Sunday, February 2, 2014

An Unlikely Soldier

From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise
because of Your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalm 8:2 ESV
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible! What a precious promise! What an amazing description of what goes on even when we are unaware! God often uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise...
This season of my life has been one of the most difficult I've ever endured. Some days I tell my God that I have great big problems. Others I am able to tell my problems I have a great, big God! As I found a seat in church, my problems seemed huge, my heart was heavy and it was all I could do to slide into one of the back pews hoping not to draw attention to myself. I needed to find a place where no eyes were on me and I could be alone with my God. I was feeling alone and unloved - even unlovable and that's all I could see.
As the worship team started to sing, there was a little boy behind me - with not so little a voice. He was singing every word out loud and strong. It was beautiful! When we sang the second song, a newer song, his voice never faltered and he knew all of the words. I thought about how much it blessed me to hear him voice his praise. I considered how it must bless the Lord and felt the need to tell this little boy so. I paused to check in with the Lord and see if I could presume to speak for Him. Confident that I had His blessing, I turned and told this little one how pleased Jesus was with his praises.
When I sat down, the words of Psalm 8:2 rang through my head. God had ordained praise from this young worshipper. The Lord had invested holy orders in Connor that morning. Why? Because He knew where I'd sit and He knew that I had lost the power to fight. Enemies of doubt, fear and self-pity weren't just my enemies. Psalm 8:2 says that my enemies are His and He was enlisting a tiny, but mighty, soldier to join Him in battle for me!
All of the sudden, the battle was over. The foe and the avenger were silenced. Silenced. Not just quieted. I wept. God loved me. He confirmed that love for me by reaching down from on high and taking hold of me. What a loving rescue by an Almighty God!
I visited for a moment with the mother of the boy. She shared how they had been teaching their son that morning how God wants us all to pay attention in church and bring our songs of praise before Him. Connor had taken this teaching to heart and Jesus wanted him to know that He noticed and was well-pleased.
Our God loves us and He cares. He cares about our troubles. He cares about our teaching. He cares about our little ones and He even cares about where we sit in church! He is all about our details - big and small.
The LORD is a warrior; Yahweh is His name.
Exodus 15:3 HCSB
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
Psalm 18:16-17 NIV
... and that morning, He used the tiny heart and the great big voice of an unlikely soldier! Thank You, LORD!
To read about the first time that the LORD enlisted a tiny warrior for me, see

Friday, August 10, 2012

With God EVERYTHING is Possible!

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Mark 9:23 NIV

Our family has learned so many lessons about the awesome love of God since we moved to this old farm.  The LORD has literally filled it's acres with blessings for us - each deserving to be a praiseworthy tale in its' own right but this miracle is one of the most precious to me.  The world said it was impossible.  I almost believed them.  But they were wrong!

When we moved to the farm, just over a year ago, our pasture was home to three beautiful, strong, forgotten, wild horses.  The man that owned them had become desperately ill several years earlier and was unable to care for them.  Though he loved them, he was unable to visit them and apart from the occasional treats from the man's father, for at least five years, they were largely left to roam without human interaction. 

Both my daughter and I have always had a great love for horses.  Though we had never had any, and in fact had very limited contact with horses, we both had an incredible desire - longing really - to have horses of our own.  We want to ride. 

As seems to be the LORD's practice with everything about this farm, He is providing the most precious gifts from seemingly out of nowhere.  When we purchased this farm, we purposed to be and stay debt free.  There was no money to purchase horses but the LORD has repeatedly honored our simple steps of obedience... the sink I dreamed of for less than half price... more kitchen cupboards than I ever could have dreamed of for - even the exact color and finish - found in a truckload sale!  God has blessed us mightily!  It just so happens that He has been preparing the way for Taylor and I to have these horses for nearly ten years.  Ten years ago, I met a wonderful woman who quickly became a dear friend.  Though we had no thoughts of moving to a farm back then and having horses were just a pipe dream, her brother's horses were soon to go on the land that God was preparing for us.  God is always at work and is the Orchestrator of big and small!

