As we enter into the Christmas holidays, I have more smiles to add to the pile. Our family is rejoicing. I haven’t kept up my blog very well recently because I’ve been traveling…and praying. A huge test of faith loomed large over our family this past year that God used to train us how to battle in the spirit realm. The good news is that a hostile court scene was avoided and God’s peace and forgiveness took its place, tearing down walls of strife that the enemy erected over the years. This Christmas, I’m reflecting on how God shows up at just the right time. He’s never late, is He? In fact He came to earth at just the right time to be born and to die so that we can be free to live in victory!
I knew from the beginning that the trial our family faced was not going to be removed, but that each one of us had something to learn for our spiritual journeys and the trial would be the catalyst to promote us to a higher ground. I’m not saying I’m a victorious over-comer, but I’ve learned to shake off some bad habits. I’ve learned a few things:
- Forgiveness is a one-way street. When you forgive someone, they may not change but you will and your lightness of heart is evident of God’s joy for all to see. Recently my husband introduced me to a friend of his. He later he told me his friend noticed a sparkle in my eyes. That kind of freedom would not be there if bitterness had its way and I wore a cloak of self pity.
- I cannot control my circumstances or other people. I can (and must) share my heart’s concerns with the Lord daily and ask Him for wisdom and direction with a firm resolve to obey Him.
- I cannot manipulate other people or the outcome. In one Sunday service before going to court, I felt prompted to ask for prayer for my family. We have an anointed prayer team who prays with you and sends you on your way with loving hugs. Yet, I waited until I heard “ask that one.” I was in the parking lot when I turned to a young friend’s hug asking me how I’m doing. “She’s the one”….Wow, was she ever! I believe it was not only her prayers, but her counsel that turned our surrender into success. Having just been through this kind of test, she not only spoke wisdom, but bore the fruit of it.
- Don’t talk about the person that hurt you. When we’re expecting a miracle, the enemy likes to steal it by tempting us to say unkind things about people and even if it’s true, that kind of stuff leads to more wounds, for them and me.
- Trials will not sweep away my joy. Joy has been promised to me and I can continue to serve God and love others regardless.
- My pea-size brain cannot analyze why this happened. Even if the Holy Spirit reveals some things, the only responsibility I have is to repent for my part and let God work in it all. It is so burdensome to try to figure things out or judge. We’re told not to! Better to use that energy to get a promise from God and pray it allowing Him to work in the mess and change us all in the process!
- Now when I see someone’s status or blog post and sense that they need prayer, I try to leave a comment that I’m standing in faith with them and even if 50 people post that, I’ll be 51. When you’re going through the hard times, it means the world to know someone out there supports you. The Body of Christ is very loving! I will never forget those who scribbled a quick comment that they’re praying. What a gift and the more response, the more love you feel.
We are packing today for yet another holiday road trip. I’ll be away from my desktop and blog for a while, but when I get back I look forward to visiting my wonderful friends and seeing what you are all doing. I’m wishing you a merriest Christmas holiday season.