Flesh-wounds: What do I do with the pain?


By: Carole l. Haines

It happened again, and I find myself asking those same-old questions?  “Did they mean to do that, leave me out? Was that a deliberate slight, or just a misunderstanding? Should I risk asking, it just might lead to more rejection?” I don’t know if I really want to know the answer.
Rejection pierces my heart, yet again.  Confusion mixed with offense rises up within me.   I run to God and keep asking Him: “God, what do I do with the pain?  How do I proceed from here? Father, how do I get over this?”  Then I sensed His gentle reply, “Give it to me, and receive what I have for you.”
As I write this, I am 15 minutes into a perceived rejection from some people who have hurt me before. My heart is racing, my eyes ache with tears welling up, but not spilling out. So, I begin to focus on what God says about me, instead.

I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
I have written you on the palm of my hands.
I have enclosed you behind and before and laid my hand upon you
This has happened to me before. In one extreme case of being “thrown away,” by another person, I just cried out to God, and asked the same questions I am asking now. “What do I do with this rejection, what do I do with this pain?”  God’s answer was so moving, so clear and poignant. It echoes in my heart right now. Here is what God said to me:
“These are only flesh wounds, Dear Child, and the flesh is passing away. No one can ever touch you for who you really are in Me. Let these wounds pass away as flesh, and walk in My Spirit. Rest in My unending love. I will never leave you, forsake you, or reject you. Dear Child, I know how you feel, for My people rejected me.”
I began to think on the fact that the people of God in the Old Testament, kept forsaking God, and running after vain and empty things. How the heart of God must ache sometimes.  God has expressed His own pain and disappointments from being rejected: Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
(Genesis 6:5-6 NASB) 2
“I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,
A people who continually provoke Me to My face.
(Isaiah 65: 2-3a NASB)
He has no stately form or majesty
that we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53 NASB)

I felt the arms of God around me, as I read these Scriptures. He understands, He knows what is feels like.  He cares, He heals, He comforts me.  I love God’s vulnerability, His accessibility, His open transparency.  Somehow, It doesn’t matter anymore, whether the rejection I suffered is real or not.  I am so blessed by God’s all-encompassing love; I will just rest here in His arms and trust Him to work this out.  Ahhh, the sweet, sweet Love of Jesus. If you are suffering from a rejection right now, whether real or just perceived, spend some time focusing on who God says you are in His Word.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.  (1 John 4:18 NASB)
What do I do with the pain? Yield it to God and bask the fresh, cleansing and healing truth of His unending love for you.

Posted in Musings and ponderings | 4 Comments

The steps to Nowhere


by: Carole L. Haines

Our family just loves to visit abandoned places.  Our son is especially into this, so we go on hikes with him to see these places.  We have a few really interesting ones right nearby our home.  He studies up on the History of the places, and tells us about them as we explore.  It’s so intriguing to visit where others once have trod, long ago. You can almost hear the echo’s of voices, calling from room to room. The places seem to brighten when we walk in, almost glad someone has remembered them, and come to wander awhile.  It’s like the walls are aching with stories to tell.
One of the most interesting places, is fenced off and we cannot gain access, nor should we, as it is the ruins of an old missile site.  But as you peer through the fence, you can see a set of steps that lead to Nowhere.  Just steps where a building used to be.  The building was torn down, yet the steps remain.  This reminded me of how important it is for us to take inventory of just what we are investing our time in.  Do we have any steps that lead to Nowhere, in our own lives? Do we have any ruins that have long since collapsed, and yet we visit the site of those ruins, and climb the steps to Nowhere.  The pain rushes back in, the scars throb, the wounds pulsate with reminders of what was, or what could have been.

There’s a quote I read on the site GODINTEREST, that says:

“Leave behind the past because nothing is going to change there, and the more you keep looking back the more you’ll fail to see what’s in front of you.”

