Friday, April 1, 2016

Finding that Place of Rest

BW our little "Welcome Wagon"
I was working extra-long hours in order to take off a few days over the Easter holiday weekend.  We were supposed to be going out of town to visit with some friends we hadn’t seen in years. 

My schedule was planned out pretty well so I could make my writing obligation deadlines, when something totally unexpected was thrown in my path.  Work would have to wait. 

It was Holy Thursday, the day before Good Friday when our little rescue kitty Mercy ran to the garage door.  She had a sense something wasn’t right with her “bud” so my husband followed to see why she was fussing. 

There he was lying on the floor gasping for breath … rushing to his side it was only a few seconds, and then our friend was gone.  BW had crossed over without any signs of him being sick. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBAlgeria; Botswana; Cameroon; Guyana; Ecuador; Uganda; Honduras; Guatemala; Vietnam; Belgrade; Serbia; Cebu City, Central Visayas, Philippines. 

USA Frewsbury, Kennedy, Chautauqua & Gerry & Panama, NY; Erie, Warren, Sugar Grove & Mount Lebanon & Linglestown, PA; Saint Robert, MO; Brookings, OR. 

I am so happy for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.  God has been faithful and we expect His favor to abound in the lives of those who chose to Journey with Jesus on Daily Favor Blog.
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Facing the Cowardly Lion

To say the month of March comes in like a lion would have been an understatement this year.  It began with my father being in the hospital, gaining another rescue cat who had been shot, a rescue with feline herpes went blind overnight, the passing of BW kitty, then our beloved pastor who married us met Jesus on Easter, internet problems, car issues … I could go on but why keep feeding the lion? 

Through all of this I kept going to my kitchen window.  You know … the one I talk about so often?  No matter what’s happening inside, beyond that glass pane I see Jesus alive and working all around me.  

When I look out my window God calms my spirit reminding me of John 10:10. He describes the desire of satan is to destroy, tear down and consume all that is good.  Like a cowardly lion he uses things, people and events to weaken God’s people into thinking they have lost favor in the Lord’s eyes. 

“The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, devour and destroy. I (Jesus) come that they might have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 TLV) 

Ah, but something happens to remind me the Lamb of God conquered that cowardly lion and finding that place of rest restores my faith.  God showed His favor through all the devil’s storms that tried to get me frustrated and weary.   

God’s Favor is Always There

Wiping away the tears over the sudden loss of BW there were things that had to be done immediately.  Praying that the storm and rain be calmed, my husband set out to get the things he needed to lay our pet to rest. 

When hubby got to our car there was a paper stashed under the wiper blade that read, “You have a flat tire.”  Great, now before he could get what he needed the tire had to be repaired. 

God blessed my husband to be able to get the tire fixed right away with little waiting.  Since the tire needed to be replaced hubby asked for the others to be rotated and balanced.  The bill total was $10.00 and that was for the new tire warranty.  Thank You Jesus!    

Before returning home my husband needed to pick up a specific bottle of CoQ-10 vitamins I needed for the next day.  Not being able to find it where I first sent him, he went to another store.  There was a super sale going on that we weren’t aware of, not being a regular customer of the establishment.

The product I wanted was in stock and on sale as “buy one get one free.”  When hubby took the product to the sales clerk he told them that they only had one bottle of the item I wanted in that size.  In the end, we were given favor with two smaller bottles (along with the larger size I originally wanted) that totaled even more pills (170 for the price of 80).   

He called me in excitement over the favor he received, but the devil wanted to snatch it and steal our joy.  When hubby got out of the car at the store he noticed the hubcap on the new tire was missing.  The mechanic didn’t put it on properly and it fell off somewhere on the road. 

Retracing his steps my husband looked to see if it he could locate it, but it was to no avail. Returning to where he got the tire, hubby reported it to the mechanic who became extremely upset.  The last thing we would feel good about is costing someone their job, so my husband assured him this would go no further and left the store. 

When hubby returned home he was able to finish his responsibilities and the rain remained tucked in the clouds until the job was finished.   

Who Let the Devil In?  

The weekend passed and although our household was still in a state of unrest, I was able to accomplish some major milestones.  When I went to share them I stopped to think who in the world would even be interested or care.  That unloved, unwanted feeling started to cross my thinking when I recognized that the cowardly lion was trying to steal my peace and favor from God. 

It started happening again … the lion was loose in our home. I didn’t see him enter, but none-the-less the devil was roaring and trying to eat away at hope of “good things” to come. 

There was a battle with an insurance company, my new phone was defective, and hubby was upset about his ladder not being delivered on time. 

They said it would take three days, but eleven days later the ladder still hadn’t arrived.  Listening to him on the phone with the customer service department I thought, “What’s the big deal if it was a few days late?”  With it being the holiday weekend I could understand it happening. 

He was on the phone a few hours going back and forth explaining how it should have been here, where it had been shipped across three states and that his name was spelled wrong on the tracking stats.   All that frustration and worry for a few dollars to be knocked off the price.  Was it worth it? 

