Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Remember My Bonds

There is an old song called "God on the Mountain." The very first line is "Life is easy when you're up on the mountain..."

That is so true, isn't it?

It is easy to give God the praise He deserves when everything is going your way.

But then you find yourself in the valley and the song changes, things aren't as simple anymore and it is MUCH harder to keep that positive attitude in times of trouble and heartache.

I bet all of us know someone that is always living in the valley, someone who you are afraid to ask, "So, how are you?" because you REALLY don't want to know.

Doom and gloom, trouble on every side, always in a crisis....

It is hard trying to see the positive side ALL of the time, I will admit it. There are times when I get my eyes off of Him and get them on my circumstances and when I do, I feel overwhelmed, even hopeless at times.

I have had to tell myself "NO, you are not doing this!"

I have had to rebuke negative thoughts and the one that brings the doubt and the fear into my life.

And I try to monitor what I say to people. I live for the Almighty, Omnipotent, All Powerful King of Glory, and that should be apparent by my actions, my speech, my life.

What am I telling the person that is looking for answers to the emptiness of their lives if all they hear from me are my problems? Do you think that will encourage them to seek Him for their own answers?

Please understand, I believe in prayer, I believe prayer changes things. NO, I don't just believe it, I know it without a shadow of doubt in my mind. He still moves stones, He still delivers, He still heals and He still hears. There is nothing too small and nothing too large for Him.

I do believe that when I am faced with problems I need to call on His Name and I need to seek other Saints to pray with me.

But I don't need to let my situations consume me. That "whoa is me" attitude has no place in my life. And I also don't believe that I need to use my problems to draw others attention to me, the kind of "Look at me, look what I am going through" mentality has no place in my life.

I have suffered, I have hurt, and I have longed for change in my life, but if at any time I have allowed my own problems to cause someone else to say "Man, I wish she would hush already," then I am truly sorry for that. I pray that is never the case, and if it is or has been, I pray that Jesus will change me, remove that attitude from my life.

Because, believe it or not, there are many things that go on in my life that only He knows about. And although you may never specifically know what they are, you know that I am a living, breathing person, therefore I have problems.

So, here is what you do: Know that life is not always easy for me, just as I know that about you, and PRAY for me. Remember me when you seek His face, call out my name before the throne. Remember my bonds.

I was struck by the words of Paul today in Colossians 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

This is the very LAST verse in the Book of Colossians.

There are 94 other verses in that book alone. And in those verses Paul talks about thanksgiving, grace, joy and love.

But in only one verse, that very last verse does he mention it, the fact that he has a need.

A desperate need.

On four or more years during his ministry Paul was in prison, literally.

And while he was he wrote Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians.

While he was in bonds, he continued to work, he continued to exalt the church, continued to correct, to lead, to teach and to love.

It was during an imprisonment he wrote: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, 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 on these things.

While in bondage he continued steadfast in the work of the Lord. And instead of Epistles that paint a picture of how unfair and unjust life had been to Paul, we are painted a beautiful masterpiece of faith in the face of impossible circumstances.

That is the testimony I want to leave behind.

Not how bad my problems were, but how good my God was to me.

Are my problems gone? No.

Remember my bonds when you pray, as I will yours.

BUT....my bonds are NOT what I want you to remember about me....not what I want to fill up the pages of my life story.

Yes, they are there, but I want my life to tell the story of what I did in spite of the circumstances I may have found myself in. I don't want the problems of my life to be the plot...I want them to be a side note.

Let that be the closing line, not the opening one....

Oh, by the way....remember my bonds.


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