But He makes life matter. And He can redeem the ugly and the wretched and the weary. He can take a broken down, battered life and renew it. He breathes into it the breath of life, and just like the bones of Ezekiel's days, it will rise up and dance.
Breathe Your breath of life on me, Father. Revive me. Because sometimes the days are hard and the way seems long. Sometimes the mind becomes trapped in the routine, the mundane, and is unable to see through to the glory of it all.
What is this glory? It is in the knowing that the Creator of the entire universe called me by my name, redeemed me from the darkness, and desires to take my entire person, my entire being, and use it for His glory. The purpose of man is to know God and to glorify Him.
And everything, everything can be used by God to transform His child's life. Everything - sickness, joy, anxiety, prosperity, confusion, fear, hopelessness. This mind battles with the tormenting fear - "what if I can't handle what my life will bring?" "What if something terrible happens?" "What if..." "What if..."
And then the Spirit whispers low in the soul. "Amber, don't you know by now? Don't you know that there is no measuring Your Father's love for you? Don't you know that whatever He permits to happen to you is part of His perfect will? And don't you know that whatever happens, good or bad, will grow you, bring you into a fuller understanding of Him, and, ultimately, be for your good?"
But sometimes the father of lies speaks so much louder than this whisper of the Spirit of light. Oh, to know how to press the lies down, how to mute the fear-words and the what-if words.
"But you do know," the Spirit says. This time I hear more clearly. And I know. I know how to smother the lies of the enemy. I know how to render him helpless in his attempts to paralyze me and immobilize me. "It's the Word!" my mind screams at me. The Word. The Truth. The Gift.
And as my mind soaks in those words of grace and love and truth and salvation, as their life-giving, soul-saving words spill from the page to the heart, I know the way to conquer the lies. It lies right here in my hands, in my heart, in my thoughts, in my mind. I must think and speak the Words of my Redeemer to be saved from the thoughts of the pit.
I must voice it, I must sing it, I must shout it out, if necessary. Because then I make it known. My ears hear it and soon my mind will believe it. This is what silences the lies. Calling the lie for what it is and replacing it with the Truth.
And now this soul bends low at the Father's feet, and pleads for the strength to do just this - to recognize the fear, worry, anxiety as the lie and to defeat it with the Truth. This soul, this mind needs intensive thought-training. It needs the power of the Holy Spirit to fill it, to sanctify it, to take every thought it thinks captive and bring it into the obedience of Christ.
And life becomes the training field. And the faith muscles are exercised and strengthened. And the Father is always faithful in bringing HIS children into victory. That's His Will.
All photos are from our five week adoption trip to Ukraine, where our faith was stretched and grown immensely. Thinking back and praying over these many sweet, God-created children. Children without an earthly father, but with a Father in Heaven Who loves each one dearly. I covet prayers for each one of these dear children, several of whom are currently being pursued for adoption by American families. And I personally pray that I would continue to be used by God to reach out to these orphans as well as all the orphans of the world. James 2:27