Just look at the lush ocean and peaceful scenery of the picture above.  Looks relaxing, huh?  That’s what I thought too when we arrived in sunny Florida a week ago.  2013 was a year that I will treasure in a lot of ways, but by the end of the year, I could tell both my husband and I were really exhausted and we needed a break.  We both did everything we could to prepare for this trip.  I made sure the kids were healthy.  We took all our vitamins.  I secured every last detail to make sure my kids would absorb the excitement of Disney World.  And yet… we got sick.  My poor husband had been at a business conference the week before and picked up a horrible coughing/fever illness… that he came down with the very first day of our trip.  As I looked at him rapidly deteriorating at Animal Kingdom on this day, I managed to remain cool.  He was going to go back to the hotel and rest and he’d be okay.  This was not a problem. Just a setback.  We’d all be just fine.

Well… I was sort of right.  I was able to have a nice day swimming with the kids while I let him get better at the hotel the next day.  But then the most dreaded thing happened – our 21 month old son came down with the same fever and coughing that evening.  Now I was mad.  How could this be?  I did EVERYTHING right to protect him.  We were all COMPLETELY healthy before we left.  All. Doing. Great.  Then my husband saw me losing it and reminded me to remain calm.  (This is why I married him, folks!)

All seemed manageable and we still had 5 days left of our vacation.  Maybe something could change, right?  Not.  I, too, came down with the same fever/cough symptoms.  I was thankful that I did pack my Shaklee medicine cabinet to get each of us better quickly.  But the timing of us all dropping like flies, one by one… it was REALLY a bummer.

Genesis 50:20 in the Bible speaks about how Joseph had been betrayed by his brothers who sold him into slavery.  He had endured so much trouble, that when his brothers learned that he was alive and had the power to inflict revenge on them, he told them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”

I am convinced that this was one experience that The Enemy had intended to completely ruin us for the whole year.  To tear us apart in arguments as a family.  To leave us sulking and dwelling on the vacation “we could have had.”  Instead, God was SO FAITHFUL to us.  It was a time to teach our daughter that everything happens for a reason.  Do we know why God allows some events to happen in our lives?  No.  Does the fact that we experience these things make Him a liar and that He will not fulfill His promises in our lives?  No.  Even a television show came on in our hotel room where another family went on vacation and they had some pitfalls and learned that these things can become “problem-tunities.”  That is, a problem + opportunity = opportunities to solve the problem.

Make no mistake of it.  The Enemy is out to kill and destroy us.  I was so impressed by my husband who told our daughter that maybe God was protecting us from something worse.

As a matter of fact, throughout the generations of my family, Satan thought he was doing pretty great job in stopping my family from becoming what God intended.  All of my grandparents were taken way before their time was ready.  Some people might say that we’ll never understand why God chose “their time.”  It wasn’t their time.  At all.  It was Satan trying to rip our family apart down through generations to come… and hoping we’d blame it on God.  He crossed a line that threw us for a loop and led me to a battle of depression in college.  He filled my mind with lies I would never succeed in life.

Stop the Burglar in his tracks.

How can we stop this theft, you ask?  We serve Christ, the Redeemer.  He is not only fixes what was lost, he RESTORES us to a place that is even better than before the problem happened.  I am so thankful for where God has brought me today.  I am in a better place than when our family tragedies happened.

But did you know the Bible promises, that when something is stolen from us, it must be repaid:  SEVENFOLD?

People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. 31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. ~Proverbs 6:30-31

My friend, Lynn, brought this verse to my attention today and here’s what she says she’s doing about theft in her family line.  She shows us in her post, “I am Taking the Devil to Court,” that ‘God’s heavenly courts are open for us to petition and demand justice.’ [We can] petition [our] Righteous Father to restore to [us] the years stolen and the pain of this loss.”

[We can] ask the Lord to replace those lost years by restoring health to others here on earth now. I want to see people, even terminal, healed and whole in Jesus name.

In Jesus name.

So many of my friends are experiencing sickness and death of loved ones, that it makes my crazy vacation seem like nothing.  So I’ve decided, I will pray with you.  Please let me know how I can pray with you!

Most of all, Don’t be afraid.  He has already redeemed your situation by His blood on the cross.  You belong to Him.

Have Faith.  Trust that the Lord will make good what was intended to harm you.

It’s okay to be mad.  But not for long.  Be so mad that you can ‘look the devil in the eye and say, “Game on.  My God is so much bigger than you’ll ever be.”  (findingheaventoday.com)

Trust.  That He IS ALREADY avenging on your behalf.

What has been stolen from you?  What are you going to do about it?