Friday, June 10, 2016

For Its Time

When my family originally moved to this area, a group of ladies at our new church kindly invited me to be a part of their weekly meetings.  I soon felt connected into the church because of them and the friendships I made with them.  Even though my work schedule no longer allows me to be a part of their weekly group meetings, they continue to invite me to their annual outing to a local farm that hosts fancy girly luncheons.  It is always a special treat to take the day off work to go and catch up with them and have and a delicious lunch made with ingredients often grown right on their farm.  Each table is decorated with flowers that are in season that particular week and cut that morning.  I took a picture of the arrangement that was at our table.

Of course, the picture just doesn't do it justice!  You can see that not every part of this bouquet is full of amazing color but everything fits together so nicely.  As we were told about the flowers in the arrangement, we were reminded how each week brings different flowers into season which is why the arrangements look different from week to week.  Each flower has their own moment to bloom and look amazing and that is when they cut them for the arrangements.  My CSA is the same way.  Each week, is different with what fruit and vegetables are available to pick up and we have such a wonderful variety throughout the growing season!  Some parts of the season have lesser variety than others because that is the way it is when growing produce.

The Bible uses the idea of seasons to help us understand what God is doing in us as well.  Ecclesiastes 3:1,11 (NLT) says,
"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven...Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end."
Our human eyes cannot see the whole bouquet God is putting together, but every season has beauty in God's hands.  In the scope of eternity, even the things that just don't seem to fit right now will fit later when we give it over to God.  Here is what I know: I cannot always trust my vision because it is so limited by my humanness and pain, but I can trust God's eternal vision.  What I know from His working in my past is that He can take things that make no sense whatsoever and turn them into the most magnificent beauty.

Can you trust that in His time He can take whatever season you are in and make it into something He can use?

This post is linked with Grace and Truth, Fresh Market Friday, Faith Filled Friday, and Faith n Friends.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Peace In Pain

"Sharon, do you trust me?"

Those familiar words were spoken in my heart as pain gripped my head through an intense migraine attack.  One of my coping mechanisms during my migraines is to not focus on the pain and to pray for other people.  I was praying for my kiddos but the pain was just too intense and all I could whisper was "God help me," an all-too familiar mantra that the really bad migraines tend to pull out of me.  But I mean it in the real sense; I really am asking God to help me.  I also believe that even though all I can do in that moment is exhale a whisper, it is a prayer that is shaking the rafters in Heaven.  I believe that because I know that God is my only true source of help and I know that He loves me.

As anxiety started to build in me when the pain and other awful accompanying symptoms of the out of control migraine took control, God's voice spoke over it all, "Sharon, do you trust me?" My Lord gave me a dose of peace - one that He would need to give me again and again throughout the migraine. Then my wonderful husband prayed over me and began to read the Bible to me.  You see, God doesn't just speak to my heart, He uses other people to speak to me too.

You may ask why I don't pray for healing.  Oh, I do!  And if you only knew the number of people in my life praying for healing for me, maybe that question would never be asked.  Trust me, that cry for help during the migraine is a cry for healing.  I know God can heal me and I want Him to heal me.  But healing hasn't come and I trust Him.  He has asked me to trust Him.  I have also seen Him do so many amazing things in and through me through this difficult journey of chronic migraines and I still cling to the hope that I will be healed some day.  But I have also been able to testify that it is not my strength but His on many days when people ask me "how do I...?"  Because that is true - I have no physical strength left.

But here is the wonderful take away of our God.  He made sure He wanted me to remember the things He told me in my heart while He was taking away the anxiety that night.  The next morning my wonderful mother-in-law emailed me a verse she prayed over me before she knew what I had been going through that spoke basically what He said to me that night.

Psalm 18:30 (NIV) "As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him."

Our God is with us through our difficult journeys.  He may not give us the ending we ask for, but His way is perfect and we can trust Him.  We can trust what He tells us - He makes no mistakes in His word.  We can know that when we call out to Him, He will be our shield.  That is beautiful and wonderful to me and that is what gave me peace that night.

This post is linked with Faith Filled FridayFaith n Friend, Fresh Market Friday, Grace and Truth, and Let Us Grow.