For Certain

We were standing in line for our lunch at work. A good few people had gone ahead of us and we were waiting for more food to be brought out. One of our residents came into the employee line. She’s a pleasant lady, but her memory isn’t what it used to be. She doesn’t have the ability to understand that she has a specialized tray that will be prepared specifically to meet her needs, and brought directly to her. So she looked at the food in the employee buffet and said, “Well I was gonna get something to eat, but looks like I may need to go somewhere else.” One of my coworkers, who I love dearly, looked at our resident and said, “Oh no ma’am. There’s one thing I know for certain and two things I know for sure, you are going to be taken care of.” My heart began to smile.

This scene has run through my mind several times. It comforts me for a few different reasons. Though our resident doesn’t have the ability to know that there was something better prepared for her, someone cared enough to remind her. Thankfully I still retain the capacity to remember and make my own decisions. My situation isn’t the same at all, but I can relate to it. I’ve been so depressed before that my very thoughts seemed to challenge my next thought to be more negative. In my way of thinking at the time I couldn’t see any hope for the future, but my best friend would remind me..this too shall pass. She knew I was going through a rough patch, as we call it, but had the faith to believe that my circumstance would change for the better… “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

All things work together. So my bad situation could be taken and made good. It’s true. There are times we can’t see the truth despite the blessings that God has given us throughout our life. Choose to be a person that builds others up. Choose to be that person that speaks truth to individuals when their own reasoning seems to be failing them. Choose to love them. And the greatest love we can offer to a hurting individual in the world is Jesus Christ.

There’s one thing I know for certain, and two things I know for sure, you’re gonna be taken care of. That saying doesn’t make much sense a mind that would try to reason the logic of it, but it comforts me. There’s such a finality of protectiveness and security in it. I asked my friend about it after she said it, and she shared that her Mama had a saying for everything. When she would be upset or didn’t know how something would work out her mama would tell her this, and I see how those words would calm her as a child.

There’s a simple trust that children have in their parents. I see that trust in my own little girls towards me and it warms my soul. Just this morning my youngest daughter jumped out of the car at me. I hadn’t been expecting her to do that at all. My heart caught within my chest as I barely was able to get a good hand on her to keep her from falling. She laughed the whole time. I asked her.. “Why did you do that?” and she said… “You were standing there Mama.” My heart felt good and I was proud. My daughter didn’t question jumping out of a vehicle much taller than she is. She didn’t fear the hard concrete that would have broken her fall, because simply, I was standing there. She knew that I would do all that I could do to make sure that she would be ok.

That is the love and trust that I desire to have in my Savior. He has displayed that love for His children in countless ways through the ages. I have a sound assurance that I will be taken care of because He has taken care of me countless times in my past. I know for certain that He will do everything He can for me because He has already given me everything. So many writers have penned much more beautiful phrases of God’s faithfulness and His ability to provide for His children. Even still, I have a passion within me that causes me to take this small talent and once again attempt to explain such a love that calls the God of all creation to give His only begotten Son Jesus Christ for the likes of you and I.

Jesus Christ, the indefinite and all-powerful Son of God willingly laid His life down. He was beaten, He was spit upon, He was shamed. His life’s blood flowed freely from wounds lashed open by whips. His father allowed such pain, and one of His closest friends denied that he even knew His name. Jesus died a horrible death. He gave everything for you and I. How beautiful is this love, how immeasurable? I can’t explain it. I don’t know why I was given such an amazing gift in Jesus, but because of that sacrifice I can, with all confidence, say that…There is one thing I know for certain and two things I know for sure, you are going to be taken care of.

The answers you are seeking may not be answered today. You may have to trust Him and wait on the provision, but the answer will come. My mom sings an old song. Her voice is deep and rich. God has given her such an anointing so that when she sings…people stop and listen. I’ve heard her sing this song knowing that her heart was troubled over situations that seemed unmovable, but I also know that she has a deeper understanding of a God that is able to move the unmovable. And when I’m troubled.. I love to listen to her sing… “Sometimes your cup may get bitter…so bitter that you wanna cry…but through your tears call on Jesus, and God with fix it all right after a while.. and after a while it’ll all be over…after a while the sun’s gonna shine…after a while dark clouds will pass over and we’ll shout hallelujah after a while..”

Your situation may be bad, your heart may be heavy. You may be so burdened by the troubles you have gone through that you have even began to question the reality of your Savior. But though you see no hope of change right now…There is one thing I know for certain and two things I know for sure, you are going to be taken care of. If you have committed your life to Jesus Christ.. then let all hell assail you..let all man forsake you…let all your earthly possessions be lost with no hope of return, but even still, there will be no weapon that is formed against you that will prosper. This is our inheritance, this is our promise. We will be taken care of.

Author: Britney Wilkes
Copyright © 2010-2013 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm  Comments (1)  

My Onesiphorus

“The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.” 2 Timothy 1: 16-18

The apostle Paul is inarguably among the most influential Christians of all time. A large portion of the New Testament has been attributed to his writings. Paul, who was once known as Saul of Tarsus, was radically and miraculously changed while traveling from Jerusalem on the road to Damascus when Jesus very literally blinded him.

The man he once was, Saul, persecuted and beat Christians, but after his encounter with Jesus he couldn’t be the same. Paul went on to preach the Gospel of Christ with passion and zeal. He testified to kings of what Jesus had done in his life. I imagine people were amazed to witness the man who once sought to destroy the one who carried Christ’s name, now pleading for them to be saved by that very Christ. Paul said of himself in Acts 26: 11 “And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.” But such is God’s ability to completely take charge of even the coldest of hearts. The determination he once knew in persecuting the church took a different direction. Paul now sought to tell people of the redeeming grace that freed him…of the miraculous power that blinded him, yet somehow managed to allow him to truly see.

Certainly Paul never struggled. Certainly he never needed any encouragement. This was Paul! …and yet he did. The Word says that Onesiphorus, a friend of Paul, often refreshed him. In fact Onesiphorus would seek him out, sometimes searching for him until he found him to speak good things to him. The Word doesn’t specify all the many ways that Onesiphorus ministered to him, but by Paul’s thankfulness I would imagine it was more than just a general pat on the back. In reading this my heart became stirred regarding Onesiphorus.

My heart began longing to be that type of encouragement for others who are needing those words of affirmation. There’s much truth to the Word in Proverbs 18:21.. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue..” In a very literal sense it’s awesome for someone notice the good work that you’re doing. Validation is great. When good work is recognized it makes you want to work harder. In the same manner, an individual who is beaten down and told they are worth nothing may not truly attempt to be more than that.

So be someone’s Onesiphorus. Seek someone out to speak life into their hearts. Life is hard. Work is hard. Living, though rewarding…can be troublesome…and like water can quench a dry thirst, your words have the ability to refresh the dry and tired spirit.

I count myself very blessed. I have an Onesiphorus. My best friend is sickeningly sweet. I have told her several times that she is one of the best people I know and I sincerely mean that. She and I have been best friends for many years. In the course of those years she has seen me at my absolute worst. On those days when she knows I’m struggling she will seek me out and find me. We’ll talk it out usually, or she’ll allow me to talk it out, and then she refreshes my spirit. It’s a very natural thing for her to do because her walk with the Lord is revealed in her words and her actions. I can’t help but be refreshed when I’ve spent time with her.

Onesiphorus wasn’t ashamed of Paul’s chains. I’m not certain what those chains were, but they bound him evidently. Personally, my chain is depression. I battle it and it’s struggle’s make me tired. My best friend is always quick to remind me that the depression will pass and I will again feel like myself, but more than that, she calls my name before the Lord in prayer. She reminds me of Christ’s faithfulness to see me through the uncertain times.

We all go through times where we question life. Things change and chains are formed. At times the chains we wear are only visible by those who are closest to us, and at other times those chains can be seen by everyone in our world. Paul said Onesiphorus could see the chains that bound Paul and he didn’t care. He wasn’t ashamed of the hard times. When other might have turned their back on Paul he sought them out. Onesiphorus wasn’t ashamed of those hard places in life. In prayer to God Paul said.. “You know very well how many ways he ministered to me while in Ephesus.” Paul’s stay in Ephesus was a trying one. Because of his belief and unbridled passion for preaching the Word of God Paul was imprisoned at least once in Ephesus. It was a profitable time for Paul because of the vast opportunities he had to spread God’s Word, but it was a hard time. Ephesus drained him. And even in this hard time, Onesiphorus ministered to Paul.

I want to be like Onesiphorus. I want to be an encouragement to others. I want the words I speak to others to point to the Savior that can truly refresh a broken spirit. I want to be the one who walks a little farther to reach the hurting heart that needs to be reminded of God’s healing. I remember the Onesiphorus in my life. Onesiphorus’ name literally means ‘Profit Bearer’. Indeed these people are such a great profit to have. The Onesiphorus’ that stayed when others left, the ones that made a point to remind you of a great Savior who’s made provision for a great future.

So Father, would you please bless my Onesiphorus, please be a fence and shield of protection in their life. Please allow me the opportunity to bless them in times of need. More importantly, let me remind them of how great you are.

Author: Britney Wilkes
Copyright © 2010-2013 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on January 21, 2013 at 6:33 pm  Comments (2)