Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Two Blessings and a Major Battle

Today I was blessed in a special way on two occasions. The first came as I was sorting through and packing up some special keepsakes. This might be a fairly short process for many, but for me, the keeper of all things sentimental, it is a painstakingly lengthy process. I have old cards from friends and family, cute little pictures from the kids, the tags off of special animals, stubs from a movie we saw on a date night, parking tags from a hike at Silver Creek Falls, notes from a particularly moving sermon... I know, it's an illness! At any rate all of those things do tend to wash the sentimental feelings through my body and it was just a nice journey. I try not to think too much about the fact that I've filled a whole box with these treasures.
I also found a magazine that made it's way in to the midst of these things I was sorting. It was a recently misplaced copy of Charisma and as I was pillaging through everything it slipped to the ground and fell open to the article entitled "Don't Run From Your Giants: Most of us would do anything to avoid life's trials. But, God always brings good out of the hard times we endure." Intriguing to say the least. Here are some snippets from the article written by Judy Jacobs:

As soon as Jesus was baptized by John, He had to face temptation in the
wilderness (Matthew 4:1, Mark 1:12, Luke 4:1)

(God) did promise, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and
through the rivers, they shall not overflow you." (Isaiah 43:2)

Is your promised land occupied by giants at the moment? Do they have names
such as "insecurity," "insignificance," "unemployment," "deficiency," or
"sickness"? Who could possibly conquer territory that's being held by giants?
Are you tempted, like the Israelites, to hold back and stay safe? You should
know that if you do that, your giants will only get bigger. They're not going
anywhere unless God drives them out with His mighty right hand. As a matter of
fact, those giants are supposed to be there. They are letting you know you are
about to come into your greatness and into your promised land- if you will stand
up and fight.

Opposition and adversity, even the fiercest kinds, are never completely bad.
In fact, God always turns around what seems to be meant for evil into something
good (Romans 8:28). It's always worth it. You can say that with two black eyes.
You can whisper it with bleeding (nostrils). You can give thanks from the bottom
of a pit.

Sometimes you have to step out on nothing and watch God turn it into
something. You have to trust Him to take what the devil meant for bad and turn
it into good. You have to stop running from your giants, stand strong and watch
God defeat them.

I was blessed by that article to stand our ground on some issues with the sale of the business and trust that God will wrap this up in the perfect way. I'm not saying we have any earthly enemies per say, but we definitely fight a spiritual enemy. Some of the giants I am facing our fear and anxiety, finances, and the details that need to be wrapped up in this chapter of our lives. I'm grabbing the belt of truth, breast plate of righteousness, my feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, I have the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God, and I'm heading into battle.

The second blessing I got today was flowers from my husband! We've been so busy with the intensity of all the details that have needed our attention that some of the little things have been set aside for a while. Flowers seem so impractical and unnecessary when we're dealing with major life changing issues. Not to mention I packed up all the vases! But what a blessing I received to get to stop and enjoy these bountiful blooms today, even if they are being held by a large, ugly mug. I love that Andrew went out of his way to get them, in the midst of all the other things he's got to do, because he knows how wonderful they make me feel. Thank you Andrew!

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Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff