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Stretch Forth Thine Hand

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. ~ Mark 3:1-5

God had used this passage of verses before to touch my heart as I wrote about back in October last year.  These past few days, God allowed me the chance to go to a ladies’ conference which has been SO good for my soul!  One of the nights, they had “prayer tunnel” created by having two lines facing each other of ministers’ wives and all the ladies lined up to walk in between the two lines. As you walked through, the ministers’ wives prayed over us. As I went through something in my so deeply prayed for a husband and for God to just do whatever else He wanted with my life- use me as He will, move me where He will, keep me with my sicknesses or take them away.  As I finished up handthe line I went to sit back in my seat and felt the need to open my Bible. It automatically fell on the above passage and instantly I felt God saying that He wanted to make the final healing in my heart.  I will NEVER be ready for Isaac without a fully healed heart.  As I allowed the words to sink in, I cried, thanking God and I stretched forth first one hand and then the other.  Tears streaming down, I let go of the things in my heart. I stretched my hands out in faith, believing Him faithful to heal me.  I post this in faith, continuing to believe that I was healed! My heart is whole- whole from Ex #1, whole from Ex #2, even whole from giving up the third guy- unofficially an ex… from consciously choosing God over the first guy to treat me like gold.  I know I made the right choice and either he’ll come to God and we’ll end up together, or God will send someone else- but I know more than ever that I did make the right choice and that I have hope.  I have hope that God will honor my choice- that He will not leave my soul in pain unless there is a plan and a reason- even if it’s because my Isaac has more to grow before he’s ready to be the man I need.  I trust you God, I trust You Jesus. I stretched forth my hand and I am healed!!!

Rebekah M.

Related post:

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/10/07/forgiveness-and-renewal-revisited/

The Visions: Loved like Gomer Was

To those who haven’t been keeping up with my scattered series, back in February I was messing up- unofficially dating a guy who wasn’t in church and it got to the point God felt the need to send a prophet to email my parents visions he had seen of me to prevent me from making horrible mistakes in my life.  With all of it fading more and more into my past and becoming more sure-footed on the straight and narrow towards God, I want to close up the series with this thought: I am loved like Gomer was.

aloneFor those who don’t know, Gomer was the wife of the prophet Hosea.  A prostitute and adulteress, she left him to go back on the streets that he had taken her off of and God told him to bring her back in Hosea chapter 3.  So the prophet bought her back. Redeemed her of her past- just has Jesus has done for me.  I praise and thank God that He found a way to bring me out of a situation that could have potentially led to me who knows? From the visions it seems that I may have slept with him eventually, even left church!  What an amazing God to save me from such BIG mistakes!

God sees us in our worst light- moments where we are turning from Him in doubt or despair – and loves us anyhow.  We are beloved of God! As with Gomer who ran away and committed the ultimate betray and Hosea still took her back and loved her- so is Christ with us!!! Turn back to Jesus today if you are running from Him for you are running from the very being that loves you more than anyone or anything in the universe!!! Jesus paid your debt of sin so that you could have a real relationship with Him!!! Find, as I did, that no matter how much I turned away from Him, blamed Him, and disobeyed His Word, He still loved me and He still loves you!!!!

Know that YOU are God’s beloved and He just wants to love you,

Rebekah M.

Related posts:

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/01/28/praying-monday-pressing-on/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/01/29/a-daddys-chastisement/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/02/14/the-visions-part-1/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/02/28/the-visions-part-2/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/04/12/the-visions-part-3/

Guest Post: Heather Mertens “The Light Is Just Where We Need It”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. We are excited to be able to bring you all this encouraging post to just keep walking where God lights the way. Included with this post is a photograph taken by her daughter! 🙂  Thanks for sharing both Heather and her daughter! 🙂 ~Rebekah M. 

40YearWanderer_Heather_Mertens4

Aren’t you used to walking into a dark room and flipping a switch to see a flood of light show you where you are and what the surroundings include? We don’t normally have lights that just light up the spot we are standing in. We don’t buy flashlights that just light up the immediate area around the flashlight. Instead we want lights that go as far as possible so that we can see what is way ahead of us.

