Floyd had a bout of really bad wheezing and coughing again this week. It’s so awful for him when that happens. We continue to pray for this to be permanently cleared up.
The weather has been warm and lovely so the nurses took him outside to enjoy the fresh air. He turned his head from side to side looking at everything. It must have been so nice for him to be "out."
I was talking to the Lord about the roller coaster nature of Floyd's condition. It's hard on my emotions when one day is good, the next day is bad - repeat over and over, month after month. I was thanking the Lord that He is my stability in the midst of this. He is my peace in the midst of the storm that comes and goes.
I remembered a definition of peace that I heard Floyd give in one of his sermons. Peace does not mean the absence of trouble, but the presence of what is good - God is good! We can rest in His goodness even in the midst of trouble, of storms.
Various forms of peace are mentioned 429 times in the Bible, so the Lord certainly understood that "peace" would be an issue, a need in our lives. Our actions, our attitudes may influence peace, but true peace comes only from God.
"Great peace have those who love your law." Psalm 119:165
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
This has been a tumultuous year for me, and for our family. But, in the midst of it, God has been my stabilizer. He has been my Rock, my safe place, my strong tower, my strength, my security, my help, my guide, my comfort, and, yes, most certainly - my peace! He has brought calm to the troubled waters of my heart.
If I had to choose just one word to describe 2016, it would be "faithfulness" - God's faithfulness. It was, without a doubt, the hardest year of my life! And I have a few other years that are in close running!! But through all the hard things, there has been a common thread......and that is God's faithfulness.
I could never have made it through this year without His goodness, His grace, His strength, His faithfulness. When I look back over all these months - that's the main thing I see......how good and how faithful He's been. Yes, there's been sadness, tears (lots of them!), pain, stress, grief - but like a big umbrella over everything is God's faithfulness in the midst of all that.
"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations." Deuteronomy 7:9
"The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22,23
"The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He." Deuteronomy 32:4
Someone recently sent me a phrase - "be still and know that I am God." I have been meditating on it as we have entered the new year. Facing a new year and not knowing what's ahead - especially after such a tumultuous year last year - has felt a little daunting. I don't know what to prepare myself for, and I think I'm feeling weary.
I've felt His sweet spirit saying to me:
- I need to rest in Him and as I do, He’ll give me new strength.
- I need to remember that He is God and that gives me the perspective I need on how to look at everything and how to pray.
- I need to trust that He will fulfill His plans, His purposes. As I trust Him, He'll give me the grace and peace I need to keep going.
It's as simple, and as complicated, as that!
I've said a number of times through last year that I think God is up to something more/bigger than just what's happening with Floyd through all the prayers that are being lifted up. I still feel that very strongly. I believe the wave of prayer that has been released is touching the heart of God, and He is at work. There may be "breakthroughs" happening that we can't see or that we don't know about. One of our family members was reminding me that my/our perspective is limited. We can't see all that God is doing, but He is hearing each and every prayer we are lifting up to Him. He is at work whether we see and understand it or not.
I need to be still......and know that He is God!
"Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken." Psalm 62:1,2
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 37:7
"Put your hope in the Lord." Psalm 131:3
I will rest, remember, and trust!