System Of Inequality and Divine Healing?!

images

 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

imagesCAMET0M0


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

Salvation Garden

Salvation_Mountain_002

In simple humility, let our gardener,

God,

landscape you with the Word,

making a salvation-garden of your life.

James 1:21

Learning the things of God requires humility; a desire to know the Lord requires meekness. Humility involves teachability. Taken as such, God’s word has the power to make a salvation-garden of our life!

God’s word has the power to save us from ourselves, our sins, our pain, our sense of unworthiness and bless us in so many ways but only if we come to it with a humble, teachable spirit. Too many times though, we come to the Bible with preconceived ideas of who God is, of what He means, of how He operates in people’s lives and rather than let the word of God speak to us as it will, we hear what we want, we accept what makes sense, reject what doesn’t, try to complicate it, try to overlook the parts we don’t like and twist the ones we do.

What would happen though, if we wiped clean the ideas we have of God and His word and look at it afresh with a teachable spirit? What kind of seeds would be planted in the salvation-garden of our lives?

Seeds of hope

Seeds of forgiveness

Seeds of love

Seeds of healing

Seeds of deliverance from habits

Seeds of mercy

Seeds of grace

Seeds of joy

Seeds of acceptance

Seeds of belonging

Seeds of adoption

Seeds of freedom from everything that enslaves us

Seeds of provision for our journey

Seeds of value

Seeds of significance

Seeds of vision

What an amazing garden that would be!

imagesK047AZIH

And all we have to do is approach the word of God with humility, let God plant the seeds, and stand back and watch as He produces a harvest in our lives that will amaze us and bless others.

Let my heart be fallow ground; may I always approach Your word with humility and a sincere desire to be taught by You. Thank You for the salvation garden You are growing in my life. I see evidence of new life, Your life, springing up all around me and in me and I am humbled by that. Open my eyes to the preconceived ideas I have of You, misconceptions that blind me from the truth of Your word and help me to be teachable. Bring a harvest in my life, I pray, that will bless others, I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

picture credit: Wikipedia.com and blueeyedenaissiempre.blogspot.com

 

Could Not Have Been Made Better

images9J4VNS50

“God sat down for a moment when the dog was finished in order to watch it…

and to know that it was good…

that nothing was lacking…

that it could not have been made better”

R.M. Rilke

His name was Houdini because he could escape anything I put him in. He was one out of a litter of  9 Standard Poodles I had some years ago. I donated him as a puppy to Summit Assistance Dogs to be trained and used as a therapy dog and I was given a clay wall hanging with those words written on them as a thank you.

The accolades given dogs amaze me. I am a dog breeder and love them but I don’t think they walk on water, in fact, I’m pretty sure they don’t. They are wonderful, and perhaps those of us who adore dogs would readily agree with those words written about them,  but I wonder if we changed the words above to read like this how many of us would still agree with it.

God sat down for a moment when you were finished, when I was finished, in order to watch us…

and to know that we were good…

that nothing was lacking…

that we could not have been made better

I can almost hear a collective groan. I know I’m groaning. I groan because I think I could have been made better. I groan just thinking about the number of times I have envied some feature someone else was born with and lamented that I was not or vice versa.  Because what? I know better than God how I should be? Comparison is such an insidious thing, robbing us of recognizing our uniqueness. What if we could actually embrace those words, that God was pleased with us, just the way He created us; that we could not have been made better? Isn’t that what He is saying here:

…for You formed my inward parts;

You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well.…

Psalm 139:13

If God is pleased with me, with how He made me, why is it so hard to accept myself the way I am. My physical features don’t need to look like someone else; they need to look like me. I need to accept that I look exactly how God intended and He calls His creation good. I think a big step in healing would come from just this – recognizing and accepting that I am who I am by God’s design and that I am fearfully and wonderfully made even if I don’t look exactly like what society calls good, even if I don’t look like what I might call good, God calls me good. He didn’t make a mistake when He made me and He didn’t make a mistake when He made you.

