God’s Economy

 

 

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Years ago, when I lived in Montana, I had a wonderful gelding named Apache. The whole family loved that horse. Anyone could ride him; he was totally trustworthy. I especially liked taking him out on short jaunts in the woods. Fearless, smart and oh, how he loved to run, but there was one thing he would not do. He would not jump over anything. No, not ever, which most of the time was fine. But sometimes, in the woods, when a tree had fallen across the trail it would have been nice if he would have just jumped it. But alas, he would not.

One day, I came across a fallen log in our path. Way too big for him to step over and no way to go around the log. I sure didn’t want to turn around and go home and he sure didn’t want to jump it. I got off and studied the situation. I got behind him and pushed him on his rump. He glanced back and me and switched me with his tail. Out of frustration, I kicked the log and, to my surprise, the formidable roadblock  just caved in.

Dust flew upward and pieces of bark fell downward. Where the log had crumbled, I noticed tiny evidences of life. Intrigued, I bent down for a closer look. The log which had appeared to be dead, totally useless, too rotten for even good firewood, concealed underneath it an entirely new ecosystem. The sprouts were white from lack of sun exposure and unidentifiable to me.

At the time of this trail ride, I had just ended a 23 year marriage to a man who preferred drinking to sobriety, other women to me and being gone from home more than being at home. I spent a lot of days kicking myself for what I called wasted years.

But, while I studied this undergrowth, the Holy Spirit spoke these words to me, “In God’s economy, there is no such thing as waste.”

Hope blew across me like a gentle breeze.

What wonderful news this is when we are going through a time of limitations. A time when we say no more often than we are able to say yes. Ever feel like this time of being sick or being in pain or hanging onto a relationship that destroys your life is such a waste? I certainly have. Then I remember this story and I am comforted to know that God doesn’t call those times a waste. He is able to bring new life out of old and even in the midst of our waiting and wondering, He is able to use us and our seemingly wasted years for our  ultimate good and His incredible glory. That’s good news, isn’t it?

 

pic credit:  Diane Reid

 

Hello, It’s God Calling!

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I pushed the snooze button twice this morning. I don’t usually do that. But this morning, my bed was far more comfortable than usual, my pain level (normally an 8) was down to maybe 2 and the blankets were warm and the air coming in the window over my head was cool and it felt so right. Because of pain, bed is not always a comfortable place to be, but today it was all that.

I spent the time in quiet prayer. Just talking to God about nothing in particular, just whatever crossed my mind. Little kids at work come and sit in my lap and talk and talk about whatever is on their mind and this felt like that, like I was snuggling up in God’s lap and He was patiently listening.

For days leading up to this, I sensed a quiet cry in my heart to be comforted. I wanted desperately to be held and hugged. I never expressed my desire to be hugged to anyone, not even God, but of course, He knew.

When I did get up and read my devotional, this is what I read:

“Real worship is not mechanical or rote, nor is it habit or tradition. It is our inner response to the deepest callings of God on our lives”.

  James A. Davey

I have always thought of God’s callings as being something He draws us to so that we can do something for Him -ministry being one example. Being a performance oriented person, I never thought of God calling me just to comfort me.

What if these stirrings in my heart for the past few days were just that – God calling me to Himself?

At work, I make myself available to the kids that need snuggle time. I find a comfy chair, sit down and open my arms and invite them in. God makes Himself available to us as well, we just have to accept His offer to snuggle.

If, as Davey says, snuggling up in God’s lap and allowing Him to comfort me and hold me might  be my response to a deep calling of God, then snuggling with Him could be a form of worship.

If I view snuggling  that way, maybe approaching His open arms would come easier.

What about you?  Have you snuggled with God lately?

 

 

 

pic credit: comicbookfx.com

System Of Inequality and Divine Healing?!

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 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

3 John 2:2

I have been in hot pursuit of divine healing for upwards of twenty years. Healing is promised in the Bible and numerous verses can attest to that fact. I have read them and memorized them and confessed them and put my trust in them and still I am not healed. My pursuit continues.

I read this verse a while back. No doubt familiar to those in search of divine healing  – every book on the subject I have read has included it. But this day, I saw the promise differently.

Instead of seeing it as an iron clad promise of healing, I saw it as an algebraic equation. Weird, right? It struck me as a system of inequalities. On one side of the equation are the variables of prospering and being in good health. On the other side would be the variable of our soul which is our mind, our will and our emotions. Three variables on one side and two on the other.

The question becomes what symbol is between the two sides. Is it an equal sign or not equal, greater than, less than?

