COVID-19: God is STILL in Control!

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In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other thing which has caught the world’s attention like COVID-19 (coronavirus). This virus almost has a personality of its own. It slithers its way into airports and palaces, hopping onto buses and trains, waits in line at the mom and pop store on the corner, flys to every continent – except Antarctica – and makes its way into homes, from celebrities to the common man.

It seems to have one mission: Steal. Kill. Destroy.

In fact, today, I visited the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website and saw the figure. An astonishing 23,495. That’s how many confirmed deaths from the coronavirus were recorded after 5 pm. At that hour, there was an overall 512,701 confirmed cases. From actor Tom Hanks and athletes to the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Britain’s Prince Charles, this virus does not discriminate. Nationality, gender, colour, social standing, education…none of this matters to the coronavirus.

More than ever before, people are exercising cleanliness. And I believe using hand sanitizer, washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and infusing the atmosphere with Lysol are so embedded in our psyches that long after we have seen the coniving back of the coronavirus, many will still be exercising caution.

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I can’t help but think though that the God whom we serve is BIGGER than COVID-19. We are reminded in Psalm 46:1 that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

And certainly these are times of concern. I won’t attempt to downplay that fact, as so many people are affected in many ways. In fact, someone recently said on social media, “Can we start 2020 over?”

This pandemic though is cause for us to pause and think of how unpredictable life is. When the ball dropped in Times Square on January 1st and fireworks lit up the skyline over a river in Frankfurt, Germany…when we were sending “Happy New Year” greetings via WhatsApp, who really was thinking about COVID-19? Who thought nations’ health care personnel and resources would be so stretched? Who dreamed we would be standing six feet apart in line at the grocery store and not be able to hug a friend or relative? It is proof that in one year, one month, one week, one day, one hour…within one minute or even the next second, life could take an unexpected, unpredictable, unprecedented turn that’s unpleasant.

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But through it all, God is still in control. Psalm 107:29 says, “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” He is the SAME God and through all of the panic, uncertainty and mounting deaths, he is saying to you…to me, the same three words recorded in Mark 9:39 – “Peace be still.”

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

 

God’s Mercies are NEW Every Morning!

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When I look at this shredded tire, I think of the fact that the Lord’s mercies are new. Every. Single. Morning.

Two days ago, I was riding on this tire, not realizing it until I heard a flapping. Initially, I summed it up as mud under the tire, lifting up and hitting the mud guard as I drove along the highway. In the back of my mind though, I knew that I did not recently ride in mud. However, I continued on my way and it was not until it got LOUDER, while I was off the highway, that I parked on the side of the road to check it out.

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That’s when I saw this and was in shock. Fortunately, a tire shop was literally only about a minute away. I drove slowly and was able to get the tire changed. In fact, I was advised to get both front tires changed – which I did.

According to an employee, the only thing left for the tire to do was BURST!! I don’t speed, but still, the reality is on a highway you don’t drive at a snail’s pace. So imagine had that tire burst as I drove at highway speed? Who knows what could have occurred?!

I praise and bless God’s holy name for allowing me to notice this situation before something terrible happened.

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Meantime, I’ve certainly learned of the importance of inspecting my tires. In fact, I do – to an extent – but only to see whether they need air. Of course, I now realize a more thorough inspection is necessary.

From a spiritual standpoint, it makes me realize that we must continue to examine ourselves. Study the Word of God – which is a mirror – so we can see ourselves for who we are. More importantly, be obedient to what God’s Word tells us to do…the type of lives we ought to live.

If we hear any flapping…if we see any shredded tires, change those tires…change our ways. It certainly goes a long way for a smoother, safer ride.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

 

 

 

 

Are You Missing Out on Your TRUE Love?

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A line in a song by American singer, the late, Whitney Houston states: “Learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all.”

I disagree.

Of course, we are free to have differing views and that’s fine. Maybe she was just singing the lyrics someone else wrote or perhaps that is how she truly felt. I believe self-love is important, but the GREATEST love to exist in my opinion is certainly the fact that the Great God of the universe sacrificed his ONE, DEAR Son to die on a cruel, rugged cross for your sin…and mine, so we can live a victorious life here on earth and live with him eternally.

Love is sacrificial. You know that if you are a mother, father…spouse. When we love, we give of ourselves. Some parents go without lunch so their children could get the resources needed to build that school project, parents sacrifice vacations to send children to college, wives have left their jobs to take care of an ailing husband or parent…the list goes on.

“True love is not hinged on what the other person does or does not do…what the other person can or cannot do. True love is sacrificial and unconditional.”

But imagine the sacrifice of literally sacrificing your child and doing so for a world which doesn’t deserve it?  That’s what OUR GOD did.

The song which comes to mind right now is a line in my FAVOURITE HYMN in ALL THE WORLD, ‘And Can It Be‘:

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That line just AMAZES me! The thought of God sending His Son, who became God in the flesh, to die for ME – a human who came from dust and shall return to dust – is just AMAZING!!!! This love which God AND His precious Son, Jesus Christ has for us is beyond the chocolates, the perfume, the massive floral arrangements…the diamond ring, the date…it is indescribable. Really!

So my question to you on this Valentine’s Day when so many people pull out all the stops, is Are you missing out on your TRUE love? Do you have a relationship with the One who will NEVER leave you NOR forsake you, even when the flowers have withered, the ring needs cleaning and the spark in that relationship is very low?

If you don’t know the God, whom I know – the GREAT I AM that I AM – I encourage you to come into relationship with Him today. No big words are necessary. Start drawing closer to Him, letting him know that you wish to have a relationship. Trust me – you won’t be embarrassed! He won’t leave you hanging. Once you are sincere, he won’t turn you away.

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Wishing you a lifetime of love, with the ONE who loves you like no other!!!

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Clogged Feelings

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Recently, a small piece of soap slipped down the drain of the tub and as small as that was, it caused a back-up of water. The water was draining out of the tub, but slowly. I contacted my brother, who is a plumber, and he got the job done. The water is now freely flowing down the drain.

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As I thought of that simple situation, my mind went on the fact that so many people sometimes have things which are blocking their freedom. You  haven’t been able to get pass how offended you were when your colleague said something to you; you are still holding in a sibling for what he or she did when you were teens; when you hear the name of your college room mate, you want to roll your eyes; you have a problem with the mother who did not invite your child to her child’s birthday party or maybe you aren’t speaking to your neighbour based on an argument over his tree hanging over in your yard. There are a myriad of things which we not only allow to offend us, but we hold them in, allowing malice, hate, unforgiveness…to lodge in our spirits. When we do carry these negative vibes with us, it’s less about the person and more about us, and where we are in our spiritual lives.

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Back in the early 1990s when I was in college, there was a girl who I understood had something to say about me. I didn’t like it one bit! Now, I was never a fighter and had no intention of fighting her, but I surely felt a burning desire to approach her about what I heard she had to say.

I had it all planned. I went as far as going on campus earlier than normal that morning because I knew where she hung out (under a particular tree) and I needed to tell her a piece of my mind. I – with my 110-lb frame back then – was going to fly some words in her face! Well, as per usual, she came walking towards the area with a friend of hers and I confronted her. After I told her my five cents, I walked off, feeling like a champion. I felt I let her know, “I don’t play!” or in modern terms, it would be: “Stay in ya lane!”

Some four years later, I accepted Jesus Christ into my life as Lord and Saviour. I began to grow and change was taking place. Interestingly, about a year into my relationship with the Lord, I was about to go on a fast (it was not my first fast) and the Holy Spirit prompted me. I don’t know why I wasn’t prompted earlier, but God is an on-time God. He brought her face and name to my attention and I instantly knew he was directing me to deal with that matter from years prior.

At that point, I was working and I also knew where she worked, having seen her at that organization a few times. I put pride aside, called her and told her I wanted to apologize for the way I approached her that early morning, under the tree. Believe it or not, she was very receptive and we had a wonderful conversation. And even had she not accepted my apology, most important was to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. Pastor of In Touch Ministries, Charles Stanley, coined the phrase: “Obey God and leave the consequences to Him.”

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When I hung up following that conversation, I was FREE! It was a wonderful feeling and there is nothing like a clear conscious. Honestly, before the Holy Spirit prompted me, I didn’t even think of that incident. When I would see her over the years, she was always far away in distance and we never had to interact. I didn’t feel I was holding her in, but perhaps it needed to be cleared up because she might have been the one holding ME in. I don’t know.

You see, the Bible states clearly in Matthew 5 verses 23 and 24:

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

God knew I had a situation that was not cleared up and it was time to address the matter. Why it took so long for me to be prompted – I don’t know.

Honestly, I’ve had more than one experience like this. I even just had a situation last year, but it took a much shorter time to speak to the individual. In that case, I told her I was VERY HURT. I didn’t even call her; I emailed. She was quite apologetic and I was finally able to move on because before that, just to see her, I would want to avoid her. In fact, I said that had the matter happened BEFORE my wedding, I would not have invited her. That’s how affected I was. It bothered me greatly. I felt she crossed a line. She went too far. I felt I could no longer trust her – if she could go that far.

On the other hand, I’ve had situations where my conscience beat me up and I felt the need to apologize within minutes, hours or within a day or two. God is working on me people!

My prayer is that God will CLEAN ME UP in the name of Jesus because we serve a God who is very forgiving. And of course, we shouldn’t allow people to walk all over us, but certainly, as Christians, we ought not to hold people in. God has called us to “put aside” bitterness, malice etc. (Ephesians 4:31). When we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)! PRAISE YE THE LORD!!!!

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I encourage you to pray and ask God to reveal to you if there are any matters you need to clear up before man and Him. Today, I am more in tune with God, thank God, so to not deal with a matter when I am feeling condemned would be disobedience. The enemy wants to keep us trapped! However: Freedom is beautiful! Unshackle those chains TODAY in the name of Jesus!

 

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah