Friday, September 11, 2009

Day 51

Then they will know that I am the LORD.
I've been reading the book of Ezekiel with a friend. Our commentary said that the phrase "then they will know that I am the LORD" is mentioned over 67 times throughout the book. A whole lot of Ezekiel is God revealing that He is a God of justice. I'm thankful for the reminder not only that God is a God of love that endures forever... but that He is holy and righteous and how wonderful His grace is to save us.

A good friend told me the other day that I'm a different Tiff than I was a year ago. I agree... that I've changed a lot... but it made me wonder what about me has changed and what about me hasn't?

I read this today and I realized that this is what had changed:
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
My heart was stone. And now it's flesh. It's new so I tend to see old things in a new light and new things in a different way than I used to.

Lately, Streams in the Desert has been having a lot of entries on suffering. One illustration was how in a steel mill, pieces of steel are crushed, twisted, and bent to their breaking point and only then will the steel manager know how much pressure it can withhold... and therefore what utility that steel would be appropriate for. Another statement was how one can theorize and talk about faith, but through intense heat, the dross will be separated from the precious metal and THEN you will see what was real and what was not. Another illustration was about how fine china is fired at least 3 times... exposed multiple times to intense heat... why? so that the colors will brighter, more beautiful, and permanently attached.

Recently, I've been enjoying the richness of friendship and fellowship with others. I feel like the colors of my life are brighter and more beautiful. That makes me really happy.

I really can say that I consider it joy to have encountered all these trials this past year. I've been tested and been placed in intense heat and my faith and love for God is stronger now than it has ever been in my entire life. I've experienced such richness and beauty that... I never want to go back to the way things used to be. I still miss him. A whole lot. But I live in full confidence that Anderson is in heaven, he is no longer in any pain, and that I will see him again one day for an eternity and that gives me a lot of hope... and it does feel like refreshing sunshine warming my face in a cold, dark world.

Here's another good quote from Streams in the Desert that I wanted to note:
...a shallow life lives on its impulses, impressions, intuitions, instincts, and largely on its circumstances. Those with profound character, however, look beyond all these and move steadily ahead, seeing the future, where sorrow, seeming defeat, and failure will be reversed. They sail right through storm clouds into the bright sunshine, which always awaits them on the other side. -from the entry on Sept 9.
So why did all this happen... to me, of all people? I'm still figuring it out, but bits and pieces here and there have been revealed. My heart of stone has been replaced with one of flesh, I have been brought (at least a little bit) out of a shallow life and into profound character and most importantly that I will KNOW, without a doubt and without question more than just theoretically, that God is Lord.

...then they will know that I am the LORD.


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