Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Story I Love To Tell

A young woman spends several months preparing to let go of her long-suffering sister…
Her sister takes a turn for the better and is released after over a year of hospitalization.

A woman estranged from her two brothers for ten years after the death of their mother . . .
Her brother calls her twice in one week and they have been reconnecting.

Another woman harbors hurt and mistrust towards a loved one…
She and her loved one are now in counseling and confronting, confessing and releasing what has stood between them.

It is so wonderful when God’s love and healing power moves in our lives in such obvious ways.  In all of these situations mentioned above God has changed what seemed to be almost hopeless circumstances. The three woman mentioned above are all part of a new Christ-centered support group. I have been blessed to witness how God is transforming the lives of our support group members while we meet and pray, shared the Word, and provide encouragement and support to each other.

I am so blessed to be a part of a group that is seeking God in the deepest, most sincere way. Each member has an incredible story to tell, and it is amazing to see them caring and supporting each other despite having so much to live with and deal with individually. God has done incredible things in their lives, providing testimonies that declare to the world "look at what God has done!" Their lives are far from perfect, and they have still face immense struggles, but I am seeing scripture come alive in these people.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:3-5

When we personally have a chronic or devastating illness, or we have a loved one with such an illness, trials are a common occurrence and they can sometimes last through long periods of time. Recovery does come, many times in the form of spiritual recovery.  Complete physical recovery will often only come when our loved one or we is made complete in his presence in Heaven.  Accepting this is a hard pill to swallow, as it was for Paul, when he asked God three times to remove his thorn.

Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:8-10

I have learned so much from our group members. I see the Holy Spirit in each of them as I have watched them praise despite their personal storms, witness to others facing storms, and always be transparent about their struggles. We walk in grace together,helping each other  through the valleys and sharing the view from the mountaintops.

Thank you Lord for giving each of us that view! Thank you for always being with us, no matter what is happening and for always bringing us through! Thank you for teaching us that Your grace is sufficient in our weakness!