The Man I Met {You Can Meet Him Too}

Today, I am met with a man. A man who probably isn’t that much different from me. In Luke 5, we meet a man who is covered with leprosy. The disease has ran its course, and reached its capacity.

. . . And, he is sicker than he has ever been.

The Emotions

 It so happened that, as Jesus was in one particular town, there was a man whose body was riddled with a virulent skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face. ‘Lord,’ he begged, ‘if you want, you can make me clean.’ – Luke 5:12

Illness brings heavy emotions, difficulty thinking, and crazy sleeping patterns, which admittedly is on top of the “typical” symptoms of our health issue.

While emotions can be beautiful and exhilarating, it can be a heavy burden to carry as well.

The emotions might be worse than the actual medical condition. It sticks to our side like glue, and reminds us of what we do not have. It reminds us of the past we cannot go back to, where we once had our family/friends and a place to call home.

. . . This is what this leper faced, and the reality for many of us on a daily basis. 

The life we once knew is – dissolved. Our new life is confusing. And, rarely understood by those nearest to us. They know not the debilitating emotions we struggle with. Even if it is suffocating, others often do not see the enormous burden we carry.

. . . But there is One who knows exactly what we face, as He is the only One who can carry us through this mess!

The Jesus I Know

I appreciate this man who is known only by his debilitating condition, because he knew the struggle, experienced the heavy emotions, and went running to King Jesus! He ran until he reached Jesus, because he knew Jesus is the answer.

. . . Jesus loved him {and us} and delights in taking care of us {just as He delighted in caring for this broken man}.

This Jesus is the same one who holds my heart. Jesus came, went to the cross, died and rose again to be with me. So, I may have peace with my Father.

My heart is safely held by Jesus, even on my worst day.

. . . He is my Protector, Comforter, and Friend.


This man encountered Jesus, and was changed.

Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘I do want to,’ he said. ‘Be clean.’ And the skin disease disappeared immediately. – Luke 5:13

Honestly, this is enough to bring me to my knees. The man ran to Jesus, and was wholly welcomed as he was. We are, too.


Our Invitation

Just as Jesus welcomed this man, we are welcomed and invited to come running to Him right now. We don’t have to wait until x, y, and z resolves itself. We can come to Jesus right now.

. . . Jesus invites us to come to Him. Weariness, heavy circumstances, and all, we are invited to simply come to Him.

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FMF – Joy

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Five Minute Friday! This week’s theme is “joy”. FMF is a weekly online gathering of writers where we write for five unedited minutes. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, please visit Kate’s blog for more details…

After two decent health days, I am back to any motion of standing trying to bring me down like a deck of cards (which apparently means I rather skip dinner than stand again…). It’s been weeks of feeling like this. Nonstop almost, or so it seems. I could scream. I could verbally share my frustrations with the world, or even manipulate my facebook account into sending out word weapons in effort to share my true thoughts on the subject (of standing).

… But, it will not bring me joy.

Joy isn’t a feeling.

It has to be a heart felt response to – yes- our lives, but more than that. Joy is something God is capable of giving us – even when we feel like we are in a place that is quite rough.

Joy is deliberate.

It is found in my mindset, and where those thoughts wander.

It is found in what I choose to do with my time, mind, and energy level – while I sit in captivity and do anything but stand.

. . .

I started writing out the Word of God. As a chronically ill person, I have quantities of time available. But, that’s not my identity. My identity is wrapped up in my Savior, not these moments where I sit on my bed wondering what to do with myself for the rest of the day… God is where the joy is found.

I have been trying to write out the Word of God, in these moments. It’s a new habit I am forming. It allows me to get to know my Abba Father on a much more intimate level. This is where the joy is found.

While standing is not anything joyful, God is present in the storm. God is the One strengthening my body as I rise, and giving my heart the courage to stand.

God is the One giving me courage and joy, in midst of heartache.

While our trials don’t last forever (imagine that!), my God does. Scripture is clear. God endures forever. It is found in Scripture many many times. Just as God endures forever, so does every single one of His attributes – including joy. This is what He gives, He lovingly offers to those who have believed in His Son Jesus Christ and been called into His beautiful family!

During today’s Scripture writing, I came across this verse in 1 Corinthians 1:9.

“God is faithful! God has chosen you to share life with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I absolutely love this verse. Jesus is my forever companion, and that is where my joy is found!

Jesus is my full-time Companion who walks with me during the storm, and brings with Him joy to be available to me.

I really enjoyed Andrew’s guest post on Five Minute Friday. Be sure to check out his post.

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MMS – Sea

MMSFor the month of October, I am joining many bloggers in a challenge to write every single day for 31 days. I learned about this challenge through another challenge I participate in most weeks. The “Five Minute Friday” challenge is going to expand to last the whole month! Each entry, will be five minutes unedited of writing on a particular theme – found on Kate’s blog.Today’s theme is “sea.”

Moses parted the Red Sea (see Ex. 14). An impossible task, made possible. It wasn’t about Moses, but the God he served. We all will find ourselves in difficult – yet – seemingly – impossible situations, yet God longs to prevail over them.

