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Just a quick note to let you know I've moved my blog to the following address:

http://www.michellebenthamcreates.com

Please visit me at REDEEMED...RESTORED...RELEASED: One Woman's Story of Living Free to read more about what God is doing in my life and how He is working those things to set me free. Thanks so much for following, visiting, reading all about it and supporting me as you have done so many times these last few years. If you follow my other blogs, the posts from all three of my blogs are going to be transferred to the new digs for one big blog about our journey to restoration and freedom in Christ.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Hurricanes, Devestation... and Restoration

My mind has been on Hurricane Ike a lot lately. Hurricane Ike blew in devestation, destruction and chaos for the coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico. The mass exodus two weeks in a row left many not only put out, but scaping the bottom of the barrell as well. I think about that and consider the title of a book I own, "The Wind that Heals and Destroys" written by Stephen Broyles.
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Did you know that a mighty wind blew down the walls of Job's children's house and that is what killed them? Read chapter one again and see if it ain't so. The wind obviously destroys. Even yesterday, my husband made a bee line for the backyard when he arrived home from work. Why? Because a huge wind and rain storm blew through Sunday night and woke him up. He learned later that day that a friend of his incurred much damage and missed the day of work to see about repairs.
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But how does the wind heal? Think of it. The Pnuema of the New Testament and the Ruah of the Old Testament both represent breath or Spirit - but it could be wind as well. When the wind showed up while Elijah was crying out on the mountain - the wind destroyed, the earth quake destroyed, and the Scripture says that God was not in either of those, but instead... A Gentle Whisper. What, may I ask, is a gentle whisper? It is mostly an exhale wouldn't you say. The Breath of God descended upon Elijah. It healed his troubled heart and soothed his rattled nerves. God showed up and delivered Elijah in that moment. The wind that heals.
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How about when the storm came to the disciples on the boat? The wind and waves roared all around them, but Jesus came in not once, but on two separate occasions and spoke - exhaled the Breath of God - against the wild, ravaging wind and pelting water and what happened? The storm subsided and peace or calm was restored to the disciples once again.
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Then again, after Jesus ascended to the right hand of His Father in heaven - the wind visited the disciples and those they were teaching in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit came upon them in a mighty rushing wind. Not just a breeze blew through, but a MIGHTY. RUSHING. WIND.
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A mighty rushing wind that did not destroy? Yes.
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Instead, it brought power and the Holy Spirit worked mightily in that service and the many acts the early church participated in, observed and worked through. The wind that heals. Do you imagine that there were some healings taking place in the crowd that day? Relationships were restored? Lives saved? We know the lives were saved because Dr. Luke was careful to tell us so. But, whew - have you ever experienced the Lord like that? He is amazing.
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So as I sit and think about the wind that heals and destroys, I think about Hurricane Ike.

Most of you know that Hurricane Ike took my husband away from home for most of September and all of October. What you don't know is that during that time God delivered big on some things I had been praying to Him about.
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In the weeks leading into Hurricane Ike's arrival, I was sealed in my healing from the grief over Justin's death. August 23rd. Prior to going to San Antonion I had gone to a weekend event at our church called Kairos which is a two day event designed to created a safe environment to experience the overwhelming presence of God and all that He wants to give you in that time. August 8-9th. That last day of Kairos God showed me some things about how rebellion had worked in my life and been handed down generationally through the women on both sides of my family. He also opened up the door for my family to be free from the Spirit of Mammon - the love of money and all that would imply. That same day God showed me something about my husband that I began to pray about. My husband's heart had turned hard against both me and God, and I had a share in the reason his heart was hard. I had done things to hurt my husband.
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I began to work it out with God then and I tried to confess it to my husband but he was not able to hear me at that time. Then he went out of town.
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Ladies, without sharing any details, I am going to tell you that while God was working to restore things that had been taken from me and stolen from our family in my life... My husband was stepping off of a spiritual cliff. And ripe with opportunity he walked into the biggest spiritual battle of our marital life with his armor completely off. Those days and weeks out of town were a fertile ground for the enemy to lay the groundwork for destruction. To open doors that should have been slammed shut.
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Still, all the while I prayed, I confessed to God and continued to walk in the work He began in me. I shared revelations with my husband and our family about how God was working and I pressed in hard asking many to pray for my husband. I became convinced that neither Scott nor his employer had sent him to work out of town - but that instead God Himself had arranged the entire experience. Little did I know what lay ahead.
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The winds of Hurricane Ike ravaged the coastal regions of Texas during those early fall days of 2008, but there was a full blown storm brewing and building during that time that was coming against my husband and our marriage in the most heinous way - and I was almost too blind to see it.
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As my husband and I drove through those wind ravaged coastal towns during his last weekend working there - I was struck by one thing... The storm would utterly destroy one house while leaving the one right next door standing untouched. We saw a home that had been literally SLICED. IN. TWO. Not even kidding about this, it was sheered in two. Only one half of the house remained. The covers on the bed were disheveled, but otherwise the house looked largely untouched. Those people were hoping and praying the storm would turn, or weaken somehow before coming ashore - but sometimes the nature of the storm is to come with all its fury, its force and its power to devestate and destroy you so that God can meet you in the chaos and speak to you with a gentle whisper.
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I had no idea that in just a few months my marriage would look like the obliterated towns of San Leone when we drove those streets and marvelled at the destruction. But, God came to me in a gentle whisper the first time the storm made landfall in our marriage and He has walked me through every single step to this place of great healing and restoration. We may not be fully restored just yet, but we are being redeemed and the process came by wind from the enemy - seeking to destroy us, but is now being restored by the gentle whispers and truths of God that calm the storm, bring peace to our souls and remind us daily of His love, grace and mercy. And all I can say is AMEN.




2 comments:

luvmy4sons said...

I know that as God makes all things new He will make your marriage a glorious testimony of His power to heal and restore. Thank you for your open and honest and forthright words.

HisTreasuredPossession said...

great post Michelle. can I just say how grateful I am to hear you are both doing the work it takes to sustain a marriage? A believing couple just finalize their divorce over "life-changing" issues that I could not support. My heart is breaking for the loss. May our Lord Jesus continue to speak life over you and your man!