Sunday, August 18, 2013

A long way from home......................A cleansing rain.....Part 4


                               Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
                                                              for they will be filled.
                                                                 Matthew 5:6 NIV


I walked out the double doors of the lobby at the retreat center....it was the most beautiful down pour of rain....I stepped out from under the covered walkway & into the cool summer rain. This is a commodity in the desert....we get so little rain, it is very much appreciated when we get some. I needed a rinsing, cleansing if you will. I felt the down pour soaking me all the way through.....all of me. I stood there for a bit, then turned to head back under the covered walkway & headed to lunch.

As I walked along, I became completely immersed in a conversation with God about the day's trimming...for some reason a soaked pinecone caught my eye, I heard Him say pick it up......I argued of course. But after some back & forth, I turned back & almost ran over one of my new friends, "sorry" I said. "No problem" she replied. I bent down & told her "I've been arguing with God about picking this up.....He won of course." She giggled. I looked at the pinecone, the first word that came to my mind was "saturated".....I could hear His clear message...."saturated in me through my word".....ok so I carried the saturated thing to lunch. I set it gently on a napkin & went to get my food. At the end of lunch I picked up my pinecone & noticed it was a little dried on the outer layer......."with out staying in my word, you can dry up"......so to make sure it wasn't completely dried out, I gave it a gentle squeeze, still moist on the inside....."I'm still in here, you just have to remember that".....so I wrapped it in the napkin it sat on & headed off to evening worship & to find out what God's agenda was for the afternoon/evening....When I reached into my bag for something there was the pinecone still wrapped in the napkin, almost completely dried out....."wrapping yourself in the world will speed up the loss of me." I decided to put it in my room, so I headed over to our room across the walkway, it was still raining & in the courtyard it was beginning to fill up with water. This time I look down & see a pinecone completely immersed in the rain that's collected next to the walkway, I clearly hear Him whisper....."staying completely immersed in Me, will keep you completely saturated with Me!!" I smiled to not only myself, but to the God who loves me enough to meet me where my feeble mind is capable of understanding...

As I walked into the room, the worship music filled the air & transported me to one of my favorite places.....lifting up praise & worshipping a God that loves me for what's inside me.....not the fleshy, easily distracted, worldly part of me....but the part that surrenders & opens itself up to a vulnerability that is very difficult for me to share, ever. When I lift up hands open wide & ready to be filled, I know that He is pleased. So, I was lost in the songs that I lifted up to praise & glorify Him....Again, I hear Him start to work on me about the relationship He took out of it's place in my "forgiven" box. He starts speaking to me about forgiveness.......


But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
                                                                                                                    Matthew 6:15 NIV


I take a position I've held for a long, long time....I have forgiven her. I have forgiven her. I have forgiven her.......He gently reminds me...."then stop using your blacking her out as a weapon".....yep you guessed it, my Facebook was blocking her from seeing anything about me or my family. I argued, "if she wanted to be able to share in all the great things going on, she shouldn't have moved across the country with out saying GOOD-BYE!!!!" She doesn't deserve to enjoy watching my kids/grandkids grow up!!!!"....on & on He showed me ever so gently how holding this & using a blackout as a weapon, gave the enemy a stronghold. How even though I thought I had forgiven her, I hadn't repented for my part, nor had I let go. I was holding onto my ability to cause her to stumble & sin.....finally when I understood, He whispered...."go unblock her & let her know that you forgive her"....."NO, NO, NO!!!!" I argued, over & over I explained all the pain I was holding against her....ALL the things I blamed her for.....each time He reminded me that she, like me, was only a person, made of flesh & bone. Me not forgiving her was holding me hostage, not hurting her. So finally, after much rebellion....I walked straight over to my phone, unblocked her & sent her a private message.......a message that this time I meant. I learned that just because I forgive someone, doesn't mean I have to do ANY more than that. It doesn't mean that anything else has to change....distance, if it keeps me on His path, is ok.......I stopped holding onto the past & moved into the future with a simple "I forgive you."

After worship we all joined the circle & the core team explained that for the next hour, they wanted us to just find a quiet spot & spend the time ALONE with God. No talking, just sit down & spend the time in Him & what He had to say.....Yes this was a wonderful time for me. I heard Him speak to what else He was going to be working on & trimming away from me next.......

Part 5 coming soon........it'll be worth it, you know it will.