Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sunday Blessings -Hedged In

 Many  of  find  ourselves  in  confining  and  restricting circumstances,  like  I  do, due  to  illness,  physical  disability or  economic restraints  and  family responsibilities.
We  want  to  spread  our  wings  and  fly but  the  aviary nets hold  us  in.

Joni Eareckson Tada  is  a  cages  songbird whose music  is  close  to  my  heart. She 's  been  confined  to  her  wheelchair   for  several  decades now and  God  is  using  her  to   lift  people  out  of  their  bed  of  woes.

A  wide  range   of  authors   are  on  my  reading  list but  I  pay    closest  heed  to  those  who have   suffered pain,  hardship  and  loss .  Their 's  is   not  a  second  hand  knowledge or  counsel.

Jesus  endured temptation,  pain,  suffrering , povery, betrayal, injustice  and torture , even separation from His  Heavenly  Father. That  is  why  He  can  sympathize   with  us  in  our  weaknesses.
Hebrews 4:15
English Standard Version (ESV)BIBLE
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hedges and Walls

Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in.
--Job 3:23

The four walls of a sick room can feel terribly confining, even if you are only
in bed a short time. When I was stuck in a hospital room for over a year, those
four walls felt like a jail. I resonated with the prophet who wrote, "He has walled
me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains" (Lamentations 3:7).
There's a lot of lament in that verse, and in today's.
There is also comfort. For it is God's hedge. Those are God's walls. It is God who
has confined you in. He is the one who has surrounded you with that high hedge.

It is only when we view our restricting circumstances as being placed there by God's
hand, that we find courage to face the wall and the hedge. Walls are cold and hard.
Hedges are unyielding and thorny. But the love of your God is supreme and matchless,
and he only confines you 'round for a wise and timely purpose. For those who believe
in the love and wisdom of a sovereign God, even a terrible confinement can be a
place of building trust.
* * * * * * * *

A high hedge cannot shut out our view of the skies nor can it prevent the soul from
looking up into the face of God. That's what happened to me in the hospital. During
the year within those four walls, I earnestly wrestled with God, pleading and praying
to him. Looking back, it was dreadfully difficult -- but it was a rich and deep
spiritual time which I wouldn't trade for anything. Because there is so little else
to see, the hedged-in Christian may possibly apprehend God more fully than the disciple
who moves about freely and unconfined.
Today, I need to remember that the 'four walls' of a difficult situation force me
to look up.

 Lord Jesus, please help me to see you in the confining situation.

The Hedge

Therefore I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her in so that she
cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will
look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband
as at first, for then I was better off than now.'

--Hosea 2:6-7

When I was a little girl, my mother would take me to Grandmother's every Wednesday
morning. While she cleaned house, Mother gave me free range in the spacious back
yard which was lined with a tall thick hedge. I had plenty of room in which to
play. I didn't know what was on the other side of the hedge, but I wasn't about
to trespass beyond the watchful eye of Mom. Who knew what dangers lurked beyond
the safe, secure wall of thorny leaves that defined my family's property?

I often think of Grandmother's hedge when I look at my wheelchair. It may be a thorn
in my side, but it is God's barrier; otherwise, I would be reaching for and running
toward a lot of wrong things! I thank my wise God for placing this hedge in my life.
It may hurt and sometimes humiliate me, but it keeps me within the safe, secure
boundaries of God's protection and provision. It keeps me out of the worse kind
of danger: moral trouble.

Today's verse describes a rebellious, headstrong person who is ruled by desire,
a person who looks for ways to trespass God's boundaries of safety and borders of
protection. Don't invite the Lord to block your path with a taller, thornier hedge
Be content within the confines of his commands. The Bible's precepts give you room
enough in which to grow. What hedges has God placed in your life? How has "hedging
in" helped you?

Lord Jesus, I desire to trust and obey you with a willing and contented spirit.
I am thankful for the hedges you place in my life


Joni and Friends

Taken from Pearls of Great Price. Copyright © 2006 by Joni Eareckson Tada.

13 Fertilize my soul:

Vilisi@islandmusings said...

These are deep insights to ponder about. Thank you Amrita. Hope you're having a blessed weekend. God bless.

Felisol said...

Joni Erickson sure has been gifted in a most thornful way, and thereby become a blessing to so many.

I clearly see I have been both blessed and spared.
Today even the sun is shining as I'm writing, in spite of predictions of rain and black sky.

Man may forecast, but God is still in charge.
Have a blessed Sunday.

David C Brown said...

"And having laid many stripes upon them they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely; who, having received such a charge, cast them into the inner prison, and secured their feet to the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas, in praying, were praising God with singing, and the prisoners listened to them."

I can hardly bear to think of some people's circumstances - but God brings praise out of them.

Kathryn said...

Thank you for sharing this, Amrita. It touches me too. :)

Terry said...

dear amrita..i just read your post and wow! what writing and what wisdom you have...
i am so sorry that you aren't feeling well yet..i wonder if because you have these trials is why you have learned such deep things and have written and have encouraged others.
amrita..did you know that the joni movie, the whole thing is on you tube? is such a marvelous movie and she is such a marvelous christian lady.
thank you for this post dear amrita...give mama a hug and sheeba a pat on the head for terry

Abigail said...

Will say a prayer for you!
God is SO faithful in His love for you to give the wisdom you just shared with us.

He is there, and has got you in His hands.


John Cowart said...

Hi Amrita,
Yesterday a neighbor called saying she faces surgery which may get her out of a wheelchair. Her worry is not for herself but for her husband who suffers from a serious heart disease. She is more concerned for his health than for her own. They both are hedged in and covet prayer.


Amrita said...

I am so glad to share these short devotions which have been an encourtagement to me too.

Sometime s we ask WHY is this happening to me, here is something to think about - th e hedges of God.

I know for myself , if I were an able bodied person, maybe I would be having a family of my own and certaining have a career - my old parents and relatives would have no one to sort of look after them. I believe God kept me here so that I could do this and minister in my church too.

Amrita said...

I have seen that filn Terry. I didn 'y know its on You Tube. Recently I re-read her autobiography and it touched my heart deeply

Amrita said...

Hi Kathryn, you are being such a blessing to children who need extra love and life guides. God bless you.

Hi Abigail I am so gla d you visited and commented.

Amrita said...

Dear John I hope this dear lady is able to get out of her wheel chair. She has a difficult task ahead of her./

A senior church member can hardly walk herself and she is looking after her invalid sister who is partially immobile

Zim said...

When I was younger and I heard diagnosis about my illness I asked "WHY?", because for teenager word "incurable" or "chronically" is terrible. After my convertion, when I tamed with my disease, I thought: "Zim, why should You have healthy lungs? There where more ill people than me, and their work for God and people wasn't worse than other". Last years showed me this truth really deeply.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Most of us have different hedges that God has placed in our lives. I was also hampered by failing health which prevented me from actively serving in our church ministries. I was placed by the Lord in the ministry of the internet. It was only now that I realize how far and wide the scope of the internet is. Now I can reach unlimited number of people within the confines of our home. God knows how best we can serve Him. Thanks for the very inspiring post. God bless you all always.