What lens are you looking through?

Every evening I remove my contact lenses before going to bed. The other night when I removed them, I reflected on all that had happened in the past 30 days, looking through those lenses: traveling to visit friends, one of whom was on hospice care and I knew this would be the last time seeing him this side of heaven, a lovely vacation to Hilton Head Island and the surrounding area, standing at the edge of the ocean and soaking in the sun, many mornings of sitting with the Lord reading His Word, many dinners and meals shared with family and friends, Christmas with our family and our six beautiful grandchildren, our grandson’s second birthday, and the start to a New Year that I pray brings new beginnings!

As I looked at the lens balancing on the tip of my finger, the Lord asked me in my spirit: “What lens are you looking through when you look around at the world? What is your spiritual lens seeing?” I stood there and my spirit stirred within me, pondering His questions.

These past two years have been difficult. I can easily get sucked into the challenges, the many mandates, the disagreements going on in our world, the ugliness of humanity. My lenses can become clouded and I do not look at the world through the eyes of Christ. I have had to guard my heart and mind. However, I’m human and fail at times. Even with intentionally connecting to God each morning in my daily devotions and Scripture readings, the Christian books I choose to read, the Christian music I choose to listen to, I can succumb to thinking things will never get better and surely the enemy is winning.

By God prompting me with those questions, I believe He is challenging me to keep my perspective and my lenses clear. Just like He gave me a word to “Proclaim!”, the Lord is giving me a strong hope in Him for 2022. Now each day when I put on my contact lenses, I ask the Lord to give me His lenses – His view of the world. I ask Him to come into my spirit to raise me up and to see with a “higher view” what is going on around me. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NKJV)

Join in me praying: Lord, purify my heart so I might see You. When I see You, I see the world through a different lens. Help me to rise above the challenges around me. Keep my hope alive through Jesus Christ. He is the One Who rules our world. I bow my heart before You, Jesus. Keep my eyes, my lenses, focused on You. Help me to love God and love others like You. Amen.

Proclaim!

It’s been four years since I’ve been here to share. Four long years and so much has changed in those years. Changes within me. Changes in our world. Changes in our family. So much change.

My last entry ended with, “Wait”. The Lord gave me a time of waiting and I didn’t even know on what. Looking back I can see He had a lot of work to do in me. I spent a good amount of time with Him. I spent a good amount of time working on our farm. I stepped away from some other interests. It was a time to “Wait.”

I’ve been sensing the past few months that God is ready for me to begin writing again. After a delightful time of sitting in a nearby coffee shop, visiting with a cousin and sister in Christ, my word for 2022 came into my spirit: Proclaim! Proclaim what? After praying and listening, more was added: The Year of the Lord’s Favor. Interesting. This is now 2022 and the past two years have NOT felt like the Lord’s favor was upon them. Maybe now things are shifting. Maybe now change is coming.

A few days ago I decided to search, “Proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” and up pops Isaiah 61:2: “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” and then goes on to say, “and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn” (NIV). Yikes! There’s much written in that verse! Yet, it’s what the Lord led me to. I found it intriguing that Isaiah 61:2 is the verse that includes the phrase the Spirit gave me. Many years ago God gave me Isaiah 61:3 as a life verse; a verse we have as the foundation of our farm; a verse that is inscribed under plastered walls in the center of our house, “and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” (NIV) It’s the last part of that verse that still stirs within my spirit!

Where will all this lead and what does God want to share with me, and ultimately with you? I am on the journey. However, one thing is for sure. He has grown weary of me sitting and not writing and being silent. He prompted me strongly in August 2019 to write a word and I was disobedient and did not. I have repented and received His mercy and forgiveness.

This time around I will be obedient. The prompting has come and it’s time. After what we have all been through these past two years, my “wait” is over. I am Proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor in 2022!

Wait…

I sit myself into my comfy sofa, open my devotion, ready to hear what the Lord has to share with me. It reads:¬†“Use this day to pray, journal, and reflect.”¬†Seriously?!? …Ugh! My heart drops. I bow my head. My heart prays, my mind has no words. After a few moments, I flip on the light, grab my Bible and my journal.

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