Dry as a bone.

 

 

Last week I was preparing for a trip away and went to water my plants. I touched the dirt in one of the pots and found it as dry as a bone.

The notion of being dry as a bone stayed with me over the next 6 days, as I travelled long distances with my children, to support my eldest son through a four day football competition. The problem was that I was unable to pack my bible as we had weight restrictions on the flight we were travelling. I knew I had my bible on my mobile phone, so I wasn’t too worried, even though I hate reading from the device when it comes to my time with God.

The problem was that it wasn’t just that I missed my bible. I was tired and bone weary…inside. I have been feeling it for a few weeks. Bone dry, bone weary and dry as a bone spiritually and emotionally. Needing some nourishment and time out from under the heat and the weather that dries me out emotionally and spiritually.

This morning I sat down for my morning time with God and I could not pull anything from His word. I sat and read one Psalm and nothing was sinking in or registering.

The last time I felt this way was when I had little ones. When my boys were babies, they were very unwell. I reached a point of exhaustion that was beyond tired. Spiritually, back then, I had not enough faith, and my relationship with God was almost non-existent during this period of my life. While then I floundered and eventually came to a stop spiritually, this time was different.

Now, I have a relationship with God that gets through these times. I have a strong sense of His presence even when I am this weary. I talk to Him and wait for Him to speak. I have the faith that even when I don’t feel His presence or hear Him speak, I know He is there.

While writing my book a few years ago, God gave me a word of encouragement for mums. Especially for mothers that have small children. This was it –

I see the busyness of a mother’s heart, of her very life. Little ones keep her busy, often unable to rest or sleep.

There come moments of blessing, if her heart and mind turn to Me. The tiredness that she feels chokes Me out of her heart. At those times reach up – I am there, by faith, and I will let her know.

Remind them that this is momentary. Remind them that there is a day when the demands are not so high.

There are times when I am very busy, or very weary. I still go back to this word of encouragement and the 6 steps that God gave me to write in that chapter. Steps like – Take moments of time with God.

It is not just mums with little ones that become overwhelmed by weariness. While God originally gave me this chapter for mum’s, I personally need to keep reading this chapter to reminding myself that God sees and understands. This last week I have needed to back off my study time and not take my times in His word so intensely. Sometimes in dry times it is not pushing we need.

We need to remember that ultimately it is the Holy Spirit that does the work in us, it is He that brings us though dry times and through valleys. When we are tired and dry, we just need to rest in Him.

God often allows me to go through an experience to reveal what He is going to show me next. I need not worry about these times, just trust and stay close to Him – read His work, pray, listen, and have faith. Why do I know that this is one of those times?

A few months ago, I was listening to Vision Radio (Christian Radio Station) and a song came on that caught my attention. The singer was Lauren Daigle, and the song was called “Come Alive (Dry Bones)”.

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Through the eyes of men it seems there’s so much we have lost

As we look down the road where all the prodigals have walked

One by one the enemy has whispered lies

And led them off as slaves

But we know that you are God yours is the victory

We know there is more to come

That we may not yet see

So with the faith you’ve given us

We’ll step into the valley unafraid, yeah

As we call out to dry bones come alive, come alive

We call out to dead hearts come alive, come alive

Up out of the ashes let us see an army rise

We call out to dry bones, come alive

God of endless mercy god of unrelenting love

Rescue every daughter bring us back the wayward son

And by your spirit breathe upon them show the world that you alone can save

You alone can save

As we call out to dry bones come alive, come alive

We call out to dead hearts come alive, come alive

Up out of the ashes let us see an army rise

We call out to dry bones come alive

So breathe, oh breath of God

Now breathe, oh breath of God

Breathe, oh breath of God now breathe

Breathe, oh breath of God

Now breathe, oh breath of God

Breathe, oh breath of God, now breathe

As we call out to dry bones come alive, come alive

We call out to dead hearts come alive, come alive

Up out of the ashes let us see an army rise

We call out to dry bones, come alive

We call out to dry bones, come alive

Oh come alive

(Written by Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc)

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Ever since, I have listened to this song dozens of times. My prayer is this – “What are you doing Father God in the lives of your daughters (including me), and what do you want me to do?”

I really believe strongly that what I have been going through the past few weeks, is what a lot of women (and men) are going through daily. They are dry, weathered, and dead inside. God is wanting to breath on them and give them a life beyond what they are now.

While they drift like in a haze, God is wanting to reveal newness and clarity. While they feel cold, God is wanting to renew the flame for Him and His word. While they wonder where God is, He is right where they left Him.

There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. Nothing. His love for you has not changed. Life has changed for you, desire has changed for you, but God has not. Your focus need to refocus and your heart needs to take small steps back to a place of life.

Even while I write these words the dryness is lifting off me, because these are the words God wants me to speak.

God sees dryness and weariness, He is the answer to this. Simple. He was, He is and He always will be the answer to every struggle and every person’s deepest need for their Creator and Saviour. Go to Him and acknowledge that He is the answer. It is not about fighting, struggling, striving and pushing. It is about returning, repenting, absorbing His word and asking Him to bring life to those dry bones. It is not about human effort and achievement, it is all about God.

Ezekiel 37:4-5 and 14

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.

I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

 

My prayer for you right now is this

“Breathe, Oh breath of God now breathe. As we call out to dry bones come alive, we call out to dead hearts come alive, up out of the ashes let us see an army rise. We call out to dry bones, come alive ….”

 

Be blessed

 

Confrontation

 

Ok. If you are like me and read the title of this blog, it is possible you recoiled. To confront is hard, and for some of us it is nearly impossible.

Confrontation, for some of us, can bring experiences of upset, heartache and stress. For others, they may not like to confront, just simply because it means that it is unpleasant. There are others who feel that it is their obligation to confront, and feel no sense of either joy or sadness at the thought.

I have just had a few days of confronting and being confronted. I have just spent a few years trying to confront a problem to bring about change… and nothing has happened. For those that know me, I was trying to be a gentle as I could while not trying to upset too many.

I do not like confrontation… I will run from it.

However, I will confront. I do not like to see people suffer and I don’t like bullies treating others badly. These two things get my back up. I have a favourite saying – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Yesterday a memory post came up on my Facebook feed. It was a quote from Lisa Bevere from Messenger International. On the 2nd March 2016, I had shared her Facebook post from that day on my Facebook page. The  words were simple but effective…

What you do not CONFRONT will not CHANGE.

Posted by Lisa Bevere on Tuesday, 1 March 2016

It was interesting that for that exactly a year ago, I found a reason to share this, and yesterday I needed to hear it.

Today, the pain of having to be confrontive (yes, I know there is no such word, but it seems appropriate) for three days straight was sitting wearily in my heart. I hated it. But yet for anything to change it needed to happen. Now I have to leave the rest to see if there is change.

You cannot make people change. There is a saying that goes like this – “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.” Another larrikin one time said, “yes, but you can run him until he is thirsty.”

People will only change often if it suits them and it will make their life better…even if that is to shut you up! But I often wonder this…

Will the change be long lasting and permanent?

This is the other point I want to make, if you do not confront, you cannot sit back and complain about no change. Simple… as… that!

There is no way we can look at a situation going on in front of our eyes and not do or say something, and then think we have the right to whinge and complain. Sorry, that is not an option.

The final point I feel to make today is this….

Why do you want to confront? Are you going to do it with as much compassion and love that you would expect for yourself, while keeping the integrity and steadfastness for the need to change?

I can’t answer for you, I can only answer for me. I hope over time people would see me not as unmerciful and obnoxious (demanding that I am right) but caring, concerned, and confronting them while allowing that their dignity is firmly in place.

I can only hope and pray for more wisdom, along with the heart to respond correctly to another person’s confrontation of my own need to change.

 

Be blessed.

 

 

Change

 

They say that a change is as good as a holiday. Winston Churchill was reported as saying that “ a change is as good as a rest”.

I find that around the end of a year, most people are talking about facing a new year with the hope of some type of change in either their circumstances or life. The old year is about to past over into a new one.

For most people, they are looking at new year’s resolutions, maybe a renewed desire for something different, or returning to something that once was better than the life they live now. Either situation brings a sense of hope that this one change, will bring the happiness that they hope will come.

Whether the resolution or change is a 5 degree deviation or a 180 degree about face, people hope that this will make the difference.

This year has been a difficult year for several people that I know. On Facebook, there are a lot of people that have expressed relief that this year is nearly over.  I have a few close friends who have experienced personal heartache and difficulties over this year.

The ability to be able to change something in our lives gives us a very satisfying feeling of new beginnings. Even the thought of change brings about the prospect of endless possibilities.

The chance of “burning bridges behind you” to leave behind the past mistakes and failures, gives giddy thoughts of new beginnings. All the while we soldier forward, hoping that the past never crosses the river without the bridge in place.

Everyone looks for a change, everyone wants rest from something. What most people forget is this – sometimes the only thing that needs the change is the change in their heart. Is it possible that this is the only change and resolution that needs to happen?

It takes very little to realise that a resolution or new city has one same thing – that heart goes with them to the new scenario. It goes with them into the new year and continues to make decisions for them regardless of the new resolution.

I have had people say that they are giving up on God, on their spouse, on life or on a fight. They forget that their own heart goes on with them into the next change.

If the heart has not changed; if the attitudes are still the same; if we haven’t learnt from our old mistakes, then nothing is new.

Change is good… rest is good. But it will not be a true change and a true rest, if your heart has not changed.

When the Israelite people went into the desert, after leaving Egypt, they anticipated change. They walked away from slavery and tyranny, but because their heart had not been renewed, they brought their old life into the new. God wanted to change that, to show them He was real and that He loved them. He also wanted a changed heart, a different spirit. They just wanted new land without a new heart.

Can I challenge you as the new year starts, to ask God for a new heart? One that is open to His leading a direction. Ask God for the strength to fight, to stay, to change and ask Him to help you face the new year with one thing – a new heart for God.

Remember that a change is a s good a rest. God’s rest is better than a human rest…it settles our restless and wondering soul. The change that God makes, is good.

I too have faced an…um… interesting year. I am yet to face a few difficulties that are up ahead and it will be a few months before we see the backside of them. My hope for a change is not about to come with a new year starting. I have faced the end of this year physically exhausted and emotionally weary.

At the moment, I am taking time to rest every day until I the future complications are less. I am leaning on God and leaning into Him for the strength that I need, daily. I am thankful that He has given so much so that when I am able to look back, I know that in this time God has changed my heart. This change has caused me become…well… more. I know that if this new year turns out the same or worse than last year… I am ok with that.

The new, is every morning. For me, I don’t have to wait for a new year. Every morning has its own beginning. Not only can I have a change that is new, my mornings are a time for the “new”. For this I am grateful.

 

My favourite verse of scripture is this –

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.

So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.

Lamentations 3:23-26 (NLT)

 

My prayer for you is this – May God strengthen you in your inner being and give you the desire to change. May this change give you the rest you so desire. May God bless you in the new coming year and pour our His love into your heart. God Bless you in every new morning.

 

Happy New Year to each and every one of you.

 

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“May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favour and give you his peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT)