God’s power

Praying for my Husband A to Z: C is for Calling

Calling

2 Peter 1:10

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren,

give diligence to make your calling and election sure:

for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

 

My husband never ceases to amaze me. He assumes so many roles during a 24 hour day. He wakes up early every morning and is my breakfast buddy, Bible study partner, leader, husband, and friend. We chat over coffee, cramming in as much “us” time as we possibly can before footfalls on the wooden stairs announce the arrival of our kids. With the quiet morning interrupted David assumes the role of “daddy” to three energetic kids who clamor for his undivided attention. Once David backs out of the driveway and passes through the doors at work he adds boss, accountant, teacher, counselor, advocate, and mediator to his growing list of duties.

 

Not all his tasks are enjoyable, but in order to provide for us and help his guys provide for their families, he does what has to be done. His days are spent sustaining, leading, and sacrificing for others, but his day does not end when he clocks out return home. He has been chosen and set apart for the Lord’s work and and for the Lord’s glory and testimony. A fifty hour work week, demanding wife, sick child, or broken down car does not excuse him from his God-given calling, “Be Holy as I am Holy, Love the Lord with ALL your heart, study…rightly dividing the word of truth”….Somewhere between the necessities, duties, and responsibilities of life, my husband is called by the Lord to embrace and fulfill God’s purpose for his life, to live, love, and serve his Creator with every ounce of strength and passion within him.

 

Our husbands are amazing men, with complicated, stress filled, demanding lives.  Somehow a midst all the physical demands and battles they endure, they have to simultaneously wage war on second front, the spiritual one.  Today my prayer is that the Lord’s calling upon my husband’s life would embolden, impassion, and drive him throughout  every aspect of his day.

 

Father, your hand is upon the life and work of my husband. He is flesh, with limitations and weakness, yet at the same time he is a spiritual, redeemed, and living creation called out by you. As he engages in the spiritual and physical arenas of life, help to never loose sight of eternity, and the only thing that truly matter or will stand when he meets you face to face. Help him to discover, fulfill, and accomplish the one calling that matters most, his relationship, walk, and service to you. Give him eyes to see, ears to hear your voice, wisdom, and council. Let his heart be consumed with a desire and passion for you alone. Amen

The Hat You Should Never Wear!

The “Hat” you were never meant to wear!

As a daughter of Christ, wife, and mother, there are many roles I am “called” to fulfill. Some mornings I find a yellow hard hat on top my head. You know the “pardon my mess, your tax dollars are at work” kind of days when all you do is “fix things” like broken attitudes & relationships. Days filled with busted toys, skinned knees, and clogged drains.

There are the trench warfare days when I feel like I am wearing a special ops military grade helmet as I leap from fox hole to fox hole, dodging spiritual, mental, and emotional bombardments from the “enemy”. I am a cook, nurse, teacher, peacemaker, chauffeur, and the list goes on. Not every hat I don is difficult or burdensome. I love my sun visor moments! The mornings I can relax on a park bench with a book, sipping a cup of hot coffee while being serenaded by the sounds of my 3 treasures squealing with delight in the warm spring sun.

While many of the “hats” in my extensive collection require personal sacrifice, momentary angst, and occasional hardships, I would not relinquish any of the roles my Father has entrusted to me. Every “hat” the Lord has ever asked me to wear has been accompanied with grace and strength in abundance. It is a truthful saying,

“Faithful is He who has called you who will also perform it.”

Over the past few years, the Lord has opened my eyes to the fact that the source of some of my greatest struggles, defeats, and failures have come when I claimed a hat I was never intended to wear. If you are like me, a sinner saved by grace, chances are this hat has shown up in your collection from time to time, just as it has mine. Perhaps you are wearing this very hat as we speak.

I unwittingly placed this hat on top my of head just the other day as I stood at the kitchen sink, deep in thought. The week had been a rough one for me. I was exhausted and to make matters worse, I had not responded properly to some spiritual warfare that had arisen in my life. Suddenly an old, familiar foe I have battled for years wrapped its icy fingers around my heart and I immediately went into defence mode. I grabbed the bill of the “hat” with the words “Holy Spirit” stitched brightly across the top, tightened the strap, and set about to take control of the situation. To resolve this conflict, I determined that my husband, who was absolutely clueless as to what was bothering me, needed to do a,b, & c, and furthermore he needed to refrain from doing e, f, & g. (The poor guy!)

As my emotions swirled and the dark clouds grew, the voice of my Heavenly Father parted the commotion of my unchecked emotions and fears. With clarity, I heard Him declare with loving rebuke “Jody, you can not make your husband holy. That is my job and the work of my Spirit.” I reached up and pulled the “cap” from off my head, and I handed it to back to the Lord. In despair, I cried out, “But what can I do for him?” Just as clearly as before, the Lord answered me and He said “You can pray for Him Jody.” I prayed, peace flooded my heart, and the burden of a role I was never ment to fulfill lifted from off my shoulders.

The Challenge

The Lord works in mysterious ways! On Sunday I had to work in the nursery, so I missed the a.m. Service. As I prepared lunch after church, I asked my husband about the message and a smile came to my lips when he said it was about praying for others. As David gave me a summary of the message, all I could think about was that special moment in the kitchen when I distinctly heard God calling me to pray for my husband.

I am ashamed to confess this, but of all the “hats” in my collection, the “Prayer warrior” cap is not as worn and tattered as others are. My laundry, sun visor, chefs hat and workout caps are tattered and painted with sweat stains but my prayers cap looks fairly new. This calling to Pray is not a glorious, win the praise of man kind of “hat”. It is a private, selfless, and sacrificial act of love and humility. I feel the hand of the Lord impressing upon my heart the dire need a husband has for the prayers and intercession of his wife. Ladies, we need to pray daily, intently, and purposefully for our husbands, boyfriends, and future life mates. Single ladies do you pray for the man who will one day be your husband?

We can’t change our men, nor can we order their lives so that they never make wrong choices, or never stumble and fall. I can not work and move my husbands heart towards holiness, but the Lord of Creation can. I have to hand over the hat with the words “Holy Spirit” written across it, entrusting the heart of the one I love deeply into His capable hands.  This frees me to accomplish my calling an the one thing I am capable and called to do, PRAY!

Recently I participated in a 26 day blog challenge that was very rewarding. I would like to begin a 31 day A-Z challenge of my own and I wonder if you would consider joining me? You can participate on your own in private, or join in publicly on your blog. I would like to take the next 30 days to concentrate on my husband while developing the discipline and habit of lifting him up to the Lord. Each day I will choose specific things, (mine will correspond to the letter of the day as possible) to bring to the Lord in prayer. As you are led, would you participate in your own way? If you are single, please join us! Oh how I wish I had prayed for David before I knew him. Being a young man in this fallen world is not easy. Satan is a deceiver, a wicked lion who stalks and devours our husbands, sons, pastors, and leaders.

How amazing it would be to have hundreds and even thousands of women around the world lifting up their men to the Lord in humble, loving, God honoring, targeted, specific prayer each and every day. Please join me and if you feel led, pass this along via word of mouth, e-mail, at church, in small groups…..

A to Z: Z is for Zenith

Zenith

The point of culmination; the peak

My heart is so full right now. I have tried to sit down and write this final post and I simply can’t do it without tears and a heart ready to burst. Last night we sang a song, that beautifully describes the Zenith of the believers life, the culmination of our fight to finish well, to walk worthy, to not bend under the trials, sorrows, and hardships of life . If you were to ask me “why Jody, why do you fight to overcome? Why do you live for the “Forever“, for the intangible and unseen? This is my answer.

My Atonement, Belief, Confession, Death, Eternity, Forever, Grace…….all these culminate and will merge in one glorious moment, the day I will rise, when he calls my name!

Please worship and glory with me as you listen to this song by Chris Tomlin. Revel in these words from Revelation. Allow these lyrics  to refresh your heart with truth, glory and hope. He is the Zenith of life, and the day I see Him face to face I will proclaim “It was worth it all, for Worthy is the Lamb!”

Revelation 22:1-5 (Esv)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of he street of the city;also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain 
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise 

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome 
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain 
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
[x2]

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain 
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

A to Z: Y is for Yahweh

Y is for:

Yahweh

I would like to share an article written by Betsy Childs. As we celebrate the Sabbath and Worship the God that Is, Was, and will Be savor and glory in who He is and what he has done for you. Hallelujah, to God be the Glory!!!

Hallelujah!

By Betsy Childs

This name was precious to the people of Israel, and God proved the truth of his name over and over. He saved his people by delivering them from the Egyptians and bringing them through the Red Sea. He sustained them through forty years in the wilderness, saving them by giving them manna, quail, and water from the rock. He delivered the Promised Land into their hands, destroying their enemies. Even in times of Israel’s rebellion, God mercifully sent his prophets to call them back and remind them of his name. The prophets also called the Israelites to look ahead, for someday God would bring them salvation in the form of the promised Messiah.

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ brings even more meaning to the name Yahweh. God not only showed himself present by being on Israel’s side and remembering her cause, He actually became physically present. Jesus was present not merely to empathize with us; he came to accomplish our salvation. It is quite possible that several times Jesus intentionally identifies himself with Yahweh, such as when Jesus told his questioners, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). The significance of Jesus using the phrase “I am” would not have been lost on his Jewish listeners. Jesus was the fulfillment and ultimate confirmation of God’s name. As Elmer Martens summarizes, “The name [Yahweh] is anything but empty. The name carries overtones of presence, salvation defined as deliverance and blessing, covenantal bondedness, and integrity.”

When we sing the word “Hallelujah,” it is a reminder that we serve the God who revealed himself to Moses and led his people by a pillar of fire. We praise the God who revealed his plan through the prophets. We exalt a God who did not hide Himself from us, but revealed to us his name. This God even walked among us, and through a painful, humiliating death, He accomplished our salvation.

But the word “Hallelujah” should not only cause us to look back on what God has done; it also urges us to look forward. The apostle John reveals to us that this word will be used in heaven. He writes, “After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God….’ And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, ‘Amen. Hallelujah!’”(Rev. 19:1,4, ESV).

Every time we sing “Hallelujah,” we are preparing ourselves for an eternity of praising Yahweh. We can be reminded that God will finish the salvation he has started. All heaven and earth will witness the salvation of the Lord and the vindication of his name. God has demonstrated his saving presence in the past, and He will demonstrate it again when Jesus returns in glory.

A to Z: U is for Overcoming Unbelief

Unbelief

Hebrews 2:18
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

 

When Jesus walked this earth, we are told He was tempted and suffered just as we are. Our pain and suffering moves Him with compassion. Our Father understands our pain, weaknesses, and needs but what He will never tolerate nor allow is a faithless unbelieving heart. He is True and Faithful and in Him is no deceit or variableness. He has never failed to prove Himself to be who He has proclaimed Himself to be,  nor has He ever failed to fulfill the promises He has given us.

 

Unbelief  is an extremely dangerous thing to harbor in our hearts, and scripture spells out clearly what happens when we allow unbelief to take root and grow in our lives.


Dangers of Unbelief:

1. God can not work in a heart of unbelief

Matthew 13:58
And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

2. A heart of unbelief leads to a heart of stone & Rebuke from God

Mark 16:14

Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.

3. Unbelief steals our peace and keeps us from finding “rest”

Hebrews 3:19

So we see that they were unable to enter (into rest) because of unbelief.

Unbelief = Heart of stone = God’s Rebuke = No Rest….

Hebrews 3:5-30 (ESV)

A Rest for the People of God

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 (I)As I swore in my wrath,
They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned,whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

 

When my faith falters and the trials and burdens of life press down upon me, I find victory to overcome unbelief by remembering, recording, and recounting the goodness of God. My history with Him is the lifeline of my faith. He has never forsaken me or withheld His love or goodness. Who He was yesterday is who He will be today and tomorrow. There is no room for unbelief. 

 

What has become bigger in your life, your problems or the “Solution” to your problems?I Overcome unbelief by switching your focus from the problems to the “Truth.”  Remember yesterday’s A to Z! “The truth will set you Free.” Hear His voice, believe His words, overcome your fears, pain, anxiety….

A to Z: Overcoming through Prayer

Prayer

Communication with God

through written or spoken words, thoughts, meditation, or song.

A reverent petition

 The Power of Prayer

 There is something raw and exposing about prayer. Weather out of joy, longing, or sorrow, prayer is a purposeful and  submissive bending of body, soul, mind and spirit. It is the acknowledgement “I am not all there is, nor am I all I need to be.” There is One greater, mightier, more Holy, Wise, Loving, and Powerful!

As a youngster I struggled with prayer. If God was in control, and if God had a plan, why did I need to pray? He knew my heart, and could see what I was going through.  I wasn’t going to change His mind so why pray?

In a way I was right, my prayers would never alter God’s ultimate will and plan for my life, BUT there was something prayer would and could alter, ME!

Over the past few years, the Lord has mercifully led me through some lengthy periods of stretching, purging, refining, and growth. These private, humbling, and sometimes painful trials have opened my eyes to the transforming purpose and power of prayer. You see, prayer does not bend the Lord’s will to mine, it softens my heart to His.

What Prayer isn’t…..

Prayers that begin as tattle-tale list of offences, hurts, and need accomplish little when I came determined to “Get what I thought I needed.”  There is no room for the stubborn in prayer! I have experienced moments of stubborn prayer. Times I rudely and proudly presented myself before the throne with an agenda. I would come determined to tell Christ the way things were, determined not to walk away till I was satisfied. Usually I walked away frustrated and an even more distant relationship with Him. These prayers never accomplish anything!

Proper, Powerful, Purposeful Prayer

Praise the Lord for His mercy and patience,  He never turned His back from me. I am grateful for the times he ushered me through sweet, intimate moments of brokenness and fellowship with Him. Special seasons of life when my heart, soul, spirit, and body yielded in great heaving sobs, bending malleable and submissive to the gentle, purposeful hands of the Loving Father.  In these times of prayer, heaven and earth parted to unite a broken, needy, and seeking child into the presence of her Abba, Pappa, Father.

When I have fallen on my face before Him, not demanding answers, but pleading for grace, strength, understanding, and the desire to obey His will, He has gloriously spoken. He has granted ears to hear, eyes  to see, and a mind able to comprehend the love, grace, power, and glory He has bestowed upon me.

Prayer that overcomes doesn’t make hardship disappear, rather it moves man out of the way, overcoming him. The Prayer of faith might be able to mover mountains, but far greater is it’s ability to conform the once broken, wayward, rebellious, deceived, sin blinded heart of a man so that he can cry with passion,

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”

“To live is to die and to die is to gain”

“I will decrease that He might increase!”

“Not my will oh Father, but  Thine.”

“To you alone of God may there be ALL Glory and Honor, Praise and glory”

“It will be worth it all, the day I see my Jesus!”

Psalm 66:20

Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayeror removed his steadfast love from me!

Psalm 69:13
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.

Psalm 141:2
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

Proverbs 15:29
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayerof the righteous.

Romans 12:12
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant inprayer.

Philippians 4:6
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything byprayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

A to Z: Overcoming Through Death

Death

a : a permanent cessation of all vital functions : the end of life b : the cause or occasion of loss of life

c : a cause of ruin
d: the state of being dead
: the passing or destruction of something inanimate

To say one can overcome through death appears to be the ultimate of oxymorons.  Death implies an end of power,  intellect, ability, and opportunity. When life leaves our soul, the opportunity to overcome exits with it, or does it?

Because I have been cleansed through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, I believe death is but the beginning of truly living and the ultimate act of overcoming. The day I confessed that Jesus Christ was Lord, yielding my life to Him, I died and yet the same instant I was reborn.