So, this year, the three horses named Angel, Sunshine and Sarah, were signed over to us.  They are ours!  They have never been broke to ride.  Angel is approximately 14 years old as I write this.  Her two daughters, Sunshine and Sarah, are approximately 7 and 8.  All of them have had halters placed on them in the past but that was years ago.  When we started to woo them, they were hesitant to let you close enough to even give them a treat, but we instantly loved them! 

Taylor had asked me, "Mom, do you think we will ever be able to ride them?"  I hoped so but I thought not.  We knew nothing about breaking horses and these horses were so far from breaking.  We looked into having them broke but the costs were great and no one thought it would be successful anyways.  You just don't break old, wild horses.  So, Taylor and I began to pray.  As we got close enough to feed the horses, we would pray, "LORD, could we ride them?"  Every time we would stroke them, we would pray, "LORD, please could we ride them?"  Finally, we contacted a man who said he would come and take a look at them.  He couldn't make it out for at least three weeks so he told us to get them into a corral and start working with them to get halters on.  If we could get a lead rope on them so that they would be easier to handle when he made it out, that was the desired progress.

Well, it was hard work trying to wrangle them into one of the corrals.  No one told them what to do.  It took three of us to direct the three of them.  We dangled treats and ran to shut gates but managed to get them where we could visit them daily and where they were dependant on us for food.  It was hard work.  Just getting them into the corral had them so upset with us that that was the only accomplishment for day one.  We decided to focus our attention on Angel.  Though she was the oldest, she had at one time been leadable if you held a food bucket.  Day two, Angel was frantic at the sight of a rope.  The big success was for her to come close enough to sniff it and to brush her with the rope dangling from the brushing hand.  I'll spare you the little details but it was a triumph to get a halter on her.  It took a strong hand on the rope around her neck and a fearless man to hold on to her long enough to get the halter fastened.  Each day she became a little less reluctant to have the halter on and she let us lead her for growing loops around the corral.  We were excited!

On the tenth day of being in the corral, Taylor and I went out early to visit Angel.  We came with her halter, the lead rope and treats.  As I went about something in the far side of the corral, I turned to see Angel standing perfectly still as Taylor reached up and fastened the halter in place.  I was pretty blown away!  That was progress!  Taylor proceeded to lead Angel around the corral and Angel seemed perfectly willing to follow.  Taylor had just given her some treats when she asked me if she could just try putting a little weight on Angel's back.  Now, Taylor had draped her arms over Angel's back while being brushed but never had she put any real body weight on her.  I was hesitant but we took her over to the fence and I told Taylor that I would try and keep hold of Angel but that she would have to keep a good foothold and armhold on the fence for when Angel darted out from underneath her.  The horse stood still!

"Mom, could I try putting all of my weight on her?"  My mind raced.  What were we doing?  I examined the ground for rocks - certain that Taylor would fall to the ground but she was determined and Angel was motionless.  Though I don't remember silently praying, I'm sure that I did.  This sort of thing caused a mother's fear to rise.  "Go carefully."  I said.  Slowly, quietly, Taylor draped herself over Angel's back.  Angel didn't move even to look back and see what was happening.  Dumbfounded, I hear Taylor ask if she can swing a leg over.  I don't even remember answering.  I watched as Angel didn't flinch for Taylor as she straddled her and sat upright on her back!  What did we do now?

I started to lead Angel around the pasture with Taylor sitting tall on her bare back.  The tears were streaming down my face!  Even now, as I write this, tears flow freely.  Who is this God who cares about the longings of our heart?  We made it once around the pasture and Taylor cautiously dismounted.  I ran to the house to get Kent!  He thought we had had an accident when he saw me coming.  Running in tears, what else could it mean?  I told him that Taylor had ridden Angel!  He couldn't comprehend it.  How was that possible?  He ran back to the corral, camera in hand, to witness it for himself.  Several times that morning, Taylor sat atop Angel's back as I led them around the corral.  I even sat on her bare back for a ride or two.  It was like a new found calmness had come over our old horse.

I have to confess that I struggled to believe it all.  I even phoned my friend to just make sure that Angel had never had anyone on her back before.  No.  Angel had been halter broke and led around when she was about three years old.  Never had she held a rider.  God is awesome!

And the miracle goes on!  In the two weeks since Taylor first sat atop Angel, we have added reigns to her halter - sparing her a bit - and she is learning to follow the direction of the reigns and the pressure of a rider's knees.  Angel has become familiar with the scent of a blanket and saddle.  Even these were heavenly provision!  My dad, who has been in heaven for seven years - this weekend - had saved his tack for me.  I wonder if he knew that some day, the LORD would provide... Less than 48 hours ago, we cautiously placed the saddle on Angel's back.  She didn't flinch.  First try.  She patiently stood as we figured out how to fasten it.  It was like she was the veteran who had done this a million times before.  I am convinced she hears the silent voice of the LORD telling her to "Stand firm.  You are alright."

Where do we go from here?  Only God knows but I can tell you this, I know Angel will be ridden - free from lead ropes with rider in stirrups!  God answers prayer!  He heard the prayers of His girls and He answered.  His answers rarely come in the package that we would think.  God didn't use a horse man.  I found out that he was only planning on driving out to our farm to tell us what the others had indicated - that you can't teach an old horse new tricks and that she was beyond breaking.  God used an old horse and a family of "city slickers" - all of which have no clue what they are doing - and He worked a miracle!

Maybe I do know what comes next... Sunshine and Sarah!  We are praying with increased fervor as we take to wooing them!

May He give you the desire of your heart...
May the LORD grant all your requests.
Psalm 20:4a, 5b NIV

I know that the LORD's answers to our prayers are sometimes "no".  It is according to His Sovereignty that He chooses what gets a yes, no or wait awhile but I can assure that, in His time and according to His way, it is all for our good. (see Romans 8:28,

For more praiseworthy tales and lessons learned through "no", "wait awhile" or through wooing our horses see:

Friday, May 18, 2012

An Unlikely Promise

Your testimonies are wonderful...
The unfolding of Your words give light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:129-130

May 30th, 2011, I was "sitting with the Lord" and I found myself in Psalm 144.  When I got to verse 12, I wrote in the margins, "Father, I'm asking this..." 

May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce;

The verse continues...

may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields, may our cattle be heavy with you, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing...

By the time I got to verse 15, I sensed the Lord was saying "Amen.  Let it be done."

Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!  Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

I wondered what some of these verses looked like to someone who owns no sheep or cattle - symbolic, I thought at the time - but...

By the middle of June, we were brand new to the joys of cattle on our pasture land!  They didn't belong to us but they quickly stole my heart!  I would never have dreamed that I would love cows - but I do!  One tiny calf, "154Y" was barely visible from our yard.  She was extremely weak and near death.  I had absolutely no clue what to do but the maternal instinct in me kicked in and decided there was no way that she was going to die on "my watch".  For 3 days, my family and I helped provide shelter for her.  I bottle fed her and for a day or two even had to massage her throat to get her to swallow.  Her owner gave her all of the medicine that she possibly could but the prospect was grim. 

Our family and friends prayed and prayed.  I had completely forgotten the verses above.  They didn't register to me or come back to mind.  After three days, the owner was preparing herself to tell me that sometimes calves just die.  She didn't know how this rookie farmer would take the news but by the time she arrived at our yard, I was beaming!  Little 154Y had made it to her feet and had the strength to nurse from her mother!  We both knew it was a miracle!  That's when the Lord brought these verses back to mind!  He had given the promise in advance - even though I had had no context to put them in!

The story doesn't end there... 

May 16th, 2012... The cattle had started coming back to pasture at the farm.  I was delighted but I was really unwell at the time and on pain medication.  I had taken everything that I could for pain that night and it had pretty much knocked me out.  I crawled into bed early and my family all came to kiss me goodnight.  Kent peeked out the bedroom window and "happened" to see a tiny little calf - the first one of the year!  Despite being in my pajamas and in pain, I wanted to go and see it.  Out we went - pj's and all.  Being very unknowledgable about these things, we noticed a cow that had either just given birth or was about to.  I recognized that we were out there for a reason because the circumstances surrounding us being out there were highly unlikely.

All of the sudden, the horses began chasing this poor cow!  She'd lie down - to give birth - and they'd chase her to her feet.  The tiny calf was intrigued and kept going between the horses legs.  The calf's mother was distressed!  It was not a good situation!  We worked to get control of the now wild horses but for nearly 15 minutes, this cow tried to birth her calf and instead found herself running across the pasture.  Finally, we had the horses corralled into another area and we watched as the cow labored.  I found myself praying aloud for the safe arrival of the calf.  I worried about how long the labor had been delayed and how much stress the prolonged process had had on the tiny baby.  Out of nowhere, I found myself putting the Lord in remembrance (as we're instructed in Isaiah 62:6-7) of the words He had given me in Psalm 144.  Finally, we watched in awe, as a new little calf entered the world!  What a miracle!  We watched speechless as this mother and another cow worked as a team to lick the sac off of the baby.  How awesome to see how the Lord instructs nature!  Though it wasn't until the next day that we saw this tiny little girl with the white face and chocolate colored body get to her feet, she had made it and we were extatic to have played a small role in the drama!

I laid in bed that night and gave thanks to the Lord for prompting us to be out there so that we could handle the horses and for allowing us to witness the miracle of birth.  I continued to pray for her safety and drifted off to sleep. 

Despite the medication, I awoke - wide awake - at the first crack of dawn!  I poured myself a coffee and headed out to see how the baby had made the night.  There were just the two cows and their calves in the corral area.  They had stayed close to the barn.  I talked to them as I gave them a wide berth but tried to get a closer look at the new baby.  I knew the cows would be protective.  I had also learned that they liked to let their babies lay down and rest for a couple of days before they joined the herd.  When they started to bawl, I wondered why my somewhat distant watching was causing such a stir.  Then as the new baby was forced to her feet and nudged to a trot, I saw a coyote just a few metres from where the baby had been lying.  Not on my watch!  In pajamas, with one hand holding a coffee cup, I chased that coyote out of the corral!

Do you know what I learned in all of this?  I learned that the Lord is faithful to His Word.  When He gives a promise, no matter how unlikely it appears to us, He means it.  He knows what is to come.  He's also able to use the most unlikely, unskilled, unknowledgable cast of characters - just like us - to play a part in the fulfillment of His plans.  I don't know about you but that does something to me!  When I take a look at some of the other promises that He has made me, some that seem too great to hope for, He has used this praiseworthy tale to bolster my faith!  May He do the same for you!

"Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to Your Word"...
Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment
of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
Luke 1:38, 45

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Heed the Voice of the Lord

IF YOU will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do
all His commandments which I command you this day,
the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field.
Deuteronomy 28:1-3 (Amplified)

I am completely blown away by the absolutely awesome reality that the Lord our God speaks to us!  I mean really speaks.  Though I have never heard the audible sound of His Voice, over the past few years I have come to recognize the inaudible "sound" of His Voice in my mind and heart.  Sometimes we have conversations that I initiate but recently I've been learning how important it is that I always be alert to listen for Him to interrupt my thoughts.  As Deuteronomy 28:2 states above, blessings are at stake!

This praiseworthy tale happened October 6th, 2010.  Just trying to put words to paper here causes tears to flow down my cheeks.  Who is this God who would care so much as to speak to me?  Praise God, though completely undeserved and the 100% result of grace - He's mine!

Some of my friends and I have just started the practice of getting together at our church for what we call "community cooking".  We all have busy families and want to maximize our time spent enjoying them and minimize the time we spend in the kitchen.  So, we've started getting together at our church and compiling a months worth of meals per family all in one day.  It's hard work but the work is shared and the benefits are proving huge.  It's also prompted a desire in some of us to be able to share our provisions with others.  As such, we really try to get the best deals possible on the ingredients that we purchase.  This is precisely the mission that I had been on.

