Category Archives: God speaks

Psalms and asides

Oh, how I love the Psalms. I like how my thoughts follow interject as I read them. Today I read Psalm 13. I’ll tell you how it went, but for reference I need to point out that I have severe nerve damage in my optic nerves, and struggle with partial vision loss. The doctors at Mayo Clinic said it would not get better, yet I have shown slight improvements ever since. It’s been a journey within a journey. So here we go…

“How long, O Lord? (Yes, I’m impatient at times)
Will you forget me forever? (No, no, no.)
How long will you hide your face from me? (Okay, I’m sorry, I know you are here. You are not hiding from me)
How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? (Do you get tired of the same old pleading, every single day?)
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? (He will not win this battle)

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Light up my eyes, (YES! PLEASE!) lest I sleep the sleep of death, (Ok,I suppose death would be worse)
Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” (Negative.)
Lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. (Shaken, not stirred. I’m standing firm in the knowledge that Jesus is fighting for me and He – WE – will prevail.)

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; (Oh, I have, over and over and over)
My heart shall rejoice in your salvation. (I’ll keep doing this too)
I will sing to the Lord, (Deaf ears don’t lend well to this, but I don’t think he minds, do you?) 
because he has dealt bountifully with me.”

Bountifully. What exactly does that mean? According to the dictionary, bountiful means abundant: liberal in bestowing gifts, favors, or bounties; munificent; generous. God is a generous God, liberal in bestowing gifts. Generous as in He wants to give us gifts, good things, and lots of them!

Here is where my doubt lies – does God want to heal my vision? He has given me so much, and I am thankful for all of it. I am truly happy and know that I am blessed. That fact is not lost on me. However, deep in my heart I guess I still want to pick and choose the gifts. I’m like an ungrateful child at Christmas, who didn’t get that Cabbage Patch Doll she was so hoping for. That girl, sitting on the floor amongst scads of toys and gifts, lamenting that there is no doll. This woman, sitting here in a comfortable home, with her beautiful children and husband, wondering when her vision will be restored. IF it will be restored.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful. And I know I am human and that God has plenty of grace for me. Grace to cover my ungrateful tendencies. I don’t know what God is doing with my vision. I know He keeps me in the dark on that point for a good reason. He wants me to trust Him.

Here’s the thing: I have a hard time with grace. I have a hard time accepting gifts. I have a hard time believing that I deserve. But you know what? I don’t. None of us do. That’s what grace is all about – the free and unmerited favor of God. I don’t know if my eyes will be completely healed this side of heaven or not, but I know God wants to give me good things. And who knows? Maybe that’s one of them. I did get that Cabbage Patch Doll, after all.

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Blessings for all

“Seek [God’s] kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” – Luke 12:31 (NIV)

It’s safe to say I’m really enjoying life with my new ci hearing. It’s amazing to rediscover sounds I haven’t heard in almost a year. Yesterday it stormed, and I was able to hear (from inside the house!) the rain and thunder. And though voices sound artificial, like the cartoon chipmunks or people high on helium, the rain sounded so real. And I know from talking with other ci recipients that it only gets better from here.

Last night as I laid my head on my pillow for the night, I was thanking God for this miracle, and telling Him how wonderful it was. And then He said something to me (when thoughts come out of nowhere, I know it’s Him). This is what He said. This is so exciting. Ready? “This isn’t IT. There is more to come.”

God loves to bless His children. He has blessed me and my family, and He won’t stop there. Really? More blessing? Yes. There is more to come. But the even better news is that I am no exception. You are His child as well, and He wants to bless you too. In fact, He probably already has, and maybe you missed it. So, do this today. Be on the lookout for God’s blessing. And if you have trouble with accepting it, stop that. Just let Him bless you.

The gift of a sound mind

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

This is a great verse to remember, if only for the part about not fearing. However, today I am focusing on the last part, the “sound mind” part. Over the past few weeks God has been dropping hints with me, reminding me ever so gently that words are powerful, and that words have the power to affect our minds. And as our minds are affected, so are our hearts. So when I have a heavy heart, God’s Word is the perfect starting place for change. I can meditate on His words, His TRUTH, and let it sink in to my heart. When my mind feels afflicted or confused or just plain ragged, there is no magic formula to fix it. Unless? Reading what God says is true = healing of the mind = heart at peace? I believe this is a true statement. God has given us a sound mind. We just need to remember that and go get it. Chances are, it’s closer than we think. 

