When I wonder why we’re still just sitting in this sailboat, I am prone to cry out to the Lord for His presence in a visible pillar of cloud. I long for proof & landmarks that we’re not lost or forgotten.
This morning as STFM & I walked down to our friends’ boathouse just before sunrise, Father cried out to me. He was making His presence known over the lake. Do you see it? The pillar of cloud hovering just above the water.
All was still. The sun just peeking over the horizon cast shades of pink behind the trees. He caught my attention. And my heart sang with rejoicing, "He's here!"
Better yet, I got to experience His presence, His majesty & creativity with STFM. We experienced our Father's presence together. He reassures. Our Father knows the time when He will call to The Wind to set us sailing out of the harbor. Even as we wait, He is present.
Today as we arrived home waiting for me was a brand new sewing machine. I'm overwhelmed. Two dear friends have made an investment in me & the vision the Lord is breathing to life. As I sat down this afternoon to create my first sewing project on my own machine, I began to reflect on the events of the last six months.
A friend accepted me as her re-upholstery apprentice. She began by teaching me how to pull staples & sew piping. She’s a gifted teacher, who makes an investment in her students. She reassures, "If you mess up, you can rip out the seams and start over. No worries!”
Subsequently, my dad & I have been learning the art of caning chairs. We're about to complete a pair. These three-quarters of a century chairs could surely tell some stories, couldn't they? They could also be languishing at the trash dump. Instead they've found new life by the work of our hands.
Many people have made investments of prayers, time, encouragement, tools, teaching, listening, & financial support. As I reflect back today, all of these have been tangible signposts. He’s here!
This last week of this Waiting for The Wind series I'm visiting with five people who simply took God at His Word. They lived by faith & not by sight. For all five faced opposition from people, even loved ones, as well as seemingly impossible circumstances. But God!
Caleb is one of my favorites in God's story. He was born a slave in Egypt & witnessed God's miraculous deliverance by His servant Moses. His life was spared in the Passover. He crossed the Red Sea on dry land. Surely Caleb had listened wide-eyed & expectant as Moses recounted God's description of the Promised Land.
The Lord spoke from the burning bush, "So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey..." Ex 3:8 NIV
Caleb was one of twelve men selected by Moses to spy out the good land. Warriors charged with scouting, retrieving samples & reporting back.
The scouts returned after 40 days bearing gigantic fruit samples, just as Moses requested. Their words echoed the promise of God.
"We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with mild and honey!" Numbers 13:27 NIV
The Israelites were on the verge of claiming the territory promised by God to Abraham & his descendants.
No, in their next breath ten of the spies spoke fear & doubt over their ability to take the land. The giants they saw with their eyes overpowered their faith to believe God. Fear ignited the crowd.
Yet, Caleb (& Joshua) tore their robes in mourning. Even as the assembly of his own people threatened to stone him to death, Caleb stood firm & proclaimed faith in God.
Caleb waited well on the LORD. I believe, as Caleb waited in the wilderness, God’s Spirit Wind tickled his face as a reminder of His presence & promise.
In God’s time, The Wind set Caleb sailing.
Caleb’s example inspires me to wait well. I know The Wind will come for me.
Are you waiting in faith?
Maybe it’s because God often speaks prophetically to me in dreams that I feel a kindred spirit with Joseph. Perhaps it's that I’ve learned clumsily by on the job training, as Joseph did, how to steward God's gift of prophetic wisdom.
As a child I had many dreams, the events of which eventually came to pass. These ‘dream to reality’ experiences were amazing & exciting to me. I felt like God was speaking to me, which made me feel special.
I tried once to tell my family about my dreams. They laughed & told me I had a sixth sense. Without a Godly mentor to disciple me toward Jesus, I felt like something was wrong with me. I stopped talking about my dreams.
Finally, as a young mom I had a couple of trusted heart friends who asked great questions. Over time they opened a door & invited me to trust them with my story. I found myself telling about the time God healed me by way of a dream.
Their faces were radiant with delight. They opened scriptures & told me God had given me a prophetic gift. As they encouraged, the lie that I was weird was destroyed. Through a period of time these precious women were eager to stand by as I learned to crawl then walk in my gift for the Glory of God.
I understand Joseph’s awkward excitement over his dreams & recognize his immaturity in sharing the amazing details with his family. Yet, none of this excuses his brothers’ murderous jealousy, which led to a plot to destroy his life. Unfortunately, sibling rivalry still rears its ugly head amongst God’s kids.
God groomed Joseph for His purposes. In the process Joseph grew up & forgave. Enduring the wait, the promises of God, once only dreamt, were fulfilled through Joseph for the glory of God.
