We are a society that craves comfort, we hate pain and any sort of discomfort, we avoid it at all costs. But there are time when you come face to face with what is reality, the truth, and the pain that grips your heart is real, now what choice do you make?
In such moments the flesh longs to find comfort despite the the pain and reality of what is on the horizon. Traipsing around it won’t help, and pretending it’s not there doesn’t make it go away. The spirit groans, the heart aches, and the flesh rebels. It’s a face to face, head on battle with the darkest moments of life, reliving what is most painful, yet it’s necessary to do so, so there can be emotional healing.
The Father speaks, “ I will not forsake you” and clinging to that promise one dares to take His hand and slowly move ahead, step by step toward the place they have avoided for many years, the pain being more real then they could ever remember before. The reality of losing something precious is heart wrenching and it seems the pieces could never ever be put back together.
Step by step they continue to walk, now strength is gone and the child burys his face in His shoulder and clings desperately to the Loving One beside her, knowing that if they let go, it’s over for this time. The walk is one of entering a tunnel of darkness without end and they enter slowly, because the Father, carrying them now, understands the pain they are experiencing and He compassionately holds him close.
The child realizes that now He has ceased walking and it can only mean that they have arrived at the place. So still clinging to Him, the Solid Rock, the Refuge and Strength of their life, he knows that to find healing emotionally, they must allow themselves to go back and relive the moments, no matter how painful it is. The memories flood over him like a crashing wave but the child knows the One who holding him is an anchor that is safe and secure. The pieces of the heart and emotions, shattered and torn many years before are being knit together as the child allows himself to go to “that painful place”
Lifting his head and turning for just a brief glance once more, as one would to catch a final glimpse of a grave about to be covered, a grave of painful memories that will never be opened again because Jehovah Rapha heals completely.
Now burying his face into the shoulder/chest of Him who carries him, Jehovah Rapha carries the child weak, worn and exhausted of All strength from battle, a battle that was Victorious because the Father was a part of it. They exit the way they had entered and though the child is spent of all strength, he forces his head to lift and he notices the path once a place of destruction is now illuminated with light.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” ~Psalms 119:105
The child knows the words, “I will not forsake you” were spoken by no one other then the very Father himself, Jehovah Rapha has healed.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” ~Deuteronomy 31:6
Friends, pain is heartbreaking but healing brings peace and rest. The Father is compassionate and He will ALWAYS be with you as you walk the journey, keep your eyes on Him and He will carry you.
The woman coming to the well to draw water, seeking to fulfill a physical need, meets the One who fulfills a deep spiritual need within her and gives her Living Water.
My heart is continually stirred as I ponder this story and as I have read and reread the passage recording this beautiful story of redemption. Such a beautiful story unfolds as the woman, who’s name we do not know, comes to the well and meets her Messiah. Let’s meditate on the well for a moment and why Jesus may have chosen that spot to sit and rest.
It’s quite obvious that Jesus had traveled quite some distance and the fact that He chose to sit and rest at a well is really of no surprise. Let’s think of a well as a place of rest, a place where one can be refreshed by the cool water that is drawn from the well.
“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour” ~John 4:6
The Samaritan woman coming to draw water was seeking to fulfill one or more physical needs, one of those being thirst and another being to draw water perhaps for washing for her household. Imagine her surprise as she draws near to the well and sees a man and a Jewish man at that, sitting by the very well she was coming to draw from. At the hour that she was coming, typically there was no one else even close to the well; therefore, that would explain why she chose that time to come and draw water at the well.
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” ~John 4:7, 9
Why would Jesus ask the woman for a drink? In those days, the Jews had no dealings of any kind with the Samaritans but Jesus did not let the rules and traditions of those days stop Him from speaking to the woman.
And as we read further into the story we see how Jesus showed genuine Love and compassion for this woman. He spoke truth in loving tones, his heart filled with compassion for her, He showed such loving Kindness to her. Her physical need was forgotten but her spiritual needs that were unknown to her beforehand were taken care of as she listened to the words of Jesus.
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” ~John 4:13-14
It’s obvious her life was forever changed as we read a bit later in the chapter. The Love of Jesus always changes a person and they are never the same.
“The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him.” ~John 4:28-30
My brothers and sisters, are we receiving and accepting the Love Of the Father. Oh how He loves each of us so abundantly! He calls us His children, that alone should cause a spirit of thankfulness to rise up with in each of us. Our lives should reflect an unending lifestyle of worship, praise and adoration for our Heavenly Father🙌🏽
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” ~1 John 3:1
As for myself, I have found my perfect pattern in Jesus, who said, “The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” I am no longer motivated by personal ambition. I have discovered a sweeter, purer motive: simply to please my Father. ~Derek Prince
It is no secret that we live in a land of abundance and I am so thankful for the blessing of having plenty, however; I am starting to understand that because of the abundance that we have we tend to live safe, comfortable lives, more secure in our cushioned little box than we are in Christ.
