Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hold on

I hardly know where to begin with this blog because it's so packed full of little treasures that i truly hope will be used to encourage your spirit to acknowledge and hold firmly to the promises of God. It's pretty fantastic how God can speak to us through nature, symbols, visions, and stories. And even more insane when he uses all of those things at once. This story began the day i landed on this isle and the exciting adventure continues...

The familiar story of the rainbow that began way before our time involved a man and a strong calling, lots of rain, a family, a bunch of animals, death, a dove, lots of poo, an ark, a promise in the form of a rainbow.... and new life. Most of us have heard this story a million times and in some ways it's become mundane. In my case, God has brought this story back to life.

Many years ago in Nashville I had a dream of a tornado the same night as a good friend. The following day we realized the significance and decided to look it up. We did some research and realized that tornadoes in dreams could mean that the ground was being dug up, the soil was being turned.. so that new things could grow. This made so much sense in both of our lives at that time. Right after that we went swimming. As we were visiting, I began to read from a little devo book and couldnt believe what i was reading. The verse (which i have not been able to find since) was about a tornado/ storm and something about how he used it for his good. The devo was about a man on a mountain overlooking the aftermath of a tornado. This man was upset as he asked God "why"? Why all of the destruction and pain? The next day the man went up on top of the mountain again and began to see all of these new beautiful things things that were now growing because of the storm that took away the old and uncovered the new. He realized that God did know what was best for us, and that even though things seem painful at the time... He's allowing it to make room for life. As we were reading this devotion the clouds began to almost circle above our heads. We stood there in a long pause of AWE before we ran to the car to escape the rain. As we drove away I told her of what God showed me through rainbows years before that.... and that they are always there in the sky, we just don't see them unless the conditions are just right. It usually takes the Sun, rain... reflection and perspective. Just like rainbows are God's promises. We have evidence in the story of Noah as we do still today. God's promises are solid... they are always there, but sometimes we fail to see them unless the conditions are just right. Our perspective plays a huge part in this... are we going to choose to seek His promises through the perspective of our salvation in Christ?? Or believe the lies that contradict all of the beautiful colors of who He says He is?? And sometimes it's the reflection of his promises we see through our tears and the brightness of the Son. Nevertheless, remember that they are behind the clouds you see in front of you... His promises are TRUE AND STRONG. Sometimes when we think we can't see or hear Him we tend to doubt Him. Why do we continue to stand on the ground as the waters rise screaming out to God "where are you, where are you??", instead of walking on to the ark of safety He's created that's right behind you? Or maybe some of us have accepted His will and are on the ark screaming "how long God, how long?" How much do we miss out on because we are so busy searching for God instead of simply believing what He said in the beginning to be true and following through with His calling on our lives?

As i was finished telling my friend this story I mentioned how cool it would be if we saw a rainbow. Right at that moment at the stop light a big truck turned in front of us and plastered on the side was a GIGANTIC RAINBOW. I love God's sense of humor and precise timing :)

Moving on to present time: The first week I was here in New Zealand I had a dream about a tornado and a flood. The tornado was most likely representing God's powerful presence rooting up the soil in our lives - turning it because it's gotten stale and nothing can grow. And the flood seemed to be the holy spirit saturating our life. Several others dreamed of rivers flooding, etc. Not to mention it had been raining non-stop. Other staff got visions of God raining down, that we would all be drowned in his mercy and hold on to the promises. From the building of the new building, to the raft race our staff participated in, to a guy named noah who was going to help with a ministry we had... I felt like God was trying to tell us something. One day we had a time where we were drawing pictures of visions on a giant piece of paper and I found one more empty place and began drawing an ark, a flood and a rainbow. As I'm drawing it i realize there were already raindrops coming down, then someone started praying that we would be drowned in his grace and mercy, then as i was drawing the rainbow someone else was praying we'd hold on to his promises! Then someone else had the vision of Spring- a new season for us and the students... and I had the vision of God's glory shining through the clouds with a rainbow on the other side. The next few weeks was God showing me rainbows all over the place! I've heard songs about rainbows... seen pictures... and even in the square in downtown Christchurch where we do ministry was a huge rainbow made out of flowers. (As we were doing ministry there one night we began to draw an ark underneath that rainbow and struck up many conversations as they helped us draw the animals in chalk:)

One day there was a group of backpackers who took a hike up to Mt. Oxford. They came back with a beautiful picture of a rainbow over Oxford which we could not see... but they could from a "higher perspective". Since then, i've seen REAL rainbows almost everywhere I go! God is so good, He loves you and will NOT forsake you! Hold on to his promises- believe He is who He says He is!


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