Father, I’m grateful You speak to me in dreams. I delight in the ways You teach me to steward these dreams in a way that will bring glory and honor to Your Name. Grow me up & teach my heart to forgive. I love you too. Goodnight.
Precious Hannah, who cried out to the Lord out of the depths of her tormented heart, and was accused of being drunk by the Priest. As if it wasn't enough to be mocked and ridiculed by her husband's other wife who had provided a quiver full, the man of God played the role of accuser, doing the enemy's work. 1 Samuel 1
Why does this happen? What should be the safest place on earth (God's family) is so often the most dangerous. How can it be? Why do we presume upon the circumstances of another human being?
Yesterday, a knitted-heart friend, me & Jesus took a lengthy walk/talk. The air was cool & the sun warm. I needed fresh air & her fresh reminders of truth for my soul. We talked about Hannah along the way, and remembered a time we studied her story through Community Bible Study.
Full of hope & faith because of Hannah's story, several of us prayed in agreement for a younger sister's womb to be filled with a child of her own. Those of us praying were all mothers. Our hearts were moved with compassion for this precious daughter to know the JOY of motherhood.
Father heard our prayers & our dear sister became pregnant. We were thrilled for her, and possibly even more so because we got to participate in the miracle of God. This adventure with Father & friends is one of my many lifetime highlights.
Precious Hannah, she persevered in faith. Hannah didn't run away from God in the depth of her agony. She ran directly to His Throne Room and collapsed at His feet. The depth of her despair so great that no sound would come forth from her mouth though her lips enunciated her heart cry. God heard it all & was moved.
I can only change me, so Lord let it begin with me. Open my eyes to see those who are in pain & move my heart to compassion. To wait with them expectant for The Wind of Your presence to come. Let me be the first to encourage, pray & hope for one of Your children. For Your Glory Father.
I wonder what thoughts & emotions are prominent in your mind & heart when you hear the name, Esther. Do you think of the celebration of Purim? Are you first saddened by the idea she was taken against her will from her home to become a part of the king's harem? Do you think of her key role in saving the Jewish people from slaughter? How do these words - for such a time as this - make you feel?
Esther was chosen for just such a time, but it was her choice to surrender her life. The Lord allowed her to be strategically positioned in the king's palace, but let's be realistic about her situation. Esther & many other young women were taken by force from their homes. At the will of King Xerxes young women were suddenly in his service for his pleasure.
It was not a Disney fairytale story.
Despite the difficulties of captivity, Esther found favor with the king and was chosen to become his queen.
When I ponder the life of Esther, I think of her in excellent company with Joseph, Daniel & Moses. Like these prominent men in scripture, Esther participated in God's great plan to rescue His people. Many Jews & Gentiles alike remember these with honor and gratitude for their faith & obedience to the Lord.
However, it's easy to forget (or maybe we don't even have the capacity to comprehend) the sacrifice they made with their lives. All gave up their own choices & plans for their future - some of them had their freedom & innocence stolen.
2 Corinthians 10:4 was highlighted to me in several ways today.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds."
Esther waged spiritual warfare by asking her fellow Jews to fast from food & drink for three days & nights as she prepared to approach the king unbidden - an action punishable by death. The people cried out to the Lord, Esther as well. Yet I believe Esther's most powerful weapon raised against the schemes of the enemy was her faithful obedience to the Lord.
She said, "Yes, Lord." And The Wind of God's Spirit met her with the victory.
What response does Esther's obedience elicit in you?
What does 2 Corinthians 10:4 mean for your life?
How could the power of this truth in scripture impact your current situation?
Mary’s story… soon.
Thank you for joining me on the #write31days2018 journey through which I am writing Waiting for The Wind. Wind is necessary for sailing, as you probably know. So, in a spiritual sense, as I sit in what feels like a forever waiting period, I long for The Wind of Holy Spirit to fill our sails to move us forward.
I appreciate your participation as we’ve now spent four weeks pondering the lives of David, Abraham, Job & Moses in the waiting.
This final week of the series has so encouraged my heart and fanned the small flames of my faith. You see, I’m not writing this for you only. I’m writing it for me.
When I’m writing I’m reading and asking the Lord my many, many questions. These 31+ days have challenged me to ponder deep and remember the Lord’s faithfulness in the past. He’s been faithful to me for sure, and sometimes His loving devotion to me is realized by remembering the people of His Word.
Thank you again for joining me on this journey. May the Lord encourage your heart and bless you through and through. May you see Him in your life at every turn and may you rejoice greatly in His goodness!
Eyes on Jesus and SHINE, friends!