Let me share a story with you that happened to me personally while I was in Kenya just earlier this year, it truly was a life changing moment for me.
So several things you should know, is that I am generally terrified of water. Reason number 1 being for the fact that said person cannot swim, therefore putting a fear within me and yes, scripture does say:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7
Our team had an incredible time on the short safari we did on our African trip and I thoroughly enjoyed it until I heard the dreaded word “kayak” because I knew that meant somewhere I was going to have to directly face fear and that jus terrified me. I attempted to comfort myself with the fact that I would stay at the lodge and nap(because I was really exhausted) while they went on the kayak trip. That plan didn’t work out well at all, as we are on the game drive and suddenly we stop beside the river and then I knew that my fears were going to have to be faced head on.
So I was paired with one of our incredible team and I, trembling from head to toe got into that kayak, so terrified and just sure I was going to drown somehow. And honestly, I am shocked I didn’t tip the kayak because the spirit of fear was so heavy.
We begin the trek across the waters, and thankfully it was quite calm but I clung to that kayak like we were out on the deep sea on choppy waters.
In my tense and fearful state of being I began to pray, crying out to God for peace and help. And instantly the Father brought to my mind the story of Jesus walking on the water and how He bid Peter to come to Him and as long as Peter’s eyes were fixed upon Jesus he was fine, but the minute he gave into the carnal and noticed the boisterous waters, he began to sink. Let me refresh your memory with the passage of scripture:
” Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” -Matthew 14:25-33
Out on that water in that kayak that I so hated earlier I had to repent and confess that fear, and that I had looked at the carnal instead of focusing on the Father. It was a life changing moment for me, to lose sight of the shore and to rest in the Father. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip back to land when we returned, in fact I didn’t want it to end.
Oswald Chambers says it so well:
If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea”It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God”
So my friends, wherever you find yourself in this moment. May you rest in the fact that losing sight of the shore is preparing you for greater purpose all for His Glory🙌🏽
A winding path lies before you, and as far as the eye can see the prettiest of blooming flowers line it, foretelling of the walk ahead to be both scenic and beautiful, but in your heart you also know that in any journey of life one is bound to have some rainy seasons and also some mountains to climb, so You gather the essentials and make preparation for the journey ahead. You are literally minutes away from stepping foot upon that path when you hear a gentle voice whisper in the most loving tone, “My child, wait!”
You freeze in your tracks slightly shaken by the very words you just heard. In your spirit you begin to understand that it was the Father’s voice you heard, yet you also wonder what could this all possibly mean?
The door leading to the path that lay before you had seemingly swung shut a lengthy time ago. The desire within you hadn’t perished, the vision hadn’t left, although as time passed it seemed the desire was beginning to be forgotten and the vision grew a wee bit dimmer, nonetheless it was still alive within. The verse in the 37th Psalm has became an anthem to you when you had first seen the vision and believed it was from the Father
“Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” ~Psalms 37:4
You prayed, seeking the Father’s face, desiring His heart to be manifested to you in all of this and now the door had cracked open and with a heart filled with Faith you were ready to step upon the threshold believing this was where you were to walk for the next season of your life.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” ~Psalms 37:23
You find yourself standing in front of the door now, one foot in mid stride as you attempt to catch your balance and focus on what the Father is speaking in this moment and as He speaks You fall upon your face, crying out to God. What is now being required of you is surrender and sacrifice in measures you hadn’t thought possible.
My friend, may I draw your attention to a passage in scripture where a man of Faith, namely Abraham received the promise that he was to have a son even in his older age, and also the promise that he was to be a father of many nations. We know the story well, but there is a particular passage in Genesis 22 that speaks of a time of testing and surrender.
“Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.”
One of the phrases I want to zone in on are “God tested Abraham”. We know that Abraham was full of faith and when God called him, he didn’t hesitate to do the bidding of His Father, to offer up his one and only son.
“He rose early in the morning” and went to the place where God had told him. He didn’t hesitate even for a day, he went immediately even though it was going to require a deep level of surrender and trust. We also know that the Father did provide in abundant measures that day and still today He pours out His spirit upon us.
My friends, I don’t alway understand why the Father closes doors, but this I do know. It’s always because He has something better in store for us. Remember He sees the whole picture and we don’t. So to sum all of the above in three words.
