New Podcast, Christa Sullivan – Song & Strength Ministries, We Aim to Please https://anchor.fm/christa-stigall-sullivan/episodes/We-Aim-to-Please-e3njmo
We must be broken in order to be made whole.
A Sociologist named Brene Brown said, “We are ‘those people.’” The truth is… most people in our world are one paycheck, one divorce, one addiction, one mental health diagnosis, one serious illness, one hurt, or one bad choice from becoming “those people”— the ones we don’t trust, the ones we pity, the ones we don’t let our children play with, the ones we don’t want living next door, the ones we know deep down need our love and God’s love more than anyone, but we can’t approach “those people.”
Our minds are so sensitive to the quiet voices telling us to keep up appearances, keep ourselves busy if we don’t think about it; it’s not really there, it will eventually get better.
Our generation has become artists of illusion, masters at covering pain, self-medicators, slaves to their finances, and lost in loneliness even when we are surrounded by those we love. All because we can’t seem to realize that the only solution for being broken is… brokenness.
We can never truly be whole until we’ve been broken. Those in this world that can make the most significant difference have not only risen to the top but have also fallen to the bottom.
Jesus makes the broken whole again. He takes the overlooked, the undervalued, the left out, the written off, the damaged and devastated, and then He does what only He can do.
I know this may not sound like it makes much sense, but brokenness is the first ingredient in a miraculous transformation. I am living breathing proof of that. The fact that I am alive, sober, full of peace and joy, and madly in love with Jesus Christ is all the proof I need. But in order for God to build me up and bring me this far, I first had to be broken down. Through loss, pain, anger, doubt, and tears I was not only broken…I was shattered, fractured and in pieces.
It was in that darkness that Christ’s light shone the brightest — illuminating each piece, gracefully fitting them together to form a new creation. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Not only that but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence.” Colossians 1:20-23 (The Message)
The best part of all, the part I still can’t believe most days, is that time after time God chooses to use the broken things. The ones that when asked how they have made such a miraculous transformation, they can only point to Him. That is why I am thankful for every tear, every heartache, every circumstance that broke me.
“If grace was a kingdom
I stopped at the gate
Thinking I don’t deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I’ve made
Oh but I heard a whisper
As Heaven bent down
Said, “Child, don’t you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown”
Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours
The pages of history they tell me it’s true
That it’s never the perfect; it’s always the ones with the scars that You use
It’s the rebels and the prodigals; it’s the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there’s hope for sinners like me
Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours
Grace is a kingdom
With gates open wide
There’s a seat at the table just waiting for you
So, come on inside”
Broken Things – Matthew West
I am so thankful to begin this new year as a part of this ministry. Before I jump right in though, I think some introductions are in order. I am a true believer in the fact that, for you to understand and get a deeper look into the heart of a message, you need a pretty good picture of where that person has been and what God has rescued them from. A visibly transformed life can have a major impact on the world around you.
Ten years ago, if you would have asked someone to describe me, I’m afraid they would’ve used adjectives like angry, lost, empty, aggressive, broken, self-destructive… I’ll stop there, I’m sure you get the picture.
After moving around for a good part of my childhood as a military brat, we finally settled in Western Kentucky where most of our family was. Within our home, there was no prayer, no Bible reading, no foundation of faith. I don’t blame my parents. They were both very young and did the best they could while dealing with their own childhood trauma.
To spend as much time as I could with my grandmother, I began going to church with her every Sunday. The bond that I had with that very special lady is something I could never describe in written words. We were inseparable. I remember sitting beside her each Sunday, in amazement, as she gracefully played the piano during worship. She loved me like I had never felt love before and made me feel deserving of that love. Around the time I would be starting middle school, something terrible happened. My grandmother was life-flighted to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis because her heart was failing. I can remember my aunt picking my sister and me up from school and taking us to the movies to keep us distracted. Fortunately, she was blessed with the opportunity for a transplant, and it seemed like everything was going to be ok. She lived for eleven years after the transplant. The last two years of her life were the two years of my life that the devil used to catapult me into a lifetime worth of anger and emptiness. The medication she had to take to keep her body from rejecting the new heart destroyed her kidneys. She began dialysis several times a week but was withering away. I watched her light and life slowly fade as she suffered every second until the end. The questions, fueled by anger, started flowing. Why her? She went to church! She played music in church! She loved the God that was supposed to love her back! She was too young! Could there really be this all-loving God? No, there couldn’t, He wouldn’t do this.
That anger combined with a life that was in a constant state of chaos due to a lack of involvement, lack of faith, substance addiction, abuse, and family members who were out of control…I was left to let the anger, sadness, and loneliness open the door for the devil to make himself at home. I began trying to fill that brokenness and emptiness with every terrible thing this world has to offer; partying, attention from anyone willing to give it, and more and more anger.
When I was 21, I became pregnant. Of course, we had to get married because that’s what a good southern woman does to save face. But this wasn’t all bad. I started to feel a little peace and happiness. I thought I loved the man I was marrying, we were going to have a child, I was doing great in college and could still finish so everything was fine. The day I had to say goodbye forever to that baby, I felt myself break. I can remember it vividly. Any anger that had been buried came erupting to the surface. That was it! There definitely is no God, and if there was, He could care less about any of us! That is what I told myself for years. I was an anthropology major in school, so there was no shortage of professors who were quick to reinforce that thought with scientific facts and figures. And boy was I ready to argue with anyone who dared to try and convince me that there was a loving God and that “He had a plan”, and that “there was a reason for everything”. I was educated, had an aggressive personality and was motivated by so much anger that the devil had a field day with me. I did what I could to try and convince everyone around me to give up on all those silly stories and rules created by men to control society. The only person I know I successfully pulled away was my own mother.
My marriage was anything but happy. How could it be? We were so young, and I was so volatile. We each turned to different ways to numb the pain. Two years after the loss of our first child, we were both preparing to graduate college and had big plans for our future. But God had a different plan. I became pregnant with Chloe. It was a shock because due to health issues, I wasn’t expected to be able to have any more children. When that child was born, I felt myself begin to heal. Just as I felt myself break when I said goodbye to my first child, I felt myself, LOVE. Really love. I knew then that she was sent to me for a reason and that there had to be “something” or “someone” out there because this kind of love could not be explained with science. But I had no understanding or faith to fall back on. I was the poster child for someone who was “lost”.
I struggled for years after Chloe was born. Her father and I couldn’t seem to get through past hurts, and our marriage was so unstable that we divorced when she was one. I was a single mother moving from place to place and job to job. I know now that I was moving every year because I was running. Running from my sadness and emptiness. But no distance ever made a difference. I was still angry and lost. Along the way, everywhere I went; I met and got to know bold Christian men and women that tried their best to lead me to Jesus. Each planting seeds. I would always disregard them though. Until one person, someone I had grown to love, all but forced me to go to church. I started attending on Sundays. I enjoyed the singing and meeting new people but would zone out and not pay attention to much else. But one day was different, I woke up feeling different. I went into the church, sat in my pew by myself as usual and listened, really listened. I didn’t feel alone. I had been so ashamed of myself for so long, thinking that even if there was a God, “How could He love me now? Look at what I’ve done, what I’ve said!” That day, I heard and felt that He does love me because Jesus loves me! He suffered and died for me! ME! Not just the righteous people that have never fallen. Me! I could feel Him right there with me as I fell apart. Almost like He had His arm around me as I finally let go of all that anger, shame and guilt and gave it to Him.
On August 8, 2009, at the age of 28, I was baptized. And I’ve never been the same. The devil didn’t and still doesn’t make it easy, but now “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
I saved the happiest part of my testimony for the end.
The sorrow I felt for convincing my mother there was no God was unbearable. I prayed for years for God to allow me to bring my mother to know Jesus. On Mother’s Day of 2017, my mom gave her life to Jesus and was baptized. Now we worship Him together!
