Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Hour Cometh - Don't Give Up

by Donna L. Watkins

How long have you been praying for something your heart desires? We all have unmet desires and can easily get heartsick while we wait for God to "do something." We wonder if our prayers are being heard .... if our dreams and visions are actually nightmares to torment us.

Will this thing ever come to pass? Will my marriage ever be a safe and loving relationship? Will my wayward child ever come home to the Father? Will my sister or brother ever come to know Christ? Will this disease ever be healed?

We pray and then we stuff it because there is pain in praying for weeks and months and years without seeing anything happening that you want to happen, so we stuff it away to forget the pain for awhile and then the Spirit lights us aflame again with a burning desire for this "thing" to happen and we begin praying again.

For some, the struggle between prayer and stuffing has ended. Some have totally given up on God and prayer, on hope and faith. It's been too long. I wonder what Moses thought while God had him in the desert as a shepherd, in training but knowing it not. He had been raised in a palace and at 40 he found himself in the desert after fighting a righteous cause for his Jewish brothers. Would he have imagined he'd be out there for 40 years as a shepherd when he fleed the city after murdering an oppressor of the Jews? Do you think he questioned God about this during those 40 years?

God has a plan but His plans require a lot of training to get the world out of us and the Kingdom in. God never wastes experiences. Moses would have to lead Israel through that desert he came to know. How many people could have done that? He was apparently an impulsive man while living at the palace since he struck dead the Egyptian that was beating a Hebrew brother (Exodus 2). I'm sure there was a lot of pride built into a man being raised as Pharoah's grandson. The desert was the place that God chose to make Moses who he was really born to be.

Our desert times are there for a reason and God is using it all. I do believe the time will be shorter if we get into agreement with the Father's desires and if we stay true to His Word during the journey. We are precious to Him. We do matter! It's so easy for the devil to tell us God doesn't care and He's not interested in YOU! Don't listen to the lies being played like a continual tape in your mind. You are valuable and you are precious and important to Him and others.

Remember when Jesus left Judea to return to Galilee and came to a town in Samaria with Jacob's well? The Bible says it was the sixth hour and He sat down by the well. The sixth hour was noon since they counted from sun-up to sun-down or from 6 AM to 6 PM was a day, which is how the Sabbath was celebrated. People came to gather water early in the day to have what they needed for drinking and cooking and giving water to their animals.

It was now noon and a Samaritan women was coming to the well because Samaritans were the outcasts of the day in the eyes of the Jews. They were not allowed to associate with them. Think back to the times when we had separate doors for African Americans to enter buildings and separate bathrooms. Prejudice is an awful thing. It kills the Spirit and mars the soul. This woman came at noon to avoid the pain of seeing other women gather together to chat and draw water and be about their day.

She came alone and as we discover from a conversation with Jesus, she had a pretty troubled life. She'd already had 5 marriages and the man she was with was not her husband. That may sound common for today or at the very least not shocking, but back then it bore a lot of shame.

Jesus took the time to come into the town for this "lost sheep" to encourage her that she could access the Living Water and thirst no more. He told her that "the hour cometh, and now is." She was shocked that Jesus would even speak to her and ask for water since Jews could not use the same utensil as a Samaritan and certainly should not be talking with one. There was also the custom that a Jewish man did not speak to a woman alone. Jesus broke all the rules, didn't He? He just wanted this little lamb to be saved. She reached out in faith, the little she may have had and asked for that Living Water.

God met her desires for love, security, self-worth and value. After all the wreck she had made of her own life, Jesus comes in and cleans house in an encounter that took minutes. How long we wait for that encounter. A thousand years is as a day to the Lord is not a comforting Scripture to ponder.

When we put it all into perspective, our eternal life began the day we got saved and the life we live on this earth is short compared to eternity in Heaven .... in the Kingdom we were designed for. If we keep the Kingdom perspective, our time here on this Earth won't seem to important and if God uses it all just to train us for one spectacular season of life, then it will be what was meant to be.

This woman now redeemed and redirected goes into the entire town proclaiming the Christ. What Jesus did for her, He will do for you. It may take 1/3 of your life in the desert as it did for Moses, or you may go through 5 or more messy situations until you get to where you dream of being.

Don't give up! Don't throw in the towel and quit! There's no place else to go that the misery will not follow. Faith and Hope are the only things you can stand on during these desert times. There will be an hour in time when Jesus will show up and do miraculous things. Your breakthrough is at hand. Your time will come. Receive it, believe it and walk in it. Keep your head high because with Jesus there is no shame. He loves you no matter what you have done and offers Living Water to you. Drink and thirst no more.

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