Saturday, January 28, 2012

But, I Don't Want To Suffer...

I think it is important and vital to our walk with Christ to remember that just because He doesn't relieve us from our pain (physical, emotional, or spiritual) or any other form of suffering doesn't mean He doesn't care. Many times we need to pray for the ability to endure whatever He has put in our path and not assume it is an attack from the enemy. We give the enemy more "credit" than what he is worth - he can't do anything without the Father saying, "Yes, go ahead." If we think he has free reign over our lives then are we saying that Jesus is not all powerful? That He is not sovereign? The Name It & Claim It gospel and the Prosperity gospel are dangerous, in my opinion. So, what happens when we pray and God doesn't bring us out of poverty? How about when we pray for the life of our loved one and then they die? Or what about praying for our healing or the healing of another and they never are never healed? What this does is put us in a position where we doubt our faith; maybe even doubt the God we serve. "Maybe if I would have been stronger." "Maybe if my faith were stronger." "Maybe if I would have done things differently." When in reality it is not our decisions. God chooses to take life when we don't think He should. He chooses to allow someone to become paralyzed and live in a wheelchair for the rest of their life. He allows sickness to come and maybe He won't take it away. What then? One of two things happens...we either blame our self because we should have done better or we blame God for not loving us enough to answer our prayers the way we feel they should be answered. We must remember, we cannot see what He sees. We cannot know what He knows. Scripture says we will suffer...1 Peter 4:12, 13 says,

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed."

Notice it says "when it comes" not "if it comes". We will suffer for following Christ. We have no choice. Even Jesus suffered so why shouldn't we? We certainly aren't a holy people and we certainly don't deserve more than Jesus. I have learned over my adult life that God uses every "bad" thing to make me who He wants me to be. Yes, I wish I would have never had to endure any of the things I have but I can be thankful for them now. Know why? I have found that I am able to minister to others that are struggling in the areas I have. I am also thankful because each trial has drawn me closer to Him. When our daughter died, I asked, "Why?" Why did you take her from us? Why is this happening to us? His answer? "Why not you?" We could have looked at it as an attack from the enemy but then it would have been our fault because our faith wasn't deep enough. If only we would have been stronger he couldn't have taken her. What a lie that is!

I no longer look at "bad" things that happen as an attack. I look at it and ask what God wants to show me; what He wants me to change; who He wants me to minister to. In the end it's all about glorifying Him anyway.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

God Speaks & I Obey

In a quiet moment today, God spoke to me and this is what He told me to write.

We don't "accept" Christ.  He calls us and we follow.

1 Corinthians 2:14 ~ The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

We can only hear and understand the Truth if the Holy Spirit reveals it to us.  Our desire to follow Jesus has nothing to do with us.  There is nothing within us that even comes close to wanting to follow a Holy God.  To live a selfless life.

You may say that you aren't ready to "give your life to Christ" because you would have to give up the things you love and enjoy.  What you don't understand is that when God chooses you, your desire is to serve Him.  Those things you love so much (sin), you will no longer have a desire for.

The ONLY way we decide we are going to follow Jesus and give Him all of us is with His prompting.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

There Can Never Be Too Many Blessings

I’m quite certain there will be thoughts and questions running through some minds wondering what in the world we are thinking by having another baby and actually being thrilled about it.  We already know that some think we are crazy for having “so many children” but I think because our daughter died just three months ago, some will think us insane!  :)   

No, we aren’t trying to replace Addison.  No child is replaceable.  It’s not even possible.

No, we don’t think God was trying to tell us something by taking Addison to heaven before we were ready.  He is God.  He is fully capable of not allowing me to become pregnant if that is what He wants.  He also doesn’t play guessing games – making us wonder what His will is.

No, we aren’t fearful.  Yes, there will be times when fear will come but we know that the Lord will carry us and alleviate that fear.  

Yes, we could have another miscarriage – we’ve already had five.  Yes, we could have another stillbirth – we've already had one.  Yes, we could lose one of our other children.  

Do you see where I’m going?  There is always a chance that we will lose a baby, or a toddler, or a preteen, or a teen, or each other.  There are no guarantees.  We choose to live our lives in the now and be thankful that we have each other and our children.  Living with fear and doubt doesn’t do anything but waste precious time.

Luke was born six weeks early almost nineteen years ago.  He was in the hospital for three weeks after he was born.  If we would have decided against having more children just because of that then we would be without all these other blessings God has given us! 

There are always “what ifs” but because we serve Jesus we trust Him with everything.  Our children included.  They don’t belong to us anyway.  They are His.

So we are thanking God for another blessing!  Praying that He will allow us to keep this baby.  

He gave us the desire of our hearts and for that we are so grateful.