November 1st…Deep breath. Filling my lungs with Jesus and breathing out his praise even in the midst of sick kids, past memories that haunt, and a general dislike of this month. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Thanksgiving holiday but November can just be a tough month for me. Actually, it’s been a tough year in so many ways. Hard times. Found myself caught between a rock and a hard place so many times. Glad I had people in my life to remind me that Jesus is my rock. Challenged to think of Jesus’ love and grace, these friends of mine bump into my pity party for myself and make Him known. Of course I thought that this was my job in their lives…maybe it is. God gave me this gem of scripture…
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. 2 Corinthians 1:4 (MSG)
This summed it up for me. God is with me all the time. He provides people who can relate to my hard times and through those relationships, we find ourselves comforted. More than that, the focus becomes less about my personal struggle and more about the spiritual battle raging all around. This is true for my dear friends too. They need me to remind them of the same things they remind me: you are so valuable to Jesus that Satan won’t quit trying to stop you. You are a threat. Get into the Bible and arm yourself with His Word. Hide it in your heart and visit those words often. Put on the armor of God. Be willing to do difficult for each other. Pray. Pray harder. Love. Give grace. Analyze what fruit of the Spirit you are showing. Wait for God. Be still. Be open to learn more.
This is just a glimpse of how blessed I am by the people God has given me to challenge me, encourage me, and comfort me. I am so thankful for them. Not because it’s November but because I praise God for them everyday.
I would be remiss in not mentioning something else God is doing through an amazing author, Tracie Miles. I have been blessed by the words in her new book, Your Life Still Counts. Romans 8:28 has become near and dear to the women who have shared their stories. We recognize that God alone turns hard times into good…that in Him we have a purpose…A purpose He designed for us. My hope is that you will read this book as well and really hold onto God. My hope is that God will stir within you a recognition of His presence in your life and purpose in your pain, hard times, your past. Allow God to move through you. Embrace his grace and love. See you through His eyes. May you be His hands and feet wherever He has placed you and in whatever season you find yourself. You were made for such a time as this.