Our Unexpected Journey

Floyd has had a mostly peaceful week and it has been wonderful to hear from the carers that he has been doing lots of smiling!

I got lots of smiles too - especially when I massaged his face because his skin was dry.....and when I reminded him that we are best friends.

One day this week as I was doing my walking/praying, I was sharing with the Lord how tired I am.  I immediately felt He took me to Isaiah 12:3  "With joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation."

And I love how The Message puts it:  "Joyfully you'll pull up buckets of water from the wells of salvation.  And as you do it, you'll say, 'Give thanks to God.  Call out His name.  Ask Him anything!"

I am so very grateful for His faithfulness, and grateful that I can drink cool water from His wells.  He gives water of refreshment, joy, strength, grace - all I need.   And His wells never run dry!  How good He is.

I'm thankful that no matter how many times I call out to Him in my need, He always answers.  He always meets me.  He always understands.  He helps me go deeper and deeper into His abundant provision.  His wells of grace run deep and plentiful!

I am grateful to have had some quiet days this week.  I really, really needed that after a number of very busy weeks.  I've had the phrase from Isaiah 30:15 going through my mind - "in quietness and trust is your strength."

I've enjoyed talking quietly with the Lord.....sitting quietly and singing some worship songs.....resting quietly on our deck and looking at my favorite ocean view.....letting my heart and mind stop being busy doing things for Floyd's care and just allowing my spirit to be quiet.  In the quietness, my trust in Him is releasing Him to renew my strength.

How grateful I am for His grace and strength that has sustained me all these months.

"He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God.' "  Psalm 46:10

"Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him."  Psalm 37:7

I'm grateful for the quietness of the day, of His presence......and I trust Him for what He has in mind for our lives

I’ve been thinking about times when I've said to the Lord - "not my will, but thine be done."  I guess each of us comes to our own Gethsemane when we say those words that Jesus prayed.  God takes them seriously.  He orchestrates our lives in such a way that He brings us to a point where He allows His will to unfold in ways we never dreamed of.

I'd put this year of our lives in that category.  It's not been easy!  (I guess that's quite an understatement!!)  I thought I'd been through hard times before, but this year tops them all.  It's been tough, tough, tough.

And yet.......as I think back over the months, the tough times have brought me so much closer to Him.  I've discovered rich depths of fellowship that I've never experienced before.  I've seen His faithfulness in greater power than I've ever known.  He has met me time and time again when I've yelled "help!"

There have been times, I certainly have to admit, when I wanted to run the other way.  I've heard Floyd say - "the trouble with "living sacrifices" is that we get up and crawl off the altar when the going gets rough, when the pressure builds, and when we don't like the cost!"  So true.  But I had no where to run except to Him......and He met me time and time again.

I'm not quite to the point where I'd say that I'd willingly choose to go through what we've been walking through, but I can say that I'm grateful God has allowed me, trusted me to go on this journey.  I am so humbled by His goodness and faithfulness.

"And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will but as You will.' "  Matthew 26:39

"Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God."  Psalm 143:10

" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' "  Jeremiah 29:11

His plans are always for our best.  And, thankfully, He walks right beside us on whatever pathway He leads us on.  How grateful I am for that!

The world would look at this season we're walking through as a "wasted" time for Floyd.  He's missed lots of speaking opportunities - some big missions conferences which he would have loved.  There are books in his heart that aren't being written.  There is leadership mentoring and discipling that can't happen.  These things, and more, are certainly true, but it's not the way God looks at things. His perspective is so contrary to that of the world.

I wonder if we'll look back some day and see this season as one of the most fruitful of our lives.  Certainly the impact of all the prayer during this journey has far reaching influence.  I'm continually amazed at the sheer numbers of people praying - and God hears each and every one of those prayers!  The new depth of fellowship with the Lord that I've been sharing about is certainly priceless.  And I'm not the only one!  Others are telling me how they are learning and growing as they walk this journey with us. I am trusting for spiritual "gold" to come from this journey that will bless generations to come.

God always has a purpose and a plan for what we go through.  When our prayers or our faith doesn't see the answers we're expecting - we can pray with Job "teach me what I cannot see."  Job 34:32

God will bring about things from this journey of difficulty that we might never have seen otherwise.  Only He can bring good, bring beauty, bring hope and growth from the pain and suffering.  

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28

Not all things are good.  There's lots of bad in the world.  But God will continually work in things, in situations for good for His children.

I don't understand this journey.  I can't see God's perspective.  But I know God, and I'm trusting Him to bring much good from this season.  And in the meantime, I know He'll be faithful to give His enabling grace to walk it through.  

I love the Christmas season, but it's very different for me this year.  It seems so very strange for me without Floyd by my side.  But with Christmas only a few days away, I've been thinking of how grateful I am that Jesus came!  I wrote a poem years ago that I thought I'd share with you.  It expresses some of the things on my heart.

SILENCE?  It's unknown here

    where the city's heart beats.

QUIETNESS?  Not here in the 

     midst of the masses.

PEACE?  A thing of the past they say now

     that terrorists pose a constant threat.

REST?  None for the weary.  Everyone scurries

     like the city's mice trying to earn their

     daily bread while they can.

 

But......YES!  There's a breath of soothing

     silence.  There's quietness in the midst of

     the storm.  There's peace in the face of 

     despair.  There's rest from the heavy burden.

 

In HIM.  The one alone who can hear the

     faintest whisper.  The one who quietens

     the storm.  The one who brings hope 

     because He is hope.  The one whose

     shoulders can carry any burden.

 

All this, in Him!

 

The baby who came to die so

     we can live!

 

How grateful I am that Jesus gave up heaven to come to earth - to live and to die for us.  We face many seasons in our lives.  We experience many unknowns.  But the baby who was God among us will help us make it through each thing we face.

Thinking of what He did for us - how He came......it renews hope in my heart and makes my trust in Him for our future more firm.  Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice in coming.

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."  John 1:14

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manager.'  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those to whom His favor rests.'"   Luke 2:10-14

My heart joins that heavenly host in saying "glory to God."  I'm so thankful that Jesus came, and I'm thankful for the peace He gives.