Following Floyd's condition is like riding a roller coaster - up and down. He has been responding well to some of his therapy, and his kidneys have improved a bit. He has also understood and responded to some of the things we have been saying to him. There have been days of being alert and days of being very sleepy and weak.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
This verse has been echoing in my mind for days. I feel God is stirring my heart to not give up hope. The hope is for healing or heaven - it's God's choice......but I feel God wanting me to keep the hope alive for all of God's purposes to be fulfilled on this journey. To not "let down" because I'm sick, tired, weary.
It's been a long journey. I'm grateful for all those who have persevered with us in prayer. I know it isn't easy! But God has a plan, and I feel He's saying to keep the hope alive for what He is doing and what He has in mind.
Recently I came upon an article that Floyd had written in 1989 about "when things don't work together for good." He's referring to Romans 8:28. I loved reading his article in the midst of this journey we're on. He started out by saying in the original Greek the verse actually says - "in all things God works for good," not things.
I thought I'd share his points with you:
- God will be with us. He never promises that everything in life will go perfectly. But He promises that with whatever problem or difficulty we face, He will be right with us in the circumstances we are walking through.
- We will be victorious. "In all these things we are more than conquerors." God isn't promising worldly success, but He's promising us spiritual victory. In the mist of hardship, sickness, persecution, famine, danger, even death - we will be conquerors. How? We trust Him! We give Him glory in the midst of difficulty.
- We are loved. Verse 37 - our victory is "through Him who loves us." The love He gives us isn't dependent on the circumstances. Our intimate love relationship with Him is based on His victory on the cross. We are forgiven. We are redeemed. We are reconciled to Him. No one, and no circumstance, can take that away from us.
As I read through the article - I could almost hear Floyd's voice - and I loved the smiling picture of him. Floyd was reminding me - God is with us. We'll be victorious in Him, and He's with us in this long trial. He loves us. It was a sweet encouragement to find this article with Floyd "speaking." : )
I've felt the Lord saying to me all these months that gratefulness will keep bitterness from my heart. As I thank Him for His faithfulness on this long journey, it protects my heart from being poisoned by any negativity. I'm so thankful for that. And there is so, so much to thank Him for!
"On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased." Psalm 138:3
I have called out to Him daily - usually many, many times a day. He has carefully carried and strengthened my soul. He has strengthened me physically. He has protected me. He has given me eyes to see His goodness. He has sustained me. He has deflected negative darts from my heart. He has helped me keep my focus on the truth of who He is in the midst of trials. How wonderfully faithful He has been!
"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal." Isaiah 26:3,4
I have been meditating on His grace this week. I remembered hearing Floyd speak about it years ago, and went back to some of those thoughts.
"For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord gives grace and glory. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11
"God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8
"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
Once again, I'm so grateful for the clarity of God's word. He has outlined how we find help for every need, including His grace.
** His grace enables us to face whatever is before us. No matter how great our need, the divine resources He has for us are never exhausted! His plan is for us to turn to Him in our weakness, and He will meet us with His strength and power.
** He wants us to dig deep when the need for His grace grows. He doesn't run out of grace! There's plenty there for us, but we may need to go deeper in Him for our need to be met. Just a few steps past the darkest, unplanned moment of need lies the deepest, fullest grace. I'm digging deeper these days!
** He wants us to depend on Him, on His sufficient grace. In fact, we can only receive the grace He has for us when we depend on Him. It's His favor and blessing as we depend on Him at our deepest levels.
I've also felt Him reminding me that I have to get new grace each day. I can't bear tomorrow's burdens with today's grace.
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Each day has enough trouble of its own." How true! Matthew 6:34
I am digging deep for His enabling grace while telling Him how utterly dependent I am on Him. He meets me afresh each day. How grateful I am for His grace.