[DECLUTTER] when disasters do the job for you

destruction turned to good.png
Does it mean Christ no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
— Romans 8:35

Losing anything, any place, or anyone we love leaves us feeling terrified, abandoned, afraid, and alone. Getting rid of our junk can be freeing and life-giving when it’s done on our own timetable and when we feel emotionally prepared. But what about those seasons when the decluttering job is out of our control? Like when a widower has to leave behind his home of 55 years and move to a place he’s never seen before and fit his belongings in one bedroom. Or when a couple has to downsize half of all they have accumulated over twenty years within ten days. And sometimes, we get no warning at all. There are times when women leave it all in the night in fear of the wrath of their husbands. Sometimes a tornado or a fire or a flood will not only declutter for us but will remove it all entirely. Are you grieving from a move, a change, a loss?

Here’s hope!

This week, a little cardinal landed on my daughters’ playhouse. My sister-in-law Stephanie’s love-language with God is cardinals. I had never seen one before in our neighborhood, so I took a photo and sent it her way with a prayer. At the end of her reply she added, “By the way, that is the cutest little playhouse I’ve ever seen!” Her little comment opened up a whole download of revelation for you and I today!

I told her about the tornado last year that picked up our whole playset and threw it into our fence, landing in our neighbor’s tomato garden. The girls and I lamented the year we couldn’t swing and read out in the backyard as had been our daily, joyful routine. That old playset was rickety and leaned downhill a bit, but we were content and thankful for it. 

When something or someone we love is taken from us, we are easily tempted to believe that God’s love for us went away too. Does God really love me?

Destruction decluttered all that was so-so and made room for something spectacular. 

One day, my husband found a craigslist swingset for next to nothing. That afforded us the chance to get this playhouse to go with it!

That little bird may as well have been the Holy Spirit dressed in red feathers. He came to visit you and I to tell us a spiritual truth we need to hear:

Our Redeemer loves us!

He sees us!

He hears our cries!

What looks like destruction will work out for good for those who love God!

What looks like destruction in your marriage, your relationships, your health, your mental health, your finances… it is making room for something even more beautiful, sturdy and stable.

Simply ask God to redeem it, repair it, and restore it. He can! He will! He keeps His promises. Seek Him first and all these things will be added to you. Hallelujah!!

So, Paul and I ask you today:

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? …

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 8:35-39

Thank you, Jesus, for sending us that little red bird and your precious blood-dipped words:

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?...

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
— Matthew 6:26, 31

Stephanie and I agree. This message and prayer is for you today too:

May the Holy Spirit come to you, surprise you,rest on you, & dwell in you..png

Father, for all who are grieving today, may this simple picture give them hope. May this truth, that you are still good and you are still Redeemer, race across our nation like a wildfire. May the message that You are near light a fire in our souls that we can’t contain or control. We want more of you, Lord Jesus. Help us seek your Kingdom and your righteousness first, Lord. Lift our eyes to the Things Eternal, and not the things temporal. In Jesus' name, amen.

Lift up your heads, all who are downcast. Christ is come! He is coming! All that was old will pass away. Behold, He is doing a new thing! Don’t you see! In His wings, He soars in with healing and hope and deliverance this day! So look at the birds! You will fly on wings just like them! You will walk and not faint! You will walk through the fire and not be burned. You will pass through the waters and they will not overtake you. Because at the end of the day, no power of hell or scheme of man, no calamity, no disaster, nor destruction can separate you from the overwhelming, never-ending unfathomable love of God.

Friends, please share this word today and scatter it far and wide like seed on a bird’s feathers. I pray the winds carry this message of hope to all who grieve today, especially those we pray for and love out west.