Sunday, September 26, 2010

You Have a Destiny

Last weekend, we went to help with my grandmother. The doctors had found that she had a blocked artery but it is deep in her brain so they cannot operate. It is estimated that she may have had approximately 8 mini-strokes so there was concern about a full blown stroke.

At 6 am Sunday morning, Mamaw called me to help her find some preaching on television. I couldn’t find her normal favorites but came across TD Jakes and asked her if she wanted to watch him. She said, “That’s the one you like isn’t it. Yes, I’ll watch him.” As I was walking towards her door she said, “Turn it up so I can hear it better.” It was blaring as I walked out. I went back to lie down on the couch and I could clearly hear everything that was being said. As I was dosing back off I could hear him saying loudly:

“When Jesus had been tempted in the wilderness for 40 days and for 40 nights and was weak and afterwards He hungered. The Bible says God sent the angels down to minister to Him, said, ‘You can’t die in this wilderness. You can’t pass out, in this valley. You have a destiny waiting on you. And if I have to send my angels to revive you, I’ve got to get you up out of this because you cannot die right here.

My God, I wish I did have time to tell you that have been up under attack and oppression by the enemy, you can’t die right here. You might be out of breath. You might be weary like Jesus was. You may have been through a series of battles and temptations, won some, lost some, but you still can’t die right here because it is written, ‘You have a destiny over your life. You have a future and you are better than your circumstance.’”

Look at your neighbor and say, ‘You have not been relieved of your duties and you cannot die here.’ Yea, pick your lips up off the floor. Grab your pocketbook. Hold your head up and get your back straight. You cannot die right here! It is written, ‘After this you shall rise up in power and glory and anointing. You might be weak. You may be weary. You may be frustrated. You may be angry but you cannot die here. That’s why God sends you ministry, to resurrect your destiny.”

Mamaw had been in rough shape Saturday that I was afraid that she would not pull through the round of mini-strokes. But Sunday morning, she was up walking around on her own without her walker. She had literally gone from walking slumped over, barely shuffling her feet while clinging onto a walker to walking on her own.

After I got back home Sunday night, I watched the sermon again since I had recorded it. When I played that part for Emily and told her the story she was as shocked as I was. I truly believe that God Himself was speaking that into her spirit.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Unshakable Faith

So many times during our health struggles I’ve wondered how in the world there could be any plan, let alone a plan for good not for evil, a plan to bring hope and a future. I just couldn’t see it. After six years of health concerns with our children, I have to say that I think the confusion is clearing and I can finally say, “Thank you for this time. It truly was an answer to prayer.”

The prayer came during a women’s conference. While everyone I knew was heading off to hear the most comedic speaker, I felt overwhelmingly drawn to a different speaker. I couldn’t stop thinking about the group of little African American grandmothers that I had been watching. When the speaker started a verse, they finished it with her all the while nodding knowingly and saying, “Em, I know that’s right!” What did they know and how did they know with such conviction?

I opted to stay in the main auditorium with them. I even moved to a closer seat and prepared to take notes. I did learn a lot of head knowledge during that session but the biggest thing that I came away with was that there was far more to God and our relationship with Him than I realized. I casually told God that I wanted to know what they knew and wanted to finish the scripture the way they did, with the same unshakable conviction.

Now about 10 years after that prayer and 6 years into our health concerns, I’m realizing that I do sing the worship songs with more conviction. When we sing about how God can heal the broken hearted, I sing it with the conviction of one who has personally been healed of a broken heart. When we sing about his provisions, I sing it as one that came to the bottom of my own resources only to find Jehovah Jireh my Provider. When the doctors ran out of answers, I came to know Him as our Great Physician.

I believe that in order for me to know what those little grandmothers knew, I had to first know who I, and people in general, were not. Otherwise, I would have continued to live under the false pretense that I was in control.

During the growing pain, there was the concern that so much pain and disappointment would destroy our daughter’s faith. In fact, the opposite was true. At seventeen years old, she has also found that unshakable conviction. Ow, and her humor is still intact as well. When we were discussing how everyone must go through their times of pain in order to grow and learn to trust God, she quickly responded, “Well, I’m not marrying a guy that hasn’t been through junk then!” And that might be the wisest thing I’ve ever heard from a teenager.