At the moment, I've been thinking about so many things that I'm thankful for - and so many things that I'm lifting up to Him in prayer. I'd like to share some of those.
Things I'm so grateful for:
- I was finally able to go see Floyd on Sunday. :) I've been trying to build my energy, and get enough strength for this - but it's been hard while I'm recovering! Sunday is always a quiet day at the hospital, so I knew it would take less energy than normal. It was such a precious time. There were smiles, tears, and lots of "blinks" from Floyd communicating agreement with what I was saying. My heart is filled with gratitude for this sweet reunion.
- I'm very grateful that the Lord kept Floyd's condition "steady" while I was going through such a hard time from the chemo. It brought such peace to my heart while I was weak to know that Floyd was doing okay. I know it was an answer to prayer.
- I'm very grateful to be on the other side of the recent very horrible chemo treatment. There were some frightening moments when I wondered if I would make it through. Now that I'm able to eat, that the side effects are slowly going away, and that I'm getting some new strength - all I can do is say "thank you Lord!"
Things I'm praying for:
- for continued grace and courage for Floyd for however much longer this journey continues
- for protection for Floyd, me, our family, and All Nations against any attacks of the enemy
- for breakthroughs for Floyd, whatever plans and purposes God has, be it healing or heaven
- for healing, fresh strength, and renewed health for me as I recover
- for wisdom from the Lord about many decisions ahead of me
- for grace to persevere
- for strength for all our hearts to keep pressing in to Him in the place of prayer
Someone was reminding me recently about George Muller who lived a life of fervent prayer. When he died, he had 50,000 documented answers to prayer! 5000 of those were answered on the day he prayed for them - which means that 90% of the time he had to keep praying and waiting! Sound familiar? He prayed for 63 years for one man to come to Christ before he did so.
George Muller said "don't let yesterday's seemingly unanswered prayers stop you from praying in faith today." I know my place is to keep praying, trusting, and waiting until God can be most glorified with bringing the answers.
And, in the meantime, I want to have a heart filled with gratitude for what's He's doing all around me!
"We ought to pray and not to faint." Luke 18:1
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12
"You will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." Jeremiah 29:12
"I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer." Psalm 17:6
"Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." Luke 18:1
"Never stop praying." 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Being with Floyd this week took my mind back over the journey we've been on. We've seen so many answers to prayer! I'm so grateful for every one of them. I purpose in my heart to keep my eyes on Him, my heart full of trust towards Him, as I keep lifting up the needs we still have to Him in the place of prayer. He is faithful!
There's another lesson that I've been learning over the course of this journey. When going through a hard time, the things that we are dealing with are "front and center." It's what's happening, what we're having to cope with, so it's natural that our focus is on them. But therein lies a trap of the enemy if we aren't careful!
The enemy wants us to focus on the problems - our pain, our weakness, our sorrow, our loneliness. God wants us to keep our focus on HIM in the midst of all these problems. When we keep our eyes on Him, it puts the problems in the proper perspective.
Someone sent me this definition of FEAR - false evidence appearing real!
If we focus on the problems, it's so easy for fear to creep in. Before we know it, the problems and the resulting fear can overwhelm our trust in the Lord.
In the midst of hard, very difficult days I have to constantly remind myself to keep my focus on Him, His goodness, His answers, His grace, His sufficiency, His strength.......instead of focusing on the problems. I have to choose my perspective! I never "conquer" doing this. It's something I have to do in the midst of each new difficulty and hard time. His grace for the problems is sufficient - one day at a time.
I have some large windows - some of them high off the ground. I have someone that helps me clean them. I get nervous just watching him climb the ladder!! But this helper has been away on holiday. We've had lots of windy/rainy/stormy weather. So my windows are dirty, streaky, and spotted. My view through the windows is a lovely one - the ocean, trees, mountains. But right now, if I'm not careful, all I see is the mess on the windows! I have to look beyond that to see the beauty.
So it is in life, we must look beyond all the problems we're facing and see the beauty of Jesus who is greater than the problems. When we keep our eyes, our focus on Him - it invites Him into our situation! He enters in to help and strengthen us. He enables us to have joy even on the hardest of days. How faithful He is.
"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:2
"In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years." Isaiah 63:9
"The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength." 2 Timothy 4:17
"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way." 2 Thessalonians 3:16
"Trust in Him at all times - pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:8
I'm so grateful that He helps us through life's difficulties each day. He never grows weary of stepping into our lives and helping us. Thank you Lord!