Feb 092016
 

Love perseveres….1 Corinthians 13:7b

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Romans 5:3-5

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26

It is time to air out some dirty laundry.  Throughout my childhood the word “perseverance” may as well have been the word “Olympian” because both were non existent in my life.  I distinctly remember trying a variety of sports/activities/hobbies on for size.  But there was a common thread which determined whether my interest would dwindle or ignite.  The difficulty and amount of work required.  When I learned piano lessons involved hours of practicing outside of the actual lesson, I told my Mom this wasn’t for me.  Neither was ballet, or gymnastics, for the same reason.  In college, I knew I wanted to do a music major, but when Theory class came around, I quit.  The class was extremely difficult and so I considered other options which were easier to me.  As an adult, the above word has been evident in my life.  Although mainly because I was forced into it.

My most recent “must persevere moments” have been due to our now 7 week old baby girl.  The last nine months before she was born, I puked.  Nearly every day and usually multiple times.  But I had to persevere.  When she has been screaming non stop for 15 minutes and my only wish is for 2 hours of straight sleep at night, I have to persevere.  The above two are “forced perseverence” opportunities, but the one I am currently struggling with I have brought upon myself.  One word-Weightloss.  Getting rid of the baby weight involves self control in my diet, hard work with the “Daily Burn video’s” each morning, and an ability to continue doing it even when the scale proves disheartening.  This last Thursday I was ready to go back to my childhood piano playing mindset and let the baby weight stay.

I cried to my friends as I told them of my weeks of work and the scale showed only 1 pound less.  My discouragement was at a 10.  My hope was at a 0.  My heart needed much.  And so they prayed.  For strength to continue the hard work.  For help, healing and comfort from the Father.  For my spirit to be lifted with quick results.  Ultimately-they exemplified how “love perseveres”.  Because they cared for me, they would not let me quit.  But they would let me be encouraged through their caring prayers of hope.

And through their prayers the Holy Spirit comforted my deep wounded soul.  And I know nothing is impossible with God.  And so I continue on this difficult journey.  It may take more time than I would want.  It may take more work than I would want.  It may take more mustering up of discipline and self control than I would want.  But I trust God.  And His Word.  And know through this perseverance, there is character and hope on the horizon.

What are you currently needing to persevere?  Will you ask friends to pray with you to help you endure?

Who can you give encouragement and hope to in order to show you love them and are with them in their struggle?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 052016
 

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31

(Love) it always hopes…1 Corinthians 13:7b

God is faithful.  Always.  In the character of who He is.  And in the action of answering prayer.  This particular answered prayer was unique.  It not only stretched me more out of my comfort zone than I had been stretched up to this point, it has initiated and defined what I believe the Lord has called me to for this year of 2016.

I had mentioned in an earlier post about someone God had laid on my heart to pray for over this past Christmas season.  She was practically a stranger, who I had only met briefly at my husband’s work function.  I had heard through the grapevine that she had a sickness which she had been struggling with for years.  The disease meant complete fatigue the majority of the day and normal, everyday tasks felt to her like she just completed a marathon.  My thought was that I would get her email and send her an encouraging note saying I was praying for her.  But as the Lord continued to bring her to my mind to pray, I felt more and more sure I was to go visit her and pray with her.  And with the nail in the coffin comfirmation of our church “gift card for someone God lays on your heart to give to”, I knew there was only one option.  So, I got her email and asked if I could come over and pray with her sometime.  Thinking I could get a, “Well that’s weird we don’t even really know you”, response, I was pleasantly happy with, “My eyes welled up with tears with this email.”

We played email tag for weeks trying to get a day/time that would work.  I got a little frustrated and had a conversation with God about it.  “I thought Christmas would be the time she would need to be encouraged.  Or even Jan 1 at the very start of the new year.  What is the deal Lord?  I thought this was a priority to you?”  I know the Lord loves my times I make Him aware of the timing on things.  Or how circumstances aren’t as they “should be”.  I mean, I recognize He is the creator of the universe but really, I do have to keep Him in line/take control every now and then.  The Lord quieted my “go, go, go, do, do, do” spirit with a, “I am in control.  My timing is perfect” speech.  He uses this speech a lot with me and wouldn’t you know, it works every time.  I gave this prayer time back to Him.  Soon, a date and time was set.  But I have to admit.  I was real nervous.

Stepping out in faith to respond to what you believe God is calling you to do always involves faith.  Funny thing right?  We aren’t able to see exactly how things are going to turn out.  We don’t have all the “why” questions answered.  It doesn’t feel solid and sure.  It is uncomfortable and a stretch in usually more ways than one.  And this was one of those times.  I was connecting with practically a stranger.  Asking to go to their home.  And going to pray, not knowing why or exactly what to pray.  This sounds like a recipe for humiliation cupcakes.

But when I get that “peace that surpasses all understanding” and for me, the quickening of my heart and mind to an idea/action which is completely not my own, I do my best to throw all “logic” to the wind and act on it.  In faith.  Knowing the One who gave the idea/action is faithful.  Welcome to crazy adventure town when following Jesus.

I asked my prayer warrior sister in law if she would come along to pray also.  She was up for the ride.  We went, we prayed, we cried, we thrived.  All because God had a pot of love a cookin’ for not only the one receiving the prayer, but also the ones saying it.  Below are a few mini miracles which happened on this rainy Tuesday night.  These are my hurting Sister in Christ’s words:

The gift card  given to me was kind of a message from God. I don’t have the ability to earn an income, so when I’m given money for various reasons; Birthday, Christmas etc, I hold onto that money tightly. But one night my mom and I were out shopping and I had been debating whether or not I should get a certain person a gift. Then I thought God says he’ll always provide and holding on tightly to money is bad idea, so I felt compelled to get the gift even though for me it was a little expensive. Then guess what? Gift card to the same place I had bought the gift 🙂
Also, when Jillian was praying for me, she started to cry, and then I knew she understood. I didn’t even realize I had been in such want of someone recognizing my pain and battle until that moment. It was so comforting to be with someone who understood, to not have to wonder if they believed me and be able to put my guard down. I know God put that understanding in her heart because the only other person who sees me that well is my mom. When she prayed, it was like she was reading the walls of my heart. She prayed that one day I could run and dance through a field, free and unweary. This really got to me because I desire that specifically in my heart. And actually drew a picture of myself running through a field about a year ago now.

So what a start to the New Year.  I believe this year God is calling me to a year of restoring hope to the hopeless through the power of prayer.  Hope in prayer.  Prayers in Hope.  And wouldn’t you know what this above Sister in Christ is named?  You guessed it-Hope.  A prayer for Hope/hope changes a heart.  Glory to God!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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