When I was buried with Christ, the chains of sin were broken, and the grip of death and damnation defeated. I am a new creation no longer bound by the law that both mandated my ruin but also guaranteed it. “Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies” wasn’t just an unrealistic command, it was a gift and ability won for me at great expense.

Because of His death and my death, I can go to bed every evening, and reflect upon my day, my actions, my failures, and my successes and be filled with hope instead of depression. Each day is an opportunity to overcome. I may stumble along the way, and fail in an area I am striving to master, but with my eyes to heaven I know I am being transformed every day into his likeness.

I look forward to the day heaven and earth pass away, bringing with it the final death-blow to imperfect and corrupted flesh. On that day the need to overcome will come to an end, for I shall see Him face to face and be righteous even as He is Righteous.

   What shall we say then?

Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?

By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus

were baptized into his death?

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death,

in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead

by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:1-4 (ESV)

Without Reproach

A Father Who Gives Without Reproach

 I have a significant weakness that stems from verbal “abuse” I experienced as a child. Two to three times a month we took a trip to the “farm” to visit with family. I loved these day yet at the same time I dreaded them. We would romp through acres of wooded farmland with our cousins, playing in tree forts, stick forts, and old rusted out pieces of farm equipment. For a city kid, my grandparents woods was heaven on earth. I loved the farm, but eventually we had to leave the fields and return to the house and it was here fear, confusion, and dread flooded my heart. It may seem silly, but as a child I was terrified to ask for anything or use anything because to do so evoked the wrath of a very broken and sick grandparent. To “need” was intolerable no matter how simple or basic the request and consequently many times I chose to go without to avoid the tongue lashings that followed innocent requests. My siblings and I look back on these moments now and laugh, but as a child simply going to the restroom was traumatic. We didn’t know whether to flush or leave “it” floating. Then there was the ever-present TP dilemma. Did you risk wrath and use any and if so, did you dare use more than three squares? In my grandparents broken way, we were loved, but we learned early on that the love they offered was conditional and subsequently, words of reproach were heard moreoften than words of affection.

Now, more than twenty-five later, I still struggle to ask for things I want, or to let others know when I need help. For years, you could put me in the midst of a company buffet or seminar dinner and by nights end I would leave with an empty belly. I have been to lavish banquets with my husband and had server after server approach me offering the most amazing foods, yet been unable to accept their offerings, though my stomach silently grumbled it’s protest with each plate I turned away. It wouldn’t matter if others around me, including family, are helping themselves to exquisite food, because I would still find my hands hand frozen by my side. The reproach I endured during my childhood days on the farm can paralyse and render me unable to accept “gifts” being offered no matter who is offering them.

A while back, the Lord brought this verse in James 1:15 to mind.

If any of you lack wisdom,

let him ask God,

who gives generously to all,

without reproach,

and it will be given him.

What an amazing and glorious description of a loving Father’s heart toward His “needy” child. I am covered by the love of one who is moved with compassion by my needs. He revels in the opportunities my weaknesses provide Him. He delights in showing himself strong, loving, and capable when I am not. This is the true and perfect love of a Father and parent.

God is working in my heart to transform my view of how a parent responds to the needs of their children. My needs and my requests are met without reproach. I am the daughter of a generous Father who is anxious and ready to give when needed and to gently correct when misguided. He never chides or reproaches me when I come humbly and obediently seeking goodness, righteousness, faith, meekness, power, and wisdom from His hand.

How about you? Do you struggle to be transparent? Are you afraid to be vulnerable and needy before Christ Jesus your Father? Has pride joined forces with insecurity like it did in my life, rendering me not only afraid to ask, but also to proud to admit when help is needed?

Bringing It Home….

