“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:6-7 NKJV). What a blessing He returns to us when we give thanks, peace that passes all understanding, our hearts and minds being guarded through Jesus. If all my thoughts were filtered through Jesus before they hit my brain, I’d be one happy camper! I obviously need to give thanks more often. I don’t know about the rest of you, but it is taking a concentrated effort to not be on pins and needles about this election. I know I’ve shared with you before how much I love the story of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings, chapters 18-19, but it certainly comes to mind again with all that is going on. King Sennacherib had sent his servant Rabshakeh, (I don’t know how you pronounce that but when I sound it out, I get Rob-shaketh, like the one who comes to rob & shake us), to tell the people all that he would do for them and how the God of Hezekiah could not save them. Sennacherib even wrote it all out. So Hezekiah took his written words into the house of the Lord and spread them out before the Lord and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord and hear; open Your eyes O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.” Right now a lot of words are being spoken that are a reproach before the living God. We can lay it all before Him and we can say what Hezekiah said in 19:19, “Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.” God responded to Hezekiah that because he had prayed to Him against Sennacherib, that He had heard. We know we have a God that hears and sees and Who is for us and not against us. The Lord sent an angel out in the night that destroyed the enemy while Hezekiah was able to lay down and sleep. We can rest in our Defender. He is the Righteous One. He neither sleeps nor slumbers. How grateful we can be that we know the One Who will rise up and fight for us. Even though we will not know the results this week, or maybe even this whole month, we can spend our days in thanksgiving, rejoicing because the battle belongs to the Lord. No matter what Washington does or says, our future is sure, our provision is infinite, our security cannot be shaken. We stand on the Rock that has stood before the beginning of time and will remain into eternity long after all this has passed away. If He is for us, who can be against us! Hallelujah!
Earlier this week I went to a women’s halfway house, about 40 minutes from here, where I am teaching a woman how to crochet. She is only four months or so clean from drugs and is about to have surgery on her ankle and foot, so she wants to learn how to do something to help pass her time while she is recovering. My good ministry friend, Pam Harvey, met me there and it was a beautiful time of fellowship and ministry. The woman we were visiting wasn’t feeling well and was teary, so of course, I hugged her and let her cry on my shoulder. Two days later the halfway house called me to tell me she was Covid positive. My friend Pam, who’s smarter than me, had sat across from me and the woman, so avoided the up close exposure. These last two days I’ve felt pretty rough, but am looking forward to a few days from now when I expect to be feeling much better.
Last night, my roommate and I watched a show called “Freedom Sunday, 2020, with Tony Perkins” I’d seen it on the TCT channel and then we were able to pull it up on YouTube to watch it in it’s entirety. It’s a variety of pastors, General Boykin, and Dr. Dan Erickson. They look at what the scriptures say about churches meeting, what the constitution has to say, what physicians are saying, and what the church’s response should be. It’s very informative and uplifting. It exposes the enemy’s plan and encourages us in our position in Christ. One statement that has stuck with me is if we feared sin as much as we’ve feared Covid, we’d have already been in revival! I hope that strikes you the way it struck me. We’ve allowed man to put a fear in us that God has not been able to. Covid may lead to death, but sin definitely leads to death!
They also pointed out how when the churches closed, chaos abounded with the riots and violence that erupted. We may think the churches have not had much impact on society since it seems that sin has been gaining ground, but the absence of light definitely allows the darkness to increase immediately.
We need to believe in the power of the God we serve. We need to work while it is still day (John 9:4). Let us not grow weary in doing good (Gal 6:9). Take courage in knowing how many churches and saints around this nation have been praying and fasting for the hand of God to move in this nation. We are not alone in this! We have a huge family that is seeking God, His wisdom and His mercy that we belong to. It’s a beautiful season of thanksgiving. As I was driving the other day, I thought about how the power of God flows through each home. He gave us the water, He gave us the natural gas, and He gave us electricity. His power flows through every single home and people don’t even realize it! How amazing He is, that knowing we would be a fallen people, He wanted us to have such comfort.
Since the prisons are still closed to us, ministry has looked different but the Lord is definitely not short of suggestions. I’m sure you husbands can relate to this, when you’ve went to do a project around the house and then found out you couldn’t get the materials, in your mind you’re thinking, whoo-hoo free-time! Then you’re wife says, but you could do this…. and this needs done…., and before you know it, the whole day is gone. Many of my days get so busy, it leaves my head swimming. But at the end of the day it’s completely satisfying. We helped a 71-year-old homeless man find an apartment this month, which took a lot of hours of driving from place to place because he had a lot of issues as to why landlords wouldn’t rent to him and we were running out of options. But even when it looked hopeless, I went and got him again and we set out and just kept knocking on doors until the Lord opened one! But you just can’t put someone in an apartment and leave them there, it also involved buying him enough to food to last him until his check came at the beginning of this month. Last Sunday, during our early morning church service in the park, I seen a homeless woman huddled up on a park bench, very cold, and asked her if she’d like to go to church with me so she could sit inside and get warm for a few hours. She said yes. She ended up spending 4 nights at our house this week. We’ve days trying to help her get in someplace. The obstacle is that she has no I.D. and mental health issues. Then yesterday, unexpectedly, the Lord opened a door. We paid for the first two weeks, hoping that during that time she will be able to access her disability check and then be able to pay for herself. It’s just been difficult for her with no identification and all of her focus being on how to survive outside. I spent an afternoon at a women’s halfway house in Auburn, teaching them how to make puppets that we then donated to a woman who was having a craft sale to raise money for expenses for her family as her husband needs a kidney transplant. I took a homeless, pregnant woman, who has no family here, to her ultrasound, (and sat with her through it) who had considered aborting her baby, but has now decided to keep him. I sat with another woman through her emergency room visit who is once again trying to get clean and get out of an abusive relationship. One weekend I made chicken noodle soup and chicken sandwiches for the homeless. I’ve also continued with the Monday night meetings at Faith Based Mentoring for people in recovery, which has been awesome.
Unexpected things keep popping up. The Lord says this is next and we say okay. It’s praying with people who feel they are out of options or like the storm is going to overwhelm them and watching the peace of God come over them, knowing the battle belongs to Him and He loved them first! As I was praying one day for a homeless woman, the Lord wrapped me in His embrace, letting me know it would be okay because He could hold me and her at the same time and my heart didn’t have to be anxious about whether He would come through or not.
I want to encourage you as you take extra time this month to be intentionally thankful, that you bask in the goodness of the Lord. Think about His natural power flowing through your home through the heat, the water and the electric. How could we not be filled with His goodness! Breathe Him in. Give Him the glory that is due His Name. “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions.” “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live, I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my mediation be sweet to Him, I will be glad in the Lord.” (Psalm 104:24, 33 & 34)
Be blessed and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Your Sister in Jesus!