Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
"To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
~ Isaiah 61:3 ~
"But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work."
~ II Timothy 2:20-21 ~
She briskly walked. The focused intensity was set as stone upon her glistening face. Headphones in her ears.
What filled her ears? What filled her thoughts?
Lord, are they overwhelming beautiful thoughts of hope in and with You?
Are they thoughts of overwhelming 'to do lists' for the next few years?
Are they thoughts and reflections of a broken heart? Broken dreams?
Does she know she is significant?
Has she fallen into the trap of comparison which is the deception of insignificance?
Is she striving or thriving?
Does she look at opportunities as just that...opportunities?
Or does she look at them as obstacles, hurdles and road blocks?
What drives her?
Is she motivated by helping others?
Or is she motivated by her own agendas?
As I ask these questions of her, watching her walk away. I am led to ask these questions of myself.
It is amazing to know that what I see in the mirror is truly a physical 'chest' that holds cherished memories, hopes, and dreams. Also holding devastating heart break, self-inflicted sadness, choices made that linger with regret and betrayal. Yet, the story of redemption that rescued me from the burden of sin and myself is overwhelmed with glorious victory inside that 'chest'. The treasured oil of joy that God gave me to replace my sadness; His glorious beauty that He replaced for my ashes of heart break, ugliness of sin and shame; His glorious, priceless, overflowing Garment of Praise for my spirit of heaviness. So many things that I are encased in this spirit, soul and body. What we see in the natural, as physical human beings, we cannot begin to reveal what we hold within each of us.
When I attempt to lift my head, am I too burdened to do so because of the overwhelming thoughts of regret?
Or is it when I lift my head, am I reminded of the freedom from those bondages of regret?
Not only bondages that are obvious; but bondages of self-defeat? Bondages of criticism yet justifying as discernment from God? Victim mentality and shame, unknowingly resisting the Hand and Face of God that wants to deliver me? He is The Deliverer, but am I willing to do my part to be delivered? Will I allow the despair of inadequacy to resist?
The Redeemer, The Deliverer wants and desires us to remember that it is not what we have or haven't done...it is what He has already done! The Overcomer waits patiently; I must cease, quit and abandon the need to 'attempt' to overcome that which He has already overcame! The obstacles are there; but Jesus Christ revealed through the Holy Spirit of God that He is the answer to get through! He is not surprised by the ordeal, the disaster or bewildering circumstances. He will show us the tools we need to utilize to get through. More than anything the tool of praising God is the One to get through along with prayer unto Almighty, Holy God!
The answer is there...yet I must realize in the waiting time, accompanied by God's strength to supernaturally wait, His Joy is made manifest as finally the answer will be revealed at the appointed time! It's not about timelines to God, He is not contained by our 24 hour/365 days a year, time span. It is not about, "Is He ready"? I believe it is truly about, "Am I ready?" God will see to it that things of Him are accomplished. Will I reveal the readiness in my obedience? Or will I allow the opportunity to pass me by, revealing disobedience? God will get His amazing work accomplished, even when He is to choose another vessel to do what I was intended to do. I don't want my unwillingness to allow the opportunity to pass over me!
If I don't know what I am called to do, then I must go to the Creator and find out from Him in prayer. He will reveal, I must be sure of it! I'm no longer surprised when it is something I am unable to do on my own. God's really great at that...haahaa! To do His work, we must be completely reliant on Him, craving to be with Him, as we see Supernatural results! It is not just about doing things 'for' Him but getting to do those things 'with' Him!
Today, I am reminded that I am a blessed wife and mom...so in this important, significant role, I must rely on God to be the lover and nurturer that God is and depend on Him when my love and nurturing skills 'run out'.