I would just hug Beth Moore. I mean bear hug. Probably pick her up off the ground, even though I despise that action with children, probably because my kids are top heavy and often if they are the one picked up.... their head tends to meet the ground before their feet can. Back to Beth....
Like I have said before, I am walking with her through the James study right now. And I am loving how GOD is using her to speak to me, speak to my SOUL!
I've had a bunch of stuff happen lately... I mean stuff. And I mean a bunch. When I say lately, let's say the past 2 years. I've alluded to one of the events and you know a big one, but girlfriends, (and boyfriends), they keep coming. They aren't blog material, you know for the information super highway trainwreck, but devastating all the same. One blow came Saturday night. To. My. Knees.
Sunday morning I had danced with the idea that the kids really needed sleep and we had a long day ahead, and I was exhausted mentally and emotionally from the night before, just maybe we should sleep in, since my kids never get to, or don't. We don't skip church for much in fact. If we are going to miss on a Sunday, we try to hit the Saturday night service. At the last minute, and I mean last minute I threw us into gear, waking up kids and getting ready. We were only 9 minutes late. Pretty much from the moment we walked into the auditorium, I was weepy with emotion. Our church has the effect on me. Then the sermon came... and people, YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS SERMON. It is probably the best sermon I have heard... ever! Go LISTEN HERE! Or www.thehills.org- Media, Sermons, The Race- and March 4th. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT! YOU WON'T! If you can, (it's not up right now, but will be in a few days) watch the video. There are some important videos mixed into the sermon that you won't want to miss.
During the sermon, I was a mess. I mean a MESS. I cried, not just wept the whole time. The lord was speaking to me. When we began to sing the song after the sermon... I stood and just leaned into Stacey trying to hold some composure. Trying... but it wasn't working. I looked over to the right and saw the prayer partners standing there, and noticed that they were looking at me too. I stepped out and went to ask for prayers. That amazing couple held me and listened to me mumble and began praying for me. COVERING me in prayers because people, my race... the one that I like to go at the same pace just lollygagging down stepping in a few pot wholes along the way towards the finish line.... my race.... now has hurdles. I'M TIRED OF HURDLES! My hurdles keep getting taller. And I am tired.
I know I know. I know all the good things that have come from my race. I can see my growth. I can see God's work in me. AND you can too. I know, because many of you have told me, but you know, Saturday night, I wanted to scream at the hurdles. SCREAM! I don't want to leave my race. I still see the finish line. All that really means.... I still believe in God. I still love God and know that God loves me and my family. I still want to go to HEAVEN (my finish line) and bring as many as I can with me. I don't doubt my Lord, I have the "why" questions... but My GOD still LOVES ME and HE is enough!!!
Then walks in Beth Moore. I was a few days behind in my James- Mercy Triumphs study so I opened my book last night (Monday night).
Okay, I also need to tell you.... I hope you know my heart and know that I am not boasting in my race. I fall down all the time and by the grace and mercy of the Lord, I get back up. I am so far from that and I hope you know me well enough to know that. I am being raw with you guys, and if you want to talk to me about this, please come to me. Okay, back to Beth.
Day Two's lesson: To Prove the Lord's Boast.
What does that mean I asked myself as I started the study. We read James 5:7-11.
Okay, I read it. Perseverance, Job, suffering... great. Just what I need. Then I began reading Beth's stuff. This is what I underlined off the bat-
"If He has a mind to linger right where He is, you can't budge Him one inch." Okay, don't tell God what to do. Got it.
Okay. That's good. I can learn from that. Then this paragraph was right after where I underlined and starred the whole thing.
"From a thone's -eye view, the point is not just getting us into our proverbial lands of promise where we bear much fruit. The point is developing the spiritual muscle on our way so once we receive it, we are strong enough to keep it. The hardest part of possessing the land is defending it. A person has hardly begun to have a real fight on her hands until she starts serving in her full-throttle giftedness and effectiveness. She who proves a threat earns an enemy you can bet will do everything he can to make her sorry. Nothing in the visible realm is a greater reality than the unseen battle raging over our heads."
I think I read it 5 times. You see, since Jenny died, my life has not gotten easier. My hurdles have been raised, inch by inch. I totally believe Beth as she talked about "she who proves a threat earns an enemy." I think, I know, that I was bringing to glory to the highest after Jenny died. I was on fire with the holy spirit and I didn't apologize. AND then my race got hurdles. Satan did NOT like it the current race I was running. I was a huge threat. I AM a huge threat.
Beth goes on to talk about Job, well, because James does! NOW, I am NOT comparing myself to Job. I have often even disliked the comparison to anyone to Job. What I learned through this, is to slow does and read the scripture and give it another chance because it is God breathed... Beth says this: "He became a target precisely because he did so many things right." From Job 1:8-- have you considered my servant Job? The Lord offered Job to Satan.
Beth also quotes Burt A. Richardson---- "Here is the sobering truth about the nature of trials in the life of righteous persons, that God allows them to be tested in order to prove their faith.... In some ways their endurance proves the Lord's boast in them."
What? Really? I just started crying. I think it goes with the saying you get sick of hearing or I have-- The Lord will never give you too much. He will only give you what you can carry. Yuck. Haven't you gotten sick of hearing that? Oh, how I am eating those words right now. The Lord's BOAST in me? WHAT? ME? Oh HOLY Lord God almighty! You are boasting in me????
I think I could copy this whole day of the James study. I want to leave some for you to journey through.
So, I will take a deep breath, tighten my laces, do some stretches, and get ready for my hurdles. I have to prepare for them! I am finishing my lesson tonight. I have to get better at the preparing! I can't just go out there and try the hurdles on my own! I have to strengthen my muscles. What are you doing to strengthen your muscles? Are any of you doing an amazing bible study? I would love to hear about it. I plan on doing another neighborhood bible study this summer and am looking for something. I love studying with my sisters! It SO helps me.
Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for being apart of my journey. Please, listen to the sermon. Please- prepare for your race!