Last weekend I was in Isaac's hometown, Liberia, joining with Bud Miller & Mike Garst and some youth from Guatemala that came to do an Arrows of Light Conference. As some of you know, I feel like lately I've just been making it. I've made changes in my schedule to work part time, to deal with my own trauma of seeing abuse, started exercising, etc. Good changes. But what I most need is to connect even deeper with God. Thats where peace, joy, love, and the ability to continue on comes from.
This last Sunday Bud preached at church and it was if God used him to speak exactly what I needed to hear: Encouraging yourself in the Lord . In 1 Samuel 30, David had lost everything and his men were about to turn against him. And what did David do? He encouraged himself in the Lord. How did he do that? How do we do that? In Bud's message, he shared what the Lord had showed him in how to do that.
1. Know God
2. Know God can help (and know who we are in Christ!)
3. Remember what God has done.
4. Give thanks
5. Cry out to God and pray
6. Wait on the Lord
I've been pretty good at doing number 5- but thanking God and remembering how faithful he is... it's like I'd gotten so caught up with the present that I've forgotten the past. Which is a trick of satan to keep us from God's best, from trusting Him. And yes, life has been difficult lately. Every week there is a new crisis- since I've last written, one of the moms that lives in LC found out her cancer that she had been living with spread to other organs & body parts. She was given just a few weeks to live- and she has 9 children, 6 of whom are younger than 13. We've been unsuccessfully trying to work with children's services so that the 21 year old daughter can have custody of the children when the mother passes away. This last month we've been on a roller coaster of emotions with them. On several occasions I've felt not only helpless, but hopeless as well.
This last weekend was just what I needed- it was as if God shook me and said, "Have you forgotten? I'm with you in this!"
God often uses songs to minister to me. And this song, is another tool I've found to "encourage myself in the Lord."