“Living in our true identity with God” Isn’t this what we long for? When God says we are more than conquerors do we say “I know that! I live that!”? Or do we say “Really? That’s not my take away. I feel defeated more than not.” Yet Paul said in Christ we are new creations. Old is out. In with the new that is a warrior, a winner, a prophet speaking the truth of God, a priest blessing and interceeding for others, an ambassador of the Kingdom of God, a fragrance of Jesus, the letter of God read by all mankind, entrused with Jesus’s mission to release the captives, bind up the broken hearted, proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord!
But a lot of us are living more in the shadows. We feel chained to reputations and how people expect us to be. The name Jabez, in the Bible, means pain. Jabez’s mom made sure everyone knew how much she suffered giving birth to this baby that she named him pain. Jabez. How hard would it be to live that down? First of all Jewish moms have the reputations of never forgetting–never letting up. If its praiseworthy the child couldn’t ask for a better press agent! But gotta say this must have been the WORST delivery EVER to hang this on her son for the rest of his life! It got so bad the Bible says Jabez CRIED OUT TO GOD. In the New Testament bad things happening to people was seen as punishment for sin. When the disciples and Jesus came upon a blind man the disciples asked Jesus “Who sinned, his parents or this man, that he should be born blind?” Because God’s curses were seen in loss of fortune, ill health, defeat, Jabez, a man undeserving of his name, for the Bible called him a man more honorable than his brothers, cried out for God to prove to everyone he was not the man they thought he was. Pour out Your favor over me! Line my pockets with money. Prosper me and expand my borders, my territory. And God answered his prayer (1 Chronicles 4:9-11).
When I was about 4 years old our family went to the Fun Zone at Santa Cruz California. My dad took me up a high stairs to a long wooden slide. He wanted me to slide down it. I was afraid. I didn’t want to. I cried. I felt panicked as he kept insisting and got a splinter in my hand from the wooden hand rail. My dad returned me to ground level in disgust and called me “panty waist”. What would have changed about my selfimage after that if my dad said “You are so brave! We are unstoppable together! Let’s take on this slide together! You sit on my lap and together we’ll see how scarry this slide really is!”
God says we are more, much more in Christ. Listen to this message from Graham Cooke as he unlocks the mystery of being an OVERCOMER in Christ!
http://bible.com/1/rom11.33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Throughout the book of Eccleciastes written by King Solomon, the wisest man on earth historically, whom God blessed beyond imagination with wealth and power and influence the Preacher, himself, says everything is vanity or useless. There is nothing new under the sun. In this book Solomon talks from experience for his resources and ability to experiment with ways to find happiness were inexhaustible. He becomes cynical and dismal for, apart from God in the search for happiness, life does have no meaning. But throughout this classroom with Solomon the Preacher he peppers a little light that being content and working hard and remembering God is the solution to discontent and unhappiness. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth while the evil days come not or the years draw nigh when you say you have no pleasure in them.” While you are still able — mind and body functioning well–look up above the circumstances that grip your heart and throw you into confusion and despair.
My daughter bought me a small wall hanging that said “I bought you a kite so you would look up.”
I guess she was trying to tell me something. Sometimes, for some more often than others, we need to be reminded to look up. We hate to hurt and not have answers but sometimes pain forces us to stop and consider our direction and choices in life and to cause us to reach out to God for help. In Jeremiah 33:3 God says call unto me and I will show you great and mighty things. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not calamity.” Jesus said in John 10:10 He came to bring us abundant life. God wants us to thrive.
Drilling, drowning, jaw dropping, agony! Yep that’s me in the
chair. My greatest dread turned out better than my worst nightmare because this time, instead of suffering in silence, I spoke up and, surprisingly, my torturers became my teammates. I salivate like crazy so I asked if I could hold a suction in my mouth while being worked on so I wouldn’t feel like I was drowning. The dental assistant acknowledged this is a problem and she would be suctioning my mouth throughout the procedure and, if that wasn’t enough, I could give her a wave of my hand and I could spit in the sink. Ok, not what my first plan was but it turned out she did a great job and I was fine that way. My second hardest thing about dental work is I have to practically unhinge my jaw and hold that position FOREVER! I have TMJ and that is so painful for my jaw. When I mentioned my jaw pain they produced a bite block I could rest my teeth on while the dentist got both hands in my mouth. Much better.
So often we get the idea that a complainer is a bad patient. As a nurse, however, I feel a patient that shares their difficulties and fears is allowing me to be a good nurse. I can’t meet needs until I know what they are. This turn at the dentist’s office I took my own advise and the outcome, though not wonderful, was much less agonizing. Lesson for the day: A word in season may save from a heap of pain!