Tag: discouragment

healing

Are you willing to be healed?

I love this story in Luke four where Jesus heals the man covered with leprosy.

“While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus he fell on his face and implored Him saying, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean”. (12)

After stretching out His hand and touching the man, Jesus replied,  “I am willing;’ be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him. (13)

I love this portion of scripture because the man knew two things:

First, that healing comes from GOD. (If you are willing.) 

And that secondly, that God can heal.

Sometimes I think we assume that God always mean to physically heal us. I don’t see in scripture where that is true. Even the apostle Paul wasn’t healed from his “thorn in the side.” And nowhere in scripture does it say that everyone who came or was brought to Jesus was healed. Many weren’t.

And therein lies the conundrum, doesn’t it? If we don’t know if we’re going to be healed, or if our loved is going to be healed, why do even pray?

I would suggest the answer is exactly because we don’t know. And remember there are degrees and stages of healing and quite often they require something of us.

For example, depression. Can we really ask for healing if we’re not doing our part by adopting a healthy lifestyle, making good choices, avoiding certain habits, activities, and people that are bad for our mental health, engaging in the spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study among others? Isn’t that like asking God to heal us of a broken leg without receiving any kind of medical help?

I know that in my own life, God’s healing of my depression (many years ago now) meant a lot of hard work on my part.

Healing, no matter what kind, almost always involves some effort on our part.

I think of my spinal stenosis.  I’ve asked for healing while I continue to walk 40-45 minutes 6 out of 7 days a week. 

There are at least four people I know that need healing. For some it’s terminal. Some are followers of Christ, some are not. For those that are, I’ve been praying that whatever healing and what type of healing God has for them, they will tap into it through prayer. For those who claim no such allegiance to Christ, I pray healing for them and ask for God to be glorified for whatever healing comes their way.

For my mom, I pray very specifically for her physical safety and ask God to pierce her brain somehow, someway, so she will realize her need to use her walker.

Finally, I believe in prayer for healing and I believe God can heal. I’m also cognizant of the fact that I don’t know what God’s plans are for the people I pray for so whether healing comes their way whether I see it or not, I still believe he is healing. After all, none of us sees the pain beneath the surface. None of us knows kind of healing is needed.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

 

 

How do you crash land after flying?

HARD LANDINGS

Perhaps one of the hardest things to do is to “come down” after a particularly good time.

Do you have that problem, too? You know, it’s like when you come back from vacation and face your real, mundane world again. It was so much fun not thinking about people and situations, wasn’t it?  It was so much fun not having to be somewhere at a certain time and obligating oneself, wasn’t it? It was so much fun not having to go to work, to clean the house, and especially (for me, anyway), not having to cook the meals.

But believe it or not, being on vacation all the time would get kind of boring after awhile.

There’s something to be said about the “ordinaryness” of life.

For me, I adjust fairly quickly but do you know what really is a problem for me? It’s when I’m soaring spiritually and then crash land into reality. So many times, my “alone” time has been really special. I feel God’s touch so easily. I gain new insight so easily.

God and I solve everything so easily. And then I come down to earth as I encounter rude salesclerks, unanticipated interruptions, difficult relatives. Well, you understand completely, don’t you?

FLYING LIKE EAGLES

But something I read in Oswald Chamber’s, My Utmost For His Highest, really helps me when this happens.  It goes like this: (Some  of this is paraphrased but ihere is the  original.)

“There should be nothing between you and Christ. If there is, you must get through it by facing it. We have to mount up with wings of eagles; but we must also know how to come down. Because come down we will. The power of the saint lies in the coming down and living down.

Can I face reality or does that reality put me in a panic?”

So how do we come “down” after being “up”.

I think it’s always the same.

We simply have to remember that life is life because of the ups and downs, not in spite of them.

THE REALITY OF OUR FLIGHT

All we have to do is read the gospels and follow the life of Jesus to know this is true. There is no one in history that has been as much on a mountaintop as our Lord, and also in the deepest depths of despair.

  • Jesus laughed and loved.
  • Jesus got mad.
  • Jesus cried.
  • Jesus despaired.
  • Jesus had times of great communion with God.
  • Jesus felt abandoned by God at times

When we consider the life of Jesus, we have a clear example that, yes, it’s great to “fly”,  but it’s more important to “walk”.

There will come a day when we will fly and fly only. Won’t that be wonderful? But for now, it’s just one step at a time.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

The Spiritual Man

week in review and why I’m glad God never gives up on me

emotional roller coaster

Did you ever have a week ,when you feel like you’ve riding an emotional roller-coaster? Up, down, and all around. Hopeful. Discouraged. Trusting God. Doubting God, etc.

