Monthly Archives: October 2017

A Scripture For Every Season

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The inspiration for most of my blog topics come from life experience.  However, every once in a while I’ll hear something on television or in a conversation that sparks a blog topic in my mind.  But the subject matter for this blog was inspired by my pastor’s sermon.  It was not the sermon title but rather something that my pastor said that caused me to put pen to paper.  Pastor Wesley said, “Certain seasons make certain scriptures rise up and anchor us.”  As I let that quote permeate my mind, I began to think of seasons in my life where the infallible word of God anchored me in the storm and gave me the strength to continue on.

For example, when I gave my life to Christ, God immediately began to deal with me in the area of  forgiveness.  More specifically, God wanted me to forgive my father.  And so God led me to Matthew 6:14-15 which says, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sin.”   The Message bible puts it another way, “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”  Whoa! God was telling me that in order for him to forgive me I had to forgive me father.  And so, Matthew 6:14-15 became the catalyst to letting go of the baggage of unforgiveness that  I had carried for more than 20 years.

When my friend John went into the hospital to have what was thought to be routine surgery but never woke up, I struggled with how God could allow that to happen. John was a young husband and father to three beautiful girls. He was extremely excited about the pending birth of his first son who would be his name sake. But instead of John being present for the birth of his son, John’s widow was now planning his funeral. That was a hard death to accept. I remember sitting on my bedroom floor crying and asking God, “why John?” But it was what I said next that led me to 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about is promise to return, as some people think.  No, he is being patient for your sake.  He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.”  As I sat on my bedroom floor that day grieving over the loss of my friend, I told God that I could name at least five people that he could take instead of John.  But what God showed me was that John had accepted Christ and was now present with Him; my list of five had not yet accepted God’s gift of salvation and because God loves them to, he was giving them more time to repent and accept his gift of salvation.

Then of course there was the death of my mother.  Psalm 23:4, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me,” was the glue that held me together as I learned to live in a world where my mother no longer existed.

When I found myself jobless and borderline homeless, not knowing at times what I would eat, there were several scriptures that I held on to.  I would pray these scriptures every day, especially on those days when the enemy tried to make me believe that God had forsaken me:

Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.”

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.  “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”

Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply everyone of my needs according to his riches in glory.

1 Corinthians 2:9, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

In life, each of us will find ourselves in one of three places: (1) going into a storm; (2) already in a storm; or (3) coming out of a storm.  Where ever life has you at the present moment, know that there is a scripture that will anchor you and give you the strength to continue on.

Hotep

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Gracefully Broken

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My church recently celebrated Women’s Day. Part of the worship experience was a performance by the liturgical dance ministry. The women of the dance ministry worshipped God through dance to Tasha Cobb’s, Gracefully Broken. The song was new to me but almost instantly my spirit was in a posture of gratefulness as I thought about the title of the song, Gracefully Broken. Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? How can something be gracefully broken? In the human sense it can not. When something is broken it becomes useless to us. We may attempt to fix it but soon learn that it does not function the same. And what often happens is we discard it and seek out a replacement. Those times my heart was broken, I’d venture to say it was not done gracefully. It was painful; sometimes so painful that it was numbing. It felt as though all of the breathe in my body had escaped. I had no strength and wanted to curl up in the fetal position until the pain stopped. Nothing graceful about that.

But then there are those times when God broke me. The times when I had veered off course and in order to get me back to the place where he needed me, a breaking was required. However, unlike material possessions or being broken at the hands of another human, when God breaks us he does it gracefully. When God breaks us he does not cast us aside. When God breaks us he does not see us as useless. When God breaks us he also loves us through the process. When God breaks us his intent is not to harm us but to make us better.

“God will break you to position you. Break you to promote you. And break you to put you in your right place. But when He breaks you He doesn’t hurt you….When He breaks you He doesn’t destroy you. He does it with; grace.”

I’m reminded of a friend whose prayer was, “God, break me.” I thought my friend was crazy for praying that prayer. But my friend wasn’t crazy at all. My friend recognized that a breaking was necessary that they may become better. I respected my friend. And I admired my friend for their courage.

“Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken
My heart stands in awe of Your name
Your mighty love stands strong to the end
You will fulfill Your purpose in me
You won’t forsake me, You will be with me”