Thursday, May 25, 2017

Immediately

I've spent the last few mornings reading and studying from Mark 5: 21-43, the story of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood and the story of bringing back Jarius' daughter from the dead. I've spent this week trying to dive deeper into the story and I've learned so much. One word keeps jumping out to me. Immediately.

During my infertility struggle, I loved the story of the woman with the issue of blood. I tried to have that kind of faith, that if I could just touch His robe, my body would be healed and I would be able to have a baby. I like to believe that would've work, but God had different plans in mind. Looking into adoption changed my life. I met some amazing people. Even after our adoption fell through, I was able to remain friends with birthmom C. And, given the divorce, I am for once grateful we didn't have children so I could be completely free of my ex.

The woman had been seeing doctors for 12 years! She had poured all her money into treatments, but nothing worked. I can only imagine her hopelessness at this point. She was considered unclean. How great her faith must have been to go out in the crowd and touch His robe. It should have made Him unclean. But instead, He made her clean, immediately. I can imagine her joy that moment she felt her body healed.

Jesus knew He had been touched, and He knew who had done it. But He still called out and asked who had touched him. He didn't do this to call attention to himself; I think He did it to remind her. So if she ever started to doubt, she would remember that moment.

In the midst of this, Jesus was on his way to the home of Jarius where his daughter lay very ill. How did he react when Jesus paused his journey to help another? Before Jesus could get to the home, word arrived that the daughter had died. Jarius had to have been devastated. What if Jesus hadn't stopped? Maybe He could have arrived in time to save his daughter.

But Jesus told him not to fear. Fear and faith can not exist together. You can let fear destroy your faith. Or you can let faith overcome your fear. Jarius must have chosen the later, because they continued on to his home.

The girl was dead, but Jesus spoke to her and told her to get up. No one on earth can talk to a dead person and have them obey. Dead is dead. But when Jesus spoke, the girl immediately arose and got up to walk around. Only Jesus can call a person back from the dead.

I've learned a few things from these stories that took place at the same time.
-Jarius lost his daughter and was about to enter a dark time of grief in his life. The woman was out of options on how to be healed.
-Jarius was a man of importance. The woman was a nobody. She's not even mentioned by name.
-Jarius was probably rich, given his status. The woman had spent all her money on doctors and had to have been poor.
-Jarius came publicly. The woman came secretly.
-Jarius thought Jesus had to do a lot to heal his daughter. The woman thought all she needed was to touch his robe.
-Jesus responded to the woman immediately. His response for Jarius was delayed.
-Jarius' daughter was healed secretly. The woman was healed publicly.
-For both of them, once Jesus acted, healing was instant.

Immediately the woman was healed, even though doctors had tried for 12 years to help her. Immediately the girl came back from the dead.
Immediately our sins are forgiven when we offer them up to the cross. Its not like God says, "let me think about it and get back to you in a week." Once we chose to fully surrender to Him, he receives us immediately.

Not all miracles come immediately, but God is always working. I've had this conversation with two different people in the last 24 hours, so I feel the need to share it here. Wether you get your miracle immediately, or if its delayed, God is always in control. Four years ago, I wanted to purchase a different home, but it didn't work out. That's because God knew that I would need the home I have now with a payment I could afford once I was on my own. Two and a half years ago, He led me to a little church, knowing how much I would need that family in my life this last year.

Don't lose faith. Your blessing is coming. It might take time, but it could also happen immediately. Keep the faith and trust God.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

May I Never Lose the Wonder of Your Mercy

Today, in Sunday School, we each took a moment to talk about when we first gave our hearts to God. I still tear up each time I think about my Noel moment. As I sat there, waiting for my turn, I realized, there is no one word to describe it. I don't think I could string together a sentence to describe it. It was relief, forgiveness, mercy, and love all wrapped up together in one moment when I realized that God truly loved me.

Each moment since has been just as incredible. I look back at the last 7 months, the last year, and I am in awe at all He has done for me. At how my God, my Savior, my Strength, has carried me through all the storms the enemy has thrown at me. I could not have done it without Him.

We all stumble and fall, but with God's grace and mercy, we can get back up. Don't let Satan knock you off track. Stand firm in Christ. I feel like I lost and that has been the hardest thing to deal with. I prayed for my marriage. I prayed for my husband. I did all I could, but in the end, I wasn't enough.

Just days before he left, I could not get this song out of my head. Over and over I kept singing it, clinging to Jesus. I didn't know what was coming, but He did. He knew my world was about to be shattered. He was drawing me close, preparing me.


He has restored my joy, but He also knows the burden I still carry. Guilt over what I could have done differently. Sorrow over what I lost. So many times, I have felt like I lost. I was in a battle that I couldn't win and I carry that shame with me. I did all I could, but in the end, it wasn't enough.

Satan attacked, and he may think he won, but I serve a God that is much higher than him. They hung my Savior on the cross and killed him. But 3 days later, He rose from the grave and conquered death. He took my sins and washed them clean with His blood. The darkness will never win because I serve a God who is full of love, mercy and light.