The Best Single Day of My Life

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Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash.

This morning I wanted to try something different. Instead of thinking too far ahead in my future, and about what didn’t happen yesterday, I asked Father God for one request: “Make today the best single day of my life, in Jesus’ name.”

So I went about my business, praising the Lord as I got myself ready to run errands with my dad. I’m not going to lie to you when I say that too many times before I’ve taken for granted my dad’s company; but I am so blessed to have my dad around especially when so many people at his age are unhealthy. He’s a vigorous and seasoned man of sixty two years, who can keep up with and even surpass people half his age. I thank God for my dad’s endurance and strength as we ran around all over town to get stuff done in preparation for our return trip to Costa Rica that’s in less than two weeks.

Where I used to take for granted the long winded conversations of my chatty father, today I chose to listen with intent. I learned something new about him as we bonded in the presence of God at the laundromat, in Subway, in the car on our way to the bank, the post office, the grocery store and back home. That time was precious because we laughed, and we even cried as he shared a new portion of his testimony with me that I didn’t already know.

There was another part of my day that really left an impression on my heart. When we were coming out of the dollar store, we saw an African American woman sitting on one of the pillars that held up the roof to the plaza’s breezeway. The woman seemed as if she lived on the streets; her clothes were dirty and torn, and her face looked sad and preoccupied. When my dad and I exited the store and we saw her there, I gave her the biggest smile that bubbled up from the abundance of my heart. To my pleasant surprise, this woman smiled back! Her eyes brightened up, and as if automatically, the corners of her mouth raised to the apples of her cheeks! Like the parting of an elegant grand curtain that revealed the most beautiful, genuine smile that I’d ever seen. It didn’t matter that she had a few teeth missing, that her face was dirty, or that she didn’t have anything to offer me. It was that smile I received in return, that ignited hope and love within me.

Now that I’m back home, sitting on the comfort of my bed, under the roof that God provides for our family, I remember the prayer to my Heavenly Father this morning. I think about the tears that my dad and I shed together after we parted from the woman, and to think that I’d probably never see her again… It was a moment where God filled us both with the joy of His desires, as He reminded my dad from where Jesus delivered him. He too was on the streets at one time; a slave to sin, drugs and poverty. My heart was filled all the more with compassion for the poor and with the desire to step outside of my comfort zone, to give and share the love of Jesus with the people who can’t give me anything in return.

I thank God for this day, for the blessings of His grace and the mercies of His love. It’s beautiful how He took His time to show us that love is as simple as a smile, and as generous as the blood of Jesus that was liberally poured out for all at the cross. And who knows how God can turn around that woman’s life, just like he did for my daddy’s! Anything is possible with God! So I pray that wherever the road of life may take her, that at least for tonight she may have a hot meal, and a safe place to sleep.

With all that being said, I had such a wonderful day. Thank you Jesus for the best single day of my life!

Thank you Jesus!

 

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Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash.

 

This evening there was nothing good on TV, so I kept channel surfing until I got to a Christian station; and a mass choir was singing these lyrics:

“All in His hands, Jesus has got me in His hands!”

Sitting crossed legged on my bed, facing the TV, munching on my bowl of crackers, I thought to myself, “I like it here, I’m doing okay…”

Then I thought again to myself, “What did you just say??! Haha, wow, I’ve never thought that before! I’ve never liked it here, in fact, I’ve always hated it here! But you know what? I’m okay wherever I am because Jesus is with me. Matter o’fact I’m blessed! Yeah! That’s right, I’m blessed! Thank you, Jesus!”

I’m not the same you guys. Depression is a thing of the past and I’ve started a new chapter in my life! Joy is the tune of my heart and my mouth will forever praise the name of Jesus. My heart delights in His loving kindness because I no longer carry the burden of those depressing sins on these tiny shoulders of mine. I nailed them to the cross and my mind is getting a daily wash with the blood of Jesus! I’m freeeeeee! ^_^

Thank you so much Jesus, because the portion of grace you give me in this day is sufficient for today! I’m just taking this journey one step at a time, day by day, with you by my side. I love you, Lord!

Verses that are helping me continuously walk in the Spirit and abide in Christ: (Acts 1:8), (Luke 12:22-34), (Romans 6:11-14; 8:1-17; 12:1-2), (Ephesians 4:1-2), (Philippians 2:1-4; 3:12-15; 4:4-9), (Colossians 3:1-17).

Disclaimer: I am not a scholar or a theologian. I’m just a repentant sinner who has a personal relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Other Side of The Fence

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Photo by Micah. H on Unsplash.

Where has the time gone? Just three years ago I graduated from high school, and here I am, in the very place that I tried so hard to run away from. I’ve always been a quiet child with a loud mind. Fearful yet vengeful, waiting for the opportunity to escape and leave behind this Godforsaken place, or so I thought.

It wasn’t until Junior year that I met the girl who would help me come out of my shell. A tough, feminine outspoken girl with long beautiful raven tresses that flowed down her back. She didn’t take crap from anyone, yet deep down, she was soft to the core. I needed a friend, and she needed me. Her friendship seemed promising, but the truth is, I wanted to be just like her.

At first our fun was innocent enough. We shared four out of six classes together and began to take our homework back to her house. I got to meet her family, and her family met my dad and brother. Hers is a family of mostly women, and they seemed like the sisters I never had. Loud, rambunctious, and crazy; a great difference from my quiet home. Her family always made their own fun and I enjoyed every moment. We laughed, we danced, we played in the rain and we flirted with boys. We gossiped, we swore, we made our own parties, and later we went to church. It was all in fun. All of it was just harmless, innocent fun.

I remember to this day, how sad I felt when she had so many offers to prom and I had none. I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough but it’s actually kind of funny because, I remember how she genuinely tried to help me get a date. I never got my prince charming that night in Paris, but we still had “fun” dirty dancing with our own little group. Then later that night we went back to her house and started to drink. I can’t really tell you what happened because my memory fails me. Graduation day was the best day of all. We got ready together, took lots of pictures and remembered the good times we shared during the past two years. That night was a repeat of prom. We went back to another friend’s house and celebrated our graduation. If I remember correctly that night after we had our fun, we stayed the night at her sisters house and got high. I can tell you that even though we were all giggles and the room was spinning, I didn’t like that feeling much at all; but it was K2 and we were curious and nobody else had to know. I can tell you this, the head aches the next morning were not as “fun” as the night before.

Then summer time came, and my dad and brother went off to Costa Rica. They were preaching the gospel while I kept on sinning. My friend and I just got deeper into our antics. I got sick and ended up in the hospital. She was there for me for the time being, but I was scared for my life and thought that God hated me. Hypochondria set in and I felt disgusting. “Who would love me now?” But it was all just a lie from the enemy, a trap that he caught me in. A few days passed by and I just wanted to go back home. So her mom took me back to my dad’s empty apartment. No one else was home. I was all alone. I was scared out of my mind, so I drank half a bottle of NyQuil and went to sleep. The dreams I had were crazy, and the hallucinations became so real! I woke up screaming “God, I’m so sorry! Make all of this go away!” but God was quiet while I reaped what I had sown.

I remember that same summer my friend got pregnant, and I walked in on her the day it happened. They were in complete disregard to my presence, so I got what I needed and ran out of the room. I was embarrassed by what I saw, but how could I be when I was just like her. After she found out that she had conceived, she was scared and didn’t know what to do. The options were before her and abortion seemed like the only way out. I didn’t agree with that decision but I was fogged by my sins and just wanted her to be okay. She was there for me and the least I could do was be there for her. I helped her call all the clinics near by, but all the offices were too far away or too expensive, and she was ashamed to get a grant for help. Now as I think back, I thank God nothing happened to her beautiful baby girl because while I was there in the room as she gave birth, I saw the miracle of life being born. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I held that little one in my arms. To this day my heart goes out to her as they both appear in my dreams; it’s the only way I can see that beautiful little baby.