You see, that is what we are created to do. To be transformed through God’s Grace and to live it out each day to be a living testimony to those around us. I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me down a path that helps those as lost as I once was.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“ ‘The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ ” “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15: 21,24
Last Saturday while moving a section of fence on our property I noticed that there was this wild rose bush. We have tried to kill the thing numerous amount of times. Just because it was growing in an inconvenient spot, the spot is right at the corner post of our fencing. What kind of fencing you ask well it is electric fencing for horses. You see the issue? It would eventually grow so big that it would ground out the current and render the fence useless.
So, as we removed the corner post and I saw this one small thorny green branch and thought, How in the world could you take all that uprooting and hacking and not die? Figuring that I would come out the next day and find it dead as a doornail. That is not what I found to my surprise I found the wild rose bush doing just fine. As I looked at it again, I said: “Well, if you made it through THAT! Then grow little rose bush! In my books that one little stem deserved to grow!
As I stared down at this little thorny stem, I heard Jesus say to my heart, ” Kinda like you!” I giggled back and said in my heart ” I guess so, Lord.” I looked back down and realized this little green, prickly, stem was a whole lot like me. Since Saturday I have been thinking about what Jesus said to me. I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. So I decided to look up all I could find about a wild rose bush. I mean who could blame me if Jesus is comparing me to it, I want to know the good, bad and the ugly!
I learned that a wild rose bush only blooms one time a year, those blooms typically only have five petals. The flowers are simple but stunning. Just like those rose bushes, we flourish in season. I love that these roses only have five petals, the number five represents grace in Hebrew. It is the grace of God we bloom at all.
I also learned that these rose bushes are where we get all roses from. They are a completely original, you and I are original; there will never be another human like us.
1 Corinthians 12:25-28 English Standard Version (ESV)
25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.
In Verse 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individual members, you are original. Even though wild rose bushes can vary from white to pink, there are a million different hues, and each one is unique. We are all different, we have had different situations to create pigment in us. Those situations and circumstance are used to develop our personalities, they are what gives us our shade of color.
A wild rose doesn’t control its color or where it is placed, all the rose does is grow and wait to bloom.
I found out through my research that wild roses thrive on neglect and are exceptionally hardy, they can grow in poor soil, wet soil, good soil. How many times do people, jobs, friends neglect us but we have come to the understanding that even in the worse case scenarios our God never forsakes us. This makes us emotionally hardy to handle relationships, circumstances, loss and gain, sickness and health. I look at this beginning of a wild rose bush and realize that it is in rocky soil has been cut and abused. It has taken all that, and the little stem keeps coming back waiting to bloom. It has a purpose, it has roots deep down in the rocky soil. Just like this wild shrub we are all planted in different lands, pastures, in dry places, in soaking wet areas, in urban and rural locations. We might not even like the places we are, but we are still there no matter how many times someone has taken a swipe and widdled us down to a nub. We always come back knowing that one day we will bloom and complete our purpose. In His timing and for His glory.
I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the LORD your God.
You and I are planted purposefully and will not be uprooted out of the land that God has set us in. We don’t have to understand everything to remain. Once a wild rose bush is allowed to reach it’s full potential and blooms it not only is uniquely beautiful, but it leaves something vital behind, rose hips. These rose hips carry over into the winter months providing food for the birds.
Matthew 6:26 ESV
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Psalm 50:11 ESV
I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.
Every single bird, hill, and field is His. He knows exactly the time to allow us to bloom so that we can feed those around us. That our lives in full bloom leave necessary provisions for others to come and feed off of while in a winter season. A beautiful picture painted by God himself, that while we are growing. While God is sending the rain, sun, the wind. Every single branch, stem, leaf, every bud we are strategically positioned to open and display His glorious grace. This grace was intended to give life to a searching heart, and a hungry soul that see’s the grace of God in the wild rose bush. In a God who purposed such a beautiful bloom to provide food for another soul.
