Thursday, February 28, 2013

About Face

God has me working on a new project (He's always doing new things!)... and in the process, I've had to go through some files and re-read some stuff.  One of the first things that He brought my attention to was this piece that I wrote back in 2005 about who else..., Christian.  It's amazing how much this little boy has brought into my life.  Sometimes things happen and we don't like them, but they are always designed to make us better or to take us to a different place.  And sometimes these things happen that we might be propelled into our destiny.  This was my first sharing on a "Christian" enlightenment.  Pray it blesses and encourages your heart today.

God has blessed us with a beautiful grandson.  Christian Elijah is just about a year old now and we bless God for bringing him into our lives. 

A while ago, before he learned how to walk, I was watching Christian crawling around on the floor, playing with a ball.  Our son Joseph came into the room and pretended like he was some sort of monster and attempted to scare Christian.  God used his response to this to speak to me. 

I would have to imagine that many babies would have probably started running or turned away or even started crying, when somebody would appear out of nowhere and attempt to scare them.  But Christian didn’t.  He simply turned back toward Joseph’s direction, on the offense. And as I watched him, I heard the Spirit of the Lord tell me, “That is what we as Christians need to do.”  He said that we know the enemy is in attack mode (especially when we’re walking in right standing with God) and when those attacks come we need not be surprised, but just need to stand up to them and face them.  

God said that too often we want to run away from our attackers, those things that “come upon us.”  Our health, finances, relationships… whatever your attack might be at the moment.  But instead we need to run towards them; take up our shields of faith (that’s why God has given it to us) and stand against it.  Christian faced his “enemy.”  He looked him right in the face and with his actions, he said, “Bring it on.”  
God is so good and so real in our lives, that He would use this little baby to speak to us.   Praise the Lord!  He who has an ear, let him hear.  

Be blessed,
Sis. E

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

So What?!... I Have A Crutch!

I have heard many people say that we as Christians have a crutch.  That we need a crutch.  Every time we bring up the Word, that’s our crutch.  That religion is just a crutch.  That Jesus is just a crutch.  Blah, blah, blah and so on, and so forth… That it’s an excuse that we make as Christians, to make somebody or something else responsible for what we do.  I’ve heard it all.  All the critics.  All kinds of reasoning as to who Christians are and why they act the way they do and all God is to us, is a crutch.  But I want you to know, as I shared with the members of my church recently… that’s exactly right.  God is a crutch.  And so what?!...  I have a crutch! 

Not too long ago I was meditating on the Scripture where Jacob was wrestling with the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 32).  The Scripture says he wrestled all night long with an ‘I will not let go until you bless me attitude.’  You see, I believe that Jacob had gotten to a breaking point, the point of no return and he made up his mind that he was going to see a change in his life, one way or another.  God instructed to go back to his hometown, where he believed his brother Esau was out to kill him.  So he let his servants along with his livestock, all go ahead of him divided in droves, for fear of his life.  And he sent his wives, Rachel and Leah, separately to another place along with his children, to hide them.  And Jacob was left alone. 

And then he met a man.  And the Scripture says he wrestled with that man until the man broke a piece of his thigh and then the Scripture says, the man changed his name to Israel, because he (Jacob) as a prince has wrestled with God and prevailed.   (So we know who the man was, don’t we?).  But Jacob walked away with a limp.

If we are to be truly victorious people of God, we all must have had a breaking experience.  We’ve all had to get to a point where we make up our minds, one way or the other; we’re in it for the long haul.  We’re tired of the way things have gone and we want and need change.  It’s a point where we have come to the end of ourselves, fearful of what will come in our lives if we don’t change.  It’s a place we finally come to the realization that we can do nothing of ourselves, that we need God.  That we need the Lord, to keep us, to cover us, to grace us to do whatever task is before us.

We all, like Jacob, must come to that place and once we do should have some sort of a sign as a result of that breaking.  A scar, a mark that says we have been broken.  Our will has been set aside for the Master’s use.   We’ve wrestled with our emotions, ourselves, our destiny, our purpose and we’ve wrestled with God.  And as princes, we’ve prevailed, but we walk away from all that wrestling with a limp.  A limp that will cause us to depend on God’s strength alone to carry us.  But the best part of it all is because we have a limp, we recognize the need to have a crutch.  Some kind of assistance to help us to stand.  And that crutch is God.  So what, if I have a crutch?! 

And what exactly is a crutch?   Well, I looked it up.  One definition says, “It’s a device used for assistance or support”; another says, “Something that supports or sustains.”  Last time I checked God is a Sustainer.  He’s also a very present help.  So what does that make Him?  A crutch.  He is your support.  He is your assistance.  He helps you to stand. 

Those times when you get over something, when you forgive (when your flesh tells you otherwise), when you need strength to go on, God has been your crutch.  Helping you to stand through it all.  Those times when you just don’t think you can do it on your own, when you needed peace, when you needed comfort, when you needed joy.  God has been your crutch.  Right by your side encouraging your soul.  Helping you to continue to believe and to hope, and to dare, and to dream and to walk on.  God is our crutch.

Since I’ve been saved, I don’t walk the same.  I have been broken.  I walk with a limp, sometimes it’s painful, but it’s always victorious!  And my limp serves as a reminder that I have been broken.  That I have wrestled with God over some things and in some ways I have prevailed, because I am still here!  I’ll gladly take the limp because it helps me to remember that I can do nothing on my own.  That I need God.  That I need the Lord Jesus Christ.  That I need the Holy Spirit.  That I need Him to give me guidance and direction.  To give me peace.  To give me hope and a future.  To fulfill His purpose, His will for my life on the earth.  So what if I have a crutch!    

And because you have refused to let go, you received your breaking and your blessing.  Just like Jacob.  And you got the limp AND the crutch to prove it!  Just ask the ones insulting you. 

God is real.  And He is holding you up.  As the song says, “It’s the power of God that keeps holding me up, holding me up, holding me up.  It’s the power of God that keeps holding me up, He keeps on holding me up!”  God keeps on holding you up!  Just like a crutch.

Be blessed.
Sis. E

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Remember to Ask

My grandson, Christian, just celebrated his 9th birthday and I found myself reflecting, watching videos and looking at old pictures.  Anybody that knows me, even for a little while, knows that I like to take pictures... don't care much about being in them, but I will take them if you let me.  So from the time Christian was born I had an, albeit not voluntarily, model.  But nonetheless I had one.  So I was looking at old pics of him when he was baby and watching the many videos I shot of him throughout his years which brought me to today.  (That’s just a side note).  

Anyway as I was reflecting on him, God brought something to my remembrance which I posted about today but here is the story behind the post as I journaled it on October 6th, 2011.

I found myself in a hospital emergency room with my grandson, Christian, who was 7 at the time, whom I had picked up from school because he had complained about stomach pains and my daughter, Brandi (his mom) was at work.  I brought him to my house but after a couple of hours he was still complaining and judging from the look in his eyes, I thought it was time to take him to the hospital.

After being there for several hours, from about 2:00pm, it was about 9 now and after numerous tests, the doctors came up with an inconclusive report.  They thought it might have been his appendix, but was not certain.  The doctor spoke with us, me and my daughter and was telling us of the options for Christian.  That Christian could go home and Brandi would have to watch him and bring him back immediately if the pain started up again, or that Christian could remain in the hospital and allow them to watch him.  Or he could be transferred at that moment to another hospital, which could run further tests as they were in a position to do so, since they had a pediatric unit.  Christian heard these choices and cried out, "I don't want to stay in the hospital.  I want to go home!"  And went on to say how he wasn't in anymore pain.  Then the doctor left us to make our decision.

Brandi looked at me for an answer and I told her she had to make the decision, as it was hers to make, "but follow your heart."  She then told the doctor she wanted Christian to be transferred.  And Christian broke out in more tears, crying louder than before, causing his mom to cry and to doubt what she decided.  She looked at me again, in confusion and fear, and as I started to speak in that instance, Christian blurted out, "Did anybody ask God?  Did you Mom?"  And then declared that he would do so and proceeded to close his eyes and pray.  He opened his eyes and said that God said that I'm going to be alright.  And then he went back to "I want to go home."  Brandi continued to comfort him and I left the room and called my husband to tell him of the circumstances.  He said we had to do what was best for Christian.  And as I walked back to the room where they were, I had strength to help her to make that decision and to stick to it, and as much as he cried after that, Brandi stayed with her decision to have him transferred.  

Christian was transferred, was in the hospital overnight and after no more pain, he was discharged early that evening.  Doctors never determined the cause.  Bless God! 

And over the next couple of days following the incident, I had been thinking about Christian and how brave he was.  But what really stood out the most, was just how much he expressed his faith.  When this had first happened to him, I had prayed for him and when the pain wouldn't go away, he wondered, "Why isn't it gone, Grandma? We prayed.  Why didn't God take it away?"  He still knew and had expectations, which is hope, faith, that since he prayed that God would answer.  And we should always have that expectation as well.  We may not know when God will move, we don't know His timing, but we have to know that He will.  

And then later on when a decision was placed before us, Christian had enough wherewithal to say, "Did anyone ask God?" He knew that God had the answer and though he prayed, he said God told him he would be alright, but he never said God told him, when, or he could go home.  But he knew still that he would be alright, enough to want to go home.

Christian's faith taught me something.  And I am grateful that God allowed me to see it. Faith is about seeking the Lord for direction, for healing, for whatever it is we need, and having the expectation that He will answer. Expectation is hope.  Hope maketh not ashamed.  God will answer.  We just have to believe that and know that with the faith of a little child.

Thank You Jesus!

God is real.  And He answers prayer.

Sis. E