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Transformation Garden - May 18, 2015

  • 2015 May 18

May 18

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“Who is among you that feareth Jehovah, that obeyeth the voice of His servant? He that walketh in darkness and hath no light, let him (her) trust in the name of Jehovah and rely upon his (her) God.”

Isaiah 50: 10, R.V.

“Hold on, my heart, in thy believing
The steadfast only wins the crown,
He who, when stormy winds are heaving,
Parts with its anchor, shall go down;
But he who Jesus holds through all,
Shall stand, though heaven and earth should fall.”

Author Unknown

Today’s Study Text:

“Moreover, Ahithophel said unto Absalom, ‘Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: and I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only; and I will bring back all the people unto thee; the man whom thou seekest is as if a returned: so all the people shall be in peace.’ And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.”

II Samuel 17: 1- 4, King James Version


“The Good Life”
A Life Girded with Strength - Part 5

“For You have girded me with strength for the battle: You have subdued under me and caused to bow down those who rose up against me.”

Psalm 18: 39, Amplified Bible

If I were to measure the strength in my emotional and spiritual life right now on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being “super” strength, what number would I choose?

What events in my life have affected my strength? 

How have I seen God respond to my need for strength in the past?

“The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalm 27: 1, K.J.V.


“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and Thou hast brought me into the dust of death.”

Psalm 22: 14-15, K.J.V.

I recently had a phone call from my friend, Ann Marie, one of the most spiritually connected girls I’ve ever met. We were sharing with each other the struggles and challenges we have both faced in our lives. We agreed that these trying situations have taken a huge toll on our strength -- physically, emotionally and spiritually. With one problem after another upending us, it seemed we were slogging our way from one miserable crisis to another. If it is true that “misery loves company,” then I know for a fact that my precious friend Ann Marie and I have a lot of company because I personally read every prayer request that comes to Transformation Garden and let me tell you, one thing is clear, God’s daughters and sons are being hit hard right now. Job loss. Financial disasters. Family problems. Cancer. Betrayal. And the list goes on and on.

Well, let me tell you something, we have another fellow traveler in life’s journey, King David, who wrote, “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.” I can relate to those words of David for over the last few months, because of our car accident and the continuing life-long challenges Jim and I face, I’ve had more pain than ever before. And at times, I’ve felt as if, “all my bones were out of joint.”

David went on to describe his situation this way, “My heart is like wax (melted)…my strength is dried up like a potsherd.” I didn’t know what a “potsherd” was so I checked in my Encyclopedia of the Bible, and here’s what I learned. “potsherds are fragments of any broken pottery jars.” David was describing his strength as nothing but a bunch of dried out, broken pieces of pottery. Have you ever felt this way? Weak? Broken? Not an ounce of strength left in your worn-out body? No strength left to even cry? You are too pooped to pop, as we used to say!

 This is how David felt. He was drained. But he didn’t stay that way, thank God! David understood, all too well, that when there’s nothing left in us, there’s Someone who will fill us. So David went to the Rock…to the Refuge…to the Stronghold – and there he found that the Strength he needed was readily available. Even more than he needed, for there was a supply that would never run out.

 It is from God’s unending reservoir of strength that we are promised God will give us the “good-life.” And God’s promise also comes with a strength that, as the Apostle Paul wrote, is made “strong in our weakness.” WOW.

 This leads me back to our text for today found in II Samuel 17: 1-4. A man named Ahithophel, who by the way was none other than Bathsheba’s (Yes! David’s Bathsheba) grandfather, came to give Absalom (Yes! The backstabbing son of David) advice. Interestingly, Ahithophel’s name meant, “brother of foolishness or foolish talk.” You might think this knowledge would make Absalom consider the person he was listening to before taking strategic counsel from Ahithophel, but this isn’t the case. Instead, Absalom, as well as the elders of Israel, were completely bamboozled by Ahithophel whose “big idea” was to wait until David was weary and his strength was depleted and then attack him and kill him. The plan appeared foolproof. Except for one thing!!! Ahithophel hadn’t included God in his game plan. Let me just say to all of you today, don’t ever count out God’s strength. Just when you feel you are at the end of your rope; poured out on the ground; and with your tongue hanging out like a panting dog – God pours you so full of His strength you won’t believe the power you have. And if you want real proof – come back Monday. You won’t believe what happens next in David’s life but let me give you a clue…David had all the strength he needed for the battle, because he trusted in his Father who knew what he needed, when he needed it and on what timeline he should have it. As Augustine so correctly observed, “When You are our strength, it is strength indeed.” And this is the strength of the “good life” God wants you and me to have.

“I know that when the stress has grown too strong,
You will be there.
I know that when the waiting seems so long,
You hear my prayer.
I know that through the crash of falling worlds
You are holding me.
I know that life and death are Yours eternally.”

Mother Janet Stuart (1857-1914)


“God is our Refuge and strength (mighty and impenetrable to temptation), a very present and well-proved help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult…The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our Refuge, (our High Tower and Stronghold). Selah. (Pause, and calmly think of that).”

Psalm 46: 1-3, 11, Amplified Bible

 A Shelter in The Time of Storm

“The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,
A shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever may betide,
A shelter in the time of storm.
A shade by day, defense by night,
A shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes affright,
A shelter in the time of storm.
The raging floods may round us beat,
A shelter in the time of storm;
We find in God a safe retreat,
A shelter in the time of storm.
O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,
A shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our helper, ever near,
A shelter in the time of storm.
Mighty Rock in a weary land,
Cooling shade on the burning sand,
Faithful guide for the pilgrim band –
A shelter in the time of storm.”

Vernon J. Charlesworth, Written in 1880

“My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
Psalm 73: 26, K.J.V.

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus

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