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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What I Learned From Job

Job's pain and unjust suffering did not prove to be a barrier to receiving God's blessing and love. Scripture describes Job as blameless and upright - a man who shunned evil and one who was blessed and protected by God. Suddenly and for no reason Job could discern, everything he had was taken from him - family, money, health, marriage and even friends turned on him.


He eloquently and powerfully expressed his pain - his questions:

"After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said: "May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, "A boy is born!" That day - may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it. May darkness and deep shadow claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light. That night - may thick darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it. May those who curse days curse that day." (Job 3:1-8)

"I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the aguish of my spirit; I will complain the bitterness of my soul." (Job 7:11)

If I speak my pain is not relieved and if I refrain, it does not go away." (Job 16:6)

Job found that his "trusted friends" gave him bad counsel. "Now you too have proved to be of no help." (Job 6:21)

Job verbally affirms the charater of God:

"Though one wished to dispute with him, he could not answer him one time out of a thousand. His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed? He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble. He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed; miracles that cannot be counted." (Job 9:3-10)

Job doesn't stuff his pain or try to deal with it by not confronting it:

"If I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression and smile,' I still dread all my suffering...." (Job 9:27)

"He takes his complaint and addresses God" (Job 10:2-12)

Job tried seeking comfort from his friends but the result was: "...miserable comforters are you all!" (Job 16:1)

In spite of earthly sorrows, pain and suffering, Job keeps things in pespective: "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes - I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" (Job 19:25-27)

Finally, Job hears from God. The Lord speaks. Read Job, chapters 38-41.

Job was validated.

"After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, 'I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.... My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right as my servant Job has." (Job 42:7-8)

The final result:

Job had an incredible encounter withGod. His faith was refined. 'The Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before." (Job 42:10) Though much of what God restored was worldly gain, the most incredible part to me is that there was an exchange between the God of the universe - the Creator - and Job - one man. Job was humbled before God and at the same time elevated and blessed beyond description.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Healing Through Disabilities

I used to worry about what other people would say or think when they would observe my tremors, and my clumsy efforts to perform tasks, or my ungraceful "walk". But through the damage PD has inflicted on me, it has forced me to face this humiliating state of affairs. I have TRULY come to believe that I am more than this body I live in. It's brokeness is not a reflection of ME.
The Bible tells us not to worry about what others think about this temporal dwelling I call my body. It tells me not to do anything to be noticed or exalted by men. (Read Matthew, chapter 6)
Instead of trying to hide my "differences" and worrying over my disability, I come before my heavenly Father presenting my body to Him as a living sacrifice. This is part of how I worship Him (Romans 12:1, 2)

Thank you, heavenly Father that you take our disabilities and use them to heal us and glorify You.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Will

I've been reading the book of Matthew in my Bible lately, and have noted that we are given the wisdom of Jesus Christ to deal with all kinds of situations. We are to act with love.
Having PD... things in my life had worsened and gotten to the point that I felt I had almost no choices left in life. But I found that what was left was the most important choice of all. I would choose what kind of a person I wanted to be. I decided I would not just react to what others did and said, but that with the help of Jesus, I would do my best to be what He wanted me to be. I would choose.... I would not live within the dictates of death and disease, but through faith and with hope I would be just who I had been created to be.
Once again, PD helped me see what it couldnt take from me and it became clear to me I had the freedom to exercise the most important thing of all........... My will!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Waiting With Patience

Parkinson's Disease has slowed me down alot. I think it is a good thing. Because, I could no longer zip through chores, I learned patience. I learned that the process of accomplishing something is every bit as important as the completion of a task. My character is formed and refined within those waiting moments. Parkinson's Disease taught me that things just can't be rushed, and if you are feeling a pressing feeling to move ahead but have no peace, then it's probably not the right "voice" to listen to. Hated disease though it is, I have to say, it is a very good instructor. Once again, I can now see that God knew what it would take to cause me to grow and bloom. And He has taught me through the patience I learned, to wait on Him. I wait peacefully, knowing that He is Who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do. It's a beautiful thing, knowing how to wait for the Truth to unfold.
Thank you, heavenly Father that You care for Your children. There are parts of life - realms of existence - that cannot be explored or entered unless faith is employed, and so I thank you for the gift of faith that You give. We all have some measure of faith. Scripture tells us that Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith, and that it will be refined by fire. Thank you for developing the patience I need in waiting for You to perfect me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hidden Treasures

Disease or sickness can be a catalyst that leads to depression, and despair or even loss of hope. The realization that opportunities have slipped by, never to return and doors have closed never to open again, can lead to fear, and guilt or shame. But what we less often focus on is that while this is true, new chances and never before openned doors are now there for the choosing. In truth, we are never left without hope and good things to look forward to. The Bible tells us that all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose. God has a purpose for every one of His children and He has put good things ahead waiting to be discovered like hidden treasure. Jeremiah tells us that He has plans to prospers us.
Jeremiah 33:2 says: Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know."
Dear Father,
I snuggle down into your warmth and love. You are like the mother hen who gathers her chicks together under her wings when danger is near. Your tender mercies truly are new each day. With joy by faith, today I receive all that You have freely given me. And I will not entertain the lies of the enemy which lead to darkness and loss of light.