Posted in Seeing God in the Struggle

Seeing God in the Struggle: He is there

A story from Kathy Brown:

My brother Rees Harris II was born in December of 1982. He was soon diagnosed with Werdnig-Hoffman Syndrome, the infantile form of spinal muscular atrophy. It was very rare. Only a handful of kids were diagnosed with it. The nerves don’t send impulses to the muscles so they don’t work. He could not move. He had a tracheostomy tube and a ventilator to breathe for him. He had a feeding tube so he’d get nutrition. He had around the clock nurses to care for him because his condition required suctioning of his trach & use of an ambu bag while not attached to the breathing machine. He passed away exactly 22 1/2 years after his birth, outliving his life expectancy by 22 years. He also outlived several of his doctors and our mom.
So where was God in this struggle?
Rees had a smile that kept you from seeing his problems. God was there.
Rees had a fabulous mind trapped in a terrible body. God was there as he not only went to school, but excelled and was inducted into The National Honor Society.
To have Rees live 22 years longer than expected was truly of God. He was sent home to die on July 1, 1983. Our parents were told early on to just let him go, to enjoy their three healthy children and live their lives.
They did not.
God was in their decision to keep him alive.
God was there when they didn’t sleep, worried his condition would kill him sooner or later.
God was there when our Mom died unexpectedly and we had to carry on without her.
God was there when Rees finally could not fight anymore, when it was his time to go to heaven and join our mom and Jesus.
As Rees was dying, my husband joined two of his nurses and me around his hospital bed. We prayed him up to heaven and Ken remarked, “Can you imagine your mom’s face when Rees WALKS to her in heaven?”
How could we be sad? God won! Rees won! Every day was a miracle from God and we got well over 8000 of those days.
God was always there and He is always there. He’s there in our struggles and our celebrations. Thank you God for always being there.

Kathy Brown

Posted in Devotion

Who do you say I am?

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” -Matthew 16:16

Take a second. Flip to Matthew 16 and read 16:13-20. This is a powerful piece of scripture. Jesus is asking those closest to Him if they have learned anything from Him. This is a huge test of His teachings. We are thrown this question everyday. We say we’re nervous about something and someone asks us, “don’t you believe in Jesus?” What they’re saying is, “Who is Jesus to you?” This is a question we should be asking ourselves daily. Jesus is our Savior, the Son of God. Lord of Lords.

Is this who Jesus is to you? Do you have a special title for Jesus?

Don’t let your battle with anxiety cause you to stumble answering this question. Jesus doesn’t leave you in your time of doubt, so don’t leave Him either. When others face you with this question, answer it with pride.

So, Who is Jesus to you?

© 2018 Kiersten Smeal

Posted in Motivational Monday

Let your Light Shine

We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in. -Ernest Hemingway

We always think of ourselves as broken human beings. That there is something wrong with us. What if I told you that it is a blessing to be broken?

God’s light shines within us. If we are broken, then the light is able to shine out for others to see.

By pretending to be perfect, we build walls that block God’s light. Embrace your brokenness. Embrace shining the light of God.

Have a great week everyone! ❤️

Posted in Devotion

Broken Prayers

I think Christians feel that when they are at the worst, and have no words to pray, they automatically feel guilty. Do not let that guilt settle in. God hears your tears, your feelings, and your struggles.

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

Before you even try to pray, God is already working on an answer to your prayer. While you are still uttering words, trying to make sense, God hears you and is working on an answer to your prayer.

Storms don’t last forever. The sun will come out. Battles don’t last forever. The victory has already been won.

My prayer for you this week, and always:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Hold your children. Let them feel your presence. I know they feel like they are falling apart right now, that things won’t get better, but you are in their future working out everything for goodness. Let them know that you have a plan for their lives. In a perfect world there would be no suffering, but we live in a fallen world. So, wrap a hand of comfort around each person suffering in their own way, Lord. Thank you for always loving us. For always being before us, with us, and after us. For being a wonderful God.

Amen.

© 2018 Kiersten Smeal