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Pain can be a teachable Lifetime by Dr. Joseph Howard

I don't know what to say so I write:) This awesome epiphany that I am presently experiencing is allowing a Holy Ghost peace to flow even as I fight back the serene tears that escape anyway. I don't know what to say so I write:) I thank God for the years...the joy and happiness that has not come without sacrifice. The family members gone much to soon...who still have a place in my heart. The teachers who saw something in me and pushed for excellence. The pastors who patiently guided me while allowing God's hand to shape me. The seemingly devastating loneliness I have felt over the years compounded by the crooked and straight paths I have followed. I reflect on those who wished harm on me but by grace where never allowed to lay a finger on me and those that did, caused little if any pain. The one woman who seemed to snatch everything out from under me...foundation, home, children, church, finances, love...to throw me into a pit and send me down a spiraling path of brokenness lead to the true meaning of "sleeping with the enemy". However, what the devil meant for evil God meant for the good. Even in the pit I found out I was there by divine design. It was there I was sanctified for a higher purpose. Maybe this is why my mother prophetically named me Joseph . This journey of over 50 years has been so poignant, amazing, and painfully beautiful.

In my pain I have been called...(Isaiah 61) in my latter day ministry to begin again to a broader ministry with no walls. In my pain the truth has been magnified so that God be glorified. In my pain I suffer well for the ascension of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am nothing so that God will always be everything in me. I am stripped of earthly possessions so that he may dress me, house me, and nurture me with His loving kindness and tender mercies. People have been placed in my journey to continually remind me of His new mercies daily. I suffer and praise Him synchronously...I suffer and let the light of Heaven shine through me. My pain (naturally and emotionally) drives my anointing to higher heights and deeper depths in the Lord. My soul though it aches is anchored and the mystery of Christ abounds around me and encourages me to seek Him the more.

My blessing lies within the experiential Christ as I see his omniscience omnipresence, and omnipotence heal, deliver, and set free those with the mind to release all for Him. I know Him as a God of somewhere, anywhere, and everywhere. I have communed with Him on a nuclear submarine, on mountains in Japan, in the jungles of the Philippines, on the hillsides of Scotland, and the plains of Australia. I am embedded in His sovereignty. I am blessed because I press towards the mark. I ignore the part of the pain that seeks to suppress me and embrace the suffering that seeks to anoint me. This is who I am. I do have a testimony. The seasons seem to past more rapidly now and with them the urgency to please God steadily increases. Time becomes important and the mastery or wise usage of time becomes more meaningful. I learn to serve and I serve to learn. Don't you see? Pain can be a teachable lifetime.

Apostle Joseph B. Howard, Sr. Th.D.

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