In this crazy world we live in today it’s certainly not uncommon to hear the need for peace and I firmly believe that we need it now more than ever and the problem is that the peace the world offers is only temporary. I don’t know about you, but I’m so grateful that God never leaves us hanging in the midst of this stagnant and fleeting kind of peace. However, as Christians we are given a different peace; …”And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) From this verse we can take heart in knowing that we are given complete peace from the previous verse Paul is talking about how we should pray about everything instead of taking it upon ourselves to worry about things we can’t necessarily control. (Philippians 4:6) In essence, the greatest thing we can do for our country and everyone around us is PRAY! It’s our most powerful weapon we just need to be willing to use it, but also having faith to be consistent in our prayer life no matter our circumstances.
As A.W. Tozer once said, “God never uses anyone greatly until he tests them deeply.” From the moment I saw this quote the realization of the power it possesses hit me instantly. When we are in the midst of a “test” or a difficult situation it can be very hard to see the other side and how everything will play out. In my own life, I have begun to realize that God can sometimes allow the difficult times or things we may face in this world to better prepare us for the great things he has in store for His children. The more I thought about this there are several scriptures that immediately came to mind and one was Proverbs 17:3 which says, “Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the LORD tests the heart.” (NLT) I have recently endured some trying times myself and I still haven’t been able to fully understand why these things happen, but it was in those moments when I could feel God speaking to my heart saying,”How much do you trust me?” I think that when we are being tested by God we can begin to experience our relationship with Him on a much a deeper level and as we face the trying times we can find great comfort in knowing that He is in control and always knows what is best for us in every situation! God never promised that life would be easy, but he did promise that he’d be with us no matter what. As I have matured in my relationship with Him over the years I am becoming more aware of what really matters in this life and where we should ultimately place our hope. It’s our job as His children to do our best to live a life that is pleasing to Him and to share this precious hope we have with others.
As God’s children we are all called to live our lives fully devoted to Him no matter what. I made that awesome decision so many years ago, but the older I become the more I’m beginning to understand that on a much deeper level. We aren’t expected to have everything figured out because that’s God’s job. Along with that I have also come to realize the “storms” or difficult things we may be faced with can only bring us closer to Him and strengthen our faith. I am so blessed to have such an amazing church family who has taught me so many lessons and allowed to me to grow tremendously deeper on a spiritual level. Throughout my journey I have had the amazing honor and blessing of meeting some of the most encouraging and inspiring women I have ever known. One of them is now where she always desired to be which is in Heaven with Jesus! She’s now complete and totally healed of cancer! Her life was a true example of what it means to live fully devoted to Christ. The biggest lesson she taught me was to never give up and to keep running the race no matter what. Witnessing this allowed me to start thinking: What do I want my legacy to be? What will I be remembered for? It is my hope and prayer that I will honor God through everything I do! I firmly believe that my disability and the struggles I face allow Him to work in me and to also draw others to himself in the process. Quite honestly, I am totally confident in whatever His plan is for my life!
Through the recent Thanksgiving holiday God really revealed to me not only just how incredibly blessed I am, but how blessed we are as sons and daughters of the King! I feel like so often in my walk with God I tend to focus more on the things I can’t control rather than everything God has so abundantly blessed me with. Yeah, I can’t walk but I have an awesome chair to use until Heaven. It has taken me years to even begin to realize and understand this, but even though our plan for ourselves and God’s plan for us may not see eye to eye He is still faithful to His promises to us and blesses us beyond anything we could ever imagine. Lately my heart has been pretty hurt for some of my friends who are going through things and hurting so deeply I couldn’t even begin to fathom what they have been through. One thing God has so graciously shown me throughout my life is that even though we can’t always see the bigger picture and understand how it will all play out we have to put our hope and trust in Jesus in every circumstance. He has a reason for everything no matter what and I know He is faithful to carry out what he thinks is best in every situation! It can be easy to thank God for what we have at Thanksgiving or during the holidays but my prayer is that we will remember to count our blessings more than just once a year and that we might remember to be grateful for everyday that we are given!
Lately, I have been struggling with Satan trying to do whatever he can to keep me feeling discouraged and defeated. I know that no matter how many lies get thrown in my mind God is still greater than everything and it is my hope and prayer this can encourage you today. I take great comfort in knowing that because He lives in me I have his power to help get me through any obstacle I may face in this world and His power also allows us to see past Satan’s lies. Throughout my life I have learned that God uses our biggest weaknesses to not only bring us closer to Him, but we also learn how to become more dependent on Him in the process. Through this experience I’m truly learning that what I may think is impossible really isn’t because nothing is impossible with God. That’s the promise I continue to cling to in these difficult times. I’m also so grateful to be the daughter of the King that loves me unconditionally and who has already overcome this broken world!
I recently downloaded Casting Crowns new album Thrive. It’s awesome and there is one song that resonated with me primarily because of the name: Just Be Held. I listened to the song when I was having a really bad day and it literally brought me to tears. We all have those days where we just want God to pick us up and tell us it’s going to be okay and that’s exactly what he did for me. Sometimes I think we can get so caught up in the idea that we have to be in control of every aspect of our lives that we forget that God sees the bigger picture. I honestly find great comfort in knowing that He is the one who knows everything I will face in my life before I do. So my next question is why do I spend an enormous amount of time worrying about things that I can’t even control? Like I’ve said a thousand times before I know God’s plan for my life is a thousand times better than my own and I can’t wait to find out what it is! I have also learned throughout my life that it is so much easier to let Him handle your problems than to keep holding on to them. Sometimes we need to stop and just be held for awhile!!
As Christians we all have times that we feel really close to God and those times are great, but what about when God feels far away? I have recently heard some pretty amazing testimonies of how God has worked through the worst times in life to make them the best. I firmly believe that is part of the reason why He allows to experience our trials in life. Even though I have wrestled with this for the majority of my life I never thought of it like this: God loves the world he created so much that we are given the choice of free will either we believe in Him or we don’t. In the same way, He gives us the choice to choose to be content with our circumstances whatever they may be. God hates to see us suffer and I know every situation is different and yes I would be absolutely elated if He saw fit to heal me. However, I also believe that God isn’t solely focused on Healing. The amazing thing is that He sees the bigger picture and I think Christ is even more focused on what we accomplish for Him through our circumstances. That’s why I choose to be content with the life that God has so graciously given me.
This week I ran across this picture on Pintrest and it stuck out to me because I don’t get why we feel the need to worry about every aspect of our lives when ultimately God is the one who is in control of everything? Don’t get me wrong I worry too much myself but that’s human nature. Lately, God has revealed himself to me in this area especially when it comes to becoming increasingly more independent as I start college. He has provided and faithfully met my needs with blessings over and over again and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it! I have come to the realization that just because I worry about something doesn’t change the situation. I’m also grateful that I’m not holding my future, but God is. I know that His plans for my future are a million times better than anything I could possibly imagine! God has a plan for our lives and He knows what is best for us. This is made clear in Scripture which says: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT) So really we have no reason to worry because God is in control.
This past week I had the awesome opportunity of volunteering at Vacation Bible School at my church. The theme was Weird Animals and every night was focused on a different bible point. The night that really stuck out to me the most was “Even though your different Jesus loves you!” I have heard that statement all my life but that night God revealed it to me in a new way. Throughout the week I was asked why I was in my chair several times and I’d reply “That’s just the way God made me.” I don’t have an definite answer yet and I may not until I’m in Heaven but I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of why He allowed me to have Cerebral Palsy and it’s because He knew that I would be able to reach and impact more people for Him through my disability. All I can do every day is do my best to live for Him and to be content with these temporary circumstances because I know I won’t have Cerebral Palsy forever and I’m so grateful for that!!! No matter what we experience in life we can take comfort in knowing that it’s only a matter of time before we are made right with God in Heaven one day!
I feel like it can sometimes it can be extremely difficult for us to be fully dependent on God for our needs because we like being in control of everything. However, as followers of Christ we know that we were created to be dependent on Him and no matter how much we might think we know what’s best for our lives we don’t. Living with a disability myself I have no choice but to depend on people to take care of my needs and I’m so incredibly grateful for all the people that have been placed in my life to walk with me along this journey called life. Trust me when I say that it is certainly far from easy but one thing I am constantly reminding myself of is that God is with me no matter what and He knows where I’ll be in the future. I often struggle with why I haven’t been healed yet and as hard as is I am perfectly content with having Cerebral Palsy. I continue to trust and have faith that His will and plan for my life is a million times better than my own. He has brought me through some of the most challenging and amazing things in the last eighteen years and I can’t wait to see where He leads me from here. My prayer for myself and anyone who reads this is that although we may have to depend on people God wants us to be totally dependent on Him!