There is nothing wrong with reflection, but looking back too often is like climbing those steps that lead to Nowhere.  I love where the quote says, “Nothing is going to change there.” So true, and I also believe that “the more you keep looking back the more you’ll fail to see what’s in front of you.”  God is calling us forward, Hear His Call:
“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.
(Isaiah 43:19 NASB) 
I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.“Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”
10 Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise from the end of the earth!
 (Isaiah 42:8-10 NASB)
We can often paralyze ourselves with regrets and “if-only’s.” By the power of Jesus,  you can set yourself free. Through His grace, love, and forgiveness,  you can walk away from these past things that still draw you up the steps that lead to Nowhere. Stop climbing those steps, and move onward and upward. Move closer to the Lord who loves you, redeems you, and promises to work all things together for Good, to those who love Him and trust His purpose for their lives. (Romans 8:28)

Posted in Devotionals | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

God delights in You


by: carole l. haines

The Forecasters got it right. I woke up to a wonderfully, pure-white covered world this morning.  Schools were first delayed, then cancelled. I breathed a sigh of relief as I received the news.  I am a Teacher’s Assistant, and snow days are just as exciting for us, as for the children themselves. Unexpected time-off, what a blessing. I have so much I can accomplish today, now that the calendar has been cleared.  God delights in giving us unexpected blessings.  I think He thrills at the joy He brings His children, as they breathe their sighs of relief.  Did you know that God delights in you? He delights in each of us. Here are some of the ways:
*God delights in the prosperity of His servant.

Psalm 35:27 “Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The Lord be magnified, who delights in the prosperity of His servant.”

*He is our Refuge, and invites us to drink from the River of His delights.

Psalm 36:7-9 “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.

*God establishes our steps, He delights in our way and holds our hand.

Psalm 37:23-24 “23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

*God disciplines us in love, His correction is a blessing.

Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

*God’s Delight is in us.

Isaiah 62:4 4 It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,” Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; But you will be called, “My delight is in her,” and your land, “Married”; For the Lord delights in you, and to Him your land will be married.

As you enjoy this unexpected SNOW DAY, remember that you are a delight to God.  He enjoys you, thrills to call you His own.  Just as we thrilled at watching the little ones open their Christmas Presents, God thrills in blessing His children. Ahhhhh! Now that’s something to celebrate.

Posted in Devotionals | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Just Add Soil

251586878_dfeb7d215a_b[1]by: carole l. haines

 “You shall bring the very first of the first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God. (Exodus 34: 26 NASB)

I stumbled into an experiment that I never meant to start.  I winter-over several of my outdoor plants.  This requires bringing them in and finding a nice place for them, near light, where they can hibernate over the cold of the Winter months. Some plants, I just break branches off of, and place them in water to re-root the plant.  One of my favorites to re-root, is a gorgeous Purple Heart plant, that I have had for many years.  But I noticed that though it grows roots in the water, it doesn’t really get new growth up top.  So, this Winter I decided to place it in a pot with soil, once it developed roots.  This plant is now starting to grow, and send off brand new plants as well.  Water wasn’t enough, light wasn’t enough. I needed to add soil.
Soil is formed when Rock breaks down and mingles with dead plant materials. There are places in our lives when we have to let go, let something die, let something fall to the ground.  It’s hard to let go, but that letting go produces the soil; the very foundation from which new things from God to begin to form in our lives.  Keeping those old things barely alive in water, is not enough.  God wants us to let go those old things, let them fall to the ground and die, so new soil can form, to nourish the new things He is bringing into our lives.
Listen to what Jesus says:
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24 NASB)

Are there things you are holding on to that God wants you to let go of? Let them fall. Just open your hands and let them fall to the ground.  Place these things at the feet of Jesus.  He will produce a harvest in the new soil of those lost things; and bring forth fruit to His glory and for your good.  Water is not enough, light is not enough.  We must add soil, by letting go, by trusting God. He will produce a harvest in our losses. Let them go.
Lord Jesus, these things I have been holding on to, You know what they are. I lay them at Your feet, like a grain of wheat falling in to the ground to die, I let them go. Produce a harvest from this loss, a harvest to Your Glory, and for my good. Amen!

Posted in Musings and ponderings | 1 Comment

As His Servant…


by: carole l. haines

34 Mary said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!”

35 Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your aged aunt, Elizabeth, has also become pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month. 37 Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God!”

