Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A message from a "homeless" person


Right now I find myself thinking of a grape.
It is lush and ripe....full of incredible refreshment.
But...until the grape is crushed.....it is useless to the one who needs refreshing.
Today you and I are that grape. The vine tender has done His job. The fruit made it through drought and blight. And it has been hand picked by gentle, loving hands.
It awaits its future. Left in the basket...it would soon begin to mold and the sun would burst the tender skins to loose the now rancid juice.
But, the master knows the perfect timing and temperature.
He lovingly carries the basket to the preparation room.
And there He begins to crush the prepared grapes. The process seems harsh and so much is thrown away after He collects what the grape was grown for.
Now the refreshing liquid stands alone. Alone, but it has now become a part of a much greater purpose. It has now been combined with others. Together they will bring much refreshing to those who are weary and thirsty.

We are those grapes. We have not grown on our own.
He has prepared us to be used.
He prepared me to be used.
Last night we had a really rough time with Julia. Her heart was broken.
Her tears showed us that she had been crushed.
Events took place that we could/did not stop.
But, God knew. And He was tending His grape.
He is still tending His little grape.
He loves her so much more than we do. And one day we will be able to look back on all of this and find that God healed and God made what was dirty.......pure again.

And then this morning I got this from a friend......I hope it speaks to your heart
the way it did to mine.
From Pain to Destiny
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
08-20-2008

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-5).
God often allows pain to ignite destiny in our lives. Without motivation, many of us would never fulfill the purposes for which God created us. Oftentimes a measured assault invades our life and creates a depth of pain that all we know to do is press into God with all our being. At first, our motivation is to alleviate the pain. After a season of extreme emotional and sometimes physical pain, a second phase begins. This phase moves us to discover a new and deeper relationship with God. We begin to discover things about ourselves and about God that we never would have discovered without this motivation. Gradually, our heart changes our motivation from pain to loving obedience because there is a transition of the heart that takes place. No longer do we seek God for deliverance from the pain; we seek God because He is God. We seek His face and not His hand. When we move to the second phase we often find ourselves moving into a new destiny and calling for our lives because God often separates us from the old life in this process........................ .

After all this.....God knew this morning our hearts needed a little encouragement.
There was a knock on the camper door and we opened it to find the social worker and counselor from the school. Yikes! And it is only the second day!
But, we found that no one was in trouble......what a relief.
We would later find that if the school knows a student is "homeless".....yes, we are considered homeless.....they pay them a visit and see if they can help.
Pretty cool!
We began to tell our story.......not even considering that these women might just think we were crazy. After we told about our journey....one of the women looked at us with wonder in her eyes and said....."We are believers too. And you are on quite a journey of Faith".
And you know what? Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are on a journey.
We had a great time talking about our circumstances and one of the women even told Keith that she had a friend who was looking for someone who did masonry work.
It was the real time of fellowship that I so needed.
They know about us and my girl......God has provided.
My heart is so full.
Even in the middle of yuck......He is tending to our needs.
He loves us so.
He is watching out for us. No, He does not stop every difficult thing that comes our way.
But, when He allows the hot sun and gusting rain to get through to the grape.......it is because when put in His hands there can be a greater purpose.
I'm good.
This crushing produced a great refreshing.......for me.

Love you guys.......He loves you MORE!


18 comments:

Denise said...

Bless you dear sis, and the journey that you are on. I love you.

luvmy4sons said...

Wow. As always- encouraged and exhorted by your transparency and the beauty of your analogies. I so agree with that excerpt and your wise conclusions. So glad that God is caring for you in this homeless state. He always holds us in the palm of His hand...even as It crushes us at time into sweet wine! Hugs to you.

Darlene said...

Great post! This is not the first I have heard on the vine. I wonder if God is sending me a message? So glad things are working out. Sorry to hear about the crushed heart. God will take care of you and yours!
I didn't realize if you lived in a camper it was considered homeless. We are talking about when we sale our house to live in our camper for a while till we decide where to go.
Hope your day is better!
Sweet Blessins,
Darlene

Mary said...

Sharon,

I am so glad that these people dropped by to encourage you. Isn't it wonderful how God knows just what we need.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Blessings,
Mary

Karen said...

What a fabulous testimony Sharon, so encouraging !

Tiffany said...

What a powerful post. It was just what I needed right now. I'm so glad that you can share such encouraging insight and find the beauty in a very painful process. Although we do not understand everything that happens in our lives, our Lord does. And this perspective helps to understand that ALL THINGS work for the good for those that love Him and that He loves! ~Blessings!

Edge of Design said...

I remember when I was pregnant, we moved from our home in one city to an 8 ft camper on the outside of a small town. I was not impressed when it snowed in May and I was stranded in the showerless camper AND pregnant. We had found a funny way of looking at it and claimed to be "squatters" on the land. My husband was so sweet about everything that I didn't care anymore where I was, as long as I could be with him.

MelanieJoy said...

Funny...I've never once thought about you being "homeless"...you are so not. love ya.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Thank the Father that our home is heaven is waiting!

This is a wild season of adventure for you and your family. How gracious and good for you to be able to keep holy perspective through it all. Please know that I am thinking about you today and believing God for your tomorrow.

Keep to it, friend. Keep to him.

peace~elaine

melanie said...

It's quite a journey you're on! And I love your grape illustration.

Alisun said...

very great story and I am so glad you shared this is brings a smile to my heart to hear who the Lord is working even in the hard times.
The grape story was beautiful

Sandi said...

I so needed this reminder and encouragement today too. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

Joyfulsister said...

Hi My Sistah!!!
As I read this I felt such a stirring in my heart. I just could not hold back the tears, The tears came because of your realness and your spirit that touched my spirit as I began to read, even before you shared your personal journey. You see I know what it's like to go from having everything to having nothing. but we had the Lord and we had each other. Later the Lord would bless my husband and I each with a goverment job and my husband with a second job that only someone with with a degree would be hired, he had no degree yet they gave it to him. I know that God will make a way when at times there seems to be no way. You have such an awesome testimony and ministry. You are an awesome woman of God I'm blessed to call you my sistah and my blessed friend in Christ.

Hugz Lorie

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Wow, I never thought of you being homeless either....kinda makes my heart sad. But I know it's just temporary! What a witness you are being!! Praise the Lord! Hope the job turns up soon!!!

SunnySusan said...

I have missed coming here my friend...homeschool has started for us and I am just getting back from vacation and not in the groove yet....love the grape story...we are all journeying thru this land....what a great Lord we have to bring you social workers who are believers.....wow...how He loves you....and me.....

Denise said...

Oh not homeless...... Head home is a better version!!! What a wonderful post........ How wonderful that the Father God sent to you other that are part of the vine..... How he loves us....... and what a journey you have taken... I so love coming here to read of your adventure.......... I have been missing too many posts and need to catch up! Summer time is stealing my time!!

Denise said...

Oh not homeless...... Head home is a better version!!! What a wonderful post........ How wonderful that the Father God sent to you other that are part of the vine..... How he loves us....... and what a journey you have taken... I so love coming here to read of your adventure.......... I have been missing too many posts and need to catch up! Summer time is stealing my time!!

Halfmoon Girl said...

How is Julia doing? It is tough to watch those moments in our children's lives. How awesome that God sent you the Christian guidance counsellor the next morning! Has Keith found work? Are you looking for a house, or camping for longer?