Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"...but this is ME Lord!"

This is the 2nd in a series of blogs that help us to not only survive this world, but to thrive in it as believers!

"...but this is ME Lord!"

Vernon Brewer founded "World Hope" in 1991 as a Christian Organization to help people worldwide. Thru World Hope, Brewer has helped to distribute Bibles plant churches, aide in humanitarian efforts and sponsor children all over the world. He has been a great influence FOR the cause of Christ for many years. He is looked up to and held in high respect by his peers, by those he has helped and by those who love him. To look at Vernon Brewer today one could think that he has lived a charmed life and that God has truly shielded him from the evils of this world so that he could accomplish all he has done. However, Vernon would be the first person to dispel that notion.

In 1985 Vernon was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease and told he had to have surgery to remove a tumor that was attaching itself to his heart and lungs. The doctors removed the 5lb tumor and he was told that if they had waited one more week that he would not have made it. Brewer tells of the moment he heard about his cancer and the doctor and how he felt like the bottom of his world fell out from underneath him. His journal reflects how he felt: "God I have encouraged & prayed with others in times of crisis & tried to give them hope by reading the Bible, but this is different...its ME!"

Brewer admitted that it was one thing to put your arm around someone to encourage them with prayer and scripture, but it was quite a different matter when the overwhelming crisis was in your own life. He confessed in his journal that he felt like he was 'drowning' in the pit of despair. At that point Brewer said something in his journal that struck a chord with me, he said, "...all I can do is reach for You [God]..."

Have you ever been at the point in your life where you felt the floor was giving way, that the bottom was dropping out, that your stability in life was being shaken and you were afraid and fearful of falling... because you did not know where it would lead. It is like falling into a black pit, you don't know how far you will fall and you don't know where you are going to land. Fear reigns and anxiety takes over. It is a feeling that must be very similar to drowning as Brewer describes it, you feel helpless and realize that no matter how much you fight, you can do nothing and that this crisis is going to take you down. That is what it feels like to have the bottom of your life drop out from underneath you...

When we look at Scripture we find many who faced this same situation in their lives. Job is the obvious choice for illustration, but we can also see this type of situation with David and other biblical characters. For calamity to come, it doesn't have to be cancer. It can be another disease that knocks us down or overwhelms us, it can be a life situation, a death in the family, a divorce, an unexpected pregnancy by your child, a loss of job, a loss of insurance/security, a house fire or some other situation that sends us in a tailspin. These types of things can cause one to feel like they are drowning in their circumstances, and leave us groping for a lifeline!

We must take the same approach that Vernon Brewer, David AND Job took, they looked to God for comfort and solace IN their pain. Yes they prayed for deliverance from their situation, but they rec'd peace in knowing that God was there, that God cared, and that regardless of circumstance, God would not abandon them. Paul understood this type of pain as he pleaded with God to remove what he described as a 'thorn' in his flesh, a circumstance or situation, an affliction or some other issue that Paul could not shake NOR control... This thorn had become overwhelming to Paul and he begged God to remove it, but God comforted him in telling him that He would not forsake him even though the 'thorn' would not go away (or that God would not take it away).

Paul's story matches well with Job's story in that God did not take them out of the situation, and God did not miraculously deliver them from the situation. What God DID do was BE WITH THEM in the situation, and that is His promise to us today! We may feel as if we are being pulled under by the undercurrent of circumstances in our lives, but God is there and he will not allow us to go under. He will be WITH us through all things and bring us peace IN the difficult times. So when you feel your world is falling out from underneath your feet, seek the face of God and know that He is there and will not abandon you... your situation may NOT change, but your perspective of the situation surely will, as your focus becomes more and more in tune with God.

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