Life, Death, that Virus and the New Normal Pt. 3

This is my final post in this “series”. I thought about my last two posts and I realized that they may have sounded as though I am exempt from all of the pain and suffering, which is not true. I was just sharing my recent experiences.

So last night, it became clear that no one is not going to be touched by what is going on in this world. Whether you have a covenant with God or not, life will hit us and sometimes every hard. I got a text message last night from my brother that said: “Steven is in heaven”. My stomach did five flip flops and I immediately felt sick. Steven was my brother’s childhood friend (like a brother) and we were all raised together. He contracted the virus (he lived in New York) and it seemed he was getting better, but suddenly he died. After receiving this text, things suddenly became very real. He was in his 50’s and leaves behind a wife and 4 children.

My baby brother and I were talking about it this morning and I asked how his sister-in-law was doing (she is a nurse in New York) and he was hesitant, but gently mentioned that she had tested positive for the virus as well. But she was three weeks out and was already home recovering. Also today, one of my cousins who lives in New Orleans was sharing on Facebook that God spared her life and though she never admitted to having the virus, I am pretty sure she did. She was deathly ill a couple of weeks ago. So, yes, this is real.

I am in the house and plan on staying here. I just ordered my groceries online and that is where I plan on staying until. I was in and out of the grocery store but felt strongly to stop doing that. I heard a prophet say that in this week of Passover we should anoint our doorposts and stay in the house like the children of Israel did, until the plague pasts. I do have to go to my office on Thursday for work, but I will be very careful.

In the past, sometimes I would be driving in my car and wondering how long we would enjoy life as we know it.  I guess I was sensing that life can change at any time. Is this the new normal? Really when you think about it, many places have suffered from the ravages of war, sickness, famines, and life is never the same. We are spoiled in America. We think it can’t happen, but we are learning. And even now, some of us are not suffering. We are going to get a check in the mail, let me speak for myself; I live in a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment, I have central air, cable, I can watch movies, I have food to eat, I have a car, and I can pay my bills and I don’t even have to go in the office to get paid! And I don’t even have to go to the store, because I am paying to have someone shop for me and drop the food at my door! Some of us are not really suffering.

Even in the midst of the pain and suffering, mourn with those who mourn,  be kind, help others when you can and most of all BE GRATEFUL! And if things get harder, praise God.

The Beginning of a Breakthrough

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I try to follow God, literally. A little radical for some, but it’s about the prophetic call of God on my life, which I answered years ago.

Today the Lord gave me a very specific instruction and I obeyed even though I was very tired. I had not rested well the night before and when I finally did fall asleep, I only slept for about three hours and let me tell you, I am not one who can get by on that amount of sleep. To feel rested I need seven to eight hours. I have always been that way. My mother told me I was a good baby that slept for long periods of time. 🙂

Well, even though I was tired, I had to do what the Lord instructed me to do and boy am I glad that I obeyed. Honestly, I had a certain expectation, but I got more than I bargained for, in a good way. I see the breakthrough right in front of me and it is so sweet.

To say that I have gone through some rough times is an understatement. But the other day I was listening to a message about suffering and I realize that today, you no longer hear messages about suffering and it’s really messed the Body of Christ up. Now, if you suffer in the church, people think something is wrong with you. But suffering is sometimes necessary, in order for God to work certain things out of us.

Didn’t mean to go there, but that truth needed to be shared. But no suffering lasts forever. Finally it will come to an end, when you least expect. That is what happened to me yesterday. When I least expected it, I can say I see the breaking of a new day!!

1 Peter 5:10

New King James Version (NKJV)

10 But may[a] the God of all grace, who called us[b] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

I’m Trying to Lord

This morning a Claims Adjuster was supposed to be coming to check my house. Did I mention my house was struck by lightning? Well it was. The lightning strike blew out the satellite dish (thankfully I had coverage through the company). Then a clock radio was blown. (trashed) and the ramp in the front of the house was split and then a pipe burst. (huge plumbing job and water bill). Boy when it rains it pours. I’m not going to lie. In the midst of this and the myriad of other problems, I was starting to wonder if God was mad at me.

So this morning the Adjuster calls and says he cannot come because we were having a rainstorm (and we were) and he can’t inspect the house in a rain storm. So that means a couple more days of being inconvenienced. (Yes, I know it could be worse). I had to turn off the water to the house because my bill was 3 times what it normally is. Thankfully the water company will adjust the bill when you show them a plumbing receipt. But I don’t have that yet.

Then there are some emotional matters going on, which is more painful than it all. Not even sure what it’s about anymore, but honestly it’s like someone is adding salt to an already painful wound. I don’t get it, but that along with worrying about the finances for my Dad’s stay at the ALF is making my life miserable. It’s almost more than I can bare.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining, but I can’t seem to catch a break. Honestly I don’t know what to make of it all, but I do know that the bible says, that we should give God thanks in everything. I want to say that I have been doing that, but that just would not be true.  Honestly, I’m trying to Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 New International Version (NIV)

18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Staying Positive and Obeying

I have to admit that I am not naturally positive. I have to work at it. It probably has a lot to do with life experience. Sometimes when we have had a lot of struggles, it takes extra effort to not be negative.

Right now, I am facing some major challenges, as we all do in life. And right now it’s very important for me to stay positive. Negativity hinders our ability to hear from God.

When facing a crisis, we need to seek God for his specific instructions for our lives and when He gives us an instruction, we need to OBEY!

Being positive alone is not enough. Sometimes if we would be honest with ourselves, we suffer due to disobedience. I know right now part of the reason I am going through is because I did not obey a specific instruction that God gave me.

Remember staying positive is important, but obedience is better.

John 2:5

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.

A lesson in humility

The other day I listened to a message by a well-known minister and he preached a message called “A lesson in humility”. Sometimes we are in the process of being humbled by God. Yes, I believe that God does humble his people often for where he is about to take them and in order for us to learn obedience.

Every year in the beginning of the year you sometimes hear ministers “prophesying” about how the year is going to be. Things like “I’m going to get mine, in 2009”, or “you won’t have to wait in 2008”. But rarely does it turn out to be true.  Now I’m not being negative, but I’m tired of the clichés. The truth of the matter is life is difficult and sometimes the truth is you may go through a year or a half-year of extreme trouble. It’s not all going to be a bed of roses.

Today I heard about a young girl who was killed in a car crash this past Monday. Her family used to attend the church where my brother use to Pastor in New York city. I know they did not have a clue that their year would end this way. My heart broke for the family. This month right before Christmas will be marked with tears, until the day her parents and brother die. It will NEVER be the same from this day forward.

Sometimes we need the truth about the seasons of our lives. If I were to name this year for me it would be called a year of lesson’s in humility. I have been humbled and if the truth be told humiliated, but the purpose of it all was to teach me how to obey God.  Not a cliché but truth.

No matter what happens next year, know that God is working it out for our good. There is no guarantee that next year will be a bed of roses either. Just understand that sometimes there are times in our lives that are about humility and obedience.

Hebrews 5:8:

8  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;