So this weekend, January 8th, we started 21 days of prayer and fasting. I have decided to fast TV, and social media, particularly Facebook. It wasn't as hard as I'd anticipated. Saturday though, was a migraine day, and there was some issues at the pharmacy with my Prodrin and the day supply, so I wasn't able to get it filled, but Nana was to the rescue. Praise God. Sunday, the service was on addiction, which in all reality, is idolatry, putting something, someone, above the place of God in your life. We all have those areas whether it be eating, shopping, alcohol, football, work, etc, that take too much of our lives and are not in the right place, or shouldnt be in our life at all. So this time of 21 days of prayer and fasting is to reflect on that. According to scripture, in order to overcome the addiction, that that hinders us we must first remove 1) unbelief and 2) being perverse, which is what Matthew 17: 14-18 says "When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 'Lord have mercy on my son, ' he said. 'He has seizures and is suffering greatly. ......I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn't heal him. ' 'O unbelieving and perverse generation, ' Jesus replied, 'how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me. " Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy and he was healed from that moment." So the Lord was saying, in order for us to be free from this 'addiction' we have to be connected to Him, in a close relationship with Him, praying 'without ceasing', the way we are supposed to be- just talking to Him throughout the day. Second, we are perverse because we are too connected to the world, and must disconnect, which is the fasting's purpose. So our goal is to get closer to the Lord and disconnect from the world in a specific way for each of us.
As I read some of the Bible in a Year, and was still reading in Genesis about Abraham. I got to the story of Lott, his nephew, and the dialog where Abraham and God went back and forth, discussing the number of righteous people required for the Lord to spare the city of Sodom. It started with 50 and as it went back and forth, Abraham got to 10. This to me was just a glimpse of how much God so wants to spare this Earth his wrath. After all his word says in I Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. " So he told Abraham that if there were just 10 righteous in Sodom, he would spare the city, but there were not. Think about it. He knew this, but yet continued to banter with Abraham in order to show His mercy and that He is slow to simply destroy rebellious people. Since our Heavenly Father, is never changing, He still has a heart now for ALL of His creation to be drawn to repentence, and to turn from their wicked ways, and return back to Him.
So during the Griefshare small group Sunday, Michelle, who lost her mom suddenly this past year, read a page from the book, No Wonder They Call Him Savior, and the passage was this
"Seeing God like this does wonders for our own suffering (as it was talking about Jesus in pain in the garden). God was never more human than at this hour. God was never nearer to us than when he hurt. The Incarnation was never so fulfilled as in the garden.
As a result, time spend in the fog of pain could be God's greatest git. It could be the hour that we finally see our Maker. If it is true that in suffering God is most like man, maybe in our suffering we can see God like never before.
The next time you are called to suffer, pay attention. It may be the cloeset you'll ever get to God. Watch closely. It could very well be that the hand that extends itself to lead you out of the fog is a pierced one. "
Wow! I wept as I read that. That's what its all about, the person that we become through suffering, the changes that are made in our character, our spirit, enduring tragedy or loss of any kind. As we wait for the healing, the transformation in us is God's plan. I don't think the tragedy or the loss or circumstance was necessarily His design, but in a fallen creation, He will use what the enemy has intended for evil and destruction, to bring about life, eternally. After the group, Luke and I drove over to a donation drop off and although it was gone for the day, we did have a reason for driving over there. Up in the sky, among the dark clouds, was a beautiful, fully colored rainbow, almost a full half circle. I instantly said, "Thank You Lord", as I felt it was a little "God-wink" saying, "Mika, I got this. " in regards to this precious life inside me. He is faithful in ALL things!
Verse for today that went right along with His promises, Genesis 24:40 "40 “He replied, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success..."
HE WILL make our journey to bring life into the world a SUCCESS!!