I keep telling myself...next week Lelia, next week you will have your post up and running on Tuesday, hence the name YES to GOD TUESDAYS! But life and little people keep getting in my way of blogging time and even getting my chapter read on time. This week I blame Kelley though. She is coming for the weekend to help me teach a workshop at my church's Women's Conference Saturday morning, so I have been preparing my house for her stay.
As a wife and mom, my job according to the Superwoman back in the day of Mary and Martha, or the Proverbs 31 Woman as we know her, is to watch over my household. So one of the ways I do this is to supply them with safety tips that when followed will keep them from harms way.
Sometimes they listen and sometimes they make their own potentially harmful choices.
I was welcomed into my home by the gross smell of a Pyrex plastic lid melted into the leftover lemon cake that Gene was attempting to hide.
A hiding place that escaped his mind when I called and asked him to pre-heat the oven for me.
So what has my sweet, but dessert loving husband taken away from this?
1.) When wife walks in and the house doesn't smell like her Glade plug-ins, pretend like you are asleep.
2.) When wife gives safety precautions...quickly insert your finger into the opposite ear her words entered so that her tips don't go in one ear and out the other.
3.) Never hide greed in an oven!
4.) Praise God this didn't happen during week 3!
I have to tell you, I'm so proud of me. Instead of releasing the pre-Jesus Lelia on my gift from God, I just looked...okay, glared at him as he avoided all eye contact, flipped open my cell phone, took a picture of my once favorite pot luck pan and thanked him for giving me more blog material. I tell ya, you never know what is going to happen in the Chealey household.
Let's get to our discussion of this awesome chapter...
CHAPTER 6: Learning to Trust Again
Micca opens this chapter with the recollection of a sad phone call she received about her nephew. The events of that call would be the invitation for fear into this child's life. How many times in our own lives has someone done something to us that caused us to begin to live in a state of fear?Unknowingly at times fear becomes our roommate and overrides any good that God has for us.
But sometimes we can't see or feel that which Micca's response is that it doesn't always appear like it. That's because our perspective is limited by our circumstances.
From her own life experiences that include being a young widow, Micca tells us that I've found that when I'm overcome with fear, I'm not really looking for answers but for the assurance that God is near, that He's in control and that He cares about me and my circumstances. God does care.
The other day I sat in the bedroom talking with my husband about a TV show he had just finished watching. With tears in his eyes he said, "You know Lea, maybe this is why God has me laid up in this bed so I could see this." He had just told me about this Jesus lovin' family and he felt so inspired by the Dad and his stand for Christ.
So when I asked my husband if all the pain he is in while recovering from his back surgery is worth getting closer to Christ, his heart-felt answer was YES....YES!
While death, sickness, and abuse were not part of God's original plan, He may allow me to go through these things. It's not to cause me undue pain or fear, but rather it's to accomplish spiritual growth. Sometimes what God allows shakes us to the core, but He never intends to terrify us. It may not be pleasant for a while, but in the end we'll find it's worth every heartache and every worry if we trust Him.
I believe that if indeed God is trying to get Gene's attention on some things and is using this time of recovery to grab it then so be it. Perhaps Gene is right and God is using his health to make him lie down and focus on only Him. I honestly believe from listening to my husband share his own heart for Christ that all the pain...and it has been some excruciating 24/7 pain....all the physical pain he has endured over the 2 years will be etched into Gene's heart as one of, if not thee best times of his life. Why? Because of Who he is being drawn closer to.
The only way to see worth in our pain is to realize it has purpose. Though we despise suffering, it educates us, transforms us, allows us to share in the inheritance of Christ, and gives us a ministry of compassion for others who suffer. This is God's promise. He is faithful in using every situation for our good.
Toward the end of the chapter, Micca tells the story of Lazarus. Here's a Cliff Notes version of what happened:
His sisters Martha and Mary call on their BFF, Jesus, for help because they've seen with their own eyes how He was a Healer.
Instead of rushing to their side Jesus takes His sweet time to respond.
The sisters are not happy.
Brother Lazarus is dead.
Mary is crying.
Jesus sees Mary and asked to be taken to see the deceased Lazarus.
Martha boldly tells Jesus...if You would've come this wouldn't have happened.
Jesus tells Martha...if you would believe then you will see.
Lazarus walks out of the grave. Alive and well for all who believed to see.
Okay...to me, one of the most precious verses penned in the Bible is
As a kid I remember participating in Bible-Quote-Downs where you took turns quoting verses and whoever had the most memorized won. John 11:35 was always the easy verse to remember since it's the shortest verse. Now as an adult, it takes on a whole new meaning. So much tenderness. Such a sign that He truly cares about me. About you. What you are going through. When you and I hurt, Jesus hurts. Our pain moves Him because He cares about us.
So when we are hurting, trust isn't always our first reaction.
What if Martha wouldn't have chosen to trust Jesus that day?
Would her brother had remained a dead man instead of a walking miracle?
God requires us to believe first, and then He moves on our behalf.
John 3:16 is another familiar passage that Micca gave me new meaning to when she pointed something so important out. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life"
She pointed out that God sent His Son to earth as a helpless baby to be cared for by sinful humans.
If God can trust you and me, then we can certainly trust Him.
That was such a "wow" moment for me. God trusted this common little girl to raise Jesus.
The One who would grow up with the power to command Lazarus to come out of his death.
The One who He Himself couldn't be kept down by what was thought to be His last breath.
He trusts us. Us as in you and me and our resume of faithfulness doesn't even compare to His. On His resume when asked for references and job history it says:
See Bible, specifically Genesis through Revelation .
MC encourages us to
1.) Know that with pain comes gain, but pain that will be worth enduring.
3.) Remove what is hardening our heart because it is keeping us in a headlock.
4.) Then listen as you hear Jesus sweetly say..."Take off her grave clothes and let her go".
I don't know about you, but I didn't even know about the Swine Flu until last week. I'm sure the cows are relaxing a little today as its usually Mad Cow Disease that makes the headlines.
Today no swine is safe in Moses' birthplace as officials in Egypt have ordered all pigs to be slaughtered.
Masks are covering the faces of panic.
Death is moving faster than a teenagers texting thumbs.
The kind of freedom Christ longs to provide covers more than the fear of loneliness, betrayal, and rejection. It also includes concerns we have about current world issues. We don't have to speculate about the worse-case scenario of our day and how it may affect our lives.
When Micca wrote out the words God gave her probably well over a year ago she had no idea that it would be so relational to the headlines of each newspaper in the nation.
God gave her over a year ago exactly words we would need to hear today.
He is so amazing as He is using Micca to tell us...trust in Me. I got this.
When you and I are secure in God's provision, there's no situation that can destroy us.
I am really loving this study and am blessed by the timing of it. Thank You, sweet Jesus.
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This Grandma is having withdraw as little girl has been sick all week.
This is Amiyah in the ER Saturday night waiting on the doctor.
Next week...chapter 7: What's the Worse That Could Happen?