Friday, March 17, 2017
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I loved attending the annual St. Patrick's Day Party that we had in my community in Tulsa, but I'll miss it this year. We always enjoyed corned beef & cabbage, Irish Stew, Celtic music, and played lots of Irish games and watched Irish dancers! With all the good hearted fun, I know, like other religious holidays, this is another "watered down, rather beered down" day where we get distracted from the true meaning of this day, but I want to honor St. Patrick by sharing who this man was -- just in case you may not know.
St. Patrick was born around A.D. 389 in England. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped and sold as a slave in Ireland. Six years later he escaped and returned home to Britain, but became burdened for the spiritual condition of the Irish. He eventually returned to their land as a missionary for 30 years where he established more than 200 churches and led more than 100,000 to faith in Christ. He used the 3-leaf shamrock to talk about the Trinity. His death on March 17, 461 is remembered each year as St. Patrick's Day. WOW -- like Joseph, St. Patrick, was sold to slavery, and like Joseph in the Bible, "what the enemy meant for evil, God turned for good". Genesis 50:20.
Can you imagine what must have gone through Patrick’s mind when he heard the Lord’s call to return to the land where he was once a slave? Instead of running to his safe place, he followed God’s plan for his life. And, isn’t that exactly what we are called to do? Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
Listen to how utterly consumed St. Patrick was with his relationship with God in his prayer:
"I arise today through God's strength to pilot me, God's might to uphold me,God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise. Christ in the heart of everyone one who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.I arise today through His mighty strength."
Let's take a few moments to honor and be inspired by St. Patrick -- a man who boldly listened to God’s call for his life and achieved so much for God's glory. His witness, his prayer, his passion and his example really is something to celebrate today. The green I wear today, honors him, honors the God he served and HE is also MY Lord, and MY God!
It was just "puppy love" that brought my Honey and I together at the ages of 13 and 12. We eventually married at the "mature" ages of 18 and 17. And that's when our faith journey began. Over the years, we encountered many opportunities to stretch our faith, especially when our babies were very sick, when financial situations were out of control, and when our marriage relationship had some rocky periods.But we made it through those times by our strong faith and trust in God. But never was our faith more challenged, than when my 63 years "young" husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Fortunately, the 44 years of marriage and faith-building experiences, caused us to "weather the storm", and still remain in peace and strong in our faith. This "peace that passed understanding" compelled me to blog and share the principles that caused our faith to be unwavering and continues to give me the joys of living large! I'm still here, so I'm not done!. I pray you will grow in your faith as you, not only read the blogs, but apply the principles to your own life -- for the good times, and especially for those times that seem so overwhelming.