This week's post comes from Kassie of Cypress MinistriesPsalm 34:18 (NCV)
http://www.cypressministries.com and http://www.fromalisteningheart.blogspot.com
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted,
and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.
The past several days when thinking about preparing for this devotional, it has been on my heart to write a letter of encouragement instead. I don't know who will read this devotional/letter-- I don't really know who this is intended for... but what weighs on my heart is to tell you that there is hope, and to give you encouragement that your life is not over-- that whatever you may be going through, there is another side of this for you. There is MORE for you than what you may be seeing now. God has so much for you, if you will just let Him bring you through it.
In Luke 19, when Zacchaeus wanted to see who this Jesus was, nothing would deter him. Nothing was going to stop him from getting a closer look at this Man who was doing so much for God's people. When he couldn’t see past the crowd, Zacchaeus simply climbed a tree! The wonderful thing in this story is that when Jesus got to this tree he stopped right under it, and looking up, Jesus called for Zacchaeus to come down. You see, Jesus KNEW that Zacchaeus was up there, but no one had told him this. In the same way Jesus knew where Zacchaeus was, HE KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE NOW.
My friend, whatever you may be facing-- know that God still has a whole nother chapter of your life waiting for you. In the book of Ruth; when Naomi lost her husband, she grieved. Later when she lost her two sons, the pain was so overwhelming that when she went back home, she told people not to call her Naomi anymore as that name meant “happy”. She told people to call her Mara instead, because that name means “sad”. She didn’t understand why the Lord had left her with such sadness. She told her people that she had lost everything; she felt as if she had nothing left. But that wasn’t true. God still had a plan for her. God still had a purpose for her even though she was unaware of it. And God has one for you.
Just like Naomi, your life is more than what you can see right now. God is all knowing and can see so much more than you and me. There was still something Naomi had to do for God. He still had a job for her to do. God had a bigger plan. He also blessed her life again and brought her much joy. As a result of losing her husband and her sons, Naomi went home taking her daughter in-law with her. And by doing so, fulfilled the next needed step in the future of our savior.
You see, God had a plan for Ruth too. She (like Naomi) had lost her husband-- and at a young age. She didn’t understand why either. But God knew. God had a purpose for her, she had a destiny that was to be fulfilled. God needed her to be somewhere. And at some point in time God will need you to be somewhere else too.
We don’t know why God allows certain heartaches in our lives, but He promises that if He allows the pain, then something good will come from it. Even if it is the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job-- God will bring new life in place of what is now gone.
Sometimes we have to go through "intermissions" in our lives. A time of waiting between what was and what is to come. And when we come to these intermissions, it is hard to understand why. But sometimes God needs time to heal us and prepare us for what is ahead -- and sometimes it is because God needs to work in someone else and bring them to a point where they are ready to join us. Sometimes God just needs time to work in a situation, or some circumstance, before advancing us into the new He has planned for us. But rest assured God will not forget you in the meantime. He won't set you on some sideline, and forget to bring you back in.
Need an example? Look at Moses; "When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, 'Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?'
"But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, 'Who made you ruler and judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?' When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons. (Acts 7:23-29 NIV)
When Moses found himself out in the desert after a life changing incident, he probably thought he was there to stay... But God had other plans for him, in fact Moses' life was far from over, it was just beginning. Moses' duration in the desert was only an "in between time" from where he had been, and what was to come. However those were not wasted years. Far from it actually. My friend, God can multi task! At the same time God was waiting for the right time to come for Him to bring deliverance to His people, God was working in Moses during his stay in the desert. And when the RIGHT TIME came; God brought Moses front and center into the full purpose God had for him.
I love how Acts 7 states "The SAME Moses..." read with me: "Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.' "This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, 'Who made you ruler and judge?' He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out of Egypt and did wonders and miraculous signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the desert. ( Acts 7:33-3 NIV)
God had not changed His mind about Moses. God had chosen Moses long before, and it was this same man (granted older and wiser), that God would bring back for another chance, and the whole second half of his life that was waiting for him. God brought him out, dusted him off and said, "Let's try again." But THIS TIME, it was going to be with the hand of God. You see before, Moses had been called, but he didn't have the anointing, so when he acted, it was in his own strength. But this time, God was ready and God was going with him, so there would be a huge difference!
My friend, SOMETIMES we can have a call on our lives-- something we were born and meant to do; but if God isn't ready and we move ahead, then we go without the anointing and it is in our own strength-- not His. So we have to wait. We have to wait for God to move, and sometimes we have to wait because HE IS WAITING until HE knows everything is ready for Him to move us into what He has called us to do.
God's purposes for Moses didn't change, he simply had to be moved aside until God was ready to bring him forth. Naomi and Ruth's lives were not over because someone had died, God was bringing them into something new. My friend, whatever you are facing, know that God is with you. No matter what has happened, what has died, who has left, or what was lost... God can bring about something new. God WILL fulfill His plans and purposes for you.
My friend, God knows how to bring you through difficult seasons. He knows how to bring you through hurt and heartache. He knows how to bring you through trials, and HE KNOWS HOW to bring you into all He has waiting for you. Look up-- look out, and know God is watching over you. And His hand will not be held down when He is ready to move you.
Take care, Kassie