Faith Like George Mueller

Most of us in our Christian walk have heard of George Mueller at one point. Before today, all I knew is that he was a hero of the faith and that at some point I wanted to study his life with the girls. I came across something about him today and it made me look into his life.

In summary, he started orphanages and cared for many children. The significant thing about him is that he never asked anyone for money or any help. He would ask the Lord for it and God would provide it! He said that the orphan houses existed to display that God could be trusted and to encourage believers to take Him at His word. 

Today I’ve sat in the bed all day after an extremely rough day yesterday. I’ve tried to relax and pray that my body will cooperate if I rest all day; something by the way, that I struggle to do-REST. I was on Facebook earlier and seen a rebuttal to an article that a charismatic pastor had written about a recent death in the Christian community and how it is always God’s will to heal. This man  refuted that argument and went to the word and encouraged us in the truth. Now before I go any further, I would consider myself charismatic in the sense that I fully believe in the gifts for today. I believe in miracles and I believe in healing. However, I do not believe that God always chooses to heal us-at least not on this earthly pilgrimage. Years ago when Tim and I first began really walking with the Lord, we stepped into what is called the “prosperity gospel” or the “name it and claim it” doctrine. While today is not the day to go into great detail about that, the Lord did begin revealing His truths independently through His word and taught us so much. So because of our journey through that, those headlines tend to catch my eye, hence why I read this article. Long story short in this rebuttal, the man spoke of George Mueller. That’s when I began to read about his great faith in an even greater God. 

George was married twice, but in his biography it speaks of one of his wives getting sick with rheumatic fever and she ended up passing away. He said that he read this verse to her before she passed away. “The Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord will give grace and glory, no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” He goes on to say, “I said to myself, with regard to the latter part-no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly- that if it is really good for me, my darling wife will be raised up again, sick as she is. But if she is not restored again,then it would not be a good thing for me. And so my heart was at rest. I was satisfied with God.”  SATISFIED with God. Wow, I know that I desire to be satisfied with Him, but my satisfaction isn’t in God a lot of times. To be honest, I would be satisfied to be healed. That’s just the raw truth of it all. BUT, this is where my faith and trust in a loving God comes in. 

What this means for me then is that if being healed right now would be good for me, I’d already be healed. He wouldn’t withhold it from me. That’s not who He is. He is our loving Abba Father who if we ask for a fish doesn’t give us a snake or a stone. Psalm 119:68 says “You are good and what you do is good.” Do we believe this? More personally, do I believe this? What we are going through in the body of Christ rests in the hands of a sovereign God. Charles Spurgeon said “The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rests his head at night, giving perfect peace.” If I’m honest,I don’t understand how to “deal” with it in the moment by moment scheme when my body is rebelling and screaming against what I know to be true in my spirit. In the moment, it’s very hard for me to process this, that though it seems good to be released from this ailment and suffering, it’s truly not. And this is where I walk by faith. This is where I can trust God and His word, that He will NEVER withhold good from me because He IS good and He IS love. This is where my mind has to stop and my faith has to lead. Do I say I have this all together? No. In fact I’m talking to myself right now, trying to encourage myself as I encourage you in these very things. Because just like us all in our human nature, we can know one thing and still believe the opposite. This is where I lay down what I think my life should look like. I think it should look pretty comfortable. I should be healthy and be able to homeschool my girls with ease, I should be able to drive them anywhere, I should have only the occasional cold or headache and should I have something more, I should be able to get better. But this isn’t my life.  My life is filled with unpredictables. It’s filled with moment by moment needing His help to get through. This is where we all come to a place of laying down our Isaacs on the altar. This is where we come to “not my will be done, but yours Lord.” 

In the end, here’s what I sure of. I know that God is love. I know that He loves us. I know that He is in control. I know that He is with us through any amount of suffering. I know we will be with Him for eternity one day. I know that our earthly suffering WILL end, whether now or In His presence for eternity. And I know that it’s all worth it to endure to the end to be with Him. 

Let us continue to remember those in the body of Christ who are suffering. Let us continue to lift them up in prayer. And let us continue to encourage one another to keep our eyes fixed on the eternal and not what is seen. 

In Christ, 

Lori

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Through the Shower Door

 

1 Corinthians 13:12 “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely”

In our new house, we have these kinds of doors on our Shower. I believe they are called aquatex glass doors. When you’re in the shower it makes it very difficult to see out and if you’re on the outside, difficult to see in. You can see the general outline or idea of what’s there but there are no details that you can make out.

In the last year, I have prayed fervently for three particular people to be healed physically, and they weren’t healed. They went on home to be with the Lord. One recently, a brother named Nabeel Qureshi went home to be with the Lord. He was a devout Muslim who wanted to know truth, whether it be Allah or Jesus, and the Lord showed Himself to be the only God. He traveled with Ravi Zacharias ministries and shared the gospel in such a way of love and truth that many muslims came to know Jesus as their Savior. A year ago he was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer and throughout the year of battling it, he never waivered in his faith. He finished his race well. But he left behind a baby daughter and a wife and family that are still Muslim. Over the last few days I have really struggled with this. The few days since his journey home has been riddled with tears and confusion. When you pray so fervently for the body, you become connected to them whether you know them personally or not. We are family in Christ. I have asked the Lord “Wouldn’t he have been more effective to the kingdom to have stayed?” In my mind it makes more sense for not only Nabeel but the others I prayed for to have continued in their earthly ministry to share the gospel, to live a life of love and His fullness, to show the world His love. And though I don’t have cancer, I’ve asked the Lord the same thing about myself in the years of this affliction…”wouldn’t I be more effective to your kingdom Lord if I was well?” “Wouldn’t I be a better mom?” “Couldn’t I witness more and disciple more if I was well Jesus?”  

Though I believe the Lord welcomes our honest questions, I’m looking through the shower asking them. In Isaiah 55:8 God says “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways, just as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” My thoughts are only one sided. I can’t see the other side of the shower door and make out what’s out there, but He can. In suffering and affliction we can easily get stuck on the lack of understanding and confusion of “why won’t you heal me God!”, but I encourage you today to understand that we can’t see it all. We see life through this veil right now and one day, when we see Him face to face that veil will be removed and we will see Him for who He is and we will have understanding of His complete all encompassing love! And in the shadow of His love, in His very presence, I doubt that we will even consider asking Him why He did or didn’t do this or that. We have an eternal hope that far outweighs our present suffering. We have the hope, the surety of eternity with the One who loves us more than we could ever possibly grasp. This comes down to -do we trust Him? Do we trust Him with our life and our death? And CAN we trust Him?

The answer is a resounding yes! The very one who gave us life, has the ability to care for it. He never slumbers or sleeps. He says His thoughts toward us are more than the sand on the shore. He says that even if it were possible for a mother to forget her baby at her breast nursing, He couldn’t forget us. He says our names are engraved on the palm of his hand! He says that the day we go home to be with Him is precious in His sight. This God who so loves us and is faithful to us even when we aren’t, can be trusted with our life. Though we don’t understand what He does what He does or Why He does what He does, we can trust that He is good and He loves us. We believe this by faith because He has shown Himself more than worthy of our trust. Let us pray that as we walk this earthly journey that we keep our eyes so steadfastly fixed on Jesus that no amount of suffering would turn our eyes away from our only Love. Let us remember that one day, the shower door will be opened, and we will see our King, our Love and our Savior. Let this truth encourage your hearts today. 

-Lori

How can we help?

group praying

I’ve gotten the nudge from the Lord quite a bit to write a particular post, but I’ve been praying about it some time to see when to do it. I felt the go ahead today as I was praying and ironically studying something that had nothing to do with that! 

As you know the purpose of this blog is to encourage, equip and comfort those who are suffering but also the body of Christ. One thing I’ve felt to write about is to the body, how to help those who are suffering. Many in the church just honestly don’t know how to help or what to do. It’s one thing to have someone who has had a baby and needs some meals, that’s easy; or someone who is sick and or has come out of the hospital, that’s also easy. But what about those who are chronically suffering and need help more than once, sometimes quite often. How do you help those? Here are 5 ways you can help!

First: Don’t look the other way!

Listen, I get it. Suffering in any form is messy. Whether it be through chronic illness-mental and physical, or the aftermath of a death etc. It’s much easier to look the other way and let “someone else deal with it.” Some might even think-the elders of the church can handle that. Let me encourage you, it’s ALL of our job to help. Galatians 6:2 says Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. What does that mean? Simply put, Jesus told us to love the Lord our God and to love one another and that sums up the whole law. What does love mean here? It means not walking away. It means helping when you see a need if it’s in your power to do so. the word BURDEN here is Greek means “to support, as a burden; to put upon one’s self (something) to be carried” It’s the idea of you getting in there, rolling up your sleeves and holding up that heavy thing with that person.  Think about it. Jesus said in John 13:35 that the whole world would know we are His if we love one another. It’s a testimony to the world of the love of Christ. That’s what we are. We are a representation of Christ to the world. What better way to show the world who He is and what He has done for them than to display it by loving one another. Commit to walk through this with them. SEE them and be there for them. 

Second: Don’t ask how they are unless you’re willing to bear that burden

Here’s the thing, we are all guilty of this. Myself included. I flippantly walk through the halls at church and say “how are you?” But to be transparent, I say it more often that not to be kind than actually meaning it. What happens usually when you ask that question to someone and they start to spill it? We get annoyed! We’re thinking “ugh, I know I asked but I didn’t really mean it!” Here’s one thing the Lord showed me. If we don’t care enough to truly mean it, and we aren’t prepared and willing to carry whatever burden they are struggling with, then just don’t ask. People want to know you care enough to ask and really mean it. Check on them and be there for them!

Third: Pray for them!

This is the most important one out of them all thus far. Pray pray pray for them. As someone who chronically suffers, you have no idea how much we need prayer. There is so much that goes into literally just living each day. In my life, there’s the constant physical effects, which makes it difficult if not impossible sometimes to do anything. Then that leads into the mental effects. The doubt, the hopelessness, the despair. That leads into the emotional effects, depression etc. Then there’s the guilt of  not being what I want and the disappointment that comes with that. I want so badly to be the mom that can take my girls places, have special dates with them, take them to normal functions, church even without having to rely on my husband. There’s the exhaustion of just being sick every single day with no relief. There’s SO much we need prayer for. Hebrews 13:3 says “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” We are to remember those who are suffering as if you were going through it. If you were the one suffering, what would it mean to you for people to pray as fervently, passionately and steadfastly as if it were themselves in the very affliction you are in? It means a whole lot. Pray for those who are suffering. I can’t say it enough. And then, sometimes, let them know that you’re praying for them. You have no idea how much it means to me for someone to come up to me and tell me they’ve been praying for me. Suffering can be very lonely. It’s a very nice and comforting thing to know we are loved. 

Fourth:Encourage them!

Never doubt the power of encouraging words. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” Proverbs 16:24 says that Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Offer kind words to those who are suffering. Pray and ask the Lord to give you a word for them. Encourage them with what the Lord has encouraged you with if you’ve gone through suffering also. That’s why we go through things, to comfort others with the same comfort we have received from Christ. I had a dear sweet sister who wrote me an “open when” card for when I was discouraged or in despair. She wrote a hilarious joke inside and encouraging words for when I was feeling hopeless. I can’t tell you how much that meant when I opened it one day. If you see something online that encouraged you that day, send it to them! It will mean more than you realize. 

Fifth: Help in practical ways!

James 2:19 says “If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”  and 1 John 3:17 says “If anyone with earthly possessions sees his brother in need, but withholds his compassion from him, how can the love of God abide in him?” If you see a brother or sister who is suffering and you have the means to help them, and you don’t, what good is it? That’s what the world does. If there is a sister or brother who has a need and you are able to help, then help. Serve in practical ways. Bring meals if it’s difficult for them to do that or even just to bless them. Sometimes the last thing a family needs who is suffering is to worry about dinner. Help them clean their home. If they have kids, take their kids to the park. If they homeschool, help them any way with any classes. There are many many ways you can help. And of course PRAY. There are many ways, that if you’re willing to be used, the Lord will show you how to help them. 

 

These are 5 small ways that you can help. There are practical ways for all of us in the body of Christ to help those who are suffering. We are a family in the Lord. Let us not forget that. If it was your mom or your sister suffering, would you be there? Of course! Let us show that same affection to our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Let’s show the world the reality of Christ by our love. 

Until next time. God bless you all! 

 

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Intro

sunset

This has been on my heart for some time. I’ve felt the nudge from the Lord repeatedly, but shrunk back in fear like I tend to do when I’m called into the unknown. I’m in a season of suffering and I know the Lord wants to use it. But I, like so many, feel my “loaves and fishes” just won’t be enough to feed many. Yet, the Lord still calls me and continues to give me the desire. I am in a season of chronic illness. I have Dysautonomia. It’s a fancy word for feeling sick so much. My autonomic nervous system is damaged and it affects every part of me. I’m sick all the time in one form or another. It causes many symptoms in my body such as overwhelming fatigue (not your normal run of the mill tiredness-more like you’ve run a marathon carrying an elephant), dizziness and vertigo; my dizziness is almost always constant at varying degrees, nausea frequently, pain-I also have peripheral neuropathy along with the Dysautonomia, anxiety and panic, sound intolerance, heat intolerance, near syncope (passing out), light-headedness almost always, migraines, I can’t stand for long, I can’t do anything for long-cleaning, cooking, walking, depression, tinnitus and much more. My days are difficult to say the least. I will share more on that in a later blog.

But for now I want to use my loaves and fishes of encouragement, help, tips, love, and understanding to meet as many emotional needs in the body of Christ that I can. And I’m going to trust the Lord to multiply it. I want to strengthen my brothers that their strength may not fail. Suffering has taught me compassion for others hurting, whether suffering mental, physical, emotional pain. I truly believe that the world will know who Jesus is by our love for one another in the body of Christ. Human nature is selfishness and greed and inward focus, but when we in the body of Christ see each other hurting and bear their burdens with them, it shows Jesus’ compassion and love. My next posts will be longer and more subject focused, but for tonight, I’ve gotten my feet wet. There is more to come and I pray you will be encouraged as you read. God bless you my family.