We'd just come home from a week of speaking. It was an effective time watching the Lord do what He does best - show off - and we got to be participators. There was prolific fruit, a look at "rediscovering Jesus" (as we were challenged to see Him again as if for the very first time), some sweet friendships formed, and some one-on-one conversations where we got to do a little "spurring on." I was tired, I know. Yet, it's at those weak moments that the true-heart has a way of revealing itself.
I struggled all day Sunday with where I "fit" in my own home-town. What's my niche? I'm used to serving in between the serving, but am not finding my place. Not fully. It's something I continue taking to the Lord. Hence, that was on my mind as I went to bed that night. Then...there was this dream. It was disjointed like most dreams are. When I woke up I wrote it down. There were several aspects to this dream. What I remember is feeling embarrassed, incomplete, unorganized, inadequate, a few steps behind, out-of-place. I hated the experiences in the dream that were leading to these feelings. Then came the big exclamation mark. People sitting around me at a conference, where I was to speak, began moving away, some spraying themselves with what I recognized as a perfumed-body-mist. I heard a woman next to me ask an accusing question, "Who smells like compacted trash?" I sniff. I don't smell anything. I turn to another lady, and ask, "Is it me?" "Yes," she says. "It's you." That's about when I woke up, but not until an old, dear friend, from Kenya-days, a counselor-by-trade appeared in my dream. A comforting presence. (Ok...I couldn't resist a little "trash humor..." By the way, in that dream, I'd have welcomed an elephant to step on me, that's how powerful the emotions were!)
I don't often read a lot into dreams. They can be silly reflections of events that have happened during a day. Yet, I've explored this one. There was a message of maturity-needed, and a reminder that I'm still not "fully-growed"; a ministering of the Word needed to happen in my soul. I didn't need to run to another counselor, I have the Great Counselor, always at my beck and call. I didn't need to get another's ideas of truth. I have access to the sufficient words of truth in Scripture at my disposal. I recognized that old familiar serpent of shame that raises it's ugly head from time to time in my head and in my heart. The serpent that wants me to believe I am not enough... Then, I remembered these words from last week's blog.
The Psalmist who wrote 119, the longest Psalm in Scripture, extols the virtues of the Words of the Lord. I wrote out a list of just a few. The Word:
* Keeps us from sin (11)
* Keeps us from shame (6) - I DEFINITELY NEEDED THAT ONE
* Strengthens the heart (28) - Yep, needed this, too!
* Sets the heart free and enlarges it with compassion (32)
* Helps us discern and turn away from worthless things (37)
* Teaches us to fear, respect, and be in AWE of the Lord (38)
* Gives us answers (42)
* Brings hope (43)
* Comfort in affliction (50)
* Blesses (56)
* Grants us good judgment and knowledge (67)
* Guides us and lights our path (105)
Wow! How I need the Word!!! By the way, this isn't a complete list. No wonder it's THE KEY to maturity. THE WAY to resolution of all the things that plague the depths of our souls.
This simple gal dug into Scripture. The Lord gave me a passage that absolutely illuminated within me. It was exactly what I needed to hear from Him. I wrote it out on a 3 X 5 card. All through the day on Monday, I took it out of my pocket and reminded myself of the TRUTH of God's word. The truth that says, He cares. The truth that reminds me His timing is perfect. The truth that reminds me He is always present. The truth that reminds me of His Sovereign plan over my life. The truth that strengthened my soul. I must have read it 100 times by the end of the day. Little by little, that small task, that one Word-of-the Lord to my heart, did all-of-the-above from that list. It was a simple reminder to me of how valuable the Word of God is; but, not just valuable, absolutely empowering.
I am writing this morning just to say, the Word-of-God is enough!!!!!! This one little verse I wrote out on Scripture was a reminder that settled my soul, raised me out of my own self-centeredness, and defeated the ugly serpent of shame. It is ENOUGH! May I encourage you to live in it? May I encourage you to never leave the comfort of your couch until you've gotten your Word-of-the-Day from the Spirit-of-the-Lord? May I encourage you to carry it with you? To look at it throughout the day? To marinate in it so that it moves from your head to your heart and out through your life? May I encourage you that GOD'S WORDS will do all-of-the-above, and more?
I'm reminded that sometimes we rush first to the side of another counselor, before we rush to the side of the Lord, taking our concerns to Him. It's exactly where I tried to go in that silly dream...it's obviously something that seems more natural, even to me. BUT THE LORD HAS GIVEN US EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS! It's right in His Word. Soak it up! Give it the opportunity to do exactly what God says it will do.
As we learn to "man-up"......
TAKE GOD AT HIS WORD!!!!