Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lessons Learned

I read a “daily devotional” today that talked about how we face our past --- do we look at it through the lens of guilt, despair and shame, or do we look at it through the lens of God’s forgiveness, redemption and restoration?

Sprinkled throughout these past months has been the reminder of the word I chose for 2013 --- restoration. I can’t believe how many times the Lord has brought into the forefront of my mind stuff from my past. Some of it was covered with cobwebs as it had been hidden back in the dark corners of my mind. Others rose up out of cloudy, misty memories that I had hoped would stay out in the cold. I do know that we shouldn’t dwell on our past, that we should move on, press on, “forgetting those things which are behind.” Yet, there are times when we need to learn from our mistakes and pass those learning lessons on to others or leave lights along the pathway so others don’t trip over the same things we stumbled over.

I’ve been keeping a list of things I learned when I was in places that seemed to be nothing but desolate deserts. I’m sure the list isn’t complete and I’ll be adding more, but I wanted to share this with you today:

In my hunger, He alone could feed me.

In my thirst for Him, He proved only He could satisfy.

In my weariness, He taught me how to sit and “rest awhile.”

In my loneliness, He became my true friend.

In my restlessness, He became my contentment.

In my longings, He became my fulfillment.

In my desparation, He became my hope.

In my desires, He filled my needs.

In my broken dreams, He became my reality.

In my wanderings, He became my pathway.

In my darkness, He became my light.

In my despair, He became my encourager.

In my questionings, He became my answers.

In the heat of my days, He became my resting place.

In the endlessness of the desert, He became my horizon.

In my questions “why?” He became my answer, “Because I am that I am.”

In my blindness, He became my vision.

In my doubting, He became my faith.

In my midnight hours, He became my song.

In my falling, He lifted me up.

In my sinfulness, He touched me.

In my brokenness, He healed me.

In seeing Him, I became nothing.

In my nothingness, He became everything.

In finding Him to be everything, the desert became my Promised Land.

In finding my way through the desert, I found my ministry as a guide.

So yes, it is true that He DOES restore the years the locusts have eaten. I don’t think there is one thing on this list that was not worth learning!


Debra said...

oh yes, dear-I am with you on this one! I don't want to steal your 'glory' in this post, but God has clearly spoken to me several things on your list. One was-He would be my Light. two-He would restore.
He has done both, and each time a situation comes up-I am reminded of His promises, and I am in awe of them.

This morning on my walk, I saw a rainbow. It was HUGE-it filled the sky in the west-I was walking right toward it. It took my breath for a moment. Promises-always kept by a faithful God.
I love you.

Nana Jul said...

What a BEAUTIFUL post. If it wasn't for the desolate desert places, I'd have never come to know Our God.
Truth...just like you said! Beautifully written!
Thanks Cora!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

This is truly a lovely post and one that many people can learn from that has suffered from a difficult past. Myself being one of them; I have learned to move on but there are days the evil one wants to hash up the past but GOD is my white-out or eraser and He clears my mind.

May GOD continue to keep your focus on Him and keep pushing the past ever behind you.

Lea said...

Oh Cora I'm so glad you shared this with us!!! How many times have I looked through the lens of guilt/shame!!! The lens of grace is the truth and He is our restoration! Gosh... your post today brought tears to my eyes but made me shout all the same time! Joy... healing... restoration!
I love your word...
but especially your heart.

Dee said...

It feels good to my spirit to see your list and to Know that I have experienced and understand how much has been restored to my life. :)

Vicky said...

That is an incredible list- such clarity and focus- i'm completely in awe of it. So much grace surrounding some hard, lonely, dark times- to find such beauty and wisdom in all of this speaks volumes to the kind of person you are Cora~

Fran. said...

Hi Cora first thanks so much for sharing this post I can tell it came straight from your heart!! God honors that when you share what you have learned from Him with others!! And thanks for stopping by my blog! You touched my heart so much when you said you are gonna use my picture of my black eyed susans to make some paper ones!! Let me know if you need anymore pictures or a close up thy are so pretty right now. I have even dryed some and if they turn out ok I am gonna dry some more!! They are so pretty dried for Fall which is almost here!! Keep up the great work on your faith!! XOXO Love Fran

nancy huggins said...

God bless you Cora and Buster and Patsy too..Hugs Nancy