Friday, March 10, 2017

Victory In Jesus

My 15-year-old daughter and I recently were invited to my sister-in-law's church for a women's event where they were #CelebratingVictory. 

The church is about an hour away, give or take, and even though we wanted to go, it felt like everything was coming against us. My husband had to work late, I had to meet him, I didn't have the directions, we were trying to hurry, there were severe thunderstorms, and it seemed like the perfectly logical thing to do was just not go! I started to tell my daughter that we were not going to make it, but she was so excited about going that I just didn't have the heart to tell her no.

We walked outside and on three sides of us was gloomy, dark clouds full of rain ready to pour out any moment but on one side there was a big, beautiful, bright ball of sunshine and I thought, 'There HAS to be a rainbow somewhere!' and I was determined to find it! As we drove towards the place I was to meet my husband, the clouds just covered the sky until it was completely gray and no sign of bright, beautiful, blue sky! We started out from home, not really knowing where we were going. We just stepped out in faith that we would get the directions in time and it would all work out.

We drove further and that's when I saw it...a rainbow! It was a small one at first, just kind of faded but it was still there and I thought it was a good sign that the Lord wanted us to keep on going! The kids and I were getting excited!
We were able to communicate with my husband about where to meet. So we continued driving in the direction we were to meet him and that's when we saw it...a DOUBLE rainbow! We were laughing and singing praises to God! We knew that even though it looked like a bad storm and I wasn't very confident that I knew where to go, I was confident that God would get us where we needed to be!
I told my daughter, "The devil sure doesn't want us to go to this event tonight. There must be a blessing waiting there for us!" Kadesia agreed and we kept going on. Then to the left of us, was a glimpse of another rainbow! THREE RAINBOWS! A sign of God's promise and God's faithfulness!!
We were blessed at that event and God did overtake us with blessing after blessing! The picture below is one of the cards they gave away.

And as I sit here in my mother's home, using her computer, I am reflecting on that message! A tornado blasted through where we live and we lost power. It's been three days now with no power and it's cold in our house and it's dark. My mother offered to let us stay with her until it gets back on and while it is hard to stick with a routine, it's very much appreciated to have a warm place to stay.
My children had spent the night with my in-law's. Paul had already left for work and I was in bed asleep. There had been thunder and lightning for hours and I was sleeping well. I love sleeping during thunderstorms. Then a little before 5:30 a.m. the power went off. There was a strange, eerie stillness. Everything was silent. I saw the lightning flash a few times but I did not hear any thunder. I started to feel scared. I am not afraid of storms and yet I knew this was different. I prayed aloud, "Jesus please help me. I am scared and all alone." I heard a loud noise as if my bedroom door had been closed and then I felt the presence of Jesus enter my bedroom. I was saturated in complete peace and I laid down on my bed and went back to sleep! I woke up a little later to find out an EF2 tornado had gone through. I was safe. Our home was safe. Our vehicles were safe. The only thing we didn't have was electricity! I am praying it gets turned back on today! 
So this morning as I prepare to face the day ahead, I am thinking about the things I must do and wondering how it can happen! I have to leave in the morning for a medical mission trip and I need to do laundry, pack my bags, and do those last minute things that always seem to get pushed to the back of the to-do list. As I plan ahead, I turned to my Bible and opened it to Philippians 4:4-13:
Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation (*gentleness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful (*anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (*noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think (*meditate) on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

That just really lifted my spirits. My sister who lives a couple of states away from me is praying for us and praying our electricity would be restored and she encouraged me this morning. She really blessed me and helped me! Then I read this and it was wonderful and then I found that card I had received at the women's conference and it gave me even more hope and encouragement this morning.

I know the Lord has called me to go on this mission trip. I know this is His Will for my life and the enemy doesn't want me to go. He doesn't want me to help those people I will be ministering to; and he doesn't want me to obey the Lord and walk in my calling. The devil is a liar and Jesus defeated him when He died upon the cross so I do walk in victory today! I claim the promises of God's Word for my life!

I Corinthians 15:57-58
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

I have victory in Jesus, just like the song says! I am going to work for the Lord and I know I will go on that mission trip! I will not be hindered by the enemy. Just like when we were on our trip to the women's conference. There were all kinds of obstacles in our way; we even got our communication crossed with Paul and kept missing each other, but it all worked out and we weren't even late! Kadesia and I held hands, kept our eyes on the rainbows in the sky, and with smiles on our faces we sang an old familiar song, "I won't let nothing down here hinder me, oh Lord I won't. For someday His blessed face I'm going to see. It makes no difference about the cost, nor how heavy be my cross. I'll not let nothing down here hinder me." And by His grace I won't!

~Bridgett Owens