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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Three keys to following Jesus

In my walk with Jesus as a believer, I have realised three keys to following Jesus. These are:

  1. recognising the grace of GOD in my life, 
  2. having a hopeful attitude in life, and 
  3. being aware my perspective toward others must be to put others first.

These are the three keys to my life today, as a follower of Jesus.

Grace of GOD

I have been overwhelmed at the amount of grace GOD has provided as I adjust to the death of my husband. The LORD has upheld me and my teenage son, and others in the family. He has made us stronger than one could ever imagine; we are detached from emotionalism or self pity, wise beyond our experience in how to allow ourselves to grieve without being swamped by the grief, and have been dowsed in the prayer of many others. His grace has been enormous.


Recently, I became particularly aware of His grace through His lifting of some of it.

In the last month, I have been extremely busy with work to do. I have had to focus and have had less time than previously to process all the thoughts, spiritual questions, and paperwork which has arisen with Alan’s passing and my being the sole executor of his estate. When the work arose I thought, “Well, the LORD must think I can manage.”

As I engaged in my responsibilities, I continued to spend time with the LORD, but regrettably less, as I had so much taking up my time. Then I became aware that I was reacting with irritation or impatience as I had been before Alan became ill… part of my flesh which was then burnt away, I thought, through his illness and passing. But here it was again, and I didn’t like it.

I did have confirmation through a faithful and courageous sister in the LORD who spoke to me, gently, that I was not showing thoughtfulness as I might otherwise show. Her word to me was confirmation of what I was already sensing: I need the grace of GOD to live, breathe and move forward in life.

The Lesson: Never underestimate the power and range of God’s grace, and never underestimate its importance and value. 

Hopeful attitude

I made a decision when my husband died to trust the LORD, even though I’d lost my husband.

No matter what happens in life, the sovereignty of GOD will carry us when we allow it.

The Lesson: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart….”

Putting others first

I am a diligent worker, responsible, reliable, organised. That’s all good, but sometimes I get tunnel vision. I am told that I am a loving and a kind person. However, there are plenty of times I can confess to allowing the need to get a job done to take priority over my love toward others. 

Something happened to me during the weeks and months of Alan’s hospitalisation… I relaxed about the “to do’s” in my life. Everything was put aside to engage with Alan, and with the LORD, to secure Alan’s recovery. After Alan passed away, this translated to the care of family and friends in their grieving as well.

By nature I’m pragmatic. While I don’t want to lose the qualities that enable me to get a job done, I don’t want to forfeit the nature I’ve acquired more recently to put the needs of others before the need to get a job done.

The Lesson: God gives us enough hours to do the things that need to be done. We don’t need to lose sensitivity and patience in the process of fulfilling our responsibilities. My nature does not need to be dictated by how much I have to do.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

A Testimony of Grace

“My grace is sufficient” He reminded me, as I prayed before going to visit my husband in hospital…. Here is a testimony of grace, which followed after.

I had asked the LORD, “Is there anything in particular you want me to say”, asking in advance because it is so hard to sense GOD’s presence in a hospital. “My grace is sufficient” was His response. And I knew also, I must pray for His presence to be with us as I visited.

The visit was short, because my hubby was weak and tired, partly because the doctors had given him a medicine that historically drains his blood pressure, medicine they think he needs (therefore they keep trying), which I can see he does not (because I and others like me have prayed the Lord’s protection against medicine he does not need).

I left the meeting and was full of emotion, primarily frustration at the blindness of the well-meaning, well-trained doctors. What precipitated was a 24 hour period without GOD’s grace, though it would take me overnight to even realise the grace had gone.

The despair I was experiencing in the day that followed the visit to hospital was new in this journey of my husband’s recovery. By nature an emotive person, for the last 2 months, I’d been filled with calm detachment, resolve, and determination. Some of these descriptions come from others who have observed me, some of my own recognition. But suffice to say, I gradually realised my patience, a gift from GOD (Galatians 5:22), had been spent and I was needing His grace so that I would not become hardened toward this situation nor to anyone.

I was tested. 

Half way through the next day, a doctor rang to tell me they were lifting the medication that so badly reduces the blood pressure (Praise the LORD) and were taking a test of an internal organ — one the LORD had confirmed was healed.

After the phone call, the oppression which had hounded me since the night before began to lift. At the 24 hour mark, I realised His grace had returned and I’d been on a journey of discovery: discovery of what it is like without His grace; what it is like for those who lack relationship with the Creator of the Universe; what it is like when I am not bathed in His anointing; the distance from my past, when I didn’t know as much of His grace as I do now — how hard hearted or judgmental I can become when I am not in His grace. 


Yes, I was under attack from the enemy. But I was also being tested: how would I behave without the grace of GOD? Would I fall back into old habits or had my character changed? Was I tempted by my emotions or was I grounded in love for Him and others?

I think I passed the test, although of course that is for the LORD to decide. There were moments in that 24 hours when I had options: I could do what I deemed best, or wait; I could follow my will, or give way to the LORD. 

Hallelujah! I think I did not fail. Even without His evident presence, I think I had sufficient grace. I did not lose my temper or give way to despair. Truly, His grace is all any of us needs.

So, when His grace is present, trust Him; and if His grace has lifted, trust Him even more, for it will return. His grace is sufficient to carry us through. Truly, we can “do all things through Christ who gives [us] strength”. (Philippians 4:13)