As a mother and a grandmother it is very important to support my family in any and every way I can. I am only 62 but have learned so much about life and relationships in the last several years. I was pretty average most of my life but God did bless me with a very good life. But when I was just 45 I had a massive stroke and nearly died. I had been living selfishly for a few years trying to get what I wanted out of life. As I look back now I see God’s grace all over me. If I had died I know I would have gone to heaven, but by the skin of my teeth. I would not have been prepared to meet my maker in all his holiness and splendor. I am ashamed and embarrassed by the life I was living. Oh, I was a Christian raised in church and always tried to do the right things. But it was a hollow and unfulfilling life. What did I do to touch my world or to make a difference? If I had stood before God how would I have looked him in the eyes. I believe now that my stroke was the most important thing that ever happened to me. I finally had the time to search out God and the things that I have learned over the last 16 years, I wish someone could have told me beforehand and saved me from a lot of mistakes. I have come to not only believe in my God but got to know him and his character so very well that I realize that I can’t possibly live a minute without him. Nor do I ever want to. I began reading the Bible every day the year after my stroke. And though at times it has been tough, I committed to read straight through from the beginning to the end. The only way you can have a real good relationship with someone is to get to know everything that is important to them and by sharing everything that is important to you also. That’s why reading the Bible and prayer is so valuable. It’s actually better than the best textbook , owners manual, or guide book for life and it was inspired by the very one who made us and knows what is best for us. And how to get everything we can out of life. In the Bible it says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free .” John 8:32. Well, I can honestly say that I have never been more at peace, happier, more fulfilled than I am right now. I am truly free at last. I want everyone I know to know what I know and the joy I have found. Man I could have avoided so much pain and conflict if I had only known. What’s really great is that every day I learn to grow more and it just keeps getting better and better. I may live another 30 years . It could happen and it only gets better. So for the next several weeks and months I will besharing words from scriptures and truths God has shown me.
“In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them.” Isaiah 63:9 NIV
When we suffer he cares. In this life we will have trials. That is a given. But when we suffer he blesses us with his presence. Knowing he is with us can bring comfort. Knowing that we are not alone and that he will help us is important for strength. When we are weak he can be strong. When I am dealing with hard things such as my health and pain it always helps to know he cares and in his time he will bring about what is best for me. His best is always more than I expect. He loves me and as I focus on being the best I can be for him, he wants to bless me. He is always doing special things for me. Whenever I think I am going to need something, a special gift I never expected will show up. Like this week the bag of chocolates I got from Christmas was almost gone. I had enjoyed having a little treat in the afternoons and even though I could do without. A package came from my daughter of a large bag of chocolates. Just God’s way of sending blessings my way. Extra special blessings. I always say thank you. And I feel that he always cares. I had pneumonia a few months back and it came on quickly and strong. One minute I was enjoying time at church with friends and feeling fine. Then at dinner I felt dizzy and nauseous. This has never happened before and I thought I was having a heart attack. I had to trust that God knew what was going on and that he was in charge. But that didn’t happen at first. I gave myself a panic attack first. I felt my heart race and I knew I needed to relax. God helped me fall asleep when I thought I couldn’t. He helped me rest the next few days when my roommate was loud. It took about three weeks before I started feeling myself again. God was with me though. Recently as I prepared to go to a conference at my church I woke in the middle of the night worrying about all the things that could go wrong. My ride being late. Not being able to open doors and get around on my own. I laid awake for a while worrying. I finally said a prayer that he would provide for all my needs. I reminded myself that he had it under control and that I had nothing to worry about. As the conference came and went it went off without a hitch. Better than I expected. I had a great time. Let him have your cares for he does care for you.
What care do you have that you can give to him?
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the darkness.” Nahum 1:7-8 NIV
God is good. He cares for his children and always listens when we cry out to him. Especially at the hands of wicked and evil people. That’s how he is. He always brings punishment on those who are evil, sinners. Eventually punishment will come. Nineveh was a very corrupt and worldly city. Their reputation preceded them. That is why God asked Jonah to prophecy the destruction he had for them. But Jonah said, no way, and ran the other way. God sent a big storm to follow him. God always knows what we are up to. You can not hide from God. When the people found out he was running from God, they had no choice but to get him out of the ship. They still cried out to God to forgive them for throwing him overboard. But the minute he was out of the ship the seas grew calm. God is powerful. They were stunned. Well we all know what happened next. After three days in the belly of a fish yelling at God he agreed to go to Nineveh. He had not wanted to go because he knew God to be merciful and loving. He new if he warned them they would cry out to God and he would stop from sending judgement. They were so wicked that he thought they should pay. Well the minute he agreed to go, poof, he was back on dry land. He headed to Nineveh and poured his heart out to them and all that God had told him. Well you know what happened? They cried out to God for forgiveness and turned from their wickedness. And he forgave them. Jonah knew it. He was so upset he went outside the city to sit and pout. “Just kill me, I knew you would do that, i’de be better off dead.” Well God let him sit there and fume for a little while, but God allowed a small plant to grow up beside him to shield his head from the scorching sun. The next morning a worm came munching on that plant and it died. Well now Jonah was real mad. But God asked him why he was so angry? You didn’t make that plant. It was just a plant so why should you care. You see that city is full of thousands of people that I made and loved. Some were good and some were bad. That is why I had to warn them. Even when we are evil sinners, God still cares about us. If you come to him and ask him to forgive you for the bad things you have done, even if they are really bad. If you are sorry for those sins he will forgive you.
Do you want to be on God’s side?
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
I have quoted this verse many times. But I never really understood the words till I heard someone preach on it. It meant so much more after I heard what each word was saying to me and I just had to share it. I hope it can bring some light to you too. Lately I have been praying earnestly for an awakening. Many people call themselves Christians, but are they Christ like? People who are not Christians are watching us. Unless they see us as different and special, why would they want to be one? If we live an ineffective life and are unsatisfied ourselves, what kind of example are we? God has shown me that so much more is involved than just praying for our country to be changed. So I decided that just as there are many Bible translations, that I need to update this previous writing. I have chosen to Amplify it. So I will elaborate. “If my people,” this at one time meant the Jewish nation. They were known as God’s people. He had special things for them, his special people. The promised land was a good and rich land where they would be free to worship God the way he wanted. Because they were his people they should want to spend time with him. Especially after all that they saw him doing for them. And in such mighty and awesome ways. We in America have been greatly blessed. We are free to serve our God however we want. Our founding fathers knew how important that would be. That is why the pilgrims come here. But we have not cared for this gift. “who are called by my name,” these were not just any people. These people had a calling on their lives. God doesn’t just call everyone. There are some who will never accept God. No matter who he is or what he does there is evil in this world that will always be there. He is not going to spend too much time on those who will never change. He has too many out there that he can reach, and who he will reach. They are a priority. He doesn’t expect others who aren’t Christians to pray. They are too proud and they don’t need or want any help. Many have made it clear that they don’t need, nor want God telling them what to do. They are their own God and serve themselves. But they also want us to be just like them. They do things that are sinful but since everyone’s doing it, it’s ok. We have gone with the crowd for so long. We can be filthy and not even see it. We have become complacent and lukewarm. We have gotten used to our sins and grown lazy. “will humble themselves and pray,” Get our minds off of ourselves and back on the God of the universe. The one who made us and knows us. The one who can help us. He knows what we need and he always wants the best for us. If we will just turn back to him, if we will see ourselves as God sees us. Totally ungrateful sinners. We are seeking our own pleasures not God. He has done so much for us and given us everything, even his beloved son. Just so we could be free from sin. One day he will ask us why we rejected him when he loved us so very much, but it will be too late. “and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,” we are an imperfect people. On our own we can do no good things. But we are called by him. He wants to help us. He wants us to seek him and want his ways. To help others and to see that their needs are met. We really need to want him in our lives. Because without him, all of him, we will never be satisfied and our world will keep falling. It’s already so bad that I want to hide in my room and never come out. It will only get worse. We need to turn away from sin for it to get better. “then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin.” To make an effort to sin no more. To obey his laws. If we make that effort he will forgive all our sins. See us as righteous before him. The people he died for and greatly loves. We need to change first if we want anything from him. “and I will heal their land.” This nation was at one time founded on the principles of God. We were a very blessed country. He did so much for us, but the sin of his people has brought us down. We are no longer that great and Godly country. Pride has taken over and we have rejected our first love. Younger generations have rejected the God of their parents. Serving themselves above all. They no longer need God. But our country is in deep trouble. So much violence and hatred. We need to wake up. Right now we need a cleaned up world and it needs to start with Christians. We can’t except non-Christians who don’t know him to help. This virus has been a wake up call and we better listen.
Do you want to see our land great again?