Waiting for Victory 

“Victory” the most recent rescue cat at that time who was shot was scheduled to have his cast removed on Tuesday (March 29th, 2016) at 9:00 a.m.  I gave him that name because the world believed he wouldn’t make it. However, I prayed for God to give him victory over the inhuman act that was committed on his life.  

"Victory" rescue cat at Animal Hospital
The Lord heard my prayer. With hubby out of the house for the day I was looking forward to my time with the Lord and getting some writing done.   

Morning was spent when my husband called explaining that the vet hadn’t been able to see Victory, because there were some emergencies.  We understood completely, but were concerned that Victory kitty still hadn’t had anything to eat that day.  

It was the end of the work day and the vet was exhausted with his chaotic schedule. I felt so bad for him; he was trying his best to take care of all the animals and please everyone. With limited help there’s just so much he was able to do. 

By the time he was examined, Victory had already removed his own cast and now had to stay overnight so he wouldn’t walk on his leg until fully examined.  Apparently Victory wasn’t willing to wait for his freedom and chose to have “victory” over circumstances right then. 

Covering in the Storm 

After cardio physical rehab on Wednesday hubby went to see Victory at the Animal Hospital.  Before I got a chance to work on the computer, we were surrounded by terrible thunder storms.  Once more I would spend time at my kitchen window, where Jesus would join me. 

The rain was coming down in sheets as if someone was standing outside with a garden hose pointed at the window.  Flashes of light and rolls of thunder echoed in the house as the storm was directly overhead. 

Not long after, it tapered off but was still raining steadily.  In the distance I could see birds playing and a squirrel eating at the feeder under a small roof that was broken and disheveled.  They weren’t fazed at all and went about enjoying their day through the storm. 

In my spirit I could hear the Lord explaining the actions of the birds and how they are at rest under the covering.  I backed away from the window and looked around me and connected the two situations.   

Plenty of storms have taken place this month, but we were never without a covering from God.  Sadly we didn’t always receive it, even though we pray Psalm 91 over our lives each day.  

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. 
For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.  (Psalm 91:1-4 NLT) 
My husband shares how Christians fall prey to the lion (satan) because they have removed themselves from God’s protective covering.  That’s a hard thing to grasp, because we don’t want to believe we are the cause of some situations. 

Whether or not we are the cause of a problem, believers in Jesus cannot lose faith thinking God will not work things out for His glory and our good.  Favor is still active, God has never left His Throne of Grace and Jesus has promised to be with us for the entire earthly journey if we let Him.   

By journeying with Jesus we can be sure that there will be havens of rest along the way. 

Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble , and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.  Then they are glad because they are quiet; He guides them to their desired haven.  Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:28-31 NKJV)

This Week’s Challenge:
Finding Your Place of Rest 

The roaring lion (satan) continues to show his teeth trying to make us believe that the Lamb that was slain was also devoured. 
We know that’s a lie, because God’s Not Dead!  Jesus Lamb of God is very much alive and working on our behalf bestowing favor, grace, mercy and blessings to all who will join Him in that place of spiritual rest. 

I’ve learned that when my spirit (inner man) is at rest with God, He gives me strength to continue the journey with Jesus no matter where it leads. So every time we were confronted with another situation I found myself back at my place of rest … the kitchen window where hope is restored like Job’s was. 

“You have granted me life and favor, and Your care
has preserved my spirit.” (Job 10:12 NKJV) 

Our challenge this week requires finding that “haven place of rest” in the middle of a trial, test or storm.  Seek out a resting place where God can care for your spirit when you can’t leave a situation. 

Look for a place that is near where you can go to as often as needed during the day and nobody has to know a thing. 

It must be a place that takes you away emotionally (not necessarily physically) from what you are facing at the moment, so you will be able to stop feeding the lion devil your doubts and fears.  
A place where you meet up with the Lord to get a “breather” from the frustration, chaos and turmoil of the events that may be happening in your life at the time.   

There have been times in teaching and work when I needed that place of rest immediately.  I would retreat to my car, the playground, backstage of the auditorium or staff lounge to literally take in some deep breaths. 

Other close places where I’ve found quick solace and “serenity now” have been the backyard, bathroom, porch and even a closet.   Go to a place where you can quietly talk to Jesus and let Him comfort you.  
The change of scenery will remind you that God is right there and His favor on you fully covers this situation.  Breathe in the Holy Spirit and go back to the task empowered. 

Some awful things were happening outside my “world” window, but I was safe, dry and in a place of protection because Jesus was there for “my” journey.  Storms don’t frighten or throw Him off course. 

Even though we look for tangible favor, it’s the unseen favor of God that carries us through to the other side of the storm. 

Remember God’s faithful promises are part of His favor armor (covering) on believers.  With Christ by our side, there is always a haven place to find rest (especially during storms) under the covering of His favor umbrella by faith. 

Rest in You – Hillsong 

Kari Jobe - Be Still My Soul (In You I Rest) [Lyrics]

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Until next time, rest in God’s favor! 

Rest in my favor.”
Jesus Christ

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

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. 

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Image:  Cowardly Lion  Kitchen Window  Psalm 91 Swan
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