Perils of the Pit

Psalm 40:2
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

I started reading my Bible last night and asked God what He wanted to share with me tonight. I opened my Word to Psalms and read a few passages. Somehow (well, we know it’s not somehow, right?), the pages kept flipping back to the verse above…He brought me up also out of an horrible pit. I was struck by that word pit. My thoughts turned to Joseph and how he must have felt when his brothers threw him in his pit.

Genesis 37:24
And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

Can you imagine being in a pit like that? A dark, empty place, no way out. And he knew exactly who put him there – his own family! That is a subject for another blog all by itself. But that pit, that pit.

I know what it is like to be in that place. No way out. What do I do when I don’t know what to do? How do I keep going when it seems like all hope is lost? How do I escape the dark, empty place that has become my life? Why does bad seem to be all that comes my way when I pray? I praise, I worship, I give God my whole heart, and yet I am in this pit of despair.  Can I dare to muster up the drive to think there is hope for me?

Genesis 37:28
Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

Yes, yes yes! There is hope for me! I know it as sure as I know my name. Joseph’s pit was the turning point in his life. His darkest hour, his source of pain, was the shift that turned his life from despair into hope. He lay in that pit all night and wondered what was going to happen to him. Would his life end in that pit?

When the Midianites lifted him out, he saw the daylight of the first day of the rest of his new life. His old life was gone and he was lifted into his purpose and calling. He didn’t even know it then that God had His hands on Him and was with him every step of the way. It didn’t feel like it, I’m sure. He was in bondage after all.  There were many, many trials he had to face before he was put in the position of the Pharaoh’s right hand man. I wonder if he felt like I do at times…just when you come through one thing, here come something else.

We have to face the fact that it may not feel good right now. But we can’t go on what we feel. No way! We must hold on and know that no matter how it feels, God is still in control.

After I read this and all this was turning in my mind, I tossed and turned all night with a temperature of 102. I sweated and could not get comfortable. I kept thinking about that pit and if this was what it felt like. I was alone in my misery and all I could do was cry out to God! I prayed, praised, and called out every scripture my burning brain could remember.  I had to bless God even when I didn’t feel like it. Morning came and I was still here. Still feeling sick in my body but my spirit was rejoicing.

I know that we all face situations that make you wonder if God is there. Does He really understand what I am going through? Is He really in my pit of depression, bills, financial mess, sickness? Does He not know that I just need a break?

Consider the outcome of Joseph’s life and begin to praise God for what He is going to do for you! Even in adversity, there is reason to have hope and to give thanks. (David Mills)  When Joseph’s brothers came before him and were scared of what he would do in retaliation for putting him in that pit he said this:

Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

We face so much in this life. But I choose today to have hope for a brighter tomorrow. If God can take Joseph out of that pit and place him in a palace, I have hope that He can do so much more with my life. I am a daughter of God and am walking into my calling and purpose with praise and thanksgiving.  He’s lifted me out of many pits and He can and will do it again! Many lives were saved because Joseph endured that pit. Someone is waiting on you to come out and tell them how you made it through!

You may feel bad right now but rest assured that what is meant for evil, God is meaning for good in your life to save  the people only you can touch. Your ministry, your anointing, your calling, your witness, your story, the perils of your pit, will help someone understand the saving power of Jesus.  And that’s what it’s all about!

Until Next Time,

I Remain Your Advocate for Victorious Living!

Here I Am – Lord Send Me!

Genesis 46:2
And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, a program came on telling the world about two missionaries who traveled to Haiti to evangelize the people there who believed in voodoo. They spoke of how they were able to have classes where they taught the people about the love of Jesus and made sure that they were aware of what they were doing. They emphasized to them once they were baptized and accepted Jesus, voodoo would no longer be a part of their lives. The missionaries held classes in humid weather and baptized the people in water too muddy and dirty to drink. But they went down in Jesus’ Name!

I was impressed with how the missionaries gave up their comfortable conditions in the States to travel far away from home. They thought nothing about getting into that dirty water to baptize people who were hearing about Jesus for the first time. I was a little horrified at looking at the water but happy to see the love of God on everyone’s faces.

My thoughts turned to myself as I sat back on the bed. I am in a new mind set lately that has me more in tune with what God wants me to do. I am fond of saying that I have a “YES” spirit to do His will and not mine. But as I looked at that muddy water, I asked myself if God told me to go to Haiti would that yes be firm, exuberant and have me ready to pack it up? Mmmmm. I have to admit that I am not quite there.

Maybe God won’t ask me to go to Haiti, The Bahamas, or even California. Maybe He wants me to look around where I live, work, go to church, and socialize. Am I open enough to hear His voice tell me to help someone right here in my own backyard?

As we go into this holiday season, I admonish us all to look for the opportunities that are ever before us to help someone near to you. Our mission field is right here! Brighten the corner where you are. In these economic times, I can almost guarantee you that there is someone at your job or church who needs a helping hand. I challenge you to do something to help that single mother or father you know has had a hard time this year. Be a blessing to the child who has lost a parent or whose parent is sick and struggling and others who have lost loved ones. Reach out to the family that has only one income. There are people right here within your reach that needs to know God is real! We who are saved are the lights that God will send into dark places. Hurting people are right where you are!

It may not seem like much to you but will be the world to the people you touch. I challenge us to share the love, mercy, and grace of God with everyone we come in contact with. You will never know how far your acts of kindness will reach in the kingdom of God.

