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Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Great Sculptor

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As I counsel hurting believers week after week, pain is often the common denominator in their lives. Why does God allow pain and suffering in the life of the believer? In reading, “When God Weeps” by Joni Eareckson Tada, I found several reasons why we go through suffering. I would like to share some of her thoughts with you.

Hebrews 5:7-9 states, “…although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what he suffered and made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” This is good news for the suffering soul. The Son of God did not exempt Himself from affliction but lived through it and learned from it. Once the process is complete, He became the source of help for all who obey Him.  Should we suffer? “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” (Matt. 10:24-25)

Suffering fashions us into a “holy and blameless” image of Christ. (Eph.1:4) much like a figure sculpted out of marble. An artist in Florence, Italy once asked the great Renaissance sculptor Michaelangelo what he saw when he approached a huge block of marble. “I see a beautiful form trapped inside.” he replied. “and it is simply my responsibility to take my mallet and chisel and chip away until the figure is set free.”

The beautiful form, the visible expression of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is inside Christians like a possibility, a potential. The idea is there, and God uses affliction like the hammer and chisel, chipping and cutting to reveal His image in you. God chooses as His model His Son, Jesus Christ. “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.” (Rom. 8:29)

God continues to chisel, chipping more away. “To keep me from becoming conceited…there was given me a thorn in the flesh.” (2Cor.12:7)  God works deeper, carefully fashioning every hidden crevice, even our temperament: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who…made Himself…nothing He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on the cross!” (Phil. 2:5-8)

God uses suffering to purge sin from our lives, strengthen our commitment to Him, force us to depend on grace, bind us together with other believers, produce discernment, foster sensitivity, discipline our minds, spend our time wisely, stretch our hope, cause us to know Christ better, make us long for truth, lead us to repentance of sin, teach us to give thanks in times of sorrow, increase faith, and strengthen character. It’s a beautiful image!

And it’s an image like no other. When Christ is unveiled in me, it’s a unique sculpture. It’s what patience, self-control, endurance, gentleness, kindness, as well as a healthy hatred of sin, looks like on “Joni.” That’s different than the way sensitivity and self-control look on my husband or anyone else. My particular affliction is divinely hand-tailored expressly for me.

Yielding to the chisel is “learning obedience from what we suffer.” Our circumstances don’t change; we change. The “who” of who we are is transformed, like a form unfolding, into His likeness with ever-increasing glory. “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2Cor. 3:16-18)

I cannot afford to focus on the hammer and chisel. I cannot look around me and bemoan what God is chipping away. Turn your focus on Him, trusting that He will never cut or gouge too deeply. God is not a casual or capricious Sculptor. “For I know the plans I have for you, ‘ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)

James Eubanks – Grace Ministries

Angels by Grace -June 1998

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http://www.elahministries.com

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http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

With God’s help

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 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.

You will forget the shame of your youth …” Isaiah 54:4

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

Blessings to you.

Sue’s Books – Proceeds support Christian Ministry

Sue's Pen2PaperBlog

After Carla’s husband was killed in Iraq, Carla moves to Ivy, a small Georgia beach town, with her five year old daughter. Hoping for a fresh start and healing of her heart, Carla and Missy enjoy their first few months playing in the waves, building sand castles, and their new home. Suddenly Carla notices a stranger watching her daughter intently. Who is this person and what do they want with her daughter?

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Compelling. Suspenseful. Inspiring. A mixture of romance, intrigue, Christian values, and subtle tactics of Satan. A story that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

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Margaret and Clay have loved raising their two ambitious daughters in their home near Atlanta. The two sisters are as different as night and day. Chris is a force to be reckoned with in the courtrooms in Atlanta as a prosecuting attorney. Teri has taken a dream job in California. Both…

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HE LIFTS US UP: Broken in a Million Little Pieces

ChristianBlessings

When I woke up one morning,
there was a song playing in my head.
“When you are broken, in a million little pieces…”
are part of the lyrics that I read.
So I know that this message is for someone…
who feels they can’t go on.
But I am here to tell you…
that you are never alone.

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A Place of Peace

During my healing process the burdens of the past would build up and the pain from the deep-seeded wounding would escalate at times. I would turn to the Lord and He gave me a place that I could rest.

It was a visual place in my mind that I would be taken to in my spirit. That safe place was under a large Oak tree. I would sit in the shade of its branches. A bubbling creek was at my feet. Behind me was the quiet of a beautiful pasture with wild flowers interspersed among the green grass. The sun shining down.

I would lean against the rough bark of the tree trunk and gaze out at the rippling water. It flowed gently down stream bubbling over a rock. The quiet whisper of the waters flow was calming. In my special place Jesus would walk up and sit down beside me. He never spoke but would lean back against the tree trunk and I would imagine that like me He was just contemplating the sounds of natures.

It was the most calming place for me and when the rigors of life come upon me to this day I always have access to my secret, safe place. I ask the Lord to take me there and suddenly a peace beyond all understanding flows through me as My Lord and I lean against the rough bark of an old Oak tree and listen to the whisper of a bubbling brook.

God has a secret safe place for you when the healing journey tries to tear you down. Ask Him to take you there and let the peace of God fill you.

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Escape…

You need to escape?
Need to get away,
from hassles today?
An escape you seek,
from problems deep?
Want a vacation?
To a secret location?
Wanting the oceans blue…
beautiful mountains too?
Wanting a tropical breeze…
Or a northern freeze?
Wherever you want to go…
something you need to know.
You can escape…
and it’s no debate.
You can escape today…
to a place not far away.
A place concealed,
but I will now reveal.
*********************
It’s called the “Secret Place”…
it’s very deep inside.
Where we can each go…
go and hide.
Peace and safety,
we find in that place.
Consumed by God’s Love,
and His amazing Grace.
Where and how, you ask…
do you get deep inside?
Just call on God…
Let Him be your Guide.
For there is a place…
a Secret Place of rest.
In God’s Presence,
you will sure be blessed.

Poem by: SecretAngel

http://www.Secretangelps.wordpress.comhttp://www.secretplaceministry.org

 

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

HE LIFTS US UP: God’s Love for Victims of Abuse (Psalm 147:3-6)

So many abuse survivor’s think God didn’t or doesn’t care. We’ll never have a better or more loving advocate than Jesus Christ to bring us through the healing process. Blessings to you as you read. Thank you Secret Angel for sharing.

ChristianBlessings

I had an experience one day, and I want to share with you. There is actually a difference when you have “head” knowledge and when you have “heart” knowledge of something. It suddenly becomes like a new revelation to you even if you knew it before… It is a feeling that you get like something was “downloaded” into your spirit. It kind of gives you a “wow” feeling…

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The roller coaster of healing – A Letter to Jesus

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Dear Jesus:

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t know why I haven’t wanted to talk to you most of the time during these past few weeks. I don’t feel close, yet I know you’re with me. I don’t want to open your Word or even go to church. “Why?” keeps popping into my mind. Yet I don’t really care why.

I know I’m getting tired of feeling like this. I can’t work, I can’t do the hobbies I enjoy. I can’t serve you as I have in the past or as I should. It’s you that does these things through me, I know that, But I don’t even want to pray, Lord! If I don’t care why, then why am I writing this? If this experience is to show me I can’t do anything without you, I already know that. I want to scream, “So what’s going on?” but I don’t want the answer, either.

I’m messed up, Lord. I’m at a place I don’t remember even being before I became a Christian. Any yes, it’s very obvious that I’m operating out of the flesh. Part of me is screaming, “So what! I am human!” I feel like I’m mad at you and I don’t know why. This feels like the time you used my healing to show others the pain we feel from abuse. Remember that? I was really hurting and you allowed me to go through that in front of others. Boy, was I a real mess then! And I didn’t like that any more than I like this.

I don’t see what the lesson is here. Are you using this experience as a lesson to someone else? Me? I want to shout, “Where’s the lesson!?” But I’m not sure I want to hear the answer. Choices? Consequences? You’ve led me to those type verses the few times I’ve opened your Word this past few weeks. I did read them before I slammed the Bible closed.  Is that what all of this is about? Are you showing me I do have choices? That the “lost” feeling that seems to permeate me now, comes from those choices?

Lord, there’s anger, frustration, agitation. All sorts of negative feelings swirling around inside me. Why? Where does it come from? I care – I don’t. I want – I don’t want. I even feel, “So what?” It’s all inside of me.

I guess it’s up to me now, right? I can ask for your understanding. Ask you, “Why?” Part of me doesn’t want to know, doesn’t care. That doesn’t make sense, either.  I know this relationship is team work. You and me have to work together to accomplish whatever we endeavor. This part of the team doesn’t seem to care any more, yet I do.

Instead of me waiting on the Lord, I think, you Christ, are waiting on me. Waiting until I want your help, want you as an intricate part of my life again. Which, by the way, I never understood anyway. I never deserved you in the first place. So where’d you go? How come you left?

Lord, I know you haven’t left. I have. And I don’t know how to get back, or, if I want to. I gave you my life. You’re my Shepherd. Come find this lost lamb, ’cause I’m scared.

The answer was given in John 1:48-51.

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Name withheld by request – Angels by Grace April 1998

 

If you have any confidential comments/questions feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

Blessings to you.