Posted by: wordofthevine | November 14, 2014

The Power of Holiness…To Spread Christ’s Light!

I was movPPKed by reading an account of a Protestant mystic by the name of Phoebe Palmer (1807-1884), a lay, Methodist evangelist who is considered the mother of the 19th Century holiness movement. She began to ask heart wrenching questions from God after the tragic death of her 11 month old daughter, Eliza, who had died after a nurse dropped a burning lamp into her crib while trying to fill it with oil. The child died in Phoebe’s arms which left her beseeching God for answers.This was the beginning of her formation, in letting God have everything in her on center stage.

She gradually, over time, came to experience God’s love for her, personally. God led her deeper than her own pain for she sensed God assuring her that she would carry out her ministry with the same love and devotion that she had poured into Eliza and that the results would be that she would evangelize many. In the midst of such loss, when Phoebe was able surrender all to God in trusting surrender, God filled her with His power.She shows us the power of offering all to God.

I related to Phoebe because of my own similar experience. We have six children, ages 15-25 years of age and four children we lost to early miscarriage. We prayed discerned, were open to life and then the loss of each of the four. At this time, I started asking deep questions of God and was drawn deeply into the contemplative life. All of this was my formation to live unencumbered for God.

Reviewing, The Mystic Way of Evangelism an interesting work by Protestant theologian, Dr. Elaine Heath, I came to appreciate the power of faithfulness and surrender in the ordinary, yet powerful moments of life. She writes:  “Holiness of heart and life is the language that proclaims the good news to every culture in all times…genuine holiness is deeply attractive, inviting people into relationship with the One whose meaning is love (66).”

When you look over your own life, do not discount the power of faithfully offering all to God. He doesn’t cause difficulties, only accompanies us deeper into the midst of them to fullness of life and love. How have you experienced God in the ups and downs of life? How can you continue to seek Him in faithfulness no matter the cost? ~ Mary


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