The Sunshine has Returned

It is a fact that man is sure to have trouble in this world.
Yet man is born to trouble, as sure as sparks fly upward. Job 5 v 7

When I was living in my father’s home I was sheltered and protected from life’s storms.
I was hopeful and joyful for my future when I left home. My sunny expectations have carried me through many ups and downs in life. Yes we will have troubles but God in Psalm 91 promises to be with us in trouble and deliver us out of it.

Psalm 50 v 13 to 15 v 23

I don’t need your sacrifices.
What I want instead is your true thanks to God.
Trust me in times of trouble and I will rescue you and you will give me glory.
But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.

The sun is shining again bringing light and warmth. Alleluia. It is so welcome after grey snow laden clouds and chilly biting winds here in Ireland. Humans, animals and birds were forced to shelter till the storm passed. Was that the last cold blast before spring? Can the daffodils blossom and lift their sunshine petal trumpets now?

How did I survive the cold spell? I needed the help of others. Brendan made sure there was oil in the tank, coal and wood at hand to light a fire in the evenings. The warmth from hot water bottles helped us get to sleep. My daughter made warm dinners.

I had a lingering cold for a few days. I had started listening to the radio in the mornings and when I was driving. My ears were buzzing with fears about results of Brexit, local tragedies and news of bad weather. My mood took a dip and I developed a fever as the cough developed. I hid under the duvet. I felt a dark shadow over me bringing gloom. My husband and daughter prayed and attended to me.

I realised what had happened to me. I was allowing all the bad news to affect my mind. I was not thanking God for his many blessings to help me through the dark days. I needed to get back to reading the good news. The Word of God is truth and up lifting and healing.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice, Paul encourages us. We may not feel like rejoicing when your car won’t start, you can’t get to work and the baby won’t stop crying. Thanking and praising God changes the atmosphere. Your mood changes and it lets God move to help. He comes to the rescue.

Often I would come before God crying and telling him all my woes. It doesn’t help. My prayers don’t get any higher than the ceiling. His word tells me to come before him with thanksgiving and praise. That is the best sacrifice that pleases God. Then he will move to change the woes. They will disappear like wax before heat and smoke before the wind.

Psalm 91 reminds us if we trust God he will be with us in trouble. In this world we will have trouble. Jesus said be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Our best security for the future is to thank God now, each day and he promises to be with us in the bad times and even deliver us out of them. Alleluia.

Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning. The birds are singing, The sun is reflecting off the water again. The sky is blue. The dark clouds have gone. My car will get fixed. That which is broken will be restored.

We may do all we can in life to avoid trouble. But it is a fact that trouble will come.

URL: https://wp.me/p23sd-14JM

Sacrifice is True Worship

The Air Transat plane had a bumpy landing into Calgary.  This city on the Canadian prairie presents a challenge to any pilot. Winds from the Rockies circulate over the area. I had been traveling for eight hours.  I held my neighbor’s hand.  She was frightened.  The tension eased and many passengers disembarked.  The rest of us were continuing our journey onto Vancouver.

I had a toothache over the previous weekend.  It was bank holiday Monday so my dentist was not available.  I needed attention as I was leaving for Vancouver on Tuesday.  I got some penicillin and pain relief from an emergency dentist at the City hospital.  I thought that will sort my condition till I get back in a week’s time.

The toothache did not ease on the journey.  I doubled the dose of medication.  My head was so sore I couldn’t enjoy any movies or music offered.  I dozed on and off.  I comforted a lady beside me who was traveling on her own.  When the flight landed in Calgary I rushed to the bathroom.  I was feeling sick.  Why did I not stay at home.  This long journey is all too much.  Why did my son have to get married in Canada so far away from home. Too much a sacrifice.

Then I remembered the scripture,
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I will make my body a living sacrifice despite the pain.  This is true worship to God.

I have suffered other pain over the past two years.  I have had heartache.  My husband and I had travelled to Vancouver many times over the past ten years, speaking about the love of God to many people.  Canadian friends have visited Ireland.  I encouraged the connection between ourselves and Canada because of a dream.  This dream has tested my heart over the past two years.

My son David moved to live in Toronto two years ago.  He and Jacquelyn have a baby girl.  I now have a Candian grandchild!  The Irish/Canada dream connection was strengthened.  I have visited them in Toronto.  It is not too far to travel from Ireland.  There are good flight connections out of Dubin.

When Isaac finished his studies two years ago he too left for Canada.  He had spent some time in an internship as part of his degree.  I thought he was going to visit friends there and would return after a few months.  He has been working in Vancouver ever since.  He developed a relationship with a Canadian girl.  Will I see him again?  Vancouver is 7000 Kilometres away across the ocean and continent, the end of the earth!

I thought back to Irish mothers whose sons left for America down through the decades because of circumstances, famine, hardship or war.  Many left N Ireland during the recent troubles in the seventies.  These mothers made sacrifices to let their sons leave and give them an opportunity of a better life.  Many did not see their children again.

As a mother I have a choice.  I can nurture the grief and mourn over my two sons who live far away.  I may not see my grand children growing up.  I can remain sad.  I don’t want to internalize my pain and develop some sickness as a result of my depressed situation.  That’s what happened when I had cancer.

God has healed me of fourth stage cancer and saved me from dying six years ago.  I don’t want to get sick again.  I choose not to internalize my heartache.  I cast my pain upon Jesus.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus became a Sacrifice on the Cross when he shed his blood and died.  He took all my suffering and pain.  I share in his suffering as I experience the pain in my heart of  my children leaving home.  I will not deny the pain and say I am alright.  I have gone through the valley of loneliness and sadness.  I will offer up this pain of toothache and heartache as a sacrifice.  Jesus mother Mary watched as her son was cruelly killed.  Her heart was pierced.  Jesus spoke to the women as he carried his cross to Calvery.  He knew that women would suffer in child bearing and rearing.

A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”
Luke‬ ‭23:27-28‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I awaken in the night with Jetlag.  I hear a train’s horn blowing.  The sound gets stronger as it passes nearby.  It is a familiar sound from my visits to Canada in the past.  At day break I hear new sounds.  Chuck chuck, whistle whistle, chirrup, chirrup, the sounds of a dawn chorus. These sounds speak to me to welcome me to this different country before anyone else is up.  We have been hosted in a beautiful home in the woodland.  We have attended barbecues, breakfasts and been well received in Vancouver.

The wedding day has arrived.  The bride and bridesmaids are excited.  They are getting ready.  The bridegroom, our son, has found his bride.
Jesus has healed me.  My toothache has gone.  My heart is healed.

By the stripes of Jesus I am healed.  Isaiah 53.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day in Canada.  I will celebrate the day in victory grateful to have lived to see another of my children married and setting off and released into his new future.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sacrifice/

What is the Definition of Love. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/i-want-to-know-what-love-is/

I was impacked by this story.  A mother had given birth to twins, a boy and a girl prematurely.  There is always a risk a baby will not make it when born prematurely.  This was so with the little boy.  The doctor gave the “dead” baby into the mothers arms and left her alone with her husband.  The mother laid the baby on her heart, the father put his arms around him keeping him warm with their body heat.  The mother spoke to her baby and told him how much he was loved and about all his extended family that he belonged to.  She continued speaking lovingly and tenderly.  The baby began to breathe and move.  The doctor said “No, he is dead.”  But the little boy lived and is now a healthy five year old.  There was life in the words the mother spoke over her lifeless child.  As we show love and speak love it brings life.  This speaks to me of a saying that love is stronger than death.
This mother and father expressed their love through touch.  The baby was held on the mother’s body close to her heart.  It was a familiar sound to him, as he would have heard it in the security of his mother’s womb.  The touch of the father’s hands brought warmth and security.

When our children were born the person who held them after the nurse was their daddy.  He welcomed them with his voice and strong hands holding their small bodies.  There was someone strong who was going to look after them.  I had carried them for nine months but when they were born from the safety of the womb, into the big world, their daddy was there to hold them and take away any fear.

Love takes away fear.  Love takes away selfishness.  Love lays down ones life for the other.  Love involves sacrifice.  Love is not self seeking.  Love never fails.  Love is patient.   Love is kind.  Love is not jealous.  Love forgives wrong.

I try to be a loving person. I often fail. But because I experienced God’s love when he reached down and healed me of Cancer I am able to love more than before.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/i-want-to-know-what-love-is/

Why is Good Friday called Good.

 

Today is Friday of Holy Week when we remember the last days of Jesus on the earth.  It is called Good Friday.

Is it not a bad day when someone dies?

Jesus died a horrible death.  He was crucified.  His back was cut open from the a whip.  His face was covered in blood from a crown of thorns that pierced his head.  Nails were hammered into his hands and feet.  He was cursed, because anyone who hung on a tree was cursed.  He was covered in blood.  His side was opened up with a sword.  He was naked.  He was hungry.  He was thirsty.  He was separated from God.

Men mocked him.  He suffered.  He was in pain.  He did no wrong.  He did not sin.  He helped people while he lived.  He was full of love.  He forgave those who killed him.  He obeyed his Father.  He did not call on angels for help.  He was the perfect sacrifice.

His close friends deserted him.  He was spat upon.  He was punished.  He was rejected and betrayed.  He was despised.  He had done no violence.  He did not open his mouth.  He did not want his own will.  He gave up his Spirit.

Adam disobeyed God and was put out of the garden and separated from God.  Someone had to bring mankind back into God’s presence.  God told Moses to sacrifice bulls as offerings.  Aaron had to sprinkle the blood over the people to bring them close to God.

Jesus became a sacrifice to God to bring mankind into God’s presence again.  He died to self.  His blood was shed for us though he had not sinned.  Through his sacrifice we can be forgiven our wrongdoings, curses, and healed of sicknesses.  He understands our pain.  He took our pain so we can be healed.  As we believe and accept his sacrifice and forgiveness we can be free.  We are reconciled to God and can be with him on earth and in heaven.

We do not have to wait to die before we experience heaven.  Jesus taught us to pray “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”

This is Good News.

That is why the day we remember Jesus’ death is called Good.