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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Joy

I'm getting ready to take a short trip to see my grandson. As simple as the trip is, it is no simple thing for me to get ready, get out the door, and onto the plane. I've had to make a trip to my doctor (twice actually), make sure I have all my meds, work out the plans on who will take me to the airport and who will pick me up (taking into account I really can't walk too far), and weed out of my social calendar - for the week prior to going - things that weren't absolutely necessary that might tire me out too much. These are just a few of the preparations that had to be made. On some small level they are the trials that must be endured and worked through. I'm aware that other people are having to do a lot of things for me and I'm so very grateful - but it is humbling which is also a trial!
The Bible says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials...."
Why? Because it produces endurance which in turn leads to maturity and completeness. I need all of the refining tools that God offers to carve out the enduring and needed character that will get me through this world. I want the steel backbone of faith and the never ending love that reveals Jesus to the world around me. And so instead of being tempted to complain, I rejoice that each day - every moment I am being transformed into who I am meant to be. I want to be ready for such a time as this day and every day that I am on this earth. Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, July 5, 2010

What I Really Need

With the loss of independence due to a diseased or broken body, comes a whole list of things you can no longer do. Now someone else has to do for you, what you once did without even thinking. It could be that you need help tying your shoes, or turning over in bed or you may need assistance walking which means you will also need help fetching things like a glass of water. Showering can become an exhausting cooperative effort involving a spouse. It could be many different things.
Because you are fighting the battle of your life, you also need emotional boosting. Whether you like it or not, you become very needy and unhappy. Someone has to care for you. That's a job no one wants to sign up for. It takes the patience of Job, the heart of God, and all the strength one can muster. That combined with the fact that it is a position that drains whoever this job falls to, and more than likely is against their will, makes for miserable people.
I remember clearly knowing that I was anything but a joy to be around, and at the same time feeling neglected and abandoned.
I came face to face with unmet needs and had to reconcile that with trusting God and believing that He loved me.
Other people cannot meet every need, and whether or not they intend to - they will disappoint you.
I learned that the best thing for everybody involved was for me to expect God to watch over me. I had to trust that He would give me all I needed (and if I didn't get it, then I had to realize I must not really need it. I had to release people from my expectations of them. I learned to go to God with my problems and try to leave everyone else out of it. I learned some hard lessons and my heart broke in new ways, but I rejoice that growing in grace is a transformation that takes time and a God who loves us. Meanwhile, I try to recognize the many loving people in my life who do so very much out of the kindness of their hearts. They will fail me, just as I will fail them, but they will also get a lot of things right. It's best to concentrate on the good, letting go of the not so good, and remebering that things could always be worse..........

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Independence is a good thing. But it's also a bad thing. Let me talk a little bit about that. Spiritual independence is not a good thing. Adam and Eve declared their spiritual independence from God when they disobeyed Him and ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It separated them from God and carried with it the consequence of death.
My infirmity has clearly shown me my total dependence on God. I realize that I cannot perform even simple tasks - like walking across a room - without
God's enablement. I certainly cannot be restored to Him and heal the death wounds I've inherited as a result of The Fall. I must depend on Him for all.
There are some who may disagree with me and say or think that they have a certain amount of control, but when it comes down to it, they must depend on His goodness and love to provide even the smallest necessity for life. It's a blessing to know my need and to know Who sustains me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Trials, Tragedy and Trust

If you are challenged with serious health issues, then I think I can say - with certainty - that things have not been easy for you. I'll bet you have faced trials and temptations that you never imagined would come your way. I would venture to say that you have faced your own powerlessness and had your back against the wall on numerous occasions.
Having been there, I can say I am glad for all I've been through. Don't get me wrong. I would never have chosen pain and suffering. And bad things - like a crippling disease - is a tragedy - a bad thing and will never become a good thing. The amazing thing is that God is in the business of bringing forth something good and right and beautiful from what would otherwise be a failure or a waste.
God is not the author of evil. But He does take what appears to be unredeemable and by some mystery makes beauty, goodness and honor a reality.
But let me get back to the part about being glad for all I've been through. Do you know what I learned? A most precious truth.............. God can be trusted. When the storm of some unexpected tragedy blows about you like a hurricane, and you are delivered one by one from hardships and from the advances of hopelessness and despair, you begin to know that God is trustworthy. Even if you don't witness the disappearance of trouble, you understand that you have been saved. With the psalmist in the 23rd Psalm, you will know that God has "prepared a table for you IN THE PRESENCE of your enemies."