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– from http://freepspthemeswallpapers.blogspot.com/2011/07/summer-wallpapers-part-2.html

“O tested and storm-battered soul, perhaps the Lord is sending you through this trial to develop your gifts.  You have some gifts that would never have been discovered if not for the trials.  Do you not know that your faith never appears as great in the warm summer weather as it does during a cold winter?  Afflictions are often the dark settings God uses to mount the jewels of His children’s gifts, causing them to shine even brighter.

Our Lord often takes us into the dark in order to tell us something.  It may be the darkness of a home where bereavement has drawn the blinds; the darkness of a lonely and desolate life, in which some illness has cut us off from the light and activity of life; or the darkness of some crushing sorrow and disappointment. Hidden treasures and secret truths can be discovered in the darkness with the light from heaven.  Unfortunately, yet thankfully, there is no shortcut to a life of faith.

A power plant produces power through friction.  God, in a similar way, creates more power in our lives through friction. Let us pour out our hearts to God, yet not give them over to the hands of discouragement.” –excerpts from Streams in the Desert, p. 146-147, 149-150

“Your hope will not be cut off [or disappointed].” –Proverbs 23:18

The secret of knowing God’s complete sufficiency in our lives is through the uncomfortable event of coming to the end of everything in ourselves, and our circumstances (Streams in the Desert, p. 146).  When we feel useless, lonely, removed from life and like everything is against us, maybe we aren’t as “far off” as we think, but “in process” to becoming greatly used by God.  Let us not retreat in fear, anxiety, despair, self-condemnation, loneliness or comparison, but pour out our hearts to One who knows us, and our purposes here, better than any other.

Deep calls to deep.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.

 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor [trouble] a door of hope.” –Hosea 2:14-15

You, O’ God melt my heart with your love.

Oh, I see your face so lovely and true.

Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty!

Here I am –

Softened and dissolved in devotion, pliable in your hands.

You answer my thirsty cries,

and rescue me in the night seasons.

“I shall preserve you and keep you and you shall walk with Me in white.” (Come Away Beloved, p. 81)

from gs155.photobucket.com

 I’ve seen the above words and truth happen in my life – it is not a lie.  A beautiful song I can’t get enough of right now to keep my eyes looking upward, by City Harmonic: “Holy (Wedding Day)” Just let it soak in if you choose to listen:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3oLqAmXc-c

Have any of you seen hard spots transformed to sweet places, or night seasons uncover gifts?