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Archive for the ‘comfort’ Category

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My daughter Sarah, gave me a beautiful pen for Christmas called a poetry pen.  I love the feel of the pen in my hand and the style suits me perfectly.  The style is vintage and it made me think of lovely ladies from another time sitting in their drawing room clothed in brocade trimmed gowns, writing poetry to be illuminated in books for keepsakes.

On my bookshelf I found two treasures this morning.  A Treasury of The World’s Best Loved Poems and The Book of Psalms.  I love poetry and certainly the sonnets of love are music to our ears when a wonderful romantic love is alive.  Yet, during my lifetime I have learned that romance wanes and sometimes romantic love disappoints.  The Psalms however, are written to remind us that not only does God love us, but He is there always in the middle of adversity.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  His promises found in the scriptures of the Word of God reminds us how faithful He is to us, how He surrounds us with His angels, and He is always there to restore us.

Psalm 46 1-5

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore I will not we fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved.  God shall help her and that right early.”

My favorite Psalm which has helped me through so many difficulties is Psalm 91 and I prefer The King James translation because of it’s poetic words:

Psalm 91:1-6

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust.  Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from the noisome pestilence.  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust, his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night nor for the arrow that flieth by day, nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness nor the destruction that wasteth at noonday.” 

That Psalm is my shield and I rely on those words whenever I need comfort and protection. 

My favorite verse from Psalm 91 is verse eleven:

“For he shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all they ways.”

In the book The Timeless Treasure, a commentary on the Song of Solomon Luann Dunnuck leads us through the Song of Solomon and how God has written this beautiful poetry to us.  She says “When I begin to feel discouraged and frustrated, I open my Bible to the Song of Solomon for encouragement.”  Her commentary is fabulous and leads you through each verse and interprets for us the meaning behind the symbols.

“When I found the one I love, I held him and would not let him go” Chapter 3 verse 4

When we finally understand how much God loves us, it is easy to read how He will not let us go.  In verse 9  it is written “The Beloved you have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace.”  When I read the book of Ruth for my Bible study I could see how the love Ruth finds is so much like our Lord and Savior.  Ruth found a wealthy man who became her provider, someone who cherished her and gave her his promise of forever love.  Our Lord has given us His promise to love us forever, and God has a storehouse of blessings that He wants to shower us with.  I love that we are His Beloved, you are His Beloved and there is no greater love than the love of God.

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” Chapter 6 verse 3

I love this verse because it reminds me that I am God’s beloved, and so are you.  When I finally understood this, I stopped relying on the approval of people because I have God’s approval and that is the most valuable love you kind find.  In Isaiah 55 there is an invitation to come sit with God and read His poetry found in His Word and to come to know that He is Lord and He longs to spend time with us and to give us His rich blessings. The milk is His Word and the honey is His sweet promise to us. We can come to God without earning His reward, but come as we are to His throne and sit with Him a while, as He pours out HIs blessings through His Word.

 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

In Isaiah 55 He promises us that when we speak His Word and we listen to God speak to us, it will accomplish great things:

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth:It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desireand achieve the purpose for which I sent it .

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hillswill burst into song before you,and all the trees of the fieldwill clap their hands.”

The poetry of scripture is a beautiful Word from God written to let us know how much He loves us.  No matter what the translation of the Bible you read, the poetry of God’s Word, will comfort you and renew your spirit when trials leave you weary.  The poetry of scripture will uplift your heart better than any love sonnet can.  To read God’s promises as He asks us to be still and listen to  His Word, will renew your spirit so that you may receive the blessings God has for you.  The poetry of scripture teaches us, His purpose for our lives and it fills us with hope and with His love.  David sang praises to God, he knew the love that God has for anyone who listens and hears the Word of God will be blessed.

“Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.”

Isaiah 55:3

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I recently finished reading the book The Gift of The Red Bird by Paula D’Arcy.  It was published in 2000, and probably has been on my bookshelf unread for that long.  The book is a small volume, but spiritually rich in enlightenment and contains her personal journey through grief and her quest to know God on a more personal level.  At a very young age, newly married, with a small child and expecting another child, suddenly her husband and daughter were killed in an automobile accident.  I can’t even imagine the grief, no less without a strong faith to carry her through.  She followed the road back from grief, by seeking her quest to know God.
 

Today, she is the author of many books, she is the founder of The Red Bird Foundation  and is a public speaker and helper to many about grief.  Since experiencing her loss, she counseled people,  wrote numerous books on grief and spiritual awakening, and leads retreats and workshops throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

As I read her story and saw the familiar spiritual stops along the way, I couldn’t help but notice how God had allowed her to bear such a burden of grief at such a young age.  Her anger, bitterness and questioning was short-lived and was replaced by her spiritual quest.  As God held her hand through the powerful emotional turmoil of grief, and introduced her to the power of faith, she not only healed, but her healing was shared by many as she continues to teach.

How many stories in life can we see of how God has taken brokenness and healed the outcome for a divine purpose.  Perhaps viewing another’s life makes it easier than to accept our own adversity.  To witness how God has taken our own brokenness and allowed this adversity to share so that we might comfort others.  All He asks is that we seek Him.  In my own search for answers,  I have read many books about being alone with God and the wisdom that we can find in solitude.  Adversity with only regret cripples our heart, but to be open to God it can lead us to not only healing but to our purpose.

It seems that God continues to write the Bible through people like Paula D’Arcy.  Stories of people through a journey with God, who have been able to accept their adversity and as they search for the answers are willing to share their stories.  I think that when we examine the path and instead of asking why, we can pray that God turn our circumstances into a blessing. 

I wept this morning as I saw the body of work that Paula D’Arcy has created to help so many people walk through grief.  I wept because I could see the hand of God on her life, allowing her to experience such a profound loss, because He trusted her.  Only someone who had reached the depths of despair by such a loss, becoming intimate with that pain, could have become such an effective teacher on the subject of grief.  He knew that where others given the same set of circumstances, might have become bitter, and lost their way, she became open to know Him better.  Through that obedience God was able to use her life and her brokenness to teach her His ways of wisdom, and along her journey pointed out ways in which she could impart those truths to us.  I believe that God anointed her purpose to touch the hearts of many.

“God never uses anyone to a great degree until He breaks the person completely. Joseph experienced more sorrow than the other sons of Jacob, and it led him into a ministry of food for all the nations.  For this reason, the Holy Spirit said of him, “Joseph is a fruitful vine…near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall”  Gen. 49:22.  It takes sorrow to expand and deepen the soul.  from The Heavenly Life.

The story of The Gift of the Red Bird, A Spiritual Encounter, describes how “Paula journeyed alone into the wilderness for three days, allowing the Creator to speak through that creation.  As she surrendered to the power of God alone, a red bird appeared and without words began to teach.”  She found her inner voice and began to see with her heart.  I don’t remember who gave me this little book The Gift of The Red Bird, or if I purchased this treasure myself.  It has been on my bookshelf for a very long time.  I don’t believe in coincidence and all I can say is the timing was a perfect gift.  As I sat reading this treasure, tucked safely away inside the book was a beautiful bookmark with a red cardinal on it.  

“It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile…things such as love and duty, work and rest and living close to nature.”

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I read in Streams In The Desert the writing for January 20th; “Every person and every nation must endure lessons in God’s school of adversity.  In the same way we say, “Blessed is the night, for it reveals the stars to us,” we can say, “Blessed is sorrow, for it reveals God’s comfort.”  A flood once washed away a poor man’s home and mill, taking with it everything he owned in the world.  He stood at the scene of his great loss, brokenhearted and discouraged.  Yet after the waters had subsided, he saw something shining in the riverbanks that the flood had washed bare. “It looks like gold,” he said.  And it was gold.  The storm that had impoverished him made him rich.  So it is oftentimes in life.”  Henry Clay Trumbull

We all have to walk through the journey of grief at some point in our lives. The Gift of the Red Bird reminds me that walking with God and holding His hand in faith I can trust that he will take all things in my life to work toward His purpose.  By keeping our hearts open, bravely accepting our circumstances and surrendering our pain, God can take our brokenness and in comforting us in the middle of a storm, feed the hearts of many.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28


 

 

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