PS. Isn’t it cool that we can watch life like a football game rerun… it’s as if we watched the whole thing and we know how it ends. If we didn’t watch it first and know how it ended, we might find ourselves getting anxious and overwhelmed at the plays and interceptions, the fumbles and the opponents touchdowns. We might be on the edge of our seats and disappointed, upset, frustrated screaming at every mistake…but instead, we know the ending which means we don’t even question the plays along the way because we know we win in the end, all those plays and attempts during the length of the timer don’t mean much of anything…
We go through things, tough things! I now know what it's like for the waiting game of diagnosis. There are things we have to walk through, there are a lot of ashes, there is a lot of suffering, there is a lot of turning away from Jesus. I sit and think of Job, and what he went through, what his response was, what is reaction was, what his relationship to God was.
Job 2:1-10 (NIV)
On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
I find it beautiful that Job had a relationship with God. He knew him personally.
I want to ask you something. Does everyone go through trials? Does sin and temptation pick and choose who it goes after? Is anyone immune from it's effects? If your answer is "no" and Christian and non Christian alike are affected, what is the answer to overcome it? What is the only thing that can keep someone from being hopeless when they receive bad news? What keeps you going? Distraction, alcohol, prescription drugs, street drugs, sex, better fitness, eating better, more vitamins, denial? If you did all these things to "get away" from the sin or sickness, would you still go through suffering, and or death?
Jesus is the answer.
Eternity is waiting, and it does not matter what door you take to get there, we will all end up at the same place. Because it is written in Hebrews 9:27-28 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Jesus is the answer.
So what do I have to do, then, to get right? Do I have to undo my wrongs, do I have to give up my sin, do I have to try to be better, do I have to be clean, do I have to go to church...what?
The answer is simple it is written in Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Jesus is the answer. And when you know him. You will never be without hope.
Looking back over the last week, I am again amazed at the love of Christ. Even when you are about to get unsettling news, it appears that God somehow prepares your heart. A few months ago, I started having some strange symptoms, but determined in my heart that I would be healed of them. I did not seek out a Dr. and the symptoms continued. This week I decided to go ahead and go in to get checked for something completely different. There was absolutely no proof that what I was experiencing was related to the reason I went in, so I shared with the Dr. the other symptoms I was having.
Chest x-rays and heart monitors were activated and test results started coming back. I wasn't given the "all clear" on the x-ray. They had spotted "something" and that "something" needed to be looked into further. I tried to hold it together. I remembered two days prior during worship God had spoke and said, "When you get the results back, do not worry or be afraid, I have plans for you." I chose not to share this bit of news with anyone because I didn't want to jinx the test results, but now that they had come back with issues, I instantly thought about this moment in time.
I also read my last blog...funny, I thought that was for someone else.... which is possible...but more than likely it was preparing my own heart.
I cried of course and I pulled out the "worst case scenario." Perhaps out of fear, but it seems to be how I deal with things. If the worst happened, how am I going to prepare. I thought about how people get angry with God when they get unsettling news. I wasn't angry. Mostly because I am very secure in my relationship with him. I didn't see it as a punishment or a disappointment, matter of fact, I didn't even ask him why. I don't know that I am currently "trusting" him with a healing outcome because if I were I would think I would have more peace. I would like to get there though! I am still completely in love with Christ and believe that he works out all things for the good for those that love him and call on his name.
I think back to an podcast of Focus on the Family a few days back. I am remembering the scripture that the guest was focusing on in her bout with returning cancer.
Awaiting the New Body 2 Corinthians 5:5-10
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
I think on those things that have all of a sudden become important and toss those things that are not. I do not think about the petty little arguments I've had with people along the way, or the people that have done me wrong, I don't think about revenge or wrong doings, I think about how amazing my life is, my family is, how amazing God is.
I remember Bible Study on Wednesday and how Jesus overcame the enemy. He overcame it with "it is written". I got into the word, I read Proverbs 19, because today is the 19th. I let the words saturate every part of me...there is not fear in me at all, I'm not afraid of eternity. I know where I am going. I think of people who do not have a relationship with Jesus and the fear they must feel. Not because of death, but because they don't know Jesus, and if they don't know Jesus, their eternity is fearful and then death is scary. Oh just to touch others for Christ so they don't fear their eternity....
