Encouragement from the Heart

I would like to take a moment to share some exciting news, as well as how the Lord has been dealing with my heart.  I have confirmed the date, and next Thursday, March 10th I will be speaking on St Simon’s Island, GA to the Georgia Sheriff’s Association Chaplains’s Division at their annual banquet.  There will be around 70 chaplains, family, and members of GSA.  This is a tremendous blessing and opportunity to share the ministry of Covered LE.  I hope to be a resource to them as they minister throughout the state.  I covet your prayers.  Many thanks to those who have made contributions or pledged support so that I can provide the necessary resources.
 
In part, the message I will be sharing is a reflection on / testimony of my wife’s miracle when God raised her from the dead after a massive heart attack on July 2, 2008 (Read Story).  If I may be transparent for a few moments, times have been difficult since that time.  On Thursday, July 3, 2008 the Lord spoke to me a message from Hosea 6:1-3 that He was going to do a miracle.  In the days following her heart attack, we lived out verses 1-2.  They say:
 
“Come, and let us return to the Lord:  for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten and He will bind us up.  After two days He will revive us:  in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.”  The Wounded Healer, the Suffering Servant, ministered physical healing in that timeline.  It was a time of repentance and renewal as we drew closer to Him.  The artery in her heart was literally torn, and as I am beginning to learn, it was perhaps at the hand of the Great Physician who dealt an afflicting wound so that greater healing could come to our lives…just as a surgeon’s scalpel cuts and wounds to bring about healing.
 
For a number of months we lived on an emotional and spiritual “high” just as Elijah experienced after the confrontation on Mt Carmel with the prophets of Baal.  And just like Elijah, I found myself and many aspects of life sinking into great despair after the “high” was gone, the media stopped telling the story, and “normal” life resumed.  I have sensed that God was not finished speaking through Hosea, but no matter how many times I’ve read the scriptures or commentaries, I’ve just not been able to put my finger on what God was saying to our situation.
 
Recently, the Lord began opening up my heart.  Like many others facing difficult times financially, relationally, professionally, and so on, there have been days when I have wanted to just “throw in the towel.”  Perhaps you are in that place right now.  I found out that I have been living between verse 2 and verse 3.  In verses 1-2 there is a return, a reviving, a realization of God’s awesome power.  There is the physical restoration and the reality that we are “living in God’s sight” – under His watchful eye and care.
 
For every mountain, there is a valley.  For every high, a low.  There are times when we question, “Did that really just happen?”  We wonder if it really was worth the emotional and spiritual exhaustion and toll that comes in the aftermath.  Cops and First Responders oftentimes live behind the dark veil of the aftermath of tragedy with little hope for a brighter outcome.  Then there is verse 3:
 
“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord:  His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain upon the earth.”  Allow me to offer my translation, which is the culmination of several versions, study, and prayer…
 
“If we will not give up; if we will pursue God and the knowledge of His ways then we will find this out:  His appearance in our lives and situations is as guaranteed as the sun rising in the morning and as refreshing as the spring and harvest rains.”  In other words, God is actively engaged in the affairs of our lives.  You can be sure that if you are living in His sight (verse 2), then He will show up and “HE WILL COME unto us” (verse 3).  And when He shows up, it will be as sure as the morning – when light breaks forth to dispel the darkness.  And when He shows up, it will be a refreshing torrential downpour like a combined spring and harvest rain.  Gives new meaning to “Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning” and “His mercies are new every morning,” doesn’t it?
 
Things aren’t great just yet, but I’m certain of this one thing.  There is still a God in heaven and I’m not giving up.  He does miracles, and He heals hearts.  He’s there for the high, and He shows up for the low.  He cares and is involved.  He knew there were deeper issues to be dealt with, and He knew there were deeper levels of intimacy with Him.  Each day brings new insight into the love and grace of God.
 
This is my encouragement for YOU.  Do not give up.  Hold on just a little longer because things are turning around.  God is not “out there” in the distance just watching things go around.  He knows WHO you are, WHERE you are, WHAT you are going through, WHY you are there, and WHEN this too shall pass.  I believe that He is ministering to individuals and preparing each one for his/her destiny.  I believe He is bringing refreshing rains to a profession that has been in emotional, spiritual, and moral drought.  Be encouraged in the Lord.  My love and prayers are with you.  Our labor is not in vain…

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2 Responses to Encouragement from the Heart

  1. This really moved me! And has encouraged me a lot! This has somewhat revived my spirit which is truly downcast because of the loss I had a couple of years ago. The last paragraph really made me teary-eyed. I am so blessed by the testimony you shared. Thank you for sharing it with us. How I wish I would be there to hear you speak in person.

    All the best. God bless you and the rest of the family always.

    Aida

  2. Lisa Willard says:

    Jonathan:
    What a wonderful message! What a great message of hope. As I read this, I thought about how I need to print it out and keep it with me for the days that prove difficult. I also thought about the people I want to forward this message to. I do believe that’s the Holy Spirit speaking to
    me.

    Thank you for your words of hope and sharing Gods words of hope.

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