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Blessed are the gentle

"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth"

Matt 5:5

I have painted a new painting that I want to share but I feel it needs an introduction. I want to tell you why it is so precious to me and dear to my heart. It's my expression of God's love for me during trials.

Trials seem to come and go and life seems to ebb and flow. In each trial we are tempted to feel despair and hopeless...that it will always be this way and will last forever. But sometimes as quickly as they come, those dark nights go away, lesson learned. Time to glean what you were to learn and thank the Father and apply it to your life. To remember it so to prepare for the next trial that comes. Trials are like ocean waves that come and go in and out of our lives. The Bible says to expect them and to even be thankful (rejoice) in them. Not because those frightening dark nights are fun in any way, but because those trials push us to depend on our Heavenly Father in ways we do not when we believe we can do it in our own strength.

When the trials are hard and we are pressed and afraid and the nights seem dark and long, we press into Christ. Our hearts are humbled. We listen and search God's Word for answers and learn to depend on Him for our strength and security, not depending on ourselves or other people. That's how we grow in our maturity and understand that God is good and He causes all things to work for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28). A contrite and humble heart the Lord has compassion on these. Like the Shepherd of sheep, we are always wandering and getting lost and alone in the dark places. Feeling great fear we call to the Shepherd, the one and only voice we know as safe and true. And He always rescues us, carries us close to His heart and brings us home.

We will always be like sheep needing The Shepherd. We will always depend on Him fully. It's the way He created us. We cannot depend on ourselves. Sometimes, when the storms rage, He hides us in the cleft of a rock, so to protect us from driving rain and intense terror. And we feel these storms in particular, last a long time. But the Shepherd knows we are safe here behind the great stone rock.

There are lessons to be learned in thankfulness while we wait like learning to be thankful for a new day and new grace. For the warm sunshine peeking over the horizon and the small insignificant flower that bloomed in the rock just for us to see. Or the birds singing to us a good morning chorus. Even and especially in these tiny things we are to thank The Shepherd for He created each for His own purpose and glory. We are to find thankfulness even in the dark places because He tells us to. This is when we grow. These are the times that we are pressed and refined into more of the image of gold- to reflect our Father. He came to serve and save and wash and teach and love. We are to do the same. I pray this blesses and encourages your heart today.

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