Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"...Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, or through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flame burn you. For I am Adonai your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..." Isaiah 43:1b-3a.

     Jared's death was not the first time the Lord made this scripture real to me. There's at least 2 other times. The first one was the death of his brother, Caleb. I remember the presence of the Lord was so strong in that time that one of my neighbors was afraid I wasn't dealing with it. My response to her was, " I'd rather spend one hour with Caleb knowing we'll have eternity together than to spend a lifetime with him here on earth and not in eternity." My Father was so faithful and loving to me in His orchestrating the time Jared and I had at the end so I can have the same assurance with him. My heavenly Father also asked me, in regard to Caleb's death, "If I can get you through this, in the way that I have, what is there that I can't get you through?" Nothing!! So 21 years later I remembered that conversation with God and knew I could do it but only with Him by my side - actually He's probably carrying me.

    I stated in a previous 'life lesson' - "You feel like the overwhelming pain of it is going to consume you and pull you under." The loss literally makes you feel like your drowning in grief and sorrow. At first, you can't believe it's real and you just want to wake up from such a horrible nightmare. 

     In Exodus 14:13-31 you can read of how
the people of Israel come up against 'the water', the Red Sea, when they were being chased by the Egyptians. Can you imagine what they felt like? Go forward and risk drowning or stay put and let the Egyptians get you. " But Moses says to the people,' Don't be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you todayAdonai will fight for you, while you hold your peace.' " Moses is obedient to the voice of God - he simply holds his staff over the water and the water divided. The people went over on dry ground. When we are drowning we also need to obey the voice of God and we'll get through on dry ground.
     BUT that's not the best part!! Are you ready?? God took the very water that brought them fear, the obstacle they faced, and literally caused it to consume their enemy. " Not one of them remained." Hallelujah!! Amazing things happen when you put your trust in God.

    The time of 'fire' for me was in the moving on - life needs to get back to normal. What is normal? How do I go back to work? How do I do any of the things I used to do? My son is dead! For me, that was the fiery furnace of affliction.
     In Daniel 3:16-30 you can find how Daniel faced the challenge of a fiery furnace when he, and 2 of his friends, refuse to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar. "...our God, whom we serve is able to save us from the furnace of blazing fire and He will deliver us out of your hand..." WOW! Do we have that kind of faith in God. I may go to the furnace but I'm kicking and screaming all the way. Sorry Lord. In verse 25 the king sees them in the fire unharmed and also sees a fourth person with them. Jesus will not leave us or forsake us - ever! We are never alone. Verse 30 tells how Daniel and his friends were then promoted in the province of Babylon.
     1 Peter 1:6b-7 (amplified) "...though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations. So that (the genuineness) of your faith may be tested, (your faith) which is infinitely more precious than gold is tested and purified by fire. (This proving of your faith is intended) to rebound to (your) praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.

      When it comes to the waves of water in life, we choose what we do! Do we allow it to overpower us and cause us to drowned or do we stand on the authority and position given to us through Jesus and ride the wave? Relating this to Jared's death, I can either let it consume me or I can rise up in the power of the Holy Spirit and conquer it; eventually riding  the wave of this tragedy and using it for God's glory. 
      When fiery trials come do we allow them to purify our faith and glorify God? My heartfelt desire is for the flames of this situation to purify me so that this becomes a testimony of God's goodness and compassion in a seemingly unbearable situation.
      I continue to feel the waves and flames but the force which they exert over me has greatly diminished and the frequency is far less. With my Father holding me I know it will be OK. Personally, from my life, I do believe God gets glory; however, I am pretty wet and I think my hair is singed! Praise God - He's not done with me yet!!

          Water was the first thing I painted after Jared died and Fire was the second. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe it's been 2 years already and other times it seems much longer. I must say - I do miss him!

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