Tag Archives: barren

My Killing

What picture comes to mind when you think of an island?   Mine is of a plush and gorgeous spot of land, in the middle of water where plants and fruits grow in abundance.  In my mind’s eye, every time I picture an island, it’s the closest thing to paradise I can imagine.

When I read Revelation and the fact that John the disciple was exiled to Patmos as punishment for preaching Jesus, I thought that isn’t such a bad punishment.  I was wrong. While further studying Patmos I discovered it was a barren island that was incapable of producing anything but rocks.  No greenery, no delectable fruits and veggies, no trees even.  Just caves and rocks.  Prisoners were sent there to mine the caves.  It was a place no one wanted to be.  The Bible doesn’t mention anything about anyone else being there but John so imagine with me, if the island was truly barren with no shade, nothing to eat or enjoy and on top of that, being there completely alone how it must have felt. Patmos actually means the title of this blog, “my killing”.

It’s not a stretch to some to imagine a place like this.  It’s not hard to remember a time feeling completely isolated and alone with no sign or site of any kind of relief.  Some are there right now. In a split second, one’s life can change forever and our normal flies right out the window.  Devastation has come to live and sometimes we feel we can’t recover or worse, we don’t want to.

Out of the darkest, loneliest and most barren times in life, God can produce something amazing.  If we tune in to him and tune out our feelings and how we perceive the place or the situation, it’s possible for Him to produce in us many things.  Faith can grow when nothing else can.  Trust can flourish and begin to color the blandness of an ugly reality.  The mind and heart can be forever changed when they know the God of our lives.

John could have spent his time mulling over every wrong done to him and how unfair it was for him to be a prisoner to start with, let alone exiled on an island no one wanted to be on but he didn’t.  Instead he chose to still – after all he had been through – look for and listen to God. I imagine he rattled the stillness of that place by singing to Jesus at the top of his lungs.  From his faithfulness and steadfast heart, God gave John the most amazing gift – the Revelation.

We can receive beautiful things, comforting words, strength, joy, peace and a growing faithfulness from God during our darkest times.  Stay close to the Father and keep staying close.

Advertisements

Barren No More

IMAG0158

It’s been a wet and dreary winter. Temperatures dropped well below freezing several times.  Looking at the landscape of my beautiful mountains at times all I saw was gray and dark.  Thank God winter is just a season.

This season has taken its toll. You’ve been through it.  You’ve lost what you didn’t think you would and hurt like you’ve never hurt.  Some things were ripped from your ever-trying-to-hold-on hands and some you let go of. You’re tired and beat up, perhaps feeling like you have nothing else to give.  Maybe you’re asking yourself why fight to survive anymore if after as hard as you’ve tried the result is the barrenness and nakedness you’re now feeling.

Coming out of an extremely hard season myself, I know what that feels like.  I also know that what I’ve lost pales in comparison to what I’ve gained.  For a while though, I felt like a dead person walking.  I couldn’t feel anything and didn’t care about anything…I just wanted it to stop.

Barren.  Stripped.  Gutted.  What do we do when we find ourselves in such a whipped condition?  This, in my mind, is one of the many “works” of salvation…the most important one and I’m finding it occurs often.  This is where we decide if we believe that God really (in every respect of the word) is who He says He is to us, personally.  If He is, then something good will come from the destruction; if He isn’t then it was all for nothing.

Dare we believe after all this?  Dare we find comfort deep within ourselves from a God who allowed such devastating things to happen?  What else can we do?  We can allow ourselves to be bitter, despondent and depressed or we can muster up the strength to take a step into our tomorrow.

I took this picture this morning.  This tree branch was ugly and naked just yesterday; now look at it.  Just because they have buds on them doesn’t guarantee they won’t get broken or a frost won’t come.  Just because we dare believe and walk in absolute faith doesn’t mean things won’t get testy from time to time.

We’re not barren just because we’ve been through something traumatic but it sure feels that way.  Maybe we just needed to get cleaned out and gain a new perspective on things, on what’s really important.  God doesn’t allow tests and trials to show HIM something – He allows them to show US something – what kind of faith we really have and who we really are.

What you need to survive is in Him and if He’s in you, then all you need to go on is, too.  Will you bloom today or will you wither?  The choice is always yours.