Monday, September 04, 2006

I Can Do All Things Through Christ

Sometimes I forget that. I forget that there is nothing that can beat the power of trusting in Him who overcomes - that if you pray for endurance, for strength, for distraction, God will give you it in abundance, so much so that you may wind up thinking that whatever you prayed to get through was very easier done than said.

I have a confession to make: I gave up coffee for the entire month of August. That's right. The. Entire. Month. And nary a time did I cheat. I did not have one sip, one slip up, one "fudging" moment when I conveniently "forgot" that I wasn't supposed to have any. For 31 days I forewent my daily dose of caffeine addiction, my small amount of "me time", my little "coffee - take me away!" respites, my one true love of life... well right after God, Mr. Right and the kids. (Coffee is actually in a tie with reading, but I think you get what I'm saying.)

The only time I tasted coffee was when Mr. Right pulled me in for a really great kiss before walking out the door for work, and it was a nice shock to my senses to get a bonus with the kiss.


I can hear you crying out from bloggetyville (thanks for the great term, Addie), "For the love of all that is good and right in the world, why, oh why my friend, did you torture yourself and give up such a precious, delicious, essential staple in your life - the liquid that runs through your veins were you to be cut, the lifeline that you cling to each morning to ease you out of bed?"

Well, there's your answer. It was because I held that sweet substance so close to my heart that I gave it back to God. Was it a barrier to my faith? Did I put it before God? No and no. But it was something that I want so deeply that to give it up actually meant something to me.

Typically in the past, our church has held August as the "month of prayer" for all sorts of things: the war, the church family, missions, community outreach, our children, those who are in ill-health, etc. The list is long and worthy of bringing before the Lord. But this time we had an extra request for our Father.

As you know from this post, our church is on the hunt for a new senior minister. Along with prayer, the church elders and ministers asked that we to abstain from something - a thing/time/activity that really means a lot to each of us as individuals - and to pray to our Father about the minister hunt whenever we thought about that thing. Kind of like lent, except we still get meat on Fridays - unless you gave that up, of course.

I truly believe that God will be faithful to my prayers. He will bring the right person to the job, someone who is a man after God's own heart, someone who is blessed with wisdom and knowledge from God, someone who wants to encourage us in our daily walks with God and who wants to continue to promote the view that no person in our area should ever say that he/she did not hear the name of Christ in our community. He will not give us a perfect man to hold this role as senior minister, but God will provide for us a preacher who knows that he is made perfect in the blood of Christ.

How do I know confidently that we will employ such a man with these characters? Because these are the requests I brought before God every time I thought about coffee. As you can probably deduce, these prayers were offered up many times in the course of last month.

And one thing that God reminded to me (again) over the last month is that He will bless you if you honor Him. I can honestly say that He gave me the strength to not suffer from my coffee withdrawal. He blessed me with the confidence that I didn't need that liquid when I have the power of His right hand to hold on to as I walked throught the month coffee-free. He actually guided me in such a way that I forgot that I was on this "fast" and gave me all the energy that I needed.

When I grabbed my coffee this morning, I set it in the cup holder in the car and prayed again about the minister hunt and then praised my heavenly Father for opening my eyes yet again to the goodness of becoming reliant on Him for all things, especially the things that I think I cannot endure. Thankfully, God is greater than my mind can comprehend.

If you feel comfortable enough to share, then share how God has given you the strength to endure. This can be a new post or an old one where you've shared this answer before. Come back and link to it in Mr. Linky so that we can all be encouraged and witness God's glory made real in you. (I've even added another one of my own so that you can see why I said "again" when I was reminded of God's blessings when we honor Him. I'm so embarrassed and frustrated that I let that one fact slip from the forefront of my mind.)