Our local grocery store makes the habit of discounting day old and aging items but in order to take advantage of this pricing, you need to be among the first to arrive as the store opens.  I had been making frequent trips early in the morning but had been having neglible success on the ingredients that we needed, so I resigned myself to the fact that we were just going to have to pay regular retail on our items.  Now when 5 of us are planning on making 23 meals each, that's a significant loss of savings, especially on meat.  With only 2 mornings left before our big cook, I didn't bother to go early to see what they had.

I woke and started into my regular routine, but God quickly put a curve in my plan.  My husband needed a ride to work.  After dropping him off, I heard Him whisper to me "go and check out the meat selection."  I'd love to say that my response was "of course" but it wasn't.  Instead I began to argue with Him. 

"Well, Lord, I've been checking it each morning and there's been NOTHING!" 

Again, the gentle whisper, "go and check out the meat selection." 

"But, Lord, the store has been open for more than 2 hours.  There's not a chance that there's anything left."

Praise the Lord that He is gracious and mercifully persistent with me!  I came to the conclusion that He could, perhaps have saved me some deals and turned my van in that direction.  Now the most expensive item on our list was the chicken.  As I took a cart from the stall, I told the Lord that I was taking a cart on faith because I was going to look mighty stupid walking in and out of the store with an empty cart.  Oh, me of little faith!  I walked straight to the meat section and wouldn't you know it, the chicken thighs all had 30% off stickers on them.  I needed 140 chicken thighs and - you guessed it - there were exactly 140 chicken thighs being clearanced!  Of course!  Praise the Lord!

I went over an aisle and could hardly believe my eyes... the skinless, boneless chicken breasts were not only on sale for $3.98/lb but they were also all stickered at 30% off!  I quickly calculated how many breasts we needed (because of course I didn't have my list as I hadn't had any intention of coming to the grocery store that morning).  I needed 40 breasts.  I gathered 40 breasts and there were still more packages left.  I made a quick call to another group that was doing a similiar cook the next week.  I was able to gather all that they needed and there was even one package to spare which I purchased for myself.

As I made my way to the cashier - cart full of chicken - I was amazed at the awesome provision of the Lord but He wasn't done!  While I was standing in line a man tapped me on my shoulder and offered for me to be cashed out at customer service. He walked me over there and asked what all of the chicken was for.  I told him of our cook day and our plans to expand these provisions for those in need or to help others in crisis.  He then introduced himself as the new manager of the store and if I would put that information onto church letterhead, he would give us a gift card for $200 to help us get started! 

Can you believe it?  I couldn't and yet oh, how I should have!  My God works the miraculous all of the time!

The cashier rang in my items.  I have no idea what we saved by having the chicken be on sale but we saved more than $80 with the 30% off stickers.  On top of that, the bill came to $256 which was just enough to qualify for a free $25 gift card towards our next purchase.  I walked out of the grocery store having received more than $305 in savings on a $256 purchase! 

Our God is an awesome God!  He interrupted my plans to speak to me.  He showed grace as I was reluctant to heed and argued with the King of kings.  He led me to the place where He had prepared a miracle for me.  He went so far above and beyond my wildest dreams.  He showed me favor by putting me within view of the manager of the store and turning his heart toward our cause.  We were willing to share our provisions with those in need as an offering and He saved that for another time by pouring His own funds into His service.

I sing with joy!  I dance with delight!  My awe defies words!  My God is good and His provision is limitless!  Praise the Lord!

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

Thursday, September 30, 2010

You CANNOT Out-Give God!

The Lord never ceases to amaze me!  Just when my awe starts to dwindle, He does something else that just leaves me speechless.  That's what happened this morning.

