Everything Changes

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This is not the sermon I thought about preaching. Honestly today isn’t a sermon. It is a testimony. This isn’t what I thought I would share, not even close on such an amazing day as today is. Today is the birthday of two of the most important people in the world to me. My father, who turns a wonderful 78 today, even though for some it might feel like he has the wisdom of a 780 year old, he is only 78. He blesses me with his faith, his love, his desire to be generous, serve, and keep sharing Biblical truth.
Today is also the birthday of my mother-in-law, Reaonna Senkel, the best mother-in-law I could ever ask for. She is a wonderful encourager, steadfast, strong, wise, kind, prayer-warrior. A person I do not deserve but I am so grateful and thankful for.
Today I thought about continuing our time seeing what God revealed in the Bible in Galatians but God is taking my life, and actually all of our lives in a completely different direction because we are a church family.
Last week, was one of the hottest we have ever experienced here in Stockton. For me, working at a school it was pretty miserable. We actually treated it like a rainy day schedule keeping our students inside for lunch and afternoon recess. With my students that is even more difficult as they struggle with many of the things that other students do on those rainy days. We don’t play heads up 7-up, don’t enjoy coloring, and really don’t like being inside.
That’s minor but as we went into this week, I knew that one of the three adults working with me, had been moved to another school site. Now I was down to 2 adults helping. When I informed the district last Friday that this was occuring I learned I would be getting a brand new student to my classroom. Down 1 aide and they added another student. On Tuesday morning, I received another text. One of my aides had a sick child, she would not be in.
Now on Tuesday, the first day of this school week, I would have a new student, miss two aides, and it was going to be the hottest day of the year. All the circumstances of my day were against me.
Church, today is important for me to share with you what Jesus shows us about himself. Because life does suck. You will have days when everything is going against you. People may be against you. Circumstances may be against you. Health may be against you. I know they will be against you because I too have seen this. Yet Jesus is faithful!
We can trust in Jesus like you trust in that chair. you can put your full weight, your full confidence in that chair but more you can do put your full weight and confidence in what Jesus tells us He will do, just as you put your full weight into the legs of those chairs, without a doubt in your mind that the chair will hold you up.
You might be going through it. You might be thinking why is nothing working. How much more can I take? How much more can I lose. I promise you, a whole lot more.
There is a different way to think about all this negativity. You can give in to it. The negative times are going to come, if the hardship will happen whether your kind or not, than what roll is there for God? OR you can deny it and yet keep finding out that times are incredibly hard, because life is hard. OR you can accept by faith the promises of Jesus.
Jesus reveals to us through the scriptures
Romans 8:28 CSB
28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Wait what?
ALL THINGS? All things.
When I went into this Tuesday morning asking God, everything that makes my job successful, even possible is being taken away from me. I was tired. Did I mention the Lord has allowed me to help our brother Victor get to work every morning because he is working on getting his driver’s license and now that He follows Jesus! He is obeying the laws and not driving without a license so I am helping my brother be responsible for himself and for his walk with God, and thanks be to God, He is.
But because this week was so hot his work changed its schedule so he no longer had to be at work by 6 am but by 5 am so I had to pick him up at 4:30 am! I was tired. I was having my resources pulled away from me. But Jesus told me, trust in my like you trust in a chair. All things work together for the good of those who love God.
An aide left. Hottest week ever. A new student is added. And an earlier wake up time.
What does the scripture say? ALL things work together for the good of those who love God.
So in this circumstance, this horrible circumstance God was going to work for the good of those who love God.
Your situation can be even tougher than a hard work situation and I promise you, that Jesus promises you,
Matthew 6:33 CSB
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
So I could honestly receive all these hardships and Be overwhelmed and honestly ask God, knowing by faith that God will answer:

How God will you show your glory through this?

All of our hardships could be looked at in this way. From heavy traffic to heavy medical problems. Your issues are not too big for God but they are too big for you.
Seriously, have you ever heard the saying that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. That is not in the Bible. Most of life is more than we can handle. Seriously, hardships they come and they keep coming. All of us know what it is like to lose a relationship in one day and then 2 days later lose again. Than have a flat tire.
But in all these things, God is still trustworthy. He is working out all things for the good.
What is our roll according to Jesus?

Seek the kingdom of God

Do what God has called me to do. I didn’t see a great light this week. Didn’t have a verse that changed my lesson plans. I had a general direction from God of how to act, treat people and work in this world
Galatians 5:22–23 NLT
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
As I looked into my phone, I could complain, cry, or confess that Jesus is faithful and will carry me through. I Haven’t always done the right thing, and God is great about forgiving, and this time once again, God forgave and guided. I had a knowledge that I could say God will carry me through.
My roll was to live out the ways of Jesus instead of whining, complaining or using this hardship as an excuse to sin, to go to addictions to get rid of the pain and the hardship.
My friends on Tuesday, I had to send an email to bosses just explaining the situation. I stated the facts and stated I could use any help I can get.
God begins to provide. To my shock my program coordinator showed up. I want you to understand who that is. She is just below the head of special education. She is a big deal. Not only does she show up but she will take my wonderful little girls to the bathroom so they can be changed. She did the work. She showed up, my autism coach, a mentor who the district provides us with showed up, and then other aides from other rooms can and helped out. My principle worked in my class to give me lunch. My students misbehaved yes, Class wasn’t great but everyone made it home alive! There was no ridicule of my teaching, instead there was an earnest desire to support. All those who saw, said we need to get this guy some help and support from nowhere came.
God provides but that doesn’t mean we will ever stop needing God to provide, that we ever get to a point where we can be God I got this. Nope we don’t. Without God we try to act like that but we are actually hoping nobody finds out that we don’t got this. We show our insecurities, our vulnerabilities and we have nothing to fall back on but failure. My friends that isn’t the way of a follower of Jesus. I promise you