On to life, there is so much to do, and the workers are few. How do you take this love and invest it into others so that they can have the same hope. I'm not afraid, isn't that amazing. I'm sad...and I'm depending on God to give me a positive testimony on my results from Monday's testings, but no matter what the results, I will trust, and have trusted that God loves me dearly and gave his life for me, so that I would never have to fear sickness or death.
I've had some exceptional experiences with God. Not like the ones where you see dead people rise to life yet, but the ones where no one could possibly know things and God brings you the answer through completely non-obvious ways.
Every evening we read as a family a couple pages out of the Bible, and then we discuss our favorite parts. My favorite part on this particular read, as it often is, was in John 5:3-6 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” I have a personal reason this scripture touches me so much and I have a sort of "snotty tone" when I read it out loud, which I'm really being brutally honest about. I know it sounds bad on my part, and it is a bit, but if I want to be truthful, that's truth. People are scared to let you see who they really are inside, but me, I might as well tell you, because Jesus sees it anyway, and he's the one that will call me out on it. So I might as well air my dirty laundry before those that can not hurt me so that I don't cover it up... ok rabbit trail...so back to my point. So as I'm reading this scripture in my normal snotty tone, something (God) makes me see this scripture in bold. It said DO YOU WANT TO GET WELL? It was my English teacher lessons coming out from years ago. This was a question that provided a choice. So the one that we beg for healing (Jesus) was asking the sick man a question that would require the CHOICE of the sick man. What? Ok... it's going to take a minute to absorb.... The healer knew that the man already had it in him (because he was created by God to do so) to make the choice to have healing. God already knew what we needed before we could ask or think...why? because he made us, and he made the way before we even knew we were lost or sick! WHAT....seriously.
So in my bout of excitement, since I shut down Facebook, I threw this simple text out to 3 of my favorite prayer people....."And Jesus asked Do you want to be healed? Its so cool that its a choice!!!
No response... from anyone.
No worries... God didn't stop there.
The next morning I went to work and I was still pumped, so I went in to tell 2 of my coworkers about the God Moment. One of which I had texted, but she said her husband read the text and she forgot all about it. So I got all excited and told them again, with my hands flinging and spit flying!!! They thought my God Moment was "cool." Good revelation. Not as cool as I thought it was, but never the less cool enough.
Fast forward to 2 pm. I finally get a text from my Pastor friend who I texted the night before...who asked me if I got this revelation from this book called "culture of honor". I replied, no, I never heard of that book, I had gotten it from reading the Bible and God speaking. He replied that he had just read the same thing from this book... coincidence? We both knew it wasn't...God was on the move.
So next things next, I have to share this with my two co-workers who have no connection to this conversation... they have the same reaction as I.
Coworker 1 - "HOLY MOLY!!!! That is super COOL!
Coworker 2 - Wow. Awesome timing! ... God's confirmation. Love it! :)
Me.... I cried.
It's amazing to me that God will go out of his way in a completely non-obvious way to show you that he takes time for you. It's not a minute today or a minute tomorrow, it's 24/7 attention and affection, towards just you. And, it was not just me he showed, it was 9 different people just from 2 sentences of his word in the Bible. God is big...bigger than we can imagine, he is there for you and me 24/7 all the time, he has enough love, time, and energy to love us all.
The words "all the other names fade away, until there's only you, Jesus take your place" are singing in my head... whatever distracts you; sicknesses, circumstances, heartbreaks, people, activities, work...what ever takes your eyes of Jesus...must fade away until you see a clear picture of the one who loves you. I am not saying quit your jobs, walk away from your friends, and loose hope, or give up anything, what I am saying is that when Jesus takes his place as number 1 in your life...all the other things either line up, or bow down.
God thank you for the readers here today, thank you for the lessons you are blessing them with in every God Moment, thank you that their eyes are open and their hearts are ready through the Holy Spirit to call on the name of your son Jesus, who provides us with all our needs. Thank you for giving us eternal life in you.
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