"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Isaiah 40:29
Weeks of training led me to my graduation day in boot camp (Air Force.) I had left (at home) 4 kids and a husband while I was away. I missed them terribly. I'd never been away from my kids before, ever. Boot camp was a little easier for me than others, considering that I was older than most of the others who had just come out of high school, and considering that I was married with 4 children already, and had already been through a lot of life's "boot camp." The TI's didn't scare me nor did they change me. But I still learned a lot of valuable lessons, and there's one I will never forget.
I had to run a mile and a half in less than 12 minutes in order to graduate boot camp. I have never been a good runner, and I certainly didn't become a better runner after having 4 kids. I was nervous about that run test, because I knew that if I failed, I would be recycled back into a flight who was a couple of weeks behind mine, thus, having to wait that much longer to see my family...my children.. whom I missed most of all.
My TI knew that I was worried. We'd had more than one private conversation in his office about my children & worries of not graduating on time. I had done well to get through those long weeks of training... but sometimes, usually at night time, when our day would slow down & we'd have time to think, I'd cry to see my kids. I'd cry just to hear their voices, because we were lucky if we even got a 5 minute phone conversation to home once a week. At one point, my TI called me to his office and offered to give me some extra phone time to call my kids. As bad as I wanted to take the offer, I declined. I told him that I knew everyone else missed their families just as much, and that I just didn't feel right about getting special privileges to call my kids. He said my situation was different, but honored my feelings on the matter.
The day of the run had approached. I was on a track, with hundreds of others running the same track and the same test. We had 6 laps to run to reach a mile and a half. We wore ankle devices that counted our laps because it's just impossible to make sure that many people run their required laps at the same time.
So I ran. I was in tears by about the 3rd or 4th lap. When you have to run that long with a short time limit it hurts your body. My face was red and I was ready to give up. But I kept picturing my kids faces in my mind, and did my best to keep pushing forward, knowing that I could see them if I just passed this test.
My TI was watching me as I ran every lap, but I didn't know it. As I crossed the line and ended my 5th lap, I saw my TI running right beside me from the corner of my eye. He could see that I was about ready to give up. He could see that my body was tired & I'd become too weary to finish. He began to yell at me, "Come on Cameron!!! You can do this!!! Come on!! I am not going to let you fail! You are going to see your kids!!!.... " His encouraging words was just enough to keep me going, because my body had already given out on me. His words kicked my will power in, and my mind finished that run.
He did this with me all the way around the track until I finished that last lap. He could've been watching and running with any of the others. But he didn't. He watched me, and he ran out onto the track to run with me and only me. I passed my run test in just over 11 minutes.
We all get this way spiritually. We become weary and ready to give up. Our bodies get tired. Our minds get worn down by the enemy, and some of us even quit. But God is watching each and every one of us and counting every lap we run. None of us are needles in the haystack on this track. He sees everyone of us and he knows where every one of us are. Some of us just stop listening for his voice when we get tired. What would we all be if we really KNEW that he's running right beside us and pushing us along?
He never gives up on us. He never leaves us. He KNOWS we get tired. He KNOWS the enemy attacks us. But he believes in us just like my TI believed in me. Even when our feet are dragging the pavement and we're ready to fall over and quit, he still believes in us. He won't run this race for us, because it's a choice we all have to make for ourselves. But he'll run with us, and he won't give up on us.
There is an end to this race, and only God knows when. YES, you're going to get tired! You're going to want to quit! The devil is going to do all that he can to wear you DOWN. But keep running! Keep pushing forward!
The day before my graduation, we ran what was called the "Airman's Run." You'd think that after all those weeks of NO sleep, constant training, and running a mile & a half in under 12 minutes just the day before, we'd be too exhausted to run TWO miles for the airman's run. The mental exhaustion of boot camp alone should've been enough to make us quit. This run was special though. We ran with our flights in a steady formation and sang jodies all the way, and towards the end of that run, our families were waiting on the sidelines, cheering & hollering for us as we rolled in... heads held high, smiles on our faces, pride swelled in our hearts, and renewed strength! We weren't tired because just knowing that everything we'd gone through was worth it, and knowing that we'd finally made it gave us back strength we didn't know we had.
