Our Unexpected Journey

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Floyd has had some improvements recently.  His nagging chest congestion has been better - which is a relief to me as he's so miserable when it's bothering him.  The doctors, therapists, and nurses say he is more alert and responsive too.  I’m so grateful for all the prayers going up for him for these things.  It's encouraging to have some good news from his side.

I wondered if last Saturday on the 3rd anniversary of Floyd becoming ill would be a hard day for me.  It turned out to be a tender day, but there was a sweet presence of the Lord with me the whole day.  I shed a few tears - some of sadness, but most were of thanks/worship/gratitude to the Lord for how He has faithfully been with me minute by minute on this journey.  I found my heart was full of worship to the Lord that I haven't been alone - He has been by my side and held my hand, as the Word promises.  I have so, so much to be grateful for.

Recently I have been waking up in the middle of the night quite often.  I've not known if something has awakened me, so I usually lay there listening, waiting.  The first time it happened, I felt a bit vulnerable and alone.  As I started praying, I remembered some of the verses about God being with us in the night......and I felt surrounded with His presence.

It has been a good reminder that He's with us in the night - whether it be the physical time of the day......or an experience that feels like "night."  Waking or sleeping, in the sunshine or night, in good times and hard times - He is always present with us!  He is with us and in charge every minute of every day.  When the "night" comes, it's good to remember that we live in a fallen world - but God is ever present with us.  He never leaves us.  

The Bible is filled with examples of God speaking to men and women at night - so I always listen closely to see if God is wanting to speak something to my heart.  He often speaks a special encouragement into my heart in the night wakefulness.  I keep my pen and paper handy ready to write it down.

"By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me - a prayer to the God of my life."  Psalm 42:8

"He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds."  Job 33:15

"He who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps."  Psalm 121:4

"You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.... for the Lord is your security."  Proverbs 3:24,26

"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe."  Psalm 4:8

"I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise."  Psalm 119:148

"I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.  Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.  My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me."  Psalm 63:6-8

He is with me, watching over me in the "night."  I often pray for God's presence to fill Floyd's hospital room too, and to send angels to minister to Him.

He's only a whisper away!  As I whisper His name, He is right with me....any time of the day or night!

Of the 5 surgeries I've had while Floyd has been sick, this has been the hardest one for me to recover from.  I'm just not "bouncing back" very quickly.  I have lots of things that need my time and attention, but I just don't have the strength and energy I need to address them.

So often in the different "seasons" of this unexpected journey, God teaches me new lessons.  I've been feeling that He wants to do that in this season.  The overwhelming impression I've had is that I need to rest - and that my rest is worship to Him.  That is special to me because worship has been such a key part of my surviving on this journey.

The Bible talks a lot about rest.  God rested after His days of creation.  Jesus took time out from the crowds to rest and spend time with the Father.  The prophets of old often went into the desert to rest and hear from God.  God, of course, commands us to take a sabbath rest from our work and labor.

But the busyness of our world is so counter to that.  Rest is often looked upon as a luxury, not an essential.  We are under pressure to achieve, to produce.  Even in my weakened state, I feel the pressure of "doing" all the things that are calling for my attention.

I've been attempting to change my mindset, my expectations.  I'm daily choosing rest - asking Him if there is something I'm supposed to do.  I'm finding fresh intimacy with Him.  I'm worshipping Him as I look at the beauty of His creation.  I'm spending time just "being" in His presence.  I don't know the implications of this for the long term, but I am worshipping Him in rest right now. 

Andrea Thompson in her blog says that "rest in itself is an act of worship because it is surrender.  We are surrendering to God and laying our lives before Him.  It is an act of trust when we set aside everything we know to do and place it before God."

Even in creation when God created man and woman on the 6th day, He didn't put them right to work.  He gave them a day of rest.  I think we might have been inclined to give them a list of everything they needed to do in tending the Garden of Eden.  Maybe there is something for us to learn from that!

The world might want us to think that rest is a sign of weakness in our busy go, go, go world!  But it's not - it's a choice of strength!  It's easy to give in to the pressures.  It takes great strength to stop and take time to rest.

I should point out that we often face weariness in our fast-paced world.  God understands that.  He doesn't despise our weariness, even though the world may look down upon it, even pity it.  God  reaches out to us and gives fresh strength.  After all, Jesus lived on this earth and walked in our shoes.  He understands the things we face.  He gives grace and help.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Isaiah 40:29-31

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters."  Psalm 23:1,2

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."  Psalm 91:1

"My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."  Exodus 33:14

So instead of fighting my slow recovery, I'm making the choice to rest - to worship Him in this "season" of rest.  I am offering up these days as worship to Him.  I sense He is healing and restoring my soul as I rest - worshipping Him in my rest.