Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Dare to Love.
"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable."
Dr. Joyce Brothers
It all begins and ends with love doesn't it? Anything that is worthwhile and lasting in this life will be that which has been done for, through and with love. Ponder that. What is your greatest labor, endeavor, or focus?
What causes you the most pain, pleasure and passion? Is it not that in which or whom you love? For what do you expend your energy, invest your time and pour out your concerns, but upon and for that which you care greatly. I myself am pondering all of these, as I consider the beautiful morning I shared with some lovely ladies for breakfast yesterday. We share a ministry of prayer with moms, for our children, their schools, and teachers. We share a passion for prayer and a burden for encouraging other women into deeper fellowship with the Lord. Yesterday, it all seemed bittersweet, as we met together and the Lord's hand was evident in our changing lives. We serve on the State Team for RI and our little state, seems once more in flux with regard to this ministry. One of our team members was missing as she has started working at the school where her children attend. One will be moving to Texas and starting fresh with her husband's new job (answered prayer here!) and I myself anticipate my own possibility for life change with full time work. We rejoiced in answered prayer and rejoiced in the reality that God is moving in our lives but we also realized that we would be scattered in different directions and that this might be the last time we sit together in this particular season. The reality of our fearless leader, new to her current position, without a team to lead, but still a heart to serve, also seemed like another reminder of God's call to trust and walk by faith NOT by sight. How perfect the verses she had chosen for our prayer time:
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
~2 Corinthians 2:14
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
~2 Corinthians 4:18
We sat together and enjoyed sharing our hopes, fears and God's plans for our futures. We prayed for His will to be done in our lives, and our willingness to follow wherever he leads with joy, trust and an open heart. We wondered with glad anticipation of the new things He is doing and will do for and through us.
We praised the God who by his sacrifice bought us new life and sisterhood by His birth and His blood.
Our lovely, leader shared the story of Mary and Elizabeth in Luke and we sat in awe and wonder, again as we considered all God allowed the two to share in their unique bond; how each had a part to play in God's plan for the redemption of humanity. How they were at different seasons of life, yet drawn together in sisterhood, brought together for the edification, encouragement, of one another through this holy purpose and ultimately the glory of God. The younger and the older ministering to one another portrays a beautiful and divine standard for us all. The thought that Mary was "pregnant with God's promises" as she came together with Elizabeth at this time was poignantly discussed and thoughtfully considered. It was also pointed out by our dear Sister, how we each are pregnant with the promises of God when we minister and share with other sisters and give birth to these promises through prayer, praise, thanksgiving and confession in the safe manger of sisterhood, fellowship and friendship-all provided by our Great Savior through faith. Our sisterhood was purchased at great cost, dear ones. Let us rejoice in the beauty of this blood bought sisterhood and bring Him the glory He deserves by!
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
Was it hard for Mary and Elizabeth to say goodbye? I wonder if it was bitter sweet as they embraced, on that day that Mary departed. Even as I consider all God is doing in the lives of my dear sisters, I will miss our special season where God allowed us to fellowship, pray and serve one another, and others through His divine plan for such a time as this.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
...And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
~1 Corinthians 13: 3 & 33
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Lord, thank you for your great Love for us, and the example you left, reflected clearly in your word. Thank you that you allow us to be vessels of love and precious promises. May we boldly proclaim your name, as we follow you from the manger to the cross and rejoice in the very precious promises
that continue to bring light, love, truth and meaning to all of humanity. In Jesus name, Amen.