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STRETCH
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Stretch

 

Daniel 2:19”..the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven..”

 

Daniel and his friends are being stretched over and over again right from the opening chapter of this book of Daniel.  Each time I read the book of Daniel I get charged, energized, boosted, brave, plucky and encouraged.  After Daniel overcame victoriously the ‘food contest’ in chapter one, immediately in the next chapter Daniel is faced with another horrendous and murderous threat from the king himself; however, instead of panicking Daniel wisely handles the situation by meeting the king himself and requests for time, in the meanwhile he prays to God who reveals the mystery to him.  Amen. Proverbs 2: 3 says, “For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding.”  Eventually, after all the STRETCH …Daniel was able to meet the lions in chapter six with ease, poise and confidence in God.  Hallelujah! 

 

Things are not going to be smooth and hunky-dory all the time, there would be turbulent days and that’s when your caliber, competence and skill should manifest.  Anybody listening?  I didn’t expect this, I never thought this would happen, they ditched me…….all these statements are from people  who are reckless, spineless and not proactive.  Cautious, highly shrewd and vigilant people would be prepared!  When an extremely famous theatre artist in America was asked during an interview as to how he happened to become a theatre artist and get popular, his reply was surprising, he said, on a particular day when the main heroine did not turn up he had to play the role of a female, he was accepted by the audience because that was a comedy role and thereby he continued to do it.  Instead of panicking this gentleman pitched in where there was a need and thus completed the work; however, you got to have the know-how in order to do it well, though. 

 

Last year during our three days camp meeting, the food caterer did an excellent job and supplied sumptuous food for us, in the evening while I was settling the money, I appreciated his work and that’s when he said,” the cook suddenly created a ruckus and walked out so I had to get another cook from elsewhere and finish the work, I was under great pressure and tension during all the three days.”  While we were enjoying the timely meals, without disturbing us, this caterer went all out to complete our work, that’s efficiency.

 

A committed worker would finish the job no matter what it takes and would not be bragging about the details but he would just complete it. Ah! That’s his norm.  You know what, when you buy high quality material, it would look normal but it has the capacity ‘in it’ to stretch, though this may be expensive but it is worth it because of its high quality.  Are you a person who buckle down under pressure or are you a person with capacity to stretch?  Tell me.  After we shifted to Hyderabad, for around ten years I would travel with my husband and sometimes alone too and this period was hectic.  In one particular city where I was ministering for three days, the church elders took me to a village for ministry in an auto, the one hour travel almost broke my back; nevertheless, that experience had given me the stretching capacity…..Sometimes you may feel that something you’re going through is breaking you……relax, actually that is stretching you.

 

STRETCH TO LOVE:

 

Sometimes when you go beyond your capacity to forgive and love someone who has hurt you mercilessly, let me tell you, God is not going to ignore you, He would bless you trillion times for your effort to stretch and please God.  Have you read this scripture: 1 Peter 2:20”What good does it do if, when you sin, you patiently receive punishment for it? But if you suffer for doing good and receive it patiently, you have God's approval. “  I tell you this scripture is like a heavy tonic that would release all anger and bitterness from you.  The greatest blow you can give the enemy is to sing praises to God when you are in the darkest hour ( actually I was about to write “ when you are beaten black and blue..”; however, I couldn’t get to write it….)  I don’t write this because I’ve got it all together, but I write because there is power in the words of Jesus when He says, “Mathew 5:38-40”  You have heard that it was said,”Eye for eye and tooth for tooth but I tell you do not resist an evil person.  If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”  This devotion is going to break Jericho walls today….I tell you, even if they read it after ten years on the social media, it is going to heal them like crazy because there is power in the blood of Jesus.  Amen.

 

Administration at school, taking care of the children at Abide Angel Home and the hectic work was taking a toll on me,  around this time, I heard someone tell, “ God has placed a special place in heaven for care takers of the poor and the abandoned.’  I was stunned and overwhelmed.

STRETCH and go the extra mile

Jesus said, "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.”(Mathew 5:41)

I cannot look for a better scripture in the Bible than this one to explain about stretching, are you with me?  It kind of makes me role up my sleeves to do more and more and more…and more…and I still feel inadequate and not enough, when I think of the expectations of our Lord Jesus, stay with me as I go deep into this.  Jesus starts with the words, ‘whoever forces you to go one mile’…wait a minute, it does not say, ‘ when someone asks to go one mile but instead when someone FORCES you’….the statement already starts with the word FORCE and startles us, now Jesus wants us to step ahead further and go beyond that and do double.  This is just tooooo much!  Attention! Attention! Attention! But this is what Jesus expects us to do!  Has the Christian community read this scripture…..EVER?  If so we would not be grappling, debating and arguing on who should do the opening prayer or leading the worship? We would not be jostling for attention in whatsup group, looking for who would be one up than the other, we would not be exchanging silly conversations over petty issues. Isssssssh….there is a dear new convert brother or sister, young youth pastor in the whatsup group silently watching the comedy with shock!  Anybody listening?  There is GREAT asking from Jesus to go the extra mile! 

 

Why did Rebekah get Isaac, a huge catch? Not because she wore a designer saree or not because she did  Liposuction surgery and looked hep, not because she looked stunning with zero figure, not because her color resembled rose, not because she had enormous educational degrees but only because she went the extra mile to not only give water to Eliezer but water all the ten camels of Eliezer, servant of Abraham.(Genesis 24:14:34)  She must have looked tired, breathing hard with disheveled hair after her job of watering ten camels; however, Eliezer had been praying silently, 'O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I go successful;

 

43           behold, I am standing by the spring, and may it be that the maiden who comes out to draw, and to whom I say, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar";

44           and she will say to me, "You drink, and I will draw for your camels also"; let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master's son.'

 

Wow, as you go the extra-mile, God would arrange the miracle to reach you.  We would not be SUNDAY attendees at church and skip, ignore ALL the other meetings and gatherings at church and call ourselves as Christians, while Jesus wants us to go the extra mile!  We would not be coming late to church but we would be much early at the church and also helping the pastor for the service. An ‘extra-mile-person’ will be a great asset to any organization and church, they are just pure gold’ – but, alas, very rare though!

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