38 Then Mary responded, saying, “This is amazing! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her. (Luke 15: 34-38 TPT)

Mary believed God, and she bowed to His perfect will for her life.  I love the above translation of her words, “As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me.”
I was reading on prayer one time, and was challenged by a concept I came across in the book.  I believe it was a book on prayer by Andrew Murray, but I can’t quite remember. The concept, however, was that the majority of the work of prayer, in seeking God on a matter, was ridding ourselves of our own agendas, ambitions, and preferences, on the matter we are praying about.  This struck me very deeply, as I realized that often, I was praying for my own agendas, and not seeking God for His.
It changed the way I approach prayer, God’s guidance, and seeking after Him.  I desire to develop the attitude of Mary in this precious privilege of prayer and the Will of God.  I spend much time, when seeking God on a matter, just sitting and allowing Him to neutralize me, remove my own thoughts about something, and give me His own thoughts. I am seeking Him on some things right now, and here is what I am praying:

As Your Servant, Dearest Lord Jesus, I accept whatever You have for me.  It matters not what I want, but what You will.  Your ways are higher than my ways.  I surrender dearest Lord, wherever that takes me. Whatever dreams of my own I must die to, whatever ambitions I once had.  As Paul says, “Whatever was gain to me, I now count as loss.” Lord, make me wholly Yours, I give you all I am, as Your Beloved Servant, Mary did, over 2,000 years ago. Amen

Posted in Devotionals | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Forgetting what lies behind


by: carole l. haines

Moving things around a bit at the house, I have so many journals I have filled over the years, going all the way back to my high school and college years. Journals filled with all I thought I would be, all I thought I would do. I even have a journal entry for when I knew my husband was “the one.” It’s so hard to let go of the past. To let go of dreams and hopes.  It’s like throwing a part of yourself away.  Paul tells us in Philippians 3:

But I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (vs 12b-14 NASB)
Some things just have to go. We can’t become who Christ calls us to be, if we still have our own hopes and dreams.  Not that there isn’t some overlap in there, as God has given us abilities, likes, talents, and skills.  God made us each unique. He’s been blessing my heart with the knowledge that He is enough for me, and I am enough for the things He has called me to.  He tells us in His Word that He makes us adequate for the ministry He calls us to.
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant. (2 Corinthians 3:4-6a NASB)
So letting go of my own hopes and dreams for my life, and embracing the precious opportunities that God brings forth instead; has been a journey of surprise, disappointment, amazement, and overflowing joy.  I love what I do for a job right now, but I never once thought about doing this, when I was dreaming my girlish dreams. God knows best, He truly does. His dreams for us far outweigh any we may have for ourselves.  Lay down your dreams, and take up His call.
He is able to do exceedingly abundant, beyond all that we ask, think, or even dare to imagine.  (Eph. 3:20 NASB)

Posted in Musings and ponderings | Leave a comment

Walking through My Winter


By: Carole L. Haines

Confused, perplexed, feeling useless and alone.  Walls closing in, like a Cabin Fever. Spiritual Walls, no windows, no doors in sight. I find myself bloodying my knuckles on the walls that close me in, desperately trying to find a way out.  Depression begins to take hold. Too much time alone, too much isolation. I reach out to brothers and sisters in Christ. They lift me up in prayer, answering my cry with encouragement.  The Depression breaks, like scales falling from my eyes, and the Answer comes from His heart to mine. Carole, you are in a Spiritual Winter. I have not forgotten you. The insights begin to flow like water, more like drips, spaced closely together.  Drip, Drip, Drip, like life-giving water, quenching my thirst; this long-standing thirst for Him. My Spiritual Winter begins to thaw, drip by drip, the Ice slowly reveals the lesson I’ve been learning, that I didn’t know before.  Like the rhythm of the Seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter; my Journey with God has Seasons. This Winter has been long and hard, longer than normal.  I’ve been confused, asking God why He’s been silent.  Is He mad at me? Is there some sin in my life that I don’t know about? Praying the prayer that David prayed:

“Search me O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my Anxious Thoughts See if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NASB)

God’s whispers are the loudest sound I know; so precious, so desired, so beloved. Yes, I’ve been in a Spiritual Winter, and I am stronger for it.  Like a tree whose roots dig deeper, to steady itself against the winds; my roots have dug down into His soil, looking for Him, crying out to Him, thirsting for Him.

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. (Psalm 42:1 NASB)


Posted in Devotionals, Musings and ponderings | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment