Isaiah 66:9, "Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God." NIV
"Breathe Julie...c'mon you can do it...only a few more seconds...you should be getting some relief in about five...four...three...two..."
"AHHHHHHHH." I breathed and thanked my husband for helping me through yet another grueling contraction. (My oldest took twenty one hours of tough labor...talk about exhausting.)
We've all heard the old cliche, "It's always darkest before the dawn." Unfortunately, the old cliche gives little comfort when your neck deep in quick sand with no visible life line.
It's tough to "keep your chin up" or "pull yourself up by your boot straps" when your strength is gone, your mind and body drained, and your faith diminished by enormous battles.
The only thing that seems to help me when I'm weak is a good story...like, Israel surrounded by giants; their defeat imminent, until a small boy with a small stone and sling arises from the crowd, decapitating the enemy, and reminding them Who they serve. Or, Gideon's army reduced to 300, yet victory emerges through "lanterns, broken pots, and an amazing God"...Or, what about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo...not spared but thrown into the furnace, only to escape its fury and influence an entire kingdom to be saved.
I don't want to over-simplify your battles...I know the pain and weight of rejection and disappointment...I know what it is to be in hunger... I know how it feels to be "ship-wrecked" by life's storms...but I also know Who we serve.
Today, I want to simply point to Jesus. And remind you...your giants will fall...your war was already won through Jesus...your not alone in your fiery furnace! Jesus is near.
And as my husband coached me through grueling hours of labor, I want to remind you of what you're working for. I want to remind you of your dreams. Remind You of Who you serve and what awaits for you.
Our hope and our confidence rests in the One Who purchased and paid for the penalty of our sins.
God went to a great length to ensure your salvation. He won't fail you now! So endure, persevere, and come against your giants in the name of the Lord of Hosts...And, in due time, you will witness them fall!
Philippians 4:12-13 lets us in on a powerful secret to obtaining contentment; "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. NIV
Prayer: Father give us strength today. Fill us with the truth of who you are and regardless of our present circumstances, help us to know who we are in You! Thank you Lord that YOU are our life line...and when we feel neck deep, sinking in quick sand, You are there to make sure we escape. Fill us with courage remembering the battle is not ours...You've already won it and disarmed every principality and power of the air when Jesus died on the cross. We love You Lord. Fill each one of us with hope. In Jesus name I pray, amen.