Oh phooey, I don’t know what else to say about this. It sounds too easy, doesn’t it? 

Heavy burden for a 4 year old

My daughter just came to me, crying, and said that she didn’t want to die. I asked her why she thought she was gong to die, and she said, “from getting old over and over and over”.

Well, I suppose that is the most common way to die. However, usually it’s the older folk who are more worried about that. She must be an old soul.

I did reassure her that there is good news. The first being that she is rather young, and she has a long ways to go, and getting old over and over and over takes a very long time. That didn’t seem to help much, so I gave her the other good news, that people living with Jesus in their hearts get to live forever and ever, even after their bodies give out. And, since she knows she has Jesus living in her heart, she was very happy to hear about that. I don’t think she wants to go there quite yet, but she did agree heaven sounded pretty nice. And I reassured her Jesus is with her even right now, and she thought that was pretty cool too.

God shines

I’ve been reading a lot. I prayed for direction from God and He has stirred my heart to read and pray. Strangely, He hasn’t stirred my heart to clean much, but I do it anyway, bit by bit. I am doing much better, physically, but I still need to pay attention when my body tells me to rest. Thankfully my body is pretty clear about that message lately. Today is one of those days. I had plans to do lots of cleaning, but I am so fatigued, even after a good night’s rest and two cups of coffee. We’ll see, it’s still early in the day. Maybe a late morning snooze will help.

I wanted to share some encouragement I came across this morning. This is from the book “Waiting on God”, by Andrew Murray:

“What shall I think of a God that does not shine? No, God shines! God is light! I will take time, and just be still, and rest in the light of God. My eyes are feeble, and the windows are not clean, but I will wait on the Lord. The light does shine, the light will shine in me, and make me full of light. And I shall learn to walk all the day in the light and joy of God.”

May today be a day of joy and blessing!

A good wine takes time

Image 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 says “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed. Perplexed, but not despairing. Persecuted, but not forsaken. Struck down, but not destroyed.”

Verse 16 goes on to say, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.”

It’s true, I feel pretty crummy on the outside. I feel like a decaying clay jar. Cracked and dirty, beyond repair. We all have our ailments. Just today I found out a friend of mine is mostly deaf in one ear. I have many friends with MS.  I have another dear friend who is dying of ALS. But let’s be real. We’re all getting older, we are all headed for the grave sooner or later. And yet, this is just temporary. Life on this physical earth is so short compared to the eternity in heaven promised to those who believe. And if that gift wasn’t good enough, God assures us that while our physical bodies decay here on earth, our spirits – our inner bodies – are being continually renewed and storing up glory for future redemption. As my spirit is being renewed, I am storing up treasures in heaven. It’s an investment with a guaranteed return.

I think most of all, these verses remind me that while I feel stuck in a crummy, helpless situation, God can still use me for good. And certainly, if any good comes from me, I can take no credit. I’m just a clay pot, remember? If the wine tastes good, you know who made it.

 

 

 

Double the Blessings

The Lord says, “Today I declare that I will restore to you double.”

– Zechariah 9:12 (NRSV)

This was the verse in today’s devotional from The Upper Room. As we often experience loss in life, God’s desire is for restoration. He wants to give us more than we have lost. My husband and I struggled with infertility for seven years. But now we have an amazing son (turned 7 today) AND a daughter. They are both amazing, and miraculous. A double blessing, when we thought for years we couldn’t have any.

I lost my hearing last August, and some vision a month later in September. I just received my first cochlear implant last week, and in June it will be activated. In June, I will be hearing again! Becoming deaf was a huge loss, but the lessons I have learned through it and the life it has brought me to are huge blessings. Blessings I wouldn’t trade for anything.

My vision has improved slightly, but not enough to allow me to drive again. This has been quite a loss, one I’m not too proud to admit I am angered over. (Just now, as I read this, it occurs to me that perhaps God is angry over it too. Angry that He had to let it happen. Food for thought, but I know there is a divine purpose in here somewhere.) God knows how I feel. Yet God knows that even in my anger, I still praise Him and serve Him with all that I am. And I am holding to the promise He gave, that He is fighting for me, and that I will be healed.

Life comes with all sorts of heartaches and disappointments, but it also comes with great blessings and JOY. I have come to learn the beauty and joy in focusing on the positive, on the gifts we are given each day. Carpe Diem!!