Monday, October 29, 2012

When I Pray Psalm 37 what I am saying is...

So this was one of those days. I read Your word and you whisper gently in my ear. You know me well God, so you know that I don't need a heavy hand today, I already have a heavy heart. Genesis to refresh my mind with the truth I will teach in a few hours. Exodus, where we currently travel together. James, as I continue to hang out in faith application and get ready for my next ladies group and then to the Psalms. Not for study; not on the read it sheet; just the place I am drawn these last few weeks. I am in no rush. As my heart crys out to you God, Davids words echo mine. So I am gonna pray them to you God, as I apply them to me.

Psalm 37

Don’t worry about the wicked
    or envy those who do wrong.
             Ok God, so it's not about anyone but me. Me and You. I wont worry about them and you, I will keep my focus on me and You and this journey we are on together.
For like grass, they soon fade away.
    Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
             You are judge God, and you will take care of it.
Trust in the Lord and do good.
             I know that you know all that is going on. Help me to remember what stuff is yours to handle and what you actually want me to do. Help me to stay focused to the tasks you have actually given me. Don't let me be distracted by anything else. I want to be faithful to the things you have laid on my heart.
    Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
             I want to enjoy our time together Lord. I want to close my eyes, breath deep and smile. 
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.
            God please keep working on me. Transform my hearts desires to the things that honor and glorify you. Not my will by thy will Lord...
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
             Let my actions reflect your will and not my own.
             Let everything I do bring honor to you.
    Trust him, and he will help you.
             As I depend on you God, I know that you will provide what I need. I don't want to hold anything back.  
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
    and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
            Shut my mouth, quiet my mind and let me hear You.
    and wait patiently for him to act.
            Your will in Your time - God help me to remember you never show up late to the party.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
    or fret about their wicked schemes.
            I don't need to focus on the wrongs of others - I know you know all about it God.
Stop being angry!
           My anger does not please you.
    Turn from your rage!
           The words and actions my anger produce doesn't please you either.
Do not lose your temper—
    it only leads to harm.
            I can control my mouth, my thoughts, my actions. It wont be easy, but it is for my good.

I can't do any of this without you God. It will be your strength, not mine. Where I lack desire God, please increase it. Tonight I long for your tender love for me. Draw me close God.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Give Ear To My Words Oh Lord

The last couple of weeks have been ... I don't even know the words.

God, I have witnessed Your blessings at their best.
I have witnessed sin's ravaging at it's worst.
New life has been created, and a child we be born --- and I join in the rejoicing!
Another struggles with the pain of pregnancy loss.
A friend was called home to glory - and I miss her.
You have used medicine and doctors to heal and restore for one family; yet another waits and seeks You although it seems that healing on this side of heaven will not be a part of Your plan.
A job secured, a job lost.
A marriage created and blessed by You; families crumbling from within.

I love your faithfulness. Your Word speaks so well. You gave me David's words today, and they ring true in my heart.

Give ear to my words, Oh Lord, consider my meditation. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God; to you alone do I pray. My crys you will hear in the morning. Oh Lord in the morning will I direct my prayer unto you, and I will wait in expectation. 

This verse is salve for my soul. I first learned this truth as a campfire song at a camp in Prescott Arizona. As I sing these words to you God, I can smell the pine trees and feel the cool mountain air. I recall the lessons of my youth that you have proven true time and time again in my adult journey of faith. I know You are not far from me. I know that I can not even begin to perceive Your knowledge, or Your understanding.  I just need an extra portion from you today...some extra love, some extra peace and some extra wisdom. I am glad we are starting the day together God. You know the details of what this day will be. I want to seek you first. In all that is this day - let it honor You.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you Oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ever Seeing

Well I thought my study of the Names of God had just about come to a close - I thought - but I didn't really seek out God's thoughts on the matter at all. Over the weekend I finished my through the Bible in a year reading goal, and it only took me 18 months! While mulling over what to do next, I was inspired to once again start at the beginning - so look out Genesis here I come :-) It was there I discovered not one but two more names I had not yet had the chance to meditate on.

The first was in Genesis 16.  Hagar is being treated horribly by Sarai. Sarai had decided to move ahead of God's perfect timing regarding the covenant child that had been promised to her and her husband Abram. Sarai became impatient and insisted that her maidservant sleep with Abram so that they might conceive a child. Sarai suggested it and Abram agreed - what was he thinking? Now, I am guessing that Hagar had no say in the matter. She was a servant, and in that time there were no rights allowed to servants - they did as they were instructed. Hagar slept with her bosses husband, got pregnant and then got bitter. I can understand that. Sarai also got jealous and bitter - after getting exactly what she had asked for. Sarai is unhappy, Hagar is unhappy, and my guess would be that Abram was not very happy either. Sarai began to make Hagar's life miserable, so Hagar fled. She ran away from her persecutor and ran straight into an encounter with an angel of the Lord. God knew her circumstance, understood her heartache and frustration and yet He still had a plan for her and her unborn child.  "she gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her 'You are the God who sees me; I have now seen the One who sees me' "

I find great comfort here, as I am reminded that God is is aware of my every need; He is all present, all knowing and all understanding. God sees more, knows more and understands more than I ever will. What I can understand is only a result of the gift of understanding that God has given to me. How arrogant of me to think and behave like there are things I need to explain to God. Sarai thought she knew her need (and how to meet that need) better than God, so she set out on a path of her own. It was a path that lead straight to heartache and destruction. I need to be wise enough to learn from the mistakes of my Old Testament sister - or I will also surely face the disastrous consequences of my own plans. I can also learn from Hagar. God met with Hagar, and revealed His intimate knowledge of her circumstance; but then God sent her back and instructed her to have a right attitude toward the woman who was so horrible to her. There is every indication that things stayed tense between Hagar and Sarai. Sarai had no love for Hagar's child. I am not sure there was any visible improvement in Hagar's situation after her encounter with God - but Hagar was changed. Like Hagar, in the midst of my most challenging circumstances, is the thing God wants to change most me? Will there be no visible change in the details of my life? Will the difficult people remain difficult? Will the health issues remain? If work, and family, and church, and friends, and finances all stay the same, can I still believe that God is  El Roi - the God who sees my need, is constantly present and completely knowing and understanding?

God grow my faith and trust today. Thank you God for seeing me, and thank you concerning Yourself with my needs today. Amen.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My On Call Doctor.

I have a great family Doc. We have gone to him for 10 years and we all like him. But he has crazy hours. He never works weekends, or any Wednesday (which always seemed to be the day my kids got sick), or any nights. He is great when he is there. But sometimes I will call the office seeking assistance and he will not be there. He can't hear me or meet my need. He is unavailable.

Jehovah Rophi - Jehovah Rophe - Jehovah Ropheka - The Lord Heals.  Long fancy hard to say words. But what does it mean to me? How does this name of God as my physician and healer shape my relationship with Him and is authority in me?

I have seen the healing hand of God where physical illiness and disease abound.  My sister had hodgkins lymphoma in her mid twenties, but has been cancer free for more than 5 years. A close family friend was radically and divinely healed from systemic matastisized cancer just a couple years ago and she uses each day to share God's story of love in her life. Just this spring another family friend in his early 30's fought testicular cancer and is now in remission. Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

Yet, there are times when the healing hand of God seemed still. Allergies, asthma, arthritis, back problems, biopsy's, bone fractures, cancer, depression, diabeties, eating disorders, heart failure, hernia's, high blood pressure, infertility, joint injuries, kidney failure, lingering cronic health issues, liver failure, miscarrage, mental health issues like bi-polar disorder, parkinsons desease, thryroid issues...all of these have touched the lives of the people I do life with just this year. None of these things were cured. My friends and their families still suffer with the lingering effects of these conditions. There has still been illness, there has still been death.

"The word "rophe" appears some sixty or seventy times in the Old Testament, always meaning "to restore," "to heal," "to cure," as a physician, not only in the physical sense but in the moral and spiritual sense also. Jehovah here pledges to His people (conditional upon their obedience) to always be their "Healer." Our Lord (the Great Physician) still "heals" His people today of their spiritual illnesses (the disease of sin) through obedience to His inspired Word (See Matt. 9:12-13; Lk. 4:18; Lk. 5:31-32; Rom. 6:16-18; 1 Tim. 1:15). " The Names of God by Mike Riley

I am excited by this name. God is literally my always on call Doctor. But His healing isn't just limited to the physical. He can heal my heart, my mind, my emotions, my marriage, my relationships and my soul. 

God is  in the practice of healing marriages, families and friendships. Nothing is ever broken beyond what God can repair. 
God has the power to heal emotions and set free sisters and brothers in Christ that are bound in shackles by the hurts of yesterday. No wound is ever so deep that God cannot heal it completely.  God's power extends to His ability to heal the minds of His children who are stuggling with addictions, depression, anger and anxiety. Medication is a valuable resource, but only God can heal the root of this problems. God is not in the business of just treating symptoms.  God's authority provides for the spritual healing of men and women who are hurting and searching for real meaning and real love from the One True God. Praise God, no sin has ever stained so deeply that the the Blood of the Cross can't wash it away!
Sometimes I can see and understand the manner in which God heals. Sometimes I cannot. God is God and I trust that He knows what is best. I trust that he has a plan. I accept that He has no  obligation to share the details of His plan with me - but I don't always like it.

My take away for the day: Nothing is ever broke beyond what God can fix. The only limit to God's healing power are the limits I create in my mind. In all things I do have the opportunity to bring glory to God my Creator. So now I am gonna be a big girl. I'm gonna keep that Dr's appointment at the OBGYN today that I've already re-scheduled twice. And regardless of what happens I know that God's got it under control, and He will be glorified.