Matthew 10:7-8

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

RESCUED (A more personal side of me)

I work for a funeral home.  Sometimes when people ask me what I do or where I work I get a kick out of watching the expression on their faces when I tell them.  You can imagine the wide range of reactions that I get.  Needless to say, I'm around physical death at least 5 days a week.  While God has given me much grace and peace to be in the position that I am there are still times when the death of an individual pulls at my emotions.  God has given me a heart of compassion and one of great love for people, so there are times when on the inside I feel much grief for an individual and their family even though my outside appearance may not show it to those that I work with.  I had such an experience just last week and while I can never go into full detail, I will say that it was a pretty tragic situation and I could feel the pain of loved ones in my soul and I felt myself carrying that pain through out the morning.

I'm going to let you into my secret closet a little bit.  While I consider my faith to be strong and am a pretty optimistic man, I have days occasionally just like everybody else where discouragement will knock.  Don't ever look at someone, even the great teachers or preachers of the gospel and think that they never have "down" moments once in awhile.  The difference might be that these men and women have become so filled with the Lord each and everyday that they are able to deal with those feelings quicker than someone else might be able to.   Discouragement and despair don't come from God, so get rid of it as soon as you can.  Keep yourself in the word of God daily.  Having a strong prayer life helps, too and inviting God to be in your thoughts even as you go about your day are just a few ways to combat thoughts or feelings that are not from Father.

On this particular day however, I was having more difficulty than usual.  I remember thinking that I had seen way to many difficult death situations over the past few months.  Again, I won't go into specific detail at this time, but adding to that were some really energy sapping challenges that I've been trying to sort through.  I've been really pushing in as much as I can to seek God for clear cut answers to decisions I must soon make.  I even began to question how much support I was getting during this time, which was a very foolish thing to think on because I have a circle of friends who are always there to support me at any moment.  While I'm usually able to defuse those types of feelings, I could sense a spirit of despair and discouragement wanting to attach itself to me.............and I was feeling it in a serious way.

And then suddenly, GOD MOVED.

I had walked into a room and just as I did I heard the words from an old favorite hymn, "...........Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer, than all the angels heaven can boast........."  Instantly it was like a beam of light shot through my soul and the greatness and goodness of God flamed into my heart.  God rescued me.  God...........amazingly awesome God rescued me.  I knew that in that exact moment He knew exactly what I needed to hear.  That spirit of despair was suddenly dismissed by the peace of Jesus.

So why do I tell you this?  Why do I bare my soul tonight and let you into a corner that I seldom talk about?  It is to tell you that God is there and wants to rescue you, just like He did me.  If you are in a dark place, or feel the stress and pressures that the world can so easily offer, if you've lost a little or a lot of hope..............Jesus is right here and right now to shine brighter and purer than you could ever imagine.  I believe that for many at this very moment, this will become of time of great encouragement.  This was a day that I experienced a week ago and yet it was tonight (tonight for me) when I felt inspired by the Lord to shut everything else down and in this very moment reach out to you and let you into that secret corner of my life where sometimes struggle occurs.

When you have a pure heart for God, He rejoices over you.  (Zephaniah 3:17)  When I read that passage, I see God speaking life over you and wanting to rescue just when you need it most.  God is a God of hope and life.  Jesus speaks of giving an abundant life.  When you read things like this in the Bible don't just think that they sound nice and pretty and move on.   Take them literally and begin to expect God to change circumstances that might be troubling.  When I learned to do that in my life, many things began to change for the good.

The day that I just spoke of, I experienced Psalm 40: 3 really happen.  "....He has put a new song in my mouth--Praise to our God.........."  Now if you need Him to, let Him do it for you!  It's time for you to listen to that wonderful hymn that God rescued me with.  As you listen to this fresh, contemporary version watch the words, take them to heart and let God be amazingly awesome for you!   (Make sure you go to the right side of this page and stop the instrumental music if you haven't done so already.)

May God surprise you right now!
Mark S.