by Guest Author, Jennifer Mosty
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” - JRR Tolkien
Tolkien wrote LOTR after World War 1 and throughout the years of World War 2... amidst the darkest and worst of days... a literal WORLD WAR!!!
Our family typically watches the Lord Of The Rings movies in January, in the lull of the weeks leading into the New Year; as a sort of challenge to FIGHT for, to STAND, to RISE and not lose sight of what is most important in the NEW YEAR!!
Our boys love the battle scenes and the heroes of these stories that don’t give up when difficulties arise, but instead RISE TO MEET the challenge, head on, sword and shield in hand!!
What’s interesting is, everyone does the same... maybe not watch those particular movies, but we all set goals, make resolutions, form plans of attack, per say, and HOPE for the BEST YEAR YET!!!
Here we are, 6 months into the New Year - half way through - and it’s as though we’ve all forgotten what we promised just 6 months ago... TO MAKE THIS A GOOD YEAR NO MATTER WHAT COMES OUR WAY!!
A year of VISION (2020), a year of change, a year that will STAND OUT and RISE UP and out among the rest of them!! 2020 seems like such a pivotal time for change, for GREATNESS, even. AND, we’ve been given a HECK OF A CHANCE to prove our worth in this season of unknowns and volatility!!!!
SUFFERING breeds GREATNESS!!!! It’s out of the mire and the muck and the hard and the difficult that HEROES RISE UP!!! If you are a BELIEVER in Jesus Christ, like me, you know that it is in our SUFFERING, that we have the opportunity to MOST LOOK LIKE our JESUS!!!
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be GLORIFIED with HIM.” (Romans 8:16-17 ESV) In essence, we cannot identify with Christ, until we SUFFER alongside Him.
What does it look like to suffer? I have suffered greatly, in this world. Though I have never fully suffered the way my Jesus did for me. I have never sweated drops of blood in my grief, nor hung on a cross until death took my last breath. I have been lead astray by my own sinful desires (James 1:14-15) and experienced the weightiness of death born of that sin. I have lost dear friends because of pride. I have suffered abuse in a broken marriage.
I have experienced the brunt of another’s sin and been cast into the fire of REFINING right alongside them. I have been “cursed” with physical ailments (an irreversible autoimmune disease) that I will never be freed from, this side of heaven; though I have come to recognize that “curse” as a CALLING more than any type of condemnation (Romans 8:1).
The weight of the knowledge that comes with all these weaknesses, these flaws and imperfections is almost too much to bear at times. My body is so riddled with weakness, that ANY STRENGTH (2 Corinthians 12:10) left in me could only come from Him. His Presence, His Word, HISTORY; HE has become my REDEMPTION and the fullness of my JOY in this world. I, truly, can only boast of HIS STRENGTH in me.
Therefore - I WILL NOT WASTE these difficult days whining and wishing for them to pass, I have learned too much wallowing in the mud. More than anything, I have learned to recognize the HAND that reaches in and pulls me up and out of it!!
I WILL SOAK these days IN!!! I choose to learn from them!!! I will look to the depths of my soul and PRAY that the worst of myself would be pressed out and the BEST OF MYSELF would be HONED to PERFECTION; that I might BE A WEAPON and a VOICE for GOOD!!!
I will FIGHT FOR those suffering, hurting; the weak and the wounded!!! I will be a VOICE of reason and KINDNESS and LOVE and RESPECT (Proverbs 3:3)!! I will do my BEST to give people a REAL HERO amidst all the chaos!!! I will GIVE JESUS to every person I encounter and speak HIS WORD and HIS LIFE into every situation. And as far as it depends on me, I will BE AT PEACE WITH EVERYONE I ENCOUNTER!! (Romans12, y’all!!! All of it!!)
I do not like these days, but they are not for me to wish away. They are meant for so much more... They are meant to GROW me; to STRENGTHEN and PROVE my character!!!
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that SUFFERING produces ENDURANCE, and endurance produces CHARACTER, and character produces HOPE, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)
Hope does NOT disappoint, y’all!!
And, that is where I stand - preferably in an open field of wild flowers, my face unashamedly raised up toward heaven, my arms lifted in both humility and JOY, the fullness of the Son reigning down on me, warming me to my core, all the while crying out; “Now to HIM who is able to keep [me] from stumbling and to present [me] blameless before the presence of HIS glory with great joy, to the only God, [my] Savior, through Jesus Christ [my] Lord, be GLORY, MAJESTY, DOMINION, and AUTHORITY, before all time and now and FOREVER. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25 ESV
Help me, Jesus!!! Find me FAITHFUL!!!
For YOUR GLORY; for my good!!
Jennifer Mosty is SAVED by Jesus, indwelled by the Spirit, and Servant of God! Loved by Aaron; Mother to Micah, Joshua, Luke & Lydia; Retired Children’s Minister; Stay At Home Mom; Amateur: Chef, Nurse, Bible Teacher; Lover of People; Never Met a Stranger; Earnest; VICTOR!!