Friday, April 28, 2006
BOLIVIA SCRIPTURE PRINTS
This picture I took from my hotel window in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It was absolutely gorgeous! It reminded me of the time when Moses went on top of the mountain to speak with God and a cloud covered the mountain. He was up there for 40 days and nights and when he came back down, people were worshipping a golden calf. What an incredible letdown for Moses. Here the Jews had just been led out of Egypt where they were slaves and now they were worshipping an idol!! How quickly they had forgotten about God. Then I thought of myself and and my life and how quickly at times that I've forgotten about where God has brought me from and what He has done in my life. I thought about how quickly I have at times ran to the things of this world to find meaning and security and comfort instead of running to the One True God who created me in the first place. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for His interceding in my life. There have been too many times in my life where I have had idols in my own life that have come before God. This verse and picture was a good reminder for me.
At this time in Bolivia, it was Carnival time - a 3 day celebration of their country. Many things happened during these 3 days and much of it was not good. On TV I was watching all the celebrations taking place in the main cities and it was all too evil. So much drunkenness. In one drunken orgy, a father had shot himself in the head in front of his family. People were on the streets leaving their sacrifices of urine, blood, and animals to Mother Earth. Devil dancers and witch dancers were in parades chanting to the Devil and to evil spirits and casting curses on the crowds around them. And they called this all a celebration. It made me want to cry for them all and to pray for their souls. God help them. Of course this was the worst that I saw - not everything was that terribly bad. You couldn't walk on the streets without young and old throwing water balloons at you. But, I felt very protected - I prayed all the time while I was out that I would not get hit and I never did. God was so good! :-) I always had my camera with me and I didn't want it wrecked. God continually answered my prayers of protection. He is so faithful!!
This statue was in Cochabamba as well and stood on top of a mountain that was surrounded by the city. It was HUGE! As I stood there and looked up at it with the heavens surrounding it, I was reminded me of the devotion I had earlier. It was about how God is so faithful and keeps His promises to us and we can lean on His everlasting arms. There's an old hymn about leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus and how we have nothing to dread or fear. That was often on my mind while I was alone in Bolivia. "I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, Leaning on the everlasting arms." That is the rest of that verse to that song. What a promise to hold on to. It is so blessed to know that we don't have to wander through this life alone. We will always have Jesus - but we have to choose Him. God doesn't force Himself on us - we can choose. But the decision to choose Him is the best one we could ever make - the alternative one is not one we would want to explore.
When I was in Tarija with the Loewens, we had driven to a vineyard. It was a lovely drive and there was a small town that we had to drive through. Watching the children in the streets and other people working, was so good. It was all so interesting. Being in this vineyard it reminded me of the harvest - God's harvest. People here were getting ready to harvest these vineyards and they need much help. So does God - the harvest is great but the workers are few. God doesn't want anyone in this world to perish - He desires everyone to choose Him but He needs willing servants who will share His love to a hurting world. So many are lost and are desperately trying to find other ways to God and to heaven and want to badly to be dependent on themselves - to do it all themselves and to do it their way, not God's way. God doesn't want any of us to be alone. His way is best but He doesn't force it on us. He wants us to choose Him, to choose eternal life, to choose His Son who died on the cross to save us of our sins. This vineyard was ripe for harvest and there will be a time when this world that we live in will be ready for harvest as well - will we be ready?
I love this verse! Another one that I had in my mind much of the time. Of course stupid things would run through my mind: would I ever make it back home, would I see my husband and my family again, would I want to stay here forever, would I make it out of the country...... It's sickening the stupid thoughts that can run rampant in one's mind if you let them. So, at times like that, I would choose to hold on to the truths that I found in the Bible. This was one of the best truths at that time. I knew deep in my heart that God did not bring me to Bolivia to die, his plans were not to harm me here. He brought me here to bring people hope and encouragement and to have me pray for them. He brought me here to be a blessing to those around me and to take pictures and bring them back home to be a blessing to my parents and others. When I prayed, I knew God was listening and He wanted the best for me. What a wonderful truth that I could hold onto!
Oh, how I loved being up in the clouds. I felt like I was in in a part of Heaven. It always looked so heavenly up there!! :-) It was another world. I could just imagine the angels jumping around on the clouds making the thunder roll or the clouds bounce around. :-) I am always thankful for the beautiful pictures that God puts into my mind at times and this was one of those times. It looked like a city up here - a pure white city without any spot or blemish. This is what our hearts look like when we've confessed our sins and asked for forgiveness - Jesus then cleanses us white as snow. What a day that will be when He will come in the clouds and every eye will see Him and every knee will bow before Him and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. (Philippians 2:11) What a day that will be!! There won't be any faking it then - that'll be for real.