Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Life lessons

Woke this morning with these words from Isaiah 65:17 - 18 in my head:
“See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
and its people a joy."

Why, I wonder?

I have been struggling with hurt and betrayal and forgiveness and loss and grief - on many, many levels.
Struggling with trying to learn the lessons God wants to teach me, while my spirit keeps shouting "Not fair! Not fair! Not me! Why me?"
Struggling with those questions while my spirit keeps shouting "Why not you? You are so privileged and blessed, treat all this as a gift from the Lord."

I am having lots of help dealing with my attitude:

Kristen Welch says: "The reality is Jesus pushes on the tender places for our good. 

"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?  If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!  They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peacefor those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:7-11

Turning into the pain and asking God to show us the troubled spots gives us depth and makes us more like Jesus. He allows it–not to hurt us–but to ultimately heal us because we are more apt to seek Him when we are hurting.

When Christ pushes on our vulnerable places–the valley of depression, the abiding loneliness, the dark fear, the need to control–it actually creates a deeper intimacy with Him.

We all have painful places in our heart, wounds from other people or from hardships in this life.

We have a couple choices: we can talk about how much we hurt or pretend we don’t at all. Or we can let Jesus massage the pain away and ultimately allow our weakness to make us stronger.

When He presses in, lean into Him. He can redeem our pain and create something beautiful from it."

Then Bob posted this:
Jan. 15. Love when difficult

Scripture: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).

Word of Expectation: American is deeply divided politically and ethnically. Jesus calls us to live with a supernatural attitude toward those we do not agree with. Those who mistreat us are to receive love from us instead of anger or revenge. We owe kindness to those who are unkind to us. God will show up when we do this.

Prayer: God of mercy, you have been so kind to me. You overlook my faults every day. Help me today to live the supernatural life in your graciousness. Please empower me, and let me see you in a fresh way today. Amen.

And then I read this:
"Sweet friend, I know how it feels to want to completely shut down when life gets challenging and things happen that we don't understand. But if we pull away from praying, reading our Bible and going to church in hard times - we just suffer. If we stay committed to doing those things that keep us connected with God, we will experience an intimacy and power in the midst of our suffering we can’t get any other way." ~ Lysa TerKeurst
And this:
"Do you meet aggression with aggression and call it strength? Sometimes I do and it leads me to a place I never intended.

Jesus is teaching me to replace aggression with vulnerable strength.

Vulnerable strength isn't a verbal assault. It's when we speak the truth in love, but let it settle rather than hammer it in.

Vulnerable strength isn't an emotional outburst, rather it's working through misunderstanding.

Vulnerable strength isn't one-sided, but it's stepping into another person's shoes for a moment to expand your understanding of the conflict."
~@Suzie Eller

And, finally:

"We are the beloved of the LORD, and we can rest between His shoulders. Are you hurting? Does life feel intolerable in this moment? Your Father is there.

There is nothing too big He cannot carry.

Peel away those layers of resistance, and let Him know a rest is needed.

Invite Him to come and see the pain–

The One who longs for your company

The One who yearns to walk life’s journey with you

Without hesitation, reach arms high. Let Him rescue. He promises to carry you. Without hesitation, He’ll set you right between His shoulders. Our Father is big and strong. You are secure. You are shielded.

You are the one He loves.

An amazing ride awaits you with an amazing view. Rest high and lifted up."

All wise advice.

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