Six Words To Get You Through

A photo by Wilson Lau. unsplash.com/photos/MvjO-aMRwkE

It was 20 years ago when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I’ve watched him struggle to a decent level of health with many medical complications as a result of his diagnosis. There have been some good days for sure, but as a wife and help-mate, there have been more days that I wish we could do over. Instead of harboring regret and resentment, I’ve learned that every marriage has “those” days when it’s cloudy and the skies are not singing a sunny attitude.

Change in attitude came by faith in his simple prayer one day, “God, help us to be optimistic about all things.” I realized what I had leaned on to get me through the hard years was more than the disappointments that life had to offer.

Six words that have gotten me through struggles like cancer and hard days since are:

“You’ll get through this, have faith.”

Life is full of many scenarios and simply said we didn’t “sign up” for trouble. Like it or not everyone has good and bad “stuff” to contend with. Problems aren’t specifically set up for the result in disappointment but rather problems present opportunities to see God get you through…by faith.

There’s a choice in how you respond to life and when holding to a positive attitude, it can get you through the toughest of days. Let’s break this encouragement down word by word. In those six words, I found these treasures:

1. “You’ll – You will: Remember, yes you, reading this right now…aren’t singled out. The world is not against you. No one is out to get you. You can’t control every circumstance that comes your way, but remember you CAN choose how you respond to it.

2. “Get” – You get: Don’t buy into the lie that a bad situation has come because God is upset with you or you’ve done something wrong. God is for the good and right in this world. Whatever the situation is God can reach down and help you. He is always on your side, in a good mood and you get to ask Him to intervene!

3. “Through” – Get you through: there is an end to suffering believe it or not. “This” too shall pass. Healing comes for the hurts and wounds. Tomorrow is a new day, there’s newness every morning. Even when it seems endless, storms don’t last forever. Pray continually and don’t stop once the clouds clear!

4. “This” – You and “this”: There are many events that come into our life that the Enemy uses to marginalize, isolate, and segregate us from hope and God’s love. Satan knows when we have loneliness, rejection, and oppression, we become weak and closed off. Our numbers tank spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. When we want to run from our conflicts or storms that’s when we should be reaching out for comfort and support through together strength with friends, spouse, church, and family. There’s strength in numbers. No man is an island and as humans, we weren’t built to go through life alone. Even in paradise – the Garden of Eden – God said “It is not good for man to be alone.”

5. “Have faith” – You MUST have faith: Jesus said you will have trouble in the world but John 16:33 ecnourages our faith by taking part of His heart, to overcome whatever has come to plague yours. When having faith it strengthens you to the end! Help is surrounding you, to navigate you through. There is a difference in talking about what faith is and believing God is your help and strength by faith. God is who He says He is!

Through it all, we count it all joy.  But how can you be joyful?  The truth is numbers don’t lie, but they often don’t tell the truth. Consider the joy that Jesus had as His reward on the way to the cross. What I know about crucifixions, the process is the most cruel way to die, but yet Jesus went joyfully. The process of life is often full of handling cruelties and torments of this world. But remember, you too will get through, because there’s joy to be gained by going through it with Jesus.

Hope that helps you this week as you are going through some tough situations. I would like to pray for you so please let me know what your situation is and I will!

What the World Needs Now

flag in barn

When bad incidents happen we ask the question “why?”.  We don’t understand the shocking events which have happened of late and we try to impose order. Humans want life to make sense.  After the initial shock, it leaves us wondering “What will happen next and will I be the next victim?”

Our nation is grieving. Webster’s dictionary defines grief as a “deep sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death.” For many families, and the public as a whole, the idea of security is once again threatened at every turn.  Many communities have lost leaders, fathers, grandfathers and those lives will never be heard from again.

And it’s left us confused, angry, and feeling threatened.

Grief is compounded when the death is violent, untimely, and sudden. When there is a willful or intentional taking of a human life by another individual, the sense of shock and disbelief is suffocating. Our world as we know it is shaken to its core, and our sense of safety and security vanish. Oftentimes, overwhelmed by grief, confusion, and in a vacuum of comfort, leaves us to fear.

Grief is amplified when the death is a highly publicized incident. The media gives a doom and gloom perspective pressurizing the nation’s voice to protect ourselves or take matters into our own hands.  We are barraged with blame and shame leaving us to choose sides questioning who “matters” thus dividing lines with hate.  Nothing makes sense. The results are impacting our hope and ebbs away at our faith.  Turmoil and anxiety builds with each look over the shoulder or behind each closed door.

The brute force of many layered and competing emotions mount.  Feelings of anger, fear, confusion, exhaustion, sadness, and depression is intensified by grief.  As onlookers, we shut down and feel numb.  We throw up our hands and don’t know who to trust or what to do to repair these death-laden and devastatingly dangerous situations.  I understand death alright but what do we do with all of the death and progression of evil around us?

Like most wounds it scars our souls and we stop talking about it.  It becomes the white elephant in the room and we are afraid to stand up for our beliefs as to not offend or start another heated argument.  It paralyzes our voices and keeps us quiet.  But the pain of loss is still there and we stuff it down deep.  It festers, boils and wreaks havoc with our sound minds.  We openly pray for healing but there’s no joy in covering hurt of this kind.  The world’s empty words of comfort and feelings of false security become a new normal along with a strategically-placed policy.

Pointing the finger at the obvious won’t heal the pain this nation is in.

Healing takes time and it needs to fall on everyone.  In my opinion there is only one way to win over evil.  We want the pain to cease but as a nation, it’s easier to turn our heads and hope someone quickly sweeps it under the political rug to make it go away like a bad nightmare.  This tug on our souls has to stop or fear will always be after our hearts.

If you have been affected by the recent events please know I too am grieving with you. Words only travel so far and words alone don’t cause change.  No, you don’t forget the sound of your loved one’s voice, or a touch, and you certainly can’t forget the love you shared.  There’s no way to repair a broken heart from a human standpoint.

I wish there were shortcuts to healing.  But the facts remain, the fast-track to evil advances around us.  There is the power to heal our nation within the nation if we could all work together to be the answer for change we only complain about.  How often do we find ourselves asking “What are we do with all this violence?”

The answer is profound and comforting when we respond with an outpouring of love and count it all joy.  Jesus was a man of controversy, stood for justice and showed love to all.  You might say, “Sure, He could because He was perfect.”  You’ve tried being kind in the face of evil and it wasn’t reciprocated.  You’ve tried to love the unlovable and got taken advantage of.  You’re afraid to give this love thing a try at all.  Have we loved and have you only tried?

Jesus is our example to heal this nation.  He didn’t judge – only touched with His grace.  He didn’t beat politics with the rules – but spoke life over the wayward.  He didn’t run away in fear but knew His Father’s voice.  He met the needs of the unloved, the forgotten, and went out of His way to reach the least.  And He counted it ALL joy in who He loved.  Joy was His reward on the way to the cross.  He suffered and knew death.

“Instead of what doing what Jesus did, let’s all do what Jesus is doing!”  Mike Maeshiro

Let time teach you to love and have joy again if you are suffering a loss.  Let the love of God overcome the evil around you.  Let the love of God change you.  Be Christ’s love to others around you.  Show love over evil.  Start counting everything in your life with a reward of joy, and set it before you.  Afraid to show love because you’ve been hurt?  Who isn’t???

God’s love heals in ways we don’t know and kindness progresses healing further than we could ever know.  Jesus led His disciples by the love of God and knew how to do in a ways which advance God’s goodness.  Jesus in it to win it and He has already won!  We can feel secure in our homes and lives of if we would all work together to be the together-strength of love spoken in truth and in love to our communities, cities, and nation.  The progression of LOVE always invites God’s goodness.  His Joy is our joy reward for the suffering even unto and through to death.

When you need to believe

windows to the soul
Windows are like needs, we all have one that needs to be opened.

The other day I read a story of courage.  There was a man who was an invalid for 38 years.  Everyday, he hung out by a place known for healing.  He could see the healing pool but he couldn’t get himself over to it.  It was a very popular place where many people gathered for the same reason.  On this day, he looked at his healing like all the other days, from a place where he only watched others receiving healing he desperately wanted.

He stopped believing healing was for him years ago but kept showing up to see others get what they needed.

All of a sudden, Jesus walks into the healing place.  Jesus was drawn to the invalid man immediately and picked the invalid out from all the sea of hurting faces.  In the mass of the broken, Jesus picks out the guy who has been a regular for 38 years.  Upon seeing the invalid lying there, Jesus asked about his condition.

Jesus gets some background on the one who has been in life’s background.

This broken situation  was a familiar place for the crippled man, but Jesus singled him out.  One man was picked out by the Healer and asked this question, “Do you want to get well?”.  The man responded with the reality he had no one to help him into the healing pool.

His response was the same as others who encountered Jesus.  How often we think of healing in just the physical sense.  But honestly, we can’t limit healing to just the physical realm anymore.  We all have a need in our lives.  Some be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.  We are needy people in need of a touch of God.

Always I thought by reading this story, healing came in the “walking, the leaping, the praising God.”  At last, whoever Jesus touched didn’t hurt anymore.  Truth is evident in their response by the action brought about from a divine touch.  Jesus took care of their need because He was known for healing people.  However, Jesus took care of the needs only HE could see, even in the unseen part of lives.

