We are pausing today to remember.that one year ago, my life almost slipped away. I suffered a stroke which left some weaknesses that we had to overcome. Thanks be unto God, His mercy not only brought me through the attack, but also through the months of re-gaining strength; strength of body and soul and strength of purpose. While I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the enemy sent forth the attack, I also believe that God used even this to work a course correction in me. Once more and again He showed up and reminded me that I was an overcomer, and the benefits of learning how to overcome. For it is never the destination that God is concerned about, as much as He is the journey. If we have set our gaze toward heaven as our destination, by receiving the finished work of Jesus Christ, then our destination is set.  The journey however has yet to be lived.  Over this past year He has enabled me to take a different course, correcting some fallacies, renewing HIs purpose and plans to a greater dimension:

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.Hebrews 12:6-11(MSG)

As this scripture so aptly lets us know that the discipline we go through is never a punishment. Our striving for better health, or to be a better person is sometimes going to require discipline. We are trained in this process how to live better, how to stand up as a child of God and stand out among the worldly crowd. He enables us to endure strenuous exercises, sometimes both physically and spiritually. For what purpose, you say? Hebrews 11 says it well: "it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God".  And didn’t the Psalmist say:

Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits; Psalm 103: 2 (AMP)

Read the rest of Psalm 103 and rejoice over this benefit package!

Marai