My “Red Sea”

Lately, I have felt discouraged – just ready to be done. I am tired of struggling. Needless to say, I have my reasons. Perhaps, even consider them justified. Yet, somehow they are needing to be crowded out with something else. Something real/more-important-than-these-feelings. Something bigger-than-life. Have you ever wrestled with sea of thoughts? Perhaps not discouragement, but overwhelmed? Or, surrounded by a sea of thoughts on how to accomplish a task.

God is bigger than the Red Sea.
God is bigger than the horrors of Dysautonomia without the proper medication.
God is bigger than social anxiety or anxiety and panic attacks – point blank.

God is Bigger

My sea of discombobulated thoughts? He is bigger than those too. It’s not just that He is all-powerful. It is also the truth that God cares for us (see Ps. 8:4) far more than we could ever imagine or ask (see Eph. 3:20). I am reminded that He does have plans for our lives. But, sometimes, those plans mean walking down a path that seems unlit – compared to our brighter-than-the-sun kind-of-days.

I just need God to guide me through my sea of thoughts. I need Him to continue to prove just how B I G He is – despite my despairing moments, roller-coaster emotions, and health concern. I need to begin to look for the various ways that God continues to show up my life on a daily – hourly – minutely – and secondly basis.

Complaining in Trials – Part Two

143780914549080Trials on a Tuesday is a weekly series that focuses on a topic relating to trials, and how we can glorify God in the midst of hard times.

Last week in Trials on a Tuesday, I began to unravel what we believe about complaining. What is our definition of complaining? We can only begin to look at complaining in our lives, as we know its definition and significance for us.

Complaining is simply put grumbling with discontent. So when we tell of our struggles with those closest to us, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can actually be therapeutic. But, the truth is, we need to examine our heart’s position first, because discontent can spread wildly during difficult times – just as it can in easy times.

The most important truth we will learn today is, we need to stand firm in our faith in Jesus Christ and knowing how cared for we are.

Do we honestly believe that the God of the Universe is caring for us, in the midst of difficult seasons in our lives? Why or why not?

As we look at today’s Scripture, we need to remember that all Scripture found in the Bible is God-breathed (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17). This is an important truth God wants us know, wrestle with, utilize, and share with others. It is of great value to our circumstances and lives.

“[Give] thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV).”

God cares how we view our trials or circumstances.

If we think God doesn’t care, we can line up plenty of Scripture to remind us that God not only cares for us… He even cares about the circumstances we face. Before we can even deal with discontent we may battle (oh, we battle it fiercely… let’s not add pride to the mix), we have to first work on our relationship with our Creator God.

We need to know how much God cares for and loves us.

  • “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7, NIV).”
  • “O Lord, You have looked through me and have known me… You understand my thoughts from far away... You look over my path… You know all my ways very well. Even before I speak a word, O Lord, You know it all… You have closed me in from behind and in front. And You have laid Your hand upon me… All You know is too great for me… (see Psalm 139:1-6, NLV).”
  • “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them (Psalm 8:4, NLT)?”
  • “He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber (Psalm 121:3, NASB))
  • “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things (Matthew 6:32, NASB).”

Reflection

How is God revealing to you that He cares deeply for you, through your circumstances?

Activity

Spend this entire week, meditating on each part of Psalm 139. See for yourself, how your Creator diligently and purposely cares for you.

Allegiance to God Alone

Read Deuteronomy 13

Allegiance: “devoted or loyalty to one particular thing”. Do we hold to allegiance to God? Set apart God and our time with Him? God is different. He is holy! God desires for us to be committed to Him alone.

Since it’s definition is loyalty to God alone, is allegiance one of the words that truly reflect our walk with God through His Son Jesus Christ? With no hesitation, I know He has been devoted to me. But, am I doing the same? What am I devoting myself to, and what needs to change?

Deuteronomy 13 talks about the seriousness of being led away from God. It breaks the Father’s heart. If something is leading me away from the Lord, His Presence, or my intimacy with Him, it must be purged from my midst.

When Another…: If others seek to entice us to follow after other things versus God, we are given instructions. We need to look at these instructions in light of God’s grace displayed through His Son Jesus Christ. In its essence, it backs up: “Bad company corrupts good character”. People, who lead us astray in our walk with God – aren’t going to make the best “seeking God alone” partners. They will led us astray. Heed to the words:

“Do not yield to them, listen, show them no pity, or spare/shield
them from their action’s consequences.”

In the times we have done this ourselves, we need to heed God’s warning, repent of our wrongdoing (sin), and seek God. God is faithful, just, and wants to help us. We wants us to seek Him! All we need to do is, “come”. Things that distract us – must be dealt with. We can’t pretend they will go away on their own. “Destroy it completely” – leave no particle of that thing that disrupts your walk with our Creator.

When we turn from those people with that kind of thoughts, we are blessed. Here is what will happen:

  • God will turn from His righteous, fierce anger.
  • He will show you mercy.
  • He will have compassion on you.
  • He will increase your numbers – the promise to grow God’s people (13:17).

Why the promise in 13:17 for prosperity? “Because you obey the Lord your God, keeping all His commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in His eyes.”

See Hebrews 12:1