Healing Power

Running commentary on how Jesus' Healing Power is affecting my life - and helping me to help others.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

This is the Day that the LORD has Made

I will rejoice and be glad in it.


- Psalm 118:24

There are so many reasons we find to have a bad day. And, over the last three weeks, my family has experienced many of these reasons. During these times, it's very hard to rejoice.

In the last five years, there have been times when I couldn't feel the LORD's presence. Funny thing, though, during these recent events that have seriously strained my emotions, I've felt very close to the LORD. When it was my action that separated us, I've suffered from seemingly innocuous wounds. When it was the actions of another that bring strife into my life, I'm comforted though the battle rages.

I'm not boasting. I am not given to boasting, nor have I reason to boast. This is simply a statement of fact from my own personal experience, and I wish to share it with those who may be experiencing the same thing. When you learn something good, it's good to share. So, I'm sharing.

Though I'm not incredibly successful, I try to start each day with some "God-time" - prayer and reading His Word. I actually started doing this when I asked for freedom from bipolar disorder and my answer came from 2 Corinthians 12:

there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
If His grace is sufficient for me, than I better do what I can to stay close to Him. That's the only way I overcame bipolar disorder. And, that's the only way I can make it through today, as well.

Right now, there's not a person in my family that has a job. As my wife's company pares down the IT jobs in the US, she was one of those given a permanent vacation. I am trusting in the LORD to care for us, and through constant prayer and reading His Word, I am at peace with the loss of my wife's job. I've had to stop asking for a map and just trust that His headlights will light the way.

For the last few years, I'd been trying to understand exactly what God wants me to do. I've stressed myself out because I don't know the end result. But then something occurred to me: Abraham didn't know where he was going, either - but he went. Joseph didn't have a choice where he went - but he never lost faith, even in prison. One day, Moses was a lowly shepherd caring for the flock of his father-in-law. The next day, he was a freedom-fighter (at the age of 80!) standing up to Pharaoh with his brother and his God by his side. Gideon was hiding in a winepress threshing wheat (it won't work very well!) when an angel told him to go fight the Midianites. David was, like Moses, a lowly shepherd caring for his father's flock when Samuel told him, "The LORD has annointed you to be the next king of Israel!" Isaiah was serving as a priest in the Temple when he saw the face of God and became His spokesperson in Israel. Zechariah was serving as a priest in the Temple when he saw an angel that said, "You're going to have a son - and he will bring Israel back to God." But that was nothing compared with Mary - the angel told her she would have a son even though she'd never been married! The disciples were fishing when a man came up to them and said, "Drop your nets!" Then there's Saul. He made a living persecuting Christians. "Deny Christ or Die!" And he thought he was doing the right thing!!! But Christ appeared to him and taught him the right thing to do. So he did it.

What right do I have to gripe about not knowing what is going on in my life? Why am I upset that I'm not in control of my life? Is it my life to control? Am I not here solely for God's pleasure?

Though the cherry trees don't blossom and the strawberries don't ripen,
Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted,
Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty,
I'm singing joyful praise to God.
I'm turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.
Counting on God's Rule to prevail,
I take heart and gain strength.
I run like a deer.
I feel like I'm king of the mountain!
- Habakkuk 3:17-19, The Message

It doesn't matter how horrible your life is. I can tell you from experience that God is bigger than your problems. With Him holding you, there is nothing you cannot face. He never promised us a rose garden, only the grace to deal with the thorns. We are here to fight a battle. And we will win.

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