Blog, poetry, Teshuvah Devotional

Day 24 of 40 Days of Teshuvah Elul 24

Rosh Hashanah is almost here. It is my favorite time of the year.

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I love when our Lord sends confirmation. It isn’t that I doubt, because I do not doubt the importance of this season. I do however wonder if I am able to communicate the woven pattern and importance of these seasons to others. This season of Teshuvah and leading into Rosh Hashanah and The Day of Atonement are very important to our Heavenly Father.

In 2008 an employee and a friend of mine ask me, “What is Rosh Hashanah?” She said, “I know you will know.” I felt like I should know but I didn’t. In fact I had never heard of Rosh Hashanah that I could recall. I had no idea what Rosh Hashanah was. So I had to use my life line and phone a friend. The friend I called was my mom. I explained to my mom that I needed some information about Rosh Hashanah. My mom said she would get to work on this and get back to me soon. About two hours later my mom called and said she had sent me several emails on Rosh Hashanah. Mom said, “Oh Laurette, you are going to want to search this out.” And was she ever right. Thus began the journey and the search for more of Him. I am hungering more and more for more of our Lord.

Embrace

Come away from noise and hurried bustle,

Unsettled times, life’s constant rustle.

When apart with You, my heart feels calm,

Your Spirit, Your Voice, silence all alarm

While inwardly my heart is groaning,

Lord, eyes and ears You are honing.

My safe refuge my hiding place,

I come away to seek Your Face.

And hear You calmly speak a Word,

My soul finds rest, safely assured.

In quietness and rest, loves solitary place,

Your words in my heart, intimate embrace.

That I may know, feel safe and secure,

Quiet and still, full trust, so sure.

Silence the chatter and thoughts that drown

This simple truth; You have never let me down!

Or reneged nor forgotten nor even blinked,

Each one sealed and delivered, signed in red ink.

Shall I continue to go and still believe?

Awaken my heart, embrace and receive.

For every Word out of Your Mouth is true

My rock, my refuge, certain trust, Yes I do!

laurette laster © 2017

Psalm 119:114,119 MSG Bible

You’re my quiet place of retreat; I wait for Your Word to renew me…..

Therefore I lovingly embrace everything you say.

I believe in 2008, Rosh Hashanah was the last days of September and the first day of the month of October. I told Greg, whom I barely knew at the time that we needed to teach on this subject at our bible study. He agreed and the study began. On Monday the day of our bible study I was reading and searching and studying my notes, emails, and bible frantically. I had been studying already and now the day had arrived to begin the teaching. I had so many things to get done this day which was my day off. I had decided I would have to set my notes aside and get onto housework and mowing my lawn.

It was almost 5:30 when I was finishing up the mowing. Did I mention I was frantic? I was hurrying and praying and asking The Lord, “please help me; I need to be in the shower now.” About that time I hit a patch of leaves and scattered them all over the yard. Looking back it wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but at the time it was to me. I finished the mowing and went to my shop to get a rake to rake up the mess I had made. By this time I am extremely frantic and I was praying fervently. “Lord help me, I am teaching on Rosh Hashanah and I don’t even have my notes in order and the people will be here soon and I don’t have enough knowledge to teach this. Help Me Father I need Your help.” At that very moment I heard the audible Voice of our Heavenly Father. He said to me, “LAURETTE, THE TREE IS IN ROSH HASHANAH!”  Needless to say I have never been the same. I still to this day think about this with such awe. My Heavenly Father spoke these words to me. Out of His Voice I heard His Words. Heaven opened over a frantic young woman as she was raking leaves. As I was studying and desperate to learn more about Him, my Heavenly Father, and my Lord, and understand Holy Spirit and His seasons, He spoke audibly to me concerning them. I always think back to this time when I am teaching this. If it was important enough for heaven to come down and open over me, a frantic young woman mowing her lawn, and for God Almighty, Himself, to speak to me about it, He must want us to understand. Did He give me a mandate to teach this? Is that why He spoke to me audibly? I like to think He did give me this mandate.

