There was a real breakthrough just a half hour ago for me that I must share.
I have been sick since Sunday with just a nasty-won't-go-away virus. This morning as my head is spinning and throbbing and I'm coughing up a lung and just want to lay down and curl up in a ball, my kids are in the background not obeying in doing the regular things we do every morning. I already want to "give up" (whatever that means since there's no calling in sick for parenting) but I know that there's more to this than just the average feeling sick and facing a rough day with the kids. See, at noon today I'm to be at a CEF meeting with local pastors as a few faithful followers of Jesus are pressing out to bring the gospel to the public schools through Good News Clubs and such.
I have been, in weeks past, praying for how God would let me participate in reaching outside my home with the gospel. I want to reach out and let my boys see that outreach and learn to follow Jesus in reaching out to others. Then recently I overheard a woman at my church say something about Child Evangelism Fellowship. My ears immediately perked up since I remembered going to a Good News Club when I was six. I inquired about what she had mentioned and found out that in my area of the greater Phoenix metropolis (the west valley) there are NO Good News Clubs or outreaches and that there were some folks from CEF trying to gather support from local churches to start bringing the Good News to our public schools. This led to me volunteering to share just a bit at the meeting with the pastors today about my experience as a child with the Good News Club.
So I know that this cold that's making me just want to curl up in a ball and sleep is some evidence of the spiritual struggle which is taking place to prevent me from ministering the gospel to my children and training them up as Jesus commands me, AND to keep me from participating in God's work of bringing the Good News to kids in public schools.
So I prayed. My prayer was weak, "Lord, I don't know what to do, should I stay home or should I go? I can't even get it together with my own kids this morning...help me Lord." I read the daily devotional from Jon Courson hoping to hear from the Lord, but as I read it the enemy started twisting God's word, "A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health. (Proverbs 13:17) See, you're a wicked messenger! If you were faithful you'd be healthy!" AHHHH! WHAT A LIAR! But I started to fall for it in my weakened state. Instead I turned to one more place... to a sister for prayer. I called her and shared with her how I felt and what was happening and just asked for her to pray for me and give me wisdom if she had some to share. Wow! Did God ever show up in the meeting on a phone of two women.
While we were praying and as this woman of God shared with me that over the years of ministering the gospel to children, whether it be her own or at Sunday school or through CEF...whenever she'd reach out she always had to take a stand, it was never easy. She shared that there was always something. But she would pray through it all and say, "Lord, You are my strength," and go forward. She prayed for me and I just sobbed, "Thank you Jesus." She made me thirst again for walking by faith and praying in faith which I have grown weak in. She made me desperate and desirous of following Jesus no matter the cost.
After we finished praying I new that God was allowing me to be tested and that it was my choice. He had encouraged me in praying and was saying to me, "I'm not telling you to stay home cause you're sick, nor am I telling you to go even though you're sick, I'm calling you to take a step of faith. Do what you do based on what you know is true- what I say is true!"
I opened up Proverbs 13:17 and read it again, "A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health." And I saw it anew! This is what God says is true: A FAITHFUL AMBASSADOR IS HEALTH! He doesn't say if your faithful you'll be healthy or if you're faithful you'll be sick, He just says a faithful ambassador is health. He doesn't say a lack of sickness is health... A FAITHFUL AMBASSADOR IS HEALTH!! "Just be faithful in being an ambassador Sheila," that's what He's saying to me!
I wanted to share all this cause as moms, as people following Jesus period, we all face days of being sick. Whether it be a bad cold that's got you down or cancer. But there is a definition of health that is God's and it is one that can define us whether we are sick or well and that is BEING A FAITHFUL AMBASSADOR.
Whether I'm sick or well, I am healthy if I'm faithful to be an ambassador of Christ Jesus to the souls around me, first to my own children and husband and then to others too.
If you read this would you pray for me? I'm praying for all moms this morning, that God would inspire our hearts to simply be faithful as His ambassadors. He doesn't call us to be fancy or perfectionists or even to be free from all sickness, He just calls us to be faithful to be His ambassadors. Ambassadors of truth, grace and mercy. Ambassadors of His good news!
"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20