It seemed to be an ordinary church Sunday. I was up early and began my morning routine of coffee, quiet time, and a scroll through the television channels to find a good sermon to listen to as I was getting ready.
When I arrived at church I learned Rick Pasquale, an international evangelist would be our guest speaker. I treasure these times when we have missionaries and evangelists come to our church. It gives me the opportunity to peep into their lives and see what the Lord is doing around the world. Rick gave an update on his ministry and what the Lord was doing, but he was really there to express what God was doing in his life.
He shared that morning of a tumor that was in his brain, one that was deteriorating his bone and causing him hearing loss. This tumor was in a very difficult place and would eventually be fatal to Rick if something was not done and soon.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Psalm 46:1-3
There were several doctors that gave Rick little hope and wouldn't even pursue surgery. Rick never ceased to pray and God responded with, "I've Got This." He knew God was in control of the situation, but there still wasn't a doctor who would take his case.
Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." Luke 18: 27
Rick was blessed to live in a city with a teaching hospital, where doctors travel from all over the world to study and share new surgical techniques. An Asian doctor just happened to be in the United States and just happened to be at this hospital and just happened to be in the room while doctors were evaluating Rick's situation. The doctor spoke up from the back of the room and suggested a technique he believed would be successful.
Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
Rick's personal meeting with the doctor resulted in informing him the technique may or may not work. This caused Rick to once again turn to the Lord for guidance and direction. Again, the Lord answered him in saying, "I've Got This!" He agreed to have the surgery and it was successful, without any deficits.
He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved. Psalm 62:6
Three months after the surgery, Rick was giving his testimony at my church. He informed our congregation the tumor was no longer growing and the bone was regenerating. Wow! What a testimony! In response to Rick's successful surgery, he decided to have bracelets made up which said, "God's Got This!" He was selling them at his book table, but I was unfortunately unable to get one before they sold out.
Days passed and I couldn't stop thinking about Rick's powerful testimony. I was moved by the three simple words God shared to encourage him. I thought about all the people I was praying for; those who are fighting an illness, a financial burden, a troubled marriage, wayward children, the list went on and on. These individuals needed this encouragement from this powerful message.
I woke up one morning with someone heavy on my heart. The thought then came to me...I could create a bracelet order on my own. Then share this simple but profound statement with those I knew who were in need. I immediately jumped out of the bed and on to the computer to design a bracelet.
Since I was an elementary school teacher, I wasn't fond of the word "got" so I decided to use "has" instead. I had my color of bracelet selected, the wording and now to the font style. Can you imagine my excitement when I looked at the fonts, the one I was instantly drawn to was called, "Covered by Grace." Can you believe that? Not only is there a message in the words, but on the words! I purchased 500 bracelets that morning, thinking it might be too many, but there was a discount on a larger number, so why not?
I encouraged our Bible study group, Gulf Coast Blessings, to pick up a few of the bracelets and pass out to those going through a difficult time. I wanted this to be a reminder in the midst of their chaos, God was in control. He is not surprised by the events in their life and He is not unsure how He is going to take care of them. There is a plan and a purpose for what they are going through. I believed these three word's would give them that encouragement.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 Tim 1:7
The bracelets have been and continue to be a blessing to so many, we found immediately the original order of 500 wasn't enough and had to order more, many more. As of now, our girls have handed out thousands of bracelets, with each one serving as a constant reminder that God is in control of their lives.
There are so many stories to share about the encouragement, comfort, peace and even salvation this message has brought to people. It has allowed many the opportunity to minister to people in grocery stores, restaurants, schools, hospitals, on the tennis court, on airplanes, everywhere. I have been amazed at what happens when people see you wearing the bracelet, the questions they ask and how open they are to invite you into their lives.
Lisa Goodman, a sweet sister who lives in Dothan, AL learned about the bracelets from a friend. Lisa placed an order for a large quantity and passed out bracelets to all she came in contact with. She was so moved by everyone's response that she established a "GOD HAS THIS" Facebook page. This page has become a clearinghouse for over a thousand followers who want to testify of God's sovereign involvement in their life. I encourage you to "like" this Facebook page and share your story.
You might notice some pink GOD HAS THIS! bracelets for a ministry, Compassion That Compels. "GOD HAS THIS" quickly became the battle cry for brave women battling cancer and a reminder these BEAUTIFUL cancer overcomers are never alone.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Love and blessings to each of you,
Carrie rester is the founder, leader, and president of Gulf Coast Blessings. Carrie's lived most of her life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a BS in Elementary Education and received her Masters in Education from William Carey College. Carrie and her wonderful husband of twelve years, John, reside in Gulfport, MS. She has two very affectionate dogs, Grace and Ginger. In her free time she enjoys studying God's Word, running, gardening, playing tennis, reading and watching the Food Channel.