This week my blog contributor is Jennie Martin. How can you not just absolutely love the Martin family. Jennie has got to be one of the most authentic, compassionate and Godly women I know. Over the past few years I have watched Jennie wrestle out her faith in the challenges she faces with unwavering determination to see God’s faithfulness proven. You will love this week’s message and you will come away richer and with a deeper appreciation of what it is God has in store for you today as you simply obedience and humility and let the truth of her story challenge and empower you to walk with Jesus. Don’t forget to leave a comment.
This year has been a tough one for me spiritually and emotionally. In February I got the heartbreaking call from my brother saying that he and his wife, also a very good friend of mine had lost their son during birth. I have been sharing who Jesus is with this lady for a number of years and she had walked with me through some hard times in my life. This was my turn to help her: was I going to step up to the plate, or cut and run like I normally do?
I was questioning God, why? When I think she is close to accepting the Lord, why would he allow something like this? How is this going to turn these precious people towards God? Wouldn’t it turn them away? I struggled with this and God just dropped into my spirit, “this is a salvation issue” I understood. I didn’t like it, but I understood. If it meant that I would see my brother and his wife in heaven one day, then the loss of their son would be worth it. The fact that he is being brought up in heaven is a comfort for me, and one day, it will be for them.
Following the birth, more complications set in with my friend and she would ring and ask me to pray with her or to go and sit with her in hospital. There was a point where she wasn’t even sure she would be released for the funeral and this consumed her…she had to be there. Fear encompassed her and she could see no way out of this. During this time my prayers, as they have been for years, were along the lines of “Please Lord, heal her. Bring her home today. Give her peace. Fix all that is wrong with her. Amen”. I wanted God to show her that he can heal and I was desperate for her to be released from this anguish. God showed me that he was not a genie who grants people wishes. We don’t just front up to God and give him our list, say thanks and walk off. This was the point that my whole faith started to shake. For years my prayers had been like this. If we aren’t to ask God to fix things, to make things happen, what is the point? If he is just going to do what he wants anyway, what is the point of prayer? If I pray and nothing happens, what’s the point? Do I pray at all? For a time my prayers became empty, full of unbelief. As my friend continued to suffer physically and emotionally, she would ask me to pray and I would, but I was riddled with doubt. After some time, I sought counsel from a lovely lady whom I share a bible study with. She prayed with me and passed on some scriptures to read through.
When we are obedient and humble and pray, God then moves in our lives. There are many examples in scripture of God asking for obedience before delivering on the promise. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a good example of this “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land” He requires obedience before the blessing will come. God also showed me that we are fighting a battle, a spiritual one, and that we can’t just give up and lie down on the front line when things don’t go our way (Eph 6:10-18.) We need to fight, and make a loud noise! We shouldn’t shrug off our armour because we’re not convinced of the plans of the Captain. We need to do our job and stand guard and fight off the enemy as he tries to steal, kill and destroy our loved ones. What good is an army if they lie down and refuse to move? It is our duty and purpose to fight and pray, to fight through prayer.
So what is the point of prayer? When everything else around you appears to be disintegrating and there seems no hope. Aside from everything else, it strengthens our relationship with him. To converse and listen and receive wisdom and teaching. As he is our Daddy in heaven, our best friend, we cannot go through life talking at a person without also listening as they talk; that is not a relationship. If we love a person we seek them out and enjoy the time we spend with them. But more importantly, prayer is an act of obedience on our part. It shows that we are submissive and obedient to Gods will in our life. That he knows our lives and the plans for them far better than we ever could and to surrender to Him brings a freedom. (Jeremiah 29:11) Now, we as women love to sort through things by talking with someone and sharing the load. Prayer has this same purpose. As we talk to God about all our worries and fears, the burden is released. Jesus commands us to give our burdens to him (Matthew 11:28-30) and to carry his yoke. This basically means, share your worries with him, surrender them to him for him to take care of and leave them with him and the burden is released. It is so liberating!
Prayer is an act of warfare sometimes, to fight for and on behalf of our loved ones.
Do I still struggle at times? Yes! Do I grieve for the current situation of not seeing my nephew grow up here on earth and the pain I see in my brother’s eyes and the burdens his wife carries? Yes! Do I trust that God has an awesome plan for their life, one that would be far richer and fulfilling had their son lived? Yes!
Thank you God that you all have us on a journey and that through every experience there is a lesson to be learnt, for every person. Thank you for the journey you have me on and for the opportunity to be a servant for you to these precious people. May we all remain open hearted and teachable in every season of life.