Reflected Light

 By your words I can see where I’m going;
    they throw a beam of light on my dark path.

Psalm 119:105

I’ve been looking for answers. Not just about this pain but about other areas of my life that I feel need changing. I  haven’t as yet gotten any definitive answers. But I am reminded of a teaching I heard Larry Huch give. He said the priest that entered the temple wore what is best described as diamonds or jewels on the shoulders of their robes. The light from the lampstand stand reflected off of those stones and onto the letters of the Hebrew alphabet that were on the lampstand. Every letter  (all 22) was on there. One letter would be illuminated at a time spelling out a word from God for the people. It was a way for them to discern God’s will.

I don’t have a lampstand or a robe with diamonds on it (would that I did!) I do, however, have God’s written word, His indwelling Spirit, and a heart to follow where He leads. He hasn’t lit my way with floodlights but He has illuminated my path, one step at a time. And for now, that is enough.

Through the maze of prescriptions and supplements and tests and diagnosis, I have at times been so lost that I couldn’t even tell which way to go. It was in those times when God’s word throws a beam of light on my dark path and I know the next step to take. One step at a time can be incredibly frustrating for a planner like me. I want answers and I tend to want them now, but that isn’t how this has been working for me. Among the many things I have learned about healing through this process, this may be the hardest. I’m not totally content with this one step at a time thing but a lamp or beam of light only illuminates a small portion of ground at a time and it moves as I move illuminating the next step.

Some years ago, at a Tim Story healing service, God told me that this was a complete healing. He said my body has been out of whack for a very long time and He is putting it back in whack (His words, really). I had no idea some 18 years later, I would still be looking for that healing to be completed. My body must be more out of whack than I thought! I hold on to His word and His faithfulness to His word and trust that as I take this one step, He will show the next.

Lord, You know how difficult this has been for me. Probably the worst has been all the unanswered questions and the not knowing when it will all end. I am not asking for those answers anymore, I am asking that You continue to guide me one step at a time until this body is back in whack and then even beyond that incredible day. I can’t make this journey without You or Your word, continue to illuminate my path and grant me the grace to take those steps in faith without complaining and murmuring. Forgive me for all the countless times, I have demanded answers. I ask in Your name, Jesus. Amen.

picture credit: nzorzin.com

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Extreme Spoons

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A young boy I work with named Anthony was playing Extreme Spoons with a group of kids, mostly older ones.  This game is one I made up by tweaking the card game Spoons.  In this version, the spoons are arranged at the far side of the gym and the kids have to run to get them after discovering that someone has gotten a book of four cards.  Ordinarily, the spoons would be set on the table in front of them.  There would be one less spoon per kid so someone would not get one and lose that round.

Anthony is adorable and very athletic but still was no match against these older kids and try as he might, he couldn’t get there fast enough to get a spoon.  I decided to stack the deck in his favor.  I dealt the cards to everyone – 4 to each child.  I arranged that Anthony’s four cards would all be kings.  All he would have to do is get up and run to the spoons and he would win.  How could it fail?

It failed because when Anthony saw that he had 4 kings to start with, he started yelling and screaming about having a book.  He was so excited, he was jumping up and down and laughing and telling everyone about his kings, he was doing everything except running to get a spoon.  The other kids figured it out, ran to get their spoons and once again, Anthony lost.

I don’t know who was more disappointed, me or Anthony.

I can’t help but think that God stacks the deck in our favor.  All throughout scriptures are stories of God’s preparing and providing for His people’s victory.  Sometimes, they walk in that victory and sometimes, like Anthony, they stall out and fail to achieve all that God purposed for them.

I am like that, maybe you are too. 

Stalling out on a small issue and not being able to see that the deck has been stacked,

the victory won,

all I have to do is play the hand I have been dealt.

What would that mean on a day to day basis?  It might mean that I accept what I can not change. It might mean I keep my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.  How do I do that?  By reading what He says, looking at what He did, meditating on His promises, focusing on the answer, not the problem.  It might mean I keep doing those things until I see victory and not giving up because I don’t.  The victory I’m after is healing for my body, what victory are you in need of?

Thank You Lord that You have stacked the deck in my favor.  Open my eyes to what that truly means on a day to day basis.  Help me to walk in the victory You paid such a tremendous price for.  I praise You for Your goodness to me and my family and friends.  I praise You for the opportunity to play spoons with Anthony and all the other kids You have placed in my path.  Help me to love them as You would, to enjoy them as You would, to minister to them as You would.  In Your name, I pray.  Amen.

Pic credit  wikihow.com

Rest Area

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Jesus says  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  Matthew 11:28 (Message Bible)

We just returned from a road trip to Montana and were so grateful to see rest areas provided.  It was great to get out of the van and stretch our legs and chat with other travelers. Bing dictionary defines rest as: stopping of work or activity: a state or period of refreshing freedom from exertion.  Our activity was driving and stopping for a few moments helped us continue on.  What’s your activity that is wearying you?  When I was first introduced to word of faith and the message of God being my Healer, I was presented with a list of things to do for my healing – confess healing scriptures to build my faith, listen to healing teachings, go to healing services, meditate on healing, etc.  These are good things, please don’t hear me wrong.  I did these things and did not get healed, so I did them some more and still didn’t get healed.  Perhaps, you know someone who experienced the same.  The problem for me doing these things was that they became a work – a form of religion without the power. I got tired, worn out, burned out on it all.  Seems it wasn’t the yoke Jesus had in mind for me when He said, “Come away with me and you’ll recover your life”.  He offered rest, real rest.  Rest feels like peace and it is in that peace that we recover our lives.

Because I write about diving healing, I get comments from time to time from people who are disappointed in God and in faith healers and tend to change their theology to match their experience and resign themselves to living with pain or illness or disease.  Can I just say that resignation and rest are not the same things?  Bing dictionary defines resignation as: unprotesting acceptance of something: agreement to something, usually given reluctantly but without protest.  Religion and resignation leave out grace – the unforced rhythms of grace.  Instead of religion and resignation what if we respond to Jesus’ invitation and simply come to Him.  What if, as He says, that by keeping company with Him, we will learn to live freely and lightly?  This blog is my journaling of that response to Jesus.  My daily coming to Jesus, meditating on His word and reflecting on His goodness have brought a measure of healing I couldn’t find anywhere else.  Am I totally healed?  No.  Will I keep coming to His rest area?  Yes.  What about you, could you use some rest today?

What a healing Jesus I found in You, what a healing Jesus, You refresh, restore, renew.  What a healing Jesus for such a time as this, arise on healing wings, Son of Righteousness. * Amen.

* these words are from a song written by:  Mary Brown

I Know His Name

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Psalm 9:10 says “And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee;  For Thou, O LORD, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee.

How exciting is that?

I know His name.

His name is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals me.

He is the God that heals you.  And your loved ones!

How awesome is that?

Equally important is the fact that He knows our name.  He has engraved them on the palm of His hands.  He has counted the number of hairs on our heads.  He knows our thoughts from afar.  He is intimately acquainted with all our ways.

He knows the circumstances of your life, the difficulty you may be facing, the diagnosis that shook your life.

He knows the pain that seems to be my constant companion these days.  He knows the cause even when the doctors don’t.  He alone knows the day of my deliverance from this pain.

I have put my trust in Him.  And He has promised that as I seek Him, He will not forsake me.   He will not forsake me.  Me! As you continue to seek Him, He has promised He will not forsake you.

How awesome is that?

Jehovah Rapha, my God who heals me, bless Your holy name.  You have revealed to me Your character through Your name.  And you know mine.  That’s so hard to comprehend that I can only take that by faith.  Thank You for promising that as I seek You, You will not forsake me.  I know that You are my healer and You provided for my healing and for taking my pain through the sacrifice of Jesus.  Help me to keep my eyes on You, to seek You even when the pain screams louder than Your still small voice, help me to remember that You know my name and I know Yours.  Amen.

A Horse of a Different Color

imagesCAEKB98V  Years ago, when I lived in Montana, I bred Appaloosa horses.  Appaloosas weren’t all that popular then, at least not where I lived, and I took a good deal of ribbing about them.  They were seen as inferior by my friends who preferred Thoroughbreds or Quarter Horses or Arabians.  I didn’t mind; it was good fun and I loved the breed.  Besides, in the local competitions we were fond of, I invariably came home with more ribbons then they did, but it never silenced them.

One year, I was the source of many teasings because I bred a solid colored mare to a solid colored stud, fully expecting a loudly colored colt.  Everyone thought I was crazy and more than once or even twice, did they let me know this.  All in good fun, I think?! I hope!

“You’ll never get color out of that cross” is what they said.  Their tone sounded more like “are you nuts?”  A horse’s gestation period is 11 months and believe me I never heard the end of it until – that wonderful day when my filly was born.  All my hopes and expectations were fulfilled in that beautiful, incredibly colored baby.  All their jokes were silenced.

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Faith works like that.  Believing for what we can’t see; continuing to believe until we do. In spite of naysayers or evidences to the contrary, faith continues to hope, continues to hang on until the promise is fulfilled.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.  When I bred that mare I was hoping for a colored colt and all I had to go on was my limited understanding of genetics and the mare and stud’s pedigree.  It was a big gamble; a solid colored colt would have been a very big disappointment.

In believing for physical healing what we have to go on is God’s Word.  Far more reliable than a limited understanding of genetics; He has spelled it out – I am the God who healeth Thee.  We need to settle that truth in our hearts and stand firm on that belief while we wait on the manifestation of our healing to come in our lives.  Sometimes, we will be misunderstood by those around us.  And sometimes, we may even be mocked.  But one day, if we remained fixed, our hopes and expectations will be fulfilled and their comments will be silenced.  Until then, we have the hope of our healing, the conviction of things not seen.  Either God was lying when He said He is our God who heals us or He is telling the truth and our healing is in His hands.

Jehovah Rapha, You are the God who heals me.  You have spoken Your word and I believe You to bring it to pass in my life in Your timing.  I fix my eyes on You and remain steadfast in faith, knowing that though I don’t see it now, I will, by Your grace.  Thank You for honoring my faith as I honor Your Word, in Jesus’s name, Amen.

Cast Your Cares

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  I Peter 5: 6-7

I just finished a great book called “Teach Us To Sit Still”, written by Tim Parks.  The man is a self-proclaimed skeptic about religion and alternative methods of healing, but after living with constant pain for years, he stumbled upon some relief which he shares in this book.

A lot of his relief came from simply giving up the fight against the pain and learning to accept this present moment for what it is.  I discovered when I read it how much of my time and energy is spent trying to deny or ignore the pain as opposed to just accepting that it is what it is and finding my peace in God in these present moments.  The energy spent is fighting the pain only makes it worse.  It adds tension and fear and stress that rob me of joy and peace.

He talks a lot about being at peace with your body which he admits is a lot harder to do than it seems, especially when the body is wracked with pain.  I discovered this through his writings; I am not at all at peace with my body.  I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about my body, what I can do to make it better, what have I done to hurt it, etc.  Not exactly being at peace.  Now I am choosing to practice letting go of my need to rail against the pain and all the unknown concerns that go with it.  Not an easy thing to do.

What about you?  Do you spend a good deal of your precious now moments wishing away pain or disease or talking about it or feeling sorry for yourself because of it?  I know I have.

I have to purpose to let go of the fight.  I can by reminding myself that God is for me; He is infinitely involved in the small and large details of my life.  Nothing that has happened to me or will happen to me is beyond His knowledge or His ability to take care of.  Nothing. I can cast my cares on Him because He cares so much for me.  Is it easy?  No.  I am learning to take one step at a time.  To moment by moment recognize when my thoughts become so totally focused on me and my pain and not on Him and His care.  In those moments, I speak this verse over and over again as many times as I need to until I am once again, focused on Him.  And I have discovered that the pain has lessened when I do.

Father, teach me to be still.  To let go of my need for everything to be fixed right now.  Help me to cast my cares on You because You care so much for me.  When I am fighting against my pain, help me to remember that Jesus took that pain, the fight has been won and I can rest in Your peace.  Amen

Qualifying Pain

Ever feel like your pain – be it emotional, physical, relational or any other pain – is too small to bother God with?  I certainly have and I have heard others make comments like that.  Sounds humble doesn’t it?  The comment is usually backed up with acknowledging others who are so much worse off.  Let them go the altar; they need it more. The problem is that, though it sounds humble, that kind of thinking isn’t humble, in all likelihood that may be pride.  That thought could be roughly translated – I can handle this myself. Perhaps  it can also be translated – I don’t think God cares about the “little” details of my life.  It could also be translated – God may not be able to help those who need it more if I ask Him to help me.

Doesn’t sound quite so humble any more.

God cares about your pain.  He cares about mine.  And none of His caring for us limits the care He can give to all the hurting people all around the world.  Our pain doesn’t have to register 7.6 on the Richter scale to get His attention.

Remember the story of the sparrows Jesus told?

He said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet not one of them is forgotten by God”.  He goes on to say, “Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”.  Luke 12: 6-7

The Message Bible puts it like this  “What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.”

Bully talk allows us to talk ourselves out of meeting God at the altar and we should be able to recognize that those thoughts come from the father of lies and not from God.

You are worth so much that God sent His one and only Son, Jesus to pay for your healing, your deliverance, your peace of mind.  Don’t qualify pain.  Yours doesn’t have to be greater than someone else’s to matter to God.  I don’t have a father’s heart, but I do have a mother’s heart and I can tell you that anything, regardless of relative size, that hurts my children, hurts me.  I would move heaven and earth to heal their hurts.  Of course, I can’t, but the good news is that God who could move heaven and earth, did so on their behalf, on your behalf, on my behalf.

Qualifying our pain limits God.

Father in heaven,  thank You for keeping such a close watch on me and my loved ones.  Thank you that every pain of ours is noticed by You and You stand ready to heal us.  Your love for us is hard to comprehend, help us to embrace that love more freely and forgive us for the times we would limit You in our lives.  Amen.

The What Abouts

Today as I write this, there are symptoms of pain in my body. These symptoms would tell me I am not healed or worse, that maybe, God doesn’t really heal everyone anymore or even worse still, maybe God doesn’t love me enough to heal me. I have to reject these thoughts, often many times throughout the day and even into the late hours of the night when I can’t sleep.  Instead, I have to think on what I know to be true.   Among the things I know to be true is this:  my experience or lack of experience doesn’t change the truth I find in God’s Word. Neither do my past experiences of receiving healing prove that truth any more than these symptoms of pain deny that truth. God’s Word is true regardless of my experiences.

When healing is delayed it is all to easy to get caught up in doubts and the what abouts.  Right now, my what abouts sound like this -what about this pain? What about the sleepless nights? What about the time I had faith filled people lay hands on me and pray and yet…pain? What about the scriptures I memorized and meditate on and still, I experience pain? What about when I was anointed with oil and still I need my pain meds?

I don’t have pat answers for the what about questions and I would be suspicious of anyone who did.  But I know this, the more I ask these questions, the more I waiver in my faith.

Today as we were driving along, our son who thinks he will be driving soon (not) asked me where I keep my eyes when I am driving, what part of the road.  I explained to him that I look at where I am going farther up the road.  He questioned why don’t I just look over the hood to the road directly in front of the car.  I told him that when I do that, not only is my vision limited, but I start to wobble more and more in my lane but if I keep my eyes up ahead to where I want to be going, I can see more of what is around me and I can remain steady in my course.

My goal is Jesus, to be like Him, to be with Him, to serve Him and also to receive all of what He purchased for me on that cross if for no other reason than for the fact that it cost Him everything.  And so healing is a part of my destination.

Trying to answer the what abouts is like trying to drive when all I am looking at is what is directly in front of my hood. I lose vision and my course becomes wobbly.  I can make peace with the fact that I don’t have all the answers because I know the One who does. The what about questions lead me astray, take my eyes off Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross and put my eyes back on what I can see or, in my case, feel.  I will make it to my destination by God’s grace and my body will be free of the symptoms that try to tell me otherwise.

Thank You Lord Jesus that You lead my in paths that are right for me.  Thank You that as I keep my eyes on You, the what abouts become dim.  May You be the only destination I desire, may You be where my path always leads.  When my eyes wander would You whisper to me, nudge me, interrupt me, whatever it takes, to help me get my eyes back on You.  Amen

Do you need healing?  I would love to pray for you/with you.  Please let me know.

Do you have a healing testimony?  I would love to share it with others.

 

reprinted from my blog godhappenings.wordpress.com