The story you are about to read isn’t us, but someone else. Well, that’s what my husband wanted me to tell you, but as you know, that isn’t how I roll here.
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image: Action News Proverbs 17:22 2 Corinth. 12: 9 &10
I’ve been in a state of unrest and haven’t been able to shake it. I did something that I’ve never done before in my life … I googled the news! Gasp!
Why I did that I haven’t a clue, but it seemed that all week long the same sort of “news” has been coming into my life. Frankly I think I was trying to avoid the obvious on what I was supposed to share this week. Who wants to talk about times of struggle when you feel “unfavored” by God or man?
Let me take you back to where this all started, last Saturday (10/3/15).
Welcome new friends this week from:
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Not So Hot Topic
We set our alarms for 6 A.M. on Saturday; that was probably our first mistake. The day was filled with things we needed to do, so taking a quick trip to the store early would clear the rest of the day for the activities. Now that I look back on it, maybe it was an underlying course of events set in motion by my husband so he wouldn’t have to clean out the shed! Nah …
It was chilly that morning so we decided to get something warm to eat and a cup of hot decaf coffee to go. The “fast” food restaurant delivered our coffee fifteen minutes later. Did I mention I wanted hot coffee? They obviously didn’t get that message since it was anything but hot when we finally got it.
My husband returned to the counter and asked if he could get a hot cup. Next came the unveiling of his sausage sandwich, only to reveal it was sausageless. (I know it’s not a word, but it fits.) Round two – back to the counter. I won’t even go into the rest of what happened; moving on to our next destination.
Back to the Future
I should take a step back to tell you that we had already gone grocery shopping on Friday, yep that’s right … so we wouldn’t have to go on Saturday. We were making a second visit to take back the packaged “fresh” spinach that was bad, and to get a phone number from the electronics department to resolve a problem. It was less than twelve hours since we were at the store.
My husband returned the smelly spinach to customer service. He said I don’t even know where it is, but I do. I just choose to not go in there. He’s better at staring people down than I am. Just kidding!
|Caught with no make-up! Sorry, I take a terrible selfie.|
See any lines? Don't tell me if you do!
Okay, I should be honest since this blog is about what actually happens in my life. After he finished at the returns counter hubby caught me in the cosmetic department looking for a facial cream to reduce wrinkles.
I keep asking him if he sees any, but he says I don’t need it because I don’t have any. Hmm … I’d ask you but your answer may be different than his!
After about twenty minutes I decided on a sale item (probably not a good idea either) that claims to reduce the “appearance” of fine lines. I was happy with that. Tackle them before they arrive!
What do you want me to do? “Yes”
Leaving that department we went to the electronic section to see if we could get a phone number for the Straight Talk company my husband buys his contract from each month. He had bought a card the night before and it didn’t give him the minutes when it was activated, so he needed to contact them about the error.
While on the phone he lost service on his phone and had to use mine. I decided to look around and wait for him thinking it wouldn’t be long. Leaning over my cart I reached in my pocket to put on some hand cream. When I squeezed the tube it shot out all over my coat, past the cart and onto the floor. All I could do was laugh and then I glanced over to hubby.
Boy was he in a fit. With every question he asked, the “helps line” answered, “Yes.” He was getting nowhere with them. Not only was he still having trouble, the company told him to turn off his phone until they got things squared away that day. During the call my battery ran out and now neither was working. It wasn’t until late in the day that his phone worked, but the problem wasn’t resolved.
Our items had been scanned, bagged, in the cart and it was time to pay the bill. Sliding the debit card we saw on the screen, “Card denied, use another form of payment.” No matter how many times my husband and the clerk tried to get it to work, it wouldn’t. I stood there guarding our cart while my husband went to the bank in the store and took out the money before returning to pay the bill.
Return to Sender
Making our way to the last store for the “sale” on specific items, at the register we discovered that it wasn’t for the products that I put back in the other store the night before, because as I confidently said to my husband, “I can get it cheaper.” Now we would have to make trip three back to the previous store!
The cream cheese that was on sale in the flyer turned out to have an expiration date July 2015 on the bottom of the container, and it was still on the shelves. I was okay with not buying into that sale, if you know what I mean. To make sure no one else would buy the cream cheese, I took all the expired ones to the cashier. I’m not so sure they didn’t end up back on the shelf instead of returning them to the wholesaler.
During my time in the store I had to use the rest room. You already know what happened don’t you? The potty drain was clogged. As the tank water was rising I pleaded, “Please Lord, don’t let it run over.”
Thankfully there was a plunger in there (something I can’t remember ever seeing in a store restroom). Another first for me in a public facility!
My hubby didn’t think I should share that part, but I remarked, “Except for Jesus and my Dad of course, this is something that happens to Christians and it’s not a sin to talk about it ... just maybe a bit uncouth.”
The Fertilizer is Back
After dinner my husband put together an “easy to assemble” 12” wide x 8” deep media storage tower. It didn’t match anything, but we believed God’s favor was on us when we only paid $11.00 for it. He couldn’t buy the wood to make one at that price. Upon completion we discovered the item didn’t exactly meet the need we had hoped for, even after careful measuring it was a bit small.
So that’s how the events started after posting last Friday’s “Fertilizer in Faith” topic, and it sort of went that way for most of the week. No they’re not really awful things, but a constant struggle over dumb stuff that happens to practically everyone at some point in their life.
Even that cream has my eye twitching for five days now. Don’t tell hubby, but he was probably right when it came to buying that stuff. He “googled” why my eye was doing a dancing gig, only to find out it could also be caused by lack of sleep or stress. Do you think ten hours a week isn’t enough sleep? Maybe I should work on that … once I get a sitter to monitor hubby at night.
For the most part I’m pretty even tempered when it comes to my dealing with things, and I remain positive or joyful. However, this week at times I felt like crying from frustration seeing my husband having difficulties, reading the tragic things on the web didn’t help, hearing about so many dying made me sad, and finding more health problems with hubby had me near the weakest emotional point I’ve experienced in some time.
Trying to work through the “fertilizer” was a work of faith and definitely favor from the Lord.
Meeting up with some friends who had a problem was probably not what the doctor would have ordered, but it was the grace of God that led us to this outing together. Our friends had encountered a serious problem that they hoped my husband could help them with if he could.
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, and is actually an expression of humility. The Lord expects us to call on one another for help and to give godly counsel when we can. Those who do not join together in like faith with others in the Body of Christ will not receive the favor of God, because they are leaving out the main member – Christ. He is the one who has bestowed gifts throughout His church, and we are to be partakers of what God has made available to us.
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.” (Psalm 57:1 NKJV)
In the middle of the conversation a spirit of laughter came over me for the remainder of our time together, and all I could do was burst into laughing whenever my friend looked at me. I wasn’t being disrespectful, but God had allowed me to see joy in something satan was trying to turn into devastating.
A few hours later we met up with them again to hear the report from the doctor for my friend (this wasn’t the situation they presented when we met earlier). When she shared what the doctor said was wrong with her we laughed even harder. We were not moved but chose to believe. By faith and through prayer we already knew it would be a good report, because we believed God would be faithful to His word.
“He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.” (Psalm 62:2 NKJV)
The spirit of joy remained on us all and the next day my friend called to report the situation was totally resolved! Turning to the Lord for help in a time of weakness allowed God to work on the problems for each couple, and showed Him to be strong.
“And He (Jesus) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the
power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKLV)
Our weakness is a platform for God’s Strength – Priscilla Shirer
In Weakness We See Compassion
Over and over I asked the Lord what He wanted me to share, and I suppose that’s why I went on the web hoping to find a clue to what God was revealing to me. It was in a post I read by a friend named Danny that brought some closure to my search.
|Read Danny's post.|
The things that were happening in my life weren’t life altering really, but more along the line of attitude alerts and awakenings to the grace of God that is on our lives daily.
Danny is an Asian American, and within that culture there are customs or lifestyles that are maintained from generation to generation. At times some of these can be challenging and bring us to feeling weak, especially as a believer.
I love how open he is when Danny shares that “he doesn’t always have it all together.” In other words, stuff happens, even to Christians.
With permission I share an excerpt from his post:
“The last month has been incredibly challenging to say the least. One thing I have noticed particularly in Asian American culture (at least in my family) is that "getting help" is taboo. If we ask for help, it means that we are weak and that we are bad. Worse yet, if you're an Asian American Christian, to struggle means that you don't have God's favor, and that's really bad.
When we're weak, it shows everyone else in our tribe that we are incompetent or unworthy. As a result, we try to hide so that we don't look shameful or unworthy; but what if we began to actually admit our weaknesses. What if instead of pretending that we need to have it all together to hide our weaknesses, we celebrated weakness as a reality of life … and that when good things happened to us, it is a result of God's grace, not our own efforts.”
My friend goes on to share that for us to think any strength, victory, success or fortune are a result of our efforts is exhausting and really a lie the devil would like us to believe. You see, if we actually think these things can be achieved on our own, it would mean we don’t believe the message of the cross. Without believing in Jesus Christ, the grace and favor of God cannot be activated in the life of a believer, therefore the weak only become weaker.
When we choose to believe our Lord, we witness the compassion He has for us through the favor blessing of grace and mercy. It is then we receive the benefits of the cross of Jesus.
“Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall.
My soul still remembers and sinks within me.
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
because His compassions fail not.” (Lamentations 3:19-22 NKJV)
Weakness Made Strong
When I was with my friend it was during a time of weakness when things weren’t falling into place. She had no idea of what we were experiencing. That morning I prayed for the Lord to guide our conversation, grant me His favor, wisdom and understanding so that I could bless my friend(s). Knowing that the Lord is my strength and shield I entered into fellowship with believers. God met us there overturning the table on the devil.
As Danny pointed out, the scriptures remind us in the times of weakness that is where God can be found strong, not only to us, but to unbelievers. We will see the favor of God through His grace and mercy when we admit, “Lord, I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. I need you to intervene.”
Let us come to the understanding that weakness isn’t a sign of failure, but knowledge of the need for Christ and a lesson in humility. When we truly believe God’s Word others will see what the Lord has done through us.
My situation isn’t like Danny’s, those in other lands or even yours. The things I shared may seem trivial, but I assure you there are other circumstances we are trusting in God for that are quite serious. In all situations I need my Savior, His grace, mercy, favor and unfailing love.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak,
then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10 NKJV)
It is during all those times that in my weakness God is made strong and where I see what the Lord has done in me. When I become a vessel He can use amazing things happen in my life that allow God to be glorified.
I see how He has turned sadness into gladness, mourning into joy, hardship into fellowship and messes into messages. Through it all my husband and I found renewed strength and have not fainted (we’re still working on the running part).
“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:31 NKJV)
When You Became Strong
It’s not easy admitting that we have weaknesses to others, but saying it to the Lord is different.
Sometimes we think that if we confess we need someone or something it means we don’t have a handle on things and are weak people.
Another thing we have to understand is that just because things aren’t peachy in our lives doesn’t mean God’s favor has left us. On the contrary, it may be those very hardships that God is using to extend His blessings and favor on us in ways we wouldn’t have ordinarily noticed.
Although it may be difficult, God wants us to come to the knowledge that we do need Him. He also wants us to recognize that going to the Lord for help acknowledges that we know He is the only one that can give us the solution we need for every situation.
God doesn’t scold us or think bad thoughts of those who seek Him. As a matter of fact, He welcomes it and loves to shower His children with loving kindness.
(See James 1)
Our challenge this week is to think of the times when we were at our lowest and how God worked His power through the situation. When you were weak, how did God reveal His strength to you?
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My (God’s)
ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
(Isaiah 55:9 NKJV)
What did you find out about yourself during that time of weakness? I’d like you to share some of those times with someone and me if you feel led (as I have confided in you).
As we choose to believe in the Bible as God’s truth, may our confessions always be …
Let the weak say: “I am strong.”
Let the poor say: “I am rich.”
Let the blind say: “I can see.”
It’s what the Lord has done in me.
Until next time, may God favor you with His strength.
Check Messages throughout the week.
“Believe I will take you from weak to strong.”
Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.
What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.
Embracing the True Source of Strength
By Dan Schaeffer
Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also. Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.
Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image: Action News Proverbs 17:22 2 Corinth. 12: 9 &10
What the Lord Has Done In Me by Reuben Morgan 1998 Hillsong Publication/ Integrity Hosanna Music.
*Special thanks to Danny Kimm for sharing his walk with Christ.
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.