Laurel Thomas

Monthly Archive: May 2014

Thursday

29

May 2014

2

COMMENTS

Kill the Anaconda

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Our granddaughter, Gracie, greets random people with a question.

“Will you be my friend?”

She’s just checking. One can’t have too many friends. Whether we know them or not.

So our daughter messed with her one afternoon.

“Gracie, am I your friend?” asked Shannon.

Gracie looked aghast. As aghast as a six-year old can look.

“Why would you ask me something like that? You know you’re my friend. I love you. I love everybody.”

I heard the Lord speak to my sixty-year old self.

You know you’re My friend. I love you. I love everybody.

One thing I’ve learned.

I’m as loved as I allow myself to be.

Sure human love is flawed. It brings along our own agendas, our own history and of course, our own baggage in its back pocket. Sometimes it is hidden by polished armor. Looking for perfection in imperfection is pointless.

“Tell us how to kill the anaconda,” asked my husband after the last blog.

Remember the anaconda? The hurt and hope deferred that festered and grew under the surface into a raging monster?

How did that serpent get so big?

It was fed. Fed by an enemy called the accuser. One we listen to as a friend or at least a familiar acquaintance. It is the voice we hear when we mess up or when someone wrongs us. It tempts us to isolate by unforgiveness and self-protection.

We mistake it for God’s voice. It sounds like this:

You better straighten up and fly right. Or you are out of here. Out of my life, out of my heart – just plain out.

Not only are we accused without help and without hope, but we are cast out, away. A reject. Trash on the side of the road.

This isn’t a friend, nor is it God. Here’s what God says when we are hurting.

No weapon formed against you will succeed.

“Don’t worry, I have this,” He says. “Don’t turn on yourself. Don’t turn on others. Don’t let the accuser make you his target.”

For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My loving-kindness will not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord Who has mercy on you.

It is a powerful choice. Agreeing with one bent on our destruction. Or embracing love that declares, “The debt is already paid.”

We can’t pay the debt, not for ourselves and not for others. Only One could pay that debt and He already did. He took every mistake, every failing, every sin and every sickness. He paid their awful price and then shouted, “It is finished.”

I watched a dear friend face a disease that rose up to kill her.

She didn’t  agree with the accuser. She refused to get into the arena with it. She rejected doubts like, “I didn’t do this, I should have done this…”

She said,”No. I don’t care why. I won’t let you kill me. You don’t have my permission. You don’t have God’s permission. He already paid my debts. He is my Healer.”

“Under no circumstances will I let you kill me.”

Yes, she changed some things. She made adjustments according to wisdom. She went to the doctor. She did all she knew to cooperate with God’s healing path.

I think she’s on to something. Didn’t He say, “Be it unto you according to your faith”?

After all, her Daddy loves her. She is His friend. And He loves us all.

 

Shalom,

Laurel Thomas

Monday

19

May 2014

2

COMMENTS

Hope in the River

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It rose up in me like a snarly anaconda, deep from my spirit. I didn’t speak, but nasty thoughts turned their fiery breath inside.

It was only a suggestion. Not even a correction. Why such a volcano response?

I’ve learned that anger has roots. Finding those roots can be like a reverse treasure hunt. More like a rattlesnake round-up. Still, it was important to know why.

I asked the Lord and He spoke two words. Hope deferred.

Hope deferred? What could that have to do with anger’s silent seething? Couldn’t I give that anger a quick shove back down where it came from? Or maybe I could shout,

“The Lord rebukes you!”

After all, it wasn’t nice and I knew better. I should be kind.

One problem. All that stuffing was like denying that an anaconda lived in my pond and then going for a nice swim. And inviting my friends. Potluck.

It still waited, only bigger and better fed.

Hope deferred sounded harmless. It wasn’t. I looked it up in the Bible.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Proverbs 13:12

My heart is ground or soil. God created it to produce good things. When I plant the seed of His promise by believing it, it has the power to generate His will. At least as long as I keep the weeds out. Like that pernicious thistle of hope deferred. It, too, had deep roots. I needed it out before it choked God’s potential in me.

There was more to that Scripture.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

The Bible mentions a tree of life in Genesis, Ezekiel, and Revelation. There is healing in this tree. Not just for me, but for many. God has a tree of life for my garden. No wonder a snake tried to wrap itself around it. There was life in that heart that needed to be free.

I used to think of hope as a vague wish or desire. Just a whim. This is not the God kind of hope, though.

There are ten different Hebrew words for hope. One is tiqvah, a cord or attachment. Rahab tied a scarlet tiqvah in her window as a sign of God’s deliverance and protection for she and her family.

Tiqvah comes from the root qavah, also translated as hope. It is strength by being bound together, like a rope of multiple strands. This rope endures stretching. It is hope placed in the cords of unbreakable promise.

Another Hebrew word for hope is yachal. It means to wait expectantly, to patiently endure because of the assurance of what is coming. The two Greek words for hope also express expectation and confident trust.

Hope is not a wish. It is an absolute assurance and unwavering confidence in One Whose cords hold His promise to us, regardless of our difficulties.

To defer means to put off or delay. But who is deferring my hope? Is it God? No, I am the one who delays hope. It is my own fear, my own lack of understanding that sabotages its power.

I’ll expect God to move another day. Maybe the circumstances aren’t quite right. Maybe I’m not quite right. Hope another day, another time is like a sinking ship. I can see the tip, but know its going down.

Hope deferred raises a giant question mark.

“Well, maybe for others…”

“If you hadn’t done that…”

“If I hadn’t done that…”

I am a steward of my garden. Hope is its supernatural guardian. Like dew, it rises up from my spirit with a gentle moisture to nourish its life. I have the ability to keep hope strong. I feed it truth and my willingness to learn and grow. I feed it with His “I WILL.”

So remember that tree of life and don’t worry when you have to go on a snake hunt. Taking care of the life of God in us is worth some diligence. It requires some humility. That’s because it’s harvest is way bigger then we’ve ever imagined.

Shalom,

Laurel Thomas

 

 

Sunday

11

May 2014

0

COMMENTS

Courage in the River

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“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” Mary Ann Radmacher

I’m asking more and more to see the big picture. Distractions obscured my view for years. The eternal paraded nearby, unnoticed by me, while I tended to fires that only veiled the real deal.

I want what matters. Even when it shows up unannounced.

Mary might have been asleep when the angel, Gabriel, came to visit. She didn’t ask for the encounter. Even as love breathed into the air around her, the message confounded her young heart.

“Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will become pregnant and give birth to a Son and you will call His name Yeshua,” he said.

Still, Mary welcomed God. Angelic visitor, supernatural mission and impossible circumstances. Yes, to all of the above.

The sweetness of heaven’s visitor must have lingered. Did it stick around long enough to cushion the clash of incomprehensible meeting human reason?

Heaven defied the natural and inserted His plan on earth in baby form. All in the human package of a young woman called to carry God.

It was a profound, beautiful first fruit of His will for all of us. The mystery of imperfect people carrying a God treasure.

She couldn’t have known how much grace carrying that Treasure would require. It didn’t look like an assault at first. After all, it was her family. It was Joseph. But they didn’t understand.

Rejection has a hook. That hook is based on the fact we carry something that isn’t understood. It isn’t understood because it is God. Rejection must have hovered with its goon, shame, like a black cloud threatening to slime Mary and her treasure.

These babies are God plans that begin with a thought or desire. Sometimes they show up in our dreams. Many are aborted before they are known, denied before their beauty shapes our world in a new way.

Questions assail us like, “Who do you think you are?”

“You’ve tried and failed before, why is this time any different?”

“How important is this anyway? It’s so little and insignificant.”

Mary was a wise woman. She ran to her friend, Elizabeth. Elizabeth knew about supernatural babies. She carried one. She, too, was a forerunner who carried a child of the spirit, not born of the will of man, but of God.

Elizabeth friends are precious. They recognize the gift we carry when others don’t. They aren’t threatened by what they can not understand. They know a baby needs protection. That means caring for the momma.

Elizabeth was old. She was proof age has nothing to do with this birthing process. We can receive a God-baby at any age.

God things aren’t always understood. But in embracing them, we receive the potential to bring heaven to earth in flesh and blood reality. Did Jesus shape the world? Our babies will, too.

They need protection, they need care. But when they come to birth, God arrives on the scene. He may come in baby form, but that expression of heaven in us touches earth in ways we never expected.

Shalom,

Laurel Thomas