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The gift we’ll never lose

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”Luke 2:11 

You may have noticed this writer has been a little absent of late. My family has recently moved after a nerve-wracking period of transferring jobs. As the military joke goes, “Hurry up and wait.” There has been a great deal of transitions, as we now live in a different state. We packed up our house ourselves, toddler in tow, and drove the seven hours to our new home.

I have come face to face with not having my wants met. Our hearts’ cry is to bring another child into the world, but yet God is not allowing it at this time. We are once again in‘the stretching phase.’ Recently very dear family has also suffered a devastating setback. Something they were so close to having was quickly taken away, plunging them once again into waiting and hoping. I am reminded of the verse, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.’ (Proverbs 13:12)

Any transition is hard and this new season brings on its’ own challenges. Finding a church, friends,even places to take our toddler to play all take time, patience, and a little humor. This new season of our life has also brought the desire to add to our family. My body needs a little help, so we’ve begun seeing a specialist after a year of trying.

What are we to do in the waiting? What are we to do when we are surrounded by those proclaiming God’s goodness in their lives, celebrating all His blessings?

I have come face to face with the question: Do I love God for who He is? Or do I love him for what He will give me? Maybe like me you remember asking a jolly man in a red suit for gifts this time of year, eyes aglow with visions of toys. Let’s remember the best gift God has given us, that will never be taken away: Jesus. Let us love God for who He is and what He has done. Let us love Him for the right reasons,not just for the blessings we hope for. More painfully, let us love Him regardless of our circumstances.

When we set our eyes on the eternal perspective of Jesus, our trials become far more temporary. Were member this is not our home. We remember the greatest gift of all, a humble child born in a manger, come to save us all.

In Him,

Amy

Stand and Fight!

“Fight the good fight of the faith [in the conflict with evil];” 
1 Timothy 6:12 AMP

As I was looking out my kitchen window, movement at the base of the fence caught my attention. As I rose to get a closer look, I knew exactly what was going on. A mama mockingbird had a pesky squirrel on the ground giving it what for! Running for its life with the angry bird dive bombing it across the yard, the squirrel eventually escaped through a hole in the fence. This was not the first time the birds had put the squirrels on the run in my back yard. When babies are in the nest, you can expect heightened protection mode from the parents! The enemy might be bigger, but it doesn’t stop my feathered friends from attacking with fierce courage.

God created and equipped the birds with sharp beaks, wings to fly, and instincts to attack and pursue when threatened. He also created and equipped us with what we need to engage in battles, but of a different nature. Paul refers to these enemies in Ephesians as “the rulers, the powers, the world forces of this darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12 NASB). Paul continues in verses 13-17 to describe the armor God has provided for us to put on in order to stand and fight against the evil schemes of the devil.

When I think about the aggressive action of that mockingbird, it inspires me to pursue the wiles of the devil with relentless determination. Our foe is strong and devious, but our God and His armor is mighty beyond description. I need not fear when the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But, I need to be dressed and ready; alert and attentive; sober and mindful. I want to fight, like the little bird, as if my life depends on it – because it does. I want to stand my ground and protect what God has given me – my faith, my family, and my friends.

Spiritual battles will look much different than the glorified movie scenes of flesh and blood. Instead, they will be fought with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, God’s Word, and prayer. Our fight may require times of consistent intercession and resistance; prayer and fasting; speaking truth and taking hits. Occasionally, our Commander may order us to be still; to rest; to be renewed and refreshed.

One thing for certain, you never go to war alone. God has your back. So be strong and courageous. Stand and fight. Victory is yours!

[Digging deeper – Deuteronomy 20:4; 2 Chronicles 32:8; Jeremiah 1:19; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8; Jude 1:3]

Dressed and ready,

Beverly <><

Stand Firm

 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 
1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV

Has God ever called you into a new ministry that was out of your comfort zone? Did you feel fearful about taking that first step? This happened to me when we were called to become foster parents. This was not something that my husband and I had ever considered, but it became clear that this was a path set by God. After months of paperwork, background checks, interviews, home visits, and training, our house was about to open to foster children. While waiting for the phone call (which was a lot harder than I thought it would be), I began to ponder the “what ifs.” What if there’s a behavior that I won’t know how to handle? What if there is a medical issue that I don’t know how to deal with? What if there is no longer peace in my home?

But I had nothing to fear. God revealed a message of truth to me about walking in faith. Like the children in the picture, it may be scary to cross the slippery log over the creek, but I can stand firm with God and know that He will finish what He has started. I realized that I am not capable of carrying out this ministry by myself, and that is actually a blessing. All I have to do is begin walking and when I can’t go any further, then God will equip me. I don’t have to have all of the answers before I begin. I only need to trust Him.

Since then we have had three foster children and there have been many difficult times (some of the most challenging of my life). These times require me to surrender to God, and he has never let me down. The beautiful moments in which I have seen the foster children seek God have been more rewarding than if I had never taken those scary steps to get to that point.1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV says “stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Stand firm. Don’t let the chaos cause you to lose balance. The Lord is working in their lives.

I can tell you from this experience that if God called you into a new ministry, He will be faithful to carry out his work through you. You do not need to be fearful, but only to surrender in faith and take the first step. You will see that He will be there equipping you the whole way.

In Christ alone,

Erin Tabor

 

 

Photo Credit: My own photo