Floyd's situation remains much the same. He is still battling the chest congestion, but he also still tries to smile and be engaged with the carers. The therapist thinks he is doing well in spite of the congestion. The hospital staff takes really good care of him, and they love and encourage him. I'm so grateful for the kind, loving care that Floyd receives.
In this current season of our unexpected journey, I feel like I'm not only clinging to the Lord day-by-day - I'm often trying to make it minute-by-minute. There are so many things that are impacting my life at the moment. I seem to have things coming at me from all directions.
I was encouraged by a devotional that someone sent me from Charles Spurgeon. He said - "Trials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes room for consolation."
I think that's what I am experiencing. I would say it a little differently. Because the trials are numerous and weighty - God's grace and strength, His "consolations," are abundant and powerful too. The more I cling to Him in the trials, the more I receive His help! He is truly "sufficient" as the Word says.
The important thing, though, is for me not to try and make it through on my own strength. I MUST cling to Him. I must share my heart, my thoughts, my feelings, my need. I have to be absolutely vulnerable in expressing my situation. That allows Him to respond to me out of His absolute ability to help me! If I try to plow my way through on my own, I'll never make it. But if I lean into the Lord, He'll help me make it!
I'm calling on Him minute-by-minute to meet me in my need! He is so faithful to do that.
"My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust." Psalm 103:13,14
"I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." Psalm 34:4,5
"Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:39
"Let us have confidence, then, and approach God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it." Hebrews 4:16
I'm so grateful for God's help - and I'm so grateful for your prayers that help me on this minute-by-minute journey.l
I am ever-so-slowly gaining strength after my surgery. My recovery is definitely slow, but at least I'm headed in the right direction. I'm very grateful for that.
Laying in bed last night, I suddenly heard loud booms. At first I thought it was thunder. Then our neighborhood whatsapp group clarified that it was the military doing some training exercises nearby.
As I thought about what was happening, I began to think about the fact that there is "warfare" happening around us all the time. We just can't hear it or see it. The "enemy of our soul" is seeking to destroy us continually. He is especially seeking to undermine our faith and confidence in our wonderful Lord.
There have been times on our unexpected journey when I've sensed the whispers of the enemy. Times when he's tried to get me to believe that God doesn't care - that God has left me all alone on this journey - that it's "too much" for me to cope with - that the journey will never end or that I'll just slowly wear down under the onslaught. There IS warfare, a tug-of-war between good and evil that takes place around us. We just can't hear the "booms" of it taking place.
When I sense and hear these diabolical whispers, I know how important it is to stand against them. If I let my mind entertain even one little bit of them, it opens the door for the enemy to bring separation between God and me. I have to counteract them immediately.
I do that through worship. I speak the truth of who God is. I thank Him for His goodness and faithfulness. I sing songs of praise. I speak out verses of scripture about God's awesomeness. I tell the enemy that he's a liar, and I don't receive any of his accusations. I take authority over him in the name of Jesus.
"Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7
"Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith." 1 Peter 5:8,9
"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57
"O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting." 1 Chronicles 16:34
When the "booms" of spiritual warfare come my way, I know the "weapon" I have at my disposal - proclaiming the wonderful goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. He is truly good all the time!!
This Sat., Feb. 23, is a kind of anniversary on our long unexpected journey. But it's one I haven't been looking forward to! It marks 3 years since the day that Floyd first became ill with a rare infection - so suddenly, with such strange symptoms that escalated hour by hour. I would have never dreamed then that we would find ourselves here 3 years later. And I certainly wouldn't have anticipated that cancer would return for me during that time - not once, but twice. There have also been numerous other things thrown into the mix over this time. What a wild ride this journey has been!
As this day has been approaching, I've been examining what's in my heart - what my emotions are, what I'm thinking. It's become clear to me that my predominant thought and feeling is hope. That probably sounds a little strange. In many ways our situation seems rather hopeless.
But the verse from Jeremiah 29:11 rings in my ears - " 'I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' "
There is always hope with our wonderful Lord! I don't know what that looks like. But hope is still alive in my heart even after this long, roller-coaster ride of a journey.
What has happened to Floyd is probably his worst nightmare. His "voice" was always his strength. Being paralyzed, losing his voice and living in a silent world must be unimaginably difficult. I can't begin to understand how it must be for him. And yet, he manages to smile when we visit him. That assures me that God is giving him grace to persevere. I would even venture to say that there is some measure of hope in Floyd's heart.
I don't know what's ahead for Floyd. My prayer is one of stating my trust in God's sovereignty, and praying for healing or heaven......trusting that God knows best. My heart of hope is at peace with the future God has for us.
G.K. Chesterton said that "hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances we know to be desperate." I know our circumstances are somewhat desperate, but I have joy and hope in my trust in God. I don't live with a cloud of doom over my head. He gives grace to face each day with hope.
God has been so good, so faithful, so abundant in His giving of grace - I have no reason to fear what's ahead because I can see how wonderfully He has helped me each day of this 3 year journey. He doesn't change, so I know He'll help me with whatever is ahead. That truth, that fact allows me to keep hope alive in my heart! He is truly a God of hope!
"As for me, I watch in hope for the Lord; I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." Micah 7:7
"Now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You." Psalm 39:7
"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
"Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence." Psalm 42:5
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:19
"Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed." Isaiah 49:23
Whatever our situation, hard and dire though it may be - we always, always, always have hope in Him! He is faithful. He is faithfully walking beside me.