Our Unexpected Journey

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I had a meeting this week with the hospital staff regarding Floyd's care.  It was a helpful report and there have been some good improvements.  There are, of course, also areas of concern as time goes on.  Floyd still needs miracles and breakthroughs to fully recover.  All we can do is commit him to the Lord's care, and to His sovereignty.

They all expressed such love and warmth for Floyd.  I can't tell you how much that means.  God so obviously led us to the right place for Floyd’s care.  He is not their "normal" rehab patient and they don’t usually have patients there for such long periods of time.  I appreciate their expanding their guidelines to allow him long term care there.

Acts 17:26 says that God knows the exact places where we should live.  I'm so grateful that He chose the right place for Floyd!

There have been so many things on this unexpected journey that I have had to trust God for.  Big things - and little things......but all things that I needed His help and His wisdom for.  I thought I had always trusted God, but He has taken me to new depths, new understandings of "trust."

I've learned that the deeper my trust goes, the greater my thankfulness is!  It's amazing how the two are so closely linked.  And the more I'm thankful - the more my heart overflows with joy......which is my strength from Him.  I love how God planned this all out.  Trust = thankfulness = joy!  A wonderful equation.

"The joy of the Lord is your strength."  Nehemiah 8:10

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me.  My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him."  Psalm 28:7

"Love......always trusts."  1 Corinthians 13:6, 7

"Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you."  Psalm 9:10

"Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you."  Psalm 84:12

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13

As I've endeavored to trust God at new levels - His joy, not a worldly joy, has helped me persevere and survive.  I'm so grateful for that.  

In the prayer updates that I write I have recently shared on what the Lord is teaching me about love being patient - and what I'm learning about being patient with the things in my life.  In response to that update, someone sent me this prayer of St. Theresa:

"Let nothing disturb you, nothing distress you.

While all things fade away, God is unchanging.

Be patient, for with God in your heart, nothing is lacking.

God is enough."

I love that - nothing is lacking when God is with us.  God is enough!  Amen!

I had a sweet time with Floyd this week.  After giving him a nice shave and face massage, I shared some encouraging emails with him.  He seems quieter in recent days, but perks up when encouraged.  I try to continually remind him that God is still using him even though he's quiet and still right now.

Every time I'm with Floyd, I come home with a tender heart.  As time goes by, it seems to get harder to see him suffering.  And there's the continual question of wondering what is ahead.  I give that question to the Lord, but I guess it never goes away completely.  It pops up again after my visits with Floyd.

After my last visit with Floyd I came home, once again, with a tender heart.  I was taking with the Lord, lifting this all to Him - and I was suddenly struck by the beauty He surrounds us with.  The blues of the ocean, the puffy white clouds floating by, the warm sunshine, the strong mountains, the colourful birds flying outside, the greens of the trees, the hearty flowers that bloom in spite of a lack of water, the succulent plants that flourish in dry surroundings - the list goes on and on.  Each thing I noticed seemed to remind me of God's goodness and greatness!

I was given some lovely roses by a friend.  Amazingly they lasted over 3 weeks in a vase in my living room.  Every time I saw them, I was struck by the beauty of God's creation.  Just in the realm of flowers there are so many expressions of God's creation.

Two things came to my heart as all this went through my mind.  The first is simply that God created all these things to touch our hearts.  He could have created a much simpler, less beautiful world.  But He gave us all these "touches of beauty" to feed our souls.  He knew we'd need that.  I certainly have!  On some of my lowest days I've been ministered to and touched by the beauty of God's creation all around me.

And I also thought of the fact that the God who created all these many, many "touches of beauty" is also aware of the detailed needs in our lives.  He's mindful of each need, each care, each sorrow, each burden, each question - and He's ministering into them in His own loving way each day.  I'm not alone when I come home from visiting Floyd with a tender heart.  God is pouring His ointment into my heart - even by pointing out the beautiful creation all around me that testifies to His greatness.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands."  Psalm 19:1

"And why are you worried about clothing?  Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these."  Matthew 6:28-29

"Thus says God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; He that gives breath unto the people upon it, and the spirit to them that walk therein.......I will hold you by the hand and watch over you."  Isaiah 42:5, 6

"Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God's wonders.  Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes His lightning flash?  Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of Him who has perfect knowledge?"  Job 37:14-16

Just as God spoke to Job long ago, He reminds us of His power and might in creation!