Thursday, February 5, 2009

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The Oil Of Joy For Mourning

A prayer for strength in a time of trouble

At this point in time, Eddie, my nephew and son of Gail and Phil, has been told that the cancer has spread. He is preparing for an appointment with the oncologist this afternoon. I awoke this morning with each of them on my mind. Gail, my sister, and Phil demonstrated a commitment to be there in service to their son and his family in a manner that was inspirational to all from the very outset of an ordeal that was to last over the next three years. From birth, Eddie’s life had always been one of suffering through many trials and tribulations. At birth he had a condition that caused him to have a complete transfusion of blood. While an infant, it was made clear that he also had epilepsy that would play a major part in making him the kind of person that he was an over-comer, not a victim, of circumstances in life. Eddie’s last three years of life would be a testimony to all of the love of our Lord who provides strength, comfort, and courage to endure to the end. Anyone who knew this entire family could not help but be touched, and their own lives affected as they were blessed to observe and play a small part in the unfolding of their story. It is one thing to observe strength of an individual, but far greater is the opportunity to see the strength and love of God as He carries each person through an ordeal that displays the strength of God in the midst of human weakness.

Last night, the Lord impressed upon me a part of scripture concerning the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Whether we are enduring sickness, or just the trials and tribulations of daily life, we are drawn to remember that our God cares for us. Daily commitment to a time of prayer and communion with the Lord is a necessity if we are going to grow stronger in our faith in the Lord. Our prayer time is not meant to tell God what we need, for He already knows our needs even before we ask. Instead, our prayer time is meant to draw us closer to Him that we would be constantly reminded of the importance of trusting and depending upon Him every moment of our lives. How can we keep our relationship with one another or God strong and close if we do not seek to communicate with one another? God never stops listening and caring for us. It is we who often act as though He is not relevant in our lives. As I was thinking about Gail, Phil, Eddie and the situation for the whole family, I felt so at a loss. I wanted so very much to be there for them in their time of need, yet I felt empty and void of any word or action that could possibly be of help. I sought the Lord, to somehow give me a “word in season,” for our words are powerless, but His Word is strong and true.

The oil of joy kept repeating itself, yet I did not know exactly where the specific passage was. So this morning, I went to the computer and typing it in, I was led to Isaiah 61:1-3 and a commentary on its true significance and meaning. The passage gave me a mental image of how we can choose to sit in the ashes and rubble of our lives and be held in bondage to the despair of those ashes. Satan is given place in our lives when we let him keep us focused on our troubles and disappointments, rather than keeping our eyes on God who always takes us past the rubble and ashes of our lives and gives us the true hope of life through Jesus Christ.

All praise and glory be to the one true living God who never leaves or forsakes us. Thanks be to God who has given us His Word which is sharper than a two edged sword and does not go out an return void but accomplishes that which it was sent to do. We are carved in the palms of His hands. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God and is forever interceding for us.

Gail called before their meeting with the oncologist today. She asked for a time of prayer, so we joined together as prayer warriors now equipped for the battle by the Spirit and the Word. I was turning to Isaiah 61, but then the Lord led me first to Isaiah 50. We began in the unity of the Spirit for where two or more are gathered there also is the Spirit of the Lord. In our weakness He is made strong. Thank God for our Redeemer. And so we began:

Isaiah 50: 4-11 “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I (Jesus) gave my back to the smitters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” (This is a partial picture of what Jesus suffered for us. He left His home in glory. He has felt all, and more, that we have felt, and endured all that we have endured. There is nothing that we can experience that He has not already suffered before us. As we face our trials and tribulations, we know that we have a Comforter who does not just imagine, but has known our entire sorrows a thousand fold.) “For the Lord God will help me; therefore, shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? Let us stand together: who is mine adversary? Let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” Isaiah 51: 1 “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Isaiah 61: 1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me: because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God: to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”

None of us is guaranteed a tomorrow on this earth. We must remember that our time on earth is merely a short journey during which time we are given the opportunity to receive the gift of eternal life in Heaven through Jesus, or to reject Jesus and thus choose eternal life in Hell. We are given temporary “Earth suits” while we are walking towards our true home in Glory. Jesus has removed the sting of death for all who choose to believe on Him as Lord and Savior. We must not look upon the end of this mortal life as an end, but merely as the beginning of the rest and best of our lives in our true home. Jesus said that there were many mansions in heaven and He was going before us to prepare a place that where He was, we may be also. Thank you Lord that the good work that you have begun in us you will continue until we meet face to face in Glory Land. Praise you Lord that we are healed, either here or in Heaven, by His stripes.

Praise you Father, though there may be tears and sorrow in the here and now, you will wipe them all away. Though we may grieve for a period, you replace it with the Joy of the Lord to be our strength and the peace that passes all understanding. So we will continue to stand strong like a flint knowing that your grace is sufficient and that, having done all to stand, we shall continue to stand like a flint without wavering through Christ our Lord.

We know not why some are taken so young. But we do know from your word, some are taken from the evil to come. Your ways and thought are higher than ours. Most of all, we pray that thy will be done in our lives and on earth as it is in Heaven. Lord, we just thank you for the care and comfort that you give us and for the blessing of believing brothers and sisters. As you are forever interceding for us, help us to stand in the gap and intercede for one another also. Praise you Father that in our weakness you are made strong. By the power of your Holy Spirit within us, we choose not to wallow in the ashes of troubles of life but to rise above and go beyond by faith, cloaked in the garment of praise, into hope that you have provided. Because of you, we can know that when our life on Earth is ended we are dancing as King David danced, held in the loving arms of our Redeemer.

Grief and sorrow may come for a period, but He turns our sadness into joy everlasting.
Psalms 30: 3, 4, 10-12 “O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee forever.” Earth has no sorrow that Jesus cannot heal.

Psalms 48: 14 “For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.”

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. “

Psalms 47 “Clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.”
Praise Him, Praise Him, Shout unto God with the voice of Praise!

Thank you Lord, the garment of praise lifts and overcomes the spirit of heaviness. We trust in thee, O Lord. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.

Ginger Rahn


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