I was out walking, enjoying the beautiful fall colors and crisp air.  I don't know how you can stare at the beauty of creation without your heart turning to praise and thanksgiving and I have so much to be thankful for.  You see, about two weeks ago, a young man with a passion for taking the love of Jesus to the far reaches of South American jungles came to our church.  I was so struck by his love and dedication for these people that I felt that we just had to help support him financially.  We couldn't do what he is doing right now but we could partner with him.  The only "problem" was that there really wasn't "enough" money in the budget to support him as we'd like to without taking it away from other worthy causes.  Okay - I type that and right away I recognize that as a lie.  We live in a nice house with two vehicles (one is a clunker but nonetheless) and a freezer full of food.  We are wealthier than 80% of the world today.  We have more than "enough"!  Be that as it may, we gave a gift but didn't sign a pledge sheet because we didn't know how to do it on a regular basis.

God is SO unbelievably gracious and generous!  He will work with the tiniest little step of faith!  As I was walking, I was thanking the Lord for the raise that my husband got - right out of the blue (well, not to God) on Friday!  A raise!  In this economy when so many have had their wages rolled back, my husband gets a raise!  Talk about the favor of the Lord!  And an answer to prayer!  You see, I had asked the Lord to help me know how we could support this young man on his mission of love for Jesus.  The raise each month covers the amount that we had wanted to give and some extra.  How awesome is that!?

And this is not just a one time occurrence.  We could give you one for instance after another that we have personally experienced over the years!  Like last year, when our daughter desperately wanted to sponsor a child.  Once again, we of little faith, weren't sure how we could do it but we also weren't sure how we could not.  We decided to step out in faith.  The amount was $35 each month.  Our daughter would sacrifice $5 each month of her allowance and we would give $30.  Wouldn't you know it if my friend didn't share her yogurt recipe with me just after that.  Our family loves yogurt.  By making our own, we save - you guessed it - $30 per month on the grocery bill! 

I'm praying that this time, the awe and gratitude that wells up in my heart for the Lord will overflow in faith!  The next time God presents an opportunity that He wants us to partner with Him on, I want to have the faith to just say "yes" and to remember that our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He always provides. 

Just as a side note - a reminder to myself - in the area of giving a portion of all we have back to the Lord, we are actually invited to test Him and just see what He will do when we are obedient to what He has asked.  Malachi 3:10-11 say, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.  I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty."

And He does just that!  Praise God!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

He Commands His Angels Concerning Thee

God will command His angels to protect you wherever you go.

Psalm 91:11 (CEV)

When I was a teenager, I used to love a song by Amy Grant called “Angels Watching Over Me”. Some of the lyrics are, “God only knows the times my life was threatened just today. A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way. Near misses all around me – accidents unknown – though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home.” The melody was catchy and the beat was appealing. I knew the words by heart but I can’t say that really got the meaning. I was young and invincible. No doubt, there have been countless times that the Lord has preserved my life when I have been absolutely unaware but one night nearly 15 years after I last remember cranking the volume on this song, the Lord proved it miraculously true!

It wasn’t long after my Dad had passed away. Kent was away on business and Mom and I had decided to take the kids to a local hotel for the night. The hotel had a great pool and waterslide and all of us seemed to need the break. We had enjoyed splashing around in the pool and tucked the children into their beds, when I remembered something at home that I needed. It was late but Mom was there to watch over the sleeping darlings so I dashed home to retrieve the forgotten article.

We had had such a great evening that I was overwhelmed with songs of thanksgiving and praise for the Lord. It is an unspeakable joy when the Lord proves Himself present and comforting in grief. It was a short drive to my home and back. I was going through the last intersection before the entrance to the hotel parking lot and I was completely lost in the worship of our Almighty God when I heard the screeching of tires and life catapulted into slow motion.

A pick-up truck had slammed on its brakes and was “sliding” sideways just inches from my van. He had run the red light. Had I seen him or had any thought that he was there, I would have hit my own brakes from pure instinct. Rather than narrowly missing the rear of the driver’s side, I am confident that he would have struck me somewhere around my door. With the speed at which he was driving, there is little doubt that my mom would have lost a daughter that day and my children their mother.

