Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Crushed and Brokenhearted - A Place of Birth?

Photography by Linda Bush © Copyright 2013
This morning in my quiet time I was led to read Psalm 34:18The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  In the King James Version it reads "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."  
Nigh means near – of place, time, personal relationship.  Broken is shabar, a primitive root meaning to burst, but also to cause to break out, bring to the birth.  Saveth is yasha, be saved/delivered, liberated, give victory to.  I’m  no scholar but looked them up as best I could.  However, this is what I wrote next:

“In place/time/personal relationship – God is around me, surrounds me, unlimited/limitless.  He is not bound and wraps me up in that unbridled, boundless relationship with Him.  No beginning, no end – He is there with me always – I am never alone even when I feel I am in the blackest pit of despair and isolation/lonliness.  Is my broken heart about to give birth now to something unimaginably better and new?  Did He have to allow it to be broken in order to make it limitless and unbounded to bring forth, birth, something so amazing I can’t even begin to wrap my finite/bound mind around it?  He saves me, liberates me.  Isaiah 58:15 says “to revive the spirit… heart”.  Revive is chayah - primitive root to live, make alive, sustain, to cause to grow, quicken, nourish, be whole.  Has my heart been broken in order to be made whole by the Lord and for Him?  To grow it, make it even more alive than ever before?  This gives me hope, excites me, makes me look to the future expectantly, quickens my very being to see what God has planned for my heart’s purpose, for my life.  What beautiful and miraculous plans does He have in store for me?”

Perhaps for someone out there today, reading this will minister to you and be a balm that soothes your weary soul.  We know not what the future holds, but we know Him Who holds our future.

By the way, there is an interesting little story to this picture.  As I was walking one day, I looked down onto the concrete at the leaves that had fallen.  Here was this one leaf, battered and obviously run over and crushed by a car, just ground into the rough stones of the parking lot.  And yet, it was in this beautiful shape of a heart – even though it had gone through “leaf hell”, it stood its ground and remained true to its form, with a new beauty, completely transformed.  Had it been like all the other leaves I would not have noticed it, but now it is forever used in a manner honoring God.  Will He not do so much more with us?

My dear friend Marjory commented that "the picture looks like gold leaf - so precious that it can only be applied sparingly, looking almost like delicate and precious filigree.  God is the refiner, and if we let Him, He will blow away the dross and make our hearts pure and golden."  

Refine us, crush us and do whatever is needed, dearest God our Father/Abba, that we may be refined and used for a greater glory that we cannot see through eyes filled with self-directed tears.  Just hold us close as You promise here in Your everlasting arms... whisper Your love into our sobbing hearts so we will be quieted in You.  May our hopes and dreams and future be always entrusted to Your plan for us.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Morning Glories in My Garden

This is a photograph I took Saturday of the morning glories that have bloomed in my garden.  I planted them rather late in the season and nothing showed for a long time.  Then, lots of vines but no blossoms... but there was hope!  Now, they burst forth each morning is splendor, but by the days's end they are closing their lovely faces against the sun and that will be the end of their amazingly beautiful lifespan on earth.  

I especially love the early morning time -- particularly when I can sit in my garden and meet with the Lord in the hushed misty stillness before the world awakens.  As Women of Faith speaker and author Marilyn Mehberg calls this time, "Jesus, Tea and Me".  That's it - my tea, my Bible, my journal and Jesus. And if that isn't perfect enough, He brings me flowers.. my Beloved Bridegroom calls forth morning glories for me as we spend time together, just He and I.  Indeed, it is a time in which He shows me His glory, in His natural sanctuary as the birds sing praises and the sun's first rays glimmer against the dewdrops on the blades of emerald grass.  Stunning.

He uses the morning glories to remind me that my prayers, like seeds, sometimes aren't immediately answered.  I have to keep praying and be patient, until eventually His answers will blossom, beautiful and fragrant in accordance with His will and time.  

I am also reminded to embrace all He gives me in a day, because I have no guarantee of tomorrow, and that which is in my past is done forever.  Not dwelling in what has been, or fretting about what may come, I am to be in the moments granted to me here and now, enjoying His blessings and seeking His will.  They are brilliant and abundant... for today.  Like manna, they will be gone by nightfall.  

So many lessons from one fragile yet exquisite flower birthed from a single tiny seed. So many blessings from one big and amazing God.  

I bow in humble adoration.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forget