Transparency time. I’m learning continually that I dont think it matters how old one gets, one’s faith is constantly challenged and increased as he or she walks with the Lord. And I’m gonna be even more transparent with you, there are days lately where cancer seems like it was cakewalk…
Don’t get me wrong, in the middle of it, I couldn’t get my faith out of the bed in the morning, but looking back, the Lord’s hand was all around the entire time – waking my faith up every day…. through the Word, through friends, family, phone calls…
The Oak Leaf Lounge ministry has been growing leaps and bounds over the last year. And by growing, I mean we are seeing so many people and getting to encourage them through worship and prayer – so many pastors, students, women, men… all to advance the Gospel – that’s our purpose. So the enemy, in all his craftiness, has found a weakness – believing that the Lord will send what we need at the appointed time. We know that we can do nothing without Christ – we can’t move (and don’t want to, for that matter) without Him; so what better attack than to just keep pounding our faith until we start to entertain doubt.
Transparency time again: I feel completely ridiculous even typing that. Truthfully, I would rather crawl under a rock than admit that, because let’s be honest: if God heals you from a disease that kills a lot of people, believing Him to move in your ministry that HE APPOINTED shouldn’t be a problem. But there’s one thing that has remained all through cancer and even my weary heart today: I’m human. We all are – and we forget it so many times. It’s through these times that I’ve begun to see that I need to depend on the Lord for this: that HIS faithfulness will meet me as I step out for Him.
Reality check: some steps are WAY bigger than others.
I listened to a friend teach this weekend. He and his wife have been given a heart for the nation of India, and the Lord is constantly opening doors for them to travel, encourage, preach and bring back to the U.S. the message that India is a nation where there are areas that have yet to hear about Jesus. He made the point that the people he ministers to and with in India live with a love and boldness because they see all around them every day what they have been saved from (my own paraphrase), and the peaceful hope that comes from knowing Jesus. We live in a nation where we lack nothing. You are reading this on a device that can connect you with the world… this guy spends weeks out of his year loving people that don’t know where their next meal will come from or seeing women trade themselves for leverage to take care of their children. So side note: pray for our friends, Luke and Lauren, as they continue to advance the Gospel in a nation that could easily be our own- remember, it IS transparency day.
And I fret over God meeting my needs. Sheesh.
I meet with some great ladies on Tuesday mornings to pray – and then meet with some amazing college gals Tuesday nights… today, this is what the Lord ‘dropped in my spirit’ (thanks, Ed Newton, for that phrase) for my weakness, my recognition of frailty, and my longing to know He hears me:
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
So today, tell Him and thank Him. Let His peace guard you in your own transparency. Rejoice. Let your prayers be bigger than your circumstances. Rejoice. Let your hearts and minds be covered in peace. Rejoice. Know that His ways and His peace exceeds anything we could understand. Rejoice. Be transparent with HIM. Rejoice.