If you’ve never had a week like this, then don’t bother reading this because you’re already perfect. 🙂

Continue reading “week in review and why I’m glad God never gives up on me”

The Spiritual Man

How I praised God and doubted God all in the same day

A few hours after I had praised God for answered prayer, I was questioning why I ever believed my prayers were answered.  It’s sometimes like that, isn’t it? We have our “high” and then we plummet. Then we get discouraged.

And please, don’t “correct” me with “God always answers prayers with “yes”, “no”, and “not now”. Let’s quit with the platitudes. Many Christians spout things they never even think about. They’ve heard someone else say it or they think they should say it to look “spiritual”. Jesus had a few words to say about the hypocrites who were doing the exact same thing.

Can we please quit doing that? Of course, I believe in answered prayer. I wouldn’t pray if I didn’t. But let’s also remember that God’s plans and purposes are often quite different from ours so answered or unanswered prayers isn’t even the issue at times.

I’ve studied the “greats” of the faith for years, wonderful preachers/authors like Spurgeon, Dallas Willard, E.M. Bounds, Andy Stanley, Beth Moore, Hannah Whitall Smith, J I Packer, Stowell, Phillip Yancy, Oswald Chambers–I’m not trying to impress you. I just want you to understand that I’ve done my homework, my “spiritual” homework. I’ve read what smarter and more spiritual people than I have said. All of them, let me repeat, all of them share their doubts, their humanity. They write humbly and from the heart.

But recently I picked up a book by Watchman Nee and another by Dallas Willard (Renovation of the heart) that have struck me to the core. I’ve often mentioned how I have to read books by Dallas Willard over and over again. In fact I found this on Amazon that I got a big kick out of because this would be the description of any book I have by Willard:

Used – Acceptable
This is a WELL WORN COPY!!! Please understand that this book has been heavily read. The internal pages may contain writing/slight water damage/highlighting/underlining/stains or any combination of these. We guarantee that all pages are intact and legible. We guarantee the binding to be intact. 
Whomever owned the above book is a kindred spirit for sure and I’m glad I’m not the only one that finds his writings difficult.

But this newest one(new to me anyway) has done me in. Renovation of the HeartRennovation of the Heartas has  The Spiritual Man.

The Spiritual Man

These two books are blowing me away. I feel like I haven’t been getting “it” right at all.

But as I took my walk tonight, I was reminded of what I read this morning and want to share it with you. These words made me realize that my feelings and my faith need to be separate at times.

(In fact, I would love it if some of you would read one of these books with me so we could discuss the portions that I’m finding hard to process. Any takers out there?) 

Watchman Nee:

God aims to help His children overcome their environment. A Christian should not allow  his surroundings to change his life. He whose path is altered by the influences of environment is not deeply experienced in the Lord. We have learned already that what can affected by environment is emotion. It is when our emotion is influenced by environment that our lives undergo change. How imperative therefore for us to conquer emotion.

From Dallas Willard:

People almost always act on their feelings and think it only right. The will then is left at the mercy of circumstances that evoke feelings. Christian spiritual formation today must confront this fact and overcome it.

At first reading, these don’t sound so complicated but think about it in terms of your own life. How well are you doing keeping your emotions from interfering with your faith while at the same time keeping your emotions IN your faith?

As I walked tonight, I thought about these statements and decided I was having no more of it. No more letting my emotions determine my faith. No matter how sad, bad, joyful, or good I’m feeling, my faith remains steadfast and sure. When I doubt whether my prayers are being answered or not, I will not allow those doubts to plummet my emotions or my faith.

Does any of this make sense to you?

Anyway, I hope some of will consider reading these two books.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

 

elephant on my back

The week in review and hoping for a better week

As you know it’s been a tough week. I’ve had a difficult time convincing someone I’m looking out for their best interests.

We painted the dining room last week. I love it. My first all-while room. Nothing is back in place as I’m trying to decorate it a bit differently. You’ll see it soon, I promise.

painting

 

Tuesday I wrote about insomnia and what I learned from my own occasional bouts.

counting sheep

Wednesday was all about what I consider the most important trait for success. It’s not what you think.

don't quit

I didn’t post Thursday. See sentence number one. 🙂

Friday I posted how I got through my week and share two original art pieces, one a failure (reflecting how I felt much of last week) and one I consider a success (which is how I fell I ended the week.)

bl and white flowers

So that was my week. The sun is supposed to shine next week and I’m counting on that. Hope you’re week-end is peace-filled as I hope mine is too.

God bless each of you.

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