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Meet Mrs. Jabez

If you've not heard about "The Prayer of Jabez," you've been living in a cave for the last year--for this little book with its inspirational message is a best-seller both in the Christian and in the secular world. The actual "prayer of Jabez" can be found in 1 Chronicles 4:10: "Oh, that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!"

Now we must admit that we've read the prayers of Moses, Daniel, Jonah--even the Lord Jesus--but JABEZ? Most of us had never heard of him and now he's practically a household word. AND it would not surprise me to learn that parents have a new name to add to their list of "What shall we call Baby?"

But--MRS. Jabez? Who in the world is SHE? I have not the slightest idea historically who this lady was, except I believe she was blessed to be the wife of a godly man. I'm going beyond historical facts today--into the corner of my imagination...and I dare you to come along...

First, into the tent of a couple named Abraham and Sarah. While Abraham was busy talking over the miraculous with some heavenly visitors (having a baby at age 90 WOULD be miraculous!), Sarah was eavesdropping--she could not believe her ears--why, it was downright ridiculous! She certainly had not heard of the prayer of Jabez, but it was perfectly clear that no way was God going to "enlarge her border" with a BABY--and she laughed--long and loud...a Mrs. Jabez "woman of faith" she was not! A Mrs. Jabez "woman of fact" she WOULD become--nine months later when GOD HIMSELF enlarged her tent and brought real laughter to her home!

But come now with me into the humble abode of a young virgin named Mary. She had not heard of Jabez either, and she certainly would not pray for God to enlarge HER borders NOW...for she was not even married. Into her life came a surprise angel with a surprise message that would change her life--and her world--forever. "You have been chosen to bear God's Son, Savior of the world." How could this be? She had no clue what was happening, and yet, deep in her heart of hearts, she knew the God she loved was doing SOMETHING...She did not laugh..something within her sprang up in response to the angel and she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38)." And in that moment a soon-to-be-married Mrs. Jabez, "woman of faith," she became.

Well, there's Sarah, there's Mary--and then there's ME--and YOU! Women of the world, of the 21st Century, wanting to serve the Lord, yet seeing the impossible, hearing the incredible, and saying, "Lord, HOW?" God will not give us a detailed blueprint of our lives ahead of time. He is only looking for an available vessel, a willing heart--when Sarah stopped laughing, when Mary stopped asking, God began to enlarge their borders, far beyond their wildest dreams or imaginations.

AND He has not changed--He will do it not only for BROTHER Jabez, but for SISTER Jabez too--He's a God of the incredible, the impossible, the immeasurable--ask Sarah, ask Mary--ask ME! He hears the incredulous laughter, the unanswerable questions of women like us trying to figure it all out--He smiles and says, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!"

Men, your prayers may be powerful--but look out, for the women of the world who love God will not be left far behind. They are the "Mrs. Jabez" women of God, who, while human and earthly, are connected with a Heavenly Father who hears, who knows, who answers, and who will do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. Now believe it, gals--we join our mighty men warriors in prayer to "ask, seek, knock" -- and SEE what God will do!

PS..And if you're a guy reading this, don't toss it--pass it on to the ladies in your life, to every MRS. Jabez you know! They're everywhere, praying, believing and serving God in His needy world!

But--MRS. Jabez? Who in the world is SHE? I have not the slightest idea historically who this lady was, except I believe she was blessed to be the wife of a godly man. I'm going beyond historical facts today--into the corner of my imagination...and I dare you to come along...

First, into the tent of a couple named Abraham and Sarah. While Abraham was busy talking over the miraculous with some heavenly visitors (having a baby at age 90 WOULD be miraculous!), Sarah was eavesdropping--she could not believe her ears--why, it was downright ridiculous! She certainly had not heard of the prayer of Jabez, but it was perfectly clear that no way was God going to "enlarge her border" with a BABY--and she laughed--long and loud...a Mrs. Jabez "woman of faith" she was not! A Mrs. Jabez "woman of fact" she WOULD become--nine months later when GOD HIMSELF enlarged her tent and brought real laughter to her home!

But come now with me into the humble abode of a young virgin named Mary. She had not heard of Jabez either, and she certainly would not pray for God to enlarge HER borders NOW...for she was not even married. Into her life came a surprise angel with a surprise message that would change her life--and her world--forever. "You have been chosen to bear God's Son, Savior of the world." How could this be? She had no clue what was happening, and yet, deep in her heart of hearts, she knew the God she loved was doing SOMETHING...She did not laugh..something within her sprang up in response to the angel and she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38)." And in that moment a soon-to-be-married Mrs. Jabez, "woman of faith," she became.

Well, there's Sarah, there's Mary--and then there's ME--and YOU! Women of the world, of the 21st Century, wanting to serve the Lord, yet seeing the impossible, hearing the incredible, and saying, "Lord, HOW?" God will not give us a detailed blueprint of our lives ahead of time. He is only looking for an available vessel, a willing heart--when Sarah stopped laughing, when Mary stopped asking, God began to enlarge their borders, far beyond their wildest dreams or imaginations.

AND He has not changed--He will do it not only for BROTHER Jabez, but for SISTER Jabez too--He's a God of the incredible, the impossible, the immeasurable--ask Sarah, ask Mary--ask ME! He hears the incredulous laughter, the unanswerable questions of women like us trying to figure it all out--He smiles and says, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!"

Men, your prayers may be powerful--but look out, for the women of the world who love God will not be left far behind. They are the "Mrs. Jabez" women of God, who, while human and earthly, are connected with a Heavenly Father who hears, who knows, who answers, and who will do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. Now believe it, gals--we join our mighty men warriors in prayer to "ask, seek, knock" -- and SEE what God will do!

PS..And if you're a guy reading this, don't toss it--pass it on to the ladies in your life, to every MRS. Jabez you know! They're everywhere, praying, believing and serving God in His needy world!

All Scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Copyright 2004 by Peggie C. Bohanon, Springfield, Mo. Used by permission.
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