The weather is finally cooling in Buffalo. The temperature dropped into the forties last evening. When I looked out of the bay window in the dining room this morning, I noticed pea-sized hail balls lying in the grass on the front lawn.
I got excited.
You see, I’m a huge fan of snow and the drop in temperature, as well as the icy conditions today, give me hope that we’ll have beautiful blankets of snowfall covering trees and houses this winter. I always find glistening snow around the holidays especially gorgeous when the glare of colorful Christmas lights is reflected in it.
I’m looking so forward to the holiday season.
Last year, I was ill on my birthday—November 2nd—as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas. I couldn’t participate in festivities, cook for my husband and children, or go out to visit friends, and family. I remember feeling so sad in 2016 that my joints were inflamed and my bones deteriorating to the degree that I was unable to stand for long periods. When I tried to sit up, after a short while, I’d begin aching so much I’d be forced to lie down and rest.
Now that I’m healthy and whole, strong and bursting with energy, my eagerness to celebrate the joy of the season is at an all-time high. Reflecting back on this time last year, I realize something: doctors still didn’t know exactly what was wrong with me.
I had already been unwell for months. After multiple doctor visits, emergency room stays and obediently popping pills prescribed by my medical team, things were getting worse. Not having any idea why I was struggling physically took a major toll on my mind, will and emotions. It was a scary, uncertain and frustrating season.
But look at me now, right?
God, who is faithful to deliver, came through for me. He lifted me up out of that horrible pit of sickness. Often, I stop and shake my head in amazement. I feel amazing. I have no pain. The Lord has given me my mobility back, a clean bill of health, and a new lease on life. He has done what specialists said could never be done.
That thing man says is impossible, God is about to do THAT in your life. Prepare for the miraculous!
That’s why my faith is stronger than it has ever been. When I’m faced with adversity, I simply look back on where the Lord brought me from and draw encouragement from the miracle He has performed in me. The miracle is my personal “memorial” of God’s greatness, similar to the ones in the Old Testament.
When God performed miracles on behalf of the nation of Israel, He instructed them to set up stone memorials, so they wouldn’t forget His great works. He wanted them to mark the territory where He did the impossible. In addition to reminding the Hebrews of God’s incredible power, these memorials would also awaken curiosity in future generations about the supernatural events these memorials symbolized. As these miraculous events were recounted throughout history, they became a part of the oral tradition of Israel.
We see a great example of this in Joshua 4 when God made it possible for His chosen people to cross the Jordan River on dry land. In this passage, the Lord commanded Joshua to pick twelve men from among the people, one man per tribe. They were told to get stones from the middle of this great big body of water and carry them on their shoulders to the camp where they would be staying that night once they crossed over.
In verse 19, after they made it across the Jordan and arrived at Gilgal where they would be staying, the stones were put in place for a very specific reason. I love how God expresses it in verse 24 NIV, where the Almighty said, this was done, “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
The hand of the Lord is mighty: mighty to deliver; mighty to save; mighty to set free from bondage; mighty to restore what was lost; mighty to resurrect that which was dead; mighty to recover the sight of the blind; mighty to heal Dianna Hobbs of two incurable autoimmune diseases; and mighty to lift you out of whatever your pit is.
The God we serve is more than able. His mighty hand will deliver!
Friend, whatever you’re faced with, whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, financial, relational, or some other personal issue, think back for a moment. What has God done for you in the past that is a reminder that the hand of the Lord is mighty? That He is powerful? That He made a way out of no way? That He rescued you from destruction? That He turned the situation around in the nick of time? That He carried you through a hard time that you originally thought you wouldn’t make it through?
Though you may not have a heap of rocks to serve as a reminder of the great things God has done for you, both you and I do possess one precious stone that ought to always lead us to worship.
His name is Jesus.
1 Peter 2:4 calls Him a “living stone” who was rejected by men but is yet the foundation of our faith. Because of His sacrifice, Christ, the Rock, anchors us in His unending love, boundless grace and daily mercies. Psalm 62:6 NIV says of the Lord, “Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
The next time someone asks you how you made it over, how you’re still standing and what has sustained you through the roughest places in your life, point to the Stone—the Rock—Jesus Christ, your everlasting memorial.
So that you will never forget His goodness, I’m stirring a command into your cup of inspiration found in Psalm 107:2 ESV, which says, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, remember to speak about the goodness of the Lord. And don’t overlook how important it is to tell yourself that you serve a mighty, awesome Savior, in whom there is no failure. Declare that His mighty hand will deliver you!
If you know He’s going work this out for you, say so. If you know He has kept you from dangers seen and unseen, say so. If you know God is your Rock, deliver and strong tower now and forever more, say so.
Whenever you feel your faith faltering because of the obstacles standing in your way, let your mind go back to all the days and ways God’s faithfulness manifested in your life. Revisit those memorials and give thanks to the Lord who held you steady through whatever you have faced.
Furthermore, remember, the same Rock is with you now. And just as He delivered you before, He will do it again.
Now let’s pray.
God, thank You for being the Rock who anchors me in times of storm, distress and trouble. Please let me never forget that it is Your mighty hand that has saved me, rescued me and delivered me from every affliction. In the midst of this test I’m currently in, I will declare Your faithfulness and remain confident that You will bring me through once again. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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