Tag Archive | women

Roll With The Punches

One of my favorite biblical figures is the Apostle Paul. His story fascinates me. It’s filled with so many twists and turns. It’s unpredictable. What you expect to happen to him NEVER happens! It makes me think of how we sometimes view our own lives. We have timelines filled with joyful milestones and ends happily ever after. We forget the Author of our stories pens no two stories the same but rather chooses characters with flaws and traits that we deem unattractive or undesirable and uses them to accomplish His will. It doesn’t look pretty at first glance. With deeper insight and loss of selfish desires a greater story reveals itself.

I can relate to the apostle Paul. His story in the book of Acts tells of an educated, zealous, and passionate young man. His passion for persecuting Christians was so extreme he earned a reputation that struck fear in the hearts of followers of the Way. How deep must a man’s hatred run for a cause that he would hold the coats of those that stoned an innocent man to death while looking on with pleasure and consent? Reading Paul’s story I often wonder about what he must have been thinking on his way to Damascus before encountering Christ. Was he thinking about his career path? Perhaps wondering what was the magic number of Christians he needed to tyrannize in order to receive a promotion.  Maybe he was daydreaming about how quickly he would advance in life like many of us do today and calculating how to achieve his next set of goals. Nevertheless, his plans were aborted and replaced with more rewarding ones after a transforming ordeal.

The man who turned the world upside down in his pursuit of annihilating the spread of the Gospel would turn the world upside down again in the quest for sharing it to the ends of the earth. His transformation after encountering Jesus was so drastic and unique no one knew what to make of him. He preached the Gospel with intensity and devotion. Yes, one of the greatest persecutors of the early church was now its biggest promoter. Was this the life Paul dreamed for himself? A life full of rejection, stoning, beatings, imprisonment, and suffering. One without comfort, riches, and ends in a violent death.

Sometimes we can look at our lives and become discouraged because they don’t resemble our dreams. I admire the apostle Paul because he rolled with the punches. Jesus said this about Paul, “…he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. “ The zeal and commitment Paul exhibited as an apostle was genuine because he was living the dream.  He was fulfilling his purpose in life. His testimony was shared numerous times and carried him places he may have never travelled to before his conversion. His experiences shaped him into a mighty missionary. Debates only fueled his drive for sharing truth and dispelling myths. He lived a life of uncertainty but was secure in his faith and belief in the resurrected Savior. He surrendered himself completely to God to be used for His glory.

Paul’s story may sound daunting to you but He says this about the life he lived, “And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Paul’s satisfaction was found in obedience to the will of God. Life is filled with uncertainty. Roll with the punches. Be passionate. Give it your all. Live! Fulfill your life’s purpose. It’s one of life’s greatest rewards.

-Kilra Williams

 

Acts 20:22-24 “22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself,[b] so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (NKJV)

Acts 9:15-16 “15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (NKJV)

Acts 14:22 “…We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (NKJV)

A Cure For The “What Ifs” : A Lesson Learned From A Preschooler

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“What are we going to do now, mommy?”, asks my sweet , 4 year old daughter, Rachel, as she watches her brother wave from the school bus window as it passes by. We have 15 minutes to kill before Pre-K begins. Some mornings we listen to songs on the local gospel station and sing along to the top of our lungs or discuss the scenes outside the minivan windows as we pass the time. I believe Rachel and I set the tone for our day in this moment. The joy and laughter we share is energizing and refreshing. It’s only a two minute drive from our house to the preschool in which Rachel’s mood can change from happy to anxious.  I grip her tiny hand and softly sing to her as I walk her to her classroom. As we near the door she becomes anxious and walks slower. I anticipate the question on her mind. “Who’s picking me up today? You or Daddy?” she says.  I calmly reassure her that one of us will return for her. The look in her eye conveys a message of doubt. I hug Rachel tightly and kiss her forehead wishing her a good day. As I turn to leave she follows me and stands in the doorway still uncertain of my return. I look her in the eyes and say, “You’re going to have a good day and you’re going to be okay.” Walking up the hallway I know she’s standing in the doorway watching me leave when I hear the Holy Spirit say to me, “You’re going to be okay.” This powerful declaration is one that many believers long to hear.  When facing the trials and tests of life we too can behave as children seeking the reassurance of our Savior that we’re going to be okay.

How many times in life are you surrounded by uncertain circumstances and feel unsure of the outcome?  How many times do you allow the “what ifs” to creep into your head breeding thoughts laced with fear, abandonment, and despair? When you focus on your problems in this way, you open the door for the Enemy to infiltrate your thoughts with exaggerated imaginations of scenarios that are unlikely to occur. These stressful thoughts can cause headaches, nausea, and even panic attacks. Fear of the unknown can paralyze you and envelope you like a python snake, slowly squeezing the life from you.

John 10:10 declares, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” It’s empowering to know that Jesus promises us an abundant life filled with peace. You don’t have to worry about the “what ifs.”  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”, is the instruction given in Proverbs 3:5-6. The cure for the “what ifs” lies in trusting God’s promises and His timing. He promise is to never leave you.

When hopelessness and doubt overwhelm you pray and speak God’s Word with authority. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” You’re going to be okay. Let your faith in God be greater than your fear of the “what ifs.” “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Refocus your thoughts for as you do the cry of the “what ifs” will grow silent and the voice of the Holy Spirit will magnify as He speaks these comforting words to you, “ You’re going to be okay.”
-Kilra Williams