A blending of my life; family, my walk with Christ, and the journey of my life since my husband went home to be with the Lord. I pray that those who read my writing are strengthened and encouraged by it.
It was started during his cancer battle and now continues forward to my life without him.
As I went out to my garden this morning, to gather some tomatoes, I was reminded of this basic principle of the Christian walk.
It's easy to look at our life from a microscopic view of what is going on at the moment... I have struggled in this at times over the last couple years... but at the same time I try to remember, what is going on 'right now,' is simply that- right now. There is a much bigger picture out there.
Taken around Aug 10th
When I looked at my tomato plants in August, I wasn't sure how they would do, I had finally figured out how to keep them watered in the heat we were having. That was a huge improvement and they were growing. I thought they were almost as big as they would get, I mean, it was mid-August and they had taken so long to get to this point. But I was fine with it, there was a tomato- almost ripe, some small ones growing and quite a few blossoms. I was pleased with what I thought would be a nice amount of tomatoes,
I had no idea that just a few weeks later these same plants would be so big that they would be causing the cages to fall over. (next year they will have better support!) I had no clue the true abundance of fruit (or veggies) that I would be getting from these plants.
But oh my goodness!! How they have grown. The poor little plants that I worked so hard to get to live through July, had spent August growing and now in September are putting out an amazing amount of tomatoes!! I had harvested a few a day before picking that bowl full this week, and then I gave some to my daughter in law, and there are still going to be a bunch more to pick before the season ends.
It was while I was picking those tomatoes that I began to think about life, my life in particular. Last year I felt like those struggling tomato plants that were in my garden, I was surviving, but a lot of the time I didn't feel like I was growing and I really haven't felt like I was thriving. But I know that the Lord is watching over me, I trust that He is with me and is guiding me,
I am beginning to feel more like the early to mid-August plants now, I do see growth, I even see some fruit, though I may have to lift some leaves to find it hidden within. I even feel I have a few blossoms... and that is important, the blossoms are reflective of the life and fruit to come! So I will continue to press forward, having faith in Him that eventually I will look and feel more like the abundant plants of late Sept.
When we see a blank or partly done canvas in front of an artist, we don't know what that picture will look like when it is completed, only the artist understands the full picture that he is designing. In this case, the artist is the Lord and He has a masterpiece designed for each of our lives, we can only see the canvas that is near us, He already knows what the final work will look like. I look forward to seeing the masterpiece that He is painting just for me.
More appropriately this phrase might be stated, "I will or will I?"
In the past 15, almost 16 months (how can it be that long?!) I have done pretty well about keeping my focus on Jesus in all the aspects of my life... Yes, I have had my moments, but for the most part I have been able to keep my eye on Him as my supplier in all things. The last couple weeks however, I have been struggling.
I have been stressing a few things, and they had begun to consume way to much time and energy. In chapter 6 of Matthew we are told 5 times not to worry -- 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
One of Glenn's favorite verses to remind me of when I would stress was that last verse- #34... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. -- well, "I've been worrying about tomorrow," and that is what brings me to my statement: I Will or I Will?
This morning I was driving to work and stressing out and I began to ponder one of my favorite scriptures; Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
As I was speaking the part "in whom I will trust," I felt the nudging of the Lord letting me know that I was not putting my trust in Him lately... putting my trust in Him- that needs to be a decision, and in my stressing, I had allowed it to become a question... I was, by my actions, saying "in whom will I trust?"
Bam! I was shocked when I realized it. The question mark had crept into my life when I wasn't pay attention, or more accurately when I quit my decision to, not worry, and trust in Him.
It's easier to do than we realize, issues arise, situations, expenses... you name it. Stuff happens and we begin to focus on the 'stuff' rather than the solution- God. God is aware, He knows our needs before we do... He knows my needs before I do- He knows what was going on, what is going on, and what is coming. What I have to remind myself, and apparently more often than I was, is that He is watching over me. He WILL take care of me. He has kept my bills paid so far, so I need to chill out from my stress, and trust that He will meet all my needs to come. My job, is to not worry about tomorrow- I can almost hear Glenn saying it to me.
I am so thankful that the Lord also understands my shortcomings, and that He gave me that nudge this morning, and will the next time I need one. For now I will again say.
-- THE LORD OF MY STRENGTH, IN HIMI WILLTRUST!! God is so good!
2 Sam 22:9 “For You are my lamp, O LORD;
The LORD shall enlighten my darkness."
Saw the news today, and it's all over my Facebook wall, Robin Williams is dead, and apparently by his own hand. Here is a man that, from the outside, had it all. He was talented, funny, successful, married to a beautiful woman and wealthy... and unfortunately consumed by depression. It is sad that he felt that his only way of escape was by his own hand. My heart breaks for him and others like him that have no hope.
I understand depression, I have battled it in the past and it tried to rear it's ugly head this last year. Depression is no respecter of persons. It doesn't care if you are a man or a woman, rich or poor, old or young. When it hits hard it can consume a person, it removes all the color from your life, removing the vibrancy from your life. Yes it is real, where it comes from... well there are the things that trigger it, drugs, situations, chemical imbalances, but in my opinion, it, like all other sickness is straight from the pit of hell. The medical community has drugs that they use to treat it, but have you seen the possible side effects?!? Including depression and thoughts of suicide. Does that seem counter productive to anyone else?
The first time I was hit with it, I had thoughts of suicide, but the Lord knew exactly what thoughts to give me to bring me back to rational thought. The next time, I didn't see it coming and it came in a much different form, first I just pulled back from things, I began to function enough to get through each day, but I did a lot of staring at walls and mindless things. That time I ended up in a doctors office, she told me that I had "situational depression," it manifested in the form of my back seizing up. She put me on low dose Prozac, I took it for a month, but about two weeks in as the 'fog' in my head began to clear I realized what I really needed was to get into my Bible. I never refilled that prescription, because the words on the pages of my Bible spoke to me, they got me refocused on God's love, the hope I had in Him; The hope, that I needed only to access.
Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
The battle with depression, has never since then hit that low valley, because I have learned to recognize it, and battle it in prayer and with the word. There is a hope that can overcome the darkest of times, the hope that comes from the Lord. No matter how lonely a person is, no matter how isolated they allow themselves to become; either mentally or physically, God is there, and they need to remember that.
Romans 8:39 tells us that "nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." This knowledge helps to keep me trusting God and gives me hope for the future.
Hope is a precious commodity, it is one that all the money in the world can't buy, it is one that is readily available to all who want it. This abundant hope that I speak of, comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. It comes from releasing our burdens and sins to Him and allowing Him to become Lord of our life. This relationship brings with it freedom. Does it mean that our lives will never have problems? No, but it means that He will be with us, to strengthen us and to carry us when we are feeling overwhelmed.
I am thankful for the day that I asked Jesus into my life, and I'm even more thankful for when I finally realized what it meant to make Him my Lord and not just my Savior. Through all the ups and downs of my life, God's constant presence carries me and brings me peace in the storms. He is my Rock and my Anchor, now and always.