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!
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.
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!!
Can you die of sadness? It sounds utterly ridiculous when you just blurt it out like that. But when you are feeling sad, it can feel utterly overwhelming. And if it doesn’t seem to go away, it can build and build until it feels so strong that you just may not be able to survive it a minute longer.
Oh, that is so depressing. I have been feeling sad this past week, on and off, and I really HATE feeling sad. Scared or mad or exhausted I can do. Sad causes me to lose my bearings. Knocks me off my feet, so to speak. Makes me doubt my ability to “handle” things.
And then I pray. I give God my sadness, because I know He knows how to handle it. I don’t think He even wants me to handle it. He’s the pro, he endures the greatest sadness of all, every day. I just don’t know how He does it. So rather than try to figure it out, I just let Him handle it. And He does. In His miraculous, mysterious ways.
I just love it when God answers my prayers, and I especially love it when He does it so quickly!
I pray on a regular basis. Typically it is a lot of “thank you for this and this, protect my family, heal my eyes, etc.”. When I remember throughout each day, I pray for others as well, but not as often as I would like to. So last night I prayed, asking God to bring to mind those who needed prayer. Some were on my prayer list, some were new. I didn’t “feel” like this prayer was any more dynamic or real than any of my other prayers, but I know God can work with it. He knows I’m trying.
Still, I went to sleep feeling slightly disappointed. Then, this morning I received my daily Upper Room devotional email, and it started out with this verse: Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” And as soon as I read that verse, I knew God was listening and telling me I am on the right track.
So, what’s my calling? “Be still, Mindy, and devote yourself to prayer.” It sounds so simple on the surface, but as I’m learning, there is much more to it than meets the eye. Teach me, Lord! I am ready and willing. Here we go!