My desire to be free of physical pain has so occupied my quest for divine healing that I never even considered the other variables that combine to make my health, holistically speaking.

I simply didn’t care so much about the others; I wanted to live free of physical pain. But God, in His wisdom, knows how much I need all of these variables to be healed if I am going to live the life abundant that has been promised. He is a holistic healer.

I have had to relinquish my ideas about how my healing would manifest and give God permission to heal other areas of my life, even if that means I continue to live with chronic pain while He balances out the equation.

What about you? Are you in need of healing?  I would love to pray for you and join my faith with yours for your healing.

If you have a testimony of how God has healed you, I would love to share it here with others who need encouragement.  

pic credit: pinterest.com

Hurricane Ike Band

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He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

Psalm 107:29

In September of 2008, my son and I flew to Houston for a weekend. My daughter flew down from Montana and we all stayed at my sister’s house.  We made these reservations long before we knew Hurricane Ike was headed right towards Houston.  Having grown up in Houston and being very familiar with hurricanes, we began the work of preparing for possible disaster.

We bought food and water and put things up that were outside and boarded up what windows we could, rounded up flashlights and batteries and the radio.  All that was left to do was pray and wait.  Hurricane Ike hit Houston in the middle of the night.  The winds were howling, rain was pouring and all power went out and the city was dark.  When we got up the next morning, we surveyed the damage and realized we were housebound for several days along with the rest of the city as workers worked to get roads open and power on.

My sister has two guitars, a piano and a keyboard that didn’t require electricity and we started playing songs.  We spent a long time singing and playing instruments and laughing at our not so good songs and marveling at our great ones. We called ourselves the Hurricane Ike Band!  It was a wonderful, memorable time together waiting out the storm.

You may not be going through an actual hurricane.  I certainly hope not, but what storm howls at your door and causes you sleepless nights? What answer are you waiting on?  Are you in need of divine healing that hasn’t come? Waiting stinks, but it doesn’t have to.  We could have huddled over the radio listening to all kinds of bad reports and wrung our hands and made ourselves sick with worry, but we chose instead to create music.  Peace in a storm is possible.  Remember when Jesus was sleeping on the boat when the storm hit the lake and the disciples freaked out?  Jesus woke up, calmed the storm and the disciples were left scratching their heads.  Who is this Jesus?

Jesus is the calmer of the storm, the peace in the midst of bad reports, the Comforter who holds us through difficult times.  Whatever the storm of your life is, He is greater and He is for you not against you.  Isn’t that something to sing about!

Jesus, calmer of my storms, thank You.  You are always present, always here for me no matter what the circumstances of my life may be and I am so grateful.  Thank You for keeping me safe through the storm and giving me new songs to sing.  Help me, I pray, to remember that when the storm comes I can count on You. Amen.

 

pic credit: texascoastgeology.com

Holistic Healing

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  I thought when I began this journey towards healing, that all I needed was physical healing. I was in search of physical healing when I began this blog. I received a tremendous amount of physical healing, but somewhere along the way, the journey took a turn I hadn’t expected. About 10 months into this blog, I encountered this verse for the hundredth time, but this time I saw it differently:

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  

 3 John 1:2

It is a promise that appears in just about every book on healing I have read. But this day, in my reading, I saw it differently. I saw it as an algebraic equation – a system of equalities or inequalities.  Think back to your algebra days – remember that on either side of the = sign were variables. Your job was to determine if they were  indeed equal or not. In this equation, “even as” could be the  =  sign. The variables on one side are prospering and being in health. The variables on the other are soul (defined as mind, will and emotions).

It could be written like this:

My  prospering and my  health  is =  to or  not  =  to the degree that my mind, my will and my emotions prosper.

I wasn’t particularly interested in anything other than my body not hurting. I had no desire to go digging around in the soul area. I thought all would be just fine if I could just walk, sleep and function without pain. But God knew otherwise. He knew, like many other holistic healers, that there is a link between our emotional health and our physical health. It is a good God that wants all parts of me healed. This has turned this journey into something I hadn’t expected: lots of digging around in past issues and learning new ways of relating to people and monitoring my thought life better than ever. None of this has been easy, fun or something I would have chosen. But God knew that if I wanted to walk in the fullness of all that He has for me, I can’t carry around baggage that slows me down or cripples my ability to move easily. All of this has been as much work for me and as little fun for me as algebra was in school.  I can relate to the kids who cry out saying, “why do I have to learn this stuff, I will never use it?”

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Now I know that healing is much more than just the taking away of physical pain, the relief from symptoms or the reversal of a diagnosis. It involves all of me and God, in His grace, is showing me that every thing that affects my mind, my will, my emotions can affect my body as well. I am grateful for His loving care and the hope that each day, I grow more and more whole.

Does it help you to know that God cares about all of your hurts and pains and wants to see you walk and prosper in health and mind and will and emotions?

pic credit 1: onlinemathlearning.com

pic credit 2: aplushometutorsblog.com

A New Thing ….. Hurry, Please!

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Most loving Lord!

You know my broken heart!

I am shattered and I just do not know how to come out of this disappointment.

Tears flow down my cheeks and I sink in my sorrow O Lord!

The scripture says that all things work together only for good.

Right now I do not understand Your ways but strengthen me to accept Your will.

I turn to You for help for I know, without You I can never come out of this depression.

Comfort me Lord and sustain me with Your sweet presence. I commit my future in Your hands.

Help me forget my past and let me start a new life with You as my guide.

Make me glad and grant me a glorious future.

Lift me up Lord from this depressed state and wipe away my tears with Your loving hands.

I cast all my burdens and disappointments at Your feet Lord!

Keep me in perfect peace.

In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.

Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?

I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

 Isaiah 43:18-19

copied from turnbacktogod.com

pic credit: simplyjuliana.com

 

Letting Go

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Do everything in love.

1 Corinthians 16:14, NIV

 

Years ago, I owned a beautiful mare named Raza. I bred her to the handsomest stallion I could find and waited expectantly for eleven months for her delivery day.  It came early one spring morning and I assisted her birth, which means I stood off to the side and watched. Everything appeared fine, the birth was normal, all signs were good and before me lay a beautiful bay filly.

Over the next few hours, though, it became clear that not everything was fine. The filly made no attempt to nurse. She was walking, she was approaching mom but not willing or able to latch on and receive the vital colostrum her mother had to offer. Her mother nudged her as a good mother would do.  Her mother kept nudging but it was becoming apparent that the nudging wasn’t budging the filly. I called the vet and we made a bottle.  She wouldn’t latch on to the bottle either. Even if we dribbled the warm milk down her throat she wouldn’t swallow. After several days and many, many nudges and bottles and coaxing, the vet suggested putting the filly down. Failure to thrive, he called it. It happens, he said. We had no choice but to let her go.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, someone we love continues to make bad choices. Choices that harm, choices that endanger, choices that make no sense to the people who stand by helplessly watching. It seems so futile, so tragically wasteful of a life.  And yet, we are unable to enact change. Failure to thrive. It happens.

Letting go is so hard. I knew exactly what would happen when we chose to let go of that filly. She was put to sleep. Letting go of someone who is bent on practicing addictions that can only lead to death leaves one with more questions than answers. What will happen if…..?  What if I had….?  What if I hadn’t….?

Letting go means trusting the outcome to someone far more capable of handling the situation than I am.

I turned my beautiful filly over to the caring hands of my vet. 

I am turning the life of this precious person that I love dearly over into the caring hands of our Father.

I am letting go.

Finally.

Letting go of that filly was an act of love;

letting go of my loved one is an act of love as well.

I am mourning like crazy, this is breaking my heart, but even so, I am letting go – in love.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Amen.

 

pic credit:  allposters.com

I Have A Song

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When the world is up against me
When it seems I’ve lost it all
And my back’s against the wall
When my heart’s grown dry and empty
When the life that I had planned
Is slipping through my hands

I hear sweet music rise above it all
And when it seemed my hope had ended, I was wrong

I have a song
And I’m singing to my Savior
Singing to the One who set me free
I have a song
And my heart will ever praise Him
This world can never take this joy from me
When all else is gone
I have a song

When I cannot see tomorrow
When the questions flood my mind
Looking back on wasted time
When my soul is full of sorrow
When the pain won’t go away
And such brokenness remains

I join the music rising far above it all
It’s an anthem to my true and faithful God

I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
For His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me!

Lyrics by Shannon Wexelberg

Thank You Jesus, that in spite of it all, I do have a song. Let Your song rise up in me, help me to hear the song, to be moved by the song, to be lifted by the song and to share the song. Amen.

pic credit: groundedbygrace.wordpress.com

When God Says No

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Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 

II Corinthians 12:8

 Don’t we all just hate that word – “NO”.  It doesn’t matter the request, how reasonable, how mature or immature,  how ridiculous or necessary the request seems to be, no is just not the answer we want.  For reasons I may never know, I believe I have asked enough, I have prayed enough and healing doesn’t seem to be something that God is saying yes to, at least not right now, for me.

