KEEPING IT R.E.A.L.
The Bible is littered with stories of people who have faced tragedy and struggles in their lives. Elijah was so discouraged at one point he wanted to die. Peter, while he walked along side Christ, struggled with knowing how to tame his tongue. Sarah struggled with infertility and mother Eve struggled with authority… she just had to eat that forbidden fruit!
Life is difficult at times. Face it, we all struggle! Some of us, like Elijah, may face discouragement; someone may have relationship issues; or some may find it difficult to love others as we should. Don’t feel like you are alone, sister. We realize “the struggle is REAL”.
Yes, life is difficult at times for all of us. Yes, the struggle is real, but so is God. And, He has given us a book full of real life situations. The Bible is not sanitized. It’s true to life… our lives. Our prayer for you is that you will read it, study it, and allow it to help you in all your life situations especially during those difficult ones!
We are a member of the Free Will Baptist Women Nationally Active for Christ (WNAC). WNAC exists to help each woman fulfill her role in the Great Commission through her God-designed roles in the home, church, community and world. We thrive to support Free Will Baptist missionaries in the U.S. and abroad. Each local group also takes an active role in supporting worthy causes in their church and community.
r — Relationships
When it comes to relationships countless dollars have been invested, volumes have been written and hours of counseling have been spent. Why? Because we are designed for relationships.
Notice I didn’t say we “want” relationships. The need for relationships for basic human development was highlighted by renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow as being superseded only by physiological needs (food, water, clothing, warmth), and safety needs such as shelter. If you’ve lived on this earth for any amount of time, you understand the plethora of relationships that human beings pursue. But for now, let’s focus on women’s relationships. The best mission field for a women’s ministry is to fulfill the relationship need among other women.
My dear friend “Dee” recently asked our ladies’ group to join her in prayer for her friend, an atheist, who had expressed interest in accompanying her to a Bible study. As Dee humbly discounted her own influence on her friend’s curiosity about Christianity, it came out that all Dee had done was to be a friend in a difficult time. That’s it. Are you hearing this, ladies? I could hardly restrain my tears as I praised God in my heart and marveled at how He, through this sweet and simple relationship, began softening a heart, even in the midst of its denial. By the way, I’m going to ask you to pray, too. Is anything impossible for Him?
What about the young single mother with a rocky past who has cautiously darkened your church door for the first time, or for the first time in a long time? She may be taking a step to fulfill an innate need in her life. Will you do your part to help fulfill that need or will you safely keep your distance? What a wonderful opportunity to be called her friend as she seeks to begin or renew her relationship with the Savior!
Does your relationship with other women really make a difference? Ruth, a Moabite woman, was from a land of idols. Scripture makes it clear that Ruth chose not to return to her homeland after her husband’s death, and through her relationship with Naomi, her mother-in-law, made the choice to serve God. Generations later, God’s plan was fulfilled through Ruth’s descendants in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
Most of us aren’t just really superb at initiating relationships, are we? For some of us, a strange antisocial fear strikes at the thought of basic introductions - even in our own church! I’ve been there and I truly understand. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Let this promise assure us that we are adequately equipped. Fear is not a player in a game when such high stakes are involved.
Resolve to make new efforts to build relationships. Purposefully ask God to place people in your path who need Him. Then, seek His guidance on how best to connect. Whether it’s the cranky clerk at the grocery store whose line you try to avoid, the sassy student who is just asking to be sent to the office, the backstabbing coworker (there, I said it), the first-time church visitor, or the unbelieving daughter-in-law, let’s love them where they are. Ask God to use every encouraging text, lunch date, Facebook friend request, card, Bible study invitation, small gift, or listening ear to draw them. Yes, they need a relationship with us, but most of all they need a saving relationship with Him.