Our family has been through many struggles. Some people look at us and say, “How do you stay sane?” While others offer this response, “That’s nothing to what I face everyday.” And they are right.
Do you ever wonder why some families just seem to have the most difficult challenges? Birth defects, cancers, financial failures, and persecutions are the norm for some. Consider Naomi. Her family endured near starvation in a famine, lost their livelihood, and fled to a foreign land to live among pagans.
We are not told if they suffered persecution at the hands of the Moabites but we do know her two sons took wives from these forbidden people. Moms who see their children marrying an unbeliever know this pain all too well.
Before Naomi could know the joy of being a Gramma, she knew the heartache of losing her husband and both sons in death. Each death would shatter a broken heart into unfixable pieces. Three is more than I could imagine enduring.
The pagan nation had nothing to offer so she returned to her homeland, widowed and childless. One bright spot in all her darkness is Ruth, the daughter-in-law that sticks to her side. Together they are poor but at least they are together.
We know the story ends well for Naomi. Her void and barren life is filled to overflowing when that Grandson Obed is placed in her arms. (I now know how she felt. A baby changes everything.)
But some believers don’t seem to ever get the happy ending on this earth. Why?
That’s a question only God can answer to each individual heart. I don’t have the wisdom to give such answers. But I can direct you to the One who not only has the answers but He has everything a hurting soul needs. These few weeks are designed to guide our thinking through a process that ultimately will lead us to Him.
Last week you were asked to record a struggle that is stealing your joy, peace, and power. When I first started writing this series, Mike had just been diagnosed with melanoma. There is something about having the word cancer enter your home that causes a quake of emotions.
I had to settle the issue of how I felt about God in all this. Had He let us down? What did we expect from Him and what would we do if He refused our desire for complete healing?
Then like I asked you to do, I plotted our current crisis on the line graph. I never want to belittle anyone who is suffering with the hideous cancer disease. But somehow, when I looked at it against the suffering of Jesus, it paled in comparison.
I remembered the time years ago when my doctor spoke the dreaded cancer diagnosis to me. Tears flowed freely as I thought of not seeing my children marry or holding my future grandbabies.
But then I saw anew His Crucifixion and Resurrection. I knew then if I were taken off this earth, I would witness their weddings and births from Heaven’s Vantage Point. This perspective would be free of human sin and deception. I actually began to long for glory and to experience new life in this ultimate perfection.
I yielded to Him then. We yielded to Him again with this new season of cancer. We are now ready to move on. The next step is to enter His Presence where we can see His glory and know His will.
Go with me there. Only those with clean hands and pure hearts can enter in. His children who have been made righteous by the blood can boldly approach the Throne Room.
Write your testimony.
Who is Jesus to you?
Where do you stand with Him?
How and when did this conversion happen?
It is vitally important to know we are His Children. Imagine approaching the Queen of England. You are asked to give your name to be announced. We Americans would answer something like, “Shelia Jones of Morristown AZ.” She would respond, “Who?” I don’t imagine I would get very near to her even if I told her that 32 years ago in Scotland I was given the privilege of wearing Queen Victoria’s robe at Gleneagles Castle. She would still say, “Who are you?” She has the right to forbid me entrance for I am not one of her subjects.
I find it is always helpful to regularly review my redemption from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. While we are reviewing our past with Jesus, let’s answer a few other questions. This is going to help you build history with the Lord. In building history, you build faith for the future.
Who has God been to you in the past? List names like Storm Calmer, Healer, Best Friend, Comforter, etc. As you list these names, give a brief description of a time He showed Himself true to that name.
Who are you to God? List names like His child, co-heir with Jesus, His beloved, etc.
It would be helpful if you could record a scripture passage that proves these promises true to your life.
Use these names and spend time in prayer. This guide can help…
Father, You are my….
You have been faithful in my past to…
I stand in awe that I can enter into Your Presence. It amazes me that when my name is called, You will say, “Enter in, my child.” I am humbled that You will hear my heart’s cry. All this is possible by the precious blood of Jesus. Bless you Lord.