Daniel 10:19 – And he said, "O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!" So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, "Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me." (NKJV)
Being of British background, I grew up with "Show a stiff upper lip", "Be strong in times of adversity", "Be tough", "Press on", "Just be strong". When I came to the Lord six years ago, the Lord began a restoration in my life, not only of healing the past, but also of my thinking and the processing of events in my life.
The Lord did a miraculous work in my dad's life after he accepted the Lord in October 2007 until his passing on August 20, 2008. He also did a work in my life that was displayed at his funeral. The Lord has shown me what it means to be strong in the Lord and not strong in myself.
I was so blessed to be able to spend the last days of my dad's life not only with him but with my mom and brother. Keeping vigil for three days, on basically no sleep, I was sustained by the Lord. There is no other explanation for this strength.
Upon my dad's passing, I was asked to do the eulogy. I have never spoken publicly; in fact, I have run the other direction from such experiences. I prepared the eulogy, knowing that I had a person who would step in and read it for me should I find myself unable to do it. Yet from the moment I stood up to speak, I had such a sense of peace. Gone were all the fears of being strong in Julie, replaced with a strength of the Lord. I was able to deliver this eulogy to over a hundred people, many of whom are not in a relationship with the Lord.
At times, we try to look for the outward changes in our walk and life, when all the while, the Lord is doing an inward change. It is through these changes — when we step aside and allow the Lord to shine through us — that lives are changed.
Psalm 71:3 – Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. (NKJV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we rejoice for the ways in which You work in and through us. Help us to seek You and to draw closer to You in these times. Guide us in Your ways so that our ways will become a part of the past. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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