The lady who barely touched His robe received what she had been missing for years.  It’s recently my eyes are opened to the real miracle in the stories of healing by Jesus.  The first miracle was by faith and then multiplied.  The miracle wasn’t in the touch of Jesus, but by the faith He would!

Jesus has the power to heal everyone of whatever need in the moment!  Often the first healing needed is by faith to give yourself permission to help you have faith!

Faith is the evidence of things unseen and it’s difficult to believe in things you can’t see.  The world teaches us this self-medicate, self-examine, self-control and self-manipulate.  The world teaches to care for ourselves and look to ourselves to fix ourselves.  I wonder how much doubt has played a part in the receiving of miracles in our lives today.  I wonder how many miracles I have missed because I doubted God because of what I tried to do myself.

I’ll be honest with you I’ve believed in God for close to 28 years of my life.  I have drastically changed since I have accepted Jesus as Savior.  But it was some years later before I realized He wanted the whole of me, instead of the just broken parts of me.  They say walking with God is a process, and I would agree.  I believe Jesus loves to deliver us from our chains and set us free.  I also believe doubt is a bigger blockade to faith.

I don’t know where you are in your beliefs about physical healing or what you are asking the Lord for today.  Perhaps you just need to believe for the first time or maybe just believe there is a healing to what’s broken on the inside of you.  Perhaps this is the day you believe you are lined up for a miracle for the things you can’t yet see.  When you hear “Pick up your mat and walk.” Then run with it.  When you hear, “Who touched me?” Own your healing!  When you hear, “Your faith has made you whole!” Remember to thank Him for what He has provided for you.  The miracles of Jesus are amazing and life-changing and it all starts in the believing of who He is.

Believe in God who cares in the most intentional way FOR you.  Heaven’s healing can come in an instant or in God’s timing BUT healing comes by believing God knows your needs!  He sees you and can anticipate every one of your needs before you even know you have a need!  When you believe God to heal others, you have to believe Him for yourself.  We don’t have a part-time or half-time God.  In fact, God stands outside of ALL time.  Praying in faith includes God’s perfect timing too!

So believe, friend, pick up your mat and walk.  Touch the hem!  Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  He loves to touch you so you can see Him and HIS great love He has FOR you.  He is everywhere, especially where your needs already are!!  Believe there is healing ahead of your asking!

The ministry of faith goes deeper than you know and heals the hardest of hearts.  You can’t outrun His reach to where He doesn’t know how to restore you.  Healing comes in many ways and it’s time to believe HIM!

When you need rest

photo-rest

I wasn’t sure what to expect in this season.  I received an open invitation to a season of rest and was, quite honestly, afraid of it.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.”

Why would a person be afraid of resting?  Could it be that there was something to learn in this season too?  Most people crave a break from the normal routine, but an odd feeling of unrest was rising up within me.  It was a battle to open my mind to the idea of resting.  But God has proved a worthy point in this season too!  The very thing I was afraid of was the very thing I needed to realize.

Rest is a gift from heaven.  The Holy Spirit whispered…”what if I could show you an easier way…”  My mind immediately spiraled into a “oh no, (regretful sigh) I’ve been doing this wrong!”.  Ever found yourself in a proving season that you are pointing inward instead of outward?  I have and that’s NOT a fun place to dwell.

Let’s talk in analogies here.  Imagine you are making a pizza with all the wonderful toppings on it and then baking it to perfection with the cheese all melting perfectly golden.  You slice it up to individual slices and then serve it.  You watch the taster just sigh with delight, and know you have hit their cheese nerve of delicious-ness!  It’s so wonderful, you know how to replicate this delicious delight plus how to serve a wonderful pizza product.

Rest in God is like that perfect sigh of delight that you want to replicate in your life.

But how do you get to this kind of rest?  Think of the pizza and it’s many slices.  The gifts inside of you are like those pizza toppings.  The crust and the sauce are like a foundation of faith in God.  The Holy Spirit adds the cheese, to help with those divinely placed gifts to grow and give the delight to you and back to God when you are doing what He has designed you to do.

God has placed His design upon your life a long time ago.  Maybe you are in tune with those gifts or not.  Fact remains there is divine “something” inside of you and you long for that to show in your life.  I’ve had those same longings to know and show God’s working in my life too.

Is what I write here the cheese?  Is this what God has called me to do?  Or is there more?  Yes, and yes.  I believe there is MORE of God to discover and how it’s proven in my life is something only HE can do.  So when I was faced with the thought that I might of missed or messed this design up, well, then I recognized I needed to rest my heart on His.

I needed another dose of holy confidence and assurance that this season was the place of rest for my pride and to go gently unto Him again with all my stuff and lay it down.  Rest assured that entering His rest is nothing to be afraid of nor reject.  It’s His perfect design inside of you, a longing to align with His heart FOR you.  You can’t mess up His work because He is more than that.

God’s work is bigger than your human efforts.  He works in the supernatural realm, which means outside of your human effort, or outside of your way of thinking, or outside of your realm of human influence.  God is at work in your life in all and every one of your life seasons.  No matter what you need, even when you don’t know what you need, you can have rest and He wastes NOTHING!

When looking for the work of God it’s often left at the bridge of faith and put in the doorway of our minds.  We have a choice to believe it and receive it, thus believing that God has gifted you with His divine “sweet spots” of grace over your life too!  Faith is a gift in itself and has to be received supernaturally to believe God for who He says He is.

Now, I don’t know where you are in all of “resting” idea.  Having faith is a good thing, believing God for who He says he is a great thing!  The Supernatural way is the “more” things of God.  To have confidence in your faith will get you there, and will keep you where God wants to work in you and through you.  So don’t question His invitation when the seasons change for you, or look different than you expected.  Even in seasons of rest He is operating from His heart FOR you.

Rest in His confidence is a sweet place.

Resting on Him is a great pleace of trust, is good FOR us, and often missed as needed healing in our lives.  Rest is a choice that even God made on the seventh day of creation.  When I think about how intentional He was in setting aside an entire day to rest on what He had done in the previous six days of creativity, I realize that rest is needed to remain in a creative place plus the fact that rest is a HUGE part of His design for our lives.

Resting, assurance and confidence are sweet places to dwell on and in.  I think, no…I believe, I don’t have to be afraid of resting when it aligns with His creative design in me and around me.  Thank you God that you give us rest.  Yes I will come to You to receive the lighter burdens you have assigned for me.

 

 

A hard place to be

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”  2 Corinthians 9:8-9

Surrender Sunset
Photo credit: Paul Chasusa

Recently, my husband and I celebrated the 20 year anniversary of his cancer recovery.  Actually 20 years ago, the day of the OKC bombing incident, was when his health demise actually started but it was from that first surgery we count as an anniversary of God’s healing measures that He has given to our married life.

Healing comes in many forms and the hardest place for me to be is in a place to receive the blessings of faith.

Usually when you lose something, you also gain something.  Usually when you surrender what you have, you receive more of what the Lord has for you.  Usually though as it is in faith, the Lord often asks you to give up something and requires you to wait for healing, answers, and blessings.  Usually we expect immediate answers, usually.

It’s twenty years later and we are celebrating our anniversary of faith that has helped us persevere through some very hard times with my husband’s health.  We consider him healed from cancer, but because time takes it’s toll on human bodies, we daily deal with the repercussions that cancer has left.

One of the hardest places for me, his wife, to be is by his side as I watch him daily struggle with health issues.  In fact, I know that he will hate that I am writing this to you.  But my purpose to encourage you today is that when you are in a hard place, the one thing that God requires of us is to just persevere.

Why is this so important?  Because our  faith in what we can’t see, will help us get through what we can see.

“I know what this feels like,” the oncology nurse said, “it feels like you are on a bobsled to Hell.”  Knowing that Hell is a real place and that it scared me to death, her words hit on my emotions.  Yes, when you are in the hard place of cancer with a loved one, it feels like you are on a bobsled towards a dangerous hard place.  Even if you are educated and there are cures available for the type of disease you are experiencing.  There is nothing about illness that feels good or safe.

In our faith, we have to be bound to what we know is true, right, and good.  God is at the end of all those words that direct our unseen thoughts towards Him.

Faith affects our thoughts.  Our thoughts also affect our faith.”  Bill Johnson

When you are in a hard place, and I have no idea how this will hit you, I’m here to testify that your faith is what is going to get you through.  It’s simple to start this process of faith…you humbly come before the Lord and say, “Lord, you are able.”  My faith has been shaped in the hard places of our lives and it has helped me persevere many hard places since 20 years ago.

And yet today, I had to come back to my place of simple faith to remind myself that in this hard place I am in right now, the help of the Holy Spirit will help me persevere.  I am thinking differently about faith these days because of necessity and it keeps me deeper connected to my Father’s heart for me.

What I know about life in general is that fear dictates, but it never bears the fruit of the impossible.  The mind of Christ is my inheritance.  I don’t have to beg Heaven for a thing, because my God has freely given me ALL things.  In believing this in every sense, in my emotions, I know that the Lord establishes ALL things through faith.

When you are in a hard place, you find faith that will establish you in the Lord.  How has your faith helped you through a hard place?  Comment below and share your testimony.  We can all be encouraged together.