{re}fresh

Tilled and Sown

by juste buzas

Image by Untilled Soybean Board_Flickr-com_9622771985_21fe5db2fe_CC BY-ND 2.0

Years ago, before I had given my heart to Christ, my life looked like a desert plain where the soil was hardened by the heat of the sun.  Through rebellion and strife, I was responsible for the fruitlessness and decay of my life.  Even so, God was always there.  In His sovereignty, God waited until I came to the end of myself that brought me to my knees.

Kneeling in the desert of my own desolation, unable to stand, parched and spent, I reached out to my loving Father and begged for mercy and escape.

God, in His compassion, met me in the field of my deficiency, stayed with me there in the parched land of my need.  It was there that the Lord began teaching me His ways. He showed me my desolate self against the mirror of His abounding holiness. He opened my eyes to my wandering places, exposed my hidden places of hurt and trespass and revealed where my resisted His love.

It was there, dry and broken, that I understood God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness.  It was there that He taught me how to be loved:

“For behold, I am for you and I will turn to you; and you shall be tilled and sown.”  (Ezekiel 36:9)

Tilled and sown.  Oh!  God does not leave us in the desert for long.  No.  He tills away our sorrow and our sin.  He turns our lives over…from old into new.  In our willingness for the work of His hand, God is faithful to till and to sow.  He plants His Word deep within our hearts.  He satisfies our thirst.  We become like a newly planted field that is watered by the rain of God’s presence and bathed in the glory of His light.  His seed of grace and goodness is planted deep within our hearts, and our lives are adorned with the fruitfulness of His righteousness.

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Measured by God

by juste buzas

Worship
by spaceamobea
Flickr.com_1515437636_ce7442adf1_CC BY-ND 2.0

“I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  (Galatians 2:20)

Early one morning, while on my knees in prayer, I asked the Lord to expand me.  I prayed that He would broaden my capacity to hold Him…to know Him.  I asked for increase in my ability to minister His love and life to others.

In response to my heartfelt cry, God answered, “Let me measure you, My daughter.”

I lifted my arms.  In the Spirit, I saw a cloak arranged and placed upon my shoulders.  I saw a tailor’s measuring tape placed and stretched.  I doubted and dropped my arms. Read the rest of this entry »

I Hear the Rain

by juste buzas

Image by Ed Merrit
Flickr.com_5458771978_55f71d99a3_ CC BY-ND 2.0

And said to his servant, ‘Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” Elijah said, ‘Go again seven times.’  And at the seventh time the servant said, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is arising out of the sea.’ (1 Kings 18:43)

Here I am, standing in the desert, under my open umbrella.  I’m waiting for rain.  I know it looks strange, insane even.  I’ve been standing here a long time, and no one seems to get it.  No one understands.  But just listen.  Do you hear it?  Feel it?  No?  Try again.  Listen.  I can hear it.  I hear the rain.  It’s coming.  It’s just upon the horizon. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond What We Have Known

by juste buzas

Risk it all by Kyle Steed
Flickr.com/photos/kylesteeddesign/4496357233_CC BY-ND 2.0

But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessary) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life.  Deuteronomy 4:29

It was late one night.  I was tossing and turning in bed.  My dreams were unsettled, restless.  I turned over upon my back, opened my eyes and faced the darkness.

“What, Lord?” I whispered. I waited.  The night was black, still. Then it came, that still small voice deep within.

“Do you want what you’ve always had?  Then, by all means, continue doing what you’ve always done.  Or, do you want more?” Read the rest of this entry »

The “Unless” Moments of God

by juste buzas

 

The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest. (Exodus 14:14)

“When will it break, Lord?”  I whispered wearily.  “When will release come?”

My spirit was tired and heavy within me.  Oh, I wasn’t complaining.  The motive of my heart was pure.  I was quite familiar with the rebellious cries of the children of ancient Israel for I, too, had cried out in bitterness and anger toward God.  I, too, had looked up through bitter tears and accused God.  But this was different.  I wasn’t angry or even sad.  I was simply tired.  I was weary.

