"The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth.  They cause the grain to grow producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.  It is the same with My Word.  I send it out and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it."  Isaiah 55:10-11....."Do I really believe these words, and if I do, how does it show?"  An entry in my prayer journal put down in response to this promise.
     The question arising for me, for us, is not only do I believe these particular words, but do I believe all of His Words?  Jesus said that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.  Do our lives look like this is our reality?  In the various crises of life, in my decisions, needs, dangers, desperation, is it to Him, His Word, His promise that I turn?  Does His Word anchor me to Himself?  Is the foundation of my life, my household, my ministry, my all, built upon He and His Word?  Or, do I look to other sources, places, people and things for help, relief, deliverance?  Hard questions.  Can we stand still before Him long enough that we might answer them?
     I was reading the account of a missionary to the middle east and northern Africa this morning, who, like Job, had been swept up in a series of traumatic events.  Persecution and danger from the local police, the denial of a trusted ministry teammate to re-enter the country, and then, the diagnosis of another team member possibly having suffered a severe brain hemorrhage.  She wrote, "My mountains were shaking.  I could barely form the words to call out to God.  Desperate for peace, I began to soak my mind in Scripture about His mighty power, unfailing love and complete sovereignty.  His Spirit slowly took control of my anxious heart and gave His perfect peace."  Our choice will always be, are we going to "soak" in the terror of the need, danger, pressure of the moment, or in the reality of His Presence, Life, and Word?  What we're immersed in will show through in our day to day living.  What's showing through in yours and mine?  Do our lives speak of our living in an uneasy fear and anxiety that turns to shrill panic when the storms arise?  Or, do we send forth a witness of calm trust in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who witness together that they cannot lie, and cannot fail us?  
     We're human and trauma will invade our lives, and always in the most unexpected time and way.  It will affect our emotions, our thoughts, and bodies and spirits.  It is what we do next that will make all the difference.  Will we sink in the mire of it all, or will we rise in and to Him by the power of His Life and Word?  Watchman Nee tells a wonderful story of his own experience in such a time.  In the midst of a great need and time of affliction, he had prayed, like most of us would, that the problem be removed, but it wasn't.  He said that the picture the Lord gave Him was of a riverboat being unable to pass a 5 foot high boulder in the narrows of a stream.  He said the question arose in his heart of whether it would be better for the boulder to be removed or for the Father to raise the water level 5 feet?  He knew it was the latter, and wrote, "Christianity is not a matter of removing boulders, but of having deeper water."  Of soaking, living, moving in that deeper water.  Soaked in Him.  Paul said that "In Him we live, move, and have our being."  Are these words we "know" or words that we truly live in?  We're going to "soak" in something. What are we soaking in right now?  

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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