Friday, May 29, 2009

My Journey with Jabez: Part 1

1 Chronicles 4:9-15 (New International Version)

9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, [a] saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.

I recently did a bible study on the Jabez prayer. I decided to actually do what the book said; focus on the above prayer and that book for a month. WOW! The Lord has been amazing! First it started with joy, our Sunday School class is learning the fruits of the spirit and last month happened to be joy. I searched the bible for something on joy and found, what I thought, was the perfect prayer to close with. So every week our closing prayer was:

Psalm 51:11-12 (New International Version)

11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

A good friend came by with a book one day called "Thy Word". This book is full of prayers that the author obtained from the bible. I found the above prayer in the book and "restore to me the joy of your salvation" just wouldn't let me go! So, as I lay there trying to fall asleep I kept repeating that verse over and over in my head. I was immediately flooded with joy so great that I almost didn't stop myself from yelling out loud! It was amazing. That joy didn't leave me again through a hospital stay with my son or my husband being laid off at work. Which is completely amazing for me cause I can be a "woe is me" person on occasions.

When we got my son home from the hospital I was on the phone with a friend, telling her all that I've told you and how I felt the Lord was with me just keeping my spirits up. For the first time I was experiencing true joy....then I hung up with her walked into the hallway, there stood my daughter who says, "Mom, I think I have a fever..." I felt it leave me, the joy, it didn't slowly leave it was just gone, like that (snapping my fingers). I said a prayer, the Jabez prayer and immediately I knew what the problem was...I was running on empty. I needed some time with the Lord. You see we are live a car, we can fill up but "our gas" burns out the more we use it. We need to "refuel" on a daily basis in order to be full of the Lord's grace and joy.

So that's where I ran to. I prayed that day for him to make me crave His word, make me just WANT and desire studying His word, let me not to be able to get enough of it....Wow, has he EVER!! I haven't missed a devotion or time with the Lord in two weeks!! Last night I studied for my Sunday School lesson and was going to sleep. The lights were out; I was laying in bed....I HAD to get up, do my devotion, read my Jabez, do my Jabez journal and read my bible. It took about 30 minutes ,if that, but WOW, I'm so thankful to the Lord for His hand that never leaves me!

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