Sometimes the promises of God aren't seeded in a bed of roses. Sometimes they come through blood, sweat and tears - but they are always worth it.
Last night I was reading my daughter a bedtime story. We were reading about the life of Jesus and of course it began with his birth in a manger, but it was the picture in the book that stuck out to me. Mary and Joseph were smiling, the animals were grinning, the manger was fresh and clean, well lit and beaming. It was then that I felt the spirit nudge me and drop this message into my heart ....
When you are birthing a promise, it won't look this pretty. The sky will be dark. Your hair will be sweaty. You'll likely be crying rather than smiling, and the place won't smell like roses... it will reak of disappointment. But you'll push, you'll cry, you'll bear down and through the labor pains you will birth your beautiful promise ... just don't expect it to look pretty.
Well, I wasn't sure if that was an encouraging message or a warning....actually, maybe it was both.
You see, in the church sometimes we can paint a false picture of what a spiritual walk looks like. We come to church in our Sunday best. We smile, we dance and we shout, we amen and we shake hands. But behind the perfectly ironed shirt or the precisely squeezed spankx we are often broken, sad and hurting.
We don't think of church as a hospital for the broken, but we should. Church is not a social club, but it is a training camp for war... a boot camp if you will. And sometimes we have to crawl on our knees through the mud to make it. Serving God isint always rainbows and butterflies. There are times of trial, seasons of pruning, and valleys of disparity.
But the good news is that everything only lasts for a season. Your manger scene may look dark and dreary but those labor pains get harder and harder just before you birth something new. The sun comes up in the morning. Jesus has won every battle, his train fills the temple. You're on the winning side and JOY comes in the morning.
So don't be discouraged when your battle looks dark. Don't be fooled by the beautiful makeup that we wear. We are all walking through life's seasons... and as we overcome one by one we will be able to take our testimony and use it to reach others and minister to them in the middle of the fire.
Don't give up, don't give in. Gods word says we will truly reap what we sew.
So I challenge you, spend time in the word when you feel broken. Be encouraged, remind yourself of where he's brought you from, because He never changes. Uplift yourself and encourage yourself in the Lord like David did. Ican assure you that your worst day with God is better than your best day with the devil.
Never forget whose child you are. Keep your head up, look your manager scene in the eye... and PUSH ... Pray Until Something Happens.
Until next time..