Devoted Blog

Stretch Marks Part Two

December 13, 2017

Based on a message spoken by Ps Sharon Kelly on Nov 08, 2017

Blog by Marleis Scharfe

I thought my parents were the model family … then after 25 years they divorced

I thought I’d cruise through my final year of school … but I failed with an embarrassing 36.5% final grade

I thought that guy that told me he loved me was the one … he dumped me after I uprooted my life for him

I thought I’d have a career in acting after many promising auditions and becoming shortlisted… didn’t make the final cut

I thought because I’d been around for so long I deserved that opportunity … instead she got it?

I thought married life would be fun … but all I feel like we do is fight

Sound familiar? Maybe by now you thought you’d have children, or you thought having children would be easy, but it’s not, and the pain and pressure of seeing that dream become a reality just feels like one heart break after another. Maybe you are working so hard to restore your marriage – but you feel completely alone in this battle. Maybe, like me, you’d imagined things in your career would look different to how they do, and now you’re dealing with disappointment around your dreams.

Pastor Sharon recently taught a series called STRETCH MARKS. Life and all its challenges are inevitable and hard. The stretching process of the human and earthly journey we’re on is at times, very painful. Sometimes we go through such immense challenge, it seems unfair and confusing. There will be days that you may feel misunderstood, misjudged.

In your deepest pain when you’re feeling like you cannot steady your foot or settle your mind – God can, He is your constant help. As we surrender, place our deep truths and troubles at His feet and allow Him to take them from us, there is great freedom available to us in Him. We must lean into the process we’re in, by releasing the reigns and control over to Him, who is the author and finisher of our faith, surrender yourself to Him.

And just when you think you may snap – you won’t!

– Don’t give up
– Don’t draw back
– You never know what’s right around the corner
– You don’t know how strong you are
– Feeling defeated is temporary, giving up is permanent
– Keep on going

He is in control… in the middle of the stretch, when you’re not sure from where your next breath will come… steady yourself and focus on what is to come.

How? You might ask… by looking at the right thing – looking to Jesus.

Psalm 121:1-5 (NLT)

1 I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
3 He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
5 The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

There are many things that look to bring relief and alleviate the pressure and pain of the moment. A new job, a new relationship, more money, a vacation, that bottle, that party… beautiful girls, there is only one thing that can carry us through to the victory that awaits us. Fix your eyes on Him.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NLT)

18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

God has a plan for you, and while the path doesn’t always take the exact route we were expecting, and while we’d all love a shiny joy ride, He will be faithful to get us to our destination ready to embrace all He’s prepared for us, if we release those reigns to Him.

I love this scripture Ps Sharon used;

Proverbs 16:9 (Passion Translation)

Within your heart you can make plans for your future but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there

So take heart, take courage… trust Him, allow God to use the darkest, hardest seasons to give you His strength and fortitude. And, know that as you push through, there’s a great reward that awaits you.