Daily Devotional – 12/4/18 “I’ll praise, my way!”

On my way to work this morning, there was a discussion about the backlash #GabrielleUnion received when she posted a picture in a hospital gown, after the birth of her daughter. If you don’t know the story, quick recap. Gabrielle has been battling fertility issues so her and her husband used a surrogate. After the birth, they posted pictures of Gabrielle, in a gown and hospital bed. Here’s what rubbed me the wrong way … Folk were angry because to them, the picture alluded to Gabrielle giving birth, when she didn’t. Folk were really mad because they didn’t get why she had to have a gown on. Here’s the thing, she may never be able to physically give birth so if she wanted to enjoy that moment, with her only daughter, in a hospital gown and bed IT’S HER CHOICE! She received a blessing and that should have been enough but no, folk always nitpicking everything.

Look y’all, you’ve got to stop allowing folk to make you feel bad about your blessing(s). Stop giving people the power to bad mouth what God has granted when they don’t know the hell you’ve had to go through to get it. Truth is, most of the ones mad, aren’t really mad about your blessing but they’re upset because 1. It’s you, 2. You didn’t tell them and 3. It ain’t them. So, here’s what I’m not going to do … give you the time of day! However, here’s what I am going to do. I’m going to post about it, over and over. I’m going to snap pictures and share them, over and over. I’m going to talk about it, over and over. I’m going to shout about it, over and over. I’m going to cry about it (the good, ugly, soul-stirring cry), over and over. I’m going to praise God for it, over and over. Then repeat! And if it happens to bother you, baby bye! And I mean that for real goodbye with the deuces, the head nod and the smile because if you think I’m about to let you ruin my victory, tuh! If you think you’re about to discourage this praise after the many nights I’ve had to spend in pain, the days of crying, the moments of not knowing if I’d survive, the months of trying to keep from drowning, the weeks of depression, the silent nights of suicidal thoughts, the sickness and diseases, the addictions and the anger, the abuse and the hurt and all the losses I’ve had to take; YOU MUST NOT KNOW ME! (Imagine the clap in between each word) And get this, you can call me what you want, I don’t even care because I fought for this favor, I battled for this blessing, I fasted for this type of faith, I struggled for this seed and I endured for this moment and if you think I’m about to let you take the joy out of it, think again. Oh, if you have to take it up with anybody, call God because He did it, not me!

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Daily Devotional – 6/1/18 “What if it’s protection, not punishment?”

What if it’s protection and not punishment? You know, the thing you are mad at God for. What if it’s protection and not punishment? When Joseph was sold by his brothers, accused of rape, thrown in jail and endured all he did; it wasn’t punishment but it was God protecting the very thing growing on the inside of Him. And he had to go through it in order for the anointing to be cultivated until it was time to be birthed. What if it’s protection, beloved? I’m talking to you, who is in a place of despair because you cannot understand why things aren’t happening for you. I’m talking to somebody who is about to give up because nobody is requesting your services, they will not call you to speak, they will not buy what you’re selling and they will not support whatever it is you got going. But what if this is God’s way of protecting you because the very thing you’re trying to give away is worth selling? What if this is God’s way of protecting your gift from those trying to use it for their gain? What if this is God’s way of ensuring you are ready before you take the platform? What if God closed your womb because He needs you happy and healthy before, during and after birth? What if God gave you sickness in order to strengthen you for the work that needs to be done? What if God is protecting you to make sure nobody else can get the credit?

What if it’s protection and not punishment? Bible shares in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.” Yes, it hurts. Yes, it hurts a lot but if you are obedient and faithful, it has to pay off. Why? Because bible tells us in Deuteronomy 28:1, “Now if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God and are careful to follow all His commandments I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.” This is especially true in those times when it’s quiet and nobody is calling, when the pain is at its all-time high, when it feels like you’re being tormented for doing good, overlooked for your anointing, misused for the message God gave and beat up for the blessings you are due. What if it’s protection? God hasn’t allowed your bank account to grow because He needs you to be able to turn some folk down who continually use you. God hasn’t made your name known because you aren’t ready to handle the warfare that comes with promotion. So, you cannot lose hope because 1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”</span? God cares enough about us to protect, provide, pardon, partake, perfect, perform, prevent, promise and promote. It may not be punishment but protection.