Day 30: Birthing Shalom – In Glory to Us All the Son of God Revealing

On the other side of the world for me here in the Netherlands: this was taken in Arrowtown, New Zealand, 16 December 2015. A wide open field next to our holiday house, perfect for our then 3 and 5 year-old girls to practice their cartwheels with their full of life Aunty, my youngest sister.

At the time, our hearts were being prepared to celebrate the second Christmas missing our beloved Mum and Grandma, who went home to Jesus on April 8th 2014 after a five month battle with the terminal brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme.

This field, its backdrop of a mountain covered in lush green trees and the gift of my little sister (who we will soon be hugging in person – together with her husband and my little niece
and nephew – after 4.5 years apart – thank You, Jesus!!!), remind me so much of Psalm 18:19 “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.

Philippians 2:13 HCSB

A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” 

Isaiah 40:6-8 NIV

And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

Ezekiel 47:12 ESV

May we see the delight of our God in us and the spacious places of His grace for us today and every day. I bless us to recognize and delight in the birthing of Jesus, our Shalom, in and through us, each new day as His living Word arises in us, for us and through us. I bless us to stand firmly upon the Rock of Jesus, who has promised to uphold us through the winds sent to prove the power of His living Word in us, for us and through us.

I bless us in our weakness and need to cry out and drink deeply of the living well of water. May that living well of Jesus perfect His power in us each day afresh. May He now propel others through our living testimony to His mighty Word to get up with us, pick up their mats with us and to join us, as together, hand in hand with Jesus, our Shalom, we walk into the peace of God for us all.

I bless us to daily put on our feet the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, that we might walk with steadfast assurance and confidence into the eternal plans and purposes of our God. I bless us to hear and obey the Word of our God in fear and trembling, in absolute awe of the majesty, glory and power of our LORD. May our hearts be filled with praise and great expectation, as we overflow in Shalom. I bless our eyes to see our LORD and Savior, our knees to bend before Him and our hearts and lips to declare the coming of the Son of God in glory.

Birthing Shalom

Grief waits upon no one 
It swells and breaks
Our placid perfect life alive
All buried doubts 
To spit and foam.

The questions we
Have laid aside 
Come spitting, foaming 
Back to Life
Where were You, then?
Where are You now, LORD?

His ways above our own, 
His Word we know 
And so our doubts too dark
Have hid away in drawers 
And fastened shut.

But as the waves here 
Swell and break
The fastened drawers 
Break forth now loosed 
And questions buried, breathe alive.

Our self-sufficient strength
Now breaks
Our bodies, minds and souls
To spit and foam
From strength, undone.

But as He calls us 
Songs to raise
His Face to seek 
Spit and foam unhid
A deep begins to rise.

His deep has called
Our depths alive 
Not there our own, but His.
Our Living God writes death to life
On tablets of these human hearts.

Each wave that breaks
Leads death to life 
Our questions hid to spit and foam 
Released to die and
In our Sovereign God we rise
Our burdens loosed
Into the light we walk
Now, hand in hand with Jesus.

All hearts once shut 
Our Messiah opens wide
His breath raises
All dead to life
For us to know
We are not alone
He was with us then
He is with us now
And will be our Shalom
Into all eternity.

No, not one can lay
A foundation
Other than that
Which is laid
Which is Christ Jesus
Our Lord.

Unless
The LORD
Builds the house
The builders
Build
In vain.

We ourselves
With our hearts
In Spirit and truth
Now laid bare
Like living stones
Are being
Built up
As a
Spiritual house.

To be a
Holy priesthood
To offer
Spiritual sacrifices
Acceptable to God
Not in our might
But through Jesus Christ
Alone.

For all in Christ
Hear the Word speak
And do what
He says
Building their house
On the rock.

Yes, that House
That Holy Temple of God
Cannot fall
Because it's
No longer we
But Christ in us
Who lives

Daily in Christ we die
To be born again
In the Gospel of peace
Into Shalom: Christ with us
Joining all together
In God the Father, Son
And Holy Spirit
Building His House
Upon the Rock of our salvation
In glory to us all
The Son of God revealing.

Day 21: Even Here, Even Now

6 July 2021, snapped on my way to the forest to pray. Baby ducklings with their Mama remind me of the God who stretches out His mothering wings also, to gather us unto Himself. For He is the God who never abandons us, who never leaves us alone, just as the Kari Jobe “I am not Alone” song declares.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones [to death] those [messengers] who are sent to her [by God]! How often I have wanted to gather your children together [around Me], just as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were not willing!

Luke 13:34 AMP

[Publishing a day early, so I can take a Sabbath tomorrow and rest]

I bless our Abba Father for blessing us, for permitting His Word that was hidden in our hearts and placed upon our lips as little children to be turned away by our parents. I bless God for enlarging our hearts by the power of Christ’s work in us to lay down our idols to run in the path of His commands, into the Way, Truth and Life. I bless Jesus for fulfilling every Word of God for us, for being our faithfulness in our faithlessness.

I bless Jesus for being obedient unto death, for being whipped, beaten, stripped naked and nailed to a Cross, and abandoned by His very own Father in His greatest hour of need, that by His death and resurrection and the outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon us, we might now know by the power of His Word and Spirit speaking in us that our Emmanuel is for us and not against us.

I bless God for taking what the enemy meant for evil and turning it into life abundant for many. I bless God for pouring out the healing touch of the Holy Spirit upon us, for loving us and forgiving us, who idolized the word of man as God, who turned our faces away from Him.

I bless God for now pouring out that same healing touch of His Holy Spirit through us. I bless God for extending His love and forgiveness through us toward His suffering children, that they, like us, may no longer turn away from Jesus, believing He is someone He is not, but toward Him. I bless God for revealing through us that they, like us, were never ever abandoned by Him and never ever will be.

I bless God to remind us, and others through our testimony to His unfailing love for us, that He is Emmanuel. That He is God with us, our Abba Father, who never ever abandons or forsakes even one of His children, but who always and ever leans toward each one of us in motherly and tender compassion. I bless us, when we are afraid, to trust in the Lord, to pour out our hearts to Him like water, that He might arise to defend us and each of His suffering children that He sets before us, by the power and light of His Word.

The earth beneath you 
Trembling.
All you've ever known
Shaken.
The ground beneath you
Quaking.
All you've ever known
Taken.

You're groping.
Choking.
Falling.
You reach,
But no hand to hold.

You hear those voices:
“Too little.
Too much.
Not enough.
Your punishment alone to carry.”

And so you fall,
Deeper still,
Till deep dark mirey cave
You feel beneath.
And thou its darkness weighs as lead,
It numbs the pain so deep,
The shame too cruel.
"Safe here" you breathe at last.

"Object of dread,
I am.
Forgotten, broken vessel,
Is who I am."
Terror thickens air,
Lying tongues to pour.
Lead weighted more.

Strength does fail.
Body waste.
Tears no longer flow.
A loss so deep,
No words to find.
And still no single hand to hold.

Your breath you feel
Anxious grip.
All that leaves your trembling lips
"LORD, My God."
Silence piercing.
Weeping, tearing heart.

But then,
You hear it.
Tender, loving Voice.
Still, sweet sound
Arise.

"My beloved.
My pearl.
My precious daughter dear.
The work of My own beating heart,
Come now.
Take this, My outstretched hand.

"The ground may tremble,
Earth may shake
And all you've ever known,
Ripped from beneath your feet.
But I, your loving Father, do rest beneath,
Even here, even now.

"My hand upon you.
My breath within you.
My countless thoughts of you
So very precious still.
Even now, I hem you in
Before, behind
Even here, no lying tongue
Does from My own
True gentle mouth depart.

"Be still, and know
YOUR one true God I AM.
Never have I ever,
Never will I ever,
Leave you all forsaken lone.
For each and every tremble, shake
Does purposeth My crop
Too bountiful
For any human hand
To seed, thresh, harvest true.

"Hold fast, My girl,
To sword of truth,
To promises birthing here, even now,
To heaven's coming
Here on earth.
For, to each and every
Prisoner of Hope eternal strong
Who turns My way
Restoration double I do declare.

"Hold fast, my child,
Not to lying tongues
But tender loving truth.
Hemming in before, behind
Grace so precious, pure.
Roaring, rushing waters
Pour and cover still.
For I, Your God
I AM.
Even here, even now."

I listened to and sung this song over and over and over again, as I not only grieved the earthly loss of my Mum, but also struggled through wave upon wave of trauma triggers, seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling the effects of glioblastoma multiforme, a deadly brain cancer, upon my mother’s body. The poem above was penned during that time, as God began to heal me not only from the trauma of caring for my dying Mum on the other side of the world, when I was separated from my husband and oldest daughter, but also from childhood trauma.

He began lifting the enemy’s accusations of condemnation I had agreed to as a little girl one by one by the power of His Word. Accusations I had agreed to as I watched someone I loved suffer at the hands of those I loved and trusted most. Ironically, my parents, just like me, turned Jesus away at that time. Through the pain and anguish of their little adopted son’s trauma-induced rebellion and inability to receive their love, they sadly chose to trust in the word and teaching of man above the Living Word of God speaking to them through their little daughter.

That is, until more than twenty years later God opened my mother’s heart to see and embrace her son, my little brother, in the love and mercy of God, in His seeing and embracing of her through her own trauma and suffering of glioblastoma multiforme, a cancer that impacted her prefrontal cortex in the same way that trauma does. God gave her what her heart had yearned for all those years: the honor of joining Jesus in the depths of His suffering with and for her beloved son.

When I am afraid, I will trust in You.

Psalms 56:3 HCSB