Well I never anticipated writing this blog…but sometimes life comes along and takes you by surprise, takes your breath away, knocks the wind out of your sails and leaves you feeling flummoxed!
Has this ever happened to you? Then read on if you need encouragement today…
As I write this I almost have to laugh to myself because as a Christian I knew full well that life wouldn’t be a bed of roses and that I would not get to live a life unscathed by the painful, gut-wrenching stuff that happens to us all, but at the same time I guess I believed this might be the case for me!!!! Can anyone relate?
In fact, the bible tells us this, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when it happens:
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
But, the truth is when pain and suffering come a’ calling (SPOILER ALERT), which they will at some point, because we live in a fallen world, it always takes us by surprise.
That is the season I am in today friends, but I am writing this as an encouragement to you if you are in a similar position and to give you hope.
When the proverbial rubber hits the road, what do you do?
So easily we come to a life changing moment, that comes unplanned and definitely unwanted and this is when the rubber (our faith) really hits the road (gets tested) and the way we react is reflective of where we are at.
Sadly, the Lovely Mr B has been diagnosed with cancer, but thankfully we are in a really good place spiritually and God has being doing so much in us (not by chance, hey!) despite it being a most difficult year with the loss of his father (much beloved) and my auntie (who was like a second mum growing up). God has been sowing into us through various means; church, church family, TSM, conferences and friends which has us feeling full of faith and expectant for God to move in a powerful way in our current situation and bring healing to Tim’s body.
The thing, if I can call it that, that has got us in the eye of the storm at the moment is cancer and I know this word so easily strikes fear into the heart of the hearer but we are determined not to let that happen! In fact, we are actively pursuing the opposite and are feeling incredibly peaceful and in fact joyful a lot of the time. Now I know that’s not what you expect to hear, and to be honest I am as surprised as you, but we know our God is all powerful, healer, mighty to save, bigger than any illness and is what we have built our life on-HE IS OUR ROCK!!!!!!
As you may know I like to bible journal and I have found myself journaling truths about God that He has been abundantly speaking to us through. We have been massively blessed knowing that God has us in the palm of His hand and that we have built our house on the rock. I am so relieved that this is the case and that we are not trying to build in the storm, which would be madness and too late to take a safe haven, because we would have been slipping around everywhere and not being able to hold fast.
Now that’s not to say that it doesn’t get tricky on the rock and when our feet get slippery we are encouraged to hold tight.
Ps 94:18-19 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. 19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
I was sent a picture that a friend had, of the limpet which has strong muscle at its base so that when the stormy seas roll over it is stuck tight to the rock. I was inspired by the picture and journaled it as a visual reminder.
When all around seems stormy we also have to trust and this is so easy to do when life is going swimmingly well, but the reality of this word and what it means to trust come into sharp focus when you are literally putting your money where your mouth is!
I am also encouraged that like Meshrach, Shadrach and Abednego that our God is a rescuer and that when the fiery furnace gets turned up x7 times hotter than normal not a hair on their heads was burnt and that an angel stood in the fire with them before they came walking out without even smelling of fire-that’s my God.
Dan 3:27 So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
We have strapped on the full armour of Christ and we are standing strong! We take courage from the fact we are fighting FROM victory not FOR victory!
Eph 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
We have been doing daily battle with thoughts that come into our minds and try and tell us lies and I mean minute by minute battle! I realise that the enemy is so quick to try and take root in doubt and fear and try and get you to think and make decisions from that place but we are being ruthless with those thoughts because I truly believe that the battle is won and lost in the mind!
It’s not difficult to distinguish between the thoughts of the enemy and God during this time as the enemies thoughts are the ones that make us feel fearful and they don’t have our best interests at heart, whilst Papa’s thoughts fill us with faith and lead us to trust Him more. Taking these thoughts captive is a powerful and mighty weapon and I have really come to understand the truth of that the last few weeks like never before. I have found that our faith levels impact on our fear levels, there is a correlation here!
2 Cor 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
I also believe strongly that our trials and tests in life become our greatest testimonies and already we see the evidence of this. As people are commenting on our peace we are able to glorify God and tell people that it is not our peace but a peace that surpasses all human understanding.
Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We have also had lots of moments of overwhelming joy and laughter over the last few weeks and again this seems bizarre in the circumstances but the joy of the Lord really is our strength.
Neh 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Again, this has given opportunities to tell people where we get our joy from and there really is nothing better than laughing in the face of the enemy’s schemes knowing he is a loser!
We have just got back from an unbelievable week at Newday where we have had the privilege of serving in an amazing referral team and thus getting to pray, encourage and prophecy over some of the 7000 youths and leaders that were present. Some people questioned whether this was the right thing to do but we were not going to let anything stop us from doing what we are called to and in fact the week was a safe haven for us and God spoke to us through the week through the people we were serving with and personally to us.
So, back to the title of this blog and what feels like it should be a valley time for us in the world’s eyes is in fact a MOUNTAIN TOP MOMENT because we are choosing to see it through God’s eyes and from a KINGDOM perspective.
If you are in a valley at the moment please be encouraged that your God is with you and I challenge you to see the experience through God’s eyes and that you will fully put your trust in Him. He has the best plans for your life even if you can’t see them right now and it all seems impossible. He is the God of the impossible and He is a good, good father!
Psalm 91 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
We would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to our friends, near and far away (physically), church families and amazing teams we have been part of at Newday, for standing shoulder to shoulder with us in praying for this cancer to go and full healing to fill Tim’s body. We literally couldn’t do this journey without you and we feel completely overwhelmed by people’s love for us and it’s feels like we are on a faith journey together in this.
The biggest thank you goes to our amazing, wonderful, abundantly generous Father in heaven and his overwhelmingly scandalous love and grace in our lives. We are eternally thankful and grateful for all you are doing in our lives through this and we surrender fully to you and trust you in this, knowing full well and without a shadow of doubt you have the very best plans and purposes for our lives because you are our good, good father.