Divine Appointment

 

Not A Morning Person

I hate mornings

  It is early morning. Jim and Drew are up reading the paper together and talking current events.  Jim tells Drew to go to the bedroom to see if I am interested in getting up. Drew very carefully tip toes into the bedroom. He approaches the bed like a special forces soldier would approach the enemy. He evaluates the situation of how to approach me. Does he stand at the bedroom door and ask if  I am interested in getting up. Or, does he slowly approach the bed and nudge me awake. If he does the latter, he may not fare too well. Sometimes, it is like waking a bear out of hibernation.  You see, I have never really been a morning person.

Jim heard a comedian one time talking about people who are not morning people. The comedian compared it to being like evolution. First, they get up and they are in the ‘Reptile Phase”.  Thirty minutes later “we have speach”.  By noon, “they are walking erect.” The family knows not to approach them during those primative earlier moments. Instead, non-morning people need time. As the morning progresses they gradually become human. 

Now, do not get me wrong. If I have to be somewhere like a job, classes or event, I will get up. I may not seem human but if I was meant to pop out of bed, we would sleep in toasters. 

Garfield sleep in toasters

The Awakening

Awakening

For the last seven weeks, I have been leading a Bible Study group through Priscilla Shirer’s,  Armor of God.  From the beginning, she has led us through Ephesians 6 and how we need to put our armor on each day. Each week we would learn and discuss a different  piece of armor and how we should put it on and apply it to our lives.

Priscilla goes on through the study about how God can change us from the inside out. When we align our lives with God’s WORD our hearts change. Not only do our hearts change but our desires change and how we live in the world changes.  It is a matter of  putting our trust in God, taking a faith step to where God is calling us into deep waters, and putting our armor on every single day just as we dress for the day.

God Corner part three

As each week has passed, I have seen where my desires have changed.  There seems to be more contentment in my life. Each day I  am excited to see what God has planned for me.

What Is Different?

Change ahead

Several weeks ago I had to go on some very strong medication for an MS episode. This medication really messed with my sleep and appetite. I wasn’t sleeping full nights. Instead, it was like I was taking naps and then I would be up. On these sleepless nights, I found myself moving to the family room to the recliner as not to wake Jim from his sleep. During this time, I found myself doing a lot of talking with my FATHER.  It was through these middle of night conversations where God really began his work on me.

Over time, I was able to go to bed and sleep. However, I still could not sleep all night and certainly not sleep in late. Then, it happened! I woke up at four o’clock AM. And, I didn’t just wake up but I WOKE up! My eyes came open and there was this tug for me to get out of bed. There was anticipation like a kid ready to see their gifts on Christmas morning. Thus, I quietly got out of bed, threw my bathrobe on and grabbed my Bible and went back to the family room. Once again, I was talking to my FATHER.

As the time drew closer to five am, I thought that since I was up I would make Jim breakfast. On this particular morning, he got up (he has always been an early riser) and as he approached the kitchen, he had to check to make sure he wasn’t sleep walking and/or dreaming. The reason he had to check was because he found on the table chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, a glass of milk and orange juice. And, my brother and sisters he found that I had cleaned up the mess I had made while making breakfast. Though he looked a little puzzled, he liked the special treatment and I know he wasn’t thinking; this is nice but it won’t last long. Well, he is still chewing on those thoughts as each morning since he has had breakfast on the table.

Drew and Jim

Our son, Drew usually calls Jim once a week to have their father and son chats. It works well for them to have an early morning phone call and talk while getting ready for work. It is also a tradition they started when we were raising Drew. Every morning, Drew and Jim would get up early (letting sleeping dogs lie) and would have devotional time, read the newspaper together, talk about current events, school and have breakfast together.

On this particular morning, Drew called as he usually does once a week. Jim’s phone rang just we were sitting down to say the blessing.  I told Jim to go ahead and answer because I know how important those phone calls are. As Jim answered he said; um, Drew can I call you back in about fifteen minutes? Mom has breakfast ready and we were just about to eat.  At that very moment you could hear dead silence. I could tell just from what I was seeing on my side of the table that Drew had gone into shock on the other end. I know he was wondering what his dad had done with his mom.

Divine Appointment

Appointment with God

When I look at my life I see a potter at a wheel shaping the clay pot and making changing on the clay pot from time to time. This is what my FATHER had done and is doing  in these last few weeks. This girl who has not been a morning person her entire life. The wife and mom whose family had to plan a combat strategy to wake her is now getting up every morning at 4:30 grabbing her Bible and going to the Family room for her morning talk with her FATHER.

Yes, there have been a couple of mornings where I have been tempted to turn the alarm clock off and roll over to go back to sleep. Yet, the Holy Spirit has a hold of my heart. He has been changing me from the inside out.

The Results

Bible opened

Out of this divine appointment, God has put before me new steps that he wants me to take. Some of these results are as follows:

I’ve become more disciplined in conversations with God and starting my day with his WORD.  My Bible study usually took place later in the day. 

It had been a while since I had really sat down and wrote thoughts of encouragement to share with other. I am back to writing again. Thoughts and ideas are just flooding my mind. 

I have created a prayer wall in my laundry room. There I place the names of my Bible Study group, the church activities, and other prayer request on the wall. During the day, I will retreat in there and have prayer time putting prayer request of others into my FATHER’S hands.

I have a chair by one of the family room windows that I enjoy especially in the Spring when the birds are out and the flowers in bloom.. I have created this little corner in my Family room to be my ‘God Corner.’ It is here where I read, work on Bible Study, write and reflect on God’s WORD.  During these times, I will have some sort of praise and worship music on and all other media is turned off.

God Corner

It is out of these moments of reflection where I have began posting on Facebook in the early mornings little reflections, devotional type things in hopes to encourage someone who needs encouraging. I also post an evening reflection.

God Corner four

Each morning, I message my Bible Study sisters in Christ a scripture, thought for the day and a praise song to get their day going. Since we are doing the Armor of God, I try to send something that fits in with that week’s study.

My desires have changed. My perspective on things have changed. I seem to have more patience these days.

It is also through this divine appointment that Jim and I have become closer as a couple in our faith walk as a couple and individuals. We have shared with one another how we can look back and see the hand of God at work in all that we have experienced; the good, the bad and the ugly.  We become more and more grateful for God’s provision every day.

There are some mornings I am already up before the alarm goes off because I am so excited to talk to my FATHER and see what blessings he has planned for me for the day.

heart and light

And, yes, Jim is still getting breakfast every morning.  Speaking of Jim getting breakfast every morning, my Bible Study group has asked if Jim is suspicious of me  being up early and making him breakfast.  My response was that I think of the seen in the movie, War Room where Tony has come home from business and Elizabeth knows he has been tempted on the business trip but she covers him with grace. Tony is suspicious of her being so nice and switches the dinner plates. I told them I wondered how many times Jim has switched the breakfast plates when I have not been looking in the last couple of weeks.

My Encouragement To You

Heart

 Are you like I was not a morning person. You dread hearing that alarm clock go off in the mornings? Maybe your family has to plan a combat strategy to get you up out of bed. Are you looking for contentment, peace that surpasses all understanding and want to seek the purpose and plan God has for you?

Let me encourage you to start today. You can start by reading Ephesians 6 and learning how to put on your armor every day and step out in faith to fulfill your purpose. Next, make a Divine Appointment to meet with your FATHER every day. Turn off the media, turn on some praise and worship music, open your Bible, open the eyes of your heart and listen to the words God whispers to you. As you begin doing this you will find as time goes on that you are not going to want to miss that Divine Appointment. You are going to be like  a little kid on Christmas morning anticipating running into the family room to see what is waiting for you.

cropped-10622860_10152622922226740_1934228684971941411_n.jpg

” Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing perfect will.”

Romans 12:1-2

God is good! All the time!

Have a blessed day!

 

Healing Waters

storm

In my distress I called the LORD:

and he answered me.  From deep in the realm

of the dead I called for help, and you heard my cry.

Jonah 2: 1-2

Late summer of 2014 I found myself sitting in a counselor’s office.  I sat on the sofa of this counselor’s office in tears, broken and completely drained.  Just as Jonah found himself sitting in the belly of a big fish I had felt like I had been swallowed into the belly of a big fish. I was crying out to God.  Yes, I believed in God and had been trying to find solace in him. Yet, emotionally and spiritually I had hit bottom.

water ripple

Fast Forward

The first of this year I found myself sitting on the very sofa that I landed on in late Summer of 2014. Yet, this time as I talked with my counselor, I had a smile on my face, renewed energy and I had found the girl God created me to be. As my appointment came to a close, my counselor asked if I thought I needed to come back.  She felt as though I had been healed and saw a renewed spirit in me. How did I make the change of sitting in the belly of a big fish to crawling out of the belly and seeing hope again?  The answer is simple. God.  In the midst of working through the tunnel of darkness, he called me to go to healing waters. These healing waters were located in the Baptist church across the street from my neighborhood.

It has been through a lot of prayer on my part and prayers of fellow believers that has brought me to healing. Not only was it prayer warriors but it was the unconditional love extended to me by this community of believers that helped me to continue to crawl out of that tunnel of darkness.  Along with the  prayer, love and support of family and friends I was actually immersed in healing water. In other words, I choose to be baptized by immersion. It was in the midst of coming up out of the water where I felt the embrace of the Holy Spirit. I came up to a new page, a new heart and a healing that I had needed for so long. My heart began to beat again.

waiting

Do You Know Someone Who Is Broken?

There are people out there that are sitting in a room feeling broken. They are sitting in the belly of a big fish wanting to get out but they don’t know how to even begin. I encourage you that if you know someone like this to pray for them.  Not only pray for them but to love them unconditionally and let them know they have a God who loves them very much. Remind them that no matter what is going on or has happened that their heart can be healed.  Maybe, God is leading you to lead them to healing waters. 

bowing before God

Are You Broken?

Maybe, it is you, the reader that for some reason God brought you to my page. You are hurting and all you can see is darkness surrounding you. Please do not be discouraged. There is hope for you. There is nothing you are going through and/or you have done that God can’t change. Your Father in heaven loves you so much. I encourage you to lift your hands up, cry out to God just as Jonah did  and ask God to lead you to healing waters.  These healing waters may include getting back into church, finding a group of believers that will pray with you and for you. Healing waters may include seeking wise counsel to lead you to new light.  Maybe,  you need to ask Christ into your life and allow him to heal you from the inside out and/or be immersed in the healing waters of the Holy Spirit.  In the words of Danny Gokey; “tell your heart to beat again.”

seeking the heart

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and you men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:30-31

Take time to listen to the video below:

What Will You Choose?

Granddaddy enjoying his family.

It was a little over two years ago when I sat in an examining room  with my father-n-law and the rest of the family to only hear the words spoken; “we’ve done all that we can do” to this dear sweet man.  At that moment with a tear in his eye but with a smile on his face, my father-n-law took his sweet wife by the hand and said; ” we have had a wonderful life.” He was giving thanks in the midst of a storm that would not calm down but in days to come would only pick up momentum.

God HOPE

Once the doctor left the examining room, the PA threw her arms around my husband’s father and said; “there is always hope.  Hold on to hope.”  With that she left the room and we all looked at one another as to what we needed to do next. You see, these doctors visits were usually followed up with lunch at Skyline Chili. Yet, it was a moment we had to choose to either choose hope, joy and seek our blessings or choose to go home and just curl up in hopes the world would just go away.  This dear sweet man choose joy and hope. He announced we were still going to Skyline Chili and were going to enjoy being together as a family.

storm

Each one of us will face a storm at some point and time.  As I have said in previous writings, God didn’t promise us perfect days but he has promised us A perfect day when we accept his SON, Jesus into our lives. When facing the storms in life we have two choices. We can react or we can respond.

reacting

Reacting to a situation could lead to some not so good consequences in the long run.  Out of our reacting, words can be said that should not really be said. The decisions we make may not be the best decision in the long wrong. Also, by reacting we choose to leave one important  person out of the picture, God. Thus, we begin to stumble and causing what is an already stressful situation into an even more stressful situation.

cropped-10622860_10152622922226740_1934228684971941411_n.jpg

Responding to a situation means stepping back and seeing the whole picture of what is happening. It is sitting down and talking to the Father about how to ride the storm before us out and asking him to walk with us.  By choosing to respond we are choosing to seek the blessings despite the storm before us. We allow for grace to be at work in our lives and the light of God shine in our darkness.

life happening at once

Life is tough these days. There are days that are tougher than others.  We live in a time where wrong seems to be right and when you try to do right you are considered to be wrong.  It can make anyone to want to throw their hands up in the air and just simply give up. Yet, we know we must forge onward and forward. As followers of Christ, we know how the story ends and it is a beautiful ending.

heart and light

My prayer for us today is this:

May we choose to respond and not react when faced with life’s storms. May we choose joy, hope and seek the blessings God has planned for us even on the toughest of days.  Last but definitely not least, may we remember we have a Father who loves us and is walking with us.  And, if it gets too tough, he will carry us.  Remember, the imperfect days are preparing us for that PERFECT day.

 

The Person I’ve Become

girl looking in the mirror

This morning I looked in the mirror and wonder who I’ve become;

How can I be loved after all I have done?

The choices I’ve made;

The things I’ve done are making me numb.

crying

Then a voice within tells me that He is not done;

For I am His and He is with me;

Bible with heart

I pulled out the Good Book and turn the unworn pages;

I read how God sent His SON;

Christ on the cross

 God sent His only begotten SON;

So I can change the person I’ve become.

heart and light

The words flowed  through my heart how through HIS death

I’m a forgiven one.

These precious words began to sink in;

He tells me to confess my sins;

And, to invite Him in.

Together, we will begin again.

God sent His only begotten Son

So I can change the person I’ve become.

girl smiling in the mirror

This morning I looked in the mirror;

And, I see the person I’ve become.

Jesus walking

I’ve chosen to walk with God’s Son;

And, now I am a forgiven one!

Bible opened

I pull out the good book whose pages are now worn;

I read how I must tell everyone that HE is the ONE!

God sent His only begotten SON;

So I  can change the person I have become.

girl looking in a table mirror

Maybe you’ve looked in the mirror and seen the person you’ve become;

Because of the the things you have done;

You are completely numb.

Let me encourage you to reach for the Good Book;

As you read, take a long hard look.

seeking the heart

Let the words flow through your heart;

Through His death you are a forgiven one;

You are given a new start!

God sent His only begotten SON

So you can change the person you’ve become.

eye of love

Let His precious words soak in;

Begin to confess your sins and invite Him in;

And, with Him know you can begin again.

cropped-10622860_10152622922226740_1934228684971941411_n.jpg

Choose to walk with His Son;

You’re now a forgiven one.

Then, go out and tell everyone that He is the ONE!

God sent His only begotten SON

You can change the person you’ve become.

girl looking in the mirror

This morning I looked in the mirror;

I see the person I’ve become;

I am a person who walks with the ONE!

God sent His only begotten Son;

So I could change to be the person I’ve become!

Written By April Hawkins

October 15, 2015

John 3 16

“Selfies”

” I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beast so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forest in safety. I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessings. I will send down showers in season, there will be showers of blessings.” Ezekiel 34:24-26

Drew selfie stick

Hawkins 2014 Christmas Trying out Drew’s selfie stick.

This past Christmas my sister-n-law gave my son a selfie stick. You have probably seen them. It is a retractable stick that you can place your phone on and take a “selfie”. In other words, you take a picture of yourself and/or the group you may be with at the time.  Needless to say, the family spent the rest of the afternoon testing the “selfie” stick out.

For me personally, I am not much into “selfie” sticks.   I have done a few “selfies since getting my smart phone a few years back, however, I soon deleted them. There is something about drawing attention to myself in that regard is not my cup of tea.

cup of tea

Along with the “selfie” sticks, it seems social media has developed a “self-centered” mentality. It is so easy to get caught up in showing and telling everything we do through the social media mediums.  Our technology has become such that we are not only inundated with commercials on television these days but we are inundated with pages/advertisements through social media. Everyone is telling us how we need certain items or do certain things.

social media picture

Through social media, it is also easy to get caught up on what everyone else is doing and thinking we need to do the same vacation, purchase a car like the one our friend purchased, and the list could go on. Thus, creating an image of what we should have and should be doing instead of being content with what we do have and what we are doing.

