This morning was a "come to Jesus" sunrise for this cracked clay vessel.
After 3 weeks of intensive Missions training and a week of mountain top moments ---- the valley was inevitable. Can't have mountains without valleys surrounding them...
In a world gone mad --- some people can't get out of the valleys, that's called "depression". Then there are those who try to stay on the mountain tops, that's sometimes called "drug addicts". Yes, sadly, we can even be addicts of the mountain top, which leads us to refuse the valley, learning, growing times. It's a mixed up painful world ---- we are NOT HOME YET!
But for me --- it was neither depression or drug remedied.
It was just a shadowy valley that missed the mountain top breezes.
Some would say i'm a bit nutty for admitting that -- saying it right out loud -- and sharing it with the many who bless me by reading my ramblings.
But i don't think so at all. Why? Well --- God urges me to be truthful on all accounts. Truthful on the mountain tops and truthful in the valley. His Word has much to say about the truth ---
"The truth shall set you free..." John 8:32
"Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment." Proverbs 12:9
"A truthful witness saves lives..." Proverbs 14:25
I remember when i was a little girl, sadly, truth was far from my lips most of the time. God bless my parents and siblings, they know this to be true. But then God... He changed me so completely, that now truth is a holy passion.
Truth is not the same as exposing.
Truth should not be used to hurt others or bring too much attention to self.
Truth, in God's hands, and spoken with Godly purposes will expose lies. But, much more importantly, it will bring attention to what is right and good and faithful and upright.
Truth will draw our hearts to the One who lives in the Light.
It will expose the one who lives in the dark, the deceiver, the one who wants all the shadows to hold us in a bondage of shame or fear or pretense or striving.
So, i'm passionate about truth. God is seen brilliantly in Truth. And of all the things we can see on this old earth --- the only things worth looking for are the things that reflect the Good One.
If you've seen the darkness closely enough ---- you know the sweetness of when the Light shines.
In my quest to read the Bible through again --- this time reading in the Message translation --- my assignment this morning was Ecclesiastes. I had been dreading it -- sad, but true. Already feeling on the glum side, how could i possibly look forward to reading Solomon's rantings on "life is meaningless". I've read it before, several times, in several translations --- it's never been "pleasant" or easy for me. So this morning, i made my coffee stronger than normal, pulled out my favorite quilt, and before the sun rose, i dug into Solomon view's on life.
With highlighter in hand, i was quite certain it would remain capped.
i rolled through chapter after chapter --- and the sun began to rise outside my windows.
It was an obedience to read ---- met by the sun's obedience to rise.
And my highlighter's cap came off ---- as i read:
"Crying is better than laughing. It blotches the face but it scours the heart." 7:3
"A good reputation is better than a fat bank account..." 7:1
"Endings are better than beginnings. Sticking to it is better than standing out." 7:8
"...Make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what's given and delighting in the work. It's God's gift!" 5:20
"On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won't take anything for granted." 7:14
"I did spot one ray of light in this murk: God made men and women true and upright; we're the ones who've made a mess of things." 7:29
And that was just the beginning...
By the time i'd covered (and highlighted) through Chapter 12 verse 14 --- the sun had illuminated all that had been dark outside my window. Likewise, the Son had brightened the shadowy areas inside my cracked, clay, life-filled vessel. Here's the sweetness of how it left me this morning: Chapter 12 verses 10 - 14
They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together.
They are given by God, the one Shepherd.
Do what he tells you.
On days when all feels right and light in my world ---
when the mountain top is breezy and warm...
On days when all feels wrong and dark ---
when the valley is murky and lonely...
The final word remains the same; the step by step instructions are unaltered.
Fear God ----- Do what HE tells you.
It's a matter of will and obedience ---- not preference or desire.
My dear Mama Glover us to say ---- "don't worry about the small things donna ann, just say to yourself and always remember --- this too shall pass..."
I'm thinking she knew something the Quester knew...
Fear God ---- and do what He tells you.
It's a mighty secret to knowing success this side of Heaven.
(Photos taken by Maggie in St. Mary's, GA.)
©2012 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe