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

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Full Moon

God’s Message, from the God who lights up the day with sun and
    brightens the night with moon and stars,
Who whips the ocean into a billowy froth,
    whose name is God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

 “If this ordered cosmos ever fell to pieces,
    fell into chaos before me”—God’s Decree—
“Then and only then might Israel fall apart
    and disappear as a nation before me.”

Jeremiah 31:35-36

Last Friday night, there was full moon. We watched it rise, starting out huge and yellow as it made its way up the night sky, getting smaller and whiter in appearance. I was reminded of this verse. It tells me of God’s faithfulness to His people. If the moon rose in the wrong place, or the sun refused to set or the stars collided and fell, we would have cause to doubt God’s faithfulness. I haven’t seen that happen, have you?

If God can keep the “ordered cosmos” from falling to pieces, if He can keep the nation Israel from falling apart and disappearing as a nation, then surely He can keep His promises to me.  And to you.  How about these promises?

He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,

for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

Matthew 11:28-29

As beautiful a sight as the full moon is, to me, what is more beautiful is the faithfulness of God it points to.  God has great and wonderful promises for us. Promises He stands behind and promises we can stand upon.  Need healing? Rest? Are you weary and burdened? Does your future look dim, are you weak and powerless?

His promises cover our weaknesses. We can trust in them and every time the moon rises and the sun sets at their appointed time, we can be reminded of His faithfulness to His word.

Your ordered cosmos is a beautiful sight to see and such a wonderful reminder that You stand by Your word and You hold all things in the palms of Your hands. I need the reminder of the full moon because sometimes, I forget that You are in control. How often do I try to take that control back? Forgive me, help me lay my burdens down and rest in the knowledge that You and only You can make something beautiful out of my life. Thank You for the good plans You have for my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

 

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.

Who Needs Divine Healing When You Have Insurance?

When our son John was two years old, he developed a hernia.  I didn’t know it was a hernia; I only knew that something was growing on his body and it concerned me.  I took him to the emergency room where I was informed that it was a hernia.  I was told that kids never outgrow hernias and they never just go away; it would only be removed through surgery.

We were instructed to see our pediatrian who confirmed the diagnosis and referred us to a surgeon.  Once there, I was told the same thing – this was a hernia, kids never outgrew them, they never went away on their own and it would require surgery.  I was told it was an easy fix and nothing to be concerned about, in fact, he said I could put off the surgery for a couple of months if I wanted to.  No big deal, he said.

Well, it was kind of a bigger deal than he let on.  First of all, this was my son he was talking about and no surgery seems minor when it concerns your kid and secondly, we did not have insurance or the money to pay for the surgery.

We needed a miracle – either the money to pay for surgery or divine healing (please God, heal him without surgery was my heart’s desire) but I prayed that God’s will would be done even if it meant surgery.

I owned a small daycare at the time and explained to the kids there that the Bible says if we lay hands on the sick, they will recover.  I asked those who were willing to come lay hands on John and pray.  All the ambulatory kids came over; the only one old enough to even understand what I said was 3 1/2 years old, the rest were 2 and under, but still willing to stand in agreement!  I began praying a prayer.  One designed to move mountains and the hand of God.  After all, I learned how to do this in Bible school and while it was theologically correct, I knew it wasn’t moving the hand of God.  The kids were looking at me puzzled and so I did the only wise thing to do.  I stopped praying. When I did, the little girl said simply “And please Jesus, make my friend John all better. Amen”

Wow! Have you ever just known that you know that you know that a matter is settled?  It feels like peace, an incredibly sweet peace and that is what I felt. I knew our son was healed.

The evidence of that healing wasn’t visible for several days but the hernia did disappear.  I still had an appointment with the surgeon and so I took John for a checkup.  The doctor was amazed but pronounced him healed; there was no evidence of a hernia.  Praise God!

In the course of one week, I shared that story with two different people groups.  The first group was a Sunday School class of elementary aged children.  Their responses were incredible.  They said things like “Wow! Jesus is so real”,  “He’s just so real!”  “Wow! He just healed him!” “What’s a hernia?”  Their countenances glowed with awe.  They spoked in hushed tones.  It was like we were standing on holy ground.   It was truly an incredible moment.

The next group I shared this story with was really only one man.  A man probably in his seventies that attended the church we attended.  I knew his wife suffered from different illnesse and he was her primary caretaker and I shared the story to encourage him in his faith as he was discouraged.  His response – “What you don’t have any insurance?!”  For the next few weeks when I would see him at church, he would bring me phone numbers and addresses of places to get insurance and names of places to go for medical help for the uninsured.  So deep was his concern over my lack of insurance.

I was shocked at his response.  But I realize now that too many times, we don’t need God when we have other resources.  I have insurance now but my faith is not in doctors no matter how great they may be (please don’t take that personally if you are one), my faith is not in insurance, no matter how great it may be.  My faith is in Jehovah Rapha, The God who heals me and my son and you should you need healing.  He is no respecter of persons and what He has done for our son, He will do for you.  He also hasn’t changed; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He still hears our prayers and heals our diseases.  Isn’t He awesome?

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com

Sweet Waters

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…when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter… And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”  So they cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree.  When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.   Exodus  15: 23-25

The people who tended to grumble over many things were worried about what they were to drink.  Survival at its core.  We watch Dual Survival as a family.   In this show, two people are dropped off in the middle of nowhere and left to find their way out which could take days.  Water is almost always an issue in every episode.  Without water, survival chances are greatly diminished.  These Israelites wandering in the wilderness had come to this point in their journey – desperately in need of water and finding water only to find it bitter?  Ever think you have finally found the diagnosis, the prescription, the supplement, the doctor that will finally break this disease off of you.  I have, only to discover that it was not the answer after all and bitter is a good word for the feeling that produces in me.  Bitter disappointment.

God told Moses to throw the tree into the water and Moses as an act of obedience did just that.  And water that was undrinkable, unable to satisfy their thirst because it was bitter, became sweet and drinkable and life sustaining.  That tree represents the cross of Jesus where He died to take our sins and our diseases;  where He gave His life so that what is bitter and unuseable in our lives could become sweet and useable.  He took every form of death so that we can have every form of life.

It was at this time that God revealed Himself as Jehovah Rapha.  He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”  Exodus 15: 26

On Dual Survival, we are supposed to believe that these two men have no idea what they will encounter and have to use their wits and whatever they can find to make it out to safety.  And, of course, week after week, they do.  Our lives aren’t so predictable.  We don’t know what we will encounter, we don’t know how long this disease will be a part of our life, how long pain will define our comings and goings.  But we can take refreshment in drinking the sweet waters provided for us by Jesus on the cross.  We can rest in His completed work and know that whatever we encounter, He is there and able to turn even the bitterest of waters into something sweet.

Thank You Jesus for taking all that is lacking in my life and making it full to overflowing.  Thank You for turning even my bitterest moments into moments of sweetness as I look upon You and Your sacrifice.  You bless me in so many ways today and I know I can trust my future to You.  Thank You for being my healer God.  Amen.

Do you need healing?  Can I pray with you, for you?  Please let me know.

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

He Is Faithful

He is faithful, He is glorious,
He is Jesus, and all my hope is in Him
He is freedom, He is healing right now,
He is hope and joy, love and peace and life

These words from the song He Is Faithful by Jesus Culture were running through my mind when I woke up this morning. I am really grateful for that because pain was running through my body. Every step I take is painful. Laying down is painful, typing is painful.

But, He is faithful. Faithful to His word, faithful to His plans and purposes in our lives; He watches over His word to perform it in our lives. His word says I am healed by the stripes of Jesus, that He sent His word and healed my diseases. He says He is Jehovah Rapha the God who heals me and that healing is the children’s bread. His children, you, me and your loved ones.

God is faithful to His character as well. Malachi 3:6 says, “I the Lord do not change”. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We can count on His faithfulness to His character. When Jesus walked on the earth, He made it plain that He was the perfect representative of God. He did the Father’s will, always. And what did Jesus do? He healed the sick, He made blind eyes open, He made lame legs walk, He made the dead rise to life, He delivered people from demonic possession.

Years ago, when my youngest daughter started kindergarten, I would drive her two miles to school and then pick her up. Everyday, she would remind me to pick her up, don’t forget mom, she would say. I would reassure her and then be very careful to not be late even by a minute or two. I thought she would soon outgrow this when I had proved my faithfulness, but she didn’t. This pattern of her reminding me continued daily until she was in third grade. Not once did I forget her, not once was I even late, but she continued to need that daily reassurance. Then one day, she didn’t remind me; she knew I’d be there.

God has proven His faithfulness. His story beginning in Genesis and continuing on through Revelations is a chronicle of His faithfulness and yet, we still need more reassurances. What about the things He has done in our lives personally? Has He been faithful? Can we count on Him to continue to be faithful to His word and His character? What was cute and maybe even to be expected in my kindergartener just starting school was no longer cute as time continued. I expected her to trust my faithfulness based on my track record. I think God expects us to do the same – trust Him based on His track record.

Father, thank You for proving Your faithfulness to me over and over and over again. Your story tells me of Your great love and compassion for Your people and yet at times, I still need reassurances. Thank You for being faithful especially when I am not. Thank You for providing for my healing, my freedom from this pain. Thank You that Your plans, Your perfect will is being worked out in me even now. Amen.