TEARS ON YOUR PILLOW

Petals of Praise

Petals of Praise

Daisies covered my daddy’s pasture one summer when I was girl.   I looked for the carpet of flowers the following year, but apparently it was a one time  meadow phenomenon that exists now only in my memory.   They were knee high, swaying in the breeze, brushing my legs as I ran through them.  There were more than  enough for every woman who has come to the Living Free Series to choose one, pluck the petals and say, “He loves me, loves me not, loves me…..”

There is One who loves YOU more than anyone else ever could.  If you picked off the petals of a daisy you would have to say, “loves me, loves me, loves me….,” continuing on into eternity.

God is the One who loves us all, man, woman, child.  Loves, without seeing color, size or shape.  He loves in a way we are not fully capable of feeling , because we do not have His mind or His heart.  He loves, fully seeing the sin in all of our lives, knowing, even before mankind was created from the dust of the ground and the breath of His mouth, that a great price would have to be  paid to cover the debt of that sin.

God is perfectly loving, but He is also perfectly just and perfectly pure, and  He cannot tolerate sin. Sin makes Him angry.  Angry in a way that we can not fully understand because we do not have His mind or His heart, or His position.  This is hard for some to accept; because they choose to see God only as loving.  His love, however, has more depth because of this simple truth:  It is easy to love those who do no wrong.  Love extended to those who have broken your faith, your trust or have hurt you is much, much more difficult, an attitude impossible for mere humanity to completely embrace.

1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

We are all sinners, no matter how hard we try to be good.  As sinners, we have all broken trust with God and angered Him by our disobedience.  But, because of His great love, He sent His son to pay for our sin.  Our sin deserves punishment.  Jesus willingly took the punishment in our place.   He experienced God’s great anger for us.

Romans 6:23 tells us that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus, Son of God, came to this earth to give His life as payment for our sins.  Through Him, God’s love speaks.  If we accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, we are guaranteed an eternity with God, if we do not, we are faced with eternal separation from Him.

The  undeserved gift of His love is worthy of meditation and life long study.  He, the Gift Giver, is worthy of our devotion.  He alone deserves the “petals” of our praise – words from our lips and actions of our lives that reveal to whom we show our gratitude.  It is easy to offer the petals when life is good.  It becomes more difficult, when tears fall on our pillows because of grief and heartache.

How can a loving God allow hurt to enter our lives? How do we deal with grief and keep it from drowning us?  Please listen in to the most recent podcast from the Living Free Series.

Before you do, read on to create a picture in your mind of the visual I offered to the audience at the end of the lesson, which I hope will help you see what it looks like to glorify Him, even when life hurts.

Glorify Him In the Face of Grief:

Genesis chapter two tells how God created man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him.  We exist as the dust of the earth and the transforming breath of the Creator.  He exists in the amazing form called the Trinity, three identities who exist separately, and yet as One: the most intriguing mystery in the Universe.

 

Three lights: Symbolic of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Three lights: Symbolic of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 64:8 says: “Yet, O’Lord, you are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the Potter, we are all the work of your hand.”

We are as the dust of the earth.  If we’re a child of God, then we are combined with the Living Water of Jesus, and become like clay, to be  molded by the Hands of the Potter.  A simple, earthen pot can be symbolic of me, or of you.

An earthen vessel, symbolic of mankind.

An earthen vessel, symbolic of mankind.

Perhaps you have weathered some storms and stood firm.  You have learned from life and are confident that you can face anything.  You are strong in your self:

When you find strength in yourself, what happens to Gods light?

When you find strength in yourself, what happens to God’s light?

Perhaps that is not the case with you.  Maybe life has been destructive and grief has ravaged you. You feel as if everything is in pieces around your feet.  What once was whole is now rubble, and hope has been destroyed.  Not only are you broken, but you are bitter:

 

What does bitterness in the face of grief do to the light of the Lord?

What does bitterness in the face of  devastation do to the light of the Lord?

In His great wisdom, God knows that sometimes a pot has to be broken, in order to be used. The broken pieces can be salvaged by the salvation of Jesus Christ,  and the Holy Spirit can remake what was broken into a life more beautiful and useful than before.

One hole may represent lost dreams, another, a broken marriage or a family torn apart. Jagged edges may show the loss of a loved one, an unwelcome diagnosis or a tragedy. But, IN HIM, and in His power, the holes become windows that His light shines through.

His light shines through us when we rely on His strength.

In Him, the trials of life can create windows for His light to shine through.

When we speak well of Him, in spite of our pain, when we love and serve, even in our grief, when we look at Him and see eternity and His goodness, even while we hurt, then He is glorified.  He DOES NOT NEED the glory, but others need to see it.  The light that shines out of us, in the darkest of times, provides the brightest beacon for those who are lost.

Use your grief to glorif

Use your grief to glorify Him, creating a beacon so that others can find their way home.

Keep these visuals in mind as you listen to the Podcast:

Living Free – Tears On Your Pillow

 

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