Sunday, July 10, 2005

Where's my Energy?

The story goes like this. There's this great land. It's got good fields and good crops. It's got already prepared wells and sisterns. It's got fruit trees and vineyards that are beautiful. A land "flowing with milk and honey". And God has given it to the people. Free and clear. "I will hand it over to you." "I have given them into your hand." "None of them will be able to withstand you."

It all sounds too good to be true! Just walk up and take it? Nope. You gotta fight for it.

I knew there was a catch! Nothing's that easy. Everything worthwhile has to be struggled for.

So here's the story that keeps rolling around in my head all day...

After a full day, the Israelites get a message from Joshua. We have to pack up the army and march. At the beginning of the day? No. At the end of the day. "Why pack up the army and begin a march at the end of the day?" Good question. Not the best strategic move.

"The Gibeonites are being attacked."

"Who cares about the Gibeonites. Why are we their protectors?"

"We made a covenant with them to protect them."

So the armies of Israel marched all through the night to race over to Gibeon to protect a Canaanite city they had foolishly made a covenant with. And when they arrived they found that the 5 kings of the Amorites had all joined forces together. Now they're not just facing an army. They're facing the combined forces of 5 armies! The odds are stacked very strongly! Not in Israel's favor.

Here is where God steps in with the promise. But a promise from God sounds different when you've marched all night. It's good and all. It's great to have. It's important. But, you still have 5 armies and dead beat limbs. And an aching back. And sleepy eyes....

So now the real battle begins. And God is true to his word. Faithful. The armies of the Amorites are thrown into confusion and begin to flee. The Israelites attack and begin to chase them. That's right - chase them. The running begins. All the way back to their cities. A marathon of chasing a fleeing army. But time is running out. And Joshua sees a chance to wipe out this army and the city. So he prays to God.

And what does he pray for? For the sun to stop and the day to be extended. What? If you're an exhausted Israelite army private who's marched all night. Who's fought all day. Who's ran and ran and ran after a fleeing army. Do you want the day extended? NO WAY! But guess what... The one time in all of history that a day was extended... is today. The tiredest day of your life and the day is longer. Unbelievable!

I don't know where my energy went today. Gone! Poof! Zap! But today I read that story and man did I feel for the Israelite army. I know that God made a great promise. I know that He did a great miracle. But I also know that those Israelites army men ran their butts off and fought their hearts out too. I have a new-found respect for that army. For the followers of God.

True followers of God are not lazy people. They are not sit-on-your-butt kind of people. They are go-getters. They are fighters. They are the ones who really do a lot of stuff. Yeah, God helps them. Yeah, they are enabled by Him. But they also work.

God give me the gumption, the energy, the initiative, the get-up-and-go. To serve You! Even when I feel like lying on my duff. I don't want to waste my day!

4 Comments:

At July 10, 2005, Anonymous Gerry Teigrob said...

Hi Dwayne,

This is Gerry Teigrob...my wife Donna and I have heard you preach both in Forest Grove and at your home church. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your struggle. Last November, I had no idea how close I was to dying myself...when it was discovered that I had a blood clot in my right leg. Had I not caught it in time, I would not be alive today.

I heard stories of others in my situation that went in with the same prognosis but did not make it out alive. So I feel blessed. Dwayne, we don't know what God wants for us all the time...so we learn to live by faith every day.

I don't know what God has in store for my future..and my prayer for you is that you continue on in faith as I did and continue to do. Donna and I took the ultimate faith journey moving here over two years ago with no jobs. Now you are on the ultimate faith journey, Dwayne, and our thoughts and prayers will continue to go with you and your family. Your messages of hope have been a blessing in the services that you have been a part of...and we will continue to uphold you in prayer. Sometimes just remembering that God is in control can be both disconcerting and encouraging at the same time.

Thank you for continuing your ministry in this blog, Dwayne. God bless you and be with you in a special way at this time!

Gerry (for Gerry and Donna Teigrob)

 
At July 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dwayne

I don't know if you remember me, but I attended your church for a short time. I attend a different church now and heard at one of our Sunday services about your cancer. May the Lord our saviour Jesus Christ hold you and comfort you in this most difficult journey you are on. I think of you often as I pass your church daily. I will pray for you and your family.

Lena

 
At July 11, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dwayne

We just got back from one of your favorite places...Oshkidee. We had a fantastic week with Byron and Darlene and Steve and Lisa and a bunch of new friends. I sure hope you guys can make it out there.

We spent some time as a group, praying for you and your family and we continue to do so. I hurts so much to see you in this situation and I don't know what exactly to say to you, but...I do know that God holds you in the palm of His hand and there is no better place to be.

The first week of July marks 4 years since we were sent on our westward journey and parted with LHC and we still miss you guys alot.

Here is a little bit of 1st Peter 5...
6So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. 7Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. 8Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. 9Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. 10The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ--eternal and glorious plans they are!-will have you put together and on your feet for good. 11He gets the last word; yes, he does.

We Love you guys
Clare

 
At July 11, 2005, Anonymous Darren said...

Lord, Why Must I Suffer?

I prayed to the Lord for my troubles to cease,
But instead of departing, they seemed to increase.
Each day found new problems I'd not faced before,
And so my depression just grew more and more.

I begged and I pleaded, "Lord, please let me die!
If You can't ease my pain, at least tell me why."
The Lord said, "My dear child, I love you so much!
And I could have erased all those tears with one touch.

But I wanted to teach you to cling to My hand,
And trust Me for things you cannot understand.
I wanted to show you that when things go wrong,
My strength in your weakness will make you grow strong.

You've suffered because you were chosen to be
A light for the lost, and a witness for Me.
As you travel the pathway I've laid out for you,
You will meet many hearts that are suffering too.

And because you have been there, and know what they feel,
You can show them My love, and can help them to heal."
'Twas then that I wept, as I fell on my knees,
And I gave thanks to God for not granting my pleas.

For had I not suffered, and felt such despair,
How could I have known the extent of His care?
Oh, Lord, make me worthy to share Your great love,
And help hurting souls reach Your Heaven above.

© by: Betty Jo Mings

 

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