Have you ever noticed how lovely it is when the winds blow through the distant trees? Or how birds seriously do seem to have a language of their own, as their back and forth chatter sounds nothing other than a conversation? Or the multitudes of color in just one flower petal? Being reduced to a heap of anemic flesh has it’s benefits!
On my sickest days, you will find me laying on any surface that is slightly soft and nearby. I have no real thoughts, only the occasional impulse to vomit. I lay in silence – as noise, even a joyful noise, is bothersome. Yet there is one excitant that keeps me breathing. It is the overwhelming love I feel towards God. I just want to praise Him for EVERYTHING! — For creating such a beautiful world, for giving me such a loving family and fulfilling life, for working miracles that I will not even see this side of heaven, and on and on.
The closer I get to nothing, the more I see him as everything. The more pitiful I get, the more beautiful He is to me. I honestly believe that my desire to praise Him is keeping me alive! (I do want to note that I am on no drugs or pain killers that could make me loopy.)
In one of my earlier rounds of chemo, as I lay sick, I realized that I had not prayed much that day at all. A whole day was lost. In fact, I had no energy to pray to even feel better so that I could pray. It then hit me that I have an entire army of people praying for me. I am on so many prayer lists; some at churches I have never even been to before. I realized that I don’t even know some of the people who put me on their list! And then, my eyes welled with tears of utter thankfulness when it hit me that I have a great High Priest offering up prayers of healing to God my Father. In all of His glory, Jesus is working on my behalf. He still serves, even though He is a king. His compassions did not stop at the cross.
Strength in Weakness
It became suddenly clear to me what Paul meant when he said that when we are weak, He is strong.
“And he [Jesus] said unto me [Paul], My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9&10
I always thought that I would feel His strength in my moments of weakness. Yet it makes perfect sense on the days when I don’t. When I don’t feel His strength, He is working on my behalf, because I cannot. He is the silent Saviour, and His grace comes without warning. He is the perfect Comforter, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
The harder it all gets for me, the more I love Him, and I am so very thankful to love Him more. I realize things could be so much the worse. My suffering pales to that of others. Yet now I know that: not only is it possible to thank God in EVERY thing, (1 Thessalonians 5:18) it is nearly impossible not to!
A stilled life, one very foreign to me, has been a great classroom.
Where Am I Headed?
Over the years when I call my mom, she has grown quite accustomed to asking me, “Where are you headed?” That’s because I always call her while driving. (I know – that’s so bad!) I never gave her my undivided attention. Yet, she will stop in her busied tracks to talk to me as long as I need or want to talk.
My Dad, as soon as I say “Hi Dad!”, can tell if I’m sick; and will ask, “Are you feeling punky?” This always makes me smile. I looked up the word once to see if it actually was a word. The word means exactly how I feel… ill, rotted, burning very slowly, as a fire. But when he says it in his sweet and tender voice, immediately I feel better.
for I have redeemed thee,
I have called thee by thy name;
thou art mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In this time of confusion and uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) once said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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