Love Works.

Today a miracle happened.  I faced one of my biggest fears and God completely delivered me from it.  You see, 14 years ago, I came off the mission field after spending two years in England and parts of the United States, involved in a prophetic underground movement, that turned out to be a cult.  I came home bruised, beaten by the devil, and very ill with depression and post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). My family, not wanting to be burdened with me, dumped me on the County mental health system, and I found myself homeless in a shelter.  Yes, a shelter.  I write about this in my prepublished book of my journey of faith entitled,”Becoming Miriam: A Life Transformed by God.”

I share this with you today to encourage you how the redemptive love and healing power of Jesus Christ can heal even the most wounded soul and damaged life.  I was told I would never recover from these illnesses and the fear that gripped me.  I felt like God had abandoned me and the devil had put me out to pasture, never to be in ministry again.  But there is hope in my story, as God did bring healing and restoration to my life, and can for yours too.  It starts with a seed of faith, to believe in Him as your Lord and Savior, and ask Him to forgive your sins and come dwell in your heart.  Jesus was all about healing during His time on this earth, and He still heals today through the power of His Holy Spirit, that resides in believers.  You are sealed with the Holy Spirit and redeemed for all eternity when you are born again (John 3:7)

So what was the miracle Miriam?  Today I went to do a LOVE WORKS project with my new church at a homeless shelter for people with psychiatric illnesses.  I was a bit afraid that it would trigger bad memories of that time in my life, the great pain and depression I was in, and the spiritual torment I was under.  Deep down I feared that somehow I would end up homeless again.

Well, you know what? God’s love worked, as I showed up to paint the shelter rooms.  I looked around the place in amazement, how clean and well kept it looked, how sunny and bright.  I fellow-shipped with two women residents at lunch, then asked them if I could peek in the women’s dorm.  When I pushed open the door, I was met with the sight of new wooden wardrobes at the foot of each bed, unlike the old metal lockers that had been there before. I shared my testimony how I had been in this very same shelter 14 years ago. God had met me there, when one summer day a black pastor from the church down the street stopped by and invited me to his church.  I went and found my way back to Him and church, and the rode to recovery began.

As I stood in the dorm, Shivon* and Cathy* asked me to pray for them, so we formed a circle and held hands, I prayed for God to protect them, to open doors for housing and jobs, and to heal their mental illnesses. I saw God’s love work in their hearts, and mine.

I had come full circle. I stood there strong in His love, sharing it with others who needed it that day.  My fear of being homeless again just dissipated, as the Lord healed my heart.

*not their real names.

The residents saw God’s love through our serving them.  I hope one day, one of them will say, “You know, it was when that church group came and painted our shelter, and shared their testimonies of hope in Jesus, that the turning point came for me.”  Just as it had for me that summer day years ago.

May LOVE WORK in your life and through your life to others today…

Please share LIKE TWEET PINTEREST…

To see my Scripture Art and Collage, click on ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com

 


Eternity in Our Hearts

Colorful Zinnias Ecclesiastes 3:11

He makes all things beautiful in its time….He places eternity in their hearts..
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Yes He does.  Jesus that is.  He is in the business of making all things new.  Including me and you.  We are his precious works in progress, once we accept His free gift of grace.  He forgives our sins.  He places the Holy Spirit into our hearts to restore and renew all our fuzzy places and sinful spaces.  He changes us into the image of Himself.  And to give us hope, He puts eternity in our hearts.
What beautiful Words.  I thought a lot about this Scripture as I painted my next biblical Scripture painting today.  As always, I prayed about what to paint as a subject and what Scripture to go with it.  This time it was the colorful zinnias in a patch at Filoli Gardens.  I was drawn to their colors and sizes and how beautiful they were in the sunshine, with their petals reaching upwards to the sun.  How we will be one day in the glory of the Lord’s brilliance as we step into Heaven.  I imagine His smile of happiness on seeing me will be so bright. And I will radiate happiness and light in my new glorified body. Halleluiah. Just like the zinnias.

Do you ever think about eternity in the day to day struggles and problems of life here on earth?  I have to be honest and admit it is a passing thought now and then but lately I have been thinking of it more,  Maybe its getting older.  Knowing my time and work here on earth is going to come to an end.  Thinking thoughts such as “Lord, I feel I am not making enough impact for the Kingdom here on earth.  It seems I spend so much time waiting on you (!) and so little time leading others to you. Will my life matter in the scope of things?”
And then He whispers this Scripture in my heart….”I make everything beautiful in its time”….and I realized just for today, I used His gift of creativity in me and made a beautiful painting of His creation to bring joy to someone else’s heart.  And my life was made more beautiful for today…and I realized eternity IS in my heart.  I imagine seeing my Nana again and my baby daughter Lynley who did not live past the womb.  I imagine talking to Jesus’ mother Mary, who is my namesake of Miriam, (the Hebrew way to say “Mary” ). I will ask her to tell me what Jesus was like as a little boy, how it felt to be used by the Holy Spirit for a miracle. I imagine what it will be like to live FOREVER in peace with no tears or weight gain!  To have my family all restored, no longer dysfunctional, and not talking to one another.  To have a pure love for my mother and father despite the abuse and shame done to me as a child.

Because that is the kind of God we have.  He cares enough about us and our times of despair and hopelessness to give us the hope of being with HIm in eternity.  Heaven is real.  All it takes is being like a zinnia, turn your face up to the Son, Jesus, and ask Him to come into your hearts and forgive you for your sins.  To be your Lord and Savior.  It really is that simple.  And He will come and give you His Holy Spirit to make you all beautiful in His time…and deposit a little piece of eternity in your heart as a safekeeping and promise.
Please take a moment and share my post/painting by clicking on the “LIKE” button below and share the gift of eternity with your friends….
What do you look forward to most about eternity?  Leave me a reply..

I hope you enjoy my new collage “Colorful Zinnias”.  It is for sale for $100 at my art website.  Just click on ‘my art’ above or go to www.giftsofhisglory.com
Shalom and peace.