by Martha L Shaw – Copyright 4-23-2013
by Martha L Shaw – Copyright 4-23-2013
I have been facing a combination of spiritual growing pains and delight in serving my beloved Lord, Jesus Christ. In this time He has continually taught me to trust Him. It is a lifelong lesson but some of the things I have learned, even today and right this moment, counter what “they say” loudly.
It is a constant need to ignore those who loudly say that if we fear and if we worry our hearts are not His. LIES people. He knows our hearts better than we ourselves do. We are human, we sin, we are forgiven. Our sins of tomorrow were forgiven on the cross! His love is beyond our ability to comprehend or to measure. Now, how the day began . . .
Wick Awaiting Fire
I hunger for the sweetness of your voice
In the silence . . .
I look on and take a clumsy step or two.
I see a robed figure
Surrounded with riches
And she speaks of being alone.
I know that I am not alone.
I see another
On whom the sun shines brightly
Who speaks of a joyless existence
I don’t know her story.
Remembering the tender hugs
I realize her story is not my own.
I find strength to take another
Small step forward.
I still cannot see you in the near darkness,
But I know you are here.
There is comfort in that.
By Martha L Shaw – © 4-22-2013
That being said, in the last 5 years I have been overjoyed in growing closer and closer to Him. I have been blessed with a passion for a new vocation and my heart leaps within me at every opportunity to serve Him. Lifelong dreams have been coming true. Provision, on the other hand, has not come or better stated, not come the way I want it to.
You see, I moved 1000 miles away from familiarity to my dream location. I love it more with each passing day and have come alive in so many new ways here. Life, aside from financial worries, seems as close to perfect as I can imagine. I have some health worries I can’t afford to deal with and the vocation I’m passionate about isn’t a paying proposition from what I can see . . . in money . . . but thus far a hugely paying one in blessings. The previous career in a field which never blessed me but which I was good at? Well, this economy has not been kind to. So there have been a few temporary and low paying part-time jobs. Fear and trembling come with the monthly bills. I keep learning more about trust and moving forward with Him. Provision comes in other ways.
Kitchen mixer died? Church friend had a lovely one which never came off the pantry shelf and gave it to me. Desiring to make some scarves but not wanting to spend the hefty price for the special yarns? A near stranger from an online forum, not knowing my desire, offered to mail me a box filled with yarn she wasn’t using. It was the very yarn I wanted. Food running low? A friend who needed to change her diet cleaned out her well stocked pantry and wondered if I could use . . . coffee maker died? A friend had a spare. Camera died? Learned to live without for months before a secret elf slipped one by my car at church one Sunday. God provides. Needs are met. He even provides treats as opposed to needs just to bring a smile to my face and a renewal of my awareness of His love to my heart.
So a few months ago another low paying job came my way. Unpleasant company . . . abusive managers . . . broken promises . . . few hours . . . low pay . . . robbed by a coworker . . . more and more abuse. I felt it was of Him that I be there so I smiled in my pain and kept working. Last week, after several months of this and without earning near enough to pay my bills besides, it seemed He was telling me it was time to leave this place. It scared me. I need money, Lord . . . Much prayer and much studying of scripture and much “do you really mean it, Jesus?” I have taken a leap of faith, am embarking on furthering my opportunities in the vocation which He has given me much passion for and am working on letting Him release me from worry of money, of unknown health issues and “how am I ever going to . . . “ I quit today. Quit the job. Quit the abuse taking. Working on quitting the health concerns. Came home, ate a bowl of soup and rested with Him. Know what He said? “Sing to the Lord a new song.” So, I shall sing. My fear isn’t gone, but all those people who tell us that we cannot fear for if we do He will not be near us? Trust me, they are not telling you the truth. I am human. I have fears. They need not stop me. He never EVER leaves my side. So, I walk in faith and fear and know with certainty that He is holding me in the palm of His loving hand. Amen.
Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass away.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God,
Finds He lacks nothing,
God alone suffices.
~St. Theresa of Avila
If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be, and why? If that seems too easy, try this one: who would you like to have spend a day as you and what do you hope they’d learn from the experience?
Wow, what an opportunity it would be to be able to spend an entire day as someone else. What to do? Whom to choose?
Ah, but alas for me it shall be none of these. Whom would I choose to be? Why? First things first. I choose Jesus Christ. No, not on the day of His birth in a smelly stable with animal dung, even if someone did bring me fancy perfume to help cover up the smell.
No, not at age 33 for as it is still the Easter season in the Christian church year, we know what happened then. I think perhaps at age 32 or so.
Why, you ask? Well, no I do not wish to turn water into wine. No, I think perhaps training up the 12 (soon to be 11) wouldn’t be my first choice for how to spend my last days . . . oh, that’s right. It took 3 years. No, my reason is more simple. You see, I find it hard sometimes to love as He loves, to forgive as He does, to see as He did and does, and to know our hearts – our real and authentic selves – even when they are wrapped in layers and layers of human weakness and flaws. If I could be Him for one day, surely it would make it a bit easier to reflect Him on others, even the ones I unfairly judge sometimes . . . yes, them too, if only I could really experience Him that deeply.
If I could be Him for just one day, perhaps it would be easier to walk in fear or even to let go of fear completely? Perhaps, if I could be Him for just one day, it would become simpler to say “yes, Lord” when He speaks and not hesitate so often? Perhaps it would be easier, if I could be Him for just one day, to walk where He walks even if I am sure I’m going to get lost . . . or to know, instead, that with Him I can never be lost?
If I could be Jesus for just one day, maybe it would be easier to be the real me that I was truly created to be! You see, if I could be someone else for just one day, I cannot imagine wanting to be any other than the one I love most, to be one with Him. Seamless. United. Consumed. All Consuming. Never to be apart. Even for just one day.
Hey, you know? With Jesus, I can be all that. I don’t have to pretend. It’s real. He’s real. He lives in me. I can do this! Wow! Join me?
I must share this. It is the second time in as many minutes in which the Lord placed the command to love before me and I believe He intends it to be shared. I sit here in intense pain and facing a low paying very physical part-time job and searching for strength and peace . . . in the room the tv is on and the familiar Boston accent is on the air speaking of the tragedy, lost limbs, lost lives in my former homeland of Boston. My pain brings tears to my eyes, but how much deeper is the pain those many many people feel just now . . . the pain of broken hearts.
Love heals. Let’s try hard to reflect His love . . .
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
I woke up on this stormy day after little sleep yet found myself singing a church hymn on the greatness of His faithfulness. The Lord is powerfully present in me today and I was led to find and share the following quote with you. I pray it touches you as it did me.
\22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Our trust in the Lord changes things, changes us, changes our perspective on darkness versus light. When we open the door in our hearts and let Him in, we follow the unknown path but with His hand in ours. Thus the darkness has a new light. It has been forever changed, as have we.
Hungering to serve,
Yet I always fall so short.
He picks up all my messes
And somehow still He blesses!
By Martha L Shaw © 4-10-2013