Father, how hard it is to see myself just as You do. Do You watch me with a smile on Your face? Do Your eyes light up when You see me? Am I really the apple of Your eye? Are You proud to show me off – there’s my daughter, my beautiful daughter? Forgive me for seeing myself as anything less than Your creation, Your masterpiece. Even as I write these words, I know I am a long way away from truly believing them. Help me to believe them as I give myself permission to believe them and thank You – thank You for creating me just the way You did. Amen.

Getting Out of the Gate

untitled

…and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him.

II Chronicles 26:5

This is talking about Uzziah, a sixteen year old who became king and reigned for 52 years in Jerusalem. He started off on the right foot -he did right in the eyes of the Lord, he continued to seek God and this verse tells us that as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him. But something went horribly wrong because in verse 21 we are told that Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death and cut off from the house of the Lord.

We used to have race horses. Well, we had horses and some of them actually made it to the track. Mostly, they just made us broke. These were Thoroughbreds which means that most of their races were not sprints, they were bred for longer distances. Getting out of the gate in a sprint race has to be perfect, too much time out and it can’t be made up in a short race, but it can be made up sometimes in a longer one. A good start is crucial, but its the finish that counts.

Uzziah started well, and ended up poorly and if you read the story, you will see that his heart became proud because of victories won in battles and he stopped seeking the Lord and guess what? The Lord stopped prospering him.

When I started into this healing journey, I started on my own strength, that and help from the doctor and a wellness consultant. I had cried out to God for months and months to heal me or show me the way and He said NOTHING! At some unnoticeable point, I stopped seeking Him. The pills, the treatments, the supplements made some difference but I still had so much pain that I couldn’t deal with it any more. So I quit the prescriptions, the supplements, the treatments and decided to leave my healing in God’s hands totally. Either He healed me or I stayed this way.

I went back to seeking the Lord, which is how this blog began.  I started in search of physical healing but I have gained so much more. I have begun prospering in my life, not just financially, though that has improved, but mentally and emotionally and relationally and yes, physically. The only difference is that I sought the Lord through reading His word. That’s it, that’s all I did, and He has done the rest. In life, I don’t think our start in this life is as crucial as the finish as God allows us to start over daily, if need be. It’s the finish that counts in life, as in horse racing. And I hope, by His grace, that I finish strong and healthy and prospering.

Jesus, You paid for it all, my health, all of it, my mental and physical, financial, relational well-being are so important to You. I can’t attain to a level of health in any of these areas without seeking You and Your word and following hard after You. Thank You for turning me in my tracks back to the only source of healing for me. Thank you for the increase in my health in all areas of my life and please, please, help me to finish strong. In Your name, I ask. Amen.

picture credit: resaliens.com

.

A Balanced Equation

th3CW8PUP6

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. 

3 John 1:2

I am relearning Algebra. Not by choice, but in an attempt to help our 9th grade son with his school work.  One thing I learned is that equations need to be balanced.  For example 2 +5 = 10-3 is a balanced equation.  You probably remember from high school that what you do to one side of that equation, you have to do to the other side to keep it balanced. An equation can be unbalanced if you don’t do to the other side what you do to the one side.

When I looked at this verse recently, I saw it as an equation.  What if it could be written like this:  prospering and being in good health = your soul (mind, will and emotions) prospering. What if the power and the truth of that verse lie in the balancing of that equation?

One aspect of the meaning of prospering is that nothing is missing and nothing is lacking. Having what is necessary to have a successful journey here on earth. Money is part of it, but it encompasses so much more. What is lacking in your life? Joy, peace, forgiveness, health, love…?

If, and this might be a big if, our mind – our thinking patterns, the tapes we play over and over in our head, our outlook on life, lined up more and more each day with the word of God, wouldn’t that affect our will and our emotions positively?  And if that happened on that side of this equation, wouldn’t it cause for more prospering and health on the other side of the equation?

Too many times, it is easy to allow feelings and emotions to guide our thinking and our behaviors, but what if we reversed that? What if our feelings followed our thinking and our thinking followed the word of God?  Wouldn’t there be healing in that area of our life?

If one side of this equation effects the other, then my soul prospering will raise the level of prospering and health I experience in other areas of my life, like my finances and my body and my relationships.  I think that’s kind of exciting and a worthy goal, to have my soul prosper and my life follow that. How do I do this? By reading the word of God, meditating on it, and applying what I learn in my life by God’s freely given grace. Daily.

Once again, I am renewed in my mind by reading Your word. Once again, I feel hope arise in me. I desire to prosper and be in good health, I desire to finish the course You have set before me and I need Your resources to do that. I need Your word and Your grace and Your provisions. I need good health. Help me to feed upon Your word, to allow it to have its perfect work in me and help me to be fruitful in every good work. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Appointed Time

There is an appointed time for everything.

And there is a time for every event under heaven—

 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

It’s a beautiful fall day as I write this. Fall in the Pacific Northwest brings lots of beautiful colors to the scenery. I love the changing seasons, seeing the colors of fall and the bittersweet reminder that winter is coming. I love the hibernating, regrouping sense of winter and the come alive again aspect of spring. Then comes summer. Who doesn’t love summer.

Seasons serve to remind me also that change happens. Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes, not so good. But we can count on change. Twice, just today, I heard people talking about how difficult change is for them. The good news of seasons is that they come and go. No matter how much I may love fall, it doesn’t stick around.

For me, right now, this is good news. This time of pain isn’t the permanent season of my life; it is a temporary one. One that came and one that will go. It certainly hasn’t been my favorite season of my life but it is so full of so many good things that pain can’t take from me. I am grateful for this season and the belief that it isn’t going to stay. A new season will come as surely as spring follows winter.

What about you? Are you going through a particularly difficult season right now?  Can I just encourage you to find the beauty of this season and rest in the knowledge that the God who created the seasons will keep you through this one?

Father, I do love the seasons. I love that You change my scenery and give me new things to marvel at while keeping the structure of my life rooted in You. You direct the seasons and the times for them to change and I thank You that You have a time for me to heal and a time for this season of pain to end. What a season of dancing and shouting and laughing that will usher in! I look forward to embracing that new season. Help me to find the beauty that is here in this season. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lovingkindness

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;

and His song will be with me in the night,

A prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 42:8

It’s hard for me to comprehend the lovingkindness of God.  Especially when I am in unrelenting pain.  The psalmist who penned these words was in exile from his homeland, removed from his life as he knew it before captivity and he longs for a return to his old normal.  I can really relate to that.  I yearn for my old normal, the BP (before pain) days when I moved freely and was not limited in what I could do; I liked the freedom that brought.  Much as this psalmist yearns for his days of freedom.

The verse in Psalm 42 is the turning point of the psalm.  No, the captive hadn’t been released, nothing changed about his life except his focus.  He switched his focus from the evidences of his captivity to the faithfulness of his God. If I think of God’s love the way I think of human love it would be characterized with words like fickle, unfaithful, conditional; something I have to earn, something I can easily lose.

But God’s love, His lovingkindness is characterized with words like strength, steadfastness, unconditional, and everlasting.  God covenanted to love His people, He promised His love to people He knew would turn on Him, reject Him, abandon Him.  In spite of that, He never stopped loving them.  Or me. Or you.

Whatever is holding you or me captive, God still loves us, He stills commands His lovingkindness in the daytime, not because we deserve it, but because He purposed and promised to do just that.

That changes my song in the night; it changes my focus during the day. God will turn my captivity in His timing just as surely as He turned the captivity of the people who had been exiled. He is no respecter of persons; what He has done for others, He will do for me and for you.

Faithful God, my faithful God and deliverer, Your lovingkindness is more than I can comprehend.  I once said about my pain, why me?  But now, I can say about Your love, why me? Why me, except that You chose me from before the foundations of the world and have faithfully kept Your word to me ever since.  How gracious You are.  Please be my song in the night and help me during this time of captivity to not lose sight of Your great lovingkindness.  I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

pic credit: gregronnin

Secret Millionaire

untitled (22)

I watched an episode of Secret Millionaire one Sunday. I really like that show and am impressed by the millionaires and their openness about themselves, but the man on the show this time was really impressive. He was a very humble man and he was brought to tears many times during the show. What struck my heart was this father’s comments about his 5 children. He mentioned them many times and every time he referred to them as his 5 children. Nothing unusual about that except that he shared in the beginning of the show that they had lost one child – a baby born with no heartbeat. They showed a close up of them holding the tiny hand of the child that died.

While he mentioned God, I never heard him mention heaven. So I am assuming here that he shares the belief that children go to heaven when they leave our arms. I believe that and yet the reality of it never hit home with me like it did this day listening to that man refer to his 5th child the same way he referred to his other 4; as though that child is just as present to him as the others he can see and hold.

untitled (21)

This made me cry. Why? Because I have 3 children in heaven. Children I seldom think about or talk about. Children most people who know me well don’t even know about. I believe they are in heaven but that seems so far away and beyond reach that I seldom think about heaven or those babies.   This man brought heaven closer; made me see it differently, made me wonder about my children and made me miss them with an intensity that surprised me.  And it made me marvel at the God who not only placed eternity in our hearts but prepared a place, a heavenly place, to hold those that we can’t hold, to keep what we can’t keep until that day when we are reunited.  What an awesome God we serve!  What a day that will be when I see my children face to face.  Right now it is enough to know they are whole and happy and spending time with their grandparents and their Uncle Rick.

This verse comes to mind when I think on these things – II Timothy 1:12 – “for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day”.

Some healings take place this side of heaven, others wait for heaven.  I don’t know why that is, but I am grateful for the healing my three children experience now in heaven.

Thank You Lord for holding those I can’t hold, for preparing a grand reunion for us all.  Thank You that I will be rejoined with my children and we will spend eternity together in a place that is far beyond my wildest imaginations.  Prepare us for heaven, all my children, all my grandchildren, all my family, me to live with Thee there, I ask in Your name. Amen.

Business as Usual

untitled (20)

 “Never, never, never, never give up.”

Winston Churchill

I was going to throw in the towel today on writing these devotions.  I was in pain and tired and quite frankly, becoming convinced that they were a waste of time.   Time I could better spend some other way.  I also have thought lately that they serve little purpose, in the sea of blogs and posts and books and written words, this is a plankton, who would miss it if I stopped writing?  Why not leave writing to the others who write so much better?

Sometime during the day though, I was reminded of this quote by Churchill.  I’ve often used this quote to help kids keep going when they want to quit but never really applied it to my life.  But then, I seldom set long term goals that stretch me like determining to write a devotion a day for a year.

I’ve used this quote, but I didn’t know the context until today when I looked it up.  Churchill said this after the Blitz.  The Blitz was a bombing campaign by the Germans primarily against England.  It lasted 10 months and killed about 15,000 people.  Addressing Harrow School, Churchill said, ” But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period — I am addressing myself to the School — surely from this period of ten months, this is the lesson: Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

The bombing was supposed to push Churchill into negotiations with Hitler, but they had the opposite effect largely in part to Churchill’s speeches like the one above.  The people were encouraged and became determined to make it through that difficult time without caving in.  They even put signs up on shop windows that read “Business as Usual”.  Churchill rallied the people and together they faced a difficult time.

My enemy seems small in comparison to Hitler.  My enemy doesn’t drop bombs on me, he just sits on my shoulder whispering thoughts designed to get me to cave in.  Thoughts like you’re not good enough, God isn’t going to heal you, no one cares what you write.  Maybe your enemy says similar things.  Regardless of the little bombs that come our way, the purpose is the same, to get us to give up.  Give up believing that good can come into our lives, that we can be loved and accepted, that we can walk without pain, find our perfect mate, see our wayward child come home, give up an addiction, get free from an abusive situation, etc.  Whatever the bombs, the answer is never give in.  Keep on believing, keep on looking to God, keep on believing the best is yet to come, keep on trusting.  Business as usual, never give in.

Lord, thank You for encouraging me today, I needed that.  Help me to be an encouragement to others as You lead.  Help me to keep walking the walk of faith, to refuse to give in to the bombing thoughts of my enemy.  Thank You for the victory I have in You, Amen.