Don't let your foot be moved an inch. The Battle is won by gaining ground. Do not turn back. Face forward. Clothed with the Full Armour of God. Pray. Read your Bibles. The Battle is not to come it is here and now!
This morning we happily got up and got ready for Church. We managed to get everyone into my car with enough time to get to there on time. So we headed down the hill. Suddenly the car swerved to the left. I stopped the car and saw a flat tyre. Wonderful! My husband then put the spare on, which is one of those pathetic little things. We decided to park the car in the garage and then take his car. What happened instead was the pathetic tyre getting a flat on the way up and having to get the kids out the car and roll the car back down a little and park it off on the side of the road. Now at this point we could just have given up about going to church. We were already late and it meant swapping carseats around etc. But we decided to go to church anyway. I commented to my husband that something really does not want us going to church.
I was right. The service really spoke to us and challenged us and God gave us a word to hold on to.
The last few months have been full of mishap and mayhem. My sister in-law has been having a rather hard battle with cancer and has broken her hip and arm. She has had a hip replacement now. She broken her arm which will not heal.
My Mother in-law has broken her arm at the wrist after a fall and a few weeks later broke her elbow after yet another fall where she was trying to protect her broken wrist. A few days after this my Nephew broke his elbow. He was going into have surgery the next day. I prayed like I never prayed before. 4 broken arms and a broken hip were not coincidences. The next day my nephew did not need to have surgery as bones had moved back into place. He now just has to wear a cast.
That week my Father in-law took a turn and needed surgery for a problem with his bowel that was caused by a problem with the way his appendix had been removed 50 years ago.
My husband has been working long hours for the last few weeks too and with my helping my Mother in-law out in any way I can and having sick children I have had to draw on every little bit of strength I had.
I am busy starting to go through the Full Armour of God. What it means. Why we need to put it on and how to use it.
I have felt the Battle going on in my life and in the life of my family in this time. Something is happening. The more I step out, the more uncomfortable I get and the more I itch to get moving to not be sitting around waiting for that magic day when everything will be just perfect for me to start serving the Lord. The more I claim today as the day the more I feel that there is someone shivering in their snake skin boots.
Making my life difficult so I will curse God and die. I have felt really low and upset a few times during this time. But I draw my strength from JOY not from happiness. Happiness is a temporary feeling. Joy is my permanent way of BEING. The Joy of the Lord is my strength.
A lot of celebrities are looking for that thing that will make them happy. Money, fame, the big house, fancy car, the latest thing or craze, the in fashion clothing, alcohol, drugs. People seek these things because they want to have a good time and be happy. They strive for personal happiness, their happy place. But what happens when all that falls away? What is left? A lonely, pitiful existence. It was all a fake life. Happiness is not a fruit of the Spirit. No one is promised a happy life.
Life is no picnic. It is tough. No one gets out alive after all. Ever since the fall of man life has been tough. We have been fighting against our fleshly desires, disease and decay. rot and destruction are woven into our core.
Joy. Joy is the answer. I can have Joy. It springs forth from the pit of despair. When I focus on God, when I draw close to Him that is when my Joy is made complete. When I am poor, when I live in a mud hut and ride a tricycle, when I am poor in spirit, when life is tough nothing can make me happy but I know that Joy will always be there to give me strength and press on to stand firm in times of trouble. When the clouds come in and it starts to rain and I do not know when the sun will shine again I can rejoice in the small things. It is more than just looking on the bright side. It is a way of life. I draw my strength from God's Joy. He is pleased with me just as I am today. Yes I have room for improvement but God did not choose me to be in His family today your yesterday or the day I committed my life into His hands. He chose me before I was ever thought of. I existed to Him before even the world existed. He knows me better than anyone else. I am accepted and loved and I had a purpose for my life before the beginning of time. If Joy doesn't not well up deep within your soul at the thought of God having a purpose just for you, having chosen you and accepted you as his child. just think of it for a moment :)
Do we really have a reason to worry? Do we really have to have this woe is me attitude?
From Joy we can draw Strength to get on with our day and our life. To push through when there seems like no way out. Happiness leaves too much of a hole to be filled and most friends of someone who has taken their own lives have said "But when I spoke to them and saw them last they were so happy"
You can look happy but still have a broken heart. Joy cannot be faked and is permanent and sure.
Stand Firm. Keep it up. You are doing a good job.