*

Well that’s it; please excuse me for the randomness of this post! Have a wonderful weekend; and “whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

In Christ,

Grace

Psalm 16:11

He holds my hand

Grace looked at the path ahead, she had far to go. There were so many things she thought she ought to be doing, so much she needed to work on: Prayer, meditation, humility, loving God wholeheartedly… She was beginning to feel overwhelmed and fearful when a figure silently slipped to her side. Suddenly, Grace felt a strong hand grasp her right hand. As she looked down to see a scar marked wrist, He whispered in her ear;

“Fear not; I will help thee.”   

               “For the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, “Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13

Christ holding my hand