Monday, April 28, 2008

Silence of Friends, Desire of God, Opportunity Knocks

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Have you had a time in your life, when you look around you, and there is no one you can call on the phone, no one you can go meet with? No. One. At. All.


No one that is, who could understand the season you are in. Not the thoughts, not the cares, not the worries, not the hurts, not the trials. No. One.

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It's so very important that we not abandon what we know to be true in these times. If you have not had this time in your life, in your faith, don't be naive. Don't believe it won't ever happen to you. Because it happened to Jesus, He's our example. It'll happen to us. I had a period in my life like this a few years ago. It was during a very difficult and challenging time, in just about every way. It was almost comical the lengths the Lord would go to, to keep me from going to my normal sources of comfort. He is a jealous God! He knew best what I needed during this period in my life. He knew that if I did not seek Him for comfort and counsel, if I went to any other source for these things, the stake were too high. The risk was too great that I would be headed off in the wrong direction. I have looked back at that period with thoughtful eyes and humor many times over the last 6 years or so. It's funny the clear perspective you gain with time and distance. I am now grateful beyond measure for the things I learned during this time, and the comfort I have been able to offer many because of what I walked through during that time.

It's good that I can appreciate that time, as I am about 6 months into another such time! As I have walked out a new version of a similar experience, I find that once again my flesh longs for human counsel and comfort more than what the loving hand of God permits or recommends. Recently on a drive home, by myself (from *&&*mart or something like that) I told God sorry for ducking and hiding from Him, because I feel like a little bit I have done so. Have I ever stopped praying? No. Studying His Word? Nope. Still pray, still have quiet time, still read His Word. etc. It's more like the most tender area is held back, not too closely examined. Did I mention He is a jealous God? For our own good. Some areas need His wisdom, His light, His perspective more than anything or anyone else's. He wants to protect us from what would feel good to our flesh for a season, but ultimately rob us from His best refinement, best teaching, and most bountiful blessing for our life both here and eternally. Human counsel and comfort is good in its season and God does meet our needs this way during much of our life.

However, when we are in our Gethsemane period(s) (which I would think, and would dare to hope are few and far between in our lives, but I am young yet, only 42! This is probably my 2nd in my adult life, and I can look back and certainly see at least one in my teenage years.) God is doing a work in us, letting life pose us an opportunity to come near Him and be transformed a little more into the image of His precious son Jesus, than we could become with our friends, patting us on the back, egging us on, and giving us well intentioned advice, that would unintentionaly rob us. Think of Peter telling Jesus - Oh No, Lord, be it not so!
Think of it. Jesus tried to talk to His buddies. They. Did. NOT. Get. It. What He said to them sounded weird to them. It was outside their experience, too foreign to comprehend. During these times, a good sign you are in Gesthemane is when what you are going through - just wouldn't make sense to anyone else. Every once in a while, when you bypass the prompting of the Holy Spirit, (like I have done on occasion) you will find that your very loyal friend, looks at you and tries to grasp it, but can't quite. It is truly frustrating. Frustrating really doesn't quite do it justice. But, we will leave it at that for now.

It can be tempting to think people who you should be able to count on, are leaving you high and dry. Be very, VERY cautious here. It is a trap. What IF Jesus had gotten that attitude in the Garden? Remember, He was tempted but, without sin. I DOOOOO sincerely believe that was one of His temptations, to have a wrong attitude about His closest friends abandoning Him in His most precious and dire hours of need. We must take these opportunities in life to draw near God, as Jesus did in Gethsemane. Love our friends, and look forward to being able to minister to them, in way we never could before when we have "graduated' from this season in life.

I'd like to save some of this for another post. Where we talk about the questions posed in the Garden. And what the name Gethsemane means! Until then, if you ARE in Gethsemane - Pray, Pray, Pray!

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15 comments:

Karen said...

I was thinking of you just now - have you read "Dancing with Destiny" By Jill Austin. It's really good - about hopes, dreams, God's dreams for us...it may really inspire you! Website is
http://www.masterpotter.com/

xx

luvmy4sons said...

Very insightful post. As one who has been in the garden I related so much to a lot of what you said. I have looked back on moments when Christ has stripped me and in a moment ALL I had was Him, He was ALL I could turn to...it is a moment you never ask for but would never trade. Love you. I can't join you in the garden, but I CAN pray! Praying.

MelanieJoy said...

I experienced a garden time when I went back to college. I was in my early 30's when I went back. It was stressful enough but God decided to do some major overhaul work on me at the same time. You are so right about "It can be tempting to think people who you should be able to count on, are leaving you high and dry." Cause Girl, I did it. I blamed them for letting me "fall through the cracks". Hind sight I knew later that God was just setting me aside to depend on Him alone.
Sending prayers your way tonight...

StaceyStace said...

Oh, yeah. I am just coming out of such a time. At one time I screamed out to God that I would like to be found within a few days if I should fall in the shower. I felt SO forgotten and abandoned. I certainly did have my husband, who is my best friend, but he was out of town a lot. I knew my condition was a result of sin, but I felt I was a scapegoat for many people as I angrily cried out, "Well, who hasn't sinned?! Do tell." Out of my intense anger and loneliness, though, He came running, just when I thought I would faint. And you are so right - he would not let any human stand in the way of HIS real comfort. Thanks for sharing this.

Sharon Brumfield said...

Smacking my knee...yelling yes, yes, yes!!!!!!!!
I know there are others out there.
I would say I am in the garden.
And I am looking at it often going....it just does not make sense.
We are the same age and six or seven years ago I went through the first garden trip. It is not always so easy to smell the roses when you hit these times.
This time in the garden is different--but the pain the same. This time I have not handled my trip here the same.Not a good thing. I feel a bit numb...the pain has eased but in its place a feeling of being lost. I know I am not.
On the other side of this is greater glory waiting.

And this is what I think about when I read your post.

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear
Whisper in my ear
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me and He talks
With me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share
As we tary there
None other has ever known

Thank you girl
I post what is going on and I know some must think--- this girls life is a mess. But in the midst of this bizarre storm He is quietly waiting---in the garden.

Denise said...

I am lifting you high up in my prayers my friend.

freetofly said...

Karen - I will have to make a point to...I have read some of her words through Elijah List...thanks for thinking of me, the book sounds good!

Leslie - Thanks my friend!

Melanie Joy - Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?! Wish we could have it sooner, but then it wouldn't be hindsight! Ha! Thanks, Girlie!

Stacey - WOW - few words -powerful statement and illustration. I really appreciate what you communicated through the whole shower thing. so glad he "found" you! :)

Sharon - with you on so many of your points. So many. I really like the song! I'll be thinking on that...had forgotten that!

Denise - you are always so kind. Thank you!

To All - It was my hope to encourage you. As always you encouraged me. Just wanted to say how much I appreciate all of your kindess and prayers!! We are all the stronger for the prayers we send up for each other!

Have a great day!

xoxo,
Maria

Brother Raphy said...

all your post are so inspiring & pray that God may reachly bless you and increase your wisdom in writing...

Thanks a lot!
Brother Raphy

Carole said...

Good post, feel it is impossible to share what I feel right now but thanks for writing.

I like the new format or right and left margins instead of centered. Easier to read. Thanks.

Knit-Wit said...

I have never thought about those times as God keeping us from our normal comforts in order to seek Him. Very interesting thought.

A Stone Gatherer said...

I am so glad I came by this morning. I am in that spot right now, and I so want to keep advice from friend, but realize that my best advice will come from my Father! Thanks!

Poopsie said...

Maria, I have felt the way you describedin your first paragraph. I tend to be inthat place a lot of the time. The little nuances of my life can be hard to explain, and I have beed finding myslef drawn to do more visiting with the ONE that will. I know a peace filled feeling when I remember to stop and pray. Do you suppose taht is God reaching out to me as you say to stop going for my normal sources of comfort?

I love to come to your blog and read. It helps me to put things in order. It is like having a conversation with a friend. Thank you.

I may be in the Garden, but I am not alone.

Blessings,
Cindy P :)

freetofly said...

Brother Raphy - That is so kind of you! Thank you for dropping by!

Carole - I hope the clouds part soon! And Thanks! I am glad the new margins are better! I was hoping!

Karolee - Interesting things are good! That's always what I love about YOUR blog, the good thought provoking questions! & the coffee (of course)! :)

Kim - Praying for you! For wisdom, for the rhema word, for peace!

Poopsie - A resounding yes! I DO believe He is and does call us, so MUCH more often that we (all of us), than we really ever hear. I am so glad that you feel at home here. That is always what I hope for.

Thanks, Ya'll!

Maria

Cecily R said...

You are so inspired!!

Someday Maria, ask me about my Gethsemane time. It's too personal to post here, but ask me about it.

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

I absolutely love this post! Thank you, I really needed this right now....
*Hugs*

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!