Have you ever felt like you just had heart surgery (figuratively speaking)? That’s kind of what it felt like to be prayed for the other day. The pray-er so keenly tuned into all the daddy hurts in this bruised person’s heart. All kinds of feelings got stirred up and all I could do was watch as they came tumbling out all over the place! Sobs and a little blubbering followed. Good luck holding back the flood of emotions when someone acknowledges your inner cry for the love of a father (THE Father). Some would call this thing that is taking place inner healing. That’s a funny juxtaposition considering that to get to that healing, you get to feel the hurts in all their (un)glory. It feels nothing like healing while it’s taking place. But, the truth is, healing is Glorious. There was a Glory in being a few baby steps closer to knowing what it’s like to be loved by a good, [correction] GREAT Dad. What is it like to be loved by a perfect Father? I’m still finding out. My heart is all mushy and messy. I can say I feel different. Loved.
So we finger painted at a conference workshop last weekend and this is what my beating heart looks and feels like. And it is glorious to feel, and hurt …and heal.
This was painted at the River Church of OC during worship this morning. This painting is just a portion of an image I got that contained three horses. One was black, the middle one brown and the one in the forefront was red… but then it was white… but then it was both red and white. This confused me for days. I searched the bible for references to three horses wanting the image I had to fit into scripture as my confirmation, my release to go ahead and paint that image. Everything I kept finding referring to horses did not quite fit in with what I felt the Lord was asking me to paint. Faith and obedience to the images He shows me is absolutely a huge part of this whole process. I understand that I don’t have to understand it completely, but I do have to trust that these are His images. But this was different in that the image I saw was not necessarily a positive, feel good message. Horses are referenced in the book of Revelations and it has “End Times” vibe all over it. Frankly I didn’t want to go there. Not because I don’t have faith in my Savior, but because I’m not the “hard” word kind of girl. I like to convey images/messages that are uplifting, hope giving, inspirational subjects. I feared this might not be one of those messages. There is so much end times banter out there. “Repent NOW or go to hell”…I have to say this? Really? I could not… wouldn’t know how to even do that. I just… I don’t know what to do with that type of message and yet, here I was for the last couple of weeks having this same image repeated in my mind. I continued to pray and ask, and ask again with very little revelation on what all that actually meant.
A few days ago, early in the morning during another prayer session asking the Lord what the horses meant, He said the black horse was called “Strife”, the brown horse was called “Hardship” and the red/white horse was called “Redemption”. The white/red horse was His horse. The red being the blood with which our redemption was paid for. His blood. He purchased our redemption with His blood. The white, His mercy upon us. His grace upon us.
Really, it’s just that simple 🙂 And so we have the horse called “Redemption”. Strife and hardship may be with us in these “End Times” as they have always been in this fallen world. However, they are rendered irrelevant in the wake of our Mighty Savior on His white horse. Jesus. I love you Jesus. And I love that it is all about You.
“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” Exodus 13:21-22
Looking for the Lord’s guidance in the “wilderness”.
I kept getting the words “out of the wilderness” and the old testament image of the Isrealites being lead by the light of the Lord. The images were of the desert in the night time mostly, with flashes of color throughout the landscape and God’s warmth, a beacon of light in the horizon. I love that our church fosters, pastors the prophetic with such great care. One of the prophetic words given made reference to a time of ” being in the valley of surrendor”. That was so fitting for what being in the wilderness is like. Weathering those hard times when things don’t seem to go well in our lives. Either a string of hardships or disapointments come and you are suddenly in a waiting period. Waiting for that time to pass. There is always hope in God’s kingdom, in His reality. He is always there with you through it all. And even when it seems like He is far away and you can’t feel His direction, you can expect, with confidence, to see Him in the horizon leading you out of the wilderness.
Painted at The River Church of OC 1/13/13 a.m. service.
Jesus is who unites us to one another. Without His Love and under our own strength, relationship, fellowship can only go so far. When we understand Jesus’ love for us individually and He is the well we draw from, a real, deep, unconditional love for one another is possible. Unlike any other people, we are known as children of Jesus through our love for one another.
No stronghold can stand before the power of the Lord. We can call out freedom into the lives of others through intercession and speaking life and freedom over them. This was originally painted in honor of a missionary we were so lucky to meet last year. His pastoral work was creating freedom in his people from generations of oppression and it was an amazing opportunity to meet him.
“The word of God is living and powerful. Sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12
Who hasn’t felt the queazy stomach, the nervousness and general unease of diving into your next journey with God? The type of journey where you don’t know exactly where you’re going but you know trusting God is the best option you have. The vision that inspired this painting was one of a sky filled with believers, more specifically warriors for Jesus eager to jump into their next assignment. So much of our focus is often in the landing…”When will I finally arrive where I want to be?” But I had the impression that the Lord’s favorite part of these journeys with us is in the moments we completely let go and trust Him with every part of our lives.