Posted on Oct 15, 2016 | 1 comment

Today is a day of Shabbat…a day of peace and blessing and yes, I must admit, a bit of testing out the Sukkah a few days before the Feast.  The tiny makeshift canopy blowSukkah 2016ing in the wind above me is minuscule compared to the enormous, glorious expanse above – the canopy of the Creator of heaven and earth!

The fall beauty of the changing colors surrounding me test my ability to concentrate on what I will be sharing tomorrow with friends and family. Those grey tailed squirrels demand attention  as they come within a few feet to bury their winter treasures in the ground, stamp it with their tiny feet and mark the spot for later retrieval. My feathered friends are in full chorus and the wind breathes quickly around me every few minutes chasing the leaves that have fallen across the yard. Yes, it is very difficult to concentrate!  Maybe I’ll just sit here a few and soak it all in and refresh my own spirit and body.

Truly, even with all that has gone on this past year I can seriously say I am blessed beyond measure…truly and sincerely blessed. Reflecting on decisions made (or not made) throughout the month of Elul, then silently coming into the throne room on Yom Kippur to witness the sealing of the books, and now looking forward with great anticipation to Sukkot – it has all been a roller coaster ride. But I am still in a reflective mood, we have five days inbetween the Sealing of the Books (Yom Kippur) and the arrival of the season of our JOY (Sukkot)….and for me, on this day, this Shabbat seems to be a breathing experience. So, let me breathe.

As the morning passes, reflections of the past year swirl around me, rising and falling with the breath of the winds. The heartbreaking moments of the past year push their way to the top of the ladder first (don’t they always?).  As the memories swirl, like the scattering leaves, they play with the heartstrings deep within. It’s as if it were yesterday that we watched our oldest son leave on Sukkot for what he thought was a short trip to sign papers, to being accosted without jim-praynotice and taken into custody.  The heartbreak and disbelief of having so little time with him during our first reconciled Sukkot together was like a cruel and inhuman joke. The heartbreak of this happening on his second oldest daughter’s 14th birthday was almost too much to bear. How much can a person endure? Being estranged from him and his family was painful enough, but to be reconciled for such a short time…one really had to lift a fist to the heavens. And yes, I certainly did that too! But the fist raised in anger and bitterness, gave way to a body bent in prayer asking for forgiveness.

After Jim was taken, months of unbelief and living in limbo went by, there were days without end filled with turmoil for our family and for the ministry that we brought forth ten years ago. And then came even more heartache. The ministry birthed as Passion for Truth was dying. We knew it would happen – but that didn’t make it any less painful. However, the message and the one who presented the message he was given, is still very much alive and still on fire for his  King, even maybe more so! I praise His Holy Name for that gift of faith that my son has been able to hold onto through this ordeal! Through this entire tumultuous period of our lives, even though many made a multitude of mistakes, there were extremely valuable lessons learned. Our family turned inward, began to truly hear the Voice of the Almighty, began to heal our hearts, even to soften our hearts to those involved, and yes, to even look inward at the pain we had caused by our own actions. Even those that have chosen to separate themselves from us – we hold them still in our hearts and pray for the day we are reunited. All that to say that today, is a new beginning.…what that will look like in real time, is still unknown. Sukkot is approaching and tomorrow will be filled with JOY …. HIS JOY!

As those scattered leaves drift back and forth across the yard, memories shift and blessings begin to rise to the surface. Blessings such as repaired relationships within our family. Our hearts have been tested by the fires of tribulation and many will never be able to understand how deep those fires were, yet we are still ‘whole’ … we are still celebrating each and every day under the canopy of peace and harmony of our Master Himself. And that canopy, that shelter hat He has provided, is open for all to share – it has no walls and all are welcome to enter.

So this season, this Sukkot, this season of our JOY, our sukkah is built and is open to all – we pray for those that are estranged from us in this season, and we bless them.  We pray that the Father will acknowledge our tries of reconciliation, our efforts to stand in the gap, and in His timing, produce a body composed of peace and harmony. May the prisons that hold each of us captive find ourselves released from our prejudices, our agendas, our differences and be united in HIM and once again become a body that promotes peace and harmony, sitting under the shelter of HIS canopy.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

praising

One Comment

  1. 10-15-2016

    Amen. Yahweh blesses you

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