Whatever the thorn in Paul’s side was (and there are many possible explanations for it), Paul asked three times and the answer came back “No”.  So Paul moved on.  Our pastor did a beautiful sermon on this and he commented that these three times were just three asks, but three seasons of asking. And still the answer was no. And Paul did what I am trying now to do, move on, accept that this is what it is, until it isn’t, and rely on God’s grace to move on in spite of the pain.

When the pain first hit over five years ago, I met it with denial. Every night I went to bed believing that tomorrow I would be better; this is a pulled muscle, a cramp, I slept wrong, whatever, but it would be gone – tomorrow. That Scarlet O’Hara mentality never did serve me well.  When it became apparent that it wasn’t a temporary thing, I moved into the anger phase of grieving. I yelled, I cried, I pulled away from God, I threw fits. This didn’t serve me very well either. Then came bargaining – if I confess enough scriptures on healing, pray enough, have enough people lay hands on me, be anointed with oil enough, eat the right supplements, do enough juicing, rebounding, detoxing, cleanses etc., I will be healed. While those things did serve me better, they didn’t get me healed.

So my pastor comes along and says sometimes, we just need to accept that it is what it is. First time I heard someone say those words to me, I wanted to kick them in the shins. But this day, I heard those words with grace and compassion and I knew that it was time for me to accept that this is what it is. For days, I couldn’t stop the tears. Then for days, I could stop the tears, but I couldn’t talk to anyone for fear of tears starting again. Then the tears were finished and the emotional pain of being told no began to heal and I am moving on.

I still believe in diving healing, I still believe God’s desire and will is to heal and that He has the power to do so. But I know from being a parent that sometimes, the hardest answer I can tell my child is “no”. And sometimes for reasons that they may never understand, sometimes “no” is the answer that serves them best at this moment in their life, which doesn’t mean no forever.

Jesus, You know how I am struggling to accept this. I want to, I need to, You have led me to this point and I want to be willing and obey. But I also want to be healed, three or five years ago. Nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done. Help me to focus on You and the good things in my life that don’t always scream as loudly as the pain and grant me the grace to truly move on. I ask in Your gracious name, amen.

 

pic credit: emmanuelbangkok.org

Amazing Grace, Unfailing Love

This is amazing grace This is unfailing love That You would take my place That You would bear my cross You’d lay down Your life That I would be set free Oh, Jesus, I sing for All that You’ve done for me Who brings our chaos back into order Who makes the orphan a son and daughter The King of Glory, the King of Glory

This song by Phil Wickham has been running through my mind lately. Amazing grace, unfailing love –  are those ever anything we could take for granted? To think that someone, anyone would take my place, bear my cross, lay down their life for me so that I could be set free?   Who would do such a thing?

Only Jesus, the King of Glory!

Remember back in the day, when a popular comment was “oh, that’s heavy, man”? Heavy meaning of great importance or great revelation or power, something beyond our natural ability to even get our minds around. That’s one implication of the word glory.

This word glory in the Bible days would have been used to describe someone what had great clout, great power, great weight of riches or position. Glory referred to the sum total of who someone was and what he possessed in terms of position, honor, power, and riches.

Jesus, the King of Glory, Jesus who had it all, all power, all honor, all riches, all clout, surrendered it all to take my place, my lowly, unweighty, unglorious place. Why? So I could be set free, so that the chaos of my life would become order, so that I could now be called a daughter, a daughter of the Most High God.

That truly is amazing grace, isn’t it? He saved us because of His unfailing love.

Instead of feeling that you have value and worth, are you feeling the weight of the world? Feeling abandoned, forgotten, forsaken, overlooked, anything and everything, but not glorious, not free? Could you let this thought play through your head, let it sink into your heart and bring healing – the King of Glory loves you, so much so, that He allowed your sins to be put on Him so that you could be free of them. Where else are you going to find someone who loves you enough to stand in your place of judgment and bear the penalty of your sins? I don’t know anyone but Jesus who would do that for me. That’s amazing grace, unfailing love!

Jesus, King of Glory, how amazing is Your grace and Your unfailing love. I can’t get my mind around it that You would give that up for me, so that I could be free. Thank You for bearing my cross. When I try to pick it up and shoulder it by myself, would You remind me that You have done that, it isn’t mine anymore? And when I take Your grace for granted, would You forgive me and help me to see that I am doing that? I am so grateful for the order You have brought into my chaos and the freedom You purchased for me. Forever Yours, I love You. Amen.