Pearl Five: In The Presence of Enemies
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5
When I began this journey of offering pearls to transform your life as they have surely transformed mine, I created in advance these images with the pearls named as the Spirit led me. When I finally got to my computer this morning trying to sneak in a moment to share with you, I began laughing when I saw this one. God is in to details and He knew today that I would need this one maybe more than I would need to share it. I am reminded...I will never leave or forsake you!
My husband and I along with some dear friends, JR and Kristen, have felt led to launch a church in our area. A very non traditional church that would be inviting to all people even those that perhaps are turned away by a building that speaks to them they don't fit, even if the people inside would welcome them as I know many local churches would. We have been serving in our lower income housing areas and have been grieved by the need right here in our midst. These people don't need prayer, but hands and feet and options and skills and love. The four of us offered our lives knowing it would not be easy....we will be a part of the solution if you show us where to start. We began praying and circling our city for a building. Every door shut and just when discouragement tried to creep in, He reminded us to REST. So we rested and released the idea of a building and then almost immediately the door opened that would actually be the perfect place, location and size. God's hands were on it no doubt.
However, it seemed the moment we signed the lease the enemy was released with his army....lol. Of course, we believe in this vision and are willing to give all we have, yet will still need resources so the attack begins on the finances we do have. We are driving 3 hours home late from a wedding my husband preached in Natchitoches two Sundays ago, and we pull his car over three times overheated. We get home at almost midnight, but thankful we weren't stranded on small town roads in Louisiana. His car is still in the shop. (This is where I insert my little monkey face with his eyes covered.) My health took a nose dive over the same weekend, and we realize that it could be serious and test must be run. However, we come home to a letter that my health insurance has been cancelled. Trying to endure while we find insurance, a cyst on my ovaries ruptures which I can say beats the pain of labor 10 fold, and my belly swells so I appear to be 6 month pregnant. At this point, we still don't know what is wrong and I made the mistake of looking up symptoms online....I recommend you not doing that! I spent most of Mother's Day on the couch trying to get comfortable to make it to my test on Tuesday without an ER visit since our insurance is so uncertain. Fun day, right? When I finally found reprieve from pain, we decided to sit out back and enjoy the day in my husband's rockers...the one thing he claims are his:) We are enjoying good company with my In-Laws that are in for the weekend while my children are playing with the zip line we put together for their birthday. Not to miss the fun, my father-in-law jumps on the zip line. Then my spunky little Mother-In-Law decides she will too. I still don't how I let this happen, because it sounds crazy repeating it??? Though she did it beautifully and she even claims it was fun, she didn't land quiet gracefully and to be honest it was more along the lines of traumatically. She has a compound fracture (you can look that up because I will spare details here) at her ankle, and I'm still replaying the horror movie in my head. Kids running......Sirens coming....Voices resounding....Zip Line really? Zip Line really? My sister in law will not understand that I didn't stop her! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! She went into emergency surgery Mother's Day evening until about 1 am. Needless to say, she didn't leave on Monday and she is still in the local hospital where everyone knows the story of the precious little Nana that rode the zip line! (Monkey face with eyes covered times 3!!)
All the while the building brought one issue after another.....the water won't come on so it appears the street will have to be dug up to fix, the fire marshall had issues which delays permit, the paperwork is being held up that the bank needs, and we are praying the air conditioners run today when the power is turned on. Jesus help us!
I realize this yesterday....we have gotten in the habit of making this request...Lord if it be Your will open the doors and make the path easy and let there not be hurdles so that we know that we know that we know that we are in Your will. The truth is that even Jesus sent His disciples in a boat into a storm. They were in His will though the storm came, but what is interesting is that Jesus slept. The storm did not move Him. The storm did not raise doubt about His mission. The storm gave Him an opportunity to demonstrate His power. Quiet! Be still! (Mark 4:35-41) And the winds and waves obeyed His voice. His reaction to the storm showed His faith.
Perhaps Jesus was remembering the words of Psalm 23, in the presence of your enemies I prepare a feast. I heard someone say recently that instead of getting armed up to fight when we see our enemy arise, we should rather grab a fork, because according to His Word a feast is being prepared.
It is when we are in the will of God that the enemy seeks to take us down greatest. We have a choice to allow the storms to take us out, or allow the storms to reveal the power of God through us.
We don't have to plead or beg or get loud.....we have the power to say, Quiet! Be still! Grab a fork and get ready for the feast.