Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Refreshing Word

I know that our greatest gift is our salvation, but what a GREAT gift it is to be apart of the body of Christ.

This evening as I was walked to the car I walked over several fallen leaves. In my spirit I felt like fall myself. I don’t know if you have ever ‘felt’ like a season but I have. My life has been filled with a great deal of ‘stuff’ and many big choices. At times I find myself exhausted, feeling like I could sleep for a week.

I have felt like I am in a barren season- like I am in a winter/fall. There are times; however, when you feel as if you are continuously on the mountain- everything is going your way and life is wonderful. Many times I have stopped in the middle of my day and longed for the mountain top! Although I know I will be there again, I know all too well that I am not there now- and it hurts.

Bro. Elms has decided on Wednesday nights to start teaching, ‘In My Father’s House,’ a new convert Bible Study that basically covers the new life in living for God. His goal is so that all of our church will be on the ‘same page’, which I think is a great idea.

I took this class kind of as a ‘just because’ when I was in High School. Sis. Karla Holley and I were the only two in the class who were not new converts. I know she would agree with me that although we both had been raised in church, and heard it all our lives, it was not a waist of time.

Tonight the lesson was on the Word of God. All I can say is that as he preached/taught, my heart was filled. There is something so powerful about the Word of God. At several points I could literally feel my cup filling- I knew it was the Word.

It was also, fittingly so, one of those messages that might seem to the casual observer to be light hearted. You know what I mean- one of those messages where there just seems to be a lot of things to giggle or laugh at; the scripture slide messing up, mumbled words, church ‘family’ jokes. As he was finishing I thought about how it was such an important topic, yet it had all seemed so ‘fun.’

Why not?

After all, it is the Word of God. Isn’t God the one who put ‘laughter’ in our souls? Shouldn’t any discussion about His word be victorious, vibrant, and joyful? I think so- I think it only fitting. His Word is so wonderful! I thought of so many memories as he preached. One that came to mind instantly happened about three months before my mother died.

My mother seemed to be getting a little down, and whenever I would see her down it would tear me apart. One of the hardest things to be is when your parent- the one who is your hero, your strength- needs you to be strong and encouraging. Most of our life it is the other way around and it is so ‘unnatural’ and hard to find yourself at the other end of the table. Then again- maybe it is natural?

Nevertheless, my mother seemed like she was down, and it hurt me deeply. So in my prayer time one night, I took out my sword- I took out my Bible.

It seemed as if the Holy Ghost brought to my mind the story of Jesus, and how the angel was sent to minister to Him. I found it in my Bible and in the middle of my praying, I prayed that story. I warred with Heaven. I demanded that God give me and my family the same thing He had given Himself when He was on Earth- the ministry of an angel in the middle of the trial.

Boldness came over me and the power of God rushed into my den. I found myself weeping into the carpet, not being able to stand.

The next day I told my Mom about what I had prayed and how she needed to be expecting an ‘angel of ministry’ no matter what form it came in.

About a week later she told me that she believed God had sent her an angel. She said it was in the form of a sister in the church who was going through a struggle and needed some encouragement. My mother told me about how that sister had ‘cried’ on her shoulder and how my mother had encouraged her.

She said that in the process of encouraging this sister her own faith and spirit had been renewed and strengthened. God had sent an angel in what might seem like a very un-likely way for someone who themselves needed encouragement. He is God, and He alone knows what is best.

This is not the only time I have prayed the Word of God but it was certainly on my mind tonight and I wanted to share it. The Word is so powerful.

As I got out of the car and walked to the front door of the house after service I thought about this post. There were still leaves on the ground everywhere and I am still in a barren season- but even in barren places there are still pockets of life and rest.

Our planet is filled with plants and animals that thrive in such places and let’s not forget the amazing little wonder of the oasis. I think God allowed deserts to have them for multiple reasons- one being that even in the driest of times there are spots of refreshing and ‘laughter’ if we know where to find them.

Tonight I am thankful for the Word of God. God is good all the time…and all the time God is good!


Karla said...

Joseph - your strength even in this "barren time" amazes me. You WILL be back in that victorious time with words and thoughts like this.

I do remember going through My Father's House. It was one of the most enjoyable classes ever! It definitely was NOT a waste of time.

Isom said...

This is a great and encouraging post to me! Joseph, be encouraged through your encouragement you give to others.

Lynda said...

I loved your post today. Thanks for sharing.

Billy and Michelle said...

Great post, we are still praying for you.