“Can you blow a bubble?” I heard a tiny voice say. The question grabbed my attention while sitting at my gate in the Buffalo International airport, waiting to board a flight headed to North Carolina Friday, December 8th.
I was invited by my dear friend and ministry colleague Pastor Cassandra Elliott to minister. We had a glorious time! Minister Stephen Hurd and Dr. Shaun Saunders ministered powerfully and tremendously blessed all of us. I share brief snippets on my current personal vlog, which you can see here.
I talk about it on my podcast today, too. Listen here.
When I glanced over to my left, there was an adorable brunette, blue-eyed little girl peering at me inquisitively. She was probably around 4 years old. I’m not sure what her name was, but I did hear her dad refer to her as Birdie several times. That, however, could have been a nickname.
Anyway, as Birdie patiently stood by, I answered her request for me to blow a bubble.
“I could try,” I said with a smile, knowing full well that my bubble-blowing attempts likely wouldn’t be successful. I was chomping a minty stick of Orbit gum, which, unlike Bubble Yum or Bubblicious, doesn’t actually lend itself to the kind of bubbles that impress random 4-year-olds in airports.
But I did my best.
As expected, the largely unsuccessful effort yielded a tiny bubble that disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared with a “Pop!” As sad of a bubble as it was, the curious, wide-eyed tot wasn’t too disappointed.
She suddenly grew interested in my laptop, which, at the moment, I was having trouble connecting to the Internet. I was hoping to get a little work done before boarding. But when she took a liking to me, plopped down in the empty seat next to me and began asking me to identify various letters on my keyboard, I knew it then. Work would have to wait.
Whenever Birdie pressed a key, I told her what consonant or vowel it was, while making the appropriate sound, and giving her a verbal word example. It’s a great, tried and true, and very simple method of promoting literacy in children.
It went something like, that’s the letter A Birdie… A-a-apple…A.”
After our quick lesson, she moved to a discussion about the Internet and why I couldn’t access any websites. When I explained that my portable device had stopped working, a little birdie (Wink!) told me she could try to help out.
“I’m Wonder Woman,” she informed me.
I can’t even type it without laughing. I am currently cracking up. It was just precious.
She made me aware of her superhero powers and was sure she could restore my Internet. She was 100% serious, which made me burst into laughter that day, too. Birdie was convinced of her supernatural abilities. She believed. There was not a joking bone in her body.
Don’t you just love the naïve innocence of children? It’s the funniest thing to me.
“Let me see if I can fix it,” Birdie— er, Wonder Woman— told me. Shortly thereafter, my miniature superhero friend began pushing random keys. It didn’t look promising. But somehow, someway, about five minutes into what seemed like nothing more than an exercise in futility, Birdie struck the right key.
The Internet popped on and my eyes popped out.
What had just happened? It came back!
“See, I told you I would fix it,” Birdie said, not at all surprised that her out-of-this-world abilities had produced positive results. She was a superhero after all.
Even after getting online, my plans to respond to email messages and tackle some pressing projects didn’t pan out. Birdie wanted me to watch Peppa Pig, which she and her father said is her favorite animated show.
Despite the disruption, I wasn’t annoyed. I was actually intrigued by Wonder Woman and her faith in her imaginary powers.
By the time we enter adulthood, we are no longer as naïve, which is a good thing. We don’t believe that Wonder Woman, Superman, Iron Man and Batman are real—well, not most of us. Releasing some childhood fallacies is a positive transition. We can all agree on that, right?
What isn’t very good, though, is how our faith shifts over time. Taking hit after hit has a way of taking its toll on the psyche, wearing us down and causing us not to believe in anything, even God’s promises. We lose our faith. We doubt that He will perform His word. We feel that the things we have lost due to hardship and devastation can never be regained. Like a dark shadow hovering over our heads, unbelief clouds out the Son and His ability to do the impossible.
When we don’t rein in our thoughts and make them obedient to Christ as 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to do, we subconsciously lump God in the same category as fictitious superheroes. We react as if God is lacking in power.
Don’t allow the struggle to strangle your faith. Stand firm on His promises. You will get everything God has for you!
But Isaiah 59:1 NIV reminds us, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.” There is no failure in Him. He will do just what He says He will. You must believe this consistently. When circumstances get bad, resist the urge to give into doubt, question your convictions and waver.
It’s not easy, I know.
Even Jeremiah the Prophet had trouble with this. You see, he was assigned to prophesy against the Southern Kingdom of Israel, comprising two tribes: Judah and Benjamin. Scholars reference the Southern Kingdom as simply Judah.
They willfully sinned against Yahweh. Because they were disobedient and unrepentant despite numerous warnings, God judged them and determined they would be plundered by the enemy. This wasn’t good news. So, understandably, the rebellious people had no desire to hear Jeremiah foretell their calamity. To make matters worse, He instructed them, as God directed, to surrender to enemy forces.
They thought, Surrender? Never!
He was viewed as a traitor, liar and foe, worthy of nothing more than mocking, scorning, and persecution. No wonder he had a breakdown in Jeremiah 20. In this chapter, we find the man of God in a state of weariness. Jeremiah had grown sick of sharing the Lord’s message of judgment with Judah because of their sin of disobedience, only to be patently ignored. He felt that his evangelism efforts were fruitless. It seemed that all his preaching, teaching, prophesying and obeying God was in vain.
Have you ever felt like that? Have you asked God in the past, Lord, since I’m doing exactly what You told me to do, why aren’t I seeing the right results?
One of the biggest myths that contributes to discouragement among believers, is this idea that just because you’re doing what God said, it will work out right away. Unfortunately, other leaders have erroneously taught that, if you’ve been at it for a long time, and you don’t see any fruit, that may not be your calling.
We have to be careful before we speak death over a dream that God birthed. Jeremiah preached the same message for 40 years. He hit a brick wall of resistance and felt stuck in a rut. And yet, He was right in the center of God’s will.
This message is for someone at your wit’s end. You’re about to give up and God is saying, wait! Not so fast. You’re in my will. Carry on. See this through to the end. There’s something great in store if you keep believing. Don’t give up hope.
In Jeremiah 15:20, we find an uplifting prophetic word there. God says, “‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,’ declares the Lord.”
In the preceding verse, before encouraging Jeremiah, the Lord had to get him all the way together. The great prophet was doubting, complaining and having second thoughts about his future in ministry.
God told Jeremiah, “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.”
In verse 9, that word “repent” is the Hebrew word “shub” (pronounced shoob). Generally, it means to return. In this context, God was telling Jeremiah to return back to his faith and obedience and to recover or recapture what he had lost. Instead of speaking reckless, worthless words, the Lord wanted him to utter only what He said. God essentially told Jeremiah to pull it together and don’t allow rebellious people to make him lose his conviction.
God is speaking to someone today.
He’s telling you not to let people, circumstances, trials and tribulations cause you to give up. If you have lost your faith, recover it. Pull it together. Stop speaking doubt and speak the word of God.
Declare that you are blessed; God is able; He has a plan; No weapon formed against you will prosper; Satan is a liar; You are anointed and equipped for this assignment; Nothing can hinder your destiny; God will restore everything you lost; The fulfillment of His word is guaranteed; He will honor you for your faithfulness.
Start talking like you believe. Don’t let the enemy get inside your head and don’t allow the struggle to strangle your faith. Don't speak negatively. Return to uttering words of faith as God instructed Jeremiah to do. Express your belief in the Lord's matchless power. When you return to and recover your faith, you clear the way for God to help you recover other things you've lost that He wants to give back to you.
Fight back with the Word. Anything that has been taken that God has for you must be returned to its rightful owner. You must take your rightful place. Believe that.
To help you, I’m stirring a portion of the very last sentence in 1 Samuel 30:8 NLT into your cup of inspiration. It contains a prophetic promise to David that God made in Ziklag after his enemies had destroyed his home and taken his family, and all his soldiers’ families into captivity.
God gave him this assurance, which is for you today also: “You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!"
As you drink down the contents of your cup, know this: you’re about to bounce back. Oh yes you are. You’re coming back stronger, better and more effective than you were before. Don’t cry over what you lost; rejoice over what you’re about to get back.
For someone reading, God is going to give you double.
You’re going to get it all back… and then some.
Now let’s pray.
God, I have been through a hard season. I have lost some things along the way and it feels like I may never recover. But thank You for giving me strength to get up and get my fight back. I declare by faith that all You have for me is already mine. I will get it all back and more. I praise You in advance for manifestation and provision. It is so. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with you. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.