Saturday, May 2, 2009
An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell Chapter 6 Learning to Trust Again
This is the Bible Study that I am participating in! It has been such a glorious journey. I will post what our precious Hostess http://www.leliachealey.blogspot.com says and then take my turn at it. Be Blessed Dear Readers!
Let's get to our discussion of this awesome chapter...CHAPTER 6: Learning to Trust Again
Anything in blue is a quote from the book.
Micca opens this chapter with the recollection of a sad phone call she received about her nephew. The events of that call would be the invitation for fear into this child's life. How many times in our own lives has someone done something to us that caused us to begin to live in a state of fear?Unknowingly at times fear becomes our roommate and overrides any good that God has for us.
God cares for you greatly.
We are His joy and delight.
But sometimes we can't see or feel that which Micca's response is that it doesn't always appear like it. That's because our perspective is limited by our circumstances.
From her own life experiences that include being a young widow, Micca tells us that I've found that when I'm overcome with fear, I'm not really looking for answers but for the assurance that God is near, that He's in control and that He cares about me and my circumstances. God does care.The other day I sat in the bedroom talking with my husband about a TV show he had just finished watching. With tears in his eyes he said, "You know Lea, maybe this is why God has me laid up in this bed so I could see this." He had just told me about this Jesus lovin' family and he felt so inspired by the Dad and his stand for Christ.So when I asked my husband if all the pain he is in while recovering from his back surgery is worth getting closer to Christ, his heart-felt answer was YES....YES!While death, sickness, and abuse were not part of God's original plan, He may allow me to go through these things. It's not to cause me undue pain or fear, but rather it's to accomplish spiritual growth. Sometimes what God allows shakes us to the core, but He never intends to terrify us. It may not be pleasant for a while, but in the end we'll find it's worth every heartache and every worry if we trust Him.I believe that if indeed God is trying to get Gene's attention on some things and is using this time of recovery to grab it then so be it. Perhaps Gene is right and God is using his health to make him lie down and focus on only Him. I honestly believe from listening to my husband share his own heart for Christ that all the pain...and it has been some excruciating 24/7 pain....all the physical pain he has endured over the 2 years will be etched into Gene's heart as one of, if not thee best times of his life. Why? Because of Who he is being drawn closer to.The only way to see worth in our pain is to realize it has purpose. Though we despise suffering, it educates us, transforms us, allows us to share in the inheritance of Christ, and gives us a ministry of compassion for others who suffer. This is God's promise. He is faithful in using every situation for our good.
Toward the end of the chapter, Micca tells the story of Lazarus. Here's a Cliff Notes version of what happened:
Lazarus gets really sick.His sisters Martha and Mary call on their BFF, Jesus, for help because they've seen with their own eyes how He was a Healer.Instead of rushing to their side Jesus takes His sweet time to respond.The sisters are not happy.Brother Lazarus is dead.Mary is crying.Jesus sees Mary and asked to be taken to see the deceased Lazarus.Jesus wept.Martha boldly tells Jesus...if You would've come this wouldn't have happened.Jesus tells Martha...if you would believe then you will see.Martha believes.Lazarus walks out of the grave. Alive and well for all who believed to see.Okay...to me, one of the most precious verses penned in the Bible isJohn 11:35 Jesus wept. As a kid I remember participating in Bible-Quote-Downs where you took turns quoting verses and whoever had the most memorized won. John 11:35 was always the easy verse to remember since it's the shortest verse. Now as an adult, it takes on a whole new meaning. So much tenderness. Such a sign that He truly cares about me. About you. What you are going through. When you and I hurt, Jesus hurts. Our pain moves Him because He cares about us.So when we are hurting, trust isn't always our first reaction.What if Martha wouldn't have chosen to trust Jesus that day?Would her brother had remained a dead man instead of a walking miracle?God requires us to believe first, and then He moves on our behalf.John 3:16 is another familiar passage that Micca gave me new meaning to when she pointed something so important out. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life"She pointed out that God sent His Son to earth as a helpless baby to be cared for by sinful humans. If God can trust you and me, then we can certainly trust Him.That was such a "wow" moment for me. God trusted this common little girl to raise Jesus.The One who would grow up with the power to command Lazarus to come out of his death.The One who He Himself couldn't be kept down by what was thought to be His last breath.He trusts us. Us as in you and me and our resume of faithfulness doesn't even compare to His. On His resume when asked for references and job history it says:See Bible, specifically Genesis through Revelation .
At the end, Micca recognizes that if we are reading a book on how to conquer fear, then we probably have fear in our life and want nothing more than some freedom. She soothes us with the comfort that God wants that for us too, but just like with Martha, we have to choose to believe if we ever want to see. The beauty about God is that sometimes, often times, when we do see, it's so much better than what we had in our visually limited mind.MC encourages us to1.) Know that with pain comes gain, but pain that will be worth enduring.
2.) Give God permission to fill our empty places and wash away our doubts with His love.3.) Remove what is hardening our heart because it is keeping us in a headlock.4.) Then listen as you hear Jesus sweetly say..."Take off her grave clothes and let her go".
Just like He did with Lazarus so long ago.
And if you listen close enough...you'll probably hear His tears hit the floor of heaven.I don't know about you, but I didn't even know about the Swine Flu until last week. I'm sure the cows are relaxing a little today as its usually Mad Cow Disease that makes the headlines.Today no swine is safe in Moses' birthplace as officials in Egypt have ordered all pigs to be slaughtered.Masks are covering the faces of panic.Death is moving faster than a teenagers texting thumbs.The kind of freedom Christ longs to provide covers more than the fear of loneliness, betrayal, and rejection. It also includes concerns we have about current world issues. We don't have to speculate about the worse-case scenario of our day and how it may affect our lives. When Micca wrote out the words God gave her probably well over a year ago she had no idea that it would be so relational to the headlines of each newspaper in the nation.God gave her over a year ago exactly words we would need to hear today.He is so amazing as He is using Micca to tell us...trust in Me. I got this. When you and I are secure in God's provision, there's no situation that can destroy us.
Now, what I have to say:
Oh, I just Love this Bible Study! God has sent this timely book to me! It's Blessing me beyond my total imagination! I have this glorious Bible called "Life Application Bible". It's a study bible. I love it so much because it gives you the meaning of many Bible verses. While doing this study, this week, I came accross this chart (in my bible).
The chart is called: 7 Reasons Not to Worry
(1) Matthew 6:25 " The same God who created life in you can be trusted with the details of your life."
(2) Matthew 6:26 "Worrying about the future hampers your efforts for today."
(3) Matthew 6:27 "Worrying is more harmful than helpful."
(4) Matthew 6:28-30 "God does not ifnore those who depend on him."
(5) Matthew 6:31, 32 "Worry shows a lack of faith in and understanding of God."
(6) Matthew 6:33 "There are real challenges God wants us to pursue, and worrying keeps us from them."
(7) Matthew 6:34 "Living one day at a time keeps us from being consumed with worry."
Wow! This so speaks to me! Anyone else? God will allow things in our life to change us for His glory! I have often heard it called "The refining fire."
Worry and anxiety have been a real problem in my own life for sometime. I know who to turn to when worry begins (and I do turn to Him) . That dumb devil trys to pull me down though! I have to remember, often to rebuke the enemy! I love what Micca said in the book, "We must let the love of God remove the stones that harden our hearts and keep us in bondage. ONly then will we hear from Heaven's balcony a heavenly voice proclaiming, Loose her and set her free!" Amen and Amen! Thank you Jesus that you are the bondage breaker! Praise Be to God!
BE Blessed, Until next time,