I’ve had women on my mind lately.
Or maybe it’s life……
- my little sister turns 60 in a week,
- my birth mother’s birthday is days after Mother’s Day,
- my mother-in-law has cancer and is awaiting treatment,
- a dear friend is undergoing tests for cancer,
- another friend is fearful for her son, a runaway facing prison.
I’ve been reading books about women’s issues a lot. Ministry to women is something God has planted in my heart, and I care deeply about the trials and struggles we women face — young and old alike. Laying on the table in my reading corner are “Lioness Arising” by Lisa Bevere, “Lies Women Believe” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and “Leading Women to the Heart of God” edited by Lysa Terkeurst. They sit there right alongside “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and a little volume of prayers from the writings of Teresa of Avila.
All of these have provided insight, encouragement, enlightenment. They caused me to reach deep to explore emotions I sometimes deny.
fear, regret, anxiety, anger
But as I read these good words from women following after God, I filter them through the Word that holds all truth, promise, grace and hope. I’ll share a few of these words with the women gathering on Saturday, because we all need to be reminded as we face trials, pain, heartache…..
God is bigger than all this.
God gave the Apostle Paul these words to encourage those living in Ephesus, reminding them that they are “blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world…….In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ.”
Can these promises wipe away a loved one’s illness?
…..stop the progress of aging?
…..heal a mother’s heartache over her wayward son?
…..restore a relationship long lost in neglect?
No, they will not. We live in a fallen world and such trials are reality. We can hate them. We can fight against them. We can even deny them. But in this world, we will have struggle.
Can we not also have FAITH?
“The righteous will live by faith” writes the prophet Habakkuk (2:4b). Faith that God has His hands all over our day-to-day, and that, THROUGH CHRIST, He can and will bless us with “every spiritual blessing” even while we stand in the fire.
Often the paraphrase of scripture written by Eugene Peterson speaks to my heart. Here is how he writes the promises Paul shared with the Ephesians:
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. (1:11-12)
Hug a woman sharing your life today — with words if not in your arms. She probably needs it, and you can be a part of sharing God’s promise “for glorious living.”