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With my husband’s current medical issues, fear started overtaking hope. I know fear is not God’s plan for an abundant life. He gives us hope – always – in the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Understanding and trusting in God’s promises is our privilege as His beloved.
Sometimes, during difficult circumstances, it seems as if I invite fear to settle into my heart, bringing all the worldly negatives with it. I continue to pray and ask for my Father’s help. He hears every single prayer. He has never failed me.
Today is proof of that.
This morning, hope returned. Finally, after more than 2 months of medical visits and with lots of help from medical personnel, my husband was fitted with a BIPAP mask that may be able to help him with his sleep apnea. Having proper sleep will help as he adjusts to his new pacemaker. There’s hope that he will continue to heal and will have more energy once everything is monitored and adjusted.
He has been weak for so long. He was getting discouraged. I couldn’t be of any help other than going with him to medical appointments. I was getting discouraged.
I know God is in control. I also know we do have valleys to walk through, and God promises never to leave us. Still, the waiting and not really knowing how it will all work out causes me to have anxious, fearful thoughts.
Discouragement, for me, means a lack of hope. I knew that wasn’t true because Jesus is our hope, but I did not have that feeling of hope. Being without that feeling made my shoulders slump, my heart heavy, and my emotions swirl.
Today was the day! In His perfect timing, my Heavenly Father took the heaviness of the feeling of hopelessness away. In its place, I felt the joy of the Lord, and the return of the faithful hope that only He can give.
We have hope again and a happy dancin’, THANK YOU, DEAR LORD heart full of gratitude! So excited, I texted our sons as I watched their dad sleeping peacefully, wearing his mask, and actually getting good rest after so many stress-filled nights of sleeplessness and anxiety.
I am reminded, too, that even when our circumstances seem hopeless, and the answers we seek are not the ones we are given, God is still in control and ultimately, His perfect will and His undying love for us always restores our hope!
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
My daughter-in-law called, and hurrying her words, said, “What are you doing right now?”
“People are coming to look at the house and I only have an hour to get it ready! Can you come help?”
“I’ll be there.”
What she didn’t know was that I had asked the Lord a little earlier that morning to let me be watchful and ready to receive the blessings of the day…
She and my son are in the process of selling their house and have been keeping it clean. It only needed a few minor tweaks to get it “show ready.” We finished in plenty of time.
As I was preparing to leave, she thanked me, and I said, “It was my blessing.” She grinned and said, “I don’t see how it was a blessing to clean.”
I love being with her anytime and being able to help her made me glad. I treasure our relationship and the fact that she feels free to call me when she has a need. Having a loving family is a gift to cherish, and I thank God for mine. (Besides that, I enjoy cleaning. She thinks that’s weird. I think it’s because I have so many happy memories of working with my mom and my aunt, learning to cook and clean and care for a family.)
Blessings are all around us – everyday – and being aware of them and grateful for each one makes us even more aware of them. On this particular day, my daughter-in-law’s request for help was my blessing!
Author’s Note: From 40+ years ago…just wanted to share this story of God’s gentle instruction. I remember it so clearly and still thank God for His loving care – always!
Standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes, a memory popped into my mind of the time my aunt cut the tip of her finger off. She wrapped the injured finger in a towel, placed the severed fingertip in ice, held her bleeding hand above her heart, and drove to the hospital.
Right after the memory came God’s instruction and I knew: “When you cut your finger off, this is what you do.” Three times, this sentence was ushered into my awareness. I knew it was my Heavenly Father and responded, “Okay. When you cut your finger off, this is what you do. I know. I understand.”
Two days later, my four-year old son was “working” on his little bicycle, and two fingers were injured. The tip of his right index finger was hanging on by a tiny bit of skin and he had a deep gash in his middle finger.
When my mom saw us hurrying to the bathroom, she asked, “What do we do?”
I said to her, “Mom, I know what to do.” I wrapped his hand in a towel and asked him to hold it above his heart, and we hurried to the emergency room.
A plastic surgeon reconnected the index fingertip and sewed the gash on the middle finger. We stayed overnight in the hospital and had several follow-up visits with the surgeon.
My son is grown now and both of us know what to do “when you cut your finger off.”
God’s instruction was clear, timely, and did not frighten me. I just figured there might be a day I would cut my finger off and need to know what to do. I had no idea it would be my son’s finger, or I would have been terrified. I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father communicates with us in a way each of us can understand. After I did my part and the surgeon did his part, God took care of the actual healing of my son’s fingers.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble
Sitting in my backyard gazebo – a favorite place to visit with the Lord – my Father answered my immediate need.
Trying circumstances had been piling up, as they have a tendency to do on some days.
I sat still, remembering the scripture, “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Resting in the Lord, I was reminded of all the times my Father has asked me if I trusted Him, and I’d really been praying and trying to trust His perfect will in all situations. I asked for His help to trust Him more fully.
