LESSONS FROM THE LABOR WARD

I spent last night and early this morning at a labor ward with a close friend whose husband was away on a trip. The labor ward has a lot of lessons for those who wait in prayer in The LORD.

I learnt that because you get in first, does not mean that you get out first or at all, or even get blessed first. Sometimes, one looses their expectation at this crucial time.

I learnt that, in the labor ward, modesty of dress and manner is really not priority. The less you have on, the easier it is to remove, the better you will be attended to. Ignore those that mock you in your birthing hour…they are the ones who are inappropriate.

I learnt that when you pray for release, and the pain seems to increase, and your groans seem to choke up your prayers, God is still in charge, and at His exact timing, He answers your prayer according to His Will.

I learnt that sometimes the more human assistance you require and receive at this crucial place of birthing, the longer it takes you to heal from the trauma of it all.

I learnt that when you hold the answer to your prayers in your arms, it is often very difficult to remember what you just went through, and if you focus on the past, it keeps you from enjoying and worshiping God for the breakthrough you have received.

I learnt that something you go through may be potentially fatal, but does no harm to you or your blessing – but one may be harmed in seeming safety.

I learnt that you may be in the same situation with another in the ward, even groan at the very same time, but that even when someone is there to hold you, the pain still is very personal…and cannot be numbed simply by being in like company.

I learnt, that God raises who He Wills to intercede for your birthing experience, that others may want to be there for you, but are kept out because He is The Writer of your story.

I learnt that the intercessor will notice others that suffer like you, but because they are called to stand with you, they can not stand with the others there too. Not in the way they are with you anyway.

I learnt that you may know its time, the intercessor may know its time, but it is God who moves the mountains to work in agreement with His timing for you. You cannot make it happen, because though there for you, there are not really there for you…but for themselves.

I learnt that in labor ward, it helps to focus on the task of birthing. Just that.

I am grateful that God raised me, and strengthened me and moved me to be in a place of His revelation, then rested me afterwards.

Advertisements

To Climb a Tree

WHAT MADE A RICH AND POWERFUL MAN CLIMB A TREE:
I got thinking today, seeing in my mind the rich and powerful people I know, have heard of or seen from a distance, and imagined them, one by one, hoisting themselves up a tree for a better few of…okay, think of the ones you know, unless they are actors or environmentalists, what would they be doing up there? It would be more plausible for them to shove their way to the front, or get their security to do it for them so that they would get a better view. And then I thought of a group of rich and/or powerful men all trying to get a glimpse of the same thing, live. That would be even worse…a cloud of security would probably make it impossible for their bosses to get a glimpse.
Short Zacchaeus was in such a situation. He was rich, he was powerful, but the pharisees and the disciples seemed more fitted for a close up with Jesus Christ. This was not his crowd, and it was likely that they would not hesitate to remind him of the fact. Among this sort, his position was despicable…because you see, they thought they knew him well. The source of his wealth was, fishy, so they felt it was their duty to protect God and heaven from the likes of him. Even without knowing they were doing it. But this did not numb his keen hunger, to see Christ, and say to Him what only He could hear, understand, appreciate and mitigate.
So he did something that could mostly be associated with a child, or someone who life had drained of anything they could loose. He was both. And because the Kingdom of Heaven belonged to such as he, The LORD of Heaven, ‘heard’ his faith, his hunger, and saw him shed all, that he might have a glimpse of Him. And Jesus, spoke above the cloud that hindered Him from getting to Him, and then drew Him forth that they might fellowship together.
BELOVED, SO ‘THEY’ ARE IN THE WAY, BLOCKING YOU FROM SEEING THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE – THE LOVE OF ALL AGES. DO SOMETHING THEIR POMP AND POWER WOULD KEEP THEM FROM DOING, SOMETHING POWERFULLY CHILDLIKE, ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU A VIEW OF HIM. ‘THEY’ MAY DESPISE YOUR FAITH IN ACTION, BUT THAT HAS NEVER MATTERED, WHAT MATTERS IS THAT YOU DRAW THE APPROVAL OF THE ONE WHO MADE THEM AND YOU. [thoughts on Luke 19:1-10]
“let the LITTLE children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, ANYONE who WILL NOT receive The Kingdom of God like a LITTLE CHILD will NEVER enter it.” Luke 18:15-17
vipslit@yahoo.ca

My Life – An Errand From God to God

DSC09497Where are you today? Do like being there? Would you prefer being somewhere else? Are ‘they’ treating you right? Would you wish they treated you, just a little bit better. I was thinking just the same of the place I was. But I have a Loving, Powerful, Gentle, Awesome and EXTREMELY WISE HEAVENLY FATHER.  His Words…they make sense out of what may seem senseless today. What if..just what if…my being where I am today, is a matter of life and death for someone…someone I am too self-focused to see right now?

Just so that THEY would KNOW FOR SURE that GOD IS PRESENT where you are, God may send YOU through humanly unconventional means, sometimes as a slave – well, almost. His Way may be humbling even ‘horrendous’ but I do myself well to remember that the entirety of my life is an errand from God to someone/people and then back to Him with fruit, that they may KNOW He cares about them and their situation. Your/my ‘small’ voice raised in love and truth may unsettle kings and kingdoms to turn their focus back to God. May He open my eyes to Who needs Him this day, that I may send them to Him, for the breakthrough that they need. Hear this, my prayer, Heavenly Father. Amen.

vipslit@yahoo.ca

IMG_3859

“The Syrians had gone out in bands and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited on Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy. [Naaman] went in and told his king, Thus and thus said the maid from Israel…

And he brought the letter to the king of Israel. It said, When this letter comes to you, I will with it have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of leprosy.When the king of Israel read the letter, he rent his clothes and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends to me to heal a man of his leprosy? Just consider and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me. When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, he sent to the king, asking, Why have you rent your clothes? Let Naaman come now to me and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel…

Then he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, as the man of God had said, and his flesh was restored like that of a little child, and he was clean. Then Naaman returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and stood before him. He said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel.”
1 Kings 5

One Day….

 DSC08481

It had been a hard day. I had been to a service in my old church. A funeral service. That was hard.

I looked around and recognised familiar, much loved faces. Some pointedly ignored me. I mused about that for about two seconds and then the business that had brought me here, took over. To stand with a friend who had been widowed. There were many people around; I was grateful to God that she had these. But I took my place on my knees as it were, though still seated and prayed. It was a hard service. Beautiful for all the love that was shared…and yet really hard. But that is not what this day was for me.

This day, was not a particular 24 hour circuit, but something that had weighed me down for a while. Something only this place could bring out for me. I sat next to my sweetheart, and it was not difficult to see, how shabby we were compared to everyone else. When time came to give, and we were urged to give generously, he took out a 200 shilling note, and held it openly. I knew how much he had in his pocket. And it was not a whole lot more. I whispered to him that it was not proper for anyone to see what we were giving. And he bundled our note in his hand, and then when the basket passed in front of him, he put in the note. I noticed that his laces were too short and kept coming undone, his socks sagging and loud, and that my own shoes were peeling and a little bit muddy at the heel. Thought about it for a second, and then went back into the reason I was there.

After the service, we were to line up to view the body and condole with the family. The line was long so we, my sweetheart and I stood aside for a while, then he melted away. I went to the couple who had been our ride from home and thanked the husband, saying we would find our way home. I was already feeling faint. He smiled and said it was okay. Then I decided to walk over to the other side of the line, and say hello to some old and much loved friends. I was well received. Hugs, laughter even in this place. And that was nice. But again, that sense of being alone came up. And I looked around but could not find my sweetheart. I stepped into line and an old friend chatted me up before another got hold of his attention and he left the line. I was joined by another who walked with me till body, talking as we went. Then I stood by the casket. And I looked in. And I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t cry. I just stood there, perhaps longer than appropriate. And then my feet began to move. I went to my friend, she was worn out from weeping. And I held her awhile. I was not sure she recognised me but I thought I heard her whisper my name. I had no words…no words for this place. But I prayed…God…Your Strength, Comfort, Presence…and then I walked away.

I felt like someone had blown away the back of my head. I clutched onto some chairs to pray for stability, not willing to draw any attention to myself. I reminded God, as though He could ever forget, that I was not going back…my own resurrection was for a purpose. Then I looked into my purse, found my phone and called my sweetheart. He was outside, had made some friends. I stood a while and listened to another old friend, widowed, who had survived a stroke after her own husband’s passing. Hugged her and then went out to join my sweetheart. We walked away, as he talked to me, he was as moved as I had been, but he kept his conversation light and easy. Walking with him, I was home.

We went to our physical home, where we live with our children. And I looked around. We did not have money for food that day. Much of what we needed had run out. Including tissue, since I had suffered severe food poisoning that week. We had had not money for my medication. My sweetheart hid a cough, and I prayed. ‘God heal him, please.’ I sent a text to a friend to ask if she had boiled some beans and she told me to meet her at her place. I told her I would send, Leroy, my son. Oh I had passed by the bank that day, and my balance was still at 0.1/-. It was my pastor’s 10th Wedding Anniversary, and I wanted to surprise them with a gift. Sigh.

I went to bed and at 3:30am, I woke up to go to the bathroom. Unstable. Feeling funny. I came back and picked my phone again. 3:33. Three threes. God, God, God. Call unto Me. I called. Jesus. My sweetheart shuffled in the bed beside me. Jesus I called again. Then, and I will tell you marvelous things. I am listening LORD.

What is it about my old church that unnerves me? Weighs me down, It is situated at my old campus, and symbolises all my broken dreams. Both of Career, and  Ministry. It is at the site of my primary school. Most of those I know, who went through these paths, succeeded in them. At their Careers and Ministries. Even as I went through those roads, I must have always known, that I piece from another jig-saw puzzle that had somehow found itself inside this box. And no matter how much I tried, I would never fit into this pattern. I was a failure because this was not my world, this was not home.

My mind went to my family. Children born ‘out of pattern.’ A husband married ‘out of pattern.’ Not in conformity with most other lives. Not the lives I had dreamed mine would be like. I looked in my mind’s eye at my Bible Study Group, our pre-marital class, these had become my inner circle of friends. Some were still trying to fit into a world that may eventually receive them. That was their portion. I had failed in that respect. For the first time, I was grateful for the much loved ‘friends’ and ‘well-wishers’ that had slandered me mercilessly, because they would not help, and could not stand seeing anyone help me survive, even the world that I had been pushed into, that they had no wish to live in. A wilderness. And even there they had pursued me. Loving God thoroughly, hating me and mine in spite of themselves. Inadvertently, coveting even the fact that God refused to remove His Breath from me and mine, so that their discussions of me would be justified in my death. I was grateful, they were right. I was dead to their world. I was like a ghost, who would visit from time to time; sent and on an errand, making all and sundry really uncomfortable, but belonging to a world that could not be patterned by their standards.

I did not live by those standards. I did not want to. I came to the realisation, that the thing that stressed me most, was that I was expected to live up to a standard that most were still trying to master and understand, and made them desperately unhappy; for they were trying to justify their living, and validity, by things they could not take away. My world was not superior, I had needed them. Their validation, their assistance…at one point at least.  They had closed their hearts and hands to me…because they were unable to open these. God had closed those doors. They, like myself, did not understand what I was made for. Besides they were busy understanding their own purposes…and their silences, pointed snubs and putdowns, excruciating to me, were justified because they could not hold the spin of my patterning, as they were too busy figuring out their own. I was from another world. Living according to another pattern. And that other world, in that place that God Himself had put me and mine, He had provided all that I needed, in terms of love, sustenance, and yes, my resurrection and success, according to His, my Manufacturer’s Pattern of who He made me to be. And that is all I was ever meant to be. Strange. Peculiar. Bigger than I ever thought I could be. And He had enough Might in Him, to raise and validate me. Talk about Marvelous things…I rest.

vipslit@yahoo.ca

Un-Forgotten

Darkness has prevailed, the storm has not abated, and yet, God is with me in this boat. I can feel Him. I feel Him in the solid calm even when I sometimes have to raise up the sword He has placed in my hand. This morning, I got up, hearing Him asking me to make my bed and get into His Presence. He wanted me to read through the life of Joseph. My initial [and secret] response was a frustrated boredom. “What more could there be in that story for me? I am tired of believing.”

ImageSome background. The devil has been on my doorstep a lot lately. In the form of hostile people who think that I am not good enough to have what God has blessed me with. He, the devil, has felt free to take from me using the excuse of what is traditionally acceptable, what his agents think should be in and outside my house (this one is due to my pair of shoes that have mysteriously gone missing) and what he deems is within my limits of well-being  So he takes away and gives me illness, my household and I. He gives me heartbreak, loneliness, rejection, and try as I may to reject his sordid gift, it sits there on my doorstep and in my chamber, proudly festering, bringing in the exceedingly putrid. I feel homeless, like I have moved but still have no clue to my address. I feel imprisoned  forgotten, unlovable ..and when I cry out and expect this expression of pain to expel the agony that is my life and soul, I lack relief. There is no catharsis. I must sit silently…and wait for God. That is the background of this state in which I tried not to get out of bed this morning.

So I tidy up as much as my strength can allow. In the last two weeks, I have survived the onslaught of pneumonia, gas poisoning and malaria. Not to mention the heart issues…and then I sit. “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that You are God and that I Your servant, have done all these things at Your command.” I pray along with Elijah of old. But am mocked by the ‘immediately the fire of God fell from heaven‘ and I sit deflated wondering if I should also now raise up the prayer of Jabez. I remember ‘to obey is better than sacrifice’, I go online and begin reading the story of Joseph. From Genesis 37.

My response; initially, that his story is eerily familiar. I feel like I have re-lived Joseph…ahem, at least some of his major seasons…especially the tail end of his story before his glorification. I feel like I have sat marinating in it for too long. Its time to move out…then I get to the part where God makes other people’s dreams come true through him, and how he remains forgotten. I have come to terms with that part. God taught me a long time ago that He rarely works out His breakthroughs through people He has blessed through our lives…and to give without expecting to be paid back. But it is a lesson I learn daily still. Especially when you love deeply…you learn to open your hands and heart fully as you give…and not to be surprised by the biting and breaking thrown back at you in response…and to again open your hands and heart at the very next opportunity :).

Then God takes a hold of my spirit, my soul, my attention…and this is the word He causes me to declare over my life, and which you can also take upon yours if you like :).

“PLEASE REMEMBER ME TO THE FATHER. BUT EVEN IF YOU DON’T, GOD’S SET TIME FOR ME WILL COME, UNEXPECTEDLY, AND HE WILL RAISE ME UP INTO THAT WHICH HE HAS FOR ME. HE WHO PROMISES IS FAITHFUL. HE WHO GIVES ME THE DREAM, IS THE KEEPER OF DREAMS. I WILL NOT STAND IN OFFENCE AGAINST HIM BY DOUBTING WHAT HE HAS SAID TO ME, BECAUSE THOSE WHO KNOW ME WELL DO NOT SEE IT IN ME, MY SET TIME WILL COME, EVEN THOUGH MY DAYS IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BOTTOMLESS DUNGEON PREVAIL…GOD STILL SEES ME. HE WILL BRING MY CASE BEFORE THE ONE HE HAS PREPARED TO PROMOTE ME. ALSO LEARNING THAT I MAY HAVE A REVELATION OF EXACTLY WHO HAS BEEN SENT TO BE PARTY TO MY PROMOTION…BUT I CANNOT MANIPULATE THE TIMES NO MATTER HOW DEEPLY UNCOMFORTABLE I AM WITH MY CURRENT SITUATION; I MAY HAVE TO REMAIN HERE FORGOTTEN A WHILE LONGER, BUT WHEN GOD’S SET TIME COMES, HE MAKES SUCH AN APPEAL OVER MY DELIVERANCE THAT NO ONE CAN SIT STILL UNTIL I AM WHERE HE WANTS AND HAS DECREED I SHOULD BE!”

Suddenly, everything changes. It is like God Almighty has risen in my boat, and has spoken to the winds, the storms, to the biting and the breaking…and though the night still prevails, morning has broken. I can almost hear the feet of the soldiers headed my way, the keys to my deliverance clanging in their hands, and though my heart still hopes and prays that they will not walk past the door of my dungeon, it is no longer a distraction. I will represent God, one more day, one more time, in this place where He has chosen for me to do so, until He decides to raise me up from among the dead and forgotten, to His chosen heights, among the living. I am convinced, that I am unforgotten.Image

vipslit@yahoo.ca

But remember me when it goes well with you; and show me kindness, please; and mention me to Pharaoh, so that he will release me from this prison…Nevertheless, the chief cupbearer didn’t remember Yosef, but forgot him…At the end of two years, Pharaoh had a dream…In the morning he found himself so upset that he summoned all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one there could interpret them for him. Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today reminds me of something wherein I am at fault: Pharaoh was angry with his officials and put me in the prison of the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker. One night both I and he had dreams, and each man’s dream had its own meaning. There was with us a young man, a Hebrew, a servant of the captain of the guard; and we told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us — he interpreted each man’s dream individually. And it came about as he interpreted to us — I was restored to my office, and he was hanged.Then Pharaoh summoned Yosef, and they brought him QUICKLY out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came in to Pharaoh. ”…The proposal seemed good both to Pharaoh and to all his officials. Pharaoh said to his officials, “Can we find anyone else like him? The Spirit of God lives in him!”

So Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Since God has shown you all this — there is no one as discerning and wise as you — you will be in charge of my household; all my people will be ruled by what you say. Only when I rule from my throne will I be greater than you.” Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Here, I place you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Yosef’s hand, had him clothed in fine linen with a gold chain around his neck and had him ride in his second best chariot; and they cried before him, “Bow down!” Thus he placed him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Pharaoh said to Yosef, “I, Pharaoh, decree that without your approval no one is to raise his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” Pharaoh called Yosef by the name Tzafnat-Pa‘neach and gave him as his wife Osnat the daughter of Poti-Fera priest of On. Then Yosef went out through all the land of Egypt.

Yosef WAS THIRTY YEARS OLD WHEN HE STOOD BEFORE PHARAOH king of Egypt…But Yosef said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Am I in the place of God? You meant to do me harm, but God meant it for good — so that it would come about as it is today, with many people’s lives being saved. So don’t be afraid — I will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he comforted them, speaking kindly to them.

Yosef continued living in Egypt, he and his father’s household. Yosef LIVED 110 YEARS. (Maftir). Yosef lived to see Efrayim’s great-grandchildren, and the children of M’nasheh’s son Makhir were born on Yosef’s knees.”

Genesis 37-50

%d bloggers like this: