Friday, January 21, 2005

Weekly Word - January 21 to 28, 2005

Weekly Word - January 21- 28, 2005

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
(Mathew 11: 28)

As I sat with my friend, I listened as she told of all that was going on in her life. Sitting with our coffee - we talked about the troubles that we each found ourselves dealing with. Her husband was very sick - and the outlook really wasn’t very good. The family was struggling with finances and bills - and so much seemed so difficult! Then my friend looked at me and said: “But God never gives us more than we can handle!” I knew that she was right - - - but I also knew that - sometimes - there is too much to handle . . .

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.”
“For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”
(Mathew 11: 29 & 30)

Many years ago - I met a woman who seemed to have dedicated her whole life to doing God’s work. She was living in a small room on the property of a ministry - helping out wherever she was needed - teaching, cooking, cleaning - - - she was always there! Then one day - during a woman’s meeting - she told us a little more about herself. She told us that God had moved her from living in a large house - - - to a smaller apartment - - - and then to living in one room! She told us all how God had wanted to take all “worldly” possessions away from her - to get her to focus just on Him . . .

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
(1 John 5: 3)

As I grew to know this woman more and more - I learned about a woman who had been a wife and a mother. She had married young - and soon had 5 beautiful children. She had worked hard to be a good wife - and a good mother. She also wanted to be a “good” Christian woman - and was trying so hard to do everything just right. And then troubles came into her life. She found herself a single mother - - - as her husband had left her! Struggling she needed to find a smaller place to live. She then struggled with her youngest children - trying and trying to keep them safe and out of trouble. As things became more and more difficult - she turned to another for guidance - - - and the ministry allowed her to move where she could feel safe - - - where she could feel that what she was doing was good - - - and she moved into one room - - - away from everyone who had hurt her . . .

And behold, I am with you, and will keep you - wherever you go . . .”
(Gen. 28: 15)

I too had found myself in the same situation - - - I was a single mother - struggling to pay the rent - wondering how I would feed us - or take care of the rest of the bills. As time went on - and I became physically sick - - - it became harder and harder to know what to do. One friend gave me a magnet - that I still have on my refrigerator - that says: “The will of God will not lead you - where the grace of God cannot keep you” - and I wondered - had God led me to where I was?

Then other friends gave me their thoughts - and they believed I was at this point because I had not done what God wanted - - - where they correct?

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.”
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you . . .
For I am the Lord your God”
(Isaiah 43: 1)

“God never gives us more than we can handle” . . . that’s what she said . . . But sadly - I knew that others would! So many times we can find ourselves facing much more than we can even imagine! But God does give us another promise - - - He promises to be right there with us - carrying us - through those very difficult times . . .

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God,” . . . “Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored, And I have loved you.”
“Do not fear, for I am with you;”
(Isaiah 43: 2 - 5)

Looking back - there have been many reasons for all that I have faced in life. Choices were made by loved ones and friends - as well as myself. There have been times of betrayals and hurts - times of loss and sickness - times when I didn’t know where to turn - - - except to the Lord. Did the Lord cause me to suffer? I don’t believe so - - - but He was there! He brought healing and Life - out of all that was so awful . . .

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good - to those who love God . . . . (Romans 8:28)

A few days ago - I heard a story about an athlete. This man had been playing football for over eight years. He worked very hard over all those years - but never made it to the “big” game! The team that he played for - never did very well. Then - this past year - he went to another team. During this season - he has again worked very hard - and played even better! This year - his team has won! He was asked what his wishes were: “I wish I had played for this team - for all those years” and then he stopped and spoke again - “No - I am glad I am here now - but all those years? - they make this year much more special - they help me to appreciate what I have now” . . .

I understood what this man was saying - - - all the hurts and struggles - have helped me to love deeper - to appreciate the life I have now! There have been moments when I have looked at Ted - and wished that we had met so many years ago! But then, I realize that we are the person we are today - because of all we have been through.

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, - - - Even there - Your hand shall lead, And Your right hand shall hold me.
(Psalm 139: 9)

“God never gives us more than we can handle” - and He doesn’t. My friend was right. Are there difficult days ahead for her and her family? Yes. But I also know that the Lord will be right there with them - through it all . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “to give you a future and hope.” “Then you will call upon Me,” . . . (Jeremiah 29:11)

The Lord’s plans for us - they are good! But other troubles do come our way - - - Will you call on Him - knowing that His promise is “to always be with you - and keep you - wherever you go” . . .

God bless you in the coming week ahead!

In His Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


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