Thank You Sir May I Have Another?

This week’s :

 

If this last week is any indication of how 2015 is going to be, SIGN ME UP!!! I mean, no offense 2014, but you stunk! That was one of the hardest years I’ve had in a very long time! I feel like I’ve been through the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and lived to tell about it. When 2014 passed away on December 31st, I didn’t have a whole lot of hope for things changing much but BOY WAS I WRONG! Thank God!

So far this year I have started attending Alpha class at church with my husband, I attended a very inspirational writer’s meeting at church that ended with a divine meeting, I’ve spoken at a MOPs meeting where there were about 35-40 women in attendance (and they apparently loved me and are begging their leader for more), just yesterday I got the word that I officially have a new job teaching as a special ed aide in the middle school here in Sheridan (and I can’t even begin to tell you how absolutely ecstatic I am about it for more reasons than I can even begin to explain), and today both my son AND my husband were baptized!!!!! To say it’s been an awesome twenty-five days would be putting it lightly. I mean, these are only the things I’m telling YOU. I’m not even mentioning the things that I’m holding tight to my chest and not even breathing a word about because they’re too glorious to even speak of yet (and quite possibly the most wonderful blessings of all).

My friends, this morning in church as I was standing in awe of the RELIEF that I feel right now I was singing my praises and the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation of what this past year has been – refining fire. Yes, just like our dear ole friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we too have been going through a fire. If you look in the book of Daniel you’ll find our friends’ story. They were placed in a VERY uncomfortable position. First they were brought to Babylon and offered the kings food, which probably smelled AMAZING, but didn’t quite abide by Jewish Law. They were presented with a choice, obey God or not. They chose to obey God and requested only vegetables to eat. And they were handsomely rewarded for their obedience.

Later in the book they were presented with this same situation, obey God by refusing to bow down to an idol or not. The stakes were high… really high on this one. If they obeyed God and refused to bow down to the idol, the king would throw them into a fire-filled furnace. They stuck up for their beliefs and refused to bow resulting in them being tied up and thrown into the furnace that killed the guards who threw them in because it was so hot…yet our friends didn’t die. The cords that bound their hands and feet were burned off, a man that shone like the son of the gods appeared with them IN the fire, and they were removed from the fire with all their clothes not only in tact but they didn’t even smell like smoke!!!!! They obeyed God at all costs and came out MINUS the ties that bound them and smelling like roses. The fire did more benefit for them than harm.

And that, my friends, is where we stand today. I know that many of you have been facing fires of your own; un-pleasantries of all different kinds. Yet we faced them all the same simply because we knew in our heart of hearts that it’s what God wanted of us. Beloved, you have been removed from that fire! Your cords have been burned off and you’ve emerged smelling like roses instead of smoke. And honestly, if you’re anything like me, your obedience has been reward in and of itself, buuuut I have the distinct feeling that there will be even more reward than that in store for us this year.

This is the year we’ve been waiting for my friends. It’s the year where clarity will be the norm. The year where the things that have been shadowed by uncertainty or misunderstanding begin to reveal themselves plainly. For me, it’s been about direction. I knew God was taking me somewhere I just didn’t understand how in the WORLD I was going to get there or where exactly “there” was. But from where I stand today things are SO MUCH CLEARER than they were last year. With the blessing of this new job that will pay MUCH more than what I was making before while still affording me the luxury of being a writer AND a mom, it has also brought into focus a picture of my future and the plans that He has had for me all along. I feel like I’ve been traveling along with Him in complete and total blind trust through this winding path where I could only see a few feet in front of me before the path curved again taking me somewhere completely unexpected and away from where I thought we were going. On Saturday when I got that call it was like we rounded a curve and everything that lay before me was straight as an arrow pointing to exactly where I thought we were going but just didn’t understand yet.

Clarity!

For the first time all the jumbled pieces in this puzzle are fitting together just like I knew they were supposed to but couldn’t for the life of me get them to go. It’s like my vision was blurry before, I could see colors and shapes, light and dark, but nothing had real definition. Then I blinked and suddenly everything is clear.

I pray for that for YOU today my friend. Maybe you’ve been walking around bleary-eyed looking for the straight-a-way in your racetrack. Maybe you’ve been looking for your purpose and direction in life that you KNOW God has for you, but you just can’t quite put your finger on it yet. I pray for that for you TODAY! I pray that God’s Spirit will reach out and touch you in this very moment with more clarity and understanding than you’ve ever had in your entire life. I pray that He will lay His plan out before you in plain English (or whatever language you’re more fluent in). I pray that today you find yourself in precisely the right place at precisely the right time so that the door that He is flinging open before you will swing so close to your nose that you’ll feel the wind (but not the sting) so that you absolutely, positively can not miss this opportunity. And then I pray that He will PUSH you through that door so that there is no way you can doubt for even a second that it’s THE door for YOU. And I pray all that in Jesus’ name for you my friend!

Now go out there and follow that dream that God put in your heart! He MADE you for this, so you’d better go do it! Because no one can do it the way YOU can!

 

Categories: Luke, Malachi, Mark, Season 3 | Leave a comment

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