I recently was privileged to talk with some women in the West District. These were United Methodist Women whom I am a part of. I love meeting new people and sharing the message God has given me.
The message comes from Ephesians 6 which talks about the armor of God. I put on all the pieces of the armor. They are not your typical armor pieces, but a metaphor of the real thing. It gets the message across.
I put on the breastplate and talk about how the breastplate protects the vital organs against the enemy. I share about a time years ago when I would worry to the point of getting sick at my stomach. I worried about whether people liked me, were mad at me, finances, children, taking care of parents, my job and the list went on and on. After moving into a deeper relationship with God and understanding that he gave us tools to use I began to give him my worries. Now I still worry at times, but not to the point of getting myself sick.
After sharing with the women I recently came home and soon found I was challenged. Do I not only talk the talk, but do I really walk the walk? In other words do I believe and put into practice what I share with these women?
My daughter had called me to let me know she was taking my youngest grandchild, her son, who is three to the doctors with a terrible illness. He just stood in the middle of the floor crying. His face was puffy, red and patchy. He wanted held, but he didn’t want you to touch him. I am thinking his doctor will order medicine and all will be fine. That was not the case. He saw him and immediately decided he needed to go an hour and half away to our children’s hospital in Indianapolis. She let me know they had arrived there safely. For the next several hours and through the early morning they were not able to get an IV in this little guy. The veins popped every time they tried. They brought in equipment to help them find veins, they brought in experts, and nothing. They were getting concerned about getting him started on medicine. They put a tube down his nose got a dose of medicine down and some fluid, before he pulled it out. Still, no diagnose as to what they were dealing with.
With me being in Texas I stayed in close contact with my daughter and son-in-law. The first morning he was in Riley’s (after not having much sleep) and realizing they didn’t know what was wrong with him and was not able to get an IV started I started worrying; worrying so much my stomach began to do flip flops.
Then it happened. God gently reminded me I had not put on my armor yet and I was fighting this worry battle alone. He gently reminded me I needed to put on the breastplate and all the other pieces and trust him to be with this little one and his mom. That’s when it hit. I can’t talk about it to other women if I am not willing to follow through. So right then I stopped and put on my armor of God and refused to let worry take over my whole being.
One of my first instincts whenever any of my grandchildren are in the hospital is to drop everything and head for Indiana. At this point I had a couple of major events going on that I was in charge of. I knew all I had to do was call a few friends let them know what was going on and they would jump in and take care of it. Instead I heard God tell me to wait. That’s all I heard along with a certain scripture…wait. Before too long the phone rang. It was my oldest daughter’s mother-in-law. We have talked many times, but not recently. She called and calmed me down and then she repeated this scripture,
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10
That was the very scripture that was given to me earlier. God was reminding me to wait and be still. It taught me how important it is to follow what I teach others to do. I tell the ladies God gives us tools to use, but he won’t force them on us. It’s up to us to use those tools. I had not taken the time to use the tools he had given me. Once I picked up the tools and used them properly I began to feel at peace. The worry was still there, but not crippling.
We are all in ministry. When we teach our kids how to act and what to say and what not to say we are in ministry. We can’t teach them one thing and live another way. We have to be willing to follow our own best advice. We would be hypocrites if we talked one way and did the complete opposite. When we are in church if we talk the talk, but on Monday morning walk to a different tune then we are not following what we’ve talked about on Sunday morning.
How are you at following your own best advice? So many times when our friends come to us for help or advice we often give them what is needed, but then when the same situation comes up in our own lives we often forget what we have shared with others.
I will be more careful in walking the walk and following my talk. I will try to follow what I share with others. I will be still and know God and I will use the tools he has given me. Make a commitment today to walk the walk that you often talk about.
Dear God: Thank you for being with my grandson and getting him on the road to recovery. Thank you for friends who call and reinforce what we believe you are telling us. Be with us as we minister to others. May we not only share, but put into practice what we teach others. Help us do a better job in walking the walk that lines up with our talk. Amen