Be usable during the trials

Laying block with oxygen.  What’s stopping you??

My father was bed-ridden for several years, and then weak for several more.  Why not healed?  One night the Lord spoke to him and told him to build a house for someone he’d never met.  He wasn’t able to in his own strength.  The Lord also spoke to the pastor at his church and told him to give away a substantial amount of money.  He spoke to another man and told him to donate land.  Person after person stepped forward, obeying God’s leading, and a home was built for a family from start to finish in 40 days.

My dad’s weakness enabled God’s strength to be perfected and manifested.  Might I suggest that before that time my dad may have been too busy to hear the voice of God in that way?  Or too busy to take the time to help organize and attend a project of that magnitude?

God uses us all in different ways and for different reasons.  We just have to be available for His purposes and plans.

“Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.  For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

These are the words the Lord spoke to the disciple that was sent to put his hands on Saul (who would later become the apostle Paul–missionary to thousands), when he would regain his sight.  And yet, Paul always had what he called a “thorn in his flesh” that God never removed.  He said he prayed for the Lord to remove it and the Lord told him no.  The Lord told Paul that His grace was sufficient and that His strength would be made perfect in Paul’s weakness.

It’s interesting that when Paul was called into ministry he was shown how many things he would suffer God’s name’s sake, and how the Lord told Paul no, and how now, in 2019 we think our Christian walk should be about our comfort, our happiness, our delight….about us.  When did things get so twisted?

Christianity just simply isn’t about us.  It is about the Lord.  It says about Saul, “Immediately he preached the Christ in synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”  He began immediately doing what he was called to do, and people immediately began wanting to kill him.  (You can find all of this in Acts 9)

Job, in his agony and suffering repented and humbled himself before the Lord…before he was ever healed or restored.  Then, in Job 42:8, the Lord put Job in charge of praying for his friends.  In his state, he was best suited to pray for his friends.  He was the one God called to pray, to work, to do His will.  And then, praise God for him, He was restored.

Sickness and trials are not a problem that keeps us from fulfilling God’s call in our lives.  It may hinder us from doing all the things we want.  I know I still have times when I can’t sing, can’t raise my hands in worship, can’t teach or even attend church; however, if we are still alive then God can still use us.

Ask God how He can use your vessel.  When He gives you an opportunity, don’t let it pass you by.  Don’t fear that you’re too weak.  In your weakness, His strength is made perfect.  It has been proven over and over:  see David and Goliath, Noah and the Ark, 3 Hebrew’s in the furnace, on and on.  God will give you all that you need to complete the task He sets before you.

Be available just as you are,

jamie

 

Advertisements

Happy Birthday to a light of God

Pr. 1:8:  “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.”

When I was a young teenager I got nose bleeds pretty regularly.  I remember my nose bleeding during a hiking trip with my mom.  Because we were outdoors, with no tissues available, my mom took the sock right off her foot and gave it to me to use to help with the bleeding.  She walked the mile back in a tennis shoe with no sock.

While as imperfect as any of the rest of us, my mother taught me that 2 wrongs do not make a right, that if I’m too sick to do what is expected of me then I’m too sick to do what is fun, and that if you say you are going to do something then you need to do it.  More than teaching me, though, she showed me those things by the way she lived her own life.

Still more important than any of that; however, she pointed me to Jesus.  My mother has taught my Sunday school class several times.  (Thanks for the sardines during the story of the Feeding of the 5,000)  I have been her assistant in the nursery at church, during VBS, and been by her side doing mission work, as well.  I have sung side by side with her, in trios, and in the choir.

My dad tried to help me with Algebra in high school.  He took me fishing and even “let” me dig up the worms.  He taught me to drive a 5-speed, and made me get back in a car to drive the day after I totaled my first car so I wouldn’t live in fear.  He worked swing shifts for 2 decades to give me a roof over my head and food on the table.

More important that any of that; however, he pointed me to Jesus.  I have bowed my head countless times as my father prayed in church.  I’ve sat under his leadership as an elder in our church.  I’ve sat on the pews in church buildings he has helped build.  I remember him spending his days off work mowing the church lawn and making repairs.  He showed me, through his actions, that church was important hearing the Word of God was a priority for our family.

Both my mother and father showed me what work ethic means and that there is nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it.  More important than any of that; however, they pointed me to Jesus.

Today is my mom’s birthday.  I am thankful for a mother who has demonstrated for me, in countless ways, wisdom, a servant’s heart, and a sacrificial life.  I am thankful for a father who demonstrated respect for the Lord and His house, humility in leadership, and responsibility in caring for the things God has entrusted to you.

I wish I could go back to all the times when I did not heed my dad’s instructions, or I did forsake the law of my mom.  I am thankful; however, that their lives were examples of what they truly believed.  Truly their actions pointed me to the One who matters and my life, as a result, has led me straight to His arms.

Thank you mom and dad.

I love you dearly,

jamie