Nov 302015
 

 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and persistent in prayer.  Romans 12:12

Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  Isaiah 40:31

Oh the terror of what could have been for this Thanksgiving.  And a poem to prove it:

 It was the Night Before Thanksgiving and the Willis clan, had some various happenings that were not a part of the plan.

The pregnant Mama said, “I think that it’s time”, and the Dada monitored contractions, with each whimper and whine.

All the while the oldest daughter couldn’t seem to swallow, “I have a bad sore throat Daddy, I probably can’t do anything tomorrow.”

The Daddy tended to all his girls with ever loving care (but thinking ever silently that this Thanksgiving would split his every hair)

The morning of Thanksgiving came without a baby hospital run, but Urgent Care was a must indeed, for the Strep throat medicine time had come.

So we are thankful, yes we are, to have not ruined Thanksgiving for one and all, we praise the Lord this baby stayed inside and did not come to call.

Even though my sweet daughter had to be quarantined with only a constant stream of movies and 7-up to keep her company, Thanksgiving happened.  And the good part is that this Thanksgiving brought to light 2 character traits in my girls I had never noticed before.  2 traits I can be thankful for in them and am motivated to work on displaying these “Jesus characteristics” myself.

I admired my oldest daughter’s lack of complaining and ability to keep a positive attitude in spite of her disappointment and painful state.  I am pretty sure when I am sick my style is to make sure to let people know how badly I feel.  Over.  And over again.  I throw a great pity party also when everyone else is getting to do something fun and I can’t.  So today is the day to turn over a new leaf.  (Choosing His perspective and attitude in the final stretch of this sick, difficult pregnancy.)  To close my mouth when I want to spew complaints and pains.  And instead look to Jesus.  To provide me with joyful hope.  Strength as I wait on Him.  And patience in affliction because we are not in control.

My youngest daughter got some serious attention this Thanksgiving, being that she didn’t have to split Aunt/Uncle/Cousin/Nana/Papa time with her older sister.  And she loved every.  Minute.  Of it.  But the one inspiring characteristic she displayed and I could not get over was her persistence.  The adults were talking after the meal and she politely invited everyone to watch her dance show.  Most of the family said, “Oh good, maybe later though.”  So she waited.  Then she made the rounds again and said, “The dance show is starting, please come!”  Some came.  But she shamelessly wanted everyone to attend and so the asking continued.  And what do you know but her persistence payed off.  Everyone attended the show.  And I admired her persistence.

As I contemplate these “Jesus characteristics” in the light of my own life and in relation to how I love other’s I am humbled.  Both of the above traits come to a bottom line for me, “Love never gives up”, as it says in 1 Cor. 13:7a.

Maybe you are in a time of trial, waiting, or physical pain.   My prayer is that you would find strength and hope in Jesus today. Or maybe you know of a friend or family member who is in a troubling time.  As I was nudged by the Spirit to pray for a woman fighting the cancer battle the other day, I wept for her.  I prayed that we, as the body of Christ, would surround her and meet her physical, spiritual and emotional needs.  And my prayer is the same for you.  That in love, you would not give up on others who are sick and in trial.  Because we know, “Love never gives up”.

Maybe you have been praying for a loved one for a long time.  To come back to Jesus.  Or to come to Jesus.  But maybe over time, your persistence in prayer has dwindled.  This Thanksgiving brought my lack of persistence in prayer for those without salvation to my attention.  I thought about these specific individuals who need salvation.  And I thought about times when I was good about praying for them.  But truly, now, if I am being honest, I had given up on them.  I had given up hope for change because I wasn’t seeing it.   So just as my youngest daughter was persistent in asking others over and over and over again to attend her dance show, I need to be persistent in praying for my loved ones that they would come to the “Jesus salvation show”.  Because we know, “Love never gives up”.

What have you been complaining about that you can instead ask for help from Jesus to be patient, self controlled, and have a changed heart in?  Will you also give your worries and complaints to Him and allow Him to take them/have control over them?

Is there someone you have given up praying for?  Will you, in love, not give up and persist in prayer instead?

Who can you show the love of Jesus to today who is sick?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Dec 102012
 

In order for us to live lives of freedom, peace, and wholeness, we must have restoration from our past trials.  Restoration Defined:  ” The act of bringing back into use, bringing back to a former state of health.  Restitution of something taken away or lost.”

I got up at 5:50am to go on a run on the treadmill.  I realized I was sick.  I quickly ran to the bathroom to puke.  Great start to the day.  The Stomach flu took my husband and I both down.  On the same morning.  We begrudgingly took turns as to who could go take a nap and who was somewhat supervising the girls.

Mom and Dad graciously took our girls for the evening so my husband and I could just lay on the couch.  And not move.  My energy was gone.  My appetite was gone.  My health had been taken from me and I was utterly useless to the world.  All I thought about was myself.  And how miserable I was.

Doing life without dealing with a past trial/holding onto anger and bitterness from it, is like going through life with the flu.  We are unable to function at our peak, since we have had energy and joy taken away from us.

Our decisions are self focused rather than God and others focused.  We are unhealthy in mind, body, and spirit and our “sickness” is contagious to others.

Whether we like it or not, our unresolved trials creep into our present relationships and influence our decisions.  If we have never dealt with a past hurt, we are still living in bondage from it.

I know this step towards restoration of a past trial is not an easy one.  It wasn’t for me.

Through the years I struggled with infertility, I had days of trust and distrust in God.  But I came to a crossroads.  Either I could hold onto my anger, and do things my way/without God, or give my trial and pain to God and let Him take control of my life.  I chose the latter.

I clinged to my heavenly Father for comfort and strength.  I trusted in His unfailing love.  I held onto His promises in His Word.  That He had a hope and a future for me.  That He would use my trial for good.

And I can testify today that He is faithful.  He is the restorer of my soul.

When we surrender ourselves and our trial to God, He restore us.  He brings us back from sickness, to a place of health. He says we no longer have to hide away our brokeness.  He gives life again to all that we once lost-our self worth, our trust in/love for Him, our trust in/love for others, our ability to minister to others.

And we can testify that God is love.  God is good.  And nothing is impossible with God.

Take Him up on what He is offering you today.  Restoration.  No strings attached.  Only allowing our God, the Restorer, to bring you back to a life of health and healing.  Break the chains.  Live with peace and joy in Him.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:10  And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Chrsit, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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