Monday, March 3, 2014

When the World is Falling Apart...

Today, I want to talk to you all about the most trying times in life.  I’m not talking about financial woes or man problems, but rather those things that hit us so hard that we can’t begin to fathom what the blow will feel like ahead of time.  When you are confronted with the reality of life and death, the emotions that ensue are ones that you can’t prepare yourself for.  I remember when I lost my uncle a few years ago, I felt like the whole world didn’t make sense anymore.  For the first time in my life, I didn’t understand God.  I thought about heaven and hell in a way that I never had before.  True enough, there was a heaven that I longed to go to, but was I on the right path?  If I was, who would be waiting for me when I got there?

What hit me these past few weeks was different than that feeling, but just as deep.  Nobody died (thank God), but I have had to exercise my faith in a way that I never have before.  About two weeks ago, I learned that one of my closest loved ones got an unexpected and unfavorable report from the doctor after surgery.  It was one of those things that you never want to hear, but hearing it sooner rather than later was a blessing in disguise.  My hardest moments in life have always been watching the ones that I love in pain – physical and emotional.  I had to call on the Lord at a moment’s notice to give me the words to say and the actions to take to love my loved one with the love of Jesus.  The Lord came through, and the strength of our family prevailed.  I was keeping my head above water, and had full faith in God’s perfect timing, until……

I was driving to work one morning just a week later when my sister called me with some news.  A long-time friend of ours had been diagnosed with cancer at the age of just twenty-nine.  I had gotten to a place of complete faith after the news from the week before, and it was like this news literally fell out of the sky and hit me with the greatest force.  I cannot tell you how shocked I was, and I certainly can’t describe the way my heart ached.  It wasn’t that I cared about this news more than the other, but this person was just so close in age, ambition, and optimism.  No matter how many times I learn of sad stories of the young suffering in their health, being sick just felt like something reserved for generations much older than our own.  It wasn’t fair, it didn’t make sense, and honestly: it could have been me.

Can I stop for just a minute to tell you all an observation that I have made?  I have never seen a person deal with sickness or untimely death that would not be missed.   I’ve learned in life that the devil doesn’t usually go after the mean or the bitter – they usually live quite long.  It’s the ones who support their families with enduring and unfailing strength, like my loved one, who he seems to come for.  It’s the ones who effortlessly bring us joy and laughter, like my friend, who he goes after.  All that I can guess is that he goes for the ones that everyone loves because he wants to hurt everyone in one blow.  The devil had pulled the ultimate trick: he would hold the threat of losing someone whose spirit had touched so many in the forefront of our minds.  He would watch us get mad, cry, and eventually turn cold.  What he didn’t count on was our faith.

I have news for the enemy: I’m not the fragile young woman who fell to pieces when my uncle left us so suddenly.  I have found a voice in prayer that I believe was passed down to me from my late great grandmother who served as the intercessor for our family.  I will fight this battle in the spirit, and I mean to WIN!  J, if you are reading this, let me tell you one thing: you will live.  YOU WILL LIVE.  I’m no fortune teller, but the Bible tells me that you were already healed at Calvary by the stripes on Jesus’ back.

So the question is: what do you do when everything seems to be falling apart?  Well I can tell you that you will cry, and that’s OKAY.  Crying is a gift that God gave to us so that we can communicate our innermost emotions to him.  As much as you don’t want to weigh out the negative possibilities, you will.  They will stare you in the face and demand your attention.  After the crying and the fear, there comes an immense anger that will burn in the pit of your stomach.  No matter how hard you try to suppress it, it will eventually rise up and escape out of your mouth, your eyes, and even your hands in a rage that may surprise even you.  What you do with that anger is so crucial.  It carries the power of life and death.

These are the moments when you curse the devil.  These are the moments when you remind Satan how weak he is in comparison to the God that lives inside of you.  Let that anger turn into a fervent prayer, a determination that you will not give up on your faith in the word of God.  When we accept the blood of Jesus Christ, we inherit LIFE.  This is the time when you demand your inheritance.  The devil can only pretend to hold that inheritance in his hands, but in reality it is in heaven, packaged, and ready to go with a bow and gift tag with your name on it.  Claim that that gift of healing and life is yours.  Claim that that gift of healing and life belongs to your loved one.  Claim it every day, and worship like it’s already here!

So, that’s where I am.  I refuse to let the devil win, and there are some STRONG prayer warriors standing with me.  We will pray, fast, and do whatever it takes.  J, you will make us laugh for so many years, and you will not suffer through those years.  Gone are the days of the devil doing the cabbage patch while we sit back claiming “It was God’s will.”  God’s will is never for us to suffer, and always for us to LIVE.

Food for Thought:

Isaiah 55: 3 - But he was pierced for our transgressions,  he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Jeremiah 30:17 - But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’declares the Lord,‘because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.’

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