Monday, May 23, 2016

Live like you're in Heaven




I am coming to the end of a season of great joy, and seemingly, entering into a season of heartache...

A lyric from a pop song by Green Day, "Closing Time", aptly depicts this fact of life...

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

As you all know, I enjoyed over two years with my daughter, son-in-law and now 14 month old granddaughter living with me and my husband.  I will be forever grateful to the Lord for allowing such a blessed season in my life.  The joy of having my daughter and son-in-law around, and the sheer delight of cherishing every day of my granddaugther's first 14 months.

The time is approaching where they will be moving into their own place.  We don't know where or when exactly, but some time soon...  This will be a very exciting time for them.  A new beginning...

As a parent, you always feel blessed to see your children go off and live their lives successfully, fully dependent on the Lord.  But of course it is bittersweet as well...

That will mark the official emptying of the nest.  {I've experienced my daughter moving to California, but my son was still home.  When my daughter moved back in, my son got married and moved out.} 

The empty nest will be more profoundly felt as my granddaughter will be part of the flight...

Contributing to this season of heartache, my daughter and son-in-law's beloved German Shepherd, Dakota, who has lived in our home a majority of his life, is coming to the end of his days, more than likely in the next couple of weeks...  It is always so hard to say goodbye to a pet.  And Dakota, well he is just a member of the family.  He has such a gentle spirit and has brought us so much joy.

I realize I'm not the only one who is in a season of heartache, such as life...

I know of dear sweet brothers and sisters in the Lord who are enduring unimaginable heartache...  My heart grieves with them...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We are just pilgrims here...  

Chosen to live in a time and space carved out by the Lord...  

With Kingdom work to do...

Joys to experience...

And trials to walk through, coming through the Father's loving hand, to draw us close to Him and remind us...

We are just pilgrims here...

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
    they make it a place of springs;
    the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
    each one appears before God in Zion.
Psalm 84:5-7

The King James Version uses Valley of Weeping in the above verse.

I was always struck by the subsequent verse, "They go from strength to strength", because sadly, too often, I go from worry to worry...  

When I am going through a trial, my fretting leaves me so distracted that I can hardly focus on anything.  Housework, blogging, Bible study and prayer time, all are left by the wayside, as I go from worry to worry...

Why???  Why do I do that???  What is that possibly accomplishing! It is silly to be so distracted by worry that I don't even pray or spend time in the Word when that is the source of my strength!

As I reflected upon my besetting weakness sin, I was reminded of one of my favorite passages in the Bible,

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
Isaiah 11:7-9

Being someone who loves the outdoors, I find these verses so comforting, reminding me of a time when there will be no more night, when I will always be outside in the constant presence of the Light of my God and Father   

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”
1 Corinthians 2:9

In reflecting upon Psalm 84 further, not to sound morbid, but tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us.  We could be worrying about something that will happen tomorrow when in fact tomorrow we could be in the presence of the Lord, enjoying the scene described in Isaiah, and having our last tear wiped away when there will be no more dying, mourning, weeping, or pain.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;1 believe also in me.  In my 
Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take
 you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
John 14:1-3

Your hearts should be consumed with the knowledge of the highway to Zion.  

As you walk through the Valley of Weeping, you can live like you're in Heaven.  

Memorizing and meditating upon passages that describe our Heavenly home will cause springs of hope to grow up in the valley.  

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:1-4

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22:1-5

You will walk from strength to strength, and live like you're in Heaven.


"A few more rolling suns, at most,

Will land thee on fair Canaan's coast."

Thy head may be crowned with thorny troubles now, but it shall wear a starry crown ere long; thy hand may be filled with cares--it shall sweep the strings of the harp of heaven soon. Thy garments may be soiled with dust now; they shall be white by-and-by. Wait a little longer. Ah! how despicable our troubles and trials will seem when we look back upon them! Looking at them here in the prospect, they seem immense; but when we get to heaven we shall then

"With transporting joys recount,

The labours of our feet."

Our trials will then seem light and momentary afflictions. Let us go on boldly; if the night be never so dark, the morning cometh, which is more than they can say who are shut up in the darkness of hell. Do you know what it is thus to live on the future--to live on expectation--to antedate heaven? Happy believer, to have so sure, so comforting a hope. It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness. What matters it though "weeping may endure for a night," when "joy cometh in the morning?"

{Excerpt from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening}




Is your heart consumed with the highway to Zion?

Do you make your Valley of Weeping a place of springs?

Do you go from strength to strength knowing you will one day appear before the God of Zion?


How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place
Scottish Psalter

Bless’d are they in thy house that dwell,
they ever give thee praise.
Bless’d is the man whose strength thou art,
in whose heart are thy ways:

Who passing through Baca’s vale,
therein do dig up wells;
Also the rain that falleth down
the pools with water fills.

So they from strength unwearied go
still forward unto strength,
Until in Sion they appear
before the Lord at length.


Let it be so in our lives Lord, Let it be so...




**HOUSEKEEPING NOTE**  

I will be taking a blogocation the week of May 29th and will return with an all new post on Monday, June 6th.  :-)

Blessings,

Karen

You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home Intentional Tuesday ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday

29 comments:

  1. Oh, dear friend! This just makes me SO sad! To know that your precious family is moving out...I can only imagine how many tears you have shed over this and how painful this must be. Surely God has the sustaining grace you need to get you through this. I am praying for you and trusting God to hold you extra close as you mourn their leaving. It will be such an adjustment and very painful, and I just trust Jesus to be very near...He IS very near to the brokenhearted. How blessed we are that He is! Sending you much love and many hugs! God bless you, my dear friend.

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    1. Cheryl, Thank you for your compassionate heart toward me dear friend. It means so much.

      And I so appreciate your prayers.

      The Lord indeed is carrying our family extra close as we said goodbye to sweet Dakota yesterday. It was one of the hardest days of all of our lives. Pets hold such a special place in our hearts.

      You are so special to me and your friendship means so much.

      Blessings to you sweet friend.

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  2. Hi Karen !

    Thanks most sincerely for the lovely comment you left on ~ My little old world ~, I appreciate it so much !
    I love your beautiful blog and I like to follow you, I'm doing it on Google+ ... sorry for the separation you're going to suffer soon ... praying that the Lord could relieve this pain of yours !

    Fondly

    Daniela

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    1. Daniela, You are very welcome. I love coming to your sweet blog. It fills me with feelings of peacefulness.

      Awe, thank you! I will be following you back! :-)

      Thank you so much Daniela. I appreciate your prayers so very much.

      Blessings.

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  3. Quite challenging to live like so in our world today. So may chaos. But if this is our goal, then we're on the right track. Eyes on the prize so to speak.

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    1. Lux, Indeed! Jesus is all the Treasure we need.

      Blessings,

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  4. Karen ... my computer is super-wonky this morning, so if you've seen 3 or 4 comments from me come in, that's why!

    Anyway, I'll be thinking of you in this transition season ... may there be peace, sweet memories, and something special to look forward to as you make your way through the changes.

    Blessings, friend.

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    Replies
    1. Linda, "super-wonky" made me laugh. lol. But, no I only saw this one comment. lol.

      Thank you so much! I appreciate all your kind and encouraging words.

      Blessings,

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  5. ((Karen)) What a great mother and grandmother you must be. Prayers for all the transitions. And, prayers for the eventual loss of Dakota. :( Good words here to go from "strength to strength" rather than from "worry to worry." Thank you for sharing, and hope you have a relaxing blogocation. :) ((xoxo))

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    Replies
    1. Brenda, Thank you so much!

      Sadly, we said goodbye to Dakota yesterday. It was one of the hardest days we've experienced, especially because he had a lot of life in him, but he had a neurological disorder that had already paralyzed his back legs and caused him to lose his bowels, but he still wanted to play so much. So heartbreaking. We miss him so much. I very much appreciate your prayers.

      Thank you! I am looking forward to relaxing! :-)

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  6. Your post spoke to me! I'm so glad you're my neighbor at the w2w link up!

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    1. Elizabeth, Praise God! :-)

      Me too! :-)

      Blessings.

      Delete
  7. May your transition go smoothly... And thank you for sharing this encouragement on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

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  9. Changing seasons ain't easy....all things would work out for good by God's grace,you know that right?
    Holding you up in Prayers

    God bless

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    1. Hello Ifeoma! Good to hear from you! I hope you've been well.

      No, changing seasons certainly can be difficult, but indeed, all things work for good by God's grace. :-)

      Thanks so much sweet friend.

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  10. Such a wonderful post!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase
    http://gilzetbase.com/

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    Replies
    1. Gil, Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

      And thank you for the kind words. :-)

      I hope you're having a great weekend!

      Delete
  11. Thank you for coming by my blog and for leaving such a lovely comment! I am so glad to make your acquaintance via Blogger and have very much enjoyed my visit to your blog! I shall visit again soon! :) Blessings to you!!

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    Replies
    1. You are very welcome! :-)

      I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit here. I look forward to seeing you again here. :-)

      Blessings,

      Delete
  12. I love the Scriptures you've shared, and the quote by Charles Spurgeon! He's right -- "What matters it though 'weeping may endure for a night,' when 'joy cometh in the morning?'"

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    1. I'm glad you loved the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit brought them to mind as I prepared the blog post. He is always so faithful to provide the perfect ones. :-)

      I love Charles Spurgeon! His insights always speak so deeply to me.

      Thank you so much for sharing your comments. They meant a lot. :-)

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  13. I remember a night I got a phone call that Dad had had a heart attack and the roads were full of ice. I was up crying because I could not go until the next day and I opened my Bible to weeping may endure for a night. Joy did come and I went with the kids and we slid off the road but we got there.

    So sorry about the pet. They are such a part of our lives. Ours has been gone two years and I woke up this morning dreaming about him.

    Beautiful words and scriptures.

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    1. Deborah, God is so faithful to meet us right where we are at, isn't He? :-)

      Thank you. They certainly are.

      Awe. I know it's so hard.

      Thank you so much for joining in the conversation.

      Blessings.

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  14. This is a wonderful post! I'm so sorry to hear about your dog--they really are part of the family, aren't they?

    Thanks so much for sharing this at the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I'm featuring you this week!

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    1. Richella, Thank you!

      Indeed. We miss him very much. :-(

      You are welcome! I am humbled by the feature. Thank you so much!

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  15. I read this post because of the image you placed at the beginning. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. It gave me so much peace. I'm going through some tough times but I know God is able. The Lord grant you the grace in this period. Just found your blog but it's been comforting to say the least.

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    1. Jane, I've always found that verse so hope-filled and comforting.

      I'm sorry to hear that you are going through trials now, but indeed God is able. I just lifted you up to our Heavenly Father that He will bring encouragement to you through evidences of how He will work it all out.

      Thank you so much.

      Awe, praising God that you have found comfort here.

      Blessings.

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