If you don't live in Corpus Christi and/or you missed our Bay Area Fellowship 1st Wednesday Worship service...well then...you MISSED out on powerful worship and amazing teaching!!!
Last night my soul was so carried away by how WONDERFUL my heavenly Father is and yet how much I still have to learn about his suffering for me on the cross.
My sweet husband brought the message last night and the communion...and I did my baptist head nod and said Amen under my breath the entire time he spoke. I know others learned and were challenged...but honestly...I think our Creator gave Jason those words for his wife...for me!!! God knew I needed to hear MY MAN teach me these promises...and if we were at home and Jason would have given me this message, I probably would have discounted the heaviness of it. And that message last night was HEAVY!!!
I'm gonna set the stage:
We had just finished singing "Lead Me to the Cross" by Hillsong (our fabulous Lauren sang it like an angel).
Jason walked on to stage and he challenged us to decide if we REALLY believe in the song we had just sung. LEAD ME TO THE CROSS...what happened on that cross...our precious Savior adopted us RIGHT THERE with blood shed...he died for our sins...our failures, our short comings, our selfish desires...and it happened on the CROSS!!! A cross that we were just begging to be led to.
Then he went on to point out the suffering of the cross and yet the JOY that the Lover of Our Souls still had for us. He suffered for us but was joyful through the suffering. When Jason began making these statements...that's when my heart began to break and be crushed. I DON'T SUFFER WITH JOY...I SUFFER WITH COMPLAINTS AND AN UGLY ATTITUDE!!!!!! This walk with Christ isn't suppose to be easy, there is NO where in scripture where it says "follow me to the cross, live your life for me and you will lead an easy life."
Our family has been suffering for the last several years (might not seem a big deal to others but feels huge to us), I cant explain the pain we feel not having our child HERE. Suffering is simply not FUN! And I have to admit I haven't had much joy when it comes to suffering.
But there can be JOY in suffering, there can be comfort and healing. And this morning during my quiet time the Lord illuminated even more details to me about being a JOYFUL sufferer.
After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied. Isaiah 53:11
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 2 Cor. 1:5
Our suffering will eventually lead us to satisfaction and comfort...but we have to suffer NOW to get to that point...and we can let JOY overflow from our hearts during the process. If our true and ultimate desire is to be like Christ...then we have to be led to the cross...in joy! If while we are on our journey of pursuing Christ and we become discouraged and live without joy then that is an invitation for the enemy to come in and steal our progress we are making.
Do not yield to discouragement no matter how severely stressed or surrounded by problems you may be. The very instant you wholeheartedly turn away from every symptom of discouragement and lack of trust, the blessed Holy Spirit will reawaken your faith and breathe God's devine strength into your soul. (taken from Streams in the Dessert, April 2nd)
All this to say...God is entrusting our family with this journey of adoption...and I haven't had the JOY that I should've had. My attitude sometimes probably hasn't attracted others to adopt...who wants to travel this road of adoption and be complaining the whole time!!! YUCK!!!
This adoption has taught me MORE then I could have EVER EVER EVER imagined. And now it is teaching me to have JOY even though we don't have our baby in our arms. But we do have God's promise that he WILL bless us with a child through adoption. That is MY PROMISE from him! And I am going to cling to that promise with JOY...even on the days that I feel a deep suffering!!!!
From this point on, I am determined......I will be a JOYFUL Sufferer!
(I might need reminding at times!!!!)