"And be not
to this world:
but be ye
of your mind,
will of God.”
Like always, I'm going to be honest! The past several weeks I have not been feeling well physically. Worse than my "normal". A lot worse. Not sure if it's related to the same illness or something new? But something definitely is "off kilter". I will be seeing my specialist on June 6th, so look for updates in the near future!
Due to the symptoms, I’ve been spending a lot more time in bed which fuels the loneliness and isolation and feeds the already damaged feelings of self-worth. And then of course comes all the thoughts of, "What is going on with me now?" "What am I going to be facing?" “What’s next?" "Blah, Blah, Blah!"
With all this "junk" running wildly around in my mind, I decided to have a BIG party! But unfortunately it wasn't a happy party whatsoever.
My 50th birthday party, three years ago, was a happy party! In fact it was A BLAST! We had eighty people drop in. There was LOTS of laughter and smiles. Massive amounts of good food and cake. Wonderful reminiscing and memory-making moments. Did I mention LOTS of laughter and smiles?
This party I had recently was the TOTAL OPPOSITE. There was no laughter. No smiles. Not eighty guests. There were only three guests. Me, myself and I. Oh, occasionally Brian would drop in, but he had enough common sense to know when it was time to say, "farewell".
I invited Jesus to my party, but the only problem was that He couldn't get inside the house. You see, I had the screen door locked and then I had the main door locked, dead bolted and chain locked!
However, Jesus stood on the front porch listening in on the conversation which was taking place at this party with these three guests, me, myself and I. As He listened, He was heartbroken to hear that He was barely mentioned at all. Me, myself and I were so consumed with talking about how they were feeling physically and conversing about the possibilities that might await them in the future, and sharing their burdens with one another that it appeared they had no time to discuss anything else.
Had me, myself and I TOTALLY forgotten about the goodness of Jesus? The unfailing grace of Jesus? The sacrificial love of Jesus which He demonstrated by dying on the cross so that me, myself and I could be totally forgiven of our sins and spend all Eternity with Him in Heaven one day? Had they forgotten that this life is not all there is? It sure appeared that way.
Oh, but wait! There were presents at this party! Maybe this party wouldn’t be a disaster after all.
The first gift was wrapped in brown “butcher block” paper tied up with twine. Not a very appealing gift, but, hey, a gift is a gift, right? As I anxiously tore into the brown paper and cut off the twine, all I saw inside was a slip of white paper with three words written in bold black ink, "But what if?"
Maybe the next gift would be a lot better? Granted it was a black gift bag with some tears around the top edges and looking a bit ragged, but again, hey, it’s a gift, right? As I eagerly dug to the bottom of the bag past all the tissue paper, once again it was a slip of white paper with just three words written in bold black ink, "How much longer?"
Well the last gift MUST be the best of all. It was just a plain white envelope and, yes, it did have a few coffee stains on it, but, it was a gift. Maybe it was cash or a gift card? That would be amazing! But, no, it was just another slip of white paper with three words written in bold black ink, "Where is God?"
Okay this party was fading fast! Even the gifts were useless and by now the cake was getting dry and stale. The "munchies" were half eaten, the cans of soda were going flat, and even the streamers hanging from the ceiling fans were beginning to droop and most of the balloons were lying on the floor lifeless.
As I began picking up the trash, I happened to notice three boxes left sitting on the corner table. Out of view. Obscured from the rest of the gifts. But I didn’t feel like opening up any more disappointing gifts, so I just "let them be" as I continued to mope around cleaning up the mess from my depressing, self-absorbed, self-consuming pity party, but giving those gifts a second glance every chance I got!
Finally my curiosity got the best of me!
These gifts were wrapped TOTALLY different from the other ones!
The first one was a box wrapped in the most elegant shiny gold wrapping paper adorned on top with two stunning maroon and white swirled bows! It was almost too pretty to open! As I gently unwrapped the paper, my heart was pounding a mile a minute, and yet at the same time very cautious as I knew it could still contain one of those small slips of paper. But much to my surprise, it was NOT a slip of paper. It was a painting of the most gorgeous sunset I have ever seen. On the back of the painting were written these words,
“Barb, I love you my dear child. I see You have been struggling lately and I want you to know how very much I love you. Please read the words which I have inscribed on the painting. Your Heavenly Father”
I took a picture so you could see for yourself my gift from God
Well now my curiosity was way passed beyond being peaked! I couldn’t wait to open the second package.
This gift was wrapped in a pure white gift bag decorated with beautiful crimson hearts! Inside the bag I found a gorgeous handmade wooden plaque. The gift card said, “Barb, I have been wanting to come to your party, but you would not let Me in the door. I know you love Me. Please read the words inscribed on the plaque and always remember how very much I love you, Jesus”
Here is a picture of the plaque from Jesus
WOW!! By now I could barely see through the tears which were streaming down my face. But there was still one more package to open.
This present was wrapped in glittering silver paper and tied with a goldenrod colored ribbon. As I lifted the top of the box, my breath caught in my throat as I looked upon a gorgeous hand stitched wall hanging of beautiful deep red tulips, which "just happen to be" my favorite flower! The gift card said, “Barb, I am Your Comforter. I am always here to help you think on the “right” things if You allow me that privilege. Please read the words which I stitched amidst the tulips, and always remember how very much I love you, The Holy Spirit.”
Here's a picture of the wall hanging I received from the Holy Spirit
I will not insult your intelligence by telling you that my story is fictitious!
SO VERY TRUE
SO MANY WAYS!
"Lord, thank You for the overwhelming power of Your Word. Thank You for not sugar-coating Your Word to suit my moods, whims or pity parties. But at the same time, thank You so much that Your Word brings blessed comfort and encouragement to take that next step and is such a healing balm when I am weak, weary and worn. Thank You that Your Word brings life. Everlasting life. Renewed life. Joyous life. Hope-filled life. Abundant life. Life spent in Your glorious presence now and for all Eternity for those who know Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. In Jesus' Name. Amen"
will fade away,
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May God Bless You,