But God doesn’t always work that way and He IS the light. His light is a lamp just at our feet, waiting to show us where to step out on faith next.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105

For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness. – 2 Samuel 22:29

He wants us to explore our faith – be it as small as a mustard seed or largely filled with praises to no end believing in the miraculous healing needed at the moment. Explore our faith, yes! We tend to be stuck in the faith we know. I was stuck once in my life { one LONG period in my life! } where the only faith I had was the faith I knew. But when God opened my eyes through working in my life and through His Word, I started to see that I could explore that faith to expand it. I could even ASK FOR MORE. Even when we have a tiny amount of faith we have enough to ask for more.

There was a man who went to Jesus for something. He asked Him to save his son ‘if you can.” They had just enough faith – still inside doubt – to ask Him for help. His response?

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:23-24

He asked. He received.

Even the apostles asked for more faith.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” – Luke 17:5

So what happens when we take that little bit of faith and we ask for more and we just… LET HIM?

He works. That’s all it takes. He moves on our behalf. He shines the light in the darkness. He wants us to trust and ask because he desires for us to know how much He loves us.

So let’s dig even deeper, shall we friends?

Why do you think He only lights just the portion of the path right in front of us?

I leaned in deep to find out, to listen to Him, and I saw His light shine right where I needed it. I believe He does it so that we will know without a shadow of a doubt { the light casts out the shadows, right? YES!!  that He wants and desires to take care of us, to guide us, to love us. He said that.

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. – Isaiah 42:16

When we are leaning in and looking is when we see more. There are times in our lives when He reveals something – just a portion – that is further into our future but it always has to to do with His plan and calling on our lives. And although that doesn’t happen often, He does reveal Himself in a light that shines out further along the path. I’ve had this happen more and more in the last several years. Why? {I think the answer is more simple that we humans want to admit.}

Why?

Because I asked.

The Light is just where we need it
and it always awaits us.

I am running after His light to show me where I am headed. Whom to touch. Whom to bless.

Go ahead. Ask. He will answer. And never will He let the darkness win.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5

It may seem daunting as you run the race. But run fast ahead following that light.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

Bless you my friends,

~ Heather

You might also enjoy my similar guest post here on Being Rebekah: 10 Things Life Teaches If We Are Learning

Heather Mertens has spent 40+ years wandering through life – at first aimlessly and now at last with drive, passion, and commitment to Christ who called her out of the darkness. Her life has brought depression and healing, death and life, destruction and repair, sadness and victory – and above all else … Love.

What started as a gifted love for writing, blossomed into a ministry and a career. She penned a Christmas poem at age 7 for her father who carried it in his wallet until the day he died a few years later. She knows deeply how words can touch a life. Her writings and books can be found at www.40YearWanderer.wordpress.com ~ Life, Love, Joy… Found!

All Scripture quoted from the ESV Bible.
Image Permission granted by: EmmLe Images

Published by permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

Ambassadors for Christ

ambassadors

This week has been a tough week for the United States. Between the bombing in Boston and the explosion in Texas, many people in this country are grieving and recovering from tragedy. For those of us in New England, the tragedy is still unfolding.

Personally, I know several people who were running in the marathon this past Monday, several more who were near the finish line cheering on the racers, plus I have friends and a couple of relatives that live within blocks of where the bombings occurred. Today, most of Boston and many of the surrounding communities were in lock-down. Although my place of work was open, many of the businesses around us were not. Several of our employees could not come in to work because they live in the lock down zone and were ordered to stay in their homes. Others could not come in because the entire MBTA (our public transportation system) was shut down. Even the taxi services weren’t running for a large part of the day. Although I live a bit outside of the area that is on lock down, I must have seen close to thirty police cars on my way to work. A co-worker sent me a picture of a soldier patrolling the street right outside her window. It is the type of thing that one might expect to see in a war zone, but not in our own backyards.

Yet in all of this, heroism and selflessness abound. It is important to remember that the love of God continues to flow in calamity. He continues to reach out through the hands and feet of countless ordinary citizens; volunteers, donators, EMTs, first responders, nurses, physicians, surgeons, and law enforcement. For every psychopath or terrorist, there are hundreds of compassionate hearts that are moved to action. We have all read the stories of every day citizens who came together to offer food, blankets or a hug to someone lost in their grief. We’ve seen the pictures of untrained hands pinching off the femoral artery to keep a victim from bleeding out. Perhaps we saw the list online of the thousands of people who offered their homes and a hot meal to those displaced in the tragedy. And let us not forget the police officers who ran towards the location of the blast (not knowing if there were more bombs that would go off), while everyone around them ran away. Or what about the doctor who was exhausted from having run and finished the 26.2 mile race? After the bombs went off he immediately ran to Mass General Hospital and within 90 seconds of arriving was scrubbed in to surgery. 48 hours later, that surgeon was still performing surgeries for the victims of the marathon. He was in surgery almost non-stop for over 48 hours after he had just run a marathon! There are heroes among us. Real people, living real lives. Tired, hurting, fallible people, who go beyond their normal physical and emotional limitations to reach out to those around them.

Those acts of heroism do not negate the grief or right the wrong, but they are reminders of love and humanity. Reminders we desperately need at times like this. When we grieve, God grieves with us. I believe He feels the pain that we feel. When we are hurting, He hurts with us. When Jesus walked the earth, He was filled with compassion and time and time again, He reached out to touch the sick and hurting. He brought restoration to people.

As believers, it is our job to represent Jesus on this earth. The enemy wants us to be immobilized by fear, but God wants us to be mobilized to serve!

People can serve without knowing Christ, but can we truly know Christ without serving? If we claim to know Him, we should be on the front lines of service. When horror strikes close to home, it is then that our friends and neighbors need us the most. I want to encourage all of us to serve one another in humility and love. Reach out to the hurting, donate to the destitute, offer a couch to the displaced, pray for the grieving. Be His hands and His feet and His mouth and His listening ear.

Be an ambassador for Christ.

In His Love,

Rebekah L

The Visions: Part 3

This is part of an email that was sent to my parents by a prophet (who calls my dad uncle because in the Chinese culture anyone your father’s age is an “uncle”) in another country before I wrote what I did in Praying Monday: Press On but they didn’t receive it until afterwards. In it there were three visions. After they confronted me the next day about these visions, I wrote A Daddy’s ChastisementThe Visions: Part One was posted 2/14/13. I was messing up- unofficially in a relationship with a guy who didn’t know God and worse yet, doing things that I shouldn’t with him. Not THAT, but still wrong in God’s eyes. People, some even in church, told me it wasn’t bad or wrong so long as it wasn’t THAT, but God’s standards are not our standards.  I pray that in revealing these visions the prophet had of me, those of you who might be contemplating going down the same road are warned and those who have been there encouraged that God loves you even when what He saw you do this:

HPIM0322.JPGThird picture He show me was I see your daughter she go in the church. She  very happy worship God in the church. The man comes. He sit beside at church. Sudden church seem to bright. Air uncomfortable. The man hurts her. She go to another seat. She worship God. Another man come sit next to her. And church is become too warm. Uncomfortable. This man hurts her too. She go out the church. A man call to her from shade. She go over. Is very cool in shade. Is not too bright. Is fresh air. Everything is better with him. She need decide, lead him in to church or stay in cool shade with him. She know she should lead him in to church, but she remember how inside was so uncomfortable. She feel much better outside. So she stay outside in nice cool shade. And is nice outside for awhile. Then the shade sudden become very dark. The nice cool shade become cold darkness! Dark as night. The storm come. She try to get out of storm. She try run to church. She not can open the door. She not can get inside. The poison inside her make her to weak to open door. 

The bold letters are the prophet’s formatting.  He then urged my parents to pray for me before it was too late and I was too weak to open the door. Given that it’s been over 2 months since this all happened, it’s still flooring to see how God did everything.  I have been trying to lead this guy to Christ. I have made my choice. With tears streaming down my face I told him that he was what I wanted, but not what I needed.  I needed a praying man. I needed a man who knew as much as I did (and would teach our future children) that Jesus loves us beyond words. He loves us so much that He died for our sins.  He’s even said he would read John chapters 1-3 with an open mind (although I’m not 100% sure how well that will turn out since he isn’t sure when he’ll find the time just some vague… “eventually”).

Regardless… Praise God! Praise God that He had this sent before it was too late. Before I was so full of poison that I couldn’t get back to Him. Praise God that what was one of my most mortifying moments in my life brought about one of the greatest blessings in my life: nightly family prayer 🙂  I don’t know if this guy will ever stop walking the line, but I know that I can’t date him and think it won’t affect me.  The detail in this is incredible. He didn’t know of my exes and yet plain as day- both were “in church” and yet both hurt me badly. Drove me away from looking for guys in the church- especially when the guy outside is SO much nicer than them.  But those were only two guys and don’t represent all guys in the church- God’s shown me that in the time since.  I just have to keep waiting on Him, being a light, and seeing where God takes things 🙂

Jesus, 

Thank You once again for saving me. Thank You for bringing the visions to my parents attention before it was too late.  Thank You Lord! Thank You Jesus! I praise You and I thank You! I love You Jesus! 

Rebekah M. 

Related Posts:

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/01/28/praying-monday-pressing-on/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/01/29/a-daddys-chastisement/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/02/14/the-visions-part-1/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/02/28/the-visions-part-2/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/05/02/the-visions-loved-like-gomer-was/

“Don’t You Want Him to Walk?”

My roommate and I were in the city this weekend. He was about to begin his 12th straight day of working. The past few days had been long, usually between 15-18 hours, he was fighting off a virus (unsuccessfully, and the next morning would see me at the pharmacy to fill his antibiotic prescription), and the weather was frigid. This last part I suppose can be expected in March in New York, but if you are or know someone who is in a wheelchair, you know the cold can wreak some havoc. So it was that on this morning, between the exhaustion, the illness, and the cold, he found himself flat-out unable to drive his wheelchair.

This had happened in brief spurts (ie to get in and out of elevators) a few times already this week, resulting in two things: 1) a very frustrated roommate; and 2) a new hobby for me. Heck yes. Occasionally this also resulted in a third thing – a near-death experience for the poor guy. I wasn’t that bad – it was mostly preemptive nervousness on his part. Still, it’s safe to say that fill-in wheelchair driving is not my calling. But it’s definitely very fun!

This particular morning we were headed in to his job and he realized that he couldn’t drive his chair at all. Not even a little bit.  Much as I love maneuvering the joystick (it’s a science. And an art form. And did I mention fun?), I didn’t quite trust myself to do so on the NYC sidewalk in the middle of the morning commute. You shouldn’t trust me to do that either. SO, what we ended up doing was disengaging the motor so I could push the chair from behind. In short, we made the motor chair into a manual one. A very heavy (something like 250 lbs), cumbersome manual one. That now needed to be pushed a whole block. Uphill. Gyms are overrated, people. Wheelchair pushing’s where it’s at.

Anyway, we were halfway there and I was already out of breath (probably because gyms are not in fact overrated, I just don’t go to them very often). Somebody passed us and stopped us. Thinking he needed directions, I stopped, supporting the wheelchair with my body (gravity likes to take things that were rolling uphill and push them back down) while trying to give this guy my attention. And free my hands. I’m Italian and directions aren’t directions unless you’re gesturing.

Instead of asking for directions, the guy started pulling out a CD case with the twin towers on it (not sure why), and asking if he could tell us about something. This marvelous person called Jesus. Right. Well….I commend him for that. I’m all for talking about Jesus to random passersby. But as it happened, I have heard of this Jesus guy before. 🙂 I was out of body strength, my roommate was late for work, and I’m pretty sure the guy just wanted to sell a CD.  I didn’t feel much emanating from him spiritually. So I made my apologies and we continued on our way.

And sure enough, the guy got desperate. “Wait! Don’t you want your husband to walk?”

As it happens, I don’t have a husband. If I did, I suppose I’d love it if he could walk. I’d also love it if he couldn’t. As long as it’s the path God has for us, either scenario is just fine with me.  As for my roommate, I’d love for him to walk too. It’s even been prophesied to me that this will happen someday. I’ve witnessed enough healing miracles to know that it’s certainly possible.

What I don’t love, can’t stand in fact, is promising miracles in order to get people to shell out their money for things they may not understand. I also don’t love using evidence of people’s problems as a means to guilt trip them. If this is what you’re doing for Jesus, somebody is leading you in the wrong direction. Jesus is about love first. How does either of those things help you love on somebody? It may be you’re supposed to pray for someone for a healing or a miracle. But in those cases, you pray first. You don’t make a pitch.

The whole thing left my roommate more frustrated than ever, keenly aware of his physical shortcomings, and annoyed with “Jesus freaks” everywhere (not his real words; I’m embellishing). Pretty sure it undid a few months worth of godly influence too – he hasn’t asked to pray much since then.

The moral of the story is God doesn’t need a sales pitch. He just needs our obedience to His plan and His timing. I’m not saying to be timid in approaching people. Not at all. But be discerning. Ask God for the words. Ask God for wisdom and guidance in your actions, and ask for His heart and His love for the person you’re about to talk to.  Once we’re all doing that, let’s see some genuine God-given miracles! ….and not some guilt trips or sales pitches.

God bless!

~Rebekah A

Rough Day

An upright man gives thought to his ways (Proverbs 21:29)

So today was rough. I started the day with finding out I missed something on a patient that, although not fatal, was a BIG thing to miss. Nothing bad happened, but I shouldn’t have missed it. Later on, I had a huge blow when a test showed another one of my patients had a silent but potentially deadly condition. One where a person can go from looking fine to dead in just a few minutes.

It really got to me. I had instantly bonded with this patient and his wife and, although he was fine at the moment, knowing that he was so seriously ill (although it was not evident looking at him) got me to the core. Being emotionally invested in my people means that when they are hurting, I hurt. When they aren’t doing well, it makes me feel a bit like I’m not doing well. It makes me a good doctor, but it also makes me vulnerable to burnout.

Recently, another student joined my team. We start the day at the same time, work in the same office space, and typically have most of our meals together.  He’s even made it his mission to have me watch the entire series of Scrubs (all 8, not counting the fake 9th season). We essentially spend most of our day together until I pray with my family at night or go to church.

Knowing that I was so emotionally compromised today, I had a moment where I thought, “I must be careful. I am missing [the guy I just let go], I am spending LOTS of time with this guy every day, my heart is hurting for my patient, and my pride is hurt from my missing that thing yesterday. I need to be careful.”

So what did I do? I talked to a friend that I knew would lay it to me straight. Luckily, since I was preemptively seeking help, she mainly confirmed that yes, I was right to be concerned and it was good I was being mindful and careful.  Are there times where he’s flirty with me? She confirmed that yes, when he does things like taking my stethoscope from around my neck even though he had his in his pocket and taunted me about it in front of the nurses, that was flirting. But she also confirmed that that’s why it was good I was reaching out NOW, BEFORE anything was happening. The best part was that she even prayed with me and prayed over me about this.

I think I’m growing. This time with a guy who seems attracted to me but not someone I can date (since he does not believe like I do), I am seeking God in prayer. This time I am saying “Lord, I’m weak, I know that I’m vulnerable to being attracted to this guy. Help me God, help me be good. Help me not do anything wrong. Help me Jesus.”  Like the above verse in Proverbs, I feel like I am reflecting on my past and knowing that just because he’s not in church, it doesn’t mean I’m immune to his charms.  It just means that Jesus is my strength. That even on rough days, I can find comfort in Him, not in a guy’s hug (mental or physical). That even on days when I’m worried for my patients and was just reprimanded, God is good and holds me through it.  I don’t need a guy to cheer me up, just Jesus.

Thank You Lord for helping me through this rough day.  Thank You God that I didn’t turn to man (or a man in this case) but I turned to You. Thank You God that I am safe in Your arms.  Thank You Jesus for giving me strength to be good and not offer anything more than just friendship.  I praise You. I worship You. I love and adore You Jesus more than anything else and I love that I can say it and mean it!!! 

Rebekah M. 

Being Isaac: StephenWhoElse “Surrender in Victory”

Editor’s Note:  Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. “Being Isaac” is in response to our growing number of male readers. We think it’s important that there’s a male reply to our female’s call to live in passionate pursuit of Christ. Thanks StephenWhoElse for sharing this great post about giving God the reigns of our lives! 

handprintOkay, let’s do a quick poll! Raise your hand if you believe God has good plans for you! Great, now raise your hand if you believe that God cares about all aspects of your life, big or small. Fantastic! Now, raise your hand if you are unhappy with your job, financial status or the current state of your life.

Whoa, wait a minute. That’s a pretty obvious contradiction isn’t it? How can a loving, well meaning God put our lives in such a mess? Is it a mess? By whose standard? Ours or God’s? We have not read the last page in the story of our lives so I guess we don’t know how it turns out do we?

If you, like me,  grew up watching movies like Indiana Jones and Star Wars (the original trilogy, not the prequels!), you’ll see that the good guy never has an easy mission. They get thwarted, tricked, ambushed, beaten up, lose an arm, fall into snake pits but in the end guess what happens? The good guy always wins :-)

The story of our lives are still being played out and God, our sovereign God, has the final act already planned and we – the good guys – will win! Amen!

That’s well and good of course, but for those of us going through trials the suffering is very real, and painful. And not something we can brush aside with some feel-good words. Do we then reject these trials? What ought to be our attitude towards our struggles?

As Job said – shall we accept good from God but not trouble? (Job 2:10)

surrender

Even in the midst of our most painful moments, we can trust God. But know this : if we want God to steer us out of this mess we are in, we’ve got to handover the steering wheel to Him.. Only by surrendering our lives to God can we emerge from our trials in victory.

Let’s learn to trust Him by truly letting go and not try to “help out” by trying to do things ourselves. God does not need our help – He wants our trust and our surrender.

Father, thank you for your grace and love. Teach us to listen and give us the courage to obey what we hear. And help us to trust you in whatever situation we are going through. You have gone through whatever we can possibly face, and you understand what we are going through. Because of that we know you will help us go through it. Thank you Lord. Amen

StephenWhoElse is a Sunday School Teacher and in his spare time he has a secular and less interesting job. He endeavors to write only what He reveals to him and gives all glory to God! See the original post at http://10seventeen.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/surrender-in-victory/
Published with the permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

A True Servant

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” ~ Galations 6:2

servant girl

Lately, life has been crazy. Between helping my roommate’s aide daily (who is still in agony, can sometimes put on his own shoes, but not his own jacket, can only eat soft foods and can’t walk unassisted), having him spend nights at our house so his wife can go back to work, helping cover his old duties while we train a new aid, it’s busy. Plus, the house is falling apart (I swear every piece of furniture we own is in cahoots). So it’s been busy.

And through the busy, God has been showing me something. When we’re left to our own devices and we see a need, we may try to fill it. We’ll do ‘what we can’. But very often, ‘what we can’ isn’t exactly what we can do, but what we want to do. In a lot of ways, even under the guise of doing a good deed, we ration our help. We determine what is convenient for us to give.

And while those good deeds are indeed helpful, we really only get the true heart of a servant when we push past our self-imposed boundary. When we lay aside what is convenient for us to give and truly give according to God’s calling to fulfill the need before us, that is when we become servants. Servants don’t do their lord’s bidding when they have a spare second. They put themselves aside. They see their lord as more important than they are, and they do his bidding when he tells them to.

So too are we called to see every person we pass as more important than ourselves. I’m sure it wasn’t convenient for Rebekah to stop and water an elderly servant’s camels, but she put the servant above herself and did it anyway. I’m sure dying on the cross wasn’t convenient for Jesus. But He did it anyway, because while here on earth He acted as a servant. He put the rest of humanity above Himself.

I’m not saying we all have to go to that extreme – God will guide us as to how much of ourselves to actually give. But whatever He asks of us, the fact remains that to be a servant means to go beyond ourselves and place ourselves below the person we’re serving. In that moment, they are more important than we are. Imagine how our regular interactions would look if we all truly embraced that concept in our hearts.

So I invite you today to have God examine your hearts. Make sure your calling as a servant isn’t hindered by a limit you placed on it, but that you are giving according to His calling for you. You can trust Him – He won’t lead you beyond what You can truly bear and He won’t forsake you. He’s our provider, after all – He’s all we need!

