I have been so so grateful for the prayers on behalf of Floyd and me during this unexpected journey. I'm especially grateful that those prayers have been lifting my weak hands in recent days.
A few days ago I was lower than low. The side effects from this round of chemo had beaten me down. I felt I was battling to survive. Someone sent me Proverbs 14:26 "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence; and His children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death."
I'm so grateful that our trust in Him, our "fear of the Lord" is our refuge!
I've been reading a devotional on joy. In the midst of these hard days, I have felt the Lord reminding me over and over to look for His joy. I have to say that in the midst of these hard, painful days - "joy" isn't the first thing that comes to my mind!! And yet I felt Him continually reminding me that His joy is my strength, and that it's always with me.
I started seeing that in the hardest, darkest of moments - there were glimmers, little streaks of His joy. I began to pull them into my heart, to treasure them there while claiming His strength. The little glimmers carried me through until I could see brighter rays.
Some of the little glimmers that carried me through:
- In His presence there is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11
- He never leaves us, never forsakes us. Hebrews 13:5
- His strength is made perfect in our weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
- He continually holds our right hand. Isaiah 41:13, one of many verses - and He doesn't let go! He holds on in good times and bad times.
- He has angels watching over us. Psalm 91:11
Then there were other more tangible glimmers:
- The smiles and prayers of dear friends who were helping me, caring for me.
- The warm sunshine flooding in the window.
- The calls and songs of birds outside.
- The continual sound of the ocean waves, never ceasing, like His love for me.
- Worship songs that remind me of who God is, how great He is.
Any one of these "glimmers" of joy is special! But as I treasured them altogether and let them grow in my heart, my joy grew too......my strength started returning......I could smile again......I could speak again (I’ve had such painful mouth sores which got so bad that I was writing notes to communicate). Truly He helped me see, discover joy in unexpected and hard places.
I've learned a new lesson. His joy is always there if I look. It may be just a tiny glimmer, but He'll give me eyes to see His joy during the hardest of hard moments.
On Floyd's side - he has been smiling, peaceful, and the chest congestion/phlegm is a bit less. This week one of the carers had the most precious time of prayer with Floyd. As the carer shared it with me, I could just sense the presence of the Lord that had been with them. There were so many tears that one of the nurses stepped in to see if everything was okay. It was very okay - God's hand was present and touching their hearts! It was so encouraging to me.
I have missed Floyd very much during these very hard days. In some ways I felt I've been at a new point of "oneness" with Floyd because of the level of suffering - although his is so much greater. But I so long to see Floyd released from this long season. We continue to lift up our prayers to God, and trust Him for His conclusion to this long journey.
I know only too well how easy it is to get weary, or simply complacent, in the place of prayer after such a long time. It can be disheartening when we don't see specific prayers answered. But the journey we're on together isn't over. God is still at work! And we continue to keep praying and pressing in.
In recent days some things have happened to remind us how important it is to keep praying for protection against the enemy, and asking the Lord to put a shield around us. We can't let our guard down. The enemy would love to sneak in. The waves of prayer that have been unleashed in the last 18 months have been accomplishing great things in the heavenly realm. I think the enemy is fighting back. We pray for protection against the attacks (in any form) of the enemy. We pray for warring angels to defeat the plans of the enemy. We pray for all of God's plans and purposes for this unexpected journey to be fulfilled and accomplished. We pray for healing or heaven for Floyd. We pray for healing, fresh strength, and renewed health for me. We pray for grace and strength for our whole family. We pray for all of us to be energized afresh in the place of prayer.
Prayer is mighty. It's a weapon of spiritual warfare against the enemy. As we storm the gates of heaven in the place of prayer, we can ask God to move in powerful ways!
" 'No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgement. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me,' declares the Lord." Isaiah 54:17
"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:12
God is faithful and sure, and He has the victory!