Seeking direction and that small still voice in the midst of a multitude of distractions and carnal desires. I recently completed a period of fasting (one small meal a day) and praying to seek God and to learn from Him regarding the path He has destined for me in the year 2011.
Not knowing what to expect I entered with a open heart full of expectancy of an encounter with the living God. Hunger set in immediately as I struggled with the desires of the flesh and the diversions this world offers. Sometime towards the end of day one a still small voice whispered into my mind, "Trust me" and soon then thereafter I heard another whisper saying, "Wait on me."
This phrase echoed continually in my mind from the moment I awoke on day 2 and throughout the day. I was content to rest in that and not knowing exactly what that meant, as new designs for artwork were forming in my mind also. I was happy as it seemed that God was speaking and I was happily listening as my appetite ebbed and flowed.
At the Saturday night church service and the end of day 3, during the time of worship, the phrase "Enlarge your vision" cemented itself into my mind. Sunday morning and day 4, my family attended another church service and the heavens seemed to open up and God clearly spoke into my heart three distinct times.
First He said ~Trust me in all things
As I pondered this He spoke again saying ~Wait on me, I am moving
And then He said ~Enlarge your vision to bless others
He spoke these three phrases individually and distinctly at different times during worship. Wow, what does all of this mean? Are these simply an affirmations? Simply a reminder of what I already should be doing?
As my journey continued into days 5, 6 and 7, my expectations increased and the joy I had felt slowly dissolved into a confused of silence. As I listened to the silence I found myself wandering between the winds of two worlds. My frustration and uncertainty grew, had I really truly heard from God? My desire for food increased exponentially, as a swell of anger began to rise within me, where was God? Wasn't I truly seeking Him and His direction for my life?
After prayer and consultation I decided to end my fast after 7 days due to the position of my heart not being right. I knew that and was willing to accept that if that was all God had to say to me then I would go forward trusting and waiting, believing that he always has my best interests at heart. Day 8 and most of day 9 passed uneventfully in silence with no further revelations from God.
During day 9 I had scribbled the above phrases on a piece of paper and carried it with me the rest of the day. That evening, I shared that scrap of paper with my wife, an angel with no wings that God has blessed me with. She knew God had spoken to me but was not aware of the fullness of my encounter nor the specifics of the words, as I was trying to stayed focused on God during my journey.
God gave my angel a revelation of the true meaning of those phrases as she handed the scrap of paper back to me she said, 'Read them all together.' Not knowing what she meant, I read the words out loud and the eyes of my heart were opened;
Trust me in all things and wait on me, I am moving
to enlarge your vision to bless others.
These were not individual words and phrases from God, but a complete concept of my ministry (Grace Unveiled) and the future direction of my life. I still do not know all that it might entail other than blessing and loving others and I believe the use of my artistic abilities, but I know that God's plan for my life holds great promise. My journey 'wandering between the winds' has stirred my resolve to always believe and have faith in the greatness and goodness of my God. I do not know, but I can trust and wait and I am okay with that.
"Sometimes you cannot know, you can only believe or not." ~CS Lewis
Do not be afraid any longer, only believe. ~Mark 6:36
In my life the struggles I have endured, the pain I have felt never seemed to be a gift, but now in what I like to call the second chapter of my life, I quietly question.
I have found myself wondering if my journey through the darkness is truly a blessing or a curse as the world would view it.
The hurt, the sadness, the moment the devastation breaks through and into your life, you are forever changed as sure as the turning of the earth.
Not only the physical hurts that life throws at you, but the emotional pain that cuts so deep. The pain that is so often hidden from others and concealed deep inside behind the mask.
In my case it is the ever present memory of holding a hand and watching a life slip away in one breathless final exhale.
For so many years I held onto this moment and viewed it as a simply life, but I am coming to view it as so much more. The utter darkness that ensued has slowly been replaced by a light that cannot be hidden nor extinguished.
A light that is meant to be shared, an experience that is meant to be shared to comfort or empower others on their journey. Life was never meant to be easy, but it was meant to be shared. Our light cannot be hidden in fact 'In the Dark is When His Light Shines the Brightest' through us!
To ring in the new year of 2011 our family began a new tradition last night - a Bonfire!!! It was a perfect windless night and around 30 degrees outside.
The fire symbolized the burning up of all the old grudges disappointments and hurts from 2010 and the letting go of this to start the new year. We refuse to bring these things into the promise of new hope that God gives us each day.
The fire also symbolizes the glory and love of God that works in the midst of our lives. The warmth and power of the fire, reminds us of all that God is and gives to us, but also that He is Holy and all consuming.
We pray for God's grace on all, the wisdom to hear His words, the courage to follow His lead and the humility to submit to His will each moment. Happy New Year - 2011!
"and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,"