God bless!

~Rebekah A

His Hand In All Things

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but to the interests of others.” ~Philippians 2:3-4

The past few weeks have been crazy for me. My roommate’s main aide was hit by a bus almost exactly two weeks ago. Since then, I have been at his house almost every day, sitting with him while his wife ran errands or got work done. He is still having intense dizzy spells and still can’t walk unassisted, so it’s best not to leave him by himself. So I’ve been helping him out.

In his absence, my roommate called up a former aide of his (we’ll call him by his initial, “R”) to come back and work the shifts that G (the one who got hit by the bus) was working.  R agreed, saying money was tight and he needed all the work possible. What a blessing!

But once he started, R was constantly late, leaving my roommate stranded in bed or at work for long periods of time (he works 10-hour days as it is). He left a mess everywhere he went. He was resentful of the fact that my roommate’s condition had deteriorated a bit and he needed more help with things than he did before.  So after about a week and a half of this, my roommate sat him down and talked about whether this would work in the long run, and his need for R to be responsible. R got really upset and pitched a fit, insulting both me and the previous aide to get the attention off of himself. He even had to step out for a bit and cool off once they got back to the house. However, the next morning, a Sunday morning, R came in 20 minutes early. What a blessing!

But later that day, as I was getting ready to go to a new church, I got a text from R. He wouldn’t be able to go pick up my roommate from work, but would be able to meet us at the house and help him shower, etc. Fine. No church for me, unfortunately, but fine. So I picked up my roommate, brought him home and fed him dinner, and then we waited for R to come by. And we waited. And waited. Now it’s Wednesday, and we still haven’t heard from the guy. He was paid in advance, and had borrowed a few things from us that will probably never be returned. Without a stable aide situation, many of these duties now fall to me (he has an aide who normally comes two nights per week who has been stopping by on his way to and from work to do the lifting – I’m not physically strong enough to lift a grown man. The other 5 nights and all 7 mornings were G’s, and now supposed to be R’s, responsibility).

So, between taking over for our now non-existent aide, going into Manhattan and back out to queens twice per day, helping out G, trying to track down R, facilitating the hire of a new aide, while still trying to keep things running here at home, suffice to say I have had a crazy few weeks! Not to mention some very short nights! I never thought that I would consider my unemployment to be a blessing.  But honestly, between the extra duties and the construction on my subway line, if I had an actual job I needed to report to I’m not sure where that would leave us. I’d probably have to either quit or take early vacation time. Just extra proof that God’s timing is perfect and He really does have a plan! How amazing is He?!?

Through all this, I have to keep calm and present a fairly happy face. I am the one constant that my roommate still has. G has been in agony, depressed, and despondent, and his injuries have taken a toll on my roommate too – besides his own parents (one deceased and one now in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s), G was probably the one person in his life who would voluntarily go above and beyond for him without asking for something in return. The loss of his presence in this house has been profound. So it is up to me to keep everybody’s spirits up.

I may or may not have helped the situation by telling G that he walked like a zombie and all he needed was some grotesque makeup and he could be on the TV show The Walking Dead. Don’t worry, he laughed.

Anyway, despite my efforts to be a cheerful giver (and a stand-in television casting director), I have been a bit stressed. I prefer being busy to having too much free time, but it is a lot of increased demand on such short notice. And I’ve really only been getting about 4-5 hours of sleep per night. I’m stressed and I’m tired! But then I remember Rebekah at the well, the namesake of this blog, doing all this extra labor for a stranger, who she only came across because she was doing her father’s business, and my spirit seems to come full circle. I read this verse, and let God in to do the work in my heart. This whole situation has been a true lesson in what’s important in life, in how temporary and precious it all is. It’s been a lesson in giving to others beyond what I would have rationed out to them. It’s been a lesson in humility and having the heart of a true servant. I have less time to spend with God than before, but the growth in my heart has been profound. I knew already that I was called to serve God – now I’m just getting a broader idea than ever of what servanthood means.

And that is definitely something to praise God for!

God bless!

~Rebekah A