Friday, March 22, 2013


Have you ever wondered, why would God create flowers in alpine obscurity where no man has walked?  Why bloom when no one is there to appreciate the beauty?  What's the point?   They flourish amid extreme conditions, use up all their strength, and then, in a moment, fall to the ground.

In my shadowy valley of depression I've been encouraged by the alpine flower, where a whole world of praise stretches above the places where I live and move.  While I dwell in the valleys, the ongoing glory of the highlands continues, day after day.  My heart longs for heaven as I've felt like an "alien and stranger on the earth." (1 Pet. 2:11)  My true home beckons and things that used to matter, no longer tug so hard.   Like that alpine flower, I desire to bloom with all that is within me for only one audience--Jesus.  I love His whisperings through the Word which have been so very precious and personal that I cannot share them all here.

My heart is so full I don't know how to express it.  God has encouraged me and revived my purpose.  I was confused about why I was still here, but now I know.  It's become very clear to me.  I don't care what others expect of me, at least for the moment.  I simply desire to follow my calling.  You see, I had lost sight of how unique and intentional God has made me.  What a difference it makes on my outlook and motivation.   And I hope you also know that God has made you on purpose and for a reason.

"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God, speak tenderly to Jerusalem.  Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned."  (Isa. 40:1-2)   My sin, it's taken care of . . . paid for.  I don't need to shrink back in fear, but rather can draw so very near.   I was resisting grace, refusing to believe it was really there for me.  But in the last two weeks, God has wowed me with His tender touch through His Word and the lives of His people. 

You may not have realized it, but in your own quiet ways, so many of you have encouraged me.  Let me tell you how.

An unexpected wedding invitation, thank you.  I feel so honored to have received it.
      Searching me out at a bridal shower and sitting next to me, thank you.  I felt wanted.
           Positive comments regarding my husband's sermon, thank you.

The messages that have spoken so clearly to my heart through God's servants, my pastors.  I don't think I will ever forget the woman of Luke 13:10-13 bent over with burden nor the comfort of Isaiah 40.   Thank you.

The choosing of a song for Easter and entrusting me to share it with others, thank you.
       It lifts my spirit every time I practice.  Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!
A visit by one of the most influential men in my life--my Dad.  Wow, what a treasure God has given me.  The spiritual discussions of the last few days have challenged me and given so much perspective on my life in Christ.  Thank you.

Emails from a precious woman, telling it to me straight, what I need to hear.  Thank you.
     A game of Clue and the broad smile and laughter of my son.  Thank you.
          The testimony of a 3rd grade boy, though few words, it held great impact.  Thank you.  
              The initiative of a daughter to practice without being asked.  Thank you.
                   The provision of a trumpet at just the right time.  Thank you.
                        A long awaited visit come to fruition.  Thank you.
                            Those who've taken interest in my life, asking sincerely how I am.  Thank you.
                               The friendship and pursuit of a daughter far away.  Thank you.
                                   Some fun competition in volleyball, like I haven't known for years.  Thank you.
                                      A friend so willing and able to edit at a moment's notice.  Thank you.  

A forgotten note from a daughter, written weeks ago, but which fell out of my Bible and gave me a second blessing, "Dear Mom, please do not get discouraged, even though.....and even if.....I think God would be pleased that you tried."  And then she wrote the whole thing backwards so I could read it in the mirror.  Thank you.

The TCAP testing which gave time to write another chapter in one week.  The words flowed and I knew it was God's Spirit alive and well within me.  Thank you.
A woman with a servant's heart.  You care so much about what concerns me that you sacrifice yourself for my passion.  Thank you.

Another woman willing to pray with me on a regular basis.  I love getting to know you.  Thank you. 

And finally, a husband with endless understanding and support, who sacrificed precious garage time to build a project of my own.  Thank you.

Through all of you, (and there are more that I didn't mention), I've become convinced that I'm not alone.   I need you, yes, but perhaps I have something to contribute to your life as well.

I know why that flower blooms.  It is to give God the praise due His name.  I suppose that those little seeds lying dormant in the ground cannot wait to burst out and twirl in the wind, singing their heart out to the Lord.  And I think God looks at them and smiles.

It's a great big world, but if a sparrow catches His eye, then surely these intricate flowers which He Himself clothes, do not go unnoticed.  But "the grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the LORD.  And so it is with people."  (Isa. 40:7)  Our lives are only a vapor, here today but gone tomorrow.  Yet they matter.  I had begun to think that God didn't care, that I was forgotten by Him, and lost in obscurity.   These lies crept into my thoughts because of the death of a dream.  How could God "lead me out of Egypt only to die in the wilderness?"  (Num. 21:5)  I felt more like a dandelion, an utter failure at life, a weed in the lives of others. 

Yet, even from the mud caked stream, a dandelion can shout its praise to its Creator, and He deems it beautiful.  But the dream, what of the dream?  Was I mistaken?  The hope which began during its conception began to wear away with doubts.  Years of pursuit had brought me to this place in the wilderness.  The obstacles seemed impassable . . . pounding . . . pressing down on me.

Dreams can seem so near our reach, yet be so far away.  At the same time, they tease, laugh, and lure us on like a playful stream.  Though cold and dangerous, they invite, continuing to tug on our hearts, calling us to the heights.  I want to jump in and conquer on my time table.  And like God's people in the desert, I complained because I "grew impatient with the long journey."  (Num. 21:4)

Yet, the dream is not dead.  It just might not look the same as I had envisioned.  God has spoken clearly through His Word to show me that where dreams are lost in shadows and failure says I can't go on, God makes a way.  There is a path across, for "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, says the LORD.  And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."  (Isa. 55:8)  They are so much better.  I need only take the next step and believe.  That is all. 

Though I cannot see it now for the undergrowth, there is victory on the other side of this trial.  But more than the triumph, I seek the presence of God.  This is why I long for heaven.  Yet, because I am still here, I know God has purpose for me yet to fulfill.  And that gives me great comfort.  And so I cry with Isaiah, "how can I say that the Lord does not see my troubles or that He has ignored my plight?"  For if "God sits above the circle of the earth and spreads out the heavens like a curtain", will He not "feed His flock like a shepherd and carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart?"  (Isa. 40:27, 22, 11)

"The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary,
No one can measure the depths of His understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless...

...those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles..."

(Isa. 40:28-31)

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