In the furnace

fiery furnace file image for PJ

‘In the furnace’

My faith feels tarnished, stained,

edges worn, rust ingrained

No walking on water for me ~

I’m sinking in seas of adversity

Years of being at the end

of a fragile, fraying rope

leave us dangling, uncertain,

with bruised hearts, dashed hope

What began shiny, new

penny-bright, has faded

into fog, misted out of view,

jaded, gone from sense and sight

Yet, be it weak, small as

mustard seed to be sown

our faith does not depend

on ourselves or strength alone

Nor is it stretched by being

untested over time and years

or lost, unseen, when eyes

blur and swim with tears

Time spent in The Refiner’s fire

is to purify, burn off dross

from flawed motives and desires

we have counted as loss

We enter defiled, soiled as dust,

fragile, worn out and feeling old

We emerge, unmarred, unscarred by rust

renewed, restored ~ come forth as gold

©JoyLenton2014

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials, these have come so that your faith ~ of greater worth than gold , which perishes even though refined by fire ~ may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed” ~ 1Peter1:6 -7 

Dear Lord,

Even as we squirm and resist the fiery furnace of affliction, help us to remain until your work is complete in us.

As sickness, pain and problems weigh heavy, enable us to withstand the heat they bring and to see your hand in everything.

May we learn patience, endurance and trust as our faith gets stretched beyond our ability to cope.

For when we’re left dangling at the end of our rope, we are never as alone as we may feel.

Your arms are always ready to reach out, lift and support, carry and hold us, provide rest and respite, strength to go on.

May we be reassured by your continual loving presence and willing to say ~  have your way in me.

Amen

Joining here with Nacole, Holley and Jennifer

as gold ~ In the furnace poem image pin

Streams in the wasteland

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She steps lightly, blithely through deep waves of bluebells, inhaling piercing sweet fragrance, a clean sharp freshness clearing away all cobwebbed thoughts.

Invitation to breathe life and hope, new beginnings.

Opening herself to joy. Sensing the nearness of His Presence, hearing Him call her name.

He takes her hand and guides through a sea of snowdrops, dancing daffodils swaying in the breeze, birdsong heralding the pathway toward a rippling stream.

And there He invites her to come close, cupped hands at the ready to scoop out drops of water and drink freely.

She gulps until thirst is satiated. Her body coming alive with strength, energy, vibrancy.

Eyes opened to see beauty all around, her senses awash with awareness, awakening.

Feet moving of their own accord, skipping like a carefree child whose heart only has room for love, joy and laughter.

His voice calls soft, deep and warm as whispers on the wind. Notes vibrate, resonate and pulsate to her spirit.

For the first time in years she feels truly alive. There is no pain, no sadness or sorrow here ~  just sheer exuberance with her Lord.

Reality bites as the vision ends. She inhabits a body gripped by pain and wearied by weakness. Follows her Lord down endless drifting, dusty pathways with little signs of colour and light. Lacking refreshment. Desirous of change.

But on the inside? Here she sings. Here she celebrates. Here she is free. Walking the royal highway with the King of kings.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” ~ Psalm 16:11

prayer whisper image

Prayer Whisper:’Streams in the wasteland’

I am God of the now. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Can you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is yet to come. As you live more in day-tight compartments, so you will find Me being active and become aware of My Presence.

Begin each day anew. Let your heart fill with expectancy. Watch and see what I will do. Surrender your hopes, dreams and plans into My hands and trust Me for the outcome.

Continue to walk closely with Me and believe that I am preparing the path before you. Whether it is strewn with heavy boulders, littered with pebbles or smooth and easy, My hand is in it all. Many of My children spend years kicking dust and sand in the wilderness. I meet powerfully with them there. Those years are never wasted, nor as bleak and barren as they seem.

Much fruit develops in arid places when you walk closely with Me. These are growing times, spaces and places in your life. Periods to lie fallow while I prepare you for the next step.

May work cannot be rushed. Trust Me to know what I am doing and what I will accomplish in you. A life surrendered to Me is a beautiful thing to bring praise and glory to My Name. And when you emerge out the other side of your valley I will bring you into a green and spacious place, an area of influence and renewed purpose.

Continue to trust and obey as you have extra zest in your step. Do not forget the Lord your God who led you by the hand and kept you safe. Remaining by My side is vital to receive impartation and anointing for today and maintain a heart at rest and peace in Me.”

Grace crumbs:a vision of hope and encouragement, words flowing again, focus and energy to write them here, answered prayer, sensing God’s presence ~  #1000gifts

Linking here with Nacole for #concretewords This week’s prompt is ‘path’ 

And with Jennifer and Holley

prayer whisper ~ streams in the wasteland

Indigenous

In the hands of an expert potter, clay is something altogether marvellous in the way it can be transformed into objects of beauty.

If we dig our boots or hands deep into clay we get soiled with mire clinging fast to clothes and skin. Unlovely. Hard to shake off. Needing a good scrub.

Our natural clay selves cannot be easily washed clean either.

While we live, breathe and have our being in God, we also remain rooted in earth, dwellers in soil and dirt.

Our fallen earthly nature clings tenaciously to frames bent low by burdens we were never built to carry as knees buckle under the weight of them.

Indigenous

We are indigenous

earth dwellers

rooted long

in soil

hard graft

sweat of brow

aching muscle

tillers of ground

planting seeds

of life

and hope

in dark places

with expectation

one day

we will see

some fruit

in harvest

to come

 ©JoyLenton2013

God remembers that we are dust.

And it’s His Holy whispered breath that enlivens, connects sinews to joints and muscles together as a body to receive His glorious presence.

Surrendering to His promise, we are raised anew with strength, and vigour, lifted out of any pit we may have fallen into, out of the mud and mire. Shaken down, dust-free and cleaned again, with feet set firmly on the Rock.

Dried in the refining fire of God’s Love, purified in the furnace of affliction where scorching flames burn off any dross or detritus gathered from soil-dwelling.

Emerging from its fiery heat bleached clean, fragile pure, awaiting the Potter’s hand to reshape and refashion these earthen vessels into containers fit for His Light to filter through.

Our many cracks, flaws and holes are no impediment.  The leaky spaces and places only allow His Light to shine through all the brighter.

And as we dig deep into the fertile soil of His word, its rich nutrients are a holding place for dormant seed to grow, bursting forth with an abundant harvest at just the right time.

Prayer

Dear Father,

Our earthly nature clings to us like resistant soil. We need to come to You for cleansing and purifying. You are the Potter, we are the clay. Help us to be willing to let You have Your way and not resist Your loving hand upon our lives. And even when we may protest at the way it make us feel when You are stretching  and calling us to come up higher, enable us to surrender to Your will and ways.

May we have a growing awareness that full, lasting change and transformation cannot come about, nor fruit be evident in our lives, unless we are renewed, remade, restored and refashioned as You see fit, into the image of Your Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Linking here with Nacole for #concretewords., where we write out spirit from a one word concrete prompt. This week’s prompt was:‘Soil’. You are very welcome and warmly invited to join in.

** Day 2  of the 31 day challenge to write #poetryforthesoul