Our Unexpected Journey

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Floyd has had a quiet week.  His chest congestion was a bit better when I was with him, but he wasn't looking very well.  I'm sure the up and down nature of this congestion must be wearing on him.  He was alert, responsive, and very tender about things I shared with him.

One thing I shared was a testimony of how his book "The Father Heart of God" is being used to minister to victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.  I received a very encouraging message from a therapist who uses Floyd's book in ministering the Father's love.  Floyd was very touched by this.

Last weekend Floyd had a special visitor.  It was a friend from our Heidebeek days in Holland.  That goes back a lot of years - to the 1970s!  There were smiles and tears as the friend told stories from those days, and thanked Floyd for the input into His life.  I'm so thankful for the dear people God has brought into our lives over the years!

I attended the memorial service of our dear friend this week.  It was a special time to honor him, and celebrate his life.  His family and friends have been grieving his sudden death.  He will be greatly missed.

Nothing can prepare us for the loss of a loved one.  And nothing can prepare us for the grief that follows.  Grief is part of the healing process that we need, but it's also very painful to walk through.  There's no set timetable for it.  We each have to walk through it in the way that we need.  It's the method God uses to cleanse our heart from the anguish, and bring us back to a place of wholeness.  It's part of the journey we embark on when we lose a loved one, or lose something precious to us.

I went back and read one of my prayer updates when I shared that we have to "grieve well to grow well."  I had pondered those words from a sermon of Floyd's.  I've been pondering them again.  There's such a powerful truth there. 

As I've grieved this week, I've been listening to Matt Redman's song "One Day" - his rendition of the classic song "When We All Get to Heaven."  I sang this song in my church growing up.  I think I know most of the words by heart.  It's an old song, but the words from this new rendition have taken on a fresh, deep meaning in facing the loss of our friend.  

"One day He'll make everything new.

One day He will bind every wound.

One day He'll make sense of it all.

One day every question will be resolved.

There'll be no more tears - no more fears - no more pain.

One day we'll be free!

When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.  When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory."

We grieve those who have left us - seemingly much too soon.  But someday we'll bow at the Savior's feet and worship Him together.  In the meantime we must look to Him for comfort and healing of our broken hearts.

"He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds."  Psalm 147:3

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."  Psalm 34:18

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."  Matthew 5:4

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away."  Revelation 21:4

Walking through these days after the loss of our friend has touched on the tender places in my heart from Floyd's sudden illness - which brought the loss of our life together and our fellowship.  And I have no idea what's ahead.  God could heal him.  God could take him home.  Or He may allow this journey to continue on.  There's no way of knowing what's ahead.  The only certainty I have is that God will be with me.  That is what has comforted my heart during these days - and it's what gives me grace and strength to continue on our journey.

All my life I've heard and been taught that there is power in the name of Jesus.  I've experienced that when I've called out to Him.  When we pray in His name we tap in to His heart, His love, His strength, and His power to meet our every need.  The enemy hates the name of Jesus and trembles when he hears it.  Jesus has conquered death, hell, and the grave......and He can come to our rescue in times of need.

I know all this, but I've learned it and experienced it at new levels on this unexpected journey we've been on.  I've been in situations that I've never walked through before.  I've faced stress and pressures beyond anything I've had to cope with before.  I've needed counsel and wisdom for big decisions - bigger than any I've had to face before.  I've needed grace in greater measure.  I've needed much more strength to keep going on this journey - beyond anything I've needed before.  And I've needed this without my partner, my helpmate by my side.

In fact, it seems like at every level of my life - in every facet and category of my existence, I've needed Him so very much!  Sometimes I don't even know how to speak out my request, but I know I need Him so desperately.  I often just say "Help me Jesus!  I need you."  His name is the strong tower that I run to in my need.  (Proverbs 18:10)

The Bible says that "at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth - and every tongue will confess that He is Lord."  Philippians 2:10,11

By simply calling on His name, even whispering it if we're frail and weak, "Jesus" can change our situation.  Saying His name acknowledges my need of Him.  And He responds by coming near to me with His help for every need.

When I bow my heart before Him and speak out my trust and confidence in Him - I tap into the power and might of His help and provision for me.  I, a simple 70 year old lady in South Africa, can call upon the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to come rescue and help me.

On my weakest, lowest days I have spoken out the name of Jesus and asked for His power to come.  He always, always, always meets me!  Not always in the way I might expect!   It's not a magic formula with a certain result, but He always comes through.  There is power in His name!  How very grateful I am for that.

This it what the Lord has been putting on my heart in recent days.  And then on Monday I got the report from my recent scan.  The news was not very good - certainly not the report I was hoping for.  There is a small mass in the pelvic area.  I will be doing a radiology guided biopsy in about 3 weeks to get more information on the mass.

I came home and communicated with our family......and then I reflected on what I've written above.  It is so true.  There is power in the name of Jesus.  I am going to tap into that power afresh - for grace for new trials, for strength to keep going, for courage to persevere, and yes, for healing!  I know He will meet me as I call on the power of His name.

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  Acts 2:21

"What kind of man is this?  Even the winds and the waves obey Him!"  Matthew 8:27

"Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  Philippians 2:9-11

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

"No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power."  Jeremiah 10:6

As I contemplate all this, I am already calling on His name.  I need Him in my new challenges.  I can't make it on my own.  I thought about the points below as I bowed my heart before Him.

We can call upon the power of His name:

- by admitting our need of Him

- by asking for needs to be met in His authority, the one who's name is above every name

- by bowing our hearts before Him, submitting to Him

- by running to Him as our refuge

- by waiting expectantly for His answers and provision.  He is there 24/7.  He never takes time off!

I love and trust Him.  I am so grateful for His help in my times of need!