Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Breakthrough is Coming

Breakthrough is Coming

As I was driving the other day I was looking at the trees. The leaves always strike me as so incredibly beautiful in the Fall. We have such an awesome Creator! I often marvel at all the different autumn shades adorning the trees this time of year, and quite honestly, I also wonder how anyone cannot believe in God! The trees declare His glory! Actually, all creation declares His glory! We can see Him all throughout creation and know beyond a shadow of a doubt He is God!

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." Romans 1:20

I also noticed recently many trees have already lost all of their leaves. Many trees are no longer adorning the hues of reds, oranges and golds. Their leaves finally turned brown, and they fell to the ground, leaving the tree barren and empty.

There is so much spiritual significance to me in the life cycle of a tree...too much to go into right now. :) I will say though, I have been thinking about those barren trees, and how even though they appear dead, they are not. They are in a season of being renewed. They are in a season of waiting to give birth to new growth in the Spring. New life out of a season of emptiness, or what appears to be emptiness to the eye. Those leafless winter trees look so alone, still and quiet; almost sad. Little do they know they are just in a season of waiting, their breakthrough is coming, and soon they will be filled with green, robust and plentiful life.

How often our own lives can relate to the barren tree. We feel empty. We feel like we are in a season of dying, a season of barrenness; where all seems eerily still and quite and we wonder what is happening? You know changes of season are essential to your growth. You know life comes from brokenness. You know His thoughts are not your thoughts. You know His ways are not your ways! But there you stand, still, emptied, like the tree that appears dead...wondering. 

Dying to self, to how you think things should go, to what you thought it was all supposed to look like. He is purging us of things that shouldn’t be there. He is preparing us, many times just like the winter tree, for the Spring...where He makes all things new.  All we can think about, though, is how we look like that tree whose once beautiful adornment is now laying on the ground beneath it brown, dried up and lifeless. How often we forget resurrection comes after death!

I recently took care of my father as he was dying of cancer. It was one of the hardest things I had to up close and personal to someone I love dearly as they were in the dying process. I was one of his primary caretakers during his final months on earth. It was the ugliest yet most beautiful thing I have ever seen and gone through. What an honor to care for my father as he was preparing to leave this life and move on to the next. How blessed I am that I got to usher my dad right into the arms of Jesus. I can easily remember the bad memories leading up to his death, and Jesus quickly reminds me my dad is not dead. He is alive, and I will see him one day soon. My dad physically died and his breakthrough from suffering was in Heaven!! My dad's Breakthrough was holding his hand as he took his last breath.

Jesus is our Breakthrough.

Emptied. Surrendered. Death. Resurrection. Breakthrough.

What about dying to our flesh while we are still here on earth? Sometimes that can feel harder than physical death. We kick and scream. We fight it. When, in fact, we are called to surrender, to die to ourselves, daily. We can often feel like we are pressed on every side. We can be completely perplexed!! We can be struck down and persecuted. Why wouldn’t we when we carry the death of our Savior around in our own bodies?!  We must. How else will His life be revealed in us?

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Just as when our time on earth is ending and that breakthrough comes as we enter the arms of Jesus, breakthrough also often comes after we go through a time of pressing while still on earth. If you are in a time of dying to self, a time of pressing, a time you feel emptied to the point of your guts being removed, a time of being barren; even discouraged and uncomfortable, maybe it’s because your breakthrough is coming. Maybe it's because your breakthrough is around the corner.

Breakthrough is coming for many, but the enemy, at times, will push harder right before that time. He will try to discourage you, exhaust you, distract you. Hold on. Push through. Sometimes it's not the enemy, it's just the refining process. It's God pruning away the things that don't belong; the cutting away of what shouldn't be to produce the things that should be. In childbirth there's excruciating pain. But after an agonizing time of labor, new birth comes. Allow Jesus to walk you through the process of dying, the process of giving birth.  It can be ugly and agonizing, but yet it's so beautiful.  There’s life on the other side. There always is. Don't allow the enemy to discourage you. Hold on to the promises of God! Don't allow the temporary discomfort of Father cutting away to push you away from Him, the only One who is Faithful and True. Don't be distracted. Don't be discouraged. Breakthrough is coming. Just like it does for the winter tree, who doesn't realize a season of plenty is just around the corner. It’s coming.

Breakthrough is coming.

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