All I Have is All He Is

The Word in the middle of silence. The Word in uncertainty and no clear path. The Word in pain and grief. I hate to admit it, but so many times I have cried out to God that I need more than scripture; I need a visible sign of his hand at work in my battle. But there have been no signs. Oh, there have been apparent breakthroughs that turned into closed doors, promise stolen, and plenty of those. Friends see visions, have dreams, receive miracles . . . but not me. All I have is God’s Word from verses that have leaped out to me.

Is that enough to sustain me/you in the deadliest battle and hurricane-strength storm? Maybe that’s what I’m here to learn. I don’t know for certain, but maybe why I’m here is to tell someone else going through Heck that God’s Word IS enough. Right now I’m listening to a live worship CD “Let Your Healing Flow” with an inspired prophetic song/word from Andre Ashby: “My word is sure, and it will stand forever and evermore. My word is sure and it will not return void unto me, for I am a faithful God and I see your need. And I’m drawing near to you, I’m drawing near to you to touch you, to heal you, to make you whole. My word will stand forever. Come boldly unto me, come boldly to my throne of grace, for my grace is sufficient for all you need. Come boldly unto me, come boldly, for I will prove myself to you, I am a great big God. There’s nothing too hard for me, there’s nothing that I cannot do. I am all you need, and I’m here for you.”

And he’s all I have. I have no power to change my husband’s choices, his stubborn selfishness and hard heart, his rebellion against God, newest betrayal and full-speed-ahead hardened will to divorce. All I have is God’s Word that I have been praying and confessing over communion every morning for the past year. BUT I know that Jesus is the Living Word, that he is his word – who he is IS his Word – that God watches over his Word to perform it:

The LORD said to me, ‘”You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” Jeremiah 1:12

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth . . . so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55: 10-11

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. Psalm 130: 5-6

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Almost every moment of every day, as soon as I open my eyes in the morning, I am aware of my complete helplessness to change my circumstances and the heart and mind and will of my beloved husband. BUT I am not falling into the void, even though I feel like it many times. Even though the word some days seems like the thinnest thread I cling to on the edge of a bottomless abyss and I can feel the winds of destruction swirling up from the depths, YET my life is not determined by my husband’s choices, so says my God’s word:

The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. BUT the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33: 11

I am God, and there is no other . . . I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. Isaiah 46:10

Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

And the word tells me this much of God’s will for sure: rejoice in the LORD always and in everything give thanks. He promises to be my shield and sword (Genesis 15: 1 and Deuteronomy 33: 29) and he will fight the battle for me (Exodus 14:14 and 2 Chronicles 20: 15,17)

Not much from me, but much from the Word today. All I have to give you is all I have to live, hope, trust and rejoice in: God’s Word is God himself, and he cannot and will not deny it, no matter what my circumstances look like and no matter who wars against me. God is love, his love endures, and the purposes of his heart will bring me victory somehow, some day, some way, for sure.

So I will bless my enemy and pray for the one who bitterly abuses me, because God’s word tells me to, and I know the Spirit will pour out upon my husband every spiritual blessing and weapon against deception from the coals of the altar of Heaven, where Jesus lives as the great high priest to speak and decree and make intercession and send his living word for him, and for me, too.

Does that give you something to cling to? I hope so. My greatest praise to God and the greatest work of my life may just be trusting in his Word and living in the peace, hope and victory it brings, and encouraging some other grieving heart to do the same. Whoever you are, I love you, and I pray for victory for you, too.

A ” . . . BUT . . .” to move: Jesus, all I hear is silence, all I see are closed doors and looming defeat, BUT you are your Word, and you promise to deliver on your Word when I confess it and cling to it. Because I know you don’t lie and you don’t dishonor your Word or your people who believe it, I will hang onto this thread knowing that your Word is stronger and more powerful than hammered steel. I will trust you, even when it doesn’t look like I should, and I will rejoice in all you are. Amen!

You own ” . . . But . . . ” to move: Jesus, I feel desperate, lost, without hope, BUT I trust that you _________________________

Breathless from Relentless Love

How intimately our Father knows us! And oh, how he surprises me on a regular basis. Just when you think you have God’s intentions tracked and figured out . . .

Back on January 6, 2011, I thought I had been waiting in the dark and cold on January 1st on “A” Mountain for an unexpected appointment with Jessica to bless her with connection to City of Grace and our prayer team. Just three weeks ago I felt a prompting to call Jessica. I hadn’t seen her at church for a long time, wondered how she was doing, and really, really wanted her visionary prayers for my ongoing and seemingly headed for defeat battle for my husband’s faith and our marriage. Honestly, I have plunged into bouts of the deepest pain and despair I never imagined I could endure. So much for trusting God ruthlessly, as Brennan Manning writes in his book I read on my way to Chiang Mai in 2008. Had I only known then how I would need the ruthless love of Jesus one year later . . .

And that is exactly what showed up on “A” Mountain, though I didn’t know it at the time. I didn’t know it till April 13, on a day I was flat on the floor feeling totally abandoned and devastated by yet another sign that this war in and for my husband and our marriage is advancing ruthlessly on toward defeat. Prayer, prayer and guidance – “Oh, GOD,”- let’s be honest, I screamed – “show me your will! I need to hear you!” I reeled to the phone and dialed, forcing my voice to be calm.

“Hi, Jessica, it’s Rose. How are you?”

“Rose, I’ve been thinking about you for weeks, but I though you were probably too busy . . . .” (Note to me: NEVER assume anyone is too busy for me to call if the Spirit puts her/him on my mind!)

And thus began the conversation and prayer that totally changed my understanding of New Year’s Day. In our initial catching up Jessica revealed that she’s moved back across the valley and is attending our former church. “Hmmm . . . ., “my brain started churning, “Then what was January 1st about?”

Prayer followed catching up, and out of Jessica’s prayer for me poured visions of my husband, visions of our younger son, and visions for me, including “I see you in God’s arms. He cherishes you!”

How I wish I had a pencil and paper with me that afternoon to record her words accurately! To say I was blown away is to understate the lifting that was going on in my heart. What I do remember precisely was her momentary pause, then this instruction: “God wants to give you a new outfit . . . . He wants you to go buy a new outfit.”

How funny, how unexpected, and how I suddenly recognized that back on January 1, 2011, Jesus knew I would need Jessica’s insight and prayers on April 13! I though I was there for her, but Jesus placed her there on that cold rock for me! I know this; I know how many times God has maneuvered and moved me literally across the world to meet other people’s very pointed and specific needs at pointed, specific times.

He’s positioned me to carry his word and love for someone else, and what a jazzed juice that is for me to be part of what God Almighty is doing! But to experience him doing that for me – how humbling, how powerful, what a profound sense of his loving and knowing and being more than able!

Now this is what the LORD says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep, and my sheep know me . . . . “ John 10:14

Oh, to be known by the Creator of the Universe – to be called HIS! Treasured, cherished, known!

So what did I do? Given the financial vise our joint checking account is in, I couldn’t afford to splurge on a new dress, but on April 14th after a doctor appointment, I went to Savers, a local thrift store chain, and found a spectacular ruddy crimson, gauzy, ankle-length dress embroidered with gold thread and gold sequins for – drum roll please – $6.99. I wore it last weekend while I presented the Sunday morning devotional message at a women’s retreat, testimony to the truth that our Father knows us uniquely as individuals and CARES PASSIONATELY about us, uniquely, as individuals, as his one-in-a-billion beloved child. That dress restored broken hearts! Thank you, thank you again, Father!

He showed up for me the next week at the fountain at the Forest of Uco at the Zoo, where I was waiting for a very late high school tour group to show up for their rainforest tour. Many people passed me heading up the trail, but one woman with her husband stopped and turned to me. “Rose . . . mary . . . Rose?” Fourteen years since I’ve seen her, but I recognized Jan immediately! She’s moved out of the valley and lives about 100 miles north now. Amazed and joyful reunion! We had a wonderful time of reconnecting and prayer right there in the middle of traffic, and to top it off, she and her husband are great friends of the brother of our counselor, who lives in the same town they do.

What are the odds? Spot on when Jesus is at work loving and knowing me. What does this mean for you? He knows you, truly knows you, and is already at work to meet your deepest heart needs with his ruthless, relentless, mighty, able, and more-than-willing love.

Yes, I believe in miracles . . . .