The World, The Water, and The Word

The World, The Water, and The Word

One of the ways to deal with depression brought on by stress, emotional situations, health struggles, etc, is to obtain a different perspective on the issue feeding the depression. As many know in my Natural Health, God’s Way groups on social media, I’ve been rather busy with the wild harvest in my area, processing what we bring home from crown land and where we’ve had permission to forage on private property. September became a very tough month on that front due to a host of reasons that all piled on top of each other, leaving me very much feeling as if I’m at the bottom of the dog pile. But the foraging harvest needed to be dealt with, many of the reasons, as busy as they made life, were otherwise positive, but due to hidden health issues that foraging has helped me heal to an extent from, I can only handle so many hours nonstop in a day, let alone a week, and the days have blurred into weeks such that whenever I’d stop, I’d emotionally crash into some degree of depression.

Due to turtling over social/world/medical/governmental situations that caused my church to cave to damaging mandates, one of my usual go-to’s for dealing with depression hasn’t been as easy to come by, and that is service to/for others. In some ways, reaching out to encourage my readers with blog articles, Scripture quotes, and article shares written by others, has been in this particular vein from the offline perspective.

horse in fieldGetting out into God’s creation is another big way to address depression, and this is available daily to me by accompanying my daughter as she looks after her horse. Going foraging once a week gets exercise in as well as coming home with food. Walking across the park to take the garbage to the bins is another way I get outside once or twice a week as well.

Other methods include music (if I could only get used to wearing headphones in our tiny home!!! Ugh!), and this month my daughter has been practicing her harp again in prep for another small wedding she’s been asked to play for. I can listen to her practice without needing headphones, yaaa!

pray-erPrayer and time spent in God’s presence reading His Word and listening, are very good ways to deal with depression as well, and often result in the opening sentence of this blog post – a perspective shift. There is that old chorus; Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His Wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Sometimes God will take surprising or unexpected things, and use them to put a smile on my face, or an aha moment, thought or idea, or to challenge. God has used video games, music of all genres, a slogan on the side of a truck or building, an image, and more, to create these moments. Sometimes it is important to remember not to read too much into the object chosen as the delivery method, and to just accept the message. Other times, the delivery method itself has much to say on the topic whether the original creator of the piece knows God or not. God does not always endorse the medium the object delivery method was sourced from and words of caution come with the change of perspective.

Such is the case that I want to write about tonight. The source of the perspective shift was very unexpected, rather surprising, quite amusing, but not to be used the way most people, and the culture it hails from, use it. Due to how easily most people tend to fall for the secular use of this source, I won’t give links. It is a matter of spiritual maturity whether this source is a detriment to one’s faith, or another newspaper like the Mayan Calendar.

I speak of the Chinese zodiac. Contrary to the whole personality/horoscope thing they set down, God did set the cosmos into place for times and seasons. We can look at the stars and understand the time of year, what season we are in, and even the Gospel is present in the constellations we are able to see from earth. The Chinese aren’t the only ones to have a zodiac, and even such things, though differently depicted, have been unearthed in various Jewish temples from Biblical times.

EagleFor the past number of years now, my daughter has thought to check what animal is coming up next in the Chinese zodiac, because it began reading like a shorthand newspaper going on 10 years ago now. Often this newspaper-like bird’s eye view, would relate to nation-states, global economics, agriculture, medical stuff, etc. Not that this was stated in the zodiac per se, many times it wasn’t. But as a household atuned to what the Holy Spirit is doing around the world and revealing to us via Scripture, music, prayer etc, we would see things in the animal announcement that others would miss because it wasn’t outright stated.

2020 was the year of the rat, bringing with it pestilence (!) and highly suspicious, deceptive behaviour from our governments, medical systems and media worldwide.  Quarantines didn’t stop and we entered 2021, which turned out be the year of the ox.  Governments were telling us to “shut up and take it” the entire year, being very obstinate, and demanding people be fearful, cautious, hesitant, making them moody and creating quick tempers.  Now this year in 2022, we have been in the year of the tiger where the “unvaxxed” had to relearn bravery, develop a strong will, and to make up their minds to fight for what they value.  Meanwhile, governments were adamant about never regretting what they say, and working overtime to build an image of power and authority such as Trudeau’s PR office, Biden’s PR office, the EU president, Boris Johnston in the UK, heavy-handed behaviour in Australia (taking after the USSR), etc. Very interesting year to say the least, from an animal perspective being played out by humans. 

Remember, that although these things line up, it doesn’t mean we adhere to them wholeheartedly or expect them to dictate how we interact with others.  Sometimes they are a head-clopping reminder of what we DO NOT want to be!  There have been many years when the Chinese yearly animal had no bearing on life, period.  It’s only been in the last few years, that from time to time, an animal portended what was to come.

shofarWell, we aren’t in 2023 yet, but one night recently, my daughter sat down beside me, expressing worry and concern over what is due to come down the pipe, what we know of Rosh HaShannah which began on September 25th this year, and the Jewish New Year began on the 26th, and apparently is a Shemitah year, or Year of Jubilee. In Scripture, the year of Jubilee had a number of events assigned to it depending on if it was the 7th year from the last one, or the 40th year. It was often a year of upheaval as land returned to it’s original owner, slaves and servants in Bible times could go free or make a permanent commitment to the household, etc. So when I’d told her about this year being a Shemitah year, all she could see at first was upheaval, which we already know is coming, and that some are saying could land on the globe within the coming month of October. So we were sitting here on the couch discussing this a little more, when she got the idea to check the animal for 2023 according to the Chinese zodiac.

arctic hareAt first, she read the name of the critter and immediately thought of governments on the world stage, superficial behaviour of the animal, and groaned, going “oh no! This will get rough!”. Remember, nothing is said about governments in these lists of critters. However, when I asked her what animal she was groaning over, it turned out to be the rabbit. Well now! I immediately said I’d get out my hind feet and use them, referring to the powerful hind legs of the rabbit and their rather long claws when they choose to extend them. That comment was enough to get her musing about other characteristics of rabbits, being as she’d looked after her trainer/boss’s rabbits for awhile as a teenager. How they have equally long claws on their front paws, how they burrow, how they can growl like dogs (imagine a cute bunny sounding like a growling dog! She actually heard/saw this numerous times from “Mr Grumpy” as she called him!) Then she joked about wanting to be an Arctic Hare, because they hunt.

I mentioned that in Scripture, God wants us to be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Now she went past the critter list, clicked on the rabbit for 2023, and discovered it to be described as vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious. Hmmm… Supposedly, according to Chinese superstition, those born in a rabbit year are articulate, clever and introspective, self-contained and self-sufficient. They are penetrating, critical and scrutinising, seeking knowledge and understanding. They like to remain hidden, enigmatic and anonymous.  God tells us in His Word to be vigilant and not allow the enemy to take us unawares. As a spiritual warrior, I learned to be watchful. So when my daughter read that description, I laughed.

Personal Devotional TimeFurther down the page she shared with me, it was revealed that 2023 wouldn’t be just “rabbit”, but the “water rabbit”. When the Chinese add “water” to the animal, an additional characteristic shows up, that of adjusting readily to different conditions. Perhaps this is how the phrase “go with the flow” originated? Being able to adjust to ever-changing conditions and keep on truckin’ is important, particularly now in 2022! Some of the other descriptions they give for the water rabbit are not very appealing, but many people have already shown signs of those characteristics without being born into this Chinese system. “Weak mindset and principles”. As believers, we can’t afford to be weak-minded and our principles need to be grounded in the Word of God, not some false religious, medical or governmental system. Sadly, I fear there are too many out there in that weakness of mind and principle, who will be swayed as they have been over the past few years. But another characteristic is interesting to note here, Gentle and amicable. As much as it lies within us, we are to be gentle with all men, and Scripture says a man that has friends must show himself friendly. We are to be approachable and sharing the Gospel with gentleness and meekness of heart. We are to have God’s mind, which we only gain by reading His Word. We are to have God’s principles, which again, we only get by reading His Word.

But I had to laugh at this critter because they burrow. I turtled 3 years ago and keep turtling again every time global threats breath down my neck. I AM vigilant, ingenuitive, improvising whenever as needed, and I am trained as a spiritual warrior in God’s army! If 2023 is going to be the year of the rabbit, then I see this as the time when God’s people are called to be warriors, on guard for their fellow man, being gentle to those who need it, but fighting on behalf of those who need it as well, being ingenuitive in how we provide for ourselves and those God places in our path. We are to be cunning, but approachable and only bringing our claws out when faced with battle. As a watchman on the wall since my youth, another function of a rabbit’s hind legs is to thump the ground in warning to others around them that a fearful situation has arisen and tell others to hide or prepare to fight. Some of the watchmen out there are getting tired hind feet, they’ve been thumping for so long! I myself have had to take breaks over the years, but when the need to warn others arises, I’m there sending out the warning!

Needless to say, I sent my daughter off to bed with a smile on her face tonight instead of the worry and concern she’d initially sat down with. God gave us a perspective shift in the form of a cute, cuddly, button-nosed rabbit that has powerful hind legs and very long, very effective hidden claws! Bunny rabbits with their pom-pom tails and long floppy ears are loved by most people who see them, but they are not to be taken lightly. They aren’t just another “pretty face” as the saying goes.

We don’t take our cues from secular or false religious writings. We take our cues from God’s Word. There are many things about zodiacs that Christians should not take part in, and weaker Christians should not engage in anything related to them. God however, in Scripture, does use animals as object lessons. So another way to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove, is to be a hunting Arctic Hare defending the den. Are you up to the task soldier???

 

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