Every year some of my friends ask God for a word for the year. A word that helps them focus on his will for their life. One friend received the word balance and whenever we have the opportunity to spend time together she shares with me how God is teaching her balance in her life. Another friend received the word breakthrough, knowing this friend, she is not only praying for breakthrough in her own life but for the entire Body of Christ and across the nations!
Even I have asked God, on occasion, for a word that will highlight my year, but as I reflect back on this I realize God gives me, without me asking, a battle cry. My battle cry for this year is Romans 8:28.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God gave me this verse very early in this now half old year, during a time when I was in a ministry funk and had been for the past six months, coupled with the challenges and struggles of our youngest lovebug. This verse seemed to be everywhere, in things that I read, conversations that I was having and before long God was giving it away to others. He even used it as a parallel theme in a message I had the opportunity to give at church one Sunday. However, every time the struggle for my daughter would rear its ugly head, I would question God if I was suppose to step away from ministry. I felt the two were somehow intertwined. There were days I would look at my husband, in tears, and simply say, “I Am Done.”
One morning I sent a message to our Pastor, who was our friend before he became our Pastor, and I was conversing with him as both friend and as a part of the flock he has been given to care for. He already knew of the struggles we had been facing and I told him that I felt I needed to step away from ministry for awhile. He said something simple yet profound that has come to pass. He told me that I wasn’t stepping away from ministry I was looking at it from a new angle. He didn’t try to talk me out of my decision or offer any advice. He simply spoke God’s truth into my life, knowing the gifts and anointing God has given me and left it there in encouragement and support.
Still the struggle for our daughter continues and I continue to question God about ministry. I ask him, “Why me, why us, why my kid?” Something in my spirit knows I ought to be looking at how the two are connected. There is something I need to learn about me before I can move on. Then God gave me this.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3,4.
Herein lies the answer to my questions. Character, God is building character for the next season of ministry through the struggles in my child’s life by teaching me to respond rather than react because he uses ALL things for my good because I love Him and he has called me.
Just yesterday as the struggle once again raised it’s distorted, twisted, pitiful self, God reminded me of the battle cry he has given me and literally minutes later a friend messaged me, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
Precious One, IN.ALL.THINGS.