Not for a second does the Father not see how many times we have been cut down, trampled, misused, abused, forgotten, weed-ridden, planted in poor soil, and neglected we have grown through it all, by the grace of God. We have grit and tenacity that only comes from the Holy Spirit. I see now why Jesus said we were like wild rose bushes, growing in a pasture in a fence row, in poor conditions, in poor soil. We are hardy and exceptionally resilient.
No matter what comes, I am determined to bloom where I am planted so that my blooms will one day feed a hungry little bird searching for food. I want to be the vessel that God uses for that task. I am reminded more than ever when I am weak, I am strong. My current sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory in Christ Jesus that one day my face will behold.
Romans 8:18 ESV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Just wanted to give some of you just a glimpse of what has been going on. No excuses except one tired Mama. To be honest and transparent I am in a bit of a dry spell. Seems these days I am grasping for alone time with Jesus. I believe Jesus in this season is just simply throwing me for a loop. That is good, ha! He is switching up and stretching me. So, I pray I am even more honest with Jesus and you all. It is an accountability thing, so here we go! Back in the saddle as they say.
This morning I was standing at coffee maker and had an overwhelming feeling of fear of failure. A “feeling” that turned into a “thought” (hmmm sound familiar??) As soon as that thought ran through my mind I said to myself ” Jesus, meet me right here. I am choosing today to direct my eyes back to you and not what I feel or think.” A simple heart cry from a struggling piece of flesh. A heart cry, I believe there is something broken and beautiful about a heart cry. I am not saying replace a heart cry with prayer, but there are moments on our journies where the weary can only cry out from their heart. That heart cry invites Jesus to come in like a flood. That heart cry is healthy and welcomed by a tender and merciful God.
A heart cry of a wounded warrior is the beginning battle cry to the divine warrior, Jesus.
A heart cry is really a heart turning to Jesus, it is repentance. Repentance for walking without talking; running without resting. To me, there is just something miraculous and full of wonder about a child of God’s heart. I am captivated by how gentle and caring our omnipotent God can turn a heart of a wandering child. There is just something about it, I really can’t describe it with words. It is powerful, yet so graceful. Every single child of God knows the indescribable brilliance of God turning a heart. It is God’s glory, and His name is Jesus.
I don’t really have anything profound or significant to type out today. Just in case you are in the same rocking boat I am in today. Know this, a heart that cries out to Jesus is a heart that knows Jesus. It is a heart that knows the grace, mercy, and love of God.
It wouldn’t be me without scripture, so I am going to leave you with this Psalm 123 MSG. I chose The Message translation because it just fits this morning. Feel free to read in any translation. I really believe with all my heart all the things that are occurring in our lives, world and specifically in the United States. I would be safe to say every child of God is crying out in our hearts today Psalm 123. I am praying today, in my small prayers that our heart would cry out to Jesus and would lead us to the feet of Jesus every time in every situation. I sure do love each precious eye that reads these words. It really is an honor to get to share my heart with so many. Today, my friend in the waves of life there is mercy. So, with that being said when things are looking bad or even terrible I am reminded of this:
My eyes are above the waves, my eyes are drawn up toward heaven for help.
I am a servant that is watching, waiting, and holding my breath for your mercy God
Mercy, God, mercy! <3
Thank you, Father, for your mercy; Jesus Christ. In Jesus glorious and mighty name, Amen
Psalm 123 Msg
1-4 I look to you, heaven-dwelling God,
look up to you for help.
Like servants, alert to their master’s commands,
like a maiden attending her lady,
We’re watching and waiting, holding our breath,
awaiting your word of mercy.
Mercy, God, mercy!
We’ve been kicked around long enough,
Kicked in the teeth by complacent rich men,
kicked when we’re down by arrogant brutes.
Luke 10:38-42English Standard Version (ESV)
Martha and Mary
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus[a] entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
This small bit of info in the scriptures has always intrigued me. I mean I get the spiritual implication here. I know that we can get so caught up in serving that we forget to come to Jesus in prayer and allow Him to teach us His word. What I really want to focus in on is Jesus reply to Martha. After she has what I call a spiritual breakdown and physical fatigue meltdown.
The reason we react just like Martha in our journey with Jesus is:
1.) We are distracted
Just like it says here in verse forty, 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
Martha was distracted with much serving and not enough time with Jesus who gives rest
When we have a distracted mind frame, we are spread thin. Troubled mindset is always related to not taking our cares to God in prayer. We think we can just “handle it” “we believe God has strengthened us enough to take care of it” or “We might even find it is just not important enough to vocalize to God.” We are carrying loads of emotion, regret, and shame and suppressing it instead of sharing it with the burden carrier. This leads straight to excuses then before you know it we have arrived at distracted danger. You know it could be as little as someone said something to you that hurt you to the core. It could be that you are struggling financially, it could be that you are having major problems in your relationships with your loved ones. All these things have the potential to distract us from the word of God. Oh, how guilty of this I am. No matter how mature or immature I appear or even am, I still need to reset and rest at the feet of Jesus. That will never change, His Word says:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
2.) We become impatient
Martha says directly to Jesus ” Lord! Do you even care that my sister has left me alone to serve? Tell her to help me!!!!
So, when we become distracted any little infraction becomes gigantic and we microscope everything, everyone, every situation. We are walking around like a nuclear bomb waiting to unleash on everyone and everything. We are bubbling over with cares concerns, and criticisms that have not been passed through the Word of God or at the feet of Jesus. We are wired like eight-day clocks. This is stress, it is building up because we are holding it in. Again, no matter how far I grow up in Christ. If I am not careful, I naturally get to a place where I begin to do this. Jesus knows this and is well aware of “What is actually eating at Gilbert Grape.” This is when we should be clued in, this is when the Holy Spirit is saying ” Come to me, I will give you comfort, rest, assurance.” Our instinct is to hold it in, but Jesus is saying ” Tell Me, what is bothering you.” If we do what the Word of God says:
7 casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.
You know Martha is not the only person to think that God did not care about a circumstance. The disciples also did the same thing in
38 But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?”
The boat was catching water, it was tipping back and forth, so many men crammed in, lighting striking all around, wind blowing them down. You get the picture! Yet in letting the storm distract them, they grew impatient. They cried out and accused The Lord of not caring about their lives. Sound familiar??? I know it does to me! I am so thankful for infinite grace and renewed mercies every day for all of us.
The third and final point I want to draw out is
3.) Jesus is faithful, even when we are distracted and impatient.
Even in our distraction and impatience Jesus still answer’s us. He calms us down and say’s to us just what He said to Martha
41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,
Jesus knows what really is bothering Martha, she is trying to carry all of it on her shoulders. She is trying to control and she can not, she is trying to rely on herself instead of Jesus, she is not allowing herself enough time with Jesus to unload her cares and concerns to Jesus who gives rest.
We are all Martha’s at times, we just have to remember that there is always a pair of feet we can come and rest at.
6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
22 Then He said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear.
I love a comma, I love that there is something that follows right behind what we know we should already do. It is called God’s grace, and without it, we are bankrupt. It is how love endures and never fails.
Notice after Jesus tells Martha what the real problem is he follows up with an invitation at least that is what I see in this scripture.
41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the right portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus is telling Martha ” That can wait, Martha, come and join Mary and sit at my feet and listen.
Jesus said one thing is necessary for us to continue to move forward in our relationship, our callings, our season’s of life. That is that when we feel overwhelmed, defeated, anxious, upset, angry or happy, joyful, and rejoicing that we make time for us to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He says and teaches us, daily. He invites us, He never forces. He will remain to wait even when we come to Him asking with prayer ” Lord! DO YOU EVEN CARE!”
Of course, He cares, He is just not distracted by the storm like we are. He is the living God, nothing moves Him; except us. He moved from His throne to save us. He moves on our behalf every day. He is our all in all; our Champion. Our Hero.
Psalm 16:5 Lord, You are my portion hand my cup of blessing; You hold my future.
Psalm 27:4 I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple.
Remember our work is unto the Lord
27 Don’t work for the food that perishes d but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the • Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.”
God, often sends us through the storms so that we will be shipwrecked and washed up to the place that will change us, but more importantly will change a whole island of people.
We must hold on tight and trust Him. We are being tested to be entrusted with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith is being brought forth through many trials and, tribulations so our faith, love, and hope may strengthen as we grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ. James 1:2, Matthew 5:12, Romans 5:3, 1 Peter 1:6 and, we know that in the book of James God says to not just be hearer’s of the Word but doers (James 1:22).
So, let us rejoice and be joyful in our suffering because we have a higher hope in Jesus Christ. The most profound scripture that is most precious to me in the midst of trials and tribulation is:
When there is a corporate storm that inflicts many, and several others are going through the hurricane with you and around you just remember to breathe and know He is God alone. Every single one of us handles storms differently, and there is always a temptation to play the blame game.
Listen, we have to remember who and where our trust and hope remains; that is in Jesus. God always speaks to us, we have to be careful not to leave His word. The word of God is how He speaks and guides us along with confirmation, and meeting us in his word.
If we are not careful, our flesh will tempt us to give way to the storms and let the wind have its way! No, that is not who we are in Christ! We can stand in the rain without giving way, through Jesus Christ.
In Acts 27:25 Paul says: ” Do not give way to the raging storm I believe God is faithful and I trust Him to complete His will just like He told me!” (my version check it out for yourself) Shipwrecked on Malta is the title.
Maybe, you are shipwrecked? Not understanding and wondering
” What in the world is going on here?” “Where are you, Lord?”
In Acts 28 we see the title ” Paul’s Ministry on Malta”
Maybe, just maybe the shipwreck that landed you on what seemed to be a deserted island is exactly right where The Lord intended you to be? (Read Acts 28)
Verse 3 says But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
So, Paul just had been through a storm that busted up the ship he was on, Paul, drifts on the shore alive, just like God had said. Now He is gathering up sticks and a deadly snake bites him. What does Paul do? He shakes the snake off and continues.
Just like Paul, we as Christian’s will be bitten by the enemy. Paul, didn’t sit down and start screaming saying: ” God, why have you forsaken me?” Paul shook that bite off. Paul was bitten, but not bitter about his circumstances. We can do the same thing. We can choose to trust Jesus when it seems all hell is breaking loose.
Further down we see suddenly why Paul was shipwrecked on Malta. We see that God knowingly had a purpose and a mission to save a whole island. Read the whole chapter to see for yourself. The whole island was saved because of a storm that shipwrecked Paul.
Are you in a storm? Are you coming out of a storm only to find yourself shipwrecked and abandon with unfamiliar surroundings? Can I pose this question to you? What if God intended for you to be at a physical place but the only way you were going to get there was through a hurricane that was going to wash you ashore only to be bitten by a deadly snake bite of the enemy? What if through it all, it was God’s will so a whole island could be saved? Would your temporary discomfort be worth many souls?
So don’t give way! Don’t compromise! Remember though the valleys and the mountain tops you have been guided.
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13
There is a great temptation in our flesh also to play the blame game, and we should remember as children of God sometimes the storms of life are merely to blow us to where God wants us. Whether that’s physically moving us, or spiritually moving us, we put our trust in God and know he is faithful to complete the Good work He has started in you!
I want to leave you with these verses. Luke 1:45 and Psalm 107:20
He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.
This verse is my life testimony! Jesus delivered me into eternal life and out of bondage! Praise God!
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
Thank you, Father, for rejoicing over me! Thank you, for guiding and speaking to me! Lord, let your hand be over my life to guide me today and land me right where you need me! Let your Word lead and guide me in all your ways, Lord, help me to hide your word in my heart so, that I won’t sin against you. Lord, give me the wisdom and understanding to apply and adhere to your Word through the Holy Spirit. Place me right where I can live out the promise you spoke into my life years ago! Lord, help me to honor and glorify you! Lord, we love you and bring our minds hearts and souls to you! In Jesus beautiful name Amen!