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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.
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.”
Friend, remember today in all of our weakness His power is made perfect through those weaknesses
You don’t have to have a particular prayer
You don’t have to look a certain way
You certainly don’t have to be “good enough.”
All you have to do for God to use you is have a dependency on Jesus.
I asked the Lord a couple of weeks ago to heal a broken place in my life. I heard inside my heart “My Grace is Sufficient for you.” I smiled and said “Amen.” That answer was not No, or I don’t care. This reply was telling me to lean on Jesus, He will sustain us (Colossians 1:16-17 )
So, as Paul says in
2 Corinthians 12:10
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Friend, I don’t have all the answer’s. There are thing’s that make me scratch my head and even wonder “Why?” but I know to the core of my soul. God’s Character is only good and no darkness lies (1John1:5) (James 1:17) (Daniel 2:22) Why do I believe that? Not because of my own heart, but because of God’s heart toward man. That’s found in the Bible. That beautifully bound book reveals Him and only Him. Sometimes we have to get over ourselves to see the bigger picture. All roads lead to Jesus. He is the center of the universe, and if God says it in His Word, then He will do it. He stands guard over His word watching, making sure it comes to pass. Jeremiah 1:12
Keep praying the Word of God over yourselves and declaring His Word even in our weaknesses. After all, His word says He has loved us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
Today, I want you to know this particular verse has been coming up for the past three weeks. The first time was Priscilla Shrier’s Simulcast. Priscilla gave a great word about being a functioning leper. The second time came today as I read it again. Today I want to focus on the captive girl.
In 2 Kings 5:2 we see a young Israelite girl that was probably taken as a prisoner during one of Naaman’s great victories. Naaman had given this girl to tend to his wife. As we see in verse 3, the young girl is concerned about Naaman’s well-being. Many scholars believe that by her speaking like that to Naaman’s wife they can assume that Naaman and his wife treated the young captive kindly. Still, in verse 3, the young girl introduces the prophet who is in Samaria. This prophet is Elisha he lived in a house in the capital city during this time. Scholars assume the girl knew about Elisha before she ever was taken captive. Even though no leper in Israel had ever been healed of leprosy during Elisha’s time. That is in Luke 4:27 only Naaman is mentioned as being cleansed.
What I really want to point out here and what is in my heart today is some of us think that we have been held in captivity as punishment. That is simply not true Romans 5 tells us that God loved us just as much when we were in pure darkness and sin as He loves us when we are redeemed by Jesus. Even in our captivity we were planted and placed so that we may one day understand that our captivity/bondages were strategically arranged by the enemy of our souls. Those broken hearted places and those moments of breaking are not what God intended for us, but they are a result of evil and sin. Aimed to harm you, they were designed to even possibly in some situations kill you. (Gen. 50:20) See, what the enemy devised and schemed to bring you low, to break you, to kill you. Is now the very thing that God will use to develop your character through trials and tribulation, change the way you think by the Word of God, and finally trusting Him through it all. Not once did He say this is gonna be a piece of cake or that we would never experience pain, but what He did promise is Jesus. Jesus would usher in the grace of God by His life, His death, and His resurrection. Jesus is grace. That is the good news! That is the freedom of the brethren. Jesus is what sustains, reveals, restores, saves, free’s. By Christ alone are we restored.
Your captivity is being flipped for good just like the young captive girl in 2 Kings 5. I am sure she missed her Mother and Father. She might have even had longings to be returned back to Israel. She might have wondered why she had been planted in a gentile home as a slave to a mighty warrior’s wife. She could have refused to accept that she was a captive. She could have just done her work and remain silent, bitter, isolated from all that she loved and longed for. She didn’t she chose even in the worst of circumstances to serve her master’s wife and later would be used to introduce healing for a gentile commander of a nation that captured her and enslaved her. I see Jesus in that young captive girl. I see the love of God through this story. I see a girl who had no clue, but because she knew about God decided to share Him with someone, and because she shared Him, Naaman was indeed healed by God.
We have to share Jesus right where we are planted even when our hearts are broken. Reminds me of my favorite verse and every time I hear it tears well up in my eyes. When Jesus was at the well with the Samaritan woman. John 4:29 ” Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?
From one captive girl to another can I ask you this one question?
Will you come meet a Man, not just any Man? A Man who knows everything that we have done and still loves us with an everlasting love?
Come and see with me this Man named Jesus. He is the Messiah, fully flesh and fully God. He is the expressed human image of God. If you have not met Him, will you today? I will tell you how He has changed this young captive girls life. I am proof of His grace and mercy every day. I refuse circumstances stop me from telling everyone I can “Come, and see how Jesus has indeed freed me (a young captive girl). Jesus is the only way to freedom, girls, it’s all or nothing with Jesus. If we give Him all of us, we allow Jesus access to every part of us. He will captivate us.
Are we sitting on our bushel basket’s hiding our light?
And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?
Are we Christian’s who are wondering where is the power of God in my life?
The light that we are choosing to place under our bushel baskets is a lamp. That light is meant to be sitting on a lampstand; Burning and seen.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
The light that we are putting under our bushel basket is the Word of God. We are living this half in and half out the Christian life. We might pray, we might give up 15 minutes for our devotional’s, we might go to church every Sunday and Wednesday. We might even listen to the Pastor wholeheartedly taking notes and highlighting in our Bible’s. Somehow and someway by 10 a.m. Monday morning we look more like the world than a person that has never met Jesus Christ. The reason is not complicated theology. It is simply we do not read, meditate upon the Word of God. We need intimacy with Jesus. The only way to achieve that is through the Word of God and prayer time.
Psalm 119:105 ESV
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
It guides us when we are wandering. It shines in the darkness of the valley and the evil that may lurk there. The Word of God strengthen’s us when we are weary
Isaiah 40:31 ESV
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
The Word of God imparts faith when we are faithless
Romans 10:17 ESV
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
The Word helps us when we are feeling hopeless
Jer. 29:11 KJV
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
The Word of God will drive us when we are distracted and doubtful
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB
All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [b]training in righteousness; 17 so that (B)the man of God may be adequate, (C)equipped for every good work.
Finally, The Word of God is Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and life.
John 1:1-5 NASB
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
The Word of God is the breath of God on these beautiful bound pages. A tangible, visible item to hold close, to lay over our precious head’s when our minds are in overload and anxious. The Word of God is to us the very visible image of Christ. We can imagine a mirror in front of Christ and a mirror behind Christ. Christ is standing in the middle. The Old Testament foreshadows Christ, and the New Testament reflects Christ. It is all about Jesus, and He is in the midst of every line, word, and chapter. I love that, I cherish that, most of all I crave that! Simply because it is where Jesus Christ dwells and where He is I want to be.
So, when we say ” I can’t hear Him!” ” I can’t see Him!” I can’t help to think ” How could you not?” He is in Genesis to Revelation. He appears in every line and every word. He takes us by the hand, heart, and mind and speaks to us through Himself. Now think about that!! That get’s me excited to open that Bible on our coffee table and listen to the Creator of the Universe, The Holder of our life, The Savior of the World. The coolest part is when He is finished talking we get to respond! Now that is a relationship at it’s best! That is what made this girl fall head over heels in love with a man that knew everything that I’d ever done. Even though I have never physically seen or touched Him. That is the wonder of His love! I love a surprise! I love the excitement of wonder!
If we choose carefully the Word of The Lord will remain forever in our heart’s, mind’s, and soul’s
The Word of the Lord will endure forever we see that in Isaiah 40:8, but through Jesus, The Word of the Lord can last forever in us through what Jesus did for all of us. In 1 Peter there is a verse that says something that just challenges me
1 Peter 1:25 NASB
But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word which was preached to you.
This verse leaves us with a challenge, a pressing and wonder-filled challenge.
When I read this verse, it is screaming to me, now that you know the Word are you going to share it? Will you allow the Word that has been given to you to endure forever in your heart, mind, soul?
Am I going to place Jesus under a bushel basket?
Am I going to put Jesus on the lampstand of my heart and allow Him to illuminate my path? Trimming the lamp with the oil of the Holy Spirit that abides in me? Will I cut my fire with the Word of God so that the oil can burn and shine the light and the love of Jesus?
That is the only way we will ever live this Christ-filled life. We must do our part of knowing God through the Word if we are truly going to let our light’s shine. You must study, read, and know God’s Word to live like a Christian. Christian’s who live without the Word of God are miserable only because God is trying to get us to open those wonder-filled pages and get us to know our Him! Until, we do that task of studying, reading the Word, we will continue to live without the overcoming power of Christ in our lives. My prayer is that every lost person come to know Jesus, but that every Saved, Redeemed Christian would fall madly in love with Jesus, the Savior, and the Word. I want you to think of the Word of God; differently, I want you to see the Word as Jesus, Himself because He is the Word (John 1). I think maybe if we thought about that a little more we would not be so eager or relaxed about dismissing study or reading time in the Bible and meeting with the Creator of the Universe through prayer.
I am praying today that you would spend time with Jesus today <3 He loves you so.
Maybe, I am the only one that ever gets’s alarmed at times, Maybe not. I have been so disturbed and frightened at times that I have paced the floors so much, that I am sure my floors will never be the same again. There are times when I needed to be alarmed because my seven-year-old son just flipped his dirt bike. As his Mom, I just knew in my heart, that he has just broken every bone in his small precious body. I have been foolishly alarmed before causing myself to look like a floundering fool. I have been so alarmed that I isolated myself from feeling, thinking, speaking. Removing myself completely and retreating into myself deeply. So thick, that people would get caught up in the maze, lost forever, only to be blocked off and held captive. I am good at blocking and creating barriers that no human being could ever penetrate. Being alarmed is distress. You are sending a signal to those around you and sending an S.O.S for help. Being alarmed is human nature it is not our spiritual life. It suspends us helpless and in a pit of distress.Usually, this leads to two things honor or dishonor. In my experiences, honor or dishonor can follow these two powerful emotion’s, because of our reaction, not God’s. I want to give you the definition of alarmed and distress. I want you to understand the mindset that happens when these two emotions are present.
: feeling a sense of danger or alarm: very worried or frightened <I was alarmed to see how sick she looked.>
2a: pain or suffering affecting the body, a bodily part, or the mind :trouble<gastric distress><The patient showed no obvious signs of distress.><severe emotional distress><voiced their distress over the delays>b: a painful situation :misfortune
3: a state of danger or desperate need <a ship in distress>
Now, that you see these two words I want to introduce you to the scripture that I want to talk about. I want you to understand every single human being living and breathing on this planet deals with being alarmed and being in distress. As you see in the scripture, I want you to see even in the midst of our greatest fear and our cries of difficulty. There is One that answers our distress calls and calms our alarmed flesh down. Tender with mercies and great love, full of compassion in and through His name and presence, the name of Jesus Christ. He is risen!
Mark Chapter 16:5
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
First, I want to explain who they are referring to. Here the scripture is referring to Mary Magdalene, Mary Mother of James, and Salome. They were bringing spices to anoint Jesus’ body (Mark 16:1).
So after, seeing a colossal stone that was set over the tomb of Jesus had been rolled away (Mark 16:4), they enter the tomb. This brings us to Mark 16:5 they looked around for a body, but all they saw was a young man standing there in a long white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed or anxious and frightened.
I don’t know about you, but if I am expecting to see a dead body and I see a young man standing there I would be alarmed too! I trying to picture both Mary’s and Salome slack-jawed and trembling. Possibly, even their faces as white as the young man’s robe. Scripture doesn’t give us that detail, but I think we all have been that frightened before we were speechless, pale-faced, and paralyzed frozen or as I like to say “Scared Stiff” (Ha). I can’t help, but to go over that verse over and over today. They entered into the tomb ready to pay their last respects to a man who they had hoped was the Messiah. A man, yet fully God dwelling in the flesh that was coming to restore Israel and was their Savior. They had lost hope (ridden with distress) that He was not who He said He was. The Lamb of God, The Son of God, The Messiah. Little did they know, God was going to alarm them straight back into believing! I just giggle when God does these types of things. When I see these times of distress, then great faith is birthed in scripture because at the moment of great pain. I see Jesus point these women’s lives back to faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God. God, divinely alarmed them straight back to faith. Sometimes we need a real alarming for God to show us He is True and Faithful. It is not fun, but it is precisely what we need. He means what He says, and He does what He says always.
Let’s go on to Mark 16:6
But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is Risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
The angel announced to the three witnesses that they were not to be filled with fear but to seek Jesus and see that He is risen and alive. This is my favorite part in their sorrow and despair. God sent heavenly host’s to comfort and reassure them. There is no need to be frightened by their distress because He has Risen! He is alive!!
Today may be a day filled with anxiety, fear, worry, and you are in distress today. To be in trouble, or danger, maybe you are consumed with sorrow and grief. I love that being alarmed and distressed is always addressed with perfect comfort. There is just something that makes my heart skip a beat thinking about my ever-present help coming in to bring justice, righteousness, and honor for us. The enemy has many tactics, he is cunning and deceitful. He is the father of all lies (John 8:44).
Genuine and faithful delivered a fatal fate to our enemy and defeated our foe for once and for all. Our enemy time is short, and he is desperate. You know what they say ” Desperate times calls for Desperate measures.” Satan wants nothing more for you to be distracted and dismayed by what he devises against you. There is nothing that dirty thing won’t touch. I honestly hate him with all I have. I hate him to the core. I hate him because he steals, robs, and kills. I hate him because in our great distress he tries to come in to devour us like a roaring lion. I hate him because he is death, sin, and rebellion. Even when we are alarmed or in distress at times. The Risen Savior empowers us to overcome. That’s what Jesus did for us. Oh, He gave us life eternally, but He gave us the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus to defeat our enemy face to face. What will you choose? Will you allow your enemy to keep you alarmed and distressed or Will you rise with the Holy Spirit and the word of God and make your enemy a footstool? The choice is yours. We get to choose who we don’t wanna be. We get the choice to pursue God without limits through the Holy Spirit ( John 3:34)! How awesome is our God!!
Friend, I am praying today that you will take hold of the word of God and be renewed by the transformation of your mind, heart, and soul! In Jesus Mighty and Glorious name Amen!
Today, I have just been reflecting. I have been thinking about the last five years of my life. I have witnessed God do amazing things in the midst of severe tragedy and death, against tremendous loss and financial hardships, and against every odd that could be stacked. I have seen His hand come down to swoop me from destruction and desolation. I have seen His mercy when the world said there was none. I have experienced a valley period for almost six years (actually to be specific April 2011). I have experienced total loss. First, my house was lost in a historic flood in April 2011. I mean everything we had about three hours to get everything out. We got some things, but most things were ruined. I lost my pictures, handmade items that my babies made. I about lost it when an insurance adjuster came in and said “Well it could have been worse!” and quickly told us well we were lucky because it wasn’t over the top of our roof. I remember feeling like the blood was collecting up around your neck and your head was going to pop. I also remember in that very moment wanting to cry and scream and ask him how he slept at night. But, I heard a small voice that said: “Everything is ok.” I remember feeling like I had no one. I remember trying to give updates to people and fighting back intense anger and tears. I remember trying to understanding if I was going to get through this? If I were going to, I would have to breathe one breath at a time. I got through it, I got through it by the grace of God that holds us, the universe, and all together and is in control Colossians 1:16)
I remember filling out paperwork for my babies to go back to school and have to check homeless. We were living with my in-laws. I remember getting the phone call saying sorry you didn’t get the loan. I remember feeling like my every day just was every hell I didn’t want to go through.
This is life, hard, cold, and cruel. I remember a phone conversation with my mom and she said “Kim, why don’t you claim the house in Jesus name.” I remember saying “Okay.”
I don’t believe in the prosperity gospel; I am not saying or giving the formula to claim a house. I am saying I walked in my current house and right there completely broken; I cried out. “I said, Jesus if it is your will, please give us a home. This house is your house. You will be on these walls because you gave it to us.” I walked out and went home told my husband of soon to be ten years” I found a house!” he said “Great, we will go see it Saturday and get some paperwork on it!” and that is just what happened. Saturday afternoon we started papers on a beautiful four bedroom home for a family of five. By Friday the next week we were approved without a hitch or complication and signed papers the following week. By the first week of October, we were moving in. I’m not telling you this to pat ourselves on the back. The fact was we were so far away from God that some would say we were hopeless. I’m telling you this because prayer is everything!
Not the claim made to Jesus but, the cry that He hears.
He decided the rest because He knows. Looking back, this blessing turned my life straight back into his arms. It set my heart to seek Him for healing, loving, and restoration I needed desperately. I needed freedom! I needed to see Him move mightily to get my attention.
That same Easter we decided to recommit our lives to Christ and serve Him with all our heart, mind, and souls. We did, we started getting involved with the youth inside our church, and it was love at first sight. Our church was perfect for us, but there is no such thing as a perfect church. This spurred a journey that changed our lives for the good. Soon, as you all have experienced, a major issue and conflict started to surface. Looking back every inch of it was fueled by religion and that nasty green-eyed monster jealousy. I will admit I could have handled the whole thing much better than I did. I made mistakes and have regrets. What happened next was a beginning of several losses that have occurred simultaneously since July 2013. First significant loss was the children in the youth group. I don’t want to be melodramatic, but, when this offensive explosion of lies and mean-spirited division came, it left a wake of victims not just myself but at least thirty people that I can immediately think off the top of my head. Of course, I remember feeling out of control, frustrated, and well downright heartbroken. Immediately I ran to the Word, and the Holy Spirit led me to three Psalms. I would tell you the numbers but, honestly, I just think that’s something only God and I ever need to know. It was a time where God was ever so tender with me. I felt like if I even sniffled He was right there on the scene. I remember one morning in particular where I was praying. I was angry praying; I was stomping around then I knelt down then I laid down, and I sobbed my ever-loving heart out, but not what you think, I was merely asking for Him to take the pain away. I was begging to tell Him, Lord, I feel like a whole part of me is gone. Don’t you care? Why, am I going through this? What did I do? Why can’t I be back with those kids, I love them! I need them!
He never even chastised me He just simply said: “I know, I see, I hear.” I have never forgotten those words. Just knowing He knows, He sees, He hears was enough. I knew He loved me. I knew He saw this coming. I knew He heard my shattered heart and knew exactly what to say to it. I got up from there and decided, well if He knows, He sees, He hears, then I’m giving this to Him, and I am leaving it here. It’s too much, and it hurts as all get out, and I have had enough of it. I would be lying if I said I didn’t still cry over that season every once in a while. I remember what happened, but I remember how God loved me especially so merciful in that season. Made the verse in Matthew 5 jump off those pages and come to life. I am close to the broken-hearted. Oh, I have been broken just like David on my belly, broken. Just as I got on my belly flat as an arrow, I got up again.
After leaving our home church, we went to another local church. Quite a bit larger than our home church and full of life. It was a safe place. It was a place that we could cry, be angry, hurt, and quiet and be okay. That was two and a half years ago, and it wasn’t pretty. I would love to tell you all how we nailed it, but that would be a whopper breaking lie for the record books! We were messy, but they loved us anyway. We were gun shy, but they were patient. We tried, and I think they saw that. I’ve heard everything from if the church hurt you enough to make you lose your faith your faith was not of God. That is true, but to a person raw with intense pain and loss of losing a church family traumatically it’s like pouring salt on it and saying don’t worry it’ll heal up! I’ve heard well come on its time to get over it. It’s time to get moving. Yup, probably 100 percent truth, but the fact was I was barely holding on to Jesus’s garment, but at the same time the little bit I had a hold of it was a death grip. I almost lost my mind during this season. God knew I loved Him. Believe me, Y’all, I had the heart for God, but I was running away from things I had suppressed and when all heck broke out. There it was staring back at me like a rabid dog. It was a giant of sorts, and it wanted to consume me. God orchestrated all this so when this fierce giant came for me, well, this time I would slay it! So Him saying I know, I see, I hear. Did not just have meaning right then, but He told me ” Kim, I’ve been here all along! I know, I see, I hear!” That is the still small voice that led me through the valley and in a spiritual battle that was the turning point in my life. After ultimately finding Jesus and knowing who I am in the Great I Am. This took from July 2013 until May of 2015.
That May morning I received a phone call and …
One of my best friends voice said “Kim, Jenna is in ICU. She is bad. They don’t think she is going to live.”
See, Jenna and I were best friends in high school. We had a lot in common. Of course, we were both incredibly broken, and well, you attract the level of brokenness you are. We instantly bonded.
Fast forward to our early 30’s and we were not even speaking because of drugs and alcohol. No matter what, I loved Jenna. I really did. No matter what, we always were at her major life events, especially the birth of her daughter A.
Fast forward to May of 2015 again and the same friend that called said: “Kim, come up here now!”
I said, ” Does she want to see me?”
She said, “Hold on I’ll ask.”
The next voice I heard was a faint, weak voice that said: “Kimmie, I love you!” I said “I love you, Jenna” then she only said let’s never talk about it again come up here.
I dropped the phone and ran. Praying the whole way up there that God would help me. I was scared to death. The only thing I knew was she was in complete liver failure, and she looked scary.
I remember the level of a shock seeing her. But, after that, I sincerely believe God shielded my eyes and gave me strength to do what I did next. I decided from that moment if God had restored us back to speaking then I would stay with her. I did, until she was released from the hospital. The things that happened, are again, something I will never forget and are moments I treasure. I will say this; God filled that room, and I saw first hand the power of prayer and how God prepares us for the next step. He faithfully did. After she went home to Texas with her mother, she would be away from drug dealers and access to what is a full blown epidemic in our society. Ninety percent of drug and alcohol addicts are not in treatment centers; the death rate is staggering. After staying with her mother in Texas she relapsed. It was the beginning of August three short weeks after she returned; she was dead due to substance abuse. The same day we buried her precious bones, my husband stood in the doorway and told me his job of eighteen years was ending in November 2015. To be honest, I was numb; I tried to process but, I couldn’t. All I could do was walk around and occasionally sob.
It would be a grief-stricken season. I still had a hold on to the same piece of His garment. I said to Jesus one morning “I don’t care what happens I’m not letting go! I refuse to give up, and I don’t know how, or where, or even when, but, I know You will work this for the good of me! I’m digging in and choosing You!”
Hahaha, little did I know He chose me before the foundations of the earth. But, you see I was convincing myself, and declaring no matter what to Satan, I love God because He first loved me! You can sift me like wheat, but, you can’t have the head of the grain. The harvest is the Lord’s! No matter what you throw out before me, I am submitting and praising God! The next week, a woman at church said: “Hey, there is an older couple who need a caretaker; I know you would be great at it!” so, I took the offer and began this page. This page and blog is a tree of life to me. It is a fruit from several seasons of loss and hardships. It is a promise that was made to my heart. It is proof that God is with me. It is evidence of how His grace continually holds all of us together!
By the way in March 2016, my wonderful hubby did find a job, and God is still blessing us abundantly. We celebrated 15 years married in September 2016. I will never be able to adequately express how difficult these last five or six years have been, but what I can tell you is keep praising, keep dreaming, keep holding onto that garment with white knuckles because things will calm down and you will see the hand of God in time. I love Jesus, I love life, and I love each one of you. ❤
This picture right above is a relationship that is a tree of life for me. This is my best friend Cassie and one of Jenna’s besties too! I look at this picture sometimes and wonder what it would have been like to have a short, beautiful blonde holding a sign that says, Love. How many nights I have wondered but, the still small voice says: “Don’t wonder. Everything is okay. I know, I see, and I hear.” That is what keeps all of us going. Those moments of security and reassurance. Thank you, Jesus, for those moments they keep up hanging on tightly to the hem of your garment. <3
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Thank you, Lord, for coming down from your throne in Heaven. Leaving angels perplexed while your plan of redemption for mankind had begun (1 Peter 1:10-12) in your perfect time and in your perfection. Thank you, Lord, for tearing the veil from bottom to top. Paul writes in Hebrews 10:19-20 Jesus’ body was torn so all man could have an eternal life and all His power and glory could transcend to be with the Father. Because the moment when the veil of our Savior, Jesus was torn something radical happened.
Jesus broke the curse of sin and death trampling the enemy with one final blow delivering defeat and handing us the keys to victory and eternity. God descended from heaven all His glory power through the womb of Mary becoming both flesh and God, and he walked wrapped in human flesh with all of God’s glory, Jesus.
He even died in all of God’s glory, and power. Jesus’ body was broken and bruised with all of God’s glory. The same power and glory that was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. The same glory and power that rose Jesus from the grave on the third day. It is the same glory and power that breathed His first breath in a cold, smelly, crowded stable with a tired young mother and even more anxious father awaiting the cry of their first-born miracle son Jesus. The day that Son of God arrived in all of God’s glory and power and honor; hidden in the flesh of an infant boy born to a virgin. The angel – said His name was to be Jesus.
– Luke 1:31-33
You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make Him a king like his father David of long ago. He will rule forever over His people, who came from Jacob’s family. His kingdom will never end.”
For to us a Child shall be born, to us, a Son shall be given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder, And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
And, so it was His name is Jesus, and as Mary wrapped the cold, infant in swaddling rags. The Heavens and Earth declared and displayed that The Savior of the World, The King Of Kings, and Lord of Lord’s had indeed been born into the world; to save and restore humankind from death to life eternally. Oh, how blessed we truly are to have such a loving Creator. Thank you, Father, for the birth and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, my Wonderful Counselor, my Mighty God, my Everlasting Father, and my Prince of Peace. All I have to bring is my love and a broken heart. I am grateful that is all that you ask because of Jesus Christ. Jesus, you have appeared to us, and loved each of us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)