Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Watching A Movie With Jesus

On this Ash Wednesday I have been pondering my cyber friend Bonnie Gray's prompt word for "One Word Lent". On her blog, Faith Barista, she asked us to think about the word "remember" and what it means for us. "What is Jesus whispering to you to remember?"  Jesus has answered this for me in an amazing way and it began with a scripture that God has been bringing to my attention. Yesterday Isaiah 60:1 kept showing up. When something comes to me in threes or more, I pay attention.  A "message in repetition" is one of the ways God speaks to me.

First I heard Pastor Bill Johnson share in a video I watched that this was his favorite verse because it was the very first one that God bathed Him in and empowered Him with. It brought great change and peace into his life many many years ago, and he still goes back to it in all circumstances.  I then saw it in a Passion Translation post on Facebook.  Later it came up in a book I was reading, and then Jeremy Riddle was singing it over and over in a song when I tuned in to watch Sunday night's baptismal service at Bethel Church.  "Arise and shine!"  All this in such a short amount of time!    It was definitely time to meditate on this verse and let God speak to me.

"Arise and shine, for your light has come,  
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you."
Isaiah 60:1

I looked at a couple of commentaries to see what they could add to this verse.  Israel was living in darkness at this time.  Seems Israel had a difficult time remembering all that God had done for them. They turned away from Him and stopped relying on His promises.  They forgot to remember.  When they focused on their problems they had tunnel vision. They needed to remember and praise God for His glory coming upon them.

Connecting this to a "garden" visit I had recently, I could not help but be amazed.  I go into the garden of my heart where I meet with Jesus and He speaks to me.  Often He gives me words of knowledge about my husband Joel or myself through visions/videos that I see.  This time I went into the garden and Jesus took my hand and we went and sat on a small hill.  I asked Him about a time when He told me to leave my shoes outside the garden because I was walking on Holy ground.  He said, "Shhhhhh, watch!" as He pointed ahead.  I turned my head and saw a misty fog about 10 feet in front of me.  After a couple of minutes of looking in the fog, I saw myself as a fearful little girl who had been hurt.  Jesus said, "I was there."  When He said those words, several other unsettling  events began to move across the screen at a fast speed.  Childhood events that were painful once, and then the years I lay on the sofa so ill with Lyme.  From there it went to the uterine cancer surgery I had five years ago and then recently the surgery for breast cancer and the challenge of radiation.  I covered my eyes with my hands and with tears flowing said, "Yes, Jesus, You were there."  You have always been there with me."  Ahead of me was cataract surgery.  He wanted me to remember. Remember that He healed me of Lyme and 27 years of sickness through prayer.  Remember that He healed me of cancer twice.  Remember that He brought beauty for ashes into my life.   Remember that He. is. always. with. me.  That He would be with me for another surgery.  I turned to Jesus in my vision and asked, "And my future?" Before I could finish asking the question He said, "I am already there". He then took my hand and had me walk backwards with Him.  I asked Him if I could turn around and He replied, "I have a surprise for you!"  I asked, "A good surprise?"  And He said, "A delightful surprise!"  That is where it ended.  I am looking forward to that surprise as I remember God's goodness in my life.  As I arise and shine and remember His glory is on me.

Yes, today's prompt resonated with me in a powerful way.  Bonnie asked us readers what Jesus was whispering to us to remember.  Oh, Jesus.  He never fails to respond to us, does He.  And how God connected the remembering to Isaiah 60?  Amazing.  This verse tells us how to respond....Do not not be discouraged.  Do not forget.......Arise! Shine!  The promise of His light has come. The promise of His glory upon us is here.  Only God.

On this Ash Wednesday Jesus whispers "remember" to us.......I don't know where His whisper will take you.  For each the remembering will be different except for the One remembering we hold close. What Jesus did for us.  Whether He whispers into our heart, shows us a movie of our past, or speaks to us in the still voice of a child, He does so with a deep sacrificial love.  He died for us to live. Listen, remember, arise!  His glory is upon us!!



Anna Smit said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for these words testifying to our undying Hope and His Eternal Presence. What an amazing God we serve and what faithfulness I see in how He has led you forward, astounding you with His powerful Love.

Kendra Leibold said...

Hi Renee,
I love your story of walking with Jesus in your garden. I envisioned your walk with Jesus and I wish I could also do the same thing in my own garden with Jesus. I would be so interested in how you (mentally) go about getting to your garden and what you do to prepare yourself when you go there and come out of the garden. Thank you for sharing your walks and talks with Jesus, I find them fascinating, Renee.
P.S. I'm not sure why Nick's name and email address displays for myself on here, Renee, when it previews my note above before actual posting. But it's me (Kendra) reading and commenting on your blog, not Nick!

Renee said...

Thank you Anna...God is so amazing in His love for us....

Renee said...

It does show up Kendra as you. It is hard to explain, my garden time. I know it is a gift, to see things as I do. Yet I think it is available or everyone. It is a divine encounter I think. I do pray the blood of Jesus over my heart as protection, and speak the armor of God over the visits. I ask Holy Spirit to control my thoughts. After 3 years I know if it is me and not God. Just close my eyes and most days I am there. Ask God if He desires to speak to you this way.......

Michelle Viscuse said...

Such a beautiful post Renee. It is so powerful when we realize he was there in those hard moments, and it gives us such hope to know He is with us and will be with us in whatever lies ahead. The garden ... what a beautiful way to remember - He is so faithful! Thank you for sharing this!