Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The White Stone


In Revelation 2:17 Jesus tells us He will give each of us a white stone with a new name that only He knows on it. Today I was reading a Lenten devotional that talked about that. It said, "He knows what my name should be, how His grace has marked me in such a way to reveal His glory. He knows what name will clearly picture who I am and who I belong to. He names us out of His love. He will put the stone in my hand and I will know, from my naming, how much He has loved me all along."
I just love that. I had asked God a while ago if He would be willing to share with me His white stone name for me . . . and He did! I have never liked my name because it often gets mispronounced and misspelled so to have a new name thrilled me. It is His special name for me, so special that I don't want to share it here, it is too personal. BUT I encourage you to ask God the same, ask if He will share His white stone name for you. And then ponder it, ask about its meaning. As I read this devotional today, He gave me even further insight into the meaning of my name and it was exactly what I needed to hear in this season of my life.
I promise, you WILL be blessed, if you listen closely to His whispers to you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hard times


How many of us are struggling in some way, shape or form with difficulties today? My neck and shoulders have been bothering me since my bumpy 4 hour trip to Ghamba in Kenya. That was Novemeber 2008, almost 4 months ago. I keep thinking if I just wait long enough, it will get better. I pray for God to heal me and nothing changes. Finally I went to physical therapy yesterday and a shred of hope is dawning even as I do my exercises and sometimes the pain increases. Then I think about those I know personally who are enduring so much worse: my friend who endures excruiating back pain, my friend who is dealing with returning cancer. God gave me an encouraging word today as I seek to do the hard work of pressing through my difficulties as opposed to praying for Him to just take them away.
"Hold fast, My child, for in the hour of anguish, then shall you walk in victory. Do not pray to be brought out of the fire until after you have found Me real in the midst of it. The coward seeks release from the pressure. The courageous pray for strength to overcome."
Daniel 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
Father, give me courage to pray for Your strength to be strong when I am weak and to remain where I am until I have found YOU in the midst of the difficulty. Thank you that You ARE here with me and only want me to cling to YOU!
(from Come Away My Beloved: 365 One Minute Meditations)

photo credit: Ernest von Rosen, www.amgmedia.com
(Notice the cross in the middle of the fire!!!! How cool is that!)

PS:Whenever my pain annoys me, I take that as God reminding me to pray for my two friends that are in a harder place than me. This gives some value to my pain and takes my focus off of me. Thus in some unusual way, my pain has become a gift.