Day 6: Sovereign

Egmond aan Zee 17 July, 2020, a beach my Mum also walked upon with my Dad, before going to be with Jesus. This sunset was God’s balm of peace to my broken and weary heart, filling me with fresh hope and rejoicing, as the song
Your Glory is So Beautiful by All Sons and Daughters began playing in my ears.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 ESV

I bless us to deep down know that our true life is hidden with Christ in God. I bless us to see how we have lost and are losing our life for Jesus to find it. I bless us to see how we have lost and are losing the world’s affections, are being emptied of all our fleshly desires and are rising up in the affections and pure delight of our God alone.

I bless us to see how we have followed and are following in the footsteps of our Savior by making ourselves nothing in taking the very nature of a servant. I bless us to see how His humility has grown and is growing in us, and how He has and still is compelling us to humble ourselves, even unto death, for the joy set before us: salvation and deliverance in Jesus’ Name not just for us, but many many more. I bless all our places of deep loss, pain and anguish to overflow with the hope of glory and the joy of our LORD Jesus Christ.

I bless us to daily experience afresh the truth that Christ Jesus dwells inside of us in all His fullness. I bless us to deep down know that we have been crucified with Christ and that it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us. I bless us to acknowledge God in all our ways, to recognize, embrace and intimately know and discern His presence in our thoughts, our feelings and our actions, and in His sovereign directing of our paths. I bless us to know that though we may make our plans, it is ultimately God who determines our steps.

I bless us to embody the truth that the life we now live in these earthly bodies, we live by faith, not in ourselves, but in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. I bless us to rest in the beautiful and freeing truth that Christ Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.

Gather, You tell me
Gather, my broken dreams?
Gather, my heart broke in two?
Gather, all I've poured and emptied out?
Gather, here my broken self?

What do I gather?
When all I have is broken
Shattered?
Mara, she said to call her
Mara is the word I'd choose
A bitter hand dealt.

Gather, You tell me
Gather, Your tears here for me wept?
Gather, Your heart here broke for me?
Gather, all You've poured and emptied?
Gather, Word made flesh?

It's then I see You
There beside me strong
Hand in mine
Walking to the Cross

Your Body broken
Shame and mocking
On You laid
Pierced and bled in pain
In the tomb You lay.

Till Your heavens
Darkness rent
Curtain raised,
Now in two
I hear You rip.

Christ, You raise
My broken life
In the breaking
Of Your Body
From the tomb
New life unwrap.

Your songs releasing
Now my human soul
Awakening
Your Living Word
Declaring me
Whole.

Embraced in love
Steeled in truth
Sent in Grace's
Own true Breath
Into Your world
That's yearning
For You:

I AM mercy's hands
And mercy's feet.

Broken,
You make beautiful
Dark,
You shine my night to Light
Tears,
You cup and pour to Joy aflame
Fear,
You still in Perfect Peace
My feet,
On righteous path
You tread
Sure and steadfast
Held.

Gather, You tell me.
YES I shall gather
These tears You wept
This heart You broke
All You've poured
And emptied out of me
Your jar of clay
I shall now receive:

The Word
Made flesh.

Garden of My Lord
Enclosed and sealed
For a time such as this
Your spring has broken
Your fountains I hear
Crashing, pouring.

For, Your love and mercy
You've gathered
Now to rush and pour
Into Your waiting world
Through jars of clay

Sovereign

For Your own delight
In all.

For, wondrous
Are Your works
My soul knows it
Very well.

Praise You, Jesus!

Today, I would also love to bless you with a prophetic Word God spoke to my own heart recently that I pray speaks to and encourages you, His Holy Temple, too:

Slow to lean in and listen. Don’t be afraid of the silence: seek it and delight in it. I haven’t come to condemn you or to rush you through it, but to savor your presence with Me and to share My secrets with you: to make you laugh and cry and sing with joy. I have come to give you life and life abundant. I am not like man that I should lie to you.

Feel the earth beneath your feet, the leaves crunching, the wind brushing your face, the new day’s light gently resting upon your face and awakening you to my touch. Hear your pure white dress swooshing, your heart beating in unison with Mine.

Feel safe with Me, as you walk into each page of My choosing for you: knowing each moment, even the hard ones I gift you, are good and true and breathing life and love into you, as I lift off each heavy weight of this world to make that hard moment one of delight and rejoicing.

See and feel the golden chord of hope resting upon each page of your story and heart, as with each page I turn, I reveal more of My heart and story to you. I have got you covered by my mercy, sweet child of mine.

This is a new season of unfolding now with ease. Feel my hand rest upon your head and my smile of pride rest upon you, the work of my hands. I am well pleased with you, my daughter. I am drawing you away with me again because I like being with you. I like hearing your voice. I love it when you feel safe enough with me to share the tiniest of shifts in your heart with me.

I love it that you are editing posts with joy in the growth I have brought. I love it you are no longer ashamed of what you didn’t see or worried you might have pushed people in the wrong direction. I love it that you are rejoicing in My discipline of and My grace for you and others.

I love it that you are learning not to rush through into what you see needs doing. I love it that you are beginning to embrace my quiet promptings to wait and slow and let Me move you into deeds of love flowing from my heart in you and for you, as I transform your “I must do” into “I get to” and “Oh how I love to”.

I love it that you are releasing yourself and others into My sovereign care and completion, believing that I have already righted all wrongs and healed all hearts, including your own. I love it that You are inviting me into your struggles and letting me untangle the mess and reveal My blessed heart beating inside of you, over and over again. I love it that you are Velveteen-rabbit-real with me, just as I am with you too.

Remember that vision with your Mama in the forest, how she turned around to smile at you but then turned back to run after Me? Remember how I showed you how happy she was with me, now walking with me on the beach, her happy place, hand in hand with Me? I am taking you there too, precious one. Do you see how you too are glancing back to invite others in, but then turning toward me to go after me with your whole heart? I delight in Your delight in Me.

Living Roots

An allegorical short story by Lisa Enqvist 

First published at: https://lisaenqvistroots.com/allegory-searching-for-my-tree/

A friend recently went through my Facebook background. Even to me, my life looks chaotic, though I have spent years trying to make sense of the various stages, places, and situations of my life. 

 

 

This picture reflects my first eight years. I’ve written one book in English which covers these eight years: MISSIONARY MOTHER – Around the World with Five Kids. (Available on Amazon and other sources).

 

The following story was born at a writers’ course. As I read it aloud, someone exclaimed, “That is your life!” It is a metaphor for my life. As I continue writing my blog in the weeks and months ahead, I hope to discover and uncover other treasures, just as this Bible verse from Isaiah 33:6 promises:

 

He will be the sure foundation for your times,

    a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;

    the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

 

 

I searched for the grove where someone said I would find my tree, but the road was no longer there. Great excavators had mutilated the landscape. I sat down on a big rock and cried. How could I find my tree? Was it there, or was it destroyed? A little child came and stood by my stone. She looked at me with her big, questioning eyes.

 

“Why are you crying?” She held out her hand.

 

“Come with me. I will show you something.”

 

She led me past the big rocks that the excavator had left. We went past the familiar railroad, the river, and the mountains.

 

Palms swayed in the wind by the ocean. The crabs fled from the foam in an eternal game of hide-and-seek.

 

Was the palm my tree?

 

No. It was too lonely. I didn’t want to be alone.

 

The girl led me on. We came to a road that led to a schoolyard. Around the sports-field flamboyant trees spread their branches. During the hot summer, fiery yellow-red flowers burst out of the twigs. They were beautiful, but the fire that shone from them scorched my heart. The flame tree was not my tree.

 

There were trees with the tastiest fruits. But neither the mango tree with its dark leaves and its juicy fruit nor the guava tree with spiky branches and seed-filled fruit was my tree.

 

The little girl led me on into the middle of a park. When I finally found my tree, I sat down under it. I did not yet understand that this might be my tree. It did not look like any other tree I had passed earlier. All the other trees had a trunk and a crown of branches reaching for the sky. Their roots were not visible. This tree had roots growing down from the branches, as though it needed extra support from every side.

 

 

The wind whispered through the leaves. I heard it say to the tree,

 

“Tell your story so that even the little girl will understand.”

 

The tree began its story.

 

“Long, long ago, I sprouted up out of the ground in a country far away. The air was clear, and the sun shone brightly. The birds flew around me, chirping and singing their songs. Life was good.

 

One day the gardener came from the King’s Palace and began digging the ground around my root. I was terrified.

 

“I’ll die! I’ll die if you move me from here.” I cried.

 

The gardener did not hear my cry. He did not explain anything. Maybe he thought I would not understand. My root broke when the gardener pulled me up. I was sure I would die. There was no way I could survive. My heart was bleeding.

 

The gardener rolled a bunch of damp hay around my root and put me into a sack. I did not know where I was. I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted to die.

 

Many days later I saw the light. I was in a strange country. I was still alive. I heard someone digging with a spade. I heard a voice saying:

 

“I plant this tree as a symbol of friendship and justice. May it grow tall and give shelter to many children.”

 

The man who spoke held me very gently. I saw a tear run down his cheek. I did not understand anything. He put me down into the hole in the ground and filled the gap with soil around my roots.

 

I was sure I would never grow big. My roots were still hurting. I did not want to know where I was.

 

I didn’t care about the touch of the wind. Nor the freshness of rain, nor the warmth of the sun.

 

I thought stubbornly: I don’t belong here. I don’t want to be here.

 

One day an older woman came alone into the park. She stopped beside me and looked at my drooping leaves. I felt the warmth of her empathy flow towards me. I wanted to tell her my story.

 

She sat down on the ground and listened to my complaint. She understood. She felt my sorrow and longing. It was enough.

 

After that day, I began to see again. I was in a park designed by a king.

 

I grew tall, taller than the other trees. I stretched my limbs so birds could build their nests in them. I noticed that I had aerial roots growing down from my branches. I thought then I would make a swing of them for children. I want to show all the children who find me that I am here for them.”

 

The tree did not have to say more. I understood. It was my tree.

 

I stood up and looked at the tree again. The aerial roots covered its trunk. Dead brown leaves covered the ground. The tree had died many deaths, yet it lived. It still gave protection to the birds and the children.

 

The little girl began to gather the leaves in big piles. Suddenly she was surrounded by a crowd of children. They were playing and hiding under the dead leaves. I heard them laugh and shout in joy. They rolled around the on the ground, so the leaves rustled.

 

The big boys climbed up in the tree. The younger children clung to the swing.

 

Everyone had a place in my tree. After playing, the children were tired. They returned home to their parents.

 

I realized that I must leave my tree. I have to move on. I have to plant trees for other children in other countries. The wind followed me with its whispering melody.

 

 

 

Author Bio

As a teenager, Lisa Enqvist decided she would never be a missionary, never return to her father’s Gospel ship “Ebeneser,” never marry a missionary, never have kids who might feel as rootless as she was. And, she prayed, “Please, God, don’t ever send me to India.” But God knew Lisa better than she knew herself and gave her what her heart truly desired: all the things she asked Him not to give her, healing her heart more and more through the process.

Lisa is a co-founder of a Children’s Home in Thailand. She grew up in China and Sri Lanka as a missionary kid. She now lives with her husband in a small town on the West Coast of Finland. She and her husband adopted four Amerasian children in Thailand. They have given Lisa and her husband Håkan eleven grandkids.

Today, Lisa writes personal and family stories based on saved letters, documents, and personal memories. Since receiving her mother’s old letters in 1983, she has written four memoir books in Swedish and one in English: MISSIONARY MOTHER – Around the World with Five Kids. Rheumatoid Arthritis has challenged her since writing her first book.

Lisa is a registered pediatric nurse. Her earlier writing experience consisted of newsletters to sponsors of children at the Bethany Children’s Home and regular letters to family and friends scattered around the world. She has saved numerous family letters.

She attended several Swedish writer’s seminars in Finland. After reverting to English in 2011, she completed a course in writing for children and youth at the Institute for Children’s Literature and a Memoir Writing Course at Creative Writing Now. She also wrote articles for FaithWriters Challenge.

She is a member of Everything Memoir Private Group and West Coast Christian Writers. She has attended two Online conferences with the WCCW.

Her book MISSIONARY MOTHER – Around the World with Five Kids, is available from:

https://booklocker.com/books/8211.html

https://www.amazon.com/MISSIONARY-MOTHER-Around-World,

and other online bookstores.

Lisa blogs at: https://lisaenqvistroots.com/