Sin breeds and replicates itself in the lives of sinners who resist, flee, or refuse the transforming prower of Christ. Can you imagine the horror and disgust that overwhelmed me the day I heard my grandmother’s voice slip from my lips in response to a simple request from one of my children! I froze in horror and marveled at my selfish response. Oh how I wished I could reign in those unkind words, ment to ensure that my child knew just how inconvenient their request for a cup of water was at that moment in time. “Oh Father forgive me!” was all I could mutter. All my son wanted was a glass of water. He was thirsty, there was no sin, no disobedience, no rebellion in that request. He was simply asking me to be who I was, his mama, the one who is responsible to protect, comfort and provide for him when he can not. Jody, you know what it feels to be punished with cruel and unkind words simply because you had a need! O Lord be merciful on my wicked heart! All Jess wanted was for me to watch her jump on the pogo stick. My beautiful little girl, simply seeking the delight and praise of her mother but I quenched that desire to please with harsh and uncaring words. My Father never sleeps, he never slumbers, and He is never too busy to delight and take pleasure in me

Praise be to God for His mercy and His power, that transforms lives crushed, scarred, and burdened by sin and guilt. Praise be to God that He loved me enough to chastise my heart, not because of need, but because of sin. Praise the Lord for do-overs and second chances, and especially for the unconditional love and forgiveness found in the heart of my children. May I never provide a reason to extinguish that love and forgiveness!

Mom’s, our children are gifts, and we are instruments in the hands of our redeemer. Much of what they learn of Christ their Father will come from our lips and from our actions. As we learn to boldly seek the face of our Father, without fear of chastisement and rebuke, may we also strive to project the same love and care we have received from him.

My prayer is that the Lord would continue to heal and transform my heart, giving me the freedom to seek Him when in need able to ask without fear of reproach. My prayer is that the Lord would humble my proud heart so that I would not hide from my weaknesses nor the love of those he has sent to help me. My prayer is that I would learn to be like Him, reveling in the opportunity to die to myself so that I might serve and love others. My earnest prayer is that my life would be a true reflection of the Father, who has redeemed, saved, and loved me, and that His love would draw others to Himself!

Living in a World of Uncertainty, Confusion, Chaos, and Pain?

Are you Single & Alone?

Are you married but lonely?

Is your life filled with uncertainty, confusion, chaos, and pain?

Let me introduce to you He who reigns king over chaos & pain!

From the start, Jesus life was besieged by supernatural opposition and satanic chaos. The Lord of Creation sent His Beloved Son into a world marred by sin but his presence did not vanquish the pain and trials the world groaned under, rather for a time, it seemed to heighten and intensify them.

The arrival of Jesus cost Mary and Joseph their reputation and honor. Within years of his prophesied birth, the anguished cries of mothers filled the air in the streets of Bethlehem as the lives of all male babies, ages five and under were slaughtered by a wicked ruler driven by maddness to preserve his kindgom. John, who faithfully proclaimed the arrival of the long awaited Messiah, was cast into prison and beheaded. Many who believed, professed, and followed Him were cast out of the temple and spurned by the spiritual leaders of the day. From the start, pain and anguish marked the path he trod. When the Son of the Heavenly became the Heavenly Son of Man the entire world was turned upsde down, yet none of these days compares to the chaos and darkness that marred the earth on the eve and day of his Crucifixion.


Can you imagine
the torment and pain Jesus endured during the last 48 hours of His life?

Can you comprehend the crushing force of mental and spiritual weariness that pressed down upon His human shoulders compelling Him to confess to His disciples “My soul is very sorrowful, even unto death”?

Can you see his mentally exhausted body, that knows the worst is yet to come, resting in garden as He prays to His Father “Let this cup pass, nevertheless not my will but Thine be done.”

Look ahead and let your gaze fall upon the rock where he obediently and patiently waits. It is sticky, colored crimson with the first of many drops of blood that He will spill willingly on behalf of mankind?

Can you hear the vulgar sound of the wip as is sails throuth the air just before burying itself deep within the flesh and muscle of his chest, back, and sides?

I marvel at the Love, the Father demonstrates for us, as he holds back the straining legions of stunned angelic warriors wide eyed and repulsed by the sight of the The Son of God, marred beyond recognition.

Can you hear the collective groan of all creation as it bears witness to the rejection of the Son of Man by the Righteous Judge?

Can you hear Jesus scream out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” while His Father turns away disgusted by the condemning sins of the world born in love on the body of the Son in whom He delights?

This was the epitome Chaos!

 He was:

Alone, Missunderstood, Sold Out, Betrayed, Abandoned, Denied, Mocked, Falsely Accused, Denied, Beat, Physically Abused, Paraded, Chided, Denied, Humiliated, Crucified.

YET:

He was IN COMPLETE CONTROL

He willingly stood among chaos, surrounded by sheer confusion and upheaval, YET every time a new figgure accused him, every time another hand struck him, every time a voice rose to proclaim “Crucify him”, He stood there willingly, obediently, gloriously.

He was never withiout power, never stripped of His Diety. He was never afraid and never surprised.

I love how our pastor put it today. Every step he took, from the garden, to the courtyards and secret chamber discussions with Pilate & Herod, were ordained by God. All events leading to His crucifixion were like a great chess match. No matter how skillfully the opposition played their pawns, or how methodically they planned their moves, they could never outplay Him. In fact every move the Sanheidrin made was a move allowed by Christ- planned, ordained, and even foretold. They made no accusition, struck no blows, proclaimed no sentence except what the Holy Righteous, Loveing God allowed.

He reigns amidst Chaos so you don’t have to!

What does Jesus life and story do for you? Is your life chaotic? Are you confused. Look at the list above, do any of the emotions or abuses Jesus went through during His dark night, ring familiar in your heart? Are you alone and suffering in silent pain? Do you feel rejected, abused, abandoned? Guess what, your life and your trials are no surprise to Him. He sees all, understands all. Though man stands haughty and proud, exulting in sin at the expense of others, Christ is Lord of all. You are His Beloved Child. You have not been abandoned. You are not being punished. Do not think it strange my child He whispers. They hated you, they will hate me. Endure for but a little. I am with you. As you pass through this fire you will not be consumed. As you struggle in the flood of waters, you will not drown. Hang to my promise, there is a wealthy place. Your trial, like mine, sometimes deals death to the flesh, brings great sorrow to the heart, yet in those deathblows is life and glory, strength and honor. Not a hair from your head will fall that he does not see. Not one single word or offence can slice into your bleeding and hurting heart without Him knowing, allowing, using your pain to transform you and glorify Himself. What man intends for evil, God takes and transforms into beauty. Because He is God, he can take the most wicked intentions of man’s heart, turning the worst man has to offer into an instrument to produce the most beautiful works of God, healing, and strength.

Will you trust your chaotic and painful life into His hands. He exalted and reigned over sin and death, now let Him be exalted and reign in your pain and suffering. You do not suffer without cause, you do not suffer without a purpose. Cry out as He did years ago in the garden, “Let this cup pass, nevertheless, not your will but mine.”

During the month of February we will have a number of guest bloggers who will be writing on specific areas of pain they have experienced. These will include singleness, abandonment, physical pain and so on. So come back each week to read the stories of these amazing women and the amazing God they serve and Love.

This week, I am excited to introduce Loxlia from Lovelycrumbs. Loxlia will be our guest blogger this week, and will be sharing how the Lord has used a specific pain in her life to draw herself to Him. Be sure and stop by her blog and read her beautiful words of wisdom and hope.

I will introduce the February giveaway with her post so stay tuned for some exciting offerings.


The Purpose of Pain

Why Is There Pain?

Have you ever heard a story that goes something like this?

While getting dressed one morning, a woman in perfect shape notices a seemingly insignificant mole on her skin that doesn’t look normal. Although she can’t remember the last time she had any health concerns, she schedules a Dr. Appointment to get the sore checked out. The woman’s life is shattered a few days later when she is informed she has melanoma. The disease has spread throughout ther body and though she appears healthy and feels fine, the prognosis is grim, she is dying.

Death is cruel, but a disease that eats at the body, silently stealing the precious life of the unsuspecting victim seems even more ruthless. No normal human enjoys pain. Our first reaction when we feel it is to recoil away from its source. The Creator made us this way as a means of physical preservation. Though pain is unpleasant, it becomes an alarm that captures our attention demanding change. When our physical bodies suffer, we immediately want to know what is wrong and how we can fix the problem. Without pain, our bodies would be broken and overcome before we ever had a chance to live. In this bizarre sense, Pain is a blessing.

