Thank you for helping me get so much done yesterday, and thank you for encouraging me to sleep in today so my body does not succumb to the respiratory troubles floating around here lately. Thank you for the kindness of my husband, making me peppermint tea — which actually helped quite a bit! Thank you for conversations and mutual encouragements with other artists from all over the world, and thank you for allowing me to live in this modern era where it is possible to reach out to others across thousands of miles, and feel connected and part of a huge network of people with similar interests. Father, please continue to prune things out of my life and my heart that will get in the way of your work in me. Help me to let go of my pride and my self-defensive attitude, and just be open and honest and trust YOU to protect me and be my awesome faithful Shepherd. Amen!
Micah 5 ERV
Now strong city, gather your soldiers! They are surrounding us for the attack! They will hit the Judge of Israel on the cheek with a stick.
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, are the smallest town in Judah. Your family is almost too small to count, but the “Ruler of Israel” will come from you to rule for me. His beginnings are from ancient times, from long, long ago.
The Lord will let his people be defeated until the woman gives birth to her child, the promised king. Then the rest of his brothers will come back to join the people of Israel.
He will begin to rule Israel in the power of the LORD. Like a shepherd, he will lead his people in the wonderful name of the LORD his God. And they will live in safety because then his greatness will be known all over the world.
He will bring a time of peace. Yes, the Assyrian army will come into our country and march through our land. But we have plenty of leaders we can send against them.
With swords in hand our leaders will defeat the Assyrians and rule the land of Nimrod. They will save us from the Assyrians when they come into our land and march through our territory.
But those from Jacob who are still living and scattered among the nations will be like dew from the LORD that does not depend on anyone. They will be like rain on the grass that does not wait for anyone.
Those from Jacob who are still living are scattered among the nations. But they will be like a lion among the animals in the forest. They will be like a young lion among flocks of sheep. If the lion passes through, he goes where he wants to go. If he attacks an animal, no one can save it. The survivors will be like that.
You will lift your hand against your enemies, and you will destroy them.
The LORD says, “At that time I will take away your horses, and I will destroy your chariots.
I will destroy the cities in your country. I will pull down all your fortresses.
You will no longer try to do magic. You will have no more fortunetellers.
I will destroy your statues of false gods. I will pull down your memorial stones. You will not worship what your hands have made.
I will destroy the Asherah poles and your false gods.
Some nations will not listen to me, but I will show my anger and get my revenge.”
Lord, you are mighty enough to slay entire nations, yet you are merciful enough to seek a single sheep that has wandered off. You give your people chance after chance to hear you and to follow, and your heart is always willing to help those who truly seek you, who truly believe that you WANT to help and that you CAN. Thank you for showing me, in the wee hours of this morning, that the main purpose of my life — and perhaps of any human life — is to go through the often decades-long process of learning your voice and surrendering to your will — with cheerfulness. In short, the most important thing for me to do, above all else in this life, is to learn how to be a good sheep, to follow the greatest Shepherd of all. And to completely and utterly TRUST you — to BELIEVE the One I believe IN! And Father, I thank you that you have given me further guidance, beyond that overarching goal. “Make my art and make my things (digital products, etc), and encourage others in theirs.” That is ENOUGH. Thank you, Shepherd, for giving me a glimpse of where I am at, and what I need to do to be faithful to YOU. Amen! 😀