Floyd was having a good day when I was with him this week. He was sitting in his wheelchair, and looked really good. I spoke with the doctor, and we agreed that he goes up and down all the time. Nothing is changing - it's just the nature of his current condition. I was glad to be there at a "good" time. As soon as I walked in and started talking to him, telling him how much I loved him, he gave me a sweet smile. I loved it! It warmed my heart. :)
Later I was asking him if he loved Jesus. I reminded him that when he would speak he would often begin with - "I love Jesus! Do you love Jesus?" He was known for that. He smiled real big when I reminded him of that.
I have started my new treatment. I’m praying that it will be effective, and that the impact on my body will not be negative with difficult side effects.
I wrote recently about the guinea fowl we have roaming around - the ones with the tiny brains. We have another creature in our neighbourhood too - a mongoose. He roams from house to house. He's nice to have around as he eats field mice, insects, and is known to kill snakes too. It's fun to watch him run around the yard looking for creatures.
Recently I observed the guinea fowl and the mongoose come together. I don't think they knew what to think of each other. They looked at one another, and then began to run in circles chasing each other......round and round they went. They ran off, and then came back and did it again. I'm not sure if there's a lesson here - except that maybe it's not very productive to run in circles - but it was fun to watch them. I am so entertained by God's creatures!!
In spite of loving God's creatures, I am not an out-in-nature kind of person. I get confused using a compass. :) I know, I know - it's simple, but I haven't found it that way. But I've always had a good sense of direction. Through the years with all our travels, if I went somewhere one time......I could usually find my way back there again - sometimes even years later. Floyd was always amazed at this. I had a built in compass!
But I have to tell you that I've not always had clear direction at things I've faced the last few years......even the last few weeks. I often find myself not knowing what way to go. Some things I've faced before, but the path seems different this time. I've had so many decisions to make, about so many things. It has felt daunting, confusing at times.
Thankfully God knows the way! I've tried to stay tucked in close to Him so that I don't have to worry about getting lost. I find myself calling out to Him frequently, asking Him to guide me step by step so that I don't fall or lose my way. I know He has a perfect, unfailing sense of direction.
I must confess that I've had some times recently when I didn't "feel" Him leading me, guiding me. In these times I find it important to go to the Word and trust His promises even if I'm not feeling them. His Word, His promises are unwavering, unchanging. I can count on them. I can't trust my feelings, but I can trust Him.
Lots of people these days use GPS to direct them to where they're going as they drive. One of the things I like about them is that even if you take a wrong turn - it keeps directing you back to where you said you wanted to go. It never gives up! The Lord is like that. He will keep directing us until we get to where we need to go. Even if we make mistakes, He keeps drawing us back to the right path.
I've faced this kind of season before. I've probably shared about it. But it doesn't mean it won't happen again. I've been through lots of daunting days. God has gotten me through them. But when they come again - it's like I've never faced one before. I have to look to Him to help me find my way all over again.
The assurance of God being my guide has enabled me to put one foot in front of another during difficult, hard days. As always, He has been so faithful. He's the only compass I need!
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths." Psalm 23:1-3
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds." Philippians 4:6,7
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.' " Isaiah 30:21
"You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth." Psalm 73:24,25
"The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you." Psalm 32:8
Holding on to the Lord's hand - He will help me not to stumble when I'm daunted by all I'm facing......even if I run in circles like the mongoose and guinea fowl!
As I've been praying about God being our guide, our wonderful "compass" to help us find direction when we need it, He put this outline on my heart:
G - He goes before us to prepare the way.
U - He is unwavering in His desire to help us.
I - He gives instruction that we need.
D - He directs our every step.
E - There is no end to His help.
I have been in some tour groups before where the guide wasn't very helpful. I am so glad that God is the perfect guide. He will never fail us, never leave us on our own.
I have been blessed with friends and family to walk with me on this long journey we've been on. I am so grateful for them. I couldn't have made it without their love, care, and support. And yet sometimes I feel very alone. I've realized that it's because no one else is walking in my shoes. As much as they walk with me and love me - they are not experiencing the same things that I am.
But Jesus understands! The Bible tells us that He has walked in our shoes. He has faced the things we face. He has borne the pain we bear. He was separated from the Father and understands the loss we feel from loved ones that can't be by our side. His disciples fell asleep when He needed them the most, so he understands our loneliness. He took our sins upon Himself, so He understands our weakness and failure. He bore the stripes on His back for our sickness, so He understands our physical pain and illness. He experienced hunger in the wilderness, so He understands our need for daily bread and sustenance. He can relate to us at every level, and He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. I am truly never alone.
Whether I need a guide - or if I need someone to hold my hand and walk in my shoes with me - Jesus is there! In recent days I've needed both. He has met me each step of the way. He is so faithful!
"Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because He was tempted in every way that we are. But He did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help." Hebrews 4:15,16 CEV
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8
"You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do." Psalm 139:3
"Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:2,3
"Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-30
"The Lord, Himself, goes before you and will be there with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
Jesus doesn't stand at a distance when we go through a hard time. He comes close. He is right with us. He "wept" when His friend Lazarus died. He will weep with us in our needs. He'll whisper comfort to us. He'll protect us. And He'll faithfully guide us along the journey to make sure we find our way.