Heavy Rain

Today we’re seeing a deluge of rain; a much needed outpouring on our very thirsty gardens, farms and forestry around our parched country, after many weeks with no rain. Very rare on this little Island of Ireland!

When I looked up at the sky, just before the first drops fell, I could feel the change in the atmosphere – there was a sense that something was about to happen. Masses of birds suddenly gathered around our bird table – even they knew there was about to be a massive downpour and that they needed to make the most of the opportunity to feed before it was too late and the seeds washed away.

Thank you Lord for the rain; for an end to this dry season and for this beautiful rain. I pray for “heavy rain”; the rain of Your Spirit to fall across this country.

This wonderful rain is a gift from God:

Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O Lord our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us. Jeremiah 14:22

Does your heart feel thirsty and dry today? Left untended,  or filled with the wrong stuff, our hearts can become a wasteland- as dry and barren as our little country has become these last weeks of no rain. 

If that’s you today, ask your Father for rain (of the spiritual kind). Psalm 145 tells us (Passion Translation) ….

“When you open your generous hand, it’s full of blessings, satisfying the longings of every living thing.”

Thats our God!!
Jill 💜

Perseverance Produces Character. (Lessons from a Silk Moth)

The Cocoon 
When my children were of primary school age, we lived in South Africa. Every year, a common sight was children coming out of school with a shoe box, the lid punched with tiny holes. Inside would be a few baby silkworms.

Actually I don’t know why they’re called ‘worms’, they are in fact caterpillars and very pretty ones at that.
They start off tiny, and eat non-stop until they are huge and fat. Eventually, one day, we would open the box to put in some fresh mulberry leaves and find the lid coved in bright yellow cocoons.
Eventually, out of the cocoons would emerge beautiful white moths, as pretty as any butterfly, with their silken wings and exquisite markings.
One year, one of my sons, when he was about 6 years old, became impatient with waiting for the cocoons to hatch. So he decided he’d give nature a hand, believing, he explained in his childlike way later, that the moths were trapped in the cocoons. He got a pair of scissors and opened one of the cocoons to ‘set the moth free’. Sadly, the beautiful moth died.

Set Free – But Not Really Free
There’s a reason the moth has to emerge from the cocoon at the right time. When it’s time to leave the cocoon, God has placed in the moth’s  DNA the instinct to make a tiny hole – far too small, or so it seems, for it to get through. But that action of squeezing itself out through the ridiculously small hole is nature’s way of strengthening and training the moth to fly.
Tests have proven that when the hole was made bigger artificially,  the moth’s body remained small and shrivelled and it spent its life incapable of flight.

Perseverance Produces Godly Character and Strength James 1:3–4
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

You might feel like that silk moth – perhaps you’ve felt you’ve been in a dark place; a place of trial, shaping and testing for so long, trying to squeeze your way out.
Sometimes though, it’s that extra effort, that big ‘push through’ that the Lord uses to strengthen us for the next obstacle to be faced.

If we refuse to make that effort, or try to find the easy way out, we’re left unprepared for the next trial and we’ll never really fly properly.

By ‘making an effort’ I’m not talking about trying to get through on your own. Isaiah 40:31 promises us that when we wait on the Lord we will renew our strength, and soar on wings like eagles. We’re also told in Zechariah 4:6 that it is not by might, nor by power but by the Spirit of God (that we overcome- that battles are won)
More Than Conquerors!
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37

Through Jesus, we conquer all of our hardships. We have  super victory!

We don’t scrape through and limp home to victory – When we persevere, trusting God in His great love to lead us out in His time, we push through, leave those old cocoons lying in the dust, and fly!!

Jill 💜

 

“Trust Me”

This morning, I looked out of our bedroom window and noticed that some of the trees are already starting to lose leaves. My first thought was, ‘Oh no, seriously?’ (I’m not a big fan of Winter)

As I looked at the leaves, detaching from the branches and fluttering to the ground, I immediately felt the reassuring presence of the Lord beside me, and felt him say to me “it’s ok, you can let go of those things you think matter. Because in due season, I will bring freshness, newness. Just trust me”. I believe that Word is for others this morning too.
I was reminded of something very similar God said to me in September 2014 while looking at the leaves falling from the Chestnut trees in the garden next door.
The Lord told me to look at how the trees respond to the wind. They don’t fight it. They move, bend and sway with the wind. The wind too is gentle, even though it’s powerful, it doesn’t rip off leaves that aren’t ready to come off, only those that are dry and will fall off naturally.
Perhaps you’re also facing change in your life at the moment. ‘Lost’ job or ministry opportunities, the loss of, or major changes in your business, children growing up and leaving home, your ‘baby’ starting school, the gradual loss of your youth.
If you feel you are heading into Autumn and your leaves are turning brown, perhaps falling off; God says to you today, “trust me”.

Don’t scramble about trying to make a grab for leaves that are falling away ‘naturally’ – but rather, as the trees bend and sway with the wind, let’s keep in step with Him, as it says in Galatians 5:25.
The Holy Spirit of God is all powerful, but He is also gentle, He will not rip off ‘leaves’ in your life that are not ready to come off. And when He does remove the old leaves, stay rooted in him – Spring brings new, fresh leaves!
He knows the plans He has for you. Plans for good, and not to harm you. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Trust Him.
Jill 💜

 

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