Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave or forsake you."
This weekend at church, we are blessed with our annual visit from traveling Evangelist Shane Willard. He taught yesterday for a couple of hours and I have a ton of notes.
There was a theme to his topic that I wanted to share. It has a good bit of questions, thought provoking questions. I pray that you see and hear the truth in it.
You know how when something good happens, we say, "It's a God thing." We attribute that good to God. That's awesome, but we also are making it sound like God is only there for us when things are good.
That's simply not true. God is not absent when we are going through tough times. I am a living breathing testimony to that.
Shane taught from Ezekiel about a vision the he saw. The truth was that Israel was taken captive by Babylon. Ezekiel, who was a Priest at the time, had his entire life turned upside down. He lost his wife, his job, his temple, everything he believed by faith, his ability to have more children, and his purpose. (Sounds like a bad country song, doesn't it?)
"Disasters aren't meant to destroy you, but to reveal a part of God you haven't known."
"When something goes good and we say "It's a God thing", it's like saying He's not there in the pain. God is present JUST where you are."
"Have you drawn lines around God that exclude where we are? Do we step back and separate ourselves? I'm JUST a teacher, I'm JUST a lawyer, I'm JUST a mom, I'm JUST an IT guy... we exclude God because we don't realize that God is present there and HERE."
"Do we really believe that God is God even when or language, theology, view of the Bible, or philosophy of ministry gets holes in it?" (This is a reference to Ezekiel knowing that the Torah said if someone who isn't Jewish goes into the temple, they will die. But when Nebuchadnezzar, the King from Babylon who was capturing them did, he did not die.)
God has seen me through some terrible things. If you've read my blog for long, you know I had two miscarriages years ago, my husband of 19 years left, my son was in a serious accident at church camp last summer, so on and so forth. My life hasn't been perfect.
But through it ALL, I knew that God was right there with me. He doesn't leave us. He heals to the brokenhearted and He binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
Can I tell you this? If I can make it, you can too! I am ready and willing to pray for you as well if you need it. Just ask, ok?
Trust that God is with you. He will never leave you. And you will get through this. I promise.
God bless you today and always.