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Preparing for a New Season in 2021

2020 ! Wow!


I have heard a great deal of stress-filled comments about the year that was _______ (readers – you can fill in your own blank here.)


A great blessing to me during this past year was actually the Lord’s preparation of me in the previous years through Bible Study and time with Him. So many times, during the pandemic, the restrictions, the isolation, and let us not forget the election, I was reminded by His Spirit of His Word (John 14:26) God’s Word is His promise and we are His principles. The Lord is the source of my comfort and hope. Looking forward, it is the same source from which it will continue to come. He is the same yesterday, today and in 2021. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8


For Israel, the Philistines were their “Corona;” a constant thorn in their side and source of resistance to the plan and path on which God clearly set them. Talk about discouraging!!! Those Philistines were none too keen on being conquered either. They were the rascals who would steal the highly protected and esteemed Ark of the Covenant. On and on they continually harassed the Israelites. After Joshua, God appointed judges for the people. The third judge was a fellow named Shamgar. He’s only listed in a couple of verses in all of Scripture. Yet, this obscure figure, Shamgar, was faithful in the little things; effecting a big result.


“After him (the second judge Ehud) came Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad; and he also saved Israel. “Judges 3:31 [ Also see 5:6. ] Whoa! That's a big deal.


Shamie took off for work like any other morning. He drove his oxen out, and before night fall, he had used the only thing he had on hand – a rancher’s tool used to poke and prod their livestock, to conquer 600 Philistines! The evil showed up and Shamgar took the only thing he had, paired with a beautifully lived out faith, and conquered the Philly-troup.

There are many stories of challenges and unfair odds throughout Scripture. When we face these circumstances; we use what we have (gifts, time, resources), obey God, armed with His Word and His Spirit, and He will use us for His glory and victory.


David had a few pebbles and a slingshot, but those meager weapons, and a great faith in Almighty God, were more than enough against the foul-mouthed, taunting giant.


Samson slew more than a few enemies with a jawbone.


A small child’s loaves and fishes were used to satisfy a hungry crowd when turned over to Jesus.


“…but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the things which are strong, (like oxgoads and fish and jawbones - emphasis mine) … so that no man may boast before God.” 1 Corinthians 1:27


God shows us His providence in all of these examples. The boy with the loaves was where he needed to be. Someone noticed an insignificant boy with a basket. He gave it to Jesus (This Is Huge!).


And there are “after-stories,” many we don’t even know, but one thing we do know is that the kid has been used as an example for us for the last 2,000 years. The crowd was given what they needed. Jesus was glorified. And people were saved.


God has done, is doing, will do great things in 2021 and we get to participate in it! God is NEVER distressed, surprised, or discouraged. Praise God, in the Name of Jesus – what a joy! Amazing things happen when we step up and use what we have for His Kingdom.


In the new season ahead, I’ll do some old things and perhaps unexpected things. I’ll use what I have. I’ll obey His directives. I’ll trust Him for the outcome, and great things will happen. I may not realize the results or see them every time but that’s His promise, and I’ll trust in that.


What do I have? What will I pick up and use?


The real “preparing” for the new season is the resolve to trust what I know; The Truth He has already given me.



 


Kim is the wife of Dr. Richard J Swartz, mother of two, stepmom of two, and grandmother of nine – which is her favorite job of all. She excels in being a student of the Word of God, and takes great joy in being a laborer for the Lord in speaking Truth in Love. She is a retired Marketing Director that enjoys Bible studies, grandchildren, golf, and sailing.

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