As we first arrived and put our gear in our rooms, a welcome bag lay on our beds at Horn Creek Camp. It contained several handy items: a water bottle, some snacks, a note pad, a pen and a bookmark saying: “Now to HIM who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
Then after dinner, our women’s retreat officially started with a campfire under the stars. By the campfire lay a branding iron. Now, a branding iron must be put into fire and get red hot to be able to do its work. In the old West, a cattle rancher branded a calf to show his ownership of it.
Around the campfire were scattered little pieces of wood that were branded with the words GOD IS ABLE. Each of us were encouraged to take home one of those pieces of wood to remind us- when the fires of problems get hot- that we belong to GOD and that GOD IS ABLE.
You see GOD’s branding iron is the HOLY SPIRIT, whom we received when we believed (Ephesians 1:13-14). Through the struggles and fires of life, HE works in us, changing us to look more like JESUS (2 Corinthians 3:18). Then others can see we belong to HIM (I Peter 1:5-7).
GOD knows the plans HE has for us, plans to bless us, not hurt us to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 P). The Bible tells us that it is through our struggles that GOD achieves many wonderful, eternal things for us (2 Corinthians 4:15-18). That truth is very hard to accept during troubled times. I know that for a fact. I have been through many, many hot fires (if you ever read my book you will see). But, I have seen GOD’s love and wisdom first in sending JESUS, then over and over again when HE has brought me out of troubles and fears. So I trust GOD’s power and am confident HE knows what HE is doing.
I glanced up this morning, as I was talking to GOD about aspects of a life-changing new crisis that hit hard yesterday. Immediately, I saw my piece of wood sitting on the window’s ledge. Its words, GOD IS ABLE, were GOD’s whisper to me: “Sharon, I’m in control, I will handle this and it will produce exactly what I want done.” Peace increased and joy bubbled up from within me. The ‘crisis’ situation remains, but my GOD is able, and as the song goes: HE is on my side.
Look to HIM all the time. Then when the fires of trouble ignite, HE will keep you in perfect peace that will guard your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).
GOD will keep in perfect peace the mind that’s stayed (fixed) on HIM; because he trusts in HIM. Trust ye in the LORD forever, for in the LORD, YAHWEY (the self existent ONE who reveals HIMSELF) is everlasting strength (Isaiah 26:3-4).
Looking unto JESUS the Author and Finisher of my faith.