Posts Tagged ‘poor woman’

The Power of Desperation

May 03

by Victoria Robinson

Desperation can drive us either toward good or evil. Sadly, it can cause one to resort to evil in order to get what they want. Such is the case of a depraved man named Shechem who was so desperate to marry Jacob’s daughter, Dinah. First, his desperation led him to defile her. He then agreed to have him and his men become circumcised in hopes of marrying the object of his lust. Finally his evil ways cost him his life. A very sad story of a desperate man.

However, the power of desperation can also lead us to victory as we draw near to our heavenly Father for help. Such is the story of a man named Jairus whose daughter was seriously ill and before Jesus could even get to her, she died. Yet due to the love and graciousness of our Lord, this is not the final outcome. This precious little girl is revived by our Lord. But wait, there is so much more to this story. Right smack in the middle of all this another desperate person is seeking help from the Lord. Right after Jairus pleads for the Lord to heal his daughter, a desperate woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years and had endured painful treatments by many physicians and spent all her money only to continue in misery touched Jesus’ garment. This poor woman’s years of suffering and worry ended in a single act of desperation. Without even being able to communicate her needs to Jesus, she was instantly healed!

Dearest girlfriends, allow your desperation to draw you near to your heavenly Father and receive the great help only He can give!

Then Shechem addressed Dinah’s father and brothers. “Please be kind to me, and let me have her as my wife,” he begged. “I will give whatever you require. No matter what dowry or gift you demand, I will pay it—only give me the girl as my wife.” But Dinah’s brothers deceived Shechem and Hamor because of what Shechem had done to their sister. They said to them, “We couldn’t possibly allow this, because you aren’t circumcised. It would be a disgrace for her to marry a man like you! But here is a solution. If every man among you will be circumcised like we are, we will intermarry with you and live here and unite with you to become one people. Otherwise we will take her and be on our way.” Hamor and Shechem gladly agreed, and Shechem lost no time in acting on this request, for he wanted Dinah desperately. Shechem was a highly respected member of his family, and he appeared with his father before the town leaders to present this proposal. “Those men are our friends,” they said. “Let’s invite them to live here among us and ply their trade. For the land is large enough to hold them, and we can intermarry with them. But they will consider staying here only on one condition. Every one of us men must be circumcised, just as they are. But if we do this, all their flocks and possessions will become ours. Come, let’s agree to this so they will settle here among us.” So all the men agreed and were circumcised. But three days later, when their wounds were still sore, two of Dinah’s brothers, Simeon and Levi, took their swords, entered the town without opposition, and slaughtered every man there, including Hamor and Shechem. They rescued Dinah from Shechem’s house and returned to their camp. Then all of Jacob’s sons plundered the town because their sister had been defiled there. ~ Genesis 34:11-27 NLT
 
When Jesus went back across to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. A leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, came and fell down before him, pleading with him to heal his little daughter. “She is about to die,” he said in desperation. “Please come and place your hands on her; heal her so she can live.” Jesus went with him, and the crowd thronged behind. And there was a woman in the crowd who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors through the years and had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she was worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched the fringe of his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his clothing, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel that she had been healed! Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples said to him, “All this crowd is pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You have been healed.” While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from Jairus’s home with the message, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.” But Jesus ignored their comments and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.” Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter and James and John. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw the commotion and the weeping and wailing. He went inside and spoke to the people. “Why all this weeping and commotion?” he asked. “The child isn’t dead; she is only asleep.” The crowd laughed at him, but he told them all to go outside. Then he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. Holding her hand, he said to her, “Get up, little girl!” And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! Her parents were absolutely overwhelmed. ~ Mark 5:21-42 NLT

The Ugliness of Pain

Mar 03

by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever seen a woman who no matter how beautiful her clothes, hairdo, and makeup are is just plain ugly? This ugliness stems from the pain of her inner self. She has been hurt deeply and is scared, bitter, or is just writhing in pain. Such appears to be the case with a woman named Naomi we find in the book of Ruth. She was so bitter that she changed her name and said, “Don’t call me Naomi, … Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty.” It is interesting to note the name Naomi means “my delight” while Mara means “bitter”. This woman went from delightful to bitter. One can only imagine the ugliness of perhaps a haggard and drawn face this poor woman might have had. Just what brought Naomi to this point? She was left alone in an ungodly foreign country where her husband and sons died.

Contrast the story of Naomi with that of a precious friend of mine, Nancy, who recently became a widow. The beauty of Nancy shined through at her husband’s funeral. I watched as she raised her hands in praise to God for His goodness even at a difficult time. Her beauty continued to glorify God as she had planned the entire funeral to bring salvation to the lost who were in attendance. This is a memory of a beautiful woman I shall forever cherish.

Later in the book of Ruth we see Naomi as a beautiful woman who had gotten beyond her pain. Her friends said, “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Understandably in the midst of our darkest days, we may never look in the mirror and see a beautiful woman outwardly. Yet even during these trials, others can see our inner beauty if our hearts are in right standing with our Lord. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would seek the inner beauty only godliness can give us.

So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” ~ Ruth 1:19-21 NIV
 
The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” ~ Ruth 4:14-15 NIV
 
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. ~ Hebrews 12:15 NIV
 
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. ~ James 3:14-16 NIV
 
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. … ~ 1 Peter 3:3-5 NIV

Lord Help Me!

Jan 31

by Victoria Robinson

A woman came to Jesus, knelt before Him and said, “Lord help me!” Sounds familiarly like the story of my life. I am in constant need of my Lord’s help. This is a suspenseful story that has some intriguing twists and turns. Though the outcome does look dark at first it does have a happy ending. My favorite kind of story!

Within this story we see the wonderful mercy, help and provision of our Lord. However, we also see that not all request presented to our Lord are immediately answered. This distressed woman is in dire need to have her daughter set free from demon-possession. She begs for mercy. Of all the responses our Lord could have given, He says nothing. That must have been a deafening silence to this poor woman who came to Jesus in sincerity. Now His disciples made the matter worse. They urged Jesus to send her away because she kept crying after them. Fortunately for her, Jesus knew He was sent to help her. This is where she kneels before Him and cries out, “Lord help me!” But a happy ending is not here yet girlfriends! He starts debating with her. He tells her, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” To which she persist in seeking His help by saying, “Yes, Lord,” … “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Voila! Her great faith has rewarded her! The Lord now says what we all wanted to hear all along, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.”

What a great story of need, persistence and mercy! Girlfriends do you need to cry out, “Lord help me!”? He is waiting to listen patiently to your deepest needs. Whatever His answer will be, will be perfect. His timing will be perfect as well. Trust Him with the same great faith this woman had.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would come and kneel before the Lord with all our needs and allow Him to help us.

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. ~ Matthew 15:25 NIV
 
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. ~ Matthew 15:21-28 NIV
 
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord. ~ Psalm 40:1-3 NLT
 
Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. … Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. … ~ Isaiah 50:7-9 NIV