Thursday, February 13, 2014

Is God Stripping You?

You are probably wondering, what in the world is this.  Well I had begun tearing down the wallpaper in the bathroom months ago.  Each time I had a moment I would go tear off another little strip.  I wasn't making much progress getting it down.  It is a big bathroom. So while it was snowing yesterday I had a on the wallpaper.  What better time to do it since I certainly couldn't budge out of my house.
So, yesterday morning I decided to get going on it.
I was up and down the ladder, bending and stuping, squatting and reaching.  I knew if I stopped to rest I would not get back to it so I persevered....for five hours.  Now that might not sound like much to you whipper snappers but for someone my was a great achievement.  I was poohed afterwards.
I have just a little bit left to do and the walls will be stripped.  My goal is to complete the job while snowed in.  Then I can call my friend Sheila to complete the job with a fresh coat of paint.  Mind you I am also cleaning as I go so when it is completed it will fresh and clean.  No more wallpaper goes up on that was too difficult a process to remove.  Maybe we should think about that when He removes our stuff, not to allow it to stick to us again cause He will use whatever it takes to remove it permanently.
I got to thinking about the stripping God does on us as we allow Him.  Some things come off easily in long even strips and some areas take tedious work little by little, piece by piece.  Somethings seem to be glued on to stay or maybe we hold fast to them.  Thankfully He doesn't stop and start like I did.  He steadily works to strip us of pride, control, addictions, selfishness, disobedience, just to name a few.
Sometimes we want to hold on to the strongholds He wants to strip and it takes a stronger hand to totally release it in our lives.  The stripping at these times may be a long hard process.  I am so glad God loved me enough to begin the stripping process so long ago in my life.
I love the passage in Joel 2:25, "And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten, the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you."
One day as I was reading that the part that says, "that I sent among you" just blew me away.  He did the stripping, He sent the locust.  But with that passage comes the promise that He will one day restore what the locust took.  The stripping may be painful at the time but the is that joyous.
So worth the stripping process to be washed as white as snow.  Learn to let go of those things He is trying to strip away.  It is for your good and one day you will look back and know that it was worth it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Coming Full Circle

Don't you just love it when God prepares that special favor for you!  That occurred for me with my very special gal friends getaway this past weekend.  We got away for some much needed time together and with the Lord.  We had been for a walk on Saturday morning and were discussing our plans for the day.  Would we just stay in and read, visit, and walk or should we venture out?
About that time a neighbor stopped by while walking her dog.  We chatted a while and then "out of the blue" she said, "Ya'll want to go to a shop close by today for fun?"  She began to describe the shop where she and some other artist had some items on display.  We decided that that is exactly what we wanted to do.
We traveled to the shop and enjoyed looking at all the art and jewelry and even went to a Thrift Store across the street where I found a wonderful old book by Wesley Duewell on prayer.  After that adventure my friend Debbie said, "Lets go to the World Village Store in Montreat."
We were enjoying the shop with all the art from all over the world when we all congregated to the back where the clearance items were.  Debbie looked up and said," Wow, Ms Kearns look at that."  It was the art piece you see at the top of the page.  I was blown away.  Months before I had been to that same shop and bought a single dove for our office.  At the time I was there the sales clerk spoke of the covey of doves that they were going to get in soon.  I longed to see it and here I stood gazing at this beautiful creation and to top it off it was in the clearance room.
At the time they were also giving 20% off your purchase if you donated a small amount to a charity in the area.  It was not to apply on a sale item, but here again the favor came when the manager said, "Oh, I think we can arrange for you to have the discount."  Wow.  At that point I knew God had arranged for me to take this art home with me.
My friend Cathy said, "I believe you have some full circle."  The piece is in a circle and it is not just one dove but several.  She also reminded me of the newspaper article that was written from my perspective years later after our son's picture had been in the paper after his arrest.  Things had come full circle once again when Henry Blackaby who prayed that this Mother would not give up, was prayed for when he was disoriented and could not be found, by this very son he had prayed for years before.
Wow, this piece is very significant in my walk and hopefully will open many doors to express how God brought me through the very hard times as people see it to bring them hope and encouragement.  Thank you Lord for that very first dove that came to minister to my hurting heart those years ago when I was ready to give up.  May I never forget Your faithfulness to use my pain for Your Glory.  You amaze me!!