Friday, December 7, 2012

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Todays episode of the Cinnamon Bear
http://www.radiolovers.com/shows/C/CinnamonBear/CINNBEAR371210e1232-22-mono12m33sRhymingRabbit.mp3

"The Wintergreen Witch made me do it"~ Crazy Quilt Dragon

Cinnamon Bear, Jimmy, Judy and Crazy Quilt are currently stuck inside the picture that hangs over the Wintergreen Witches house and have not yet been able to find their way back out.
The deceptions of the evil one are often very subtle. We don't even realize we have gotten trapped in the false picture that the enemy has painted for us. We begin to believe the lies that that all is lost. That the Lord has left us in the desert to die. We can begin to believe that have been lied to, that all our sacrifice and hard work have been for nothing. There are crazy rhyming rabbits who say they will help and bees that sting. Whistles that we could have used to call for help get swallowed by well meaning companions. Some days are hard.

Yesterday I had a troubling discussion with a very discouraged friend. I myself went into that discussion discouraged about some stuff.  I think we probably managed to discourage each other more than either intended. I spent the evening wrestling with some of the things that had been discussed. As I slept in the night the Lord reminded me of some things he had shown me in the past. I awoke with His peace knowing that I will get through this. He reminded me that he had shown me this time before and at the time it did not make much sense to me. 

Sometimes when the Lord shows me things and I can't see why or how they will happen but I tuck them away trusting that there is a reason the Lord wanted me to know that bit of information.  Sometimes the things he shows me are hard things to carry. I want to let them go as crazy. Sometimes as in this case I found it hard to believe that I might ever feel as distraught as in the vision he had shown me. In that vision there were people who saw how upset I was and who tried to give me some kind of drugs to calm me down. I refused and wrapped my arms around a tree and refused to let go. Even though it may be hard I would rather feel the pain and cling to the Lord than take some drug or false truth that would numb me in some way.

There are times when God does not do things in the way we have prayed or expected. There are times when we have worked hard for things that God led us to do and yet they seem to fail. 
One can go to the best doctors and surgeons and sometimes the patient still dies. I have seen times when hundreds of people were praying for someone to be healed and the person still died. Was God just indifferent to all those prayers? Was he some how less powerful on that particular day?
No - but he is often working in ways we do not begin to understand. 

As I have reflected on the conversation yesterday I was reminded of this verse from Habakkuk 3:16-18 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Even if at times we can see no visible fruit, and the Lord's provision seems to be lacking. Even if all around others seem to be blessed while we continue to struggle. I choose to cling to the Lord.
I have followed Him step by step. There have been times when I have gotten off track but he has forgiven and loved me and dusted me off and helped me to continue on the journey with Him. 
I made a conscious decision when I was much younger to make seeking first the kingdom of God my way of life. I can't look back now and say I would have been better off to have sought first money. Some parts of the journey have been very long and hard. Even in the most difficult of times the Lord has sustained me and helped me put one foot in front of the other to make it through. 

I am thankful that the Lord brings to memory the things he has shown me. Things that don't really make sense till you get to that part of the journey. I am thankful for the things he has shown me that have been or are hard to carry because they seem impossible. It must have been hard for Joseph, who's brothers sold into a life of slavery. Many many years later the things God had shown him came to pass. 

The enemy would love for us to feel abandoned by God. To feel stuck, and hopeless and depressed. He would love for us to begin to question the things we have believed or the choices we have made. To question if we heard God. If God's promises are really true. Today I felt that I should go and spend some time today at the Spokane Healing Rooms. I knew I would benefit from the prayers and words of encouragement and worship time there. Even though I had settled things in my heart before going it was good to hear some confirmations and one can never have to much prayer. It was good and I am glad I took the time to go. 

Prayer: Lord you see the beginning from the end. You know all the step between and along the way. Help us to know where to go for help when we are feeling discouraged. Shine the light of your truth on our darkness. Help us to see things for what they are and to trust you even when we don't understand what you are doing or why.






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