 

These attitudes of “selfie” carry on into our everyday lives even when we are not connected into the social media mediums.  It seems our society is getting caught up more and more with what is done for us versus what we are doing for others. ( Of recent, I have found myself guilty of this.)  With this mindset, we are taking our focus off the blessings that we have been given every day.

CS Lewis Humility

It seems everyone these days carries a score pad.  We get to thinking about all the things we have had to do for someone and wondering what was in it for us. Sad but true.  We are so worried about what is not being done for us that we lose focus that we are here to serve one another with a cheerful heart. We are reluctant to give because it may mean giving up resources that we want to be completely ours or we think there will be no return for the deed we have done.

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”

Proverbs 13:13

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

wants sign

Just like many other standards and morals of living, we are seeing a society gradually losing the ‘the attitude of gratitude.”   It is when we lose this attitude that we become even more a “selfie.” Also, in the loss of gratitude we lose focus on what is and what has been done for us. Instead, we want more and feel we deserve more.

Have you had a moment where you thought someone owed you something because they are sacrificing to do something for you at that moment?  Have you felt like  you have been cheated by God because someone else seems to have something you wished you had? Do you have a tendency of keeping score of what you have done for someone?

If your answer was yes to these questions, you may want to stop and ask yourself;

Am I losing my attitude of gratitude?

In recent days, I have had to stop and ask myself this question a time or two.  It was in searching my heart with this question, I realized that I had gotten caught up in how much I have done for others and so into my “selfie” that I forgot to realize that there were blessings to be had and to give thanks to God.

Blessings Journal

Blessings journal

From time to time, I try to keep a Blessings Journal. In this journal I write out at least five blessings that happened during the day. As I write out these blessings, I see where God has been working in my life and all around me. It also helps me to be aware of God’s presence in everyday situations.  There have been times when I start out to write my five blessings that as I get going these blessings turn into ten blessings and fifteen blessings and the list continues. Through this journaling process, my eyes are refocused on the things that do matter in life such as nurturing relationships that I am in and that God tells us to give sacrificial. After all, he sent his SON who gave you and me the ultimate sacrifice of His blood so that we can live in eternity.

John 3:16

Isn’t it time we stopped complaining and start giving thanks?  Next time you are belly aching about what you have to do and what you had to do sacrificial think on these things:

If it is doing something for someone, think of the many ways that person has blessed you. It may 

not be in the ways you expected but in other ways of the least expected. Give God thanks

for placing that person in your life.  And, be grateful the what they have done for you.  

When you feel like God has cheated you somehow, think of all those situations. Looking back you may see why God didn’t provide what you expected him to provide. Instead, he did give you what you need. Give him thanksgiving for those moments. Remember, God has our best interest at heart. After all, he did create us and  knows more about us than we know about ourselves.

Next time someone ask you to do something and instead of thinking: ‘What’s in it for me?’ or thinking if you do something for them they will owe you.  Seek the blessing in the situation and be thankful that God has put you there for a reason.

Give thanks

When we begin living the life of  attitude of gratitude, we begin to have peace with ourselves, we become content with who we are and what we have been given. It is within that peace and the blessings where we begin to be happy and less worried about our “selfie.” We turn our focus off ourselves and back on to God. As we do this, God is able to shower us with blessings beyond our comprehension.

Are you more concerned about your “selfie”? OR Are you walking in an attitude of gratitude?

I encourage you to listen to the video. Reflect on the blessings that God has given you.

Charlie Brown

 

 

Changing the Path

 

The Final Summit

In the last couple of days, I have read the book called; The Final Summit by Andy Andrews. Andy Andrews has become one of my favorite authors. He is spot-on in this book when the question that is posed at this summit is; “What should humanity do, individually and collectively, in order to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?  It is through this question and in reading this book God opened my eyes to the many things that have happened in our world/society to have gotten to where we are today. And, that place is not a very good place.

crying

In the last week, I have seen attempts to re-write and remove history and many of these things this country was founded on. I have seen people attempt to re-write the TRUTH  to justify why they do what they do. If you are on any type of social media, you have seen mud-slinging from both sides of any controversial issue that is in the news. It seems we get off one roller coaster ride over an issue and we are soon back on over another issue. It is becoming where the offended are being offended. Sad and scary.

my way or God's way

 

In The Final Summit, the main character, David is being summons by Gabriel to attend  and lead this summit that will consist of former great leaders of the world to figure how to turn things around and put the world back on the right path. However, Gabriel shares that the answer to the question is two words. It is up to those at this summit to figure what the two words are that will turn humanity around.

new path

The archangel, Gabriel points out that God does not need or will send a flood to wipe out humanity that ‘humanity is sinking of its own accord.’ (The Final Summit page 35).  Gabriel points out how man has turned from what is really true and have begun to re-write the rules and created a new truth.

Gabriel goes on to say;

“What I mean is this time, quite simply, you are providing your own flood. Certainly you are aware that some so-called progress you have pursued now enables you to destroy life on this planet in several different ways, many times over, and with varying choices of speed. You don’t need Him to make it rain.”

“(The Final Summit page 36)

In other words, the last time the world was destroyed God sent a flood. He was in control of the rain. God told Noah to build an ark and who/ what would be on the ark. God planned how many days and nights it would rain. However, this time around, man is creating his own flood by re-writing the rules, believing in lies, and adjusting the truth to accommodate the desires of the heart.

Lost and Confused Signpost

As this summit progresses with much discussion and “thinking” they have the right answer to find out that the answers they are coming up with are good but not the right one.  The members of this counsel discuss how wisdom, courage, hope, character building and self-discipline would help in turning humanity back on the right course. Yet, these thoughts were not the answer that Gabriel was looking for.  After the last try and feeling deflated, one of the counsel members stands up and says; “it is never too late.”  “There is still time.”   (pg. 197)

hour glass

I love the last two sentences. These two sentences spoke hope to me. As dismal as things seem to be today with the way things are happening, we still have hope. We still have time.  What we must do is share the hope that we have through Jesus Christ. We have a choice to either sit around on Facebook and try to shove each other’s views down the throats we disagree with in order to get our point across or we can step up, be bold and do something to turn the path around.  And, in the midst of being bold in turning the path around, be sure to seek God and his blessings. As we know, “all things work out for the good and for the glory of God.” (Romans 8:28)

seek God

I won’t give away the ending of the book but I will pose these questions to my reading audience:

What are you doing to make a positive difference?  

What can you do to help turn a hurting world’s eyes to the cross of Jesus Christ?

What can you do show a world of hurt the real truth and the hope we all have when the sands of time do run out?

My challenge for all of us is to use what we have and what we know in a good way that leads everyone to the path of TRUTH and righteousness.

Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make

the most of every opportunity. Let  your conversation 

be gracious and attractive so that will have the right response L

for everyone.

Colossians 4:5-6

Take time to watch the video below:

 

Restoration

He who is seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:5 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone and the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

restoring

One thing Jim and I like to do is go out and about and find pieces of furniture or other items that we can re-purpose or restore. I have several items in my home that we have stumbled on while on such excursions that Jim has taken time to restore.  The end result is we have pieces that aren’t perfect. Some of these pieces have markings that with all the sanding and rubbing one could do they will not come out. Jim and I call these markings/scratches character marks which only add to the beauty of the piece we have restored. Along with the character marks, we also have a new conversation piece in our home.

restored

Not long ago, I was singing with our local hospital choir at a memorial service being held at our hospital for employees that have passed away within the past year.  After the service was concluded, I was speaking with our choir director regarding all that I had gone through last year and how God led me to healing waters.  “My soul/spirit has been restored” is what I told our director. Her response to me was not only “God is good” but she told me that this year is the year for restoration.  The word restoration has echoed in my mind since that morning I sung with the hospital choir.

Bible with heart

Since that moment of hearing that it is the year for restoration, I have begun hearing stories of healing and lives being restored. The healings have not just been physical healings but emotional and spiritual healings. There are people I have prayed for over time that have turned back to God and allowed to be their source of strength and hope.

power of prayer

Of recent, Jim and I had heard the most beautiful story of restoration. About a week ago we were on our way to the beach. Before getting to our destination, we decided we needed to stop at a Kmart for some snacks and other last-minute supplies. As we approached the check out lane with our items, I noticed that the clerks hands were shaking. I thought to myself; “I wonder what kind of disability does she have “ but the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear that it was not a disability.

Within me, God spoke and told me that she had overcome some sort of addiction but what kind I did not know until it was our turn to check out.  As she began to check us out, this clerk  asked where we were from and where we were going. We told her and then she began to tell us her story. She had lived in the area we were in at that moment for nine years. Jim asked her what brought her to where she was now. Her response was; “the law.”

bowing before God

This clerk had lived on the coast and had been an alcoholic  which led her to be homeless and getting into trouble with the law. She was brought to the town where she currently resides and admitted into a rehab unit.  Through this rehab program she began to find peace with God. This girl explained where she had been and how through the twelve-step program she learned that God was the source of her strength. She explained how she had tried to find strength in a bottle and got nowhere. The clerk went on to say that she is thankful to God everyday for all that he gives her and for bringing to where she is now. Now, not only is she nine years clean but she has a steady job, a place to live and is a sponsor to three women through AA.

Beauty from ashes

 

She went on to share with us that the first thing she tells the ones she sponsors is that you need to surrender all to God and allow him to be the source of your strength.  As Jim and I began to gather our bags, the clerk apologized if she took too much of our time by sharing her story. Jim’s response was; “you didn’t take any time away from us at all.  He went on to tell her that her story of restoration was beautiful and we would pray for her.”  It was in those few minutes of the check-out lane where Jim and I saw God at work in someone we did not even know.  What a wonderful treasure we were given in those moments and one we will never forget.

Young woman reading bible

If I gathered all those who read my posts together in one room and went around asked; “do you know someone who is in need of restoration?”.  It is without a doubt each person would know of someone who is down in that pit at this moment trying to crawl out and is desperate for hope. These persons have looked to other things besides God for strength and it has gotten them nowhere.

raise hands above

The best thing we can do for those who are lost and feel as there is no hope is to persistently pray for them. By being persistent in prayer, we are  placing the person and situation in God’s hands.  From my own personal experience my prayer consist of asking God to place others in the person’s path that can lead them to healing.

Heart

Not only is prayer the best thing we can do for a person in need of restoration, but having non-judgemental ears and heart is also important. You see, the person in harm’s way already feels bad about themselves and what they are doing.  What we have to do is lead by example. This example is having a  Christ-like attitude when it comes to helping them. After all, Jesus not only healed the physical illnesses/disabilities but he He healed the spiritual as well.  He did it in a non-judgemental fashion with saying as He healed them; tell the Good News and go and sin no more.”

God's timing

Restoration may not come right away and this is where our faith comes into play. The pieces that Jim and I have purchased over the years and that have been restored did not happen over night. Some pieces took days, some took weeks and some are taking years to complete. It is in God’s time where restoration will take place.

When restoration does take place, you will see such inner beauty and joy beam through the eyes of a person that was once hurting. Yes, they will have scars but they are scares of experience. The scars of  experience can be the light of hope in leading others to God’s strength, peace and kingdom.

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When restoration does take place it is important for us again to be non-judgemental but be unconditional in our interactions with them.  We need to give God the glory for the person who has changed their lives for the better.  Just as the father of the prodigal son celebrated his son’s return, we also are to celebrate the person who has chosen to come back and be a part of God’s kingdom.

Ability to change

My prayer today is that if you know of someone who is needing hope and strength that only God can give that you will  start by persistently  praying for them. Then, love on them with a Christ-like heart and show them His grace through your actions toward them.  And, just as the lyrics to the song goes; “don’t give up hope, some people change.  Love finds a way, some people change.”