I don’t got this! God got this!

say it with me! I don’t got this, God got this!
That stressor you are going through, you don’t got it. You don’t have what it takes to make it through without letting depression suck you down, without drinking yourself into oblivion, without eating yourself into a coma, without spreading that anger everywhere. You know what though
Matthew 6:33 CSB
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
Romans 8:28 CSB
28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
God got this!
God is working. We just seek righteousness. My direction is the direction God wants me to go. Your way to live, decision to make, is to the righteous way God wants you to go. I can’t go to self-pity. I can’t go to whinyville. I can share grief. I can share pain. I can ask for help. But I know that I don’t have to HAVE THIS, whatever this is, because God has this!
One stressor is not reality. Real life means that there is another stressor during this one.
I got a call on Tuesday too. I think it was Tuesday. After I got off work Tuesday I needed to go visit Bobby Luke in the hospital. My friend is not well. He recognized me and was able to talk with me some. I read the scripture from the most beautiful sermon he shared with us about the paralyzed man who was taken by his friends to Jesus. Do you remember it, Bobby said it over and over, Jesus most important words to the paralyzed man was your sins are forgiven. Bobby stressed that because the Bible stresses that. For those who believe on Jesus, with faith, active faith, like the faith we have in the chair, we are saved. We can take it to the bank. We are forgiven and we will all be healed.
John 3:16 CSB
16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
My friends Bobby is near taking hold of the prize that is Christ Jesus. I learned from Pastor Jason this Saturday that Bobby has moved into hospice care. If or when I hear more I will let you all know.
Do all things still work together for good?
Yes, Yes they do.
1 Corinthians 15:50 NLT
50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
1 Corinthians 15:53–58 NLT
53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Bobby will soon achieve the goal, but his work is not in vain. A few of you are following the Lord because of Bobby’s work in Jesus. I told Bobby he revitalized my walk in Christ. Nothing that we do for the Lord is useless. Nothing.
My friends it is okay to be sad. Jesus told us
Matthew 5:4 CSB
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
God is not afraid of our grief or our pain. This doesn’t take away from the good that God is doing. We don’t have to be happy but in the midst of Tuesday visiting with Bobby I was filled with hope and joy. We know what is happening. We know that death has no victory. We know that no matter what we are healed.
Those of us who will remain we will continue the work, knowing that “nothing that we do for the Lord is useless.”
My friends I know this is a lot. We feel so much, but I’m telling you, that you don’t have to handle this.

We don’t got this! God got this!

On Wednesday, an aide was able to come back to school and our program coordinator returned to help us the majority of the day with a promise. The district would provide additional help. More aides would be coming. More people in fact more than I originally thought would ever be in my room.
On Friday it became official I met one of the first additional aides. My daughter Deborah came to school as well. I had so much help that when Mitzi Grace the program coordinator came. I greeted her with great joy and she was able to leave.
God continues to bless and yet there are still more ways He will show his blessing. You see in all of our horribleness God is still working.

God is still working in our horribleness. God got this!

Because on Friday afternoon I was asked to come home as quickly as I could after work.
My mom shared with us that she is diagnosed with acute Leukemia. This is cancer of her blood stream and it can happen to those who have had chemotherapy for previous cancer’s. My mother survived two bouts of breast cancer. TWO!
She is amazing but she didn’t have the strength to do that.
Romans 8:28 CSB
28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

We don’t got this, God got this!

My friends we do not take pieces of scripture, parts of the Bible out of context. We don’t hold on to verses as promises when they really have nothing to do with what the rest of the Bible was talking about around them.
Remember when I shared Romans 8:28
Romans 8:28 CSB
28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
That verse is found among some pretty bad stuff
Romans 8:31–39 NLT
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I don’t got this. I can’t handle this church, teaching 9 children with severe needs, and a mom who is sick. I don’t got this.

Whose got this?

God’s got this!

Overwhelming victory is our’s my friends. I’m not in denial. This is going to be hard but God will be glorified.
Doctor’s at UC Davis have a very promising treatment for those of my mother’s age for leukemia. The treatment’s are different than you often hear or see for leukemia in those who are younger. She is already signed up and got signed up with such amazing speed that it took about a day for all to come about. Right now my mom is praising God and amazed based on her own knowledge of the slowness of medicine at how fast she is getting treated.
You might be going through incredible stuff right now, but I ask you to put your faith in Jesus. Not that He will make it all go away so you can go back to your old life but that you will see the hand of God. That you will experience being in God’s presence. That you will know the power of God to deliver, to be praised, to be glorified. That you will know what you were really created for.
My friends I woke up on Saturday and learned that my mother also has Covid-19.
I don’t got this.

Whose got this?

God’s got this!

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