I can just imagine that THIS is what the end of our race will feel like one day. Our strength was renewed by the beautiful sounds of our jodies and the beautiful sounds of our loved ones on the sidelines. All the weeks of training & tears were behind us...we had made it to the finish line! We finally got to march across the "Bomb Run" the next morning as we graduated. It was the first time we'd been allowed to even see the bomb run during our weeks of training. Heaven is waiting for us to march across its gates too! We dreamed for weeks about seeing the bomb run for the first time. That is an airman's goal, to see that bomb run for the first time the morning of their graduation. It's sacred ground at Lackland AFB.
Don't stop running! Don't give up! God is with us. God is in us! The heavenly Bomb Run is our final destination, and we're just passing through this world! This isn't going to last forever! Heaven is forever. The WORD is forever. GOD is forever. Push through your tears! Push through that burn! Push through your pain! Push through your sweat and KNOW that GOD won't let you fail if YOU DON'T WANT TO FAIL! I passed my run by the mercy of my TI's voice, but only because I DIDN'T WANT TO FAIL!
Keep RUNNING!! You WILL BE RENEWED! DON'T GIVE UP!
Devotional reading: all of Isaiah 40 (It'll bless you to read about what a MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!)
The Bomb Run & My flights in the distance, getting to ready to set foot on it!
In deep prayer one evening, I prayed with the burden of the world heavy on my heart. I wept for people I knew and even people I didn't know. As I prayed I thought about God's special calling on my life and how I have not moved forward in my particular calling like I knew I needed to. I began to wonder why as I prayed for these people, who always give me deep anguish inside when I think of their souls... I wondered why I loved these people so much that everytime I prayed it was always them I was praying for, never even thinking to pray for myself...why, when I read the Bible it's always for them, never for what I can get out the Word for myself.
Then it hit me like a ton a bricks and I began to sob, "God, I don't love MYSELF!" I repeated this a few times, "I don't love myself God! I don't know why, help me to love myself so that I can love others God!" Of course I loved others, but I can't be fully effective on my calling or winning souls when I don't even love my own soul enough to save it. That is a bold statement, I know. But it is so true for so many of us. It is so easy to want to "save the world" and send everyone to heaven. Anyone who has any kind of burden for souls knows the feeling. It is so easy to get excited when someone we know says they're coming to church with us Sunday morning or we see them at an altar giving their hearts to God. It is so easy to answer their endless questions & biblical debates on scripture, and so easy to point out the steps to salvation to them when we're trying to win their soul over to God. It's so easy to come before God for them in prayer and failing to even make sure our own hearts are clean. It's so easy to go through those motions.
When it sank in that I didn't love myself, I meditated for a moment and just waited on God to speak. I felt a tug on my heart that said, just pick up your Bible and open it. I opened to Deut 20 and read the verses (below.) As I read I thought about the time I spent and the things I learned in the military. I pictured the chaplains giving us all a "pep talk" and then our leading officers coming in to "be real" with us before we walk onto the perspective battle field, as I read this scenerio below.
The priest encourages the Israelites to not be afraid because God is with them and will fight for them. But even after the priest said, GOD IS WITH THEM and GOD IS GOING TO FIGHT FOR THEM, the officers still stood up and said, "whoa... hang on a minute though..." They said if ANY man has a home he's not dedicated back home, a vinyard he's planted and not eaten from, or a woman he's engaged to and not married, to GO HOME and do those things lest they die in battle and another man get to do those things for them. Lastly, they said, who is fearful and weak hearted out there? If you are afraid and weak hearted, go home now so that you don't make your fellow brothers in arms afraid and weak hearted.
I understood this concept well, knowing that when troop morale is low, in any individual troop member, it can affect the entire flight/platoon, and low troop morale can affect the entire mission! God was with them, as he is with us, but without our FAITH in Him, we will discourage ourselves and lose a battle before it's even begun. These officers knew that if any of those men went to battle without their personal affairs in order, the troop was better off fighting without them. Distracted, fearful and weak hearted men would have just brought the entire platoon down in the battle. Likewise, if we don't have our own spiritual homes in order, we can't fight a battle either.
If we don't love ourselves enough to feed our own souls or pray for our own souls, then we can't be full effective in a battle. It's not enough to let the preacher feed us. It's not enough to let ourselves be carried on the prayers of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It's not enough to love others and get out there and witness. We have to love our own souls enough to save them first, while also being willing to lose our own soul to the cross. I realized that I don't love myself at all if I don't maintain my own soul.
I could witness to a world of people, and still lose my own soul. I can't claim to love people like God loves them if I don't even love my own soul enough to save it, feed it, nourish it, and contiously keep my own heart in sync with God's. I knew that God didn't want me to go forward yet in my calling because he wanted my soul to be saved to. Yes, he would be with me and he would save the souls I fought for in battle... but God doesn't want us losing our own souls too. He doesn't want us affecting the morale of our wingmen either. We have to all be strong hearted as a unit in battle.
We are the body of Christ, one BIG moving giant in a battle, and every limb needs to be completely effective and stable & strong in a battle. That takes every member "eating all their veggies" before stepping out onto the battle field.
Don't forget to love yourself enough to save your own soul too. Until you can effectively win your own soul, how you can win others?
"When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
2And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,
3And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;
4For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
5And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.
6And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it.
7And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.
8And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart."
Have you ever wondered why the groom lifts his bride's veil towards the end of the ceremony, right before the big kiss? (And sometimes her Father lifts it before handing her over. It can vary.)
It is such a common tradition that most people don't even acknowledge it anymore. It's practiced. But it's not acknowledged. It's just something that people do... but let's venture into WHY it's done.
In Judaism (ancient) the veil wasn't even lifted until right before the couple consummated the marriage. It symbolized the couple becoming one flesh. Today, the unveiling in the ceremony is a symbol and foreshadowing of what will take place on the "honeymoon."
Lifting the veil isn't just a tradition. It's a significant symbol of becoming one. Since ancient times veils have been used to separate something from another, and to symbolize the use of that person's or objects personal space.
In Genesis 24, Rebekah didn't wear a veil until right before she knew she was going to see Isaac face to face. Perhaps she was following tradition in the same manner we still do today. But I believe there is something to be learned from this seemingly small and insignificant verse (24:65.) She put a "wall" or separation between herself and her soon to be husband. She acknowledged the separation between herself and Isaac because they hadn't yet become one.
I think of sin as a veil between ourselves and God. And the very moment He took His last breathe on the cross, for our sins, He tore the veil hanging in the tabernacle in the wilderness. Sin was no longer allowed to separate us from Him! But just like a bride on her wedding day we still have to walk down that aisle. We have to walk through the entry where the veil was tore, into the presence of God, to become one with Him. (This is where Acts 2:38 becomes significant in your salvation.)
He has already removed the veil for us. But some of us still try to put it back on. We live in sin and try to cover ourselves from God behind a veil. We put a wall there because we feel like a failure as a Christian, and that's how sin separates us from God.
But let me reiterate... HE HAS ALREADY REMOVED THE VEIL FOR US. His mercy says, "Come on in!" Why do we have to let the devil make us believe that we're not worthy enough to enter that tabernacle? Why do we allow the devil to keep putting our veil back on? God already took it off.
Walk boldly into His presence! Never put that veil back on. Die daily, and trust in His love and mercy.
(Photo borrowed from flicker. Click photo to go to its author.)
Matthew 24:36-44 (King James Version)
36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Psalm 118:24 (KJV)- "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in
What a beautiful scripture! As I was listening to one of my twins laugh at himself (in his highchair) this morning this scripture came to mind.
In a family of eight, every minute of the day is definately not filled with the cute laughter of an adorable 1 year old. There is often arguing amongst the "big kids" and two crying one year olds periodically through out the day. They too have begun to bicker among each other. They fight over toys and Mommy's lap.
Daddy is at work during the day and school in the evenings. He doesn't get much time at home right now. Needless to say, I'm often here alone with my six kids from morning wake up to bedtime. Does it get stressful? Of course.
But there is nothing more beautiful than the peace of God when we're weary, and regardless of any daily circumstances, everyday is a day to rejoice in the Lord!
Do bills and finances get stressful in this mix? Absolutely not. Do they try? Of course! We are by no means rich. But there are two wonderful "Daddy's" in our home who take care of us. God, and my husband. Yes, money gets tight and bills can be overwhelming. But I don't worry about them. Because I know that my husband is doing everything he's supposed to do in order to take care of his family, and I know that I'm being faithful to God. He will be faithful to us. So why worry? God takes of us. He has never let me down, and neither has my husband.
Rejoice in the Lord instead of worry! Because he has made this day!
These are just a couple of the things I wake up everyday rejoicing to:
...the sounds of six children! I've gotten head shakes in public, and comments like, "you poor girl" or "you sure have your hands full." People mean well. But sometimes I feel like saying, "Are you kidding me? I am so blessed!" Children are a blessing from God, and I love having a large family. They give me daily joy. I couldn't have been more thrilled the day I found out I was having twins in my last pregnancy.
People look at me and say, "I couldn't handle it. I don't know how you do it." I tell them that you adapt with each new child just like a fish adapts to water. Do you think God doesn't know what he's doing? Of course he does!
He built us with adaptation in mind. I'll be honest, when I brought twins home from the hospital it was a culture shock. I was used to bringing ONE baby home from the hospital. But two babies.... that was a whole new world for me. My first week with them involved a lot of crying (from MY eyes,) stress, sleepless nights, and severe feelings of being overwhelmed & fatiqued.
Imagine waking up 2-6 times a night to feed and change your one newborn baby. Now double that, in between feeding/changing the first baby. I also had no help. Dad had to work, and he also went into his own little "shock mode" that involved completely shutting down when it came to the babies (totally normal for the men.) I literally stayed up all night feeding and changing babies. My mind and body went into shock. I didn't know how to handle it. But God did, and he got me through it.
I adapted, and my children are the best blessings God has ever given me. Everyday is a day to rejoice when you wake up to these blessings!
I have a good husband who takes care of his family. There are not a lot of men out there who are willing to do this. It sounds so simple and natural. But it is an unfortunate fact. He has loved me since I was 15, and he has loved me with loyality and perseverance. I can't say my life has been easy since we met. There has definately been many trials through out the years.
He even stood by to pick up the pieces when I strayed right into an abusive marriage with someone else at 18. I walked down the wrong road because I walked away from God at one point in my life. But God's mercy led me home, and my husband's (and God's) mercy & unconditional love restored what had been broken in my soul due to the abuse. I have a husband who stood by with gentle hands for every panic attack, tear, insecurities, and bad dreams while I healed from a marriage that broke me. There is rejoicing in the blessings of a good man!
I could list my blessings all day. My children and husband are at the top of my list. I would not trade either for the world. Our life isn't perfect. Our finances aren't perfect. Our marriage isn't perfect. Our parenting isn't perfect....
But we serve a perfect God who makes everyday with him perfect. That makes all the difference! It makes everyday worth rejoicing, regardless of circumstances. Circumstances are only surface deep. But God lies beyond the surfaces. He lies in the roots where beautiful flowers grow from. They let off sweet scents that give the world around them an inner peace inside. The scent of a flower doesn't stop its aroma just because "junk" lies all around it. It's roots make it beautiful regardless of what is waiting above the ground. Everyday is a day for rejoicing when God is in your roots!
(A photo I took at my sister's house (below.)
There's nothing like the peace of God when you're a mother of six!
Last night I babysat two babies, 2 & under. And for the past few days, I've also been taking care of a 5 month old baby to help out his Mom.
And if that doesn't paint a picture for you, pencil in my 1 year old twins, and also my 5, 7,8, and 10 year old. (Though, on this particular evening the 7 & 8 year old were spending the night elsewhere.) I still had 7 kids, even with two of them gone.
In the midst of the chaos, my husband said, "I don't know how you do this." I knew he was referring to chaos. In this particular scenerio, two 5 month old babies crying, two twins running around who need a "dwink" & want mommy to hold them (with one baby already on my chest in a moby wrap & another in my arms,) a 5 year old who's still hungry & whining, an adorable two year old who only speaks "monkey" and I can't figure out a thing he needs... (heehee, really!)... etc, etc.
And I thought to myself, "What chaos?"
That was the defining moment I realized that I'd been given a very divine gift of true peace from God.
Is there such a thing? And why do some people seem to have this gift & others don't?
First of all, let's see what the Word says about peace. Scripture is a very important tool to apply to our lives. It's not something you should skim over or just ignore all together. The Word is a manual for living our lives. It's important to always read the instructions before attempting to put it together yourself! (To name just a few scriptures on peace:)
Psalms 29:11 says, "The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace."
"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."
"And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever."
"And all thy children [shall be] taught of the LORD; and great [shall be] the peace of thy children."
"And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."
"For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. "
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
And this one really brings it home:
"And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace."
My WHAT has made me WHOLE?! FAITH makes us WHOLE, and when we are WHOLE.... there is... PEACE.
Why do some people have this gift of peace? Because they have true faith, which makes them whole. To have true faith, one must WALK in that faith, everyday. True faith isn't a building you go visit every Sunday.
True faith is waking up every morning with Jesus on your mind...waking up and talking to him.
True faith lives in holiness according to His Word, and studies His Word so that it can imprint itself on the heart.
True faith desires to and sets themselves a part from the carnal world.
True faith believes in the power of prayer, intercession, and carries a burden for other souls.
True faith stumbles, but gets up, dusts themselves off, and keeps marching on.
This faith makes a person whole. If you're not whole in your life reasses your faith. When you've found what you're lacking in faith, DIVE right into it and never look back! When you're whole inside and out, the divine peace of God can't help but consume your life.
Maybe you do walk in faith & find yourself needing some peace. So you're still wondering why you are experiencing this lack of peace. I have two things to say about it: Tell the devil to shut up! And go back to His Word and hold him to it! He's a man of His Word! So pray the Word and scriptures of peace into your life today!
When my home is full of chaos... crying babies, arguing siblings, tattling, whining... LIFE, it does not consume me.
I have a peace inside me that says, "Deal with one issue at a time. Stay calm. Prioritize (Feed crying babies first, etc.) Praise them continually. Correct them with love. Pick your battles. Use your inside voice. Don't forget to breathe!"
That peace makes every bit of chaotic, rambunctious craziness in my life the most beautiful gifts in life, to me. I can look at the chaos and smile. I can look at it and say, "Wow. Life sure is beautiful. He sure has blessed me!"
I'm not perfect. There's no question about that. But I get up everyday and try. I get up everyday and march on. And God gives me peace.
I'm not just a housewife or a Mom. I'm a T.I. training soldiers! And when it gets dark outside, when my little soldiers are sound asleep in their beds, and the tick tock sound of the clock is deafening... I talk to God.
I also spend time chasing my dreams and thinking about my goals, needs, and desires. I find that they are always "What ever you want me to do Lord, here I am" kind of goals. But they're mine. Because my desire and passion is to serve Him. I serve Him by also serving others.
I do my best to follow the path He guides me down, and I never forget to stop and watch the butterflies. Because those butterflies are His little sprinkles of peace upon my soul. I absorb every drop. And I march on... in peace. Amen.
When you don't know which way to go or what to do, just stand still & wait on God to lead you. I have found that often in my past, all I could do is stand still & wait for that cloud to move. I am learning now, that all I ever needed to do was stand still & wait for that cloud to move...His time is perfect, and in obedience to his perfect time, his mercy & blessings flow. But when we try to move before that cloud we step out of his perfect time and perfect will. That hike leads to nowhere.
36And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:
37 But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.
Lord, let my heart be a tabernacle to you, and may it move with you on your perfect time, no time before or after, and may it lead me in your perfect will. In Jesus name.
Isaiah 6:8 "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."
I pray this word to my own life... what ever your will Lord, humbly, obediently, here I am.
10And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Well, AMEN to that. Jesus didn't believe in spiritual segregration, and neither do I. People who don't know God like those who do, shouldn't be segregated from Christians because they're "sinners." That doesn't mean Christians need to run out to the clubs & get their grooves on so that we're not segregating ourselves from the sinners. It means we need to open our hearts, our homes, our minds, and learn to love people the way God loves us, right where they are. We need to get off our high horses & get out there & reach out to people. We must segregate ourselves from the world. But not the people in this world. How do they find healing if no one is willing to offer it? Christians are the vessels the Physician uses to heal. We have to be willing to be those vessels... instruments for Him.
And well, that means we're going to run into people (in the real world and cyberworld) who sin (as if we don't.) They're going to cuss. They're going to drink. They're going to have pre-marrital sex and etc, etc. They're going to be everything Christians are expected not to be. When we come across these scenerios we have some choices to make. We can snub our noses in the air & say, "Hmpf! I'm too holy to hear that language. Be gone from me you sinner!" (Sarcasm, yes, but you get the point. If you don't, then you don't need to get it.) Or, we can choose to see them and love them as they are, just the way God does.
Hey, pick your battles. I'd spend a whole day listening to some one cuss me out if it meant I had the opportunity to show them God's love.. because THAT love is what draws them to repentence. That love is what saves them from this world & leads them to their salvation. (Realize here, that we do need to protect our minds & hearts from sin. And I am only using scenerios. Use your wisdom in my words!)
But if we're busy being too holy for them to be in our presence... they'll never see that love. Since when did anyone become holier than God anyway? He wasn't too good to sit with sinners. Why should Christians be?
We aren't here for each other (Christians)... we're here for the people out there who need healing from the GREATEST Physician. We are his instruments. We need to allow him to use us.
"When I spread open my wings, just step inside the shadow it casts, relax, and let your feet be lifted off the ground."
They stood along the shoreline and anxiously waited as they watched his magnificant wings spread a part. They wondered if the shadow would be big enough for everyone to fit inside. It didn't look big enough. But everyone fit comfortably inside as they slowly stepped "aboard" the shadow.
As they stepped into the shadow they became like feathers and slowly drifted up off the ground.
"Feel free to move about. You will be safe while we are on our journey, as long as you don't move outside the shadow."
With that, he began to move the glorious wings...slow... then faster and faster, like a propeller on a plane. He began to soar over the crashing ocean waves. The journey was going to be a long one. But no one cared to look back at the devastation they were leaving behind. The only images left of the devastation on the shoreline were the memories stored in their minds.
Memories.... a scene of hunger, poverty, fire, hate, murder, scavengers.... most of them already scattered abroad by the time the winged man appeared. He was only taking the children... the innocent children left to their own inside the devastation... left with no one to care for them, because no one cared...except the winged man.
"You will stay here now for awhile," he said as he landed in a valley, surrounded by ocean, mountains, waterfalls....tranquillity, utopia. He turned and flew off into the endless sea, more children were waiting back at Devastation Shore.
He had sent word back to the shoreline that he'd be back for more when ever they were ready. New children heard the message and they waited on the shore for the winged man to come and save them from Devastation Shore.
Back at the utopia, the children felt safe. Some of them missed their parents and loved ones who couldn't come. They'd send letters back to the shore, with no return address... in hopes that their loved ones could find their way to the winged man too. They couldn't leave a return address. There were bounties on them. An evil one wanted to find them and bring them back to the shore to kill them. But he didn't know where the utopia was or how to get there. He was not allowed there, and it made it him angry. No one was allowed to the utopia but by the winged man. And no one knew the way except the winged man. It was in a secret place surrounded by the sea, deep down in a valley, hidden from the vulgar world."
Sometimes God talks to us through our dreams. If you've ever had a dream from God, you know the difference. God gave me this dream recently. Of all the dreams I've ever dreamt from him, this one has had the most profound impact on my heart. And it was so surreal. Maybe because I know the truth behind this dream, it impacts me so greatly. It's not a fictitcious fantasy dream. It's real. God speaks in metaphors.
I begin to tear up now at the thought of how real this dream is. It is real, and it is powerful... the message, that is. It tears me up because there are so many people out there who don't know how real this God and his salvation is. We are all born on Devastation Shore. But we don't all make it to the utopia. Many of us spend our lives aimlessly wondering Devastation Shore. Many of us never even step into the shadow of his wings. Many of us don't think this is "for" us or that we "don't need" it. I can't count how many times I've heard some one say, "church just isn't for me." People don't even know what they're really saying when they say that.
Some of us do step into the shadow of his wings. There are no walls in the shadow of that flight though. That means we can choose to abort the flight at any given time. All we have to do is step outside the shadow. Some of us look at the shadow & think it doesn't look big enough. We doubt God. Life starts to get a little rough and we want to retreat back to the shoreline. Maybe we look down into the scary sea and become afraid of falling. We have so little faith, and we run. When we step outside the shadow, we only find ourselves falling into a crashing and deadly sea of endless ocean. We have so little faith in God when it matters most. But his wings are always sufficient. Always.
Utopia isn't heaven. It is only the place in your heart where God resides, until we make it to heaven. The journey to utopia is called salvation. The Bible says you must become like a little child, and have the faith of a child to enter heaven... do we, really? How POWERFUL is that thought when you really think about it? Only children are allowed to the utopia...
He makes frequent trips back to Devastation Shore to pick up anymore children who are ready to go. The Bible says in Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. " Then in John 3:5 it says, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." These verses make it very clear on how to get ready to step inside the shadow for the trip to the utopia. And why is the utopia surrounded by water? Water is life. Water is essential to your salvation. It's called baptism. We MUST be born of the water. We are given new live when we're baptised in Jesus name. The Holy Spirit, as John said is a gift for everyone of us, will follow our water birth, and we will be spiritually born.
I am so happy to have left Devastation Shore. Satan puts bounties on us... he wants to bring us back to that place to kill our spirits and bring us down. But God is bigger. God is stronger. And when we're in the shadow of his wings, we are safe. We are covered in the power of the blood of Jesus and nothing can touch us. But if we step outside that shadow... or if we never even step in... well, it's our choice.
(See also Psalms 91, which I later found corrilated with my dream)