These are just a few of the many articles that Bob wrote as his wife Janet laid on her death bed. They loved one another dearly and this was the greatest test of their lives. Be encouraged as the reality of our Savior and Messiah Yeshua Hamashiach (Jesus the Christ) helped Bob overcome.
Seeking God can be an incredible experience but it can be an exasperating experience too. While it is an awesome thing to encounter Him and see Him do the miraculous, it seems to always be (for me anyway) preceded by desperation. Miracles happen all the time but
usually happen because there is a crisis in our lives requiring God’s intervention.
We are by definition “Overcomers” and we will be victorious over the enemy but to overcome there has to be an obstacle in front of us and we cannot have a victory without fighting a battle. There is never a time we will lose a battle if we continue to fight, and we can be confident that all things work together for good for those who are in Christ so that that we may be more perfectly transformed into the image and likeness of the Son.
The end result of every trial we go through is meant to transform us and to make us stronger in our faith, but every trial we go through is a trial. Nothing of real value comes without a price, the question we all face is; are we willing to pay the price for the prize at the end of the trial?
“And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force as a precious prize—a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion….” Amp Mt 11:12 My answer to the question is “yes I will stand and fight”.
I believe that if God has allowed a trial to come into my life it is because there is a prize awaiting me at the end of the fight. The prize that waits is the advancement of His Kingdom and the further transformation of my life into His life.
There are times when we need to hear from the Lord because things seem to be more than we can handle and it “feels” like we have been abandoned. I thank God that at those times He has ways to reassure us that He has not left us or forsaken us. At times it is not enough to just have the scriptures to comfort us, though the scriptures are alive and contain the words of life that sustain us.
God knows our frames and our weaknesses and at the times we begin to wonder if He knows we are going through difficult situations He sends us the comfort and affirmation we need. More than once He spoke to Jesus saying “This is my Son…..” and when John the Baptizer was in prison needing reassurance Jesus sent Him a ‘practical’ word from the natural world saying “…the dead are raised the sick are healed….”.
This morning as I was getting dressed to go out for a walk I was telling the Lord I needed to hear from Him and after 3 hours in the word and prayer I heard nothing and was feeling a bit overwhelmed by circumstances, He still said nothing. I walked out the door and was shocked and immediately depressed at the sight of snow on the ground and in the air coming down at an incredible rate. Out of my mouth came “OH GOD, I HATE SNOW!!!”, I looked up and was about to ask Him why He was doing this to me now, I am not feeling well, Toots is sick and
needs to go to the dr. today and I can’t deal with this now. But as I looked up I saw the stars in the sky shining bright and yet it was snowing like crazy. Immediately I ‘heard’ the Lord say that no matter how bad things appear He is there and no amount of discouragement the enemy tries to bring my way will be able to blind me to His presence.
He is not “in” the storm that comes into our lives but He is in the midst of it with us giving us peace and the assurance we need. He will always show us the thing we need to see or send someone with the word we need to hear to strengthen us and encourage our hearts. As quickly
as I saw the stars through the snow and heard Him speak to me the snow ended. In the midst of this current storm He spoke and though there is snow on the ground, He is still on the throne and in control…..
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NLT
Today we move deeper into the valley of decision. Though the valley is filled with shadows we remain convinced that for there to be a shadow there must be a light for them to be cast and we will continue to move toward that light. To navigate safely through the darkness we must have a map that clearly shows all the pitfalls and hindrances in our path. Walking through this valley is much like walk…ing through a thick forest at night with only the dim light of the moon to guide the way. Many times a cloud will cover the moons light and we must stop and wait for the wind of the Spirit to blow the cloud away and then continue to move slowly along the path following the maps direction as meticulously as possible.
In order to continue moving through the valley it is crucial to know the map well and to have faith in the One who drew it. It is also important to know that there are others who have walked this path before us and that we are not alone on our journey.
Our map is the Bible and it tells us that there is wisdom in the council of many so we have gathered together those we trust to help us move toward the light. But ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who leads us using the ‘map’ and the advice of those who we have chosen to give us council.
It is a treacherous journey and there are many voices shouting “Come this way” or “Go that way” but because we know our Shepherds calm and reassuring voice we will follow where He leads. We are confident that He is leading us toward green pastures to rest near still waters and
as we rest there others will see the peace He has given us so that when it is time for them to enter this valley they will draw strength from Him as we have.
It is our hope that we will be able to comfort others on their journey through this valley as we have been comforted by others. We understand that to be comforted there must first be discomfort and we count it an honor to have been chosen to walk with Him through this trial. We would have chosen a much different path that would have found a way around this dark and frightening valley but His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than ours.
I am beginning to understand that taking the route I would have chosen for Janet and I would only have taken much longer and would have been much more painful and difficult. I can also see now that the alternate and longer route leads to the same destination and reaching it in that manner would mean forfeiting the knowledge and wisdom it will take to guide others who are going to need our help to make it safely to their destination. We will endure through this trial because of the joy set before us that we can “see” only because our God has set eternity
firmly in our hearts.
As I have stated several times along this journey our hope rests in nothing less than Jesus Christ and His righteousness and because of that it is and will remain forever well with our souls……