Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell
"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?"
~ Matthew 6:25-27 ~
This morning, I stood in awe at the kitchen sink looking out the window. I could not help but be taken away by all the green trees before me. My attention was enthralled by a small creature; a tiny bird who flew in and perched on the fence. It looked as though he were cleaning itself, then another bird flew in to join him. The tiny bird that I was captivated by soon flew off onto a branch on a nearby cedar tree, then flew down to the ground picking up something and then flying to another tree perching itself on a tiny little branch.
As I was captivated by the small bird this morning it not only revealed the glory of God in looking at the detail of this creature; from every tiny little feather, to the wings and the small little feet, I was also reminded of Jesus encouragement to the people.
Jesus was telling the people not to worry. Not only did He tell them not to worry, but He took it a step further for them to think of the details that God sees. I believe He was showing them and me personally those things that I may see as insignificant, God sees them with great significance.
He said to them, "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?"
My husband and I have a saying that I believe God truly imparted into Tim several years ago based on the last part of what Jesus spoke about worrying. We say to each other, "By worrying, will that make us any more money?"
Several years ago, I was flustered and was more than stressed of the 'reminders' of our house going into foreclosure, the calls from the bill collectors was ongoing. We were doing everything in our own power to save the house. Tim was laid off from the position that he had in which our finances went from six digits a year to less than $20,000 a year. We were not prepared financially and because of that, we were devastated.
I remember as though it were yesterday, I kept hearing in my spirit, "The joy of the Lord is your strength Teresa, it isn't the material things of this world that will bring you My joy. The material things are only 'circumstancial happiness'." It was as though it were a 'broken' record, I kept hearing it over and over again. As my husband was more than worried being the head of the household, feeling like a failure, which he was not at all.
As we were in this 'miry clay' of worry and stress, we were outside on the deck, thinking of ways of how we could save the house. However, something happened and my husband said, "Teresa, I'm done with worrying." I was caught off guard, being that my husband can be led by worry, because of his love for his family. He said to me very sternly yet with joy, "Teresa, by worrying, will that make us any more money?" We started laughing out of the depths of our belly, the answer was, "Of course not."
Did the problem go away as the joy of the Lord overtook us? No the problem didn't go away, but the way we looked at the problem did. Our focus was on God, and we knew He would bring us through. We made many financial mistakes before the great 'job ax' came down on us. I'm not saying that God won't do miracles through situations like ours. However, we went through a process, and with that process our hearts were renewed and continue to renew by the mercy and love of God. His grace continues to bring us through this huge financial storm. He remains faithful to show us how much He values us. He doesn't value us based on what we make a year, that is something we did to ourselves. He values us because we are His and He wants us to be brought back to Him. Unfortunately, He will not force or manipulate us to do so.
So I say to you, "By worrying, will that make you any more money?" These leary economic times are 'scary', this is why we must Trust in the Lord with all our hearts. Not just part of our heart, but with ALL our hearts. Pray for God to provide solutions and I believe He will in and through ways you could never imagine.
I pray that you know your value, no matter your circumstance at this moment. Remember, this is not your end result, it's another level for God to show Himself no matter what the enemy tries to do. It may even be training ground to teach us to be more responsible with what you have been blessed with.
We must be so careful not to look at God's grace as a justification to sin, but look at God's grace to deliver you from sin. This is something He is teaching me daily. It is so difficult, but the rewards are beautiful, because more than anything His grace shown on us reveals His glory.
Be kept and guarded by Him. No wonder He said not to put our trust in things that will rust and will be eaten by moths, because He is the God of eternity. As we go through things he doesn't see us remaining there, but He sees us resurrecting...IF we allow Him to bring us through by His Holy Spirit.
Let His Spirit, His Holy Breath refresh you with new life today and new perspective.