I’m enjoying Wednesdays so much. We operate on a 4-day school week, so the day of mid-week downtime is a true joy. I know these times are ending as the oldest takes on more and more academic responsibilities, but I’ll continue to enjoy these while they last. After reading lesson 8, I chose to move on to lesson 9 as I felt that I’d already completed the discussion questions in a roundabout way under a different post. So, here are the discussion questions for lesson 9:
1. On a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on how often your conversation is seasoned with the works of the Lord on your behalf? If you speak very little of Him, is there a reason you know of? If you speak often, how do people respond?
2. Have you experienced a Set Up for a Show Up when you were uncertain whether the situation was the chastisement of the Lord or a temptation of Satan?
3. Have you ever or are you now experiencing any Job trials where you can still not identify any wrong-doing on your part?
4. Apply this principle: How can my response make my God famous? Will obedience result in my sanctification and God’s Glory?
5. Does the origin of our affliction matter in view of the fame God can gain from it?
Our set up for a show-up is where we are now. We were cruising along (minus my brief encounter with fatigue) when WHAM! I had a bout with sickness that left me in minor pain for over a week now. My husband then matched my health challenge and then raised me with a challenge or two of far more serious concerns. He’s been to several appointments in the last week, and the Lord has been faithful in healing him from the surgery diagnosis he was given—twice. Then there’s the work-related stresses he’s had, with unrelenting pressure each month. Of course, I’ve prayed, I’ve encouraged, I’ve ministered in every way possible. Also, as our pastor pointed out this past Sunday, it’s easier to step out when you have a sure word, a favorable prophecy, or a “sho-nuff” sign of victory. Even with the spiritual meat we receive almost daily, he’s had to walk through these places largely alone, which I know is part of God’s plan. As wives and mothers, though we want to, we can’t lend anybody some faith or loan them our victories; the Lord knows where He wants each of us to be and exactly what we need to get there. Our task is to cover our family with prayer and then trust God.
Meanwhile, my husband is surrounded by people who recognize him as the prayer warrior that he is. In responding to the first question, I immediately thought about him because I think one of the reasons that people seek him is because he’s a very relatable Christian. You know that he loves the Lord, but he doesn’t come off as a fanatic that people think of as a bit too crazy to be credible. I think this is as critical to our ministry in these last days as any other characteristic we might bring to the body of Christ—our ability to minister Christ in plain-clothed, shoe leather to a hurting world. I digress. As others have called upon him, he’s been faithful to pray, and they’ve seen almost immediate answers! He’s gotten praise report after praise report from others, but he continues to beseech the Lord for a “yes” on his own behalf. Though you rejoice with those who are rejoicing, how frustrating is that?
So as he’s walked this particular trial, we’ve talked through all of the questions above continuously. We’ve also spoken Jeremiah 29:9-11, Proverbs 3:3-6, Deuteronomy 28, and Ephesians 3:20, among others. It’s a matter of time, of growth, and of a testimony that will help others overcome the evil one. Even when my husband went to his latest doctors visit (the last one minus needed follow-ups), he was careful to not claim any sickness by saying what “he has”. Instead, he talked about “what the doctor said is the problem.” Sickness came out of nowhere; so did the attack on his job. However, God will be glorified, and we will operate in God’s word through Paul’s letter to the church in Phillipi, being anxious for nothing, but instead, with thanksgiving, making our requests known unto God, and receiving a peace that blows everyone’s mind. God bless you today.