In medicine, pain is approached in a methodical manner. Doctors look at symptoms, environment, and other factors to determine its source. They don’t simply treat the pain, they search for its origin.

When I broke my wrist, I told the Doctor I was playing basketball, was fouled making a jump-shot, and then broke my fall with my hand, which had absorbed the impact of my body when it hit the ground. With that information gathered, my pain was no longer the focal point. The Doctors focus shifted to the source of my pain, a bulging, disfigured, purple, swollen wrist. The doctor did not try to rid my wrist of the blue hue by applying makeup. He did not use a knife to cut the grotesque bulge away. He did not simply hand me medicine to make my brain and pain receptors oblivious to the discomfort. His job was to go as deep into the anatomy of my wrist as possible pinpointing the source of the pain, so he could fix what was wrong. In my case it was a broken ulna. Once the diagnosis of a break was made, a splint was not put on my foot, balm was not rubbed on my chest. The doctor did not sever the nerves in my wrist and arm so I could not sense the pain caused by the break. The goal was not to rid me of the pain but to deal with its source. The wisdom of the Doctor reasoning was this, “Fix the break and eventually you will get rid of the pain.” My wrist was straightened, the bone was set, and my entire arm from elbow to knuckles was wound inside a protective cast to protect and keep it immobile. I was given a sling, a list of do’s and don’ts, and four weeks later I walked out of the Dr. office with a weak, but perfectly healed wrist.

What Do I Do With My Pain?

Have you ever been held captive by any of the emotions below? Do you relate to any of them right now?

Lonelinees, Fear, Rejection, Sadness, Betrayal, Confused, Discouraged, Insignificant, Invisible, Rejected, Unimportant, Misunderstood, Angry, Worthless, Guilty, Forgotten, Powerless, Weak, Terrified, Skeptical, Violated, Taken Advantage of, Imprisoned, Unloved, Unwanted, Untrusting, Cynical, Cheated…..

All these are pains that torment our souls. As Beth Moore illustrated in her book, “Get Out of that Pit”, sometimes these pains are the result our own sinful actions. Sometimes they are wounds viciously inflicted at the hand of another. Other times they are the result of innocent decisions we have made.

No matter which emotions oppress and crush your heart, there is a reason for the pain, and there is a liberating hope and power at your disposal. It does no good to bury the pain, or to distract ourselves from an oppressive emotion. We can not swap out relationships, activities, and pursuits to find freedom. This pseudo releif from our pain is only a temporary respite. This season of quietness will only last until the disease we have ignored grows larg enough to destroy even those things capeable of still bringing joy, pleasure, and happiness.

When our hearts are broken, our spirits overwhelmed, and our emotions smothering us in a pit we can’t escape, there is but one thing to do, run to the Great Physician. Fall into the arms of your Abba Father, your Daddy. There is a purpose in the pain. There will be an end to the sorrow. Beauty will arise from the ashes. Pain screams there is a problem and the pain demands action.

Over the next few weeks I would like to focus on the topic of pain, it’s source, its purpose, and its cure. I know so many single women struggling with loneliness and the fear they will be alone for the rest of their lives. I am overwhelmed by the number of wives reeling and incapacitated by the pain of betrayal. Our churches are filled with brothers and sisters so weary from battle they wonder if there will be anything left, anything worth fighting for.

Merrit from Livesimplylove, will be joining us in our series about overcoming pain, and I am excited about other guests who have graciously agreed to share on this blog. If you are struggling with loneliness, fear, rejection, loss, or any other pain please feel free to ask questions. If you have been through a dark valley and the Lord has brought you through would you consider sharing your story or insight? If you have blogged on this topic please leave a comment with a link to your site. If you wouold like to guest blog on this topic please let me know and I will put you on the schedule.

My February giveaway will include some amazing books I have read which focus on overcoming the pain in our lives. Stay tuned for the start of the giveaway.

As you go, consider this promise, from God, the Righteous, the True, the Faithful.

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.