Breakthrough

Painting umbrella ch IMG_1452

 

In this portion of the journey, when steps forward and steps backward start to resemble a cha-cha more than a foot race, I sometimes wonder what is going on. As I write this people the insurance company sent are in my house packing up stuff that, only four months ago, finally had a place. Now, after the flood, it doesn’t. Again. After all that is salvageable leaves in a truck headed to a storage facility, the deconstruction people come to tear out walls I just painted and flooring we just laid. This week I rushed about trying to figure out what I might need in the next few months that I should store in bins in corners of the house that is still habitable. I was going a little nuts.

It felt like I was wallowing in hope deferred.

Then a friend (Godsend that she is) asked me if I would join her and paint during the worship portion of a conference. I was apprehensive about doing what I do in front of real live people (as opposed to anonymous readers). I am so done with performance and stage Christianity, but I decided that hiding is not much better. Besides, I needed to get out of the house – and they let me sit in a corner of the auditorium.

The first night I painted light streaming through the woods as the Lord spoke to me about shifting atmospheres in a way that brings light to dark places, but the idea for this painting, started the second day, formed before the first was even finished. I saw the red umbrella as a symbolic covering like the covering given by the blood over the doors at Passover and the covering given by Christ’s blood.  I saw a break in the clouds. I saw a pass in the mountains with a rainbow of promise over it.

I was also aware of the unseen shadowy valleys between happy greening hills covered with the yellow sunflowers of spring and the places where winter is reluctant to let go of its hold.

As I finished details that indicated a shifting atmosphere the phrase came to me: Promise IS breakthrough.

The answers God has provided to problems friends and family and people I am praying for around the world already exist. God, in his great mercy, takes us through hills and valleys and seasons of sun and storm to prepare us for the rigors of abundance, influence, and authority, but he promises breakthrough.

This weekend I heard, “Know who you are. Know whose you are. That’s your protection, your covering. Lift your eyes and see God’s plan. Quit hiding and move. This is going to be good.”

Waking Up

crocus cluster IMG_1015

“There is a forerunner spirit that comes out of Heaven and seems to wander the Earth looking for people who want to be ahead of their time; who are willing to pay a price to be in the full front of a move of God so that they themselves become a visual aid to the Earth about what is coming next. There is a price you pay for that, but there is also a glory attached to that because God is glorious.”

-Graham Cooke from Why Wounded & Betrayed Believers Are So Useful To God

 

The crocus is one of the first wild flowers to bloom in the mountains. My file of crocus photos overflows because I go snap crazy. The fuzzy purple flower is a forerunner that speaks to me.

“More to come!” it says.

There are people like that -forerunners. They seem out of place when they pop up in places of dormant expectations. Sometimes they are like the voices of children who wake too early – adorable, but annoying. When we can no longer ignore their cheerful and sometimes naive enthusiasm for a new day we reluctantly get up, go to the bathroom, put the kettle on and stare at the cereal bowls in the cupboard, trying to remember what it was we were looking for.

Sometimes forerunners are like cheerful signs of affection. A kiss to build a day on. An early morning crack of light sneaking around drawn curtains. They invade our acceptance of a cold dark season with hope. They have seen the future and they want to live in it now while the rest of us are still feeling sluggish.

I saw some of these lovely forerunners this week. They were singing, “This new season is going to be so good!”

Time to put the kettle on.