As soon as I cried out in anguish, words of Scripture and prophecy flowed through my spirit.  Words which reassured and steadied me.  I took a breath.  I was not turning back.  I had no desire to return to the old for I had tasted and experienced God’s goodness.  I had come to know His steadfast faithfulness – there in the midst of my struggle.  I was simply facing another day of trial, and my heart was faint to bear it. Read the rest of this entry »

The Embrace of God

by juste buzas

Image by Alex Berger
Flickr.com_27607976095_9b67da3b4d_ CC BY-ND 2.0

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].”  (Psalm 91:14)(AMP)

 

One night when I was in Chicago for a conference, I found myself alone in my hotel room after a long day of meetings.  I was tired, weary.  I stood at my window and stared down at the busy and bustling streets of the city.  As I watched the people hurry through the snow, I longed for my children and my husband.  I yearned to hold them, to be held.  I missed my husband’s sheltering embrace.  I craved the sloppy, bowl-me-over kisses of my children.  I longed for love.

Suddenly, I was aware of the silence of the room.  In the quiet of my solitude, I felt the longing of God’s heart toward me.  I could actually feel the yearning of God’s heart toward mine.  He was calling me into His arms, and, like a child, I stepped toward Him and was held close in His eternal embrace.  Read the rest of this entry »

Shooting Stars

by juste buzas

Image by Sergiu Bacloiu flickr.com_8282853841_4370aa05a8_CC BY-ND 2.0

Image by Sergiu Bacloiu
flickr.com_8282853841_4370aa05a8_CC BY-ND 2.0

There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard.  Yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world. Psalm 19:3,4a (AMP)

I’ve always been mesmerized by God’s creation – from the enormity of the night sky to the quietness of the butterflies fluttering from flower to flower in my grandmother’s garden.  Even when I was young, I noticed everything.  Every detail and intricacy of God’s creation.  I felt close to God – I knew Him – as I climbed trees, danced barefoot in the grass or skipped rocks along the glassy surface of the river on my uncle’s farm.

One summer night I was outside alone, watching the night sky.  It was a remarkably clear night.  I stood on the back porch, looking up into the wide Missouri sky and talked to God.  Out of nowhere, a bright streak of light blazed across the horizon and disappeared; a shooting star!  Never seeing one before then, I stood there dumbfounded, speechless, over come with awe.  Love swelled up within me, and I was filled with solemn wonder at the vastness and nearness of God.  I realized, in that moment, that the God who was, and is, and always will be was real. Very real.  I began to praise Him. Read the rest of this entry »

Fruition

by juste buzas

seedlings-of-maple-by-retemirable_flickr-com_13210640674_aa3cb20394_CC BY-ND 2.0

seedlings-of-maple-by-retemirable_flickr-com_13210640674_aa3cb20394_CC BY-ND 2.0

For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness and justice and praise to spring forth before all nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word].  (Isaiah 61:11)

One word for 2017:  Fruition.

According to Vocabulary.com, “Fruition is a happy word: it’s derived from the Latin, frui, meaning ‘to enjoy’.”  It means “the condition of bearing fruit; something that is made real or concrete; enjoyment derived from use or possession.”

My young daughter loved planting seeds. She meticulously extracted the seeds from apples, pears, watermelons, oranges and bananas.  Yes, even bananas with all their goo and mush.  She’d carefully nibble away the fruit and set aside her prized, life-filled seeds.  Then out to the front flower garden she’d trot. 

Plastic shovel in hand, she’d dig deep – plowing, tilling and tending the soil until it was rich, moist and free from stone.  She’d sow her seeds with careful tenderness.  She’d water them, watch them and wait.

Time and again, my daughter planted.  Time and again, nothing grew.  She continued her work – day after fruitless day.  Tilling.  Sowing.  Watering.  Watching.  Waiting.

Then, one day. Read the rest of this entry »

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