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Jeremiah 6:16

16 Here is what Adonai says:

“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask about the ancient paths,
‘Which one is the good way?’
Take it, and you will find rest for your souls.

re·or·i·ent

/ˌrēˈôrēənt/
verb
change the focus or direction of.
"the country began reorienting its economic and social policies in 1988"
find one's position again in relation to one's surroundings.
"slowly they advanced, stopping every so often and then reorienting themselves"

I went to college in Houghton, NY where snow starts in October and lasts into the Spring.  I loved exploring the woods and trails near the campus and from day one, participating in a two week pre-class Highlander experience (backpacking, ropes course and rock climbing), quickly had it drilled in that you always have a "spotter" when climbing and that you never wander off alone.  This translated into adventuring with newly formed friends through the woods and trails nearby and for the most part not doing so alone.  The first Spring on campus, snow still on the ground and creeks running high and fast, a friend and I decided we would hike in the woods and cross at a known spot along the creek bank to circle back towards our dorm.  Neither of us gave it much thought and within seconds we both were swept down the creek completely emerged in the water passing through felled logs, rocky bottom and who knows what else.  I was ahead of my friend and truly believe, by God's grace and the hand of an angel, I grabbed onto something, grabbed a hold of my friend and we scrambled out onto the snowy, muddy bank soaked to the bone.  As you may imagine that left us slightly disoriented and at risk for hypothermia.  We regrouped and followed the creek back to the dorms where a concerned friend sat us in front of the heater, got us to change out of our cold, wet clothes and made us hot chocolate.  She even lectured us in lieu of parental presence.  

I love this story and when I think back on it I recognize all that the Lord had in place to help us reorient, get warm and feel loved.  I recently have walked through an intense season that ended in what felt very much like being swept down a swollen, rushing creek where I lost my footing and had no reason to get out without a scratch, bruise or long lasting scar.   As I reflect on the seasons and experiences that have felt like being swept down the creek, I also see the markers, the kindness extended and the loving rebukes to help me for next time. Loving people without reservation and entering fully into other's pain and struggle can often feel disorienting and we need the intervention and help of a friend to reorient.  Father God is so good to place markers on the trail and signs that help us reorient.  He sends a kind word, a witness to our struggle and often a landing point. I pray that in this season, which for many can feel disorienting, you will not be found walking alone and that you will be able to see the markers to point you towards rest for your souls. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (CJB)

Two are better than one, in that their cooperative efforts yield this advantage: 10 if one of them falls, the other will help his partner up — woe to him who is alone when he falls and has no one to help him up.

 

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The Passion Translation 

James 1:2-3

2 My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! 3 For you know that when your faith is tested[c] it stirs up power within you to endure all things. 4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

God chose us as vessels for His life.  But we're clay-we have cracks and missing pieces.  We break easily and are brittle.   But because we carry His light that light shines through more when we are  broken and hurting.  The light doesn't replace our missing pieces, but fills it with light for others to see. -Aurora Jeanette Neff

 

May this word today stand as a testimony to the goodness of our Abba Father. My dear friend and mentor sent me this verse from James and my daughter shared the insight.  Putting it together I pray that you, along with me, will willingly allow the Lord to work in the deep places in our hearts in order to allow Him to shine through.  Ultimately, our brokenness and hardship are part of the path to standing firm in the darkness.  It is through hardship, tears and sorrows that those before us, those around us and those after us will remain firm, rooted in trust, holding fast to God's word.  His truth is what will overcome the things we are working to see ended: abortion, sex trafficking, sexual abuse, suicide, drug addiction, broken families and all forms of misuse of our bodies...all the paths that lead to death.  We are being emptied so that the Life of Christ can fill in the empty cracks left by the ravages of sin: ours and others.  He desires to fill in all the empty, broken and misunderstood pieces.  He is working us together to be a beautiful display of His glory! He is the One who has overcome!

John 1:5 (NIV)

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

May you see the light in your darkness!  May you grow stronger in your faith!  May you allow the light of Christ to shine through!

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My heart each week is to share with you the testimony of one living out the hard and imperfect road of walking in love and experiencing the Father's faithfullness.  Through all the seasons of my life and all the relationships there have been hard struggles, times of walking in the dark and unbearable and hurtful separations...one of the promises I hold onto and return to is found in 1 Peter 5.  I want to let the truth of this passage be for you today what you can cling to, cling to the promise that our Father God, himself  will and is in process of perfecting, establishing, strengthening and settling you.  When you find walking in the darkness as the light and sharing in the hurts, the pain, and the struggle of others has in some small way become yours too, He will be there with you.  There is no way to walk into the places where others have experienced and been touched by evil and not wrestle through seasons of hurt and suffering.  There is, however, no safer, better place to be than in the Father's love. He is making a way for all men to hear, to see, to respond to His love and asks us to willingly go into the darkness assured that He will settle, secure, affirm and confirm us every time, in every season, through every struggle within and without. 
He Himself will do this!

1 Peter 5:8-11 (CJB)

Stay sober, stay alert! Your enemy, the Adversary, stalks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand against him, firm in your trust, knowing that your brothers throughout the world are going through the same kinds of suffering. 10 You will have to suffer only a little while; after that, God, who is full of grace, the one who called you to his eternal glory in union with the Messiah, will himself restore, establish and strengthen you and make you firm11 To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-11 (NIV)

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lionlooking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-11 The Message (MSG)

He Gets the Last Word

8-11 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

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John 8:12(CJB)

1Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life.”

God Is With Us!  I was reminded in our weekend service that as we seek direction and look for signs and wonders it is all meant to point us to Jesus and give evidence that God is with us.  We are seeking to see the Hand of God at work in our lives, in our families, in our vocation and ministry.  If God is not with us then perhaps we are not where we should be.  Seeking the signs and wonders is not really what we are after.  We are pursuing the source of Life.  We are living examples of living a life of love.  We are empowered to live out God's plans and purposes for our lives and bear the light which gives life.

We can move so quickly through each day, each season and like a young child whether from excitement, passion, eagerness or fear push forward not paying attention to the signs around us.  We get so focused that sometimes we need to stop and seek the light.  We need to seek which way the Spirit is leading and not rely on the routine, what we thought we were after when we started or where we think the road is leading.

God is With Us!  He is the One in whom I live and breathe and have my being (Acts 17:28)...He is the One whom I am serving...

He is the One I will seek as I look at where I have come from and where I am going.

Psalm 46:8-11 The Passion Translation (TPT)

8–9 Everyone look!
    Come and see the breathtaking wonders of our God.
    For he brings both ruin and revival.
    He’s the one who makes conflicts end
    throughout the earth,
    breaking and burning every weapon of war.
10 Surrender your anxiety![a]
    Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.
    I am the God above all the nations,
    and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.
11 Here he stands!
    The Commander!
    The mighty Lord of Angel Armies is on our side!
    The God of Jacob fights for us!
Pause in his presence

 

May your eyes be open to see where the light is !  May you surrender your anxiety and stop your striving! 

May you pause in His presence to find your place!

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Isaiah 30:18(CJB)

18 Yet Adonai is just waiting to show you favor,
he will have pity on you from on high;
for Adonai is a God of justice;
happy are all who wait for him!


[weyt]
verb (used without object)
  1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens (often followed by for,till, or until ):to wait for the bus to arrive.
  2. (of things) to be available or in readiness:A letter is waiting for you.
  3. to remain neglected for a time:a matter that can wait.
  4. to postpone or delay something or to be postponed or delayed:We waited a week and then bought the house. Your vacation will have to wait until next month.
  5. to look forward to eagerly:I'm just waiting for the day somebody knocks him down.
verb (used with object)
  1. to continue as one is in expectation of; await:to wait one's turn at a telephone booth.
  2. to postpone or delay in expectation:Don't wait supper for me.
  3. Archaic . (of things) to be in readiness for; be reserved forawait:Glory waits thee.
  4. Archaic . to attend upon or escort, especially as a sign of respect.

Sometimes reviewing the definition of a word puts it in new perspective.  Notice in the above definition wait can be used "without an object" and "with an object."  There is a small difference in waiting with a known purpose and without.  I find this fascinating and such a picture of what my heart has gone through in facing a challenge and an unknown outcome.  I have been willingly and unwillingly presented with an opportunity to return and rest and wait in quietness and confidence [saiah 30:15]. It has been for me another process of decision.  Will I accept that Adonai has been purposely waiting for me to turn to Him and will I accept and trust His favor and defense on my behalf.  Just as the setting in Isaiah 30, I am in the middle of an unseen spiritual battle unsure of the path before me and the inward pull to self-defense, blame, finding my answers in another source and continuining in misunderstanding tempt me to wait anxiously, not keeping my eyes on Adonai, neglecting and delaying entering into real rest. 

So many seasons have brought me to this place of decision...waiting with purpose and choosing to rest OR waiting without purpose clawing, scheming, defending and missing what Adonai has for me.  This time I choose to stand " as one in expectation and in readiness for " and choose to wait for Him! 

May you choose to enter rest when facing your challenges!  May you know the favor of Adonai!  May you find purpose in the wait!