• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Friends Who Pray Together, Stay Together

While thinking of all the things God must be wanting to show me during this time I thought about friendships and servant hearts. I was so excited to see 2020 go away but had no idea that it would drag me into 2021 feeling bad with Covid, my mother falling and fracturing her knee cap and even my dog having to get tested for Covid! Then as if that wasn’t enough I continue to hurt from the corruption of this world! Remember my saying, “don’t waste the cancer” well “don’t waste the Covid”! God can bring good from all bad for those who love Him. Romans 8: 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”


So what did God teach me during the last few weeks? He taught me about accepting help, resting and trust. Like many of you, I am used to being the caregiver and that is where I am most comfortable. It is very uncomfortable to accept help let alone ask for it. There came a point I knew I needed help and I asked God. He heard my cry and sent His people! Psalm 34: 6, “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” The Bible is filled with examples of people asking for and accepting help. One of my favorites is Aaron and Hur helping Moses when he was fatigued. Exodus 17: 10-13, “So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” When we humbly accept help from others, we are being Christlike to them and anyone else around or those who may hear about what happened.


Rest is a hard one for me. A friend from church called and talked to Mike and sent me a long message about me being a caregiver and needing rest. She told me how I should use this time to rest in God. I knew she was right, but I needed to hear it. Mark 6: 31, “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” When Jesus sent His disciples off on a specific ministry assignment in Mark 6:7-11, He let them know their journey would not be easy. They had been empowered to preach, heal and spread the Good news but they would be exhausted physically, emotionally and spiritually. Jesus wasn’t giving them a request or a suggestion. He was giving them a command. Jesus welcomes us into a place of flowing grace where our Spirit is filled and mercy fixes our strains and stresses of life’s troubles. And if we won’t waste this time, our priorities and relationships, which are out of alignment, will be recalibrated. I love the quote, “quiet time is not an excuse for the lazy but a wise investment for the diligent.”


And it always comes back to trust I know that God always hears us and always answers, maybe not in the way we think best but the best way! Hebrews 4: 16, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” I think of the lady in the Bible who had the “blood issue”. Although she had been to every doctor and spent all of her money on treatment and was still getting worse, she was confident that if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes she would be healed. Mark 5: 28, “...because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’” As soon as she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment her bleeding stopped and she knew she had been healed. Mark 5: 33-34, “Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’”


We need to approach God’s grace with the same confidence that Moses and the bleeding woman had. Absolute faith in God, expecting to hear Him. Every one of us will experience difficulties and pain. It doesn't matter who we are, how much money we have, whether we are old or round, rich or poor. Every one of us will have troubles. 1 Thessalonians 5: 18, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” What have I learned, again? Give thanks in all circumstances because this is when we grow.

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