Fire and trials

Thanks to all of you who have read my posts, kept me in your prayers and offered words of encouragement and comfort. A couple of the recent comments had reminded me of a word God had given to me some years ago.

A sword when formed the materials chosen are put through the fire, stretched, folded, and hammered. This is done over and over until the blade is formed. The more the blade is folded the stronger it becomes. The part I am focused on today is the fire which inspired by both a recent painting I had posted, ‘Going through the fire’, and a current one that I have been working on for a client, ‘Risen’. Risen is not ye finished and neither are the rest of us. I like to say we are a work in progress and God is not done with us yet. Both paintings represent fire.

Risen unfinished by Julie Sheppard
Through the Fire by Julie Sheppard

First thought of fire you think of destruction. Homes and forests burned to the ground. Getting burned. Yet fire is not just destructive. You cook with fire. Create with it. Fire can be scary but look at Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abed Nego. They refused to bow down to and idol and were thrown into a fiery furnace. They did not burn and they came out not even smelling of smoke. Then think of the Holy Spirit Fire. We grow when we go through the fire. We are refined. We are made stronger. In the painting immediately above I had explained in a previous post. The current painting which is unfinished I will tell it’s story when it is finished. Clay pots are put into kilns and baked. God is referred to as The Potter and we are His clay, to be molded and shaped into vessel He can use. This also means to be made solid we too must go through the fire. I am not sure how long it is going to take for me to finish my current painting but I will post it when it is finished.

Remember His fire will not harm you but make you stronger!

Waiting 5/23/2021

Well I am still in a waiting period. My procedure has been rescheduled for the second time. So I have another two weeks of waiting. I had joked with the woman handling my case that I could have given birth to a baby in the time I have been laid up, and off work.

For a person who is not patient this is frustrating. I am the type who wants to figure out the solution to the problem then get it done. Now my body has been in the care of others and I am not happy that the original doctor kept telling me the problem I was having with the swelling and discoloration in my arm was normal, to find out that it wasn’t and now I have these multiple procedures that need to be done. I would have liked these things to have been found out sooner and dealt with earlier. Unfortunately when others are in control of deciding what care you get things can go wrong and things can be delayed.

Yet through it all God has been with me. He has never left my side and He understands my frustration and He knows I don’t blame Him. Once upon a time I would have. I would have asked Him ‘What have I done wrong?’ or a long list of other things that would either blame myself or Him. Thankfully through life and a relationship with Jesus I have learned neither are true.

Waiting is not always pleasant and times are difficult. Life is not easy and even a bed of roses has it’s thorns, and needs to be fertilized. I plant seeds and there buried beneath the soil some grow and some don’t. They also don’t grow at the same time. Some you plant in fall to see bloom in the spring, and others just after winter to see them grow in the fall. They all have the waiting period. During our times of waiting we too grow and eventually bloom and produce fruit. I don’t know what will grow in me during through this time. I guess I just have to wait in see. Trust that God will see me through, and He will get me to the other side.

Numbers 9:8

Moses therefore said to them, “Wait, and I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you.”

Absent Me

I have not been on here for a while. Still out on workers comp. Thankful that the specialist is having my first of three procedures done this coming week. Being stuck home with limited use of my arm has been challenging and the isolation has not helped. Thankfully God understands my frustrations, and is patient with me. I did finally finish the paintings that was commissioned and have been asked for a third painting. Thankfully they understand my current circumstances and said to take my time. They loved the two paintings I had done for them and the best compliment I have ever received is they told me they felt the anointing. I have also been inspired to start a new writing project. A book on prayer for those who don’t want to pray or think they can’t. It is not for the religious and I will probably get criticized, but it is for those who are hurting or so angry they don’t want to pray because they are afraid if they open their mouths, that what will come out God will not like. It will not be a lengthy book. It will be more like a booklet. My computer time is limited because of the pain and limited use of my arm, but I am finding comfort in doing something. There of course has been a major increase in prayer time since I have not been able to sleep very much. So another positive use of time. After the procedure this week I will be laid up for recuperation time but hopefully that will only be a few days. It will not give me use of my arm back but it will help stop the constant pain and then the doctor will be able to go on to the next step. So I may be absent for a while longer but will be back soon.

God bless and prosper you and your loved ones.