Throughout 2022, I wondered if I would ever again be strong enough to do ministry effectively.  There were some days when I had to fight to get out of bed – mostly physically, but sometimes emotionally. Cancer can do that.  But what I knew for sure – every day – is that I could get up and offer myself. For Jesus, that was always and is always enough.   

Many years ago, I heard my dear friend, Donna Gaines, tell the story of her husband’s illness. Being called to one of the greatest churches in the land, Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, he also faced a weakening of the body. Donna taught us the story of Gideon in Judges 6. I think you will be blessed to hear this.

 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? … The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”  Judges 6:13-14 NIV

Donna said that the Lord spoke this verse to her husband as the opportunity presented itself before him. “Go in the strength you have…”. Although that was more than a decade ago, I have never forgotten that testimony. And today Steve Gaines walks strong through the pulpit with a heart for evangelism and compassion for the people. Called by God the Father, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Emotional pain lurks about the edges of the mind, seeking snippets of fresh hurt to attach itself to. The war is as ferocious as any battle of guns and swords.  It wants to destroy the light in you, the joy that reigns openly in bright powerful hope and to rob you of daily victory in Christ.  The Light is at the ready, magnificent and unblemished, daring the darkness to try its best, and leading the way to life. Unlike physical battles, in this one you get to choose the victory. 

Jesus understood these feelings as He walked the earth and saw the people. He spoke of the “darkness” attempting to invade our minds as we fight the spiritual, emotional, and physical battles.   He then extended hope through these words of victory:

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”   John 8:12 NLT

Stroke victim/Author/Speaker/Servant Leader, Katherine Wolf, says, “If you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Your dreams may look different than you imagined, but they can be more than you imagined. Life will be hard, but it will also be good.”  

Whatever you are facing today, present yourself to the One Who created you, Who loves you dearly, Who longs to bless you abundantly. PRAY:  “Lord Jesus You alone are the One Who lights the darkness; lead me this day to choose light; the good thoughts from a Good Father that reproduce joy in others and in me.”

Still Expecting Amazing,

Diane Strack