Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

Archive for January 2012

thank you lord

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In my last post I poured out my anxiety, fear, and frustration that my thoughts run all too quickly to thoughts not ordered by God. Forgive me Lord for this.

And thank you Lord for your unfailing love. Thank you that you trust us with this trial. I go back to one of those early lessons as a new believer that I prayed that you refine me just as gold and silver a re refined. This is a time of refining, of purging the dross from my life. Thank you that you want to see my life refined and purified.
May you have your way in my life. I just want to thank you for your great and merciful love.

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 20, 2012 at 1:39 AM

keeping my whits

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Friday was a day filled with major blessings, emotional highs, and so intense frustration that desperately tried to steal any hope that God is in charge of our lives.

As you know we have been on the hunt for work – a full time job- for 23 months for the hubby, and 17 months for myself. I think we are becoming insulated from the frustration of a work environment that does not want 50 somethings who have experience and education… we are no longer pretty, and perceived to be wanting the moon in tow with the big salary.

Well, anyhow, along with unemployment comes creatively paying bills. We have tapped the savings out long ago, and then the 401Ks, and now we have enough for one more mortgage payment then who knows where it will come from. Unless the employment situation turns around we are not sure where this money is going to come from – and everything in me wants to be scared and totally freak out like a small child who has lost any senses of security. But then that still small voice of God reminds me I am his, I am bought with the blood of the lamb, and i am loved, cherished, and he will not let his children beg for bread. Aaaah, the voice of God breaks through that crazy welling up sense of panic.

So I ask myself “Do you really believe that your life is in God’s hands?” “Is he really going to come through and open a door of employment for one of us?” “How big is God- am i out of his grasp?” My mind has been running at hyper speed, toggling between the definitive “YES! YES God loves me and has me in his firm grasp – and it even says in Isaiah that he has my name written on his hand. Not one sparrow falls to the ground without the father knowing this, and how much more important am i.” and “Look where you are now – everything about your life is upside down… look deeply at your life- how good can this be that you cannot find a job? why did you do grad school? that really helped, didn;t it?”

No, I am not hearing voices. I think this is just the spiritual war for my mind. I know that I must constantly lay it all down.. surrender my life, my mind, my circumstances and my very being to Jesus and leave it with him.

“So tonight I come to you Jesus, giving you my thoughts, my emotions, my sight, and my very life. You are the all knowing, always present, loving one, the savior, my redeemer, my king. I honor you and yield this life to you again. Like prisoners of war I march my thoughts to you and hand them over too. I know that apart from you I am nothing and can do nothing. I ask you to guard my thoughts, keep my gaze on you, and show me what you want of my life. We have seen you move in miraculous ways and the enemy try to swoop in to steal the blessings. I hide behind your shield, your armer, and want to retreat into you as my high tower. As this battle continues give me your wisdom and your strength to know how to proceed. I do ask Lord if you would open a door for a job- for income to pay our bills. Show us where to look, and make that way for us please. I yearn for the day when you call us home, and we can fall before your mercy, yielded fully from this sin scarred body, and this sin scarred world. Amen

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 20, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Comfort is overrated

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I heard those words on a blog i was reading and gasped… taken by surprise because everything in our mortal being strives to find comfort, to find the minimum resistance, the place where there is no pain. But there is a truth to the statement that comfort is overrated. I pondered this for some time.

Why was i surprised by this comment? what was it about comfort that drew the writer of that blog post to make this statement? In the back of my mind i have heard this before. Friends who went off to the mission field of the third world have easily come back changed, understanding that the church of the united states is soft, at ease, much like a former athlete who discovered the relaxation of breaking from the training schedule. I have heard natives of other nations speak of how the struggle, the pain, pushing through the difficulty builds the character, and develops a strong faith muscle. I confess until i lost my job i thought i had a pretty strong faith muscle, but realize now that was not the case.

So here are the comments he made about discomfort. This is what stirred my thoughts:

Comfort is overrated. It doesn’t lead to happiness. It makes us lazy—and forgetful. It often leads to self-absorption, boredom, and discontent.
Discomfort is a catalyst for growth. It makes us yearn for something more. It forces us to change, stretch, and adapt.
Discomfort is a sign we’re making progress. You’ve heard the expression, “no pain, no gain.” It’s true! When you push yourself to grow, you will experience discomfort.

These words spoke deeply to me. This is what i want in 2012 – growth, profound catalytic growth.

Lord, through this past year you have been the strength, the comfort, the one pulling us to new and unfamiliare places. I must confess that when i loose sight of your good hand it seems that I loose sight of the work you are doing in my life, my soul, my heart. I also confess that i like ease, comfort, minimal stress and i realize I have not grown during times of ease. Thank you Lord for seasons of growth, of trial, of challenge because it is in those times that we learn your true love, power, and wisdom. We learn your character in deeper and more secure ways. I thank you for the season of lack of comfort, and i yield this simple life to you. Make me into what you want me to be. Amen”

Written by Barbara Bloom

January 9, 2012 at 12:15 AM