I want to be able to say when God calls my name – HERE I AM, LORD SEND ME!

Matthew 25:40
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Until Next Time, I Remain Your Advocate for Victorious Living

Our Only Chance of Survival

John 15:13
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

My friend Sharon has given me permission to share her story. Her family has been going through, for real! You see, her brother was diagnosed with leukemia and he desperately needs to find a bone marrow donor for a transplant. I am not sure just how many of their siblings were tested to see if they would be a match, but it was more than one. They tested the males first since they would have a much greater chance for a successful match than the females. Once the brothers were ruled out for various reasons, the doctors turned to the sisters.

Sharon was sent a test kit from her brother’s doctors in Buffalo, NY. The kit had to be taken to her doctor’s office so they could oversee drawing the blood and send the sample back as soon as possible. As she sat and watched her blood go into the test vials, Sharon told me that she was moved by this whole process to give God praise. She told God, this is YOUR blood anyway! Because You died for me and took my place, I am here! She felt no fear as she watched, and was surrounded by a sense of peace. She walked out praising God! I know she has been praising for healing since the diagnosis was first made. Her faith has been strong that God would heal and deliver in her family.

Turns out, after five days of waiting, Sharon is a match and will be flying out to Buffalo next week to have the painful procedure that will extract her bone marrow so it can be given to her brother. I asked her if she knew it would not be a picnic for her. She told me she was willing to do it despite the pain. The benefit would be worth any pain she had to endure – there was no other way her brother could be saved! As she was talking to me, we both began to praise God for the BLOOD!!!!! Can you already see where I am going? Hallelujah!! Her brother’s only chance of survival is to have his sister’s bone marrow transplanted into his. With her marrow, regeneration of healthy cells will begin in his body and essentially new life will begin! This sister is willing to go through the discomfort of the procedure because she knows without a doubt that she is doing it to save her brother’s life. What an example of love and unselfishness!

I was so keenly reminded that our only chance of survival still is JESUS! He laid down His life for us and shed His blood for me and for you! His life for ours! He endured the weight of the world on Him at Calvary and did it willingly. His sacrifice has given me a chance at a new life that I did not deserve but have anyway! He did it knowing this was the only way to save humanity from the grips of hell.

My hurts and worries have dimmed as I realize how much my friend will have to go through to save her brother. How many people die while waiting for donors?! I now have to check myself. Would I really be willing to endure such pain for my brothers or sister, for close friends? Would I truly do all I could to help someone in need whether I knew them or not? If anything I owned or was a part of me was someone’s only chance of survival, would I give it willingly? I pray that my answer will be YES to each question but if I am honest, I fear it just may not be. I challenge us all to remember that we are here because somebody sacrificed so we could have. Jesus sacrificed His very life so that we could live. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Lord, we thank you for the miracle in the match between siblings! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I pray that You will take over the procedures and make everything go smoothly as the healing begins. Send your comfort and strength to this family as they nurture two members back to full health. Help the selfish parts of me that would hesitate to help people You died to save. I want to be a light for You! Let me have a YES spirit each and every day! In Jesus Name I pray! Amen!

Until Next Time, I Remain

Your Advocate for Victorious Living

Resting in Him

I am tired tonight, my friends. Bone-weary, don’t want to talk, don’t want to laugh, don’t want to even breathe deeply tired. I was in Roses trying to get my daughter some t-shirts and had to leave. Was too tired to finish shopping. Ran through the drive-thru to get a sandwich and came on in.

I was glad to be home! I sat on the couch and laughed some with my family. They thought I was enjoying their company. Although I was, the truth is, I was so tired, I didn’t have the strength to walk up even one of the thirteen steps to my bedroom.  So I sat until I could do it.

The days like this are the hardest for me. The fatigue of fibromyalgia can zap my energy faster that you can say “jack rabbit”.  I push until I can’t go anymore and tonight is one of those nights. I can’t even believe the words are coming for me to write!

What spurred me on was what I heard whispering in my ears as I made it up those steps as surely as I am writing this to you. As I sent a text message to my friend Terry about being tired, I heard COME UNTO ME ALL YE THAT LABOR, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST! Yes, Lord, I hear YOU!!!! You got me!!

When it hurts to breathe, and hurts to talk and it even hurts to type – You got me covered! As my kids fight over soap and I know I have homework, You are there! The bills, the uncertainty of tomorrow, my silent moans of frustration for being misunderstood and my heavy heart are all laid at Your Feet. I can’t do anything else today about any of it, so tonight I choose to turn it over to YOU!

I will not go to bed and take worry into my sleep. You told me that You will give me rest and I expect a sweet sleep! Just thinking of that made me smile and then it hit me! By giving it to Him, in that one moment, in less than a second, the heaviness was gone. Tears of joy are running down my face as I realize, when nothing and nobody else could help, His love lifted me. Literally lifted my spirit into a new dimension of rest in Him.

Whatever you face tonight, today, whenever you read this – truly give it to Him! Not, well Lord, here it is, then you take it back and worry. But tell Him all about it and trust that HE HAS YOU TOO!!!

Real talk – my body still hurts and, physically, I am still very tired, but as my soul rests in Him, I believe healing is on the way!

I pray you will rest in Him fully! It’s joy unspeakable!

Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!

Until next time, I remain
Your Advocate for Victorious Living