Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Encouragement Today

Last night Andrew worked late, really late, so late that it was actually early. I hate those days when I'm anticipating "relief", a change of face for the kids, and someone else to help carry the home load. I wanted to feel bitter since I'd not only been with the kids all day, I'd been in the intensity of teaching them all day. I decided instead that this was a special time with the kids and I wanted to make the most of it. We made it through dinner and headed up for an early preparation for bed then I read several extra books before tucking everyone in for the night. I love when we're reading books. Everyone is so quite and focused. We're sitting close and I think the best part is nobody is thinking about themselves and the injustices their experiencing, their thinking about the books. Anyway, it went well and I was so glad. When I finally went to bed though I was thinking about this particular moment in my life and all the newness of home schooling and the fact that we got an offer on the house last night (though it's one we're not accepting, we will counter it and you never know) and I was contrasting that to the intensity of our lives just a few months ago with all the unknowns and possible huge life changes. During that time it seemed that God just whispered in my ear and that everywhere I turned I was keenly aware of his presence. These days, he seems more distant. I even hear myself checking, "God... are you still there? Do you really have a plan for us?" Thankfully, years ago in a women's group that has eternally blessed me, I learned that God never changes, he is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. I will have changing emotions and feelings but that doesn't change the truth of who God is. I feel like bread dough that has come through some intense kneading but is now being left to rise. I feel the little yeast buggies doing their job but it's a really slow process and if you're watching it, it doesn't look like much is happening. So, those were my comforting thoughts last night and this morning's devotional was encouragement to take things one step further and fully enter into the peace that God offers. I LOVE WHEN I GET JUST THE ENCOURAGEMENT I NEED AND IT NEVER FAILS THAT IT IS THERE WHEN I SEEK IT. Thank you Lord for this from Proverbs 31 Ministries:

A favorite Bible passage of mine is in Ezekiel 47 where the prophet
experiences a vision of God’s temple. He is shown the Temple by a heavenly host
– perhaps an angel, or perhaps even Christ Himself. Out of this Temple, past
it’s altar, flowed a stream of water that became a massive river. Read for
yourself Ezekiel’s experience there:

“Then the man brought me back to the
entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing eastward from beneath the
Temple threshold. This stream then passed to the right of the altar on its south
side. The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me
around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the stream flowing out through
the south side of the east gateway.
Measuring as he went, he led me
along the stream for 1,750 feet and told me to go across. At that point the
water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,750 feet and told me
to go across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750
feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the
river was too deep to cross without swimming.
He told me to keep in
mind what I had seen; then he led me back along the riverbank. Suddenly, to
my surprise, many trees were now growing on both sides of the river! Then he
said to me, ‘This river flows east through the desert into the Jordan Valley,
where it enters the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will heal the salty
waters of the Dead Sea and make them fresh and pure. Everything that touches the
water of this river will live. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters
will be healed. Wherever this water flows, everything will live.’” (Ezekiel
47:1-9, NLT)

Are you feeling overwhelmed with problems, projects or decisions
today? Are you feeling mentally drained, physically spent, or spiritually numb?
Take a dip with me into the river of God, the river of healing, and be awakened
to life in God. Let this living water flow over, into, and through you today –
for wherever this water flows, everything will live.

Dear Lord,
forgive me of my sins and plunge me deep into Your river! This is where I
want to be. Cover me, wash me, cleanse me, heal me, and purify me. Make me
spiritually alive and in tune with You today. In Jesus’ Name,

Related Resources:
Do You
Know Him?

Try a Girlfriends
Get-A-Way Cruise
with members of P31 Ministries

Visit Rachel Olsen’s

Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional
Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst &
Rachel Olsen

Application Steps:
Spend a few minutes in
prayer, imagining yourself walking into the river of God. Feel the presence of
God wash over you as you turn your heart towards Him and receive cleansing from
His living water.

Plan a trip to a local swimming spot and get some
exercise as you contemplate living water. Invite a friend to come along, and
tell them about the river of God described in Ezekiel

Have I touched this river of life?
Everything that touches it will live (vs. 9).

Have I gone beyond
sticking my toes in – have I walked in far enough to be

Power Verses:
Revelation 22:1-2, “And the angel
showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from
the throne of God and of the Lamb, coursing down the center of main street. On
each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with
a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”

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Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff