March 23, 2010
I often had imagined Barabbas being in the crowd to see who was chosen instead of him to die, watching Christ on the cross knowing it was suppose to be him. Just like I know it is I who deserved to suffer for my sins. But them little rascals have a way of thinking things we don't often think and seeing things different. I can agree with Snapp, I am glad they chose Barabbas to be released too. His release provided the way for me to be reconciled to my God through Christ Jesus.
March 22, 2010
His Sunday School teacher was talking about the difference about knowing about God and believing He is real. My son raised his hand to share when God became real to him. First, this is a big step for Snipp to raise his hand to share something. Snipp used to not want to speak up in class, and he is my most reserved child.
What he shared was huge and such a sensitive subject to his heart. Snipp said, "When my dad died." He told me that it was all he could do to not cry when he said it. It is just such hard thing to say aloud. Later in Junior Church, his teacher asked him if he could share it with the group. Snipp told me 90% of him was saying NO!!! But he nodded his head anyway. After the teacher shared it with the group, another boy raised his hand and said something to the effect of being sorry that his dad died. Snipp told me he held his breath so he wouldn't cry. It touched his heart so much to have support and compassion from others.
As we discussed this more, Snipp shared that if it had been shortly after Daddy's death, he would have just bawled. Time is a healer. So is the Great Healer, Christ Jesus. The most powerful thing Snipp shared with me was the reason he said that God became real to him when Daddy died. Snipp said, "We didn't need Daddy to take care of us."
I felt split in two. There was a great truth in all this, a truth that stung. In my mind, I know God takes care of us, yet my heart often cries I need Jim. The powerful truth God has shown to my son is that GOD is enough. The God his Daddy loved and prayed to was all Daddy said he was. The God that Mom said would take care of us even though she didn't know how, has done just that.
It took four years for this to be manifested. But to me it was a light at the end of tunnel. This tragedy has not shattered my son's faith, it has solidified it and strengthened it.
Thank You, Jesus, thank You, for seeing the end from the beginning!!!
As Christians, we often think that we should have all the blessing with none of the pain. If God allowed His Precious Son to suffer for our good and His glory, before He went to Heaven. Surely we can expect to suffer for our own good and His glory, before we go to Heaven.
Our pastor was just talking about this the other day. I think my little fellow hears more of the sermon than I think. Now if the message God wants him to know will just sink into his heart....
March 13, 2010
I felt almost fearful. I poured out my heart to the Lord about the matter and expressed my concern that satan was attacking certain individuals, seeking to destroy them. I felt the Lord reminded me He is sovereign; He is in control. But then I brought up how people can give in and comply with the devil. And my mind envisioned Judas kissing Jesus on the cheek. The answer to this one was from scripture, Isaiah 43:13 "I will work and who shall let it?" Oh, Lord, I prayed, pain may come as I pictured the cross. "Beauty will rise from the ashes." was the answer.
I had to leave my consecrated time but these three statements stayed with me:
1) God is soverign over satan's attacks; He is in control.
2) God will work and who shall let (stop or hinder) it?
3) Beauty will rise from the ashes.
About five days later, we had a guest speaker at church. And his key verse was Isaiah 43:13!! Oh, goosebumps!! Key words from his sermon, " I will work"
The first truth that stood out to me was when it says, "...the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister.." Moses' minister....He was Moses' right hand man, the man ministered to Moses. I was my husband's right hand helpmeet. I ministered to him in countless ways. Immediately I could identify with Joshua.
The next truth that stood out to me was God told Joshua in verse two "Moses my servant is dead.." Was Joshua (like many of us who grieve) in denial waiting for Moses to come back down off the mountain? Many times my mind had played similar tricks on me, and I have expected to see my husband when I know he won't come back to me, but I can go to him. God lovingly shakes Joshua with the blunt words "Moses is dead." Moses, his close friend, his leader, his mentor, was not coming back. Reality's cold wind on a mourner's face.
Another truth that grabbed my attention was the words following this reality check. "...now therefore arise, go....." Arise means he wasn't standing. Was he bowed down in heavy grief? Did he want to just sit and never get up again? I know I have felt that way numerous times. Arise and go. Go--time for action. God was telling him he had a mission, a purpose for him to fulfill. Go--life seems to end when tragedy strikes, but life is in constant motion. Go there is work to do!
The next verse that spoke to me was verse five. "..as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Wow! This reminded me that the same God that was with my husband to lead this family, is with me to lead this family. That is great comfort! God assured Joshua he will not leave him or let him down. He would be with him every step of the way. And so is God with me. What comfort!
Then we get into the more well known portions of scripture. "Be strong and of good courage." This was told to Joshua in verses six, seven, nine, and just in case he forgot verse eighteen. Now, I used to always think of Joshua as a great military man, fearless and strong. If he was so mighty, so confident, why would God have to tell him this four times? I think Joshua was like you and me. He had fears, he battled discouragement, and he felt overwhelmed. He had doubts.
Again God tells him, "...for the LORD thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest." Again he would be with him all the way.
God is so gracious and loving. He doesn't just say be strong and of good courage, He gave a road map to Joshua how to be prosperous. Joshua 1:7-8 "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
So my road map is similar: Read and meditate on the Word of God morning and evening. Then do what I understood it to mean. Don't turn away from it! Speak God's Word! And do it! And I shall have good success.
Around the time I was studying this passage, Snapp's devotion book compared physical needs of the body with spiritual needs of the spirit. The body needs healthy food; the spirit needs fed from God's Word. The body needs exercise; the spirit needs to exercise doing what was read in God's Word. The body needs rest; the spirit needs times of rest whey you get alone and commune with God. So simple, but great food for thought:)
So be strong and of good courage, my friend. The God of Joshua is the same God of today.
It reminded me of Peter walking on water as long as he had his eyes on the Saviour. I am a visual source of strength for these children, just like my husband used to be for me. My son seeing me smiling and making faces, that "joy" was my son's strength. God said in Nehemiah 8:10 "for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Does God have delight on His face when we look to Him? Is He smiling at us? Is He encouraging us being our strength? Absolutely!!! Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."
March 11, 2010
March 04, 2010
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts"
Isn't that the truth!! So why do I think I can figure out what He is doing in my life? It all comes back to trusting my Heavenly Father to know what is best for me. To just keeping doing the last thing He told me to till He gives me my next instructions.