Reposted from 2008 in honor of all God has called son who have fallen in this world but still are loved by a Father whose love is perfect. A Father who ran down that long road to meet them and said my son has come home again! Happy Father’s day Sir.
When GOD ran to me. Click here to listen
Luke 15:11-24 A
11And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
This story has a very significant meaning in my life. I did pack up all I had and run from GOD. I didn’t live riotously but I did waste my substance. I spent all I had physically, emotionally, and spiritually and was left desolate. For a season I lived beneath the calling GOD had placed in my life at salvation, the calling we all have to be salt and light to the world. You all know what I am talking about. I am talking about the kind of living we do waiting on living to happen. The kind of self absorbed reckoning with our lives at the cost of being right with GOD.
Whatever is in your life that is distracting you or keeping you from dealing with your “swine trough” is a stronghold. That swine trough could be pride that keeps you from forgiving someone, it could be doing a “work for the LORD” that is nowhere near God’s plan for your life. It could be a trough of indecision or the game of “waiting on the LORD” Where did GOD say to wait on him and do nothing while waiting? I see myself so much in the statements above. This prodigal got to the point he felt he was no longer worthy to be called his father’s son. Have you ever said these words? God I am not even sure I am saved and I doubt I am your child because I am here in my pig trough belly aching when I could be at your table. WAKE UP folks we can’t do this long and not feel like swine and degenerate despots. We can’t run from a holy and just GOD and feel nothing or expect no conviction. When we neglect to face our issues we create a reality that very far from real. Human nature can justify almost any action but there is a clear and true standard that answers most of our questions in dealing with almost any situation. That standard is God’s Word. Our hearts are wicked and will deceive every chance they get.
Can you imagine the scene? I am going to paint this picture for you in modern times using a modern situation. Imagine a woman coming down a long road after being ravaged by divorce from a 20 year first marriage when she had served God with all that she knew how. Then to be followed by a precious second relationship that failed because of disobedience to God’s Word. Finally to move out of her comfort zone to total devastation in a city far away from all she knows and loves. She has done all she can do and knows to do to try to make it in this world. Her heart is broken and she doesn’t even feel worthy to be a daughter of such a Father. A Father who she thought at one time considered her worthy to be His child. In her mind she is thinking any closeness I can have to Him even to be His servant on the outside of the family is better than what I have sought in the pleasures in this world. She feels unlovable, rejected, and torn to pieces. She feels no hope out there where the prince of the world is Satan. Her heart divides her each choice she makes because she is not whole, healed, or able to decide what is right anymore.
Slowly she begins to read about her Father’s love, care, compassion, sacrifice, and understands that is where it all should rest. She doesn’t place her confidence in those who pull you into the swine trough any longer. She is remembering as David often did in the Psalms of God’s goodness even when people you love make terrible mistakes that hurt you. She begins to read her Father’s Words with passion seeking jewels of his grace, guidance, mercy, love, and understanding as well as righteousness. Her head lifts and she prays earnestly to the only hope she has in this life. Father, I have sinned, I have taken your grace and disgraced so much with my life with fear, doubt, and directing my own steps. Her prayer is a long road, but she is not left journeying that distance alone. When the Father sees her heart is broken HE begins to run to her. As each prayer she prays indicates her total surrender His steps pick up even faster. He takes her to his chest and shouts to those around to begin to celebrate. He clothes her with his clothes, not the clothes she was wearing in the world. Her prayer ends where it should have began, in the arms of GOD. He restores her to the status that she had before she fell. He restores her to the heir and daughter she was.
The point of this story is of course that I am that woman. The other more important point is that through prayer and God’s word I was able to stop being her and by HIS grace learn my Father’s heart for me by His Word. I know folks tell you all the time to read the Word. We think a few minutes on Sunday when the preacher gives a message is enough to last all week. I am telling you not reading the WORD and praying daily is spiritually going to starve you and make you weak for hard times. Life is hard but GOD is good and we will lose sight of that if we neglect knowing Him intimately by reading the WORD. Begin today to know the heart of GOD by reading HIS love to you in written form and accepting His love demonstrated to you in the Cross of Christ. Email me if you want to know more. Blessings 🙂
I can almost pinpoint the day my universe began to slide out of orbit. I knew the enemy of the soul had created a storm I had no choice but to endure. I remember when it hit how I had felt so destroyed. The best way I can describe it is this. Imagine walking across a field so tranquil and so serene with your husband who is your best friend and your children. Then you feel a sharp pain and grab your heart. There’s blood and you have been shot. You are not sure where it came from but you put your hand up to stop the bleeding. Another pain occurs and you have been shot again. You cover that wound with your other hand. You look around but there’s no help. Third shot and you realize it’s your best friend shooting. Your heart shatters and your knees buckle. How can this be? Where is my safety? How on earth could this happen?
You have no hands left. Two more shots and you realize your children have been hit. You can’t cover all the wounds. You are all wounded and there is nothing you can do. Even to this day when I hear this song, I remember. I was sitting a New Manna the night they sang this. Tears streaming down my face as they do now. I knew then that day in the field was coming, knew the enemy was looking for me and that I was soon to be alone in this world. I can’t describe the pain better than that.
Nine years later when I hear that song I am a different woman. Oh, I would have given anything for my children to not have been hurt by divorce. I would have never in a million years wished that for their lives. I have to say though that I am thankful.
How on earth can I be? How on earth can anyone be? Well it’s been a journey. I live every day of my life with a choice I didn’t make. I have been alone now 9 years. It’s been a hard road and is a hard road. I won’t mince words on that. I have real joy though and wouldn’t take nothing for knowing what I know now.
I learned something from it that I praise GOD for. I learned that under the wings of the almighty is the only place I could find out who I was in Christ. The most joyously painful lesson I have ever learned. I have learned that GOD is in control of everything and that everything that happens is for my good and His glory.
Nothing describes it like Psalms 91
1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
When I read those verses I am reminded of the love and care of a GOD who has bound my wounds and healed my pain.
How far down the road am I from that beautiful field? Well my life is not a bed of roses but no ones is. We live in a fallen challenging world. Yet I have chosen to know my LORD intimately and be satisfied with him completely. I am overwhelmed with His love.
I desire to remarry one day to a man who will walk that field with me without a weapon but so far that hasn’t happened. I am not fretful or scared it won’t. I know GOD’s heart for me. I have learned to be content and wait until GOD decides. He’s walking that field with me right now and that’s the best part. Although the song above still brings tears and I know another trial can come into my life any time of that magnitude. The thing I know now that I didn’t know then was the character of my GOD. I knew tons about GOD and loved deeply then. Yet when my storm hit and I was alone naked before a just holy GOD who saw me and my situation, it was then I realized who He truly was.
For me it was the WORD of GOD that changed everything. I began searching for answers and found them in the Truth that set me free. I was freed from the bondage of my past, the burden of my sin and the sorrow of my heart.
Now that brings me to one point. The same GOD who freed me will free the person who shot me the same way. It’s the same grace, same faith, same truth, same salvation, same word and same forgiveness. That might not sound fair to folks wanting revenge or being bitter. Think about it though.
GOD is so fair and holy he will restore the one who brought me pain the same way he will restore me! Doesn’t that reveal a character that is immutable, righteous, holy, just, and perfect. Doesn’t that show his great love for you! Wow! I can still hear the cry of my heart from those days. Lord, only you can take me from disgrace to grace to glory. Please step in here Father this is too big for me.
I remember going to the altar during the school day when I had a moment and crying out to GOD not knowing where I would be in the future. There’s no darkness to our GOD. My darkest moment was light to him according to Psalms 139:12.
Today yes I am thankful. I have the deepest well in my Father’s love that springs up and splashes anyone who gets in my path. I am so blessed, so thankful, so much more a woman because of HIM. Forget me and see my Saviour that hides me under his precious wings. No storm can harm me there. I am in some storms now and some temporal uncertainty. Where will I live, where will I work, will I love again and how do I stay a light waiting. We all face that kind of stuff. I might not know all of those answers but I cling to the One who does.
I have forgiven, I am forgiven and life moves on.
(Please note, I totally believe GOD wants to hear from us. I have been a pit dweller at times in my life this is written for a reminder to myself as well )
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! No one just wakes up with an emotionally burned out crippled and crumbled life. It takes time to get to any destination. You might retort to me look at Job and point a finger and say ah ha .. you have no clue what you are talking about. Yes, Job is a person in the Bible who suffered greatly and we point to him often when we are in storms to try to get the courage to gut it out. I think we do ourselves a disservice doing that for several reasons because when we look at Job, we see the end of the story where GOD restored him. That keeps the focus on what we can get out of our brokeness rather than what it does to us in molding our character. We also need to look at Job’s life fully, not just that he suffered. I am not talking about a person who is being tested in the way Job was. I am talking about when our circumstances are orchestrated by our own bad choices. Choices that have consequences that can not be restored. Don’t misunderstand me here, I am not saying God doesn’t restore. He promises to restore what the locust have eaten. I am saying the suffereing and restoration Job had was not the kind I am speaking about. There is much to learn there but I am talking about when sin damages us.
Our lives do not crumble overnight. I woke up at 3:00 am with this thot in my head and decided it will be today’s blog. Where I am at today came through many tough water that were deep and challenging. So this blog seems to be more or less dedicated to trading your sorrow for joy of the LORD. My intent and purpose is to give folks a glimpse of what I found elusive in many of my storms. Not that I can change anyone but that the things that changed me were the WORD of GOD and soldiers in the body of Christ who shed their light at a time when darkness surrounded my soul as wave after wave of my journey collided with my faith. I just want to shed what light I have been given.
My life could have been much different if I had not have taken the trip I did to get where I am now. What if each moment in our lives we could have an instant replay. We surely wouldn’t get to the place where we are sitting broken and burned out if we could just replay those things that didn’t go as we hoped. Of course we really can’t do that and if we could it would create disaster in our lives. By sheer human nature we would abuse such a gift. It’s a kind of winning the lottery pipe dream lets get back to reality.
One of the most sheep like qualities of Christians is our ability to depend on ourselves to be our own shepherd. We acknowledge GOD, even have a wealth of knowledge about Him but lack the ability on our own to stay out of the ditch. In storms knowledge of GOD is useless without intimacy with Him. It’s like being all dressed up and no place to go. I lived that for many years. My knowledge was performance and fear based. The times I have been in the ditch were usually when I was steering the vehicle. We can’t just ask GOD to come along in our lives as we take on burdens He never intended we carry or as we try to orchstrate our way out of the storm or into a better place, or deny it’s complete existence. We know GOD, what His WORD teaches but we filter it by our lives and the parts we line up with we feel good about. The parts we don’t we dismiss or deny. It should be the other way around .
I know when I was deeply stuck in the mire, no one could talk to me. I was insistent that life was going to work the way I had prayed. Basically I am glad it didn’t in some cases. I was praying for my way and not God’s way.
The mire is so ugly. If you have ever tried to walk in deep goopy mud you know what it’s like to try to pull one leg out, take a step, then pull the other leg out. It doesn’t take long before you tire completely. Spiritually, we create mire pits when we stop believing what God has said is true. When we do not watch His character to always keep His WORD and work in a way that is for our good.
We create a problem or make a huge mistake and the first thing that happens if we are not intimately walking is that our natural selves take over and rationalize how things can not work instead of seeing the beautiful plan God has to restore and renew our faith by transforming our mind. We become a dead man walking so to speak. You will stink if you play with dead things but every believer has the Holy Spirit who is always ready and willing to walk you through the situation. Psalms 40:1-3
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
I love this passage!!! Really let it sink into your heart that sitting on your spiritual hiney is not only keeping you stuck in mire, it’s also keeping people from seeing GOD at work and fearing and trusting Him. It’s not all about us. LOOK! and see that HE takes you out of the pit and He establishes our steps. Whew the pressure is off of us and on to Him. We just have to just follow the Shepherd.
Now don’t get the idea you will just sit there and wait for God to show up. NO! You wait paitiently but wail on! Wait on it to be God that answers but cry out to Him. He will incline and lift you up and put you on a rock, a solid foundation. If you know anything at all about walking in mire it is this, you are on shaky ground getting dirty and sucked in feet first. Your life is not too burned, it’s not over, it’s not done if you call upon your Father to lift you out. Dear ones I need to see that in you and you need to see that in me. Let’s let GOD hear us and get us out of the pit that keeps us hidden from the lost and dying world.