Only Jesus Remains– 2.Autumn Dust

Devotion 2 from the upcoming book ONLY JESUS REMAINS-Tending Wounded Hearts at Christmas

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2020

            What was hoped for and perhaps even prayed for has come to pass or it has not. In Northern California, the first clouds since late spring begin their course across a still blue sky. There is long-forgotten moisture on the breeze.

            Mornings are cool. Even cold. Leaves with their time complete reveal new temporary bold bronzes, golds and reds. These colors have always been there, but were obscured by summer’s overwhelming green.

            What food has been produced by gardens and harvest fields to provide for the more volatile rainy season ahead is what I have. There will be no more this year. Will it be sufficient? What about the food to sustain my soul as we enter into the cultural mess of the holy-days?

            As the earth comes to rest, the festivities begin. There are supposed to be these grand, momentous gatherings which are to thrill hearts and fulfill. But woe to my heart in this season.  My soul is not coming to rest in the same way, for these traditional celebrations loom like so many minefields, which must be gotten through.

            Sometimes I want to hide. Dreams dried out and turned to autumn dust. Disintegrated like this season’s leaves. But to be beaten down into this dust is not God’s will for me and so in this moment now with so many thoughts swirling, I purposefully lift my head and look to the One who is King.

I love you, oh Lord, my strength. I look to You, Lord, for Your different views. Somehow Thanksgiving, Advent and the New Year must have a different significance.  Instead of abandoning these season markers, I ask You to lead me through these in a new way. Toward greater inner healing, authenticity and awe. I want to know You more in this season. Nothing less will do.  You say if I seek You, You will be found by me. Well I am here seeking. Humbly. Helpless. Vulnerable. Even sad. Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening!

But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ’s sake.

Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)

Philippians 3:7-8 AMPC

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Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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