May you be encouraged that while you wait, you have the opportunity to worship and grow more intimately in the relationship with your Heavenly King❤️
The western sky gives up it’s last shades of summer evening light as twilight steals across the land covering the earth with darkness. A sliver of a moon appears for a short time, then disappears as storm clouds began to form in the northern sky.
Thunder begins to rumble and lightening streaks illuminate the night sky. In place of the gentle breeze that was barely rustling the leaves, there is now a strong wind blowing dust and trash across the land.
Within minutes, the thunder intensifies, the lightening streaks become more frequent and the wind continues to rise and within seconds the Storm is upon us in all its fury, raindrops pelting against the windows, and the wind causing the house to shake ever so slightly.
As I stand by the window and watch the above scene unfold, I know that if I were to dare venture outside, I would be soaked within moments of being in the elements of this storm. Suddenly, something catches my eye in the branches of the tree right next to the window. Somehow amidst the branches that are being blown to and fro violently, in the storms fury, I catch a glimpse of a bird’s nest with something in it.
Within moments the rain and wind slowed ever so slightly and I was able to see a mama bird peacefully sitting on her nest, faithfully keeping her young ones safe, no fear of the Storm.
So my friends, what could this mean for us individually? My mind is drawn to Psalm 91 and how the writer of that particular psalm may have possibly been facing tremendous storms that could have taken his life, yet he knew that in abiding in the presence of Jesus, there is safety, no matter the winds and rain.
“He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler” -Psalms 91:4
So as that mama bird upon her nest, peacefully waiting out the Storm, her nest obviously was well made and fastened properly to that branch. What is our foundation? Is it in the Father, knowing that no matter what the Storm, you are safe in His presence?
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” -Isaiah 26:3
In Kenya, April is one of the months of the rainy season there, not to mention it rained almost daily while we were there. The mud was a constant challenge, but it added plenty of adventure to our African experience.
That Wednesday morning, we awoke to the sound of rain, so we waited until mid forenoon to head out, and still it was raining, so we had our first supermarket experience and each member of the team got a pair of boots, because there was mud everywhere.
Eventually we were on the road, heading back to the Masai village where we were to have a church service. It truly was a trip, we will never forget. Nine people packed into a vehicle (in Kenya there’s always room for one more), and once we hit the dirt roads the adventure began as we slid all over the muddy road, with 3 to 4 foot gullies on either side of the road.
We got stuck a number of times, I eventually lost track of how many times we got out and walked, the sticky mud slowing our walking progress. We were determined to not give up and about 4 hours after we first began the journey we reached our destination; tired, sweaty and covered in mud. We were served coffee and refreshments, then later a meal, by our dear African sister Ann, who served us so well. ❤
Our destination was a church in this particular Masai village and driving up to it, I didn’t see exactly what I expected but in that building was a service unlike I have ever experienced in my life. The building itself could not have been more then 14-16 feet wide and maybe 32 feet long, but it held over 250 adults plus all the darling children.
In this building is where I got my first experience of African worship, it was so amazing, God did incredible things there❤ Some of the girls on the team got to dress up as the Masai ladies do, plus we all got Masai jewelry, which is absolutely beautiful.
We had the opportunity to pass ou candy and some small gifts to the children, seeing their faces as each one was presented with something was incredible to see.
We then headed back to our hotel for the evening, this time we didn’t get stuck, although there was still so much mud everywhere. I am convinced the enemy was desperately trying to deter us from going. Praise God🙌 he was defeated and God did incredible things in each of our hearts and lives.
That evening as the team debriefed over the delightful evening meal they prepared for us, we all agreed our faith was strengthened, because of the experiences we had through the mud and mire on the road that day.
Below is a video that one of our incredibly talented team members did, and if you want a great visual of what all took place, please watch it 😊
Before we continue, with our Kenyan adventures, would you take several minutes and pray for our African brothers and sisters❤ Their faith is incredible, but they need our prayers, so that they too, can finish strong.
Tuesday morning we awoke to hearing all the sounds of the town of Nairobi, plus the patter of heavy raindrops on the roof, and oh the bed felt so good, so getting our weary bodies moving was quite difficult. Our team met for a briefing for our week ahead, which then turned into a mini revival service right there in the hotel lobby.
We then began our journey over to the first village where we would spend a few days. God allowed us to find this incredible hotel, right in the village, and we were taken care of so well, the food, hospitality and their ever welcoming smiles when we would come back in the evenings, after a long day, were so amazing.
We also experienced our first meal at a Kenyan restaurant, which was a unique experience but the food was so good.
Whenever we would come back to the hotel the children from the village would come running to see if we had anything for them. Pictured below is me with Angel, she was the first little girl we met when we arrived at the hotel and she was always among the first to greet us when we would come back in the evenings. She had very little, but she always had the sweetest smile. ❤ Several different times we passed out candy and balloons to the children which was a huge hit for all of them.
Those of us who had never been to another country were quite shocked by how many people could fit into one small vehicle, not to mention the driving in Kenya, there were a number of times we all held our breath as mere inches were between us and the vehicle beside us. We soon got used to it tho and by the end of the week we didn’t even think about it.
Our first full day in Kenya was incredible and heading to bed that night we were super thankful for soft beds and hot showers (for those that figured out how to turn the hot water on, some of us had to experience cold showers). We didn’t know what that the next day was going to be day filled with many challenges, including lots mud😏
So in part three you will hear more about our African adventures and what incredible things God allowed us to be a part of.
First I want to honor each and every Mother that reads this. And let me start by saying this, you are Amazing! Motherhood is a very high calling, not only are you training the next generation of the church, but you are raising godly men and women who will impact the world. The level of serving and dedication you put into being a mother, truly is changing the world!
Thank you for serving and loving your family well! I know there have to be days you literally almost fall over from exhaustion, because you feel like you have given every last drop you ever had within you, but the next morning you are back up and going with renewed energy and a rejuvenated spirit. You are such an example of Jesus! Thank you! I pray blessing and a fresh annointing from the Father over you!
To every Mother, who hears “Mama,Mama” multiple times of day and it feels like your supply of patience and grace have been completely emptied and sucked dry. Thank you! Thank you for taking the time to minister to every need your child has, I promise you, it will make a difference in their life, even if you never get thanked for it. I pray the Father would give you even greater levels of grace for each day that is difficult! “His Grace is Sufficient”
Thank you for keeping things running smoothly at home, while your husband is working to provide for his family. Thank you! All the behind the scenes things you faithfully do, that noone ever thanks you for, like the toilet paper ministry, as I call it (you know, always changing the empty roll to a new one). The delicious meals you prepare to nourish your family, the endless stacks of dishes you wash and the never ending loads of laundry you wash and fold on a weekly basis. Thank you, for being willing to do all the things that don’t get noticed, yet you serve willingly and well!
Thank you for pouring into your children’s lives daily, for encouraging the gifts that you see rising in them. Thank you for nurturing each one of the souls that were granted into your care. Thank you for loving the ones who are away from their Mama! ❤
From the bottom of my heart, I again say Thank you! And I pray that the Father would pour out abundant blessings upon you as a Mother, that you could continue to serve and love well. ❤
It was early morning, the stars were still shining, the moon so full and bright, and the first light of dawn was just coloring the eastern horizon. All was peaceful and quiet, but that was about to be shattered!
Inside The house, a young lady was fast asleep, but suddenly she awoke with a start! Almost Breathless by the pain and the intense ache she felt within her heart, a pain unlike she had ever felt before! Whatever was this and what could possibly be happening to her? As she lay there, quite uncertain what could be happening, the tears began to stream down her young face.
The pain was so real and so intense! Her chest felt like it had a gaping, raw wound that was steadily growing larger as her heart was ripped from her body, shredded into millions of pieces and then demolished completely with the biggest and heaviest piece of equipment in the world.
The tears continued and so did the questions. What was happening? Why this intense ache and pain deep within? How could she possibly go on? What about the shattered pieces of her heart that were hardly recognizable as the life-giving organ it was intended to be? What good could come from any of this?
Through the tears and pain she heard the Father speaking to her, in the most gentle and loving voice; “Daughter, will you allow Me to Heal? Will you trust me with the shattered pieces? Will you accept my Love?”
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. ~Psalms 34:18
Totally spent of all energy and battle weary, she spoke a barely audible, “Yes” and that very instant she felt the presence of the FATHER! It was so real and she felt the Father’s LOVE embracing her. In that embrace, she felt Loved, Secure and at rest. A rest so beautiful, so full of peace, and so refreshing. As she drifted off to sleep, she felt strong arms ever so gently rocking her.
Brothers and sisters, we all have had things happen to us that cause hurts, pain, and scars. I know it sounds scary to walk through those painful things, in fact some of them are so painful that we have locked them into this little room in our heart and have vowed to never let anyone see it.
May I encourage you, there is a Healer that can heal every painful wound that we have There is a great Physician that can make ALL things new, even the most shattered and broken parts within us!
Will you allow Him to have the key to that room within your heart that has been locked for so long? Will you allow Him to hold you as you walk through that pain and find freedom?
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord , thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~Jeremiah 29:11
The Father loves you❤
“I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God” ~Elliott