A few months passed by, and the unimaginable occurred. I opened up my bible and fell to my knees, giving my heart back to the Lord. The cross finally clicked for me; I didn’t have to keep living this way anymore! I texted her after it happened and told her that everything’s going to be okay! Jesus found me, and I’m not going to suffer anymore! At the moment she was happy for me, but time moved on steadily. I began to read my bible everyday, and began to see the error of my ways. Jesus wanted me to walk away from her….

I said, “Jesus how could I? She’s my friend! She’s been there for me and she knows things about me that no one else knows!” I tried to share my new relationship with Christ with her, but she just wouldn’t have it. She said, “Ever since you started all that church stuff, you don’t want to hang out anymore.” and Jesus just kept telling me, “My love, just let her go.”

For a while I felt guilty, like I was abandoning her. I thought about her baby and thought how much I’d miss that little girl. I returned to Costa Rica in June 2013 and Jesus showed me great and awesome things. I met people who love the Lord with all their heart; their lives were different and the youth were on fire! When I came back to Florida that late July, I brought her baby a pair of authentic booties and told her about all the amazing things that God was doing in my life. Her response was that she loves God in her own way, but she was happy for me. However, later I’d receive a slap to the face. She threw my past back at me in the summer of 2014 while I was away in Costa Rica. Her message read, “Do you really think your new little Christian friends will accept you if they knew what I do? No one is ever going to accept you if they did. You’re a horrible friend and worthless piece of sh**! I don’t need your prayers, and I don’t need you!” All I could say was, “I’m sorry that you feel that way, but Jesus comes first. I love you and that won’t ever change. If you ever need a sister in Christ, I’m here for you. Please, don’t forget that.”

It really hurt– I’m not going to lie, to let her go, but Jesus knew the condition of her heart as He kept showing me that “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

The bible says, “do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them, I will be their God, and they shall be My people” therefore “come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)”

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to induldge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-24)”

You see, my life with her was only for a season. A season that God permitted to turn my rebellion around for the purpose of His plan for my life. If I were to say that I miss her, then that would mean I miss the times we had. Now that I know better, all those times we had are only just memories. Yet, I don’t fault her for what she threw in my face because I know that it was just the enemy speaking through her. However, I can say that I love her, but sometimes it’s best to love from a distance. In this time I’m on the other side of the fence and I thank God for bringing me here. If I were to cross the fence to try to get back to her, then I would be in dangerous territory and out of the will of God, making me an open target for the enemy to lure me back into deeper and worse sins than before. I pray for this young woman who used to be my friend and I hope with all of my heart that one day she’ll come to know the same love that changed my life. The love of Jesus Christ.

I thank you Jesus, so much for your love, mercy and your grace. You brought me out of a dark place! Never let me forget from where you delivered me so that I can always be humble and help those who are on the fence with their lives. I thank you for giving me back my virtue and purity, for showing me my worth and how loved I am by You. I ask you Father to show all of your daughters that they are your special flowers. They are Your roses of Sharon; lilies among thorns in a world that displays evil as good. I thank you Jesus for showing me that no friend is worth the expense of the cross and my eternal life with you. I bless your name, Jesus and I bless the life of the one who is reading this. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Disclaimer: I am not a scholar or a theologian. I am just a repentant sinner who has a relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Unexpected High School Reunion, Anyone?

 

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Photo by Micah. H on Unsplash.

In the past few weeks I have seen a lot of girls I went to high school within public. I was never really popular, and didn’t have many friends either. There were a few people that I was close to, but those friendships came and went. Now I don’t talk to any of the girls from my high school, even the two girls I once called my best friends. Our lives just merged on to on different lanes and the plans that we made for our futures together were canceled by God’s plan.

 

Anyway, the girls I’ve been seeing around from high school are the same one’s I used to compare myself too all the time. They were the pretty, popular girls. The girls with pretty hair, perfect bodies, the nicest clothes and the hottest boyfriends. I was always the shy wall flower and never thought I could measure up to their beauty. But recently, the same girls I’ve been seeing behind the shadows of public walls, are looking so tired and worn out! Their luster is faded, and their countenances reflect the gloom that hover over them like dark rainy storm clouds. As I glance at them, secretly from a far, I wonder what happened to the pretty blossoming flowers that I once saw spreading the scent of their beauty throughout the halls?

I shared this same thought with my dad, and to my surprise he answered my curiosity. He said to me that the gloom that covers them is the sin that reflects their life styles. They have worries that I don’t. Even though we share the same age, we live completely different lives. They might be working hard just trying to make ends meet, they might even be single moms or could even be having problems in their personal lives; who knows what other stresses may apply! These are just some scenarios that my dad tossed out there, but honestly, any of it could be true. The point is that they’re not serving the Lord. My dad then pointed out how blessed I am. He said that my countenance radiates light and that my youth translates the age of one who is five years younger than mine. I don’t have the need to work, I don’t have the stress of studying while raising kids, and I don’t have the head ache of carrying the heavy load of a dead beat guy on my shoulders. This is all because I am living my life separated for Jesus Christ.

I’ve been seriously thinking about these girls for the past few weeks, and now, what my dad said to me today. I’ve been thinking about the differences between me and those girls and the time that has passed. What would my life have been like if I never chose to get off on the exit where hopelessness meets the Light of Life? Maybe I would have ended up the same way. It’s possible by the way I was headed. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anyone to say that I’m better than those girls, because I’m not. Only God knows what they might be going through, but I do thank God that I don’t share the worldly anxieties of my peers; or any anxieties for that matter.

Now I’m just living my life as a single college student, growing everyday in my relationship with God. I may not have many of the things that I desire to have now, like friends, a boyfriend, a social life.. haha okay, that sounds so sad. But honestly, I don’t need any of those things in this season of my life right now because I have Jesus and He has greater plans in store for me. I know that God’s timing has purpose and every relationship brought my way will be edifying and beneficial for both ends of the relationship(s). So I thank God for reminding me where He delivered me from, and showing me that He has me cocooned in the palm of His hands. I’m not missing out on a single good thing, and for that I can rest peacefully. Thank you Jesus.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

Kill’em With Kindness

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Photo by Israel Sundseth on Unsplash. Edit by me. CC0.

Today I woke up just like any other morning; I washed my face, prayed, and got ready to go to the gym. I’ve never been a morning person and for some reason, even though I quote this scripture every morning, “Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”, it’s very hard for me to get going on a “perky” note. But today in my morning prayer, I asked God to help me to accept the day for what it is. I recognized that yesterday came and went and that He provided everything that I needed. I also recognized that tomorrow isn’t here yet, so my needs for that day will be met when it comes. Then I asked God, “Help me not to take this day for granted and to live it as fully as you purposed this day to be. I choose to be positive, I choose to rejoice, I choose you today, Jesus.”

 

So I went on my merry way to the gym, sitting shotgun to my dad. He’s always in a chatty mood, probably even more so in the morning. I find it a little funny that I can’t even keep my eyes open while he’s trying to have a full conversation with me. So I just sit there thinking, “Oh my God, it’s sooooo early, help me to be nice!”

The good thing is that I always feel a lot better about myself after a good cardio workout; I can finally say good morning without dragging my feet! So when we arrived back home from the gym, I prepared myself for the rest of the day. I got comfy in my reading spot on the bed and opened up the bible to see what God had to say to me today. As I read the wise words of the ancient, but still very relevant proverbs to this day, I saw these words that pretty much jumped out at me and smacked me in the face! It said, “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh. (Proverbs 11:17 NKJV)” I paused for a moment and chewed on these words, then I referenced the NIV, and though similar, it added a little more light to my understanding. The NIV version reads, “Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.”

I began to savor these two versions and weighed the words in my heart. I thought to myself how the latter makes me think about what Jesus said to love our enemies and why he said it. When I am kind to those who are mean to me, I’m actually doing myself a service. My consciousness is benefited in knowing that I did not retaliate in revenge, because I know that God is just when He says that “vengeance is His to take” (Romans 12:19). My health is benefited because I don’t lose sleep over anyone, having put my trust in the Lord (Psalm 4:8). And if I’m kind in the face of humiliation, I would be humbling myself under God’s mighty hand, and God who is fair, will do His part in exalting me in due time (1 Peter 5:6-7). In contrast, the one who is cruel, really doesn’t have anything good going for them. Those who are cruel are proud, selfish, and arrogant. They may live large now but those people, with that type of stinky attitude are detestable to God (Proverbs 16:5)! They have what’s coming to them and God will take care of that person based on His sound judgement. In fact, everyone will one day, have to stand before God’s throne and give account for every good and bad thing they have done while on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Then I thought about the former, though it can be understood in the same way, the wording made me think of someone who is merciful or mean to their own self. It made me think about all the times I have been so hard on myself for making mistakes, or saying a dumb thing in an awkward moment, or for beating myself up and picking myself apart for all of my imperfections and insecurities that I maginify in the mirror. Then I said to myself, “Wow, I’m so weary everyday because I’m cruel to myself! How in the world can I love my neighbor like myself if I don’t even love me?” I quickly asked the Lord for forgiveness and prayed a short but heartfelt prayer. I said, “Jesus, forgive me for this way of thinking. I accept your love for me and I reject all mean and negative thoughts. Help me to see myself through your eyes, so that I may be merciful to my soul by being positive and loving in every way. I don’t want to be cruel to myself anymore. I’m your precious treasure, and you’re my God. I love you Jesus, help me to be kind!”

I’d say that both versions are very important to consider when we think about kindness. Something that I remember frequently are wise words from my dad when he tells me: “Remember, Rosa de Saron, the only weapon the enemy can’t overcome is love. That’s why Jesus died on the cross. He died and rose again for love.”

So then, looking back to this morning’s prayer, I thank Jesus for answering me. I thank Him for providing me with the overflowing dose of kindness that I needed today. Not only for others, but also for myself. His love.

Puzzle of Yarn

God is so faithful even in the smallest ways. When we invite God to help us even with the most mundane activities, His faithfulness always reveals true. This week God has showed me how much He really does care about everything that I do. There is nothing too small for Him to not care about in my life.

Just recently, about a few weeks ago, I was quickened in my spirit to learn how to knit. I didn’t know why, I just wanted to start learning. So the next day I went to Walmart and bought my first ball of yarn and knitting needles; I jumped on YouTube and got to work!

Then a few days passed before I got to talk on the phone with one of my beloved sisters in Christ from Costa Rica. I excitedly told her about my new hobby and shared my interest with her in learning how to knit baby clothes. To my surprise, she burst out exclaiming, “Oh I’m so glad that you’re learning! You just have to make me some baby boy’s clothing! No one else here knows how!” It seemed kind of peculiar to me that she would exclaim in such a way since she doesn’t have any children, but I recalled God’s promise of giving her the desire of her heart in becoming a mother. She has never lost hope in God’s word despite her many miscarriages in the past. With that being said, curiosity escalated within me but I didn’t dare ask her for more information. I knew this was her way of hinting at wanting to tell me for herself in person when I return with my family next month! So I joyfully took on the task of learning how to knit, knowing that it was the Holy Spirit who quickened me to learn just for her!

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Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash.

 

Well, fast forwarding to this week, I finished knitting a pair of baby booties and a hat. They both came out so cute, but the hat gave me the biggest headaches of all! The thing is, the pattern called for double yarn, so I ended up using both ends of the ball of yarn to make the knit stitch a little thicker. However, the yarn started to tangle and I ended up with a giant bowl of spaghetti-yarn-noodles! I can’t even tell you how it got so tangled in the first place. It started out so neat but then I had a huge knotted mess in front of me! I tried not to panic, because I really really didn’t want to give up and cut the yarn only to have to start all over. So I asked God to give me wisdom, to help me unravel the mess. It seemed like an impossible task at first, and I spent a lot more of my time trying to fix the mess than I did knitting the hat. God really gave me the patience to keep trying to untangle everything because otherwise I would have thrown the whole thing away. The only thing that kept me from giving up and snipping the yarn was the thought of that little, promised baby boy, wearing the hat someday soon. So little by little the loops, tangles and knots loosened between my fingers and I finished my very first hat, fitted for a 3 to 6 month old child!

I can’t tell you how tears welled up in my eyes when I finished the project! My heart was so filled with love and accomplishment. I gave God thanks for helping me with what seemed like an impossible task, because His all knowing eyes saw the simplicity within the puzzle of yarn.

Now I can’t wait to get started on the little mittens that I’m going to make next. Maybe a pair of no-scratch-thumbless-mittens? I think so! You can bet I’ll be asking God to help me to learn how to knit in the round. Hopefully it isn’t as intimidating as it seems, hehe.

Thank you Jesus for all of your help. 🙂

Reply From Mom

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash. Edit by me.

My dear friends, I have great news!

Maybe some of you have read my earlier blog post entitled, “Letter to Mom”. If you haven’t you should totally check it out. Anyway, a couple of days ago I received a card from my mom in the mail in reply to the letter I sent her!

It reads:

“Dear Rosa de Saron,

I got your letter and I read it often. I gave my heart back to Jesus and ask God to help me get closer to him. I love you very much. Your letter convicted me asking Jesus to help me get closer to you.”

Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus for answering my prayers! My heart soars with elation to know that my mom gave her heart back to Jesus! This is the sweetest news to a wonderful testimony in the making! Glory to God!!!

If you will, please pray with me for my mother’s continual renewal in Jesus Christ. Pray with me for her road to recovery and that every stumbling block of discouragement the enemy may put in her way will be turned into stepping stones as God guides her steps toward restoration. Pray with me that she may know how deep, wide, far, and long is the love of Jesus Christ for her. That even though she is starting out in hopes to get closer to me, she may end up drawing closer to the Lord every day, taking delight in Him first, only to realize that our relationship will be the desires of her heart being answered in Jesus’ gracious, perfect timing. And finally pray with me for her deliverance in receiving a sound mind; that in doing so, God may use her life’s testimony for the sake of all those who will be touched by her story.

If you do pray with me, my heart goes out to you with much gratitude!

Yet my heart is filled with all the more gratitude to my God, because He is just so good! All I can say is “thank you Jesus!” I can’t wait to see what other awesome things He’s going to do next…

Where Are You, God?

I’m not sure which is worse: being the one to suffer, or to see a loved one suffering and having my hands tied?

What do you do; how do you believe in an all Sovereign, Benevolent God when the suffering you are experiencing is just so close to home? How can I hold on to my faith when I see how my little brother is so uncomfortable in his skin? My dad has tried all the creams, all the medicines, all the healthy diet changes, but nothing. My brother’s eczema only flares all the more. His skin is scaly and patchy; it’s itchy and it looks as burned as he feels. We’ve tried everything. I see how his embarrassment increases as others notice and point out the imperfections of his condition; the tears that well up in his eyes while he looks at his arms everyday thinking he’s a freak. I know it’s hard enough for him being thirteen, as he’s trying to adjust to the natural changes of his body and the world around him. It just breaks my heart every time he compares himself to my smooth skin, and all I can do is hug him and think, “why not me?”

Shocking isn’t it, when a Christian questions the very goodness of the God they serve? We’re supposed to have it all together, but the truth is that we’re human and we also tend to only see the tangibility of the circumstances. That is what really forces us to decide: “Does this really work?”

It’s so easy to quote scripture until you have to live by it, but I have some sad news for you in case you weren’t already aware– Christianity isn’t a quick fix.

There I said it.

God isn’t a magician in whom’s name we can call on to wave a magic wand to make all of our problems disappear. If that were the case then prepare to be seriously disappointed because anyone who decides to measure God’s abilities by the standards of their expectations has got it twisted.

So what now? Will I get angry at God, question him, accuse him, renounce him?

Only a fool says in his heart “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1).

So there, that’s settled. I’m no fool.

I’ve experienced way too much in my short years to deny the realness of God’s power and presence. Not only in my life personally, but also in the life of every soul I’ve witnessed touched by the name of Jesus Christ. There are just way too many “coincidences” that can’t be explained away through science or rationalization.

With that being said, a decision must then be made: Either I believe or I don’t.

I choose to be courageous. I believe.

The circumstances can say whatever they want but I believe without a doubt in my mind that Jesus died on the cross and that he took up my brother’s infirmities in His body. I believe without a doubt that Jesus rose from the dead and that He holds the inheritance of our renewed, glorified bodies in the promise of His current resurrected state. I believe without a doubt that Jesus is Jehovah Rapha, My Healer. So then I believe that my little brother’s skin is already healed in Jesus’ name.

Jesus himself said, you believe in God, believe also in me (John 14:1). Oh Jesus, you know that I do believe! You are the only one who compassionately touched the leprous man and relieved him of his agony. I believe you can and will do the same for my brother.

So with the foundation of my faith being settled, something I’ve been meditating on the past few days is the truth in God’s word. The Holy Spirit has been tugging on my heart all week to read in the second letter to the Corinthians, and I was lead to the end of chapter three, concluding into chapter four.

The Holy Spirit began to further root my understanding into the everlasting glory of grace (2 Cor 3:11). It talks about how the law is the ministry that brought condemnation and though glorious, it was transitory. The ministry of grace, however, is now revealed in all surpassing glory through Jesus Christ! Since I have such a hope as this I am able to be very bold, holding fast to that truth that “wherever the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom”. I am then able to realize that this treasure of grace indwells the body of every believer and it is solely to the glory of God (2 Cor 4:7)!

Furthermore it continues to tell God’s children that “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

Ohh, how I thank God for those ‘buts’ of the bible! I find rest in knowing that because it is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have the same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.”

Therefore, I do not lose heart! Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor 4:16-18).

With all that being said, this is where it’s done. While I still don’t know which is worse: my suffering or being the witness to my brother’s agony, I will not lose sight of God’s faithfulness and complete aerial perspective. The reason why I can help my little brother endure this momentary suffering is because I know that God is above it all. Jesus is Lord. Period. He had the final say when He died at the cross and rose again! However, in light of our human weakness and limitations, I can assure you that there were many times that we cried out to God in desperation. But I know that He sees us, and He hears our prayers and He will deliver my little brother. God will use this suffering to bridge the gap between Him and His people through the ministry of comfort in the name of Jesus Christ. It will be for the sake of all the souls who will be touched by my brother’s story (2 Cor 1:3-7). I know that there is purpose in all of this, and I know that my brother will be stronger for it. God will use my brother as a godly man to reach many people that need to hear about Jesus from his experiences.

I close this confession with a petition of prayer to all of my family in Christ. Pray with me for my brother’s healing, and for the strengthening of his faith, that God’s will and purposes may be completed in his life! I’m so hopeful in knowing that God’s power is not limited by our resources or by our circumstances. He is God and I will let God be God as I continue to wait and pray for the day that my brother shouts for joy in praise, thanking Jesus for all that He has done for him! That day will surely come in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

The Child’s Tree

 

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

 

Have you ever stopped to ponder the way small children wonder
as their timid little faces coyly study you?
To them the world is so big, and adults are like trees
that they look up to see
whether or not their branches are safe and if their shade is welcoming.

 

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Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash.

 
In their innocence they question everything because they really just don’t know;
their curiosity is sincere as their little fingers touch everything to learn and grow.
For them everything is new and exciting and the obvious for us to them is so inviting.
The way they show affection is without recollection,
and the way they love is with so much attention.
That it’s interesting to me
how their anger quickly dissolves as the next moment they’re filled with the simple joys of life.
Then I ask myself, have you ever stopped to ponder the way small children wonder as they look up at you? They quickly learn how to sway in the wind the same way their giant trees do.