Thursday, January 29, 2009

Feeling Better

Thought I'd better update this quickly so no one thinks I'm jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge or anything...It is amazing what prayer does for you. It is amazing what sinking yourself into the Word and spending time with the Holy Spirit will do. After Rose Marie prayed for me yesterday I just went into the living room with the Bible and a soft-cover book another old friend gave me entitled Psalms Now in 1997.

What a comfort the Psalms are. Early on in my faith and in fact until 12 years ago I never related to the Psalms. Sure did after that when God allowed circumstances in my life that I never thought I'd face. Hasn't let up yet! Good thing I know and believe the Word when it says In this world you will have kidding!

So the Psalms quieted me down because one of the things I love about David's Psalms are that they begin with gloom and doom and whining and arguging and total despair (oh yes I related) to ... as the psalm continues....David is reminded of the goodness of God. And then the Psalm takes a turn upward, reminding himself of the great things of God and how much God loves all ends up in Praise!

One might say its not easy to praise while going through a really tough time. I'd agree. But when you sit with God and are reminded and comforted and taught as you ponder the situations, it's just a natural flow to praise Him. He is in it all. He knows and knew all these details long before I was born. He knows the outcome. I have learned a lot of lessons through these difficult times and praise Him for those lessons. I have grown in my faith in a deeper and more intimate way with Him in these difficult times. He loves me and ministers to me and is for me. He knows the outcome. And since there is no condemnation for those in Jesus Christ, I know my ultimate outcome too. And that is the real bottom line...persevering to the end. I'd like to do that more gracefully however. Usually my emotions don't get quite as overboard as they did yesterday; they just all reared their ugly heads at once instead of one at a time. It just felt overwhelming to have everything hit me at once. So pray for me to be more graceful in how I handle this season in my life, please!

Before Rose Marie and I got off the phone she shared a story with me. I like word pictures; they hit me where I live ... visually. Story olympic swimmer, Florence Chadwick, was swimming in the ocean surrounded by fog. She was going from Catalina Island and the California shore. For 15 hours she swam in rough waters. She began to cramp and begged to get out and into the boat her mother was in riding beside her. Her mother urged her to not give up. Finally she was so exhausted and gave up. She could not see the shore. It turned out that the shore was less than a half a mile away. If she could have held on just a bit longer, a little bit more perseverance...she would have arrived safely on the shore. As Rose reminded me, God might already be in the process of lifting my troubles away. If we give up, we might never know how close we actually were to peace and triumph.

I took my paper and colored pens with me along with the Bible and book to the living room, and drew that word picture out. (No I am not an artist; it looks like a 4-year old drew it). For the fog I just wrote the words of my emotions, grief, loss, sale of house, need of money to pay bills, and so on. I wrote the word "perseverance" at the bottom under the swimmer. I'm going to leave that masterpiece in my bible to remind me of this great lesson.

And, persevere I will. I'm driven to the place that is the most comfort of the arms and care of Jesus. The work of the Holy Spirit is so supernatural...My circumstances may or may not change, but He is unchanging and He comforts me. I always feel better after those times. I praise Him for all things. It is such a joy to know that NOTHING touches me that doesn't first go through Him. Knowing that makes it so much easier.
Yes, I spent over an hour in the Book of Job ...


Janeen said...

Oh my sweet friend, I pray this tribulation will end for you quickly. I've learned it always has eternal value though.

Janeen said...

By the way, yes I will happily share my recipe but give me a couple of days to email it to you as I'm sick with a cold right now and I just don't have it in me to go get it out and retype it at the moment. You will love it. It will change your life. Seriously, it's to live for. ha ha ha ha ha I crack myself up.