The driver of the truck obviously shared my opinion as he managed his way to the curb and just sat there – shook – for what must have been five minutes. I somehow navigated into the hotel parking lot just across the street from the truck and sat in stunned silence. I had never come so close to disaster. I was in awe of the fact that had I not been lost in worship, I would have been dead. O how wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus! Praise His Name!

When I got up to the room, Mom met me at the door. The room was dark yet her first words were “what happened?” Initially, I thought she must have seen the still stunned look on my face but she went on to explain… She had climbed into bed next to Taylor, ready to fall asleep, when she felt an urgent need to intercede for me. Though she had no idea what was transpiring only a few hundred feet away, she was overwhelmed with the sense that I was in trouble. She immediately fell to her knees beside the bed and yielded to the urgings of the Holy Spirit. Though she didn’t know what to pray, the Spirit interceded for her with groans and utterances that words could not express. She got up from her knees only as I came to the door.

Why does the Lord do that? Call others to wait on Him as He performs a miracle? I don’t know. I think it must have something to do with the fact that neither the one being rescued nor the one interceding ever forgets how the hand of God moved. Nor will either ever quickly dismiss such urgings as coincidence again. I cannot explain why the Lord chooses to partner with His people in such a way but I do know that the Bible says that sometimes “we have not because we ask not.” I am so grateful that Mom fell to her knees for me and forever indebted to the One who hears and answers our prayers!

I will never give up hope or stop praising You.

All day long I will tell the wonderful things You do to save Your people.

But You have done much more than I could possibly know.

I will praise You, LORD God,

For Your mighty deeds and Your power to save.

Psalm 71:14-16 (CEV)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Healing in the Wind

Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

And with that He breathed on them…

John 20:22 (NIV)

I find it amazing that God’s Word is so complete. Whether we read the Word first, then our experience backs it up, or we experience the Lord and then come across scripture that puts words to His action – it does not matter. His Word is complete!

I had an encounter with the Lord in the fall of 2004 that remains as vivid in my mind today as the day that it happened. I can close my eyes and relive the sights and the smells… It was a brisk fall day. The trees were ablaze with color! Rich reds, browns, fiery oranges and yellows – creation was ignited with praise – but my heart was dead grey and stone cold.

I can’t adequately describe the hopelessness and despair that I carried. In fact, I think that I had carried it so long that I was past feeling much of anything at all. I had just walked my tiny son to school and as I returned home, I remember being numb. There were no tears – simply an unspoken acknowledgement to the Lord that I was sure that life was supposed to hold more. I turned to walk down the back lane. I didn’t feel like being seen. Somehow, I think I just wanted to disappear – resigned to carry my burden unnoticed and by myself. That’s when it happened…

A warm gust of wind rushed down the lane and enveloped me. It was so profound that I stopped in my tracks. I closed my eyes and let it swirl around me. Somehow, I knew something was happening. Somehow, the rush of that wind lifted my burdens and freed me to see – to taste and see that the Lord was still good. That He truly had not forgotten me nor forsaken me.

I was freed to cry! Not tears of hopelessness but rather such an overwhelming peace! The Lord knew where I was and He – in an instant – blew away the chains that had bound me. My heart joined the symphony of creation! I am reminded of the words of Genesis 2:7, “the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” It was like I had come alive again. His breath healed me! He inclined His ear to my faint cry. He bent low and blew life and peace into me once more.

All of the sudden, the world was beautiful! Everywhere I looked, I saw His grandeur and the magnificence of my Creator. There was a lightness to my step and fresh found courage – the kind that comes when your feet have set upon the solid Rock!

I will always remember the warmth of His breath. I can’t read verses about the breath of life or His command of the winds without closing my eyes in grateful recognition. Was life “all better” after that? No. I had, and have, so much to learn. But I’m learning to trust the wind because I know its Master. Psalm 107: 25 & 29 says, “He commands and raises up the stormy wind” and “He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper”. When I trust the Lord and His methods of working with me, I can soar on the winds like the eagle.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul!

O Lord my God, You are very great;

You are clothed with splendor and majesty…

He makes winds His messengers.”

Psalm 104:1, 4a (NIV)