Strength to Strength and Red Birds

As I worshipped this Sunday, the Lord spoke some encouraging words to me. I remembered how frail I seemed in France, how hurt I’d become. I needed His strength then, but I also needed others. I couldn’t seem to stand on my own without an insatiable need for the strength of friends. But this Sunday the Lord said, “I’m making you strong now, so you can be the strength to those in need. I’m girding you. I’m growing you up. It’s a new season of strength.”

I remembered a Scripture about moving from strength to strength, but because the concordance in my Bible was limited, I couldn’t locate it. But now I have it. Reading it over and over reminds me that God is doing a new work in me, transforming me from a needy, frail people-pleasing mess to a strong woman whose roots go down way deep. To one who cowered under the unfair accusations of others to one who speaks life-giving words to those who cower.

I pray the words of this Psalm would be a blessing to you today. That God would turn the page on your life, giving you a new chapter of strength:

Psalm 84
Longing for the Temple Worship.
For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.

How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. Selah.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; the early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion.

LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.

Behold our shield, O God, and look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

O LORD of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in You!

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God is so poetic and creative and beautiful. You know what He did as I wrote this post? He sent three red birds on my run today, reminding me of the beauty of His creation. And as I wrote this post, He sent two more red birds right outside my window. They seemed to be finding bits of twig and string to make a nest–gathering right outside my window, reminding me of “The bird also has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.”

My strength comes when I make my nest in the Almighty, where He becomes my dwelling. If I am to be a strength for others, I need to get that one point right: my home. Not dwelling with God on the outskirts of life, but supping with Him, in His home. In His nest.

Psalm 84 says that if I’m truly camping with the Lord, I will be ever-praising Him.

And here’s another interesting thing. The Valley of Baca is known as a dry, desert place. What a terrific picture of what the Lord does in our lives. We live in the desert sometimes (Oh how France felt like it), but the Lord waters us anyway, as “the early rain covers it with blessings.”

And the clincher is this verse: “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Wow. Wow. Wow. It’s my onus to walk right. As I do, frail as I can be, He will strengthen me to be a strength to others. He will refresh me along the desert path. He will dwell with me, make His nest with me.

He’ll do that for you, too.

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