Interestingly, the last time we met, on June 11th, we shared a devotional trusting in God's provision. Shortly after that, he plunged me into uncharted waters. During these past turbulent months, I kept praying for God's help as my husband, and I maneuvered through the various appointments and procedures. Thank you for your prayers; acts of kindness gave me the strength to hold onto that window and kept my focal point on God. Words will never express our sincere gratefulness for your prayers and acts of kindness over the past months. As I held my breath through the choppy waters, I prayed to seek his guidance, the only scripture that kept me going was Psalm 45:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." There was no time to speak but to be silent and pray. However, I knew in his perfect time, he'd give me the scripture to share and praise as he's worthy of being honored amidst a storm.
A couple of weeks ago, I came across the following scripture, Isiah 43:14,"Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships." The words "for your sake" jumped off the page as I read the passage. Can you imagine being put in captivity with only the clothes on your back, and the world you knew and owned is no more? Not knowing how long you'd be there. "For their sake," God placed them in "timeout" because they had gone down the deep end with their idols and were living without God.
For "your sake" (fill in the blank) (i.e.plunged into uncharted waters). How will you deal with your timeout? Are you going to complain and walk away? Will you stay and seek God's forgiveness and guidance during this challenging time? These past months I never asked him "why" he placed me in timeout, taking away my sense of security. I would pray, please don't let me walk away or forget about him if the prayers weren't answered, as I'd like them to be answered, but to have a balance as stated in Proverbs 30: 9, "Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." Facing the fears of the unknown drew me closer to him; I did not want to lose my focal point. For whatever reason he has placed me in timeout, I will trust his judgment and will be still and wait upon him. We're still dealing with the challenges he has allowed, but I will not walk away from his presence. Today, I yearn to be a faithful servant to him and my church family. As you may see, "for your sake" in the following scriptures are blessings from God. II Corinthians 4:15 "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God." II Corinthians 8:9 "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."
Troth Ministry is all about encouragement. It's easy to encourage others when all is going well in your life, but it's a different view when you are in the middle of a storm to be an encouragement to others. I think of Paul and many others, who were a great encouragement during their crisis, above all our Lord Jesus Christ; John 12:30, "Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes." Rubber meets the road in John 15:3 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
So, my dear Sister in Christ, how will you respond during your "timeout"? I recently heard someone state, "it's not what's happening to you; it's how you respond." Just like God freed the Jews from captivity in Isiah 45:1-2, "Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron." God will make the crooked place straight, tear down, and build us back up if we allow his will in our lives. If you're spiritually, emotionally, and physically bankrupt, please don't stop praying, reading your bible, or attending church because you don't know how God will answer your prayer.