The Bible is such a wonderful book read by so many people around the world every day. It is also the most misunderstood book. It is full of some absolutely astonishing facts and well loved promises. Stories of strength and courage. But it is about completely normal people, even weak people. People like you and me who screw up often and deserve rebuke but are used in some mighty ways. People say, “Oh, that’s impossible.” But what if it is possible, what if it’s all accurate. What if miracles really do happen every day and you are missing out on some of the greatest possibilities that could ever enter your life. People have a hard time reading through the Bible from cover to cover. But by picking and choosing what you prefer you are missing so much. Fifteen years ago after my stroke I was laying flat on my back feeling a little sorry for myself. I had lost so very much in my life. I had been a mother to three beautiful daughters and happily married to my high school sweetheart. I was a pilot just for fun, going here and there wherever I wanted and whenever I wanted. My husband and I owned our very own business that did very well. But after that fateful day I wasn’t able to do much. My body and my mind were broken. Now what? A woman I knew of, and one I greatly admired, came to my door one day. I had worked with her years before. She just felt led to help me somehow. She came in and offered to pray for me and maybe read some scriptures to cheer me up. Well I had grown up in a Christian home so I could have done that for myself but I hadn’t, I was too busy struggling hour to hour. I said sure and decided to see how it went. The words were comforting and she came back a few times. I was being polite to sit and listen but I began thinking. She has since died from cancer but she gave me something special. I decided to start reading my Bible every day, I had plenty of time. I was living at home and getting some therapy but it became apparent that I was going to need way more help than I was getting, if I ever wanted to get any quality back to my life. I agreed to give a care home a chance. One with full time rehab. They would be there for whatever I needed. It was very hard being away from my immediate family and friends. I could not really talk so I was misunderstood. I was so anxious for what laid ahead of me. God speak to me! I began reading every Christian book I could get my hands on. I was searching. I met a woman chaplain who loved God. I wanted what she had. I loved hearing her speak of her and God. They were close. The more I read the more my heart opened. I met someone who came to share songs he had written from scriptures. I began learning so many scriptures and they brought such peace. I began attending church when they offered to bus me there every Sunday. It was a really great church. I met so many great people there. Even though I was broken I belonged in the special needs ministry and got to know so many other handicapped friends. We went to a special camp for a week every summer. We got to do things like normal people. Swimming, playing games, a zip line through the forest, and singing. I loved it, and went back every year. We had an opportunity to try preaching so I tried it. I was pretty good at it. I had written a book about my stroke and all I had gone through. People liked it and encouraged me to write more. Me a writer? But God has given me four books so far and this will be my fifth. I learned that God has a calling on my life to write. I was meant to be an encourager. I gave my books to anyone and everyone. My daughter told me I should have a blog to advertise my writing, so I learned about blogging and started my own. My last book was a year long devotional. I started sharing this daily with people and it was very well received. All of this taught me so much. God has shown me so much throughout. It bolstered my faith and taught me so many scriptures. My life was amazing and my love for God was through the roof. I realized how important reading all God has for us in his word is. I made a requirement of myself to start in Genesis and go completely through taking my time till I got through Revelations, then start all over. It was hard but I have been so blessed through it. I will start sharing the nuggets I have uncovered each week.
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36 NIV
God is good and he wants to give us an abundant life, but it does depend on us also. There are so many great promises in scripture. God has stored up for us more great stuff than we could ever imagine. But our behavior is important. When I had my stroke my life changed drastically overnight. One day I was an active mother of three and very independent. The next day I was 45 and living in a nursing home. I was unable to walk, talk or even take care of myself. I easily got overwhelmed and frustrated. I would cry from frustration. I couldn’t communicate very well so it was a difficult time for me and those caring for me. Now after 15 years I am a much better person and more at peace. God is a very big part of my life and I would do anything he asks of me and I try hard to get along with and enjoy everyone. So when God says persevere I understand. I used to live so differently and many of my struggles I brought on myself. Living for myself and the moment. God wants me to love and respect him. This is the fear of God and that’s important. Until we fear the Lord and will do whatever he asks, we will have struggles. But he wants to get beyond that with us. He loves us and it hurts him to see us that way but this is how we learn. He wants to lavish love on us. I am at a place now where I can see his promises being fulfilled. He is so good to me. Every person in my life is a blessing and I believe God has hand picked them just for me. Even the ones who irritate me. My children, my friends, my caregivers and nurses. I don’t take them for granted anymore. Life is short and I want them all to know how much they mean to me and to God. As my family and friends celebrated my 60 th birthday I can look back and see God’s hand on my life. It was hard at times but God has been so good to me. Way more than I think I deserve. The blessings just keep coming. My God is my greatest champion and he goes before me and with me against it all and he will make me victorious. The best is still to come.
Can you imagine all the great things God has for you?
“I am the vine; and you are the branches. if you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV
This verse has so much to say about our walk with God. Who God is and how he sees his awesome plan for us. God is the one who made us and we are a part of him. We were never meant to be apart from him. Our need of him is so very important in every aspect of our lives. If we want to be all we can be, we will need to cooperate with him. He does know what is best. He has great plans for us. To be people for himself that will bear much fruit, this fruit is the traits and characteristics that will further his kingdom. We will be loving, peaceable, joyful, long-suffering, gentle, good, meek, temperate, and faithful. These are the fruits he desires to see in us. He uses the example of a grape vine for good reasons. If God is a grape vine then we are connected to him and will produce his fruits. Grape vines produce grapes. We can not decide on our own to produce something other than grapes, like tomatoes. We are to be more like him every day. He decides what we need to be and what is best for all. We also need to be connected to him. He is our power source. If we do what we want and not what he has asked us to do we will be weak, and ineffective. We need to spend time with him. A relationship with him is very important. Anyone you ever have a relationship with is important to you. You spend time with them, share, talk about the good and the bad together and become closer together all the time. Another thing about a grape vine is to be connected every day. If you are not connected to his vine, you are disconnected. If you are disconnected you will die. It may be a slow miserable death, but with no nutrients you will die. When a vine dies it is burnt up and cast away.. You don’t want to be cast off or dead do you? You are not going to be very productive if you are dead. As I was reading my Bible today I was in Deuteronomy. The Israelites had just spent 40 years wandering around in the wilderness and the whole time God was providing for them. They were brought out of Egypt in such a mighty way. Even when they faced their first struggles God was strong. Splitting the Red Sea so they walked right through, in the mud, no. They walked on solid, dry, ground. He provided water when they needed it, and food for many thousand men, women and children. They demanded meat and God sent quail. Their clothes and shoes held up for forty years and never wore out. During this time they married and had families. He kept them safe and strong. Because there was as many people after the forty years as when they began and the previous generation had all died in the wilderness. Only Joshua and Caleb remained from the original bunch. When they came into the promised land God fought for them. No matter how big or how strong their enemies were, they did not stand a chance. But he warned them to leave certain people alone. Because he had already blessed them, such as Esaus family and Lot’s family. Those who God has blessed shall remain blessed.
Do yo want to be one of God’s blessed people?