I had an unexpected "gift" from the Lord this week that I'm thankful for. One of the side effects from chemo - that goes back to my first time of battling cancer 3 years ago - is peripheral neuropathy in my feet. This is a condition where the nerves are damaged resulting in pain and numbness. It has gotten worse with the chemo this year. My feet are now quite numb, often painful, and I must move very purposely in order to keep my balance.
As a result of this, some of my activities, including driving, have been more limited. I have been trying some treatments, and have seen some small improvements.
Through some unexpected things happening, I found myself in the situation of needing to get to an appointment with no one to drive me. I prayed and felt I should give it a try! So off I went to my appointment, and to do a few errands. I went slowly, praying continually - and managed it all. I arrived back safely! I had to do the same thing the next day, and it went even better.
I can't quite describe to you how wonderful this was - freedom, a sense of "normalcy," and it felt like "me" again. I truly felt like I'd been given a wonderful gift. It was one more step in the forward direction of rebuilding health and strength. I am so, so thankful!
Even though I’m gaining strength my body is still adjusting, and recently my sleep has been unsettled. I've been waking up a lot. A couple nights ago I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I laid in bed wanting to pray, but was having a hard time working up the strength to do that. I felt the Lord speak into my heart to just "whisper" a prayer - that He's always in "whispering distance." So I began to whisper my prayers to Him.
I found that so comforting! I didn't need to perform. I didn't need to have an energetic performance of prayer. All I needed to do was "whisper" to Him. He was already right there with me!
I remembered a chorus we sang in my church when I was growing up.
"Whisper a prayer in the morning.
Whisper a prayer at noon.
Whisper a prayer in the evening -
To keep your heart in tune."
We can whisper to Him all day long. As I went about my errands on my own this week, I kept whispering prayers to Him - asking Him for strength, for His help in doing things on my own, for His safety and protection, and for His continued rebuilding of my health. I loved that I could whisper to Him wherever I was!
"Lord, they went to You in their distress; they poured out whispered prayers." Isaiah 26:16
And sometimes God speaks back to us in whispers too.
" 'Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.' And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper." 1 Kings 19:11-12
Our whispered prayers are just as powerful as any of our strong, loud entreaties to Him. Maybe they are even more powerful because God knows that in our quiet, whispering state of coming to Him - we need Him so much! He's always faithful to meet us. He always hears!
Floyd has had a quiet week. He's been on his own a lot, but has been content and peaceful. The journey we're on isn't over, so I'm trusting the Lord to help Floyd in his situation.
On my recent visit with Floyd, I sang some songs to him. I lifted my hands in worship as I sang - and Floyd slowly lifted his arm with me. He hasn't done that in a while. I was moved to see his effort to join me in worship. Our worship was simple, but I couldn't help but think that God would be blessed to receive our simplicity of worship as it flowed from our hearts. We both cried as we thanked God for His goodness and faithfulness to us.
It's always hard to leave Floyd. I hate that he's on his own so much. I know it must be so hard for him in his "silent" world. I stay as long as my strength allows.
It was rather emotional for me when I came home - thinking about all this. God tenderly ministered to my heart as I poured out my cares to Him. I repeatedly spoke out my trust, and my need of Him. I felt He kept reassuring me that He is at work in our lives and in this situation, even if I can't see it or understand it. I just need to keep my hand in His as I walk this journey.
Shortly afterwards I got an email from a friend. He told me how Floyd had ministered to him shortly before he became ill. The "fruit" of that time continues on in some wonderful ways. It was a sweet encouragement to my heart.
Someone shared this quote with our prayer group a couple days ago: "Thanksgiving is our response to His actions, praise is our response to His character, and worship is our response to His presence." - Kris Vallotton
I loved that description of the prayers we lift to the Lord! It helped me be more purposeful in what I'm speaking out to Him. I'm thankful for how He has sustained me on this journey. I praise Him for His faithfulness. And I worship Him for ministering so sweetly to my heart. God is so very good!
"Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods." Psalm 95:2-3
"Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable." Psalm 145:3
"All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God." Psalm 86:9-10
Whether it's thanksgiving, praise, or worship - He is so worthy!