I stopped dead in my tracks. With my rake still in my hands, I stood up straight and I turned and looked toward my 65 foot tall tree, and I got it, I understood, and I got it. (Today I like to think, I might have looked like Moses leaning on his staff as in the movie, The Ten Commandments, as I leaned on my rake, not really but maybe this was good for a laugh). As I looked at my tree I got it. All my hours of reading and studying were nothing compared to His words. I’ve since heard, what you cannot explain simply you do not understand fully. That is a right on statement. Wow isn’t this a perfect picture of our Lord explaining Rosh Hashanah and repentance to me, with 7 simple words? I didn’t realize until writing this that it was seven words. There is a teaching in that. Simple! A simple explanation yet so deep it has opened up years of study for me. And I have only scratched the surface.

My one hundred plus year old tree was shedding its leaves or repenting of its leaves. The leaves represent a growing season. A season of growing, learning, and lessons learned over the past year. It also represents a season of letting go. I must let go of the old to prepare for the new. I take the invaluable lessons learned into my core (roots) to give me nourishment. I repent of the dead works, the things and ways that cannot go with me into the upcoming season.  As Christians we are like trees. We go through seasons year after year. This is how we grow and become strong and become mature or old enough to bear fruit. Repentance is a sure sign of maturity and maturing. Wow now you know why, Teshuvah and the season of our repentance is my favorite time of the year. I heard His voice and I hear now, just like this happened yesterday.

Isaiah 55:6 Call upon The Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.

This scripture in Isaiah is recited often during the Hebrew month of Elul and during Teshuvah. This scripture is pointing out the truth of the King is in the fields. This scripture also points to the meaning, there are set times and appointed times that are in God’s hands.

As I meditate on this scripture there are nuggets of deep truth that we would do well to know and understand. This verse expressly speaks of appointments and appointed times or seasons. I will not search for something if I do not know it is lost. I cannot find something if I am not looking for it. How will I know to look? I will not look if I haven’t seen or heard there is something missing for which I am to search for.

Also, I cannot speak to someone who is out of my range of communication. Neither can I speak to someone who isn’t interested in what is important to me.

Our Heavenly Father, The God who knows how many hairs are on our head wants us to yearn to know more about Him.

Appointed times are for our benefit and learning. If I am going to reap I must sow first. It would be foolish of me to await a harvest if I didn’t plant anything. I would not knowingly plant out of season. And it is certain I cannot harvest if I didn’t plant any seed. We must be able to rightly divide and understand God’s appointed times. Then we decide to go after, to return (Teshuvah) to the heart of our Lord with our whole hearts. He wants our whole hearts.

The word integrity comes from the root work integer. The definition of integer is any whole number. Meaning it is not a fraction or a decimal. It is a whole number. It isn’t a fragment or a percentage. It is a whole number. The LORD wants our whole heart not a part of percentage. Our soul may be fractured or in pieces yet we know we have promises for healing. In Psalm 23 David tells us The Lord is our Shepherd, and He restores our soul. To enable The LORD to heal our soul we must come and return to Him. We bring Him all the pieces of our mind, our will, and our emotions, the deepest part of us, our entire heart. He has restored my soul and He longs to restore your soul. I am certain of it.

Think about the game we played as kids of hide and go seek. Wouldn’t it have been sad if you were playing this game with friends, and you went away and hid and no one came to search for you? In scripture our Lord Jesus tells us that blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they shall be filled. That is a picture of searching for the fulfillment of our soul starvation. We know Jesus is The Bread of Life (hunger) and we also know He is Living Water (thirst).

Remember His Mo’eds are times and seasons of rehearsals. What if when He comes He doesn’t find you? This is the season of Teshuvah and is not a game and Our Lord is not hiding from us. He is signaling to us. The Lord is wooing us into action, to seek Him. Each time and each season we seek, we grow into a deeper more mature relationship with Him. As we continue to become closer and closer, He leads us into truth and away from harm.

If we wander off, He permits us to go. He doesn’t want us to wander off yet He allows us to go away. Then we begin to hunger and thirst realizing we are in a desperate drought. Then we do what we are known for, we send out our SOS signal, and call out to Him. Jesus said in the beatitudes; blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteous for they shall be filled. The plan is that we use our minds and understanding and grow up. When we become mature we stop future wandering. Because just like that tree we are now rooted and grounded.

Then shall we know if we follow on to know The LORD, His going forth is prepared as the morning. He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and the former rain unto the earth.

Teshuvah my favorite time of the year,

Don’t miss this.

God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you Shalom.

Until next time, thank you for listening with me. Laurette

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