There always seems to be something or someone you’re just not sure how to approach. Usually when you’re just not sure it truly is best you move forward with precaution and preciseness. Obviously it’s something you feel like is fragile and possibly risky. So, the situation demands you begin by being still before God.
Here is what you usually should not do. One, don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions. Two, don’t ever make a big decision while fueled only by emotion. Three, don’t try to play God in any situation. Overall, don’t ever let your gut lead you more than your God.
Bottom line, if you feel very uncertain about anything you need to let the God of all certainty guide you in everything. Do what He tells you to do and say. Bathe every move in prayer and marinate your mind in God’s word. Just keep taking the next right step and trusting God day by day. Ask God for the courage to change what you can and the faith to trust Him with all you can’t.
“Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart. And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
It’s only been 30 straight months of dealing with uncontrollable nerve pain. I’ve gone through more medications in that time than many will see all their entire life. Everything has been a process of trial and error. I’ve tried surgery, a spinal cord stimulator, therapy, walking, pain shots, Rhizotomy, natural supplements, counseling, prescription medications, lots of prayer and I’m still in a dog fight. I’ve gone through all of those things only to be right back where I started.
Everyday I can either lay on my side with unbearable pain or I can keep myself loaded with medication. The latter helps me get through the day, but still leaves me missing so much. Especially when any really good meds leave me feeling under the influence. Either my head is spinning because of medication or I’m in absolute agony wishing I would have stayed on top of the pain.
It’s like a death except there is no closure. You long to have just one great day of health. You hope one day you are miraculously healed. It affects your relationship with your spouse, children and really anyone who really knew you before your world turned upside down. But, there is just one thing that keeps you going when you feel like you’ve been staying in a hospital bed forever. You have to keep believing that God has a purpose for everything He has orchestrated or allowed in your life. Jesus I believe in Your plans for me!
“And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
I feel led to share just a few words with you. Nothing that I will say will be from a condemning or judging attitude. In fact, I know plenty of people who go to to church that act worse than most outside of the church. But, this has nothing to do with comparing anyone or even beginning another unnecessary argument. Every word I’m about to share comes from my heart for you and what you might not realize you’re missing.
Everyone reading this falls into one of the following categories. One, you make up the 25 percent of society that actively attends church. Two, you make up the majority of people who don’t go to church regularly, but you do find your way there on special occasions such as Easter, Christmas, weddings, or funerals. Then, there are many who just don’t believe in Jesus and therefore see absolutely no value in his church. It doesn’t matter why you do or do not go you fall into one of those three categories.
In a world that is full of constant chaos, I believe it’s critical we all find a church home. Not because going to church makes you a believer or better than anyone else. But, because it’s a proven fact that we need each other. We desperately need to find ways to come together as satan is constantly trying to pull us apart. Why? Because he knows that we’re stronger together and way more vulnerable as lone rangers.
We also need to be encouraged together through Christ centered worship. Yes, I know you can listen to or watch sermons from your home any time. But, none of that will match the powerful encouragement that happens when believers are gathered together in Jesus name for corporate worship. You need it. Your marriage needs it. Your children need it. Honestly, I need it.
Now, maybe you’re like many you’ve just had a lot of bad church experiences. Actually, I bet I’ve had more bad church experiences than you. Maybe you’ve actually had no church experiences at all. Regardless, you need to know that God created the church not man. It was His idea that we come together for mutual encouragement in Christ. It was His idea that we look past one another’s imperfections and put our total faith in Jesus Christ. Isn’t it time that you consider what you might be missing by not being actively involved in a local church? At the end of the day I know you have the right to make your own decisions. But, I’m telling you that the day you find a church like the one I personally pastor you’re going to thank me for taking the time to write this note for you.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
Craig Crosby is senior pastor of Refuge Church of Walterboro, SC. A place you can always come as you are, but you will never leave the same. Go to http://www.RefugeChurch.org for more information.
God must have some BIG plans ahead for me. I bet I can’t even fathom what lies ahead on the other side of this fiery trial. Don’t get me wrong I’ve faced many seasons of adversity in the past. But, none of it ever held a candle to the nonstop torment in the present season. I’m obviously headed towards territory the devil doesn’t want touched and doesn’t plan to release.
I remember well a saying we used to have in our high school weight room. It read, “No pain, no gain.” I’m believe that is a great biblical truth. Any great God led mission will bring with it great adversity. There will be pain, setbacks, sacrifices, and even moments you want to quit. In fact, I truly believe that is the reason for all of the enemy’s attacks.
So, just because you’re dealing with nonstop adversity doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path. It very well could indicate just the opposite. It could mean that God has Big plans and satan will stop at nothing to turn you around. It could mean that you’re gonna have to seek God’s face more than ever before if you’re to move any further. My friend, don’t be afraid of the battle. Be afraid of missing what God has ahead for you. Grab your Bible, drop to your knees, and stand firm in your faith.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:8-11
I’ve been in the bed the past 12 hours in a somewhat sleeping state. Had to sit up in the bed and sleep due to something continuing make my heart feel like it’s racing. Anytime I check my heart rate or blood pressure both are fine. All this morning my legs and my chest have been vibrating continuously. I had already turned my stimulator down a couple days ago, but I just turned it off to see if I’m just being over stimulated. You just never quite know what’s the root of your issue when dealing my level of nerve pain.
A new appointment with my doctor/surgeon has been made for Friday, February 9th. Instead of just going with a CT scan my doctor wants to discuss what’s best for me. As it stands right now I can’t get any MRI of my lower back unless I get my present implanted stimulator battery removed or traded out for another more MRI friendly battery. This is definitely a big issue all the way around. Whether now or later I will need a full MRI to determine any further surgery necessary. I’m simply open to whatever it takes for me to become the healthiest I can be.
Man the setbacks just keep pouring my way. I was clearly told before I got that particular stimulator it was totally “MRI Friendly.” And, I was hoping there would be no more cutting on me for at least 7 years once that battery needed to be replaced. I honestly can’t tell you these days what my greatest issues are coming from. The stimulator, the surgery, the medications, my nerve pain, or my anxiety. I’m afraid everyone of these things play a part in my health situation for good or bad.
I have to just keep praying and walking by faith. Because it’s like I’m in the wilderness and can only see the next God led step in front of me. There is a lot of trial and error going on. As well as you often feel like you’re having to play your own doctor, which is not a good feeling. But, I’m just continuing to put my life in the hands of the Greatest Physician.
“And we know God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28
I’m sure many think I’m just complaining all the time. That I’m just struggling like everybody does and can’t handle much. But, I can assure you that being in my painful body is pure torcher. I’m dealing with head to toe pain that just won’t let up. Discomforting sensations have constantly run through my entire nervous system for so long I can’t remember what it’s like to feel normal.
God just brought a deep question to my mind. What if I were spiritually lost? What if I was trying to deal with this ongoing pain without the assurance of hope found only in Jesus? Where would I turn and how would I cope? Considering the fact that even with Jesus I feel just one step away from collapsing or giving up? I don’t want to, but maybe I need to consider the multitudes of lost souls living throughout this world.
Pondering this question can’t help but elevate my compassion for lost souls everywhere. Souls that have no anchor when their health fails. Souls that have no hope beyond this life without Jesus. I’m compelled to do and say everything I can in hopes of reaching as many as possible. Our bodies will give way and this world will continue to disappoint. But, once we know Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord nothing can steal our forever hope. No one can snatch us out of God’s loving hands of constant protection. May we all open our eyes to the lost surrounding us knowing that life without Jesus simply isn’t livable.
“When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”