A'nesis Retreats and Counseling Sabbaticals

Come Away to a Quiet Place and Rest Awhile ~ Christian Retreats with Intensive Counseling

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It Gets Worse Before it Gets Better…

Listening to 100’s of client stories over the years, I think I’ve stumbled upon a spiritual law…”it gets worse before it gets better.” Somehow this age-old saying applies to the spiritual as well as the natural realm.

Why is it that right when you think “it can’t get worse,” it does get worse. Life seems to pull the rug out from under us at our most vulnerable moment.

It is intriguing to witness our Jesus in this place of weakness. While the hours on the cross must truly have been His biggest struggle, there were other times when His day didn’t go so well.

Matthew 14 tells the story. Jesus hears the news that the one family member He’s closest to—John the Baptist—is beheaded merely because of the frivolous whim of a teen-age flirt.

Jesus was obviously “shaken.” He simply had to get away so “he withdrew from there in a boat.” Life happened though, it it was simply impossible to escape the reality of the news of the beheading of this special person in His life.

5000 men plus women and children found Him in His deepest moment of grief. They followed Him and demanded of Him…they needed His Presence, His Message, His Peace.They even needed Him to feed them with nothing. Well, practically nothing…two fish and five loaves of bread.

There were no moments for Jesus to have Jesus time. His needs, His grief had to be put on hold. The day had gotten worse. There was much work to do even though Jesus had nothing left to give.

One of Jesus’ darkest days demanded Him the most giving. He put His pain aside and went straight into reality…The multitudes needed feeding and “tag He was it.” Out of this moment came one of Jesus’ biggest recorded mass miracles, the feeding of the 5,000.

The Spiritual Law began and continues till now. Things got worse before they got better…and then the Miracle.

If you are in the midst of heartache, know that your miracle awaits. God often requires us to “dig deep” and run on fumes. The outcome of this dependence on Him is always the fulfillment of a promise. When He multiplies our “nothing left” moments, they become our biggest miracles. When we are weak, He always remains strong.

After the worse, comes the better. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13

A'nesis Retreats and Counseling Sabbaticals

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Take Courage…So You Must…

“But on the night immediately following, The Lord stood at his side and said, ‘Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My Cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness to Rome also.” Acts 23:11

I am trying to picture Paul receiving this direct order from His Lord. He had just had the day from – you know where- much like my day yesterday. There are some days that the enemy just seems to bear down and not let up…from the beginning to the end he relentlessly attacks. I don’t know why, but when that happens on a MONDAY it even seems that much worse. Maybe that is just my quirky pet peeve…enemy chooses a Monday for the day to hit me hard.

So imagine Paul. He had just spent the entire day being attacked by the Pharisees and the Sadducees in the Jewish court. The day began with him being “struck in the mouth.” Seems things went downhill from there, ending with him being taken away to the “barracks,” aka prison.

He settles into his new digs…probably a cold and dirty cell and there appears The Lord with the simple orders of his next mission. “Take courage…so you must…” Must what? Go on to another city and experience something ten times worse than what he’d just been through? “Lord, please tell me you are kidding,” must have been going through Paul’s mind.

Paul obeyed. Not knowing the details of how things would play out.

Drilling down we see how the Lord worked behind the scenes for him. Paul obeyed. He took courage and he went. What did the Lord do?

He used random people behind the scenes to help Paul with his next “impossible assignment.”

-Paul’s nephew “overheard” a plot to kill Paul
-The nephew went to a Roman centurion.
-The Roman centurion went to his Roman commander to ask for help for Paul.
-The Roman commander did the following:
He enlisted 2 centurions, 200 soldiers (at 3:00am by the way), 70 horsemen, 200 spearmen, mounts to put Paul on, wrote a personal letter to Felix on Paul’s behalf. After doing all this he then whispers to the nephew (just a young boy) and trusts him to keep the secret of Paul’s escape.

We’ve heard so many times before…”He won’t ask us to do something and leave us unequipped for the task.”

When The Lord asks us to do something we must always “take courage.” That first step on our part seems to be the catalyst for Him working behind the scenes to take care of the details.

Is the Lord asking you to “take courage” this week? If so, “so you must.” Believe on Him for the details. He is “before all things that touch you.”