Continuing to be still, I asked Him to talk with me, to show me how to take one step at a time, especially when I was unaware of the obstacles along the way and totally unsure of the path I was following. I just knew, with God’s grace and strength, I would continue to put one step in front of the other and rely totally on His divine guidance.
Again, I asked Him, “Please, a word from You, Lord – something I can hold on to…”
I looked around me and became aware of several beautiful birds visiting our yard, a couple of plants with flowers blooming a vivid pink, and the smell and feel of springtime in the air. I have so much to be thankful for and I praised Him for it, as I continued to listen closely for His whisper.
As always, God did not fail me.
His words were, “Peace give I to you, not as the world gives, give I to you.” With my Father’s promise, I experienced the peace He spoke of. None of the circumstances had immediately changed, but my understanding of His loving concern and His promise of peace settled deeply into my soul. I thanked Him, as I realized the gift was being handed to me and my next step was to accept it and to rely on my Heavenly Father’s promise to surround me with His peace during trying times.
So, today, I wanted to share this scripture and affirm, once again, that our God knows our needs and never fails us. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Okay, I know that serving my Heavenly Father is a privilege, not a chore, but still…
Raised in the fifties, I was taught to be responsible, and all the sayings that went with that lesson were repeated reminders in my childhood: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, “work hard”, “always do your very best”, “don’t be lazy, get up and get busy”, and “don’t waste time.” My parents were loving, nurturing and fun-loving, too. They enjoyed spending time with my brother and me. It’s just that fun came after the work was done, and work wasn’t considered “fun.”
I became a responsible adult and lived my dream of being a wife, mom, and now a grandma. As a stay-at-home mom, I kept a clean house, made homemade recipes, and took pride in my family and my home. After a few years, I rejoined the workforce and learned how to manage my time and enlist my family’s help so that our home was kept presentable, laundry was done, and meals were prepared.
That’s just what I did. First, the work, then I could relax and have some fun time.
Yesterday, standing in the kitchen visiting with the Lord, I continued our previous conversation, asking Him to show me how to serve Him, how to please Him. I’ve been waiting on His direction, thinking that I should be working on a project, something that hopefully will bring honor and glory to His name. In my mind, working involves a task of some kind, something that requires effort on my part, and will end in an accomplished goal.
My kind, merciful Father answered me with His reassurance.
He asked, “What are you doing right now?” Well, I was cooking lunch for my husband, then later, I would prepare lunch for my younger son who was coming over to visit during his lunch hour. Later that night, my granddaughter was coming over to eat dinner with us. “What about yesterday?” Well, I had gone to my older son’s house and helped him and my daughter-in-law clean and prepare for an open house before putting their house up for sale and having a new one built. The conversation continued along these lines until I understood.
I please the Lord by loving and serving my family. For me, that is not work, that’s a gift from my Father. Being surrounded by family, sharing stories, laughing together, making new memories, being part of each other’s lives, and building strong bonds of love makes my heart glad. The value of the service is not negated because it is a blessing and not a burdensome chore. Encompassed by God’s love, He gives us the desires of our hearts, and anytime a heartfelt desire is met, there is joy. Gratefully, we thank God, and when we thank Him, we are in His presence and that pleases Him, always!
Now I know, the fact is that when we try to serve Him, we are, in reality, only accepting the gifts He is bestowing on us – just because He loves us that much!
Two weeks ago, on Saturday, February 10th, I took my husband of 46 ½ years to the emergency room after about three weeks of him not being able to get rid of a cough, tiredness, shortness of breath, and various other symptoms. We thought maybe he had pneumonia.
We were wrong.
Five days later, Thursday, February 15th, we came home. He had a pacemaker in place, a monitor beside the bed, new prescriptions, and a list of appointments for follow-up care.
It’s been a scary time, with lots of prayers for healing surrounding my husband.
Our Heavenly Father has answered prayer after prayer, never once leaving us to face this time alone. We are so very thankful.
During one of my particularly hard worrying times, my Father gently reminded me to take one moment at a time, trusting Him for that moment, and knowing that He will supply exactly what we need at exactly the right time, not before. The worry was coming from the “what ifs” I was allowing into my thoughts. “What if” is never about the present, but always about the future. God’s got our future in His hands and He is taking care of it. We have Him in the present moment, right now, right when we need Him. There are not enough words of gratitude to offer the thanks my heart is bursting to give to Him.
And today was a very special day…today, my husband and I were visiting together, and we both enjoyed a good laugh!
Laughter wasn’t one of the sounds that interrupted my worrisome thoughts for several days, so when the gift of laughter came to us today, it was really, really appreciated!
Psalm 126:2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for holding us close to You when we are scared and feeling broken-hearted, unable to put one foot in front of the other. Thank You for understanding and loving us when our faith seems weak and our trust is wavering. Thank You, God, for being our very real help in times of trouble. Father, I thank You!