Let Us Give Thanks…

Giving thanks, especially for washing feet is definitely not very popular—not in Jesus day and not in ours.

When I became a member of the staff of a large Evangelical Church in the Seattle area, one of the pastors I was to work with explained the 80/20 principle to me. “Basically,” he said. “Eighty percent of the work of the church is done by Twenty percent of the church membership.”

Bummer! Oh, and thanks for the pep talk!

It was going to be one of my responsibilities to staff all the church nurseries and preschool Sunday school rooms with volunteers.

Have you ever worked in a nursery of a large church? It’s changing a mountain poopy diapers, and rocking cranky babies, for the longest hour and a half of your life. It’s pure foot-washing!

I learned a lot in that job about servanthood, both from what I was lucky enough to observe and also from the assignments I was able to participate in. I was convinced “angels” walked the halls of that Early Childhood wing every single week. Some of the most beautiful people it has ever been my privilege to serve with, both women and pre-teen girls, who showed up week after week to serve some of the most helpless and needy people in our congregation. Little people, who couldn’t say, “Thank you for the excellent and loving care.”

Then there were the parents who could have expressed their thanks but rarely did. One parent stands out in my memory.

give thanks

I was subbing for one of my preschool teachers who called in sick that Sunday morning when a mom came up to me at the end of the class to pick up her three-year-old. She began lambasting me about “how I didn’t deserve” to have the job I had been given on staff. I was just “a newcomer” to the church after all, and she felt there were “…so many other women who were better qualified and more deserving of the job.” certainly more than little ‘ole me! In her opinion,”I didn’t merit a job with so much prestige, and who did I think I was, anyway?”

I just smiled and let her have her say but I kept wondering,

“Should I tell her about how I have to work late into the night each Saturday to get all the rooms ready for Sunday morning? Should I tell her I’m the one that cleans the bathrooms and scrubs the toilets, because the janitorial staff is overworked and exhausted, and they too, have to work late into the night each Saturday prepping the building? Should I tell her I’m the one who takes any kid that won’t stop crying, calms, and comforts them by walking them through the building, explaining where mom and dad are, and that they haven’t been abandoned forever to these strangers? Should I tell her about all the Sunday night nurseries I take because no one is willing to work them? Perhaps I should keep track of all the poopy diapers I had personally changed that week; the rooms I painted; the hours of sewing; the extra cleaning?” You know, all that really prestigious stuff.

No, maybe not. I’ll just let her hang onto her illusions about prestige a little while longer. Instead, I prayed, “LORD, please show this dear lady that in Your Kingdom—the higher you go the lower you must stoop—even if it means patiently taking clueless-guff from a thankless mom.”

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. 1 Thess. 5:181 Thess. 5:18
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18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you.

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The Battles Are Real, But…

My fiercest battles are with an idea that is sometimes monthly, sometimes weekly… sometimes daily.

Ever get an “idea” in your head that dogs you?

Yeah, I know, me too.

Okay, I hate admitting this, especially since on this blog I talk constantly about NOT giving up. Here at wound dresser we have one simple message: There is fresh HOPE in each new sunrise.

But, here’s the thing. The enemy fights his fiercest battles against me because I am called to be “an encourager.”

Yep, I do battle “big time” with the Adversary and his creepy little friends. All those insidious little whisper-mongers that show up at all the worst possible times.

You know the ones.

The moments when you’re hurting so bad you are gasping for your next breath. Moments when you’re just SO sick-n-tired of being SO sick-n-tired.

And, let’s not forget the lowest of the LOW—those moments when your world crashes around you because everything you believed was “true,” everything that was your own personal TRUE NORTH, well it just ain’t really REAL at all.

When you’re lookin’ at life from that infamous rock-bottom-pit called ROCKBOTTOM, that’s when all the insidious little “Give-up” monsters come crooning into your ears saying things like, “You idiot. What were you thinking? Nobody believes. Nobody cares. You’re wasting your time. Why don’t you just give up?”

Don’t think I preach from some pulpit called ‘got-it-all-together’. Oh no, Woundresser was commissioned from dark places. There are many years of wounding’s that happen before you can even think of being a “woundresser.”

Yet, it is from those battle scars with their extensive and expensive education, that comfort sweetly flows. There’s nothing like feeling the knife yourself to give you a graphic understanding of the pain others feel.

So what’s my point?

Our wounds are not random or meaningless. God transforms our pain into redeeming purpose, first for our own lives, but then also for the lives of others. Our hurting is often the price we pay for an “understanding” heart.

If you’re struggling today, please remember, Jesus has a plan. He has purpose in what’s going on. His strength will get you through this battle.

It’s not us that holds it all together—it’s Him!

There is good stuff somewhere up ahead, so don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t give out.

When nothing in your life makes sense—Jesus will.

When all your strength is gone—Jesus will give you His.

And, when your hope is on life support?

Jesus will breathe fresh hope into you.

“…BECAUSE His compassions fail not. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING… great is His faithfulness… therefore, I HOPE IN HIM!”   Lamentations 3:22-24Lamentations 3:22-24
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22 It is of Yahweh’s loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassion doesn’t fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 Yahweh is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

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I don’t care who has walked out on you, who has lied on you, or who has told you, “This will never work. You will never be enough. It is hopeless. You are hopeless. Just quit!”

Don’t you believe it!

Yeah, the battle is real, but here’s some TRUTH to wrap around your hurting heart.

Jesus walks in when the world walks out. (Heb. 13:5Heb. 13:5
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5 Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, “I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you.”

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Jesus never lies—never. (Num. 23:19Num. 23:19
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19 God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good?

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Jesus always finishes what He has begun—always. (Phil. 1:6Phil. 1:6
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6 being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

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Jesus is ENOUGH for every IMPOSSIBLE in your life!

hope for the battle

He’s got you. With God, nothing, NOTHING is impossible. You’re not at the end, you’re in the-murky-middle, and that is where the battle rages. It’s where the temptation to give up can seem overwhelming.

The battles are real—but so are His mercies.

He’s got this.

“Is there any god like our God? Are we not at bedrock? Is not this the God who armed me, then aimed me in the right direction?” Psalm 18:31Psalm 18:31
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31 For who is God, except Yahweh? Who is a rock, besides our God,

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The Message

You bet! Hope is here. In Him. In Christ, ALL things hold together.

How do I know that’s true?

He keeps holding me together!

He’s here with grace, fresh strength, and victorious hope.

“Christ is the exact likeness of the unseen God. He existed before God made anything at all, and, in fact, Christ himself is the Creator who made everything in heaven and earth, the things we can see and the things we can’t; the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities; all were made by Christ for his own use and glory. He was before all else began and it is his power that holds everything together.

Col. 1:15-17Col. 1:15-17
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15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him were all things created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things are held together.

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© 2017 Martha (Molly) Gibbons blog text. All rights reserved.