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When Your Dreams Die. Memories

San Bernardino Mountains

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people both now and forever.”

Psalm 125:1

Suffering is a real part of the Christian experience

It was more than 30 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Tozer said something about God not using a “man” until he has suffered greatly. I think of Jesus learning obedience through what He had suffered. So, it should not have taken me surprise…

The day my dreams died, I was in California with my family for further training before we were formally commissioned for the mission field.

My husband and I had an argument.

The kids and I had gone to bed. My husband stayed up watching TV. I had a nightmare. It seemed very real. So real, I decided to ask my husband about it. What followed was actually more than an argument…I had hoped he would tell me it was a silly dream. He did NOT.  Rather, he explained in detail, and I left the mission apartment in tears. It was dark and I was alone. I cried and cried. And walked and walked. And prayed and prayed.

Here’s how I remember what happened next

As I walked outside alone, reciting over and over again, Psalm 125:1, I looked at the massive mountains of California,

My conversation with God went something like this: “Lord, I can’t survive! I guess I always kinda KNEW, but why NOW? Why is this happening NOW? The confession was forced out of him, but why is all this happening NOW?”

Those STRONG. STEADY FOREVER MOUNTAINS almost mocked the sham of our marriage. I experienced the weight of what felt like the hypocrisy of our mission “call”. Would I ever recover? How can this be happening?

I asked:  NOW, what, God? Now what?

My answer:  “Those who trust in the LORD are like mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people both now and forevermore.”
– Psalm 125:1, 2

“Father, I am shaken to the core! BE my strong unshakeable foundation. I KNEW and yet I did NOT know all these years. What a fool I’ve been! NOW what? My kids are sleeping, unaware their hearts are about to be broken…”

God reminded me: The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. LORD, do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart. But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers…”
– Psalm 125:3-5

That day was ONE of the most devastating days of my life. And yet, it was actually a good thing in that it was the true beginning of my growing up in my faith walk. I began to trust God in a much deeper level. Yes, we got counseling. Yes, we went on to the mission field, and Yes, God continued to teach all 4 of us lessons we never signed up for.  It was a wonderful time in the sense of learning to trust God on a deeper level; but sadly there were too many obstacles; and trust was never restored. The inevitable happened.

There were some difficult days before and after that day.

But, the purpose of this post is NOT to make you sad. But to share a bit of one person’s story.

And to remind you that we ALL have tough assignments in this EARTHBOUND life. But it doesn’t have to be the end. It can actually be a beginning of something new and glorious in your walk with the Lord. And like the potter, with the clay, the sunshine can bake you hard and rigid, if you do not allow the LORD to mold you and form you into a yielded vessel, fit for the MASTER’S use.

Life is hard, but God is good. ALL the time. Even in the midst of horrible news about marriage, health, finances or whatever.

“Lord, keep me from a complaining spirit.”  Is part of my morning prayer time each day.  Often, I have to remind myself during the day again! 😉

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

Until next time…

 

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

Pamela Taylor invites you to join her in this interactive acrostic devotional journal designed to draw you into the extremely personal and abundant love God has waiting for you. Experience the "Just ask..." of His love for you!

My Father: Experiencing God's Love from A-Z by Pamela A. Taylor

Let's Connect!Awaiting His shout,
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Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Don’t Quit! Joseph… A Story of Success… via Blood, Sweat and Tears

Have you heard a version of Anything worthwhile is worth fighting for. Worth waiting for?

I know that’s not a happy thought that success comes via blood, sweat and tears, but it seems especially necessary to say that today. The media would have us believe that we “deserve” success. When we get a college degree, we “deserve” a job. And not just a job, but a job starting at the top. Because we are “qualified”, right? Isn’t that the way it works? Or maybe we believe that when we start our own business, the clients/customers will flock to us. Because we did the right things, so of course we will realize our dreams complete and full…immediately. Right? That when we do the right thing, all falls into place. Blog posts tell us that. Facebook and Twitter posts all claim that if we buy their program, we will get skinny, we will grow new hair on that bald spot, and we will be able to run a marathon if we eat the right energy bar. That’s what we hear from all forms of media. But…is it true???

My inspiration today is the story of Joseph in the Bible. Joseph had a dream. Have you had a dream? Are you continuing to pursue it, or did you quit when it got hard or took too long?

You know the story. Joseph was his Dad’s favorite. And his brothers knew that. It was way too obvious. So, when they got a chance, they got even. Not with the Dad who chose him as favorite, but with Joseph. They tried to eliminate their problem. They wanted him out of the way. The only problem was, even though the Dad thought Joseph was dead, Joseph was STILL his favorite. The empty space at the table was NOT occupied by another. His Dad’s heart was very sad. And none of the other sons became the favorite in his place. So what did they accomplish by taking matters into their own hands?

What about Joseph? At the hands of his brothers, Joseph suffered bullying, abuse, betrayal and great loss; and at the hands of others, he suffered slavery.

He waited. (What else could he do under the circumstances?) But somehow, Joseph never seemed to see himself as “under the circumstances”. He believed in a BIG GOD. THE big God!

Then, he began to find the Favor of the Lord. And he kept his integrity. He faithfully walked honorably, even when tempted to take the lower road to destruction.

He took the higher road to the Favor of God. Those appointed to keep him in line saw clearly God’s favor or him and they appointed him to positions of leadership. And they indirectly received God’s Favor through Joseph. But betrayals and disappointments continued. And he remained a man of integrity. No matter how much power he was given, he remained a man of God. A man faithful to the Lord’s ways.

And the final outcome? Remember his outrageous dream that his brothers hated him for? Hated him enough to try to get rid of him forever…

Well, that dream came true and they literally owed their lives to him…the one they had sought to destroy was later their rescuer.

Blood, sweat and tears…walking that faithful life with our eyes on the Lord of the blood, sweat and tears…not giving up…but going forward…one step at a time. Little by little. Trusting the God of the outcome.  A heart on fire for Him.

Now THAT is “success”! That is God’s definition of “success” and that is where the joy lies. Peace that passes understanding. Don’t quit. Press on. Press through. Keep looking up to the Creator of real success…via blood, sweat and tears!

Easy? No! But ask Joseph someday: “Was it worth it?” And I have a feeling he will shout out, “Yes! Undoubtedly, YES!”

Do you have a dream you haven’t yet followed through on?