Thursday, February 9, 2017

Now what?

"Are you ready?" a question I posed in my last post. One that obviously resonated with people and is important to consider. The main point was we must be ready to face eternity by knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. This decision not only prepares us for life after death but equips us for the trials we will face while walking this earth.

But today as I ponder and pray about current trials, I'm reminded preparing is a great and necessary first step, but it's not enough. The Falcons and Patriots prepared 2 weeks for the Super Bowl and their lives for this moment, but they still had to take the field, play the game and fight to the finish. Think how long a woman prepares for her wedding. But, she still has to live out her vows and work on her marriage daily.

Today as my little nephew, 11 day old Gideon, faces heart surgery my heart is heavy. I think of him, his parents, the surgeons and nurses. The mom in me is often thinking of his mom, Jackie - my sister in law and friend. The gal I do ministry with and our family farms with. I can't imagine being in her shoes; sometimes I try to do that and tears fill my eyes. It's a hard place to be, a stressful one too. One that could consume and fill you with fear and anxiety.

I don't know if Matt and Jackie ever specifically prepared for a baby with 5 heart defects; none of us can possibly be ready for all the different situations life can bring. We can be ready in a spiritual sense though like I posted about previously. We can build our faith on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and put our hope in a great and mighty God.

This preparation is vital when the winds blow and the storm hits, but when the trial comes the time for being ready is over. It is then we must cling to what we know, stand for what we believe and do what Scripture commands us to do.

Friend, I don't know what trial you are walking through, but can I share a few Truths I've been going back to as our current trial unfolds.

2 Chronicles 12:20 says, "Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah were being attacked. The leader was alarmed, but he resolved to inquire of the Lord and as he closed his prayer, he made this statement.

Chances are you aren't in a physical war, but in life we do have moments we don't know what to do - in those times we must make the king's words our own - we must keep our eyes on God. Like the song says, we are prone to wonder. For me it's often my mind, not my feet, but regardless we need to stay with the One who not only makes us ready, but is able to carry us through. And we must remember there is a spiritual battling raging...physically there may not be anyone attacking us, but Satan is always on the prowl looking to steal, kill and destroy.

Psalm 46:10 reads, "He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'" Friend, chances are this is a familiar verse, specifically the first phrase. It's a verse Christians can be quick to share, but do you know what it means when read in context? This too comes out of a moment of physical attack and war. The psalmist is in a difficult situation. The whole chapter gives insight into the trying circumstances and great understanding. This writer acknowledges God - who He is and the power He has. It's good when we do the same.

As I dug deeper into this passage and studied some of the original language, I realized there's more to this familiar verse than I realized. This "Be Still" is more than just a quieting of our mind - it's a letting go and surrendering of our heart. Going back to the Hebrew it was used when two soldiers were fighting and they wee told to drop their weapons - once the fighting stops they can let go and surrender to the one in control. Friend, that is what I need to do in a trial - whether I'm fighting with another or battling thoughts in my mind. I need to stop, so that I can be still. Another commentary I read referenced the idea of being silent as well. Being still refers to not just our physical state, but our minds and mouth as well.

John 7:37 says, "Whoever believes in me (Jesus), as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.' By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive." Friend, in moments of trial there's much we need - we may not have a physical thirst, oh but do we have a spiritual one. In those moments, we must be intentional about where we go and who we let lead us. Jesus promises to provide and meet our needs (Phil. 4:19) while God, our good Shepherd will lead us beside still waters and refresh our soul (Psalm 23:3), but we must go to them and trust them. Will you do that?

I'll close with a song that's been on my heart and another request for prayer - little Gideon is being prepped for surgery as I type, his parents are walking a road that is new, but they are trusting a Father they know - one who is powerful and faithful. If God brings them to mind, would you lift them up? Thank you from the depths of our hearts. May you meet Him at the river today...




8 comments:

  1. Powerful, beautiful verses to cling to. Thank you!

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    1. Yes they are! May we remember to cling to them always!

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  2. Beautiful as always. Praying sweet sister.

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    1. Thank you for your prayers Victoria! Greatly appreciate them.

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  3. Jill, this is so beautiful. Even in the midst of such a heart wrenching time. Holding you and your family tight in prayer. I love you. Xoxo Noelle

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    1. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words friend! Blessings from the farm!

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  4. Hey sweet friend, I just saw your post as I was getting ready to copy Wendy's morning prayer...(of course, I'm late). So glad that I am back in touch with you now. I'll get to that another time. NOW WHAT? " Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Heb. 4:16 Surely, I will be praying for baby Gideon and his family. May God be glorified through this precious baby's recovery.
    Mema Jeanne

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    1. So good to see your name here again Mema Jeanne! Looking forward to your update and so, so thankful for your prayers!

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