A miracle? A miracle!

This is THAT post... the one I so would wish that you were at my kitchen table with Frank. me. and a full pot of coffee, so that you could just hear our hearts.  Would you just pause for a moment and ask the Lord to speak clearly to you through my words.  To the glory of God!

God IS good; God WAS good; God ALWAYS WILL be good.  In fact, I would take it one more step and say God IS great; God WAS great; God ALWAYS WILL be great!

He certainly doesn't need my help in communicating those facts, and honestly... HE doesn't need my help at all... or my protection of Him and His reputation.  So, why do I feel the need to share a miracle with a caveat, a warning, a caution?

Numerous studies have been conducted on the number of words that men and women speak during a day.  The latest one I found states that women speak around 20,000 and men around 7,000.  I'd say that's close in our household... I use many more words to speak and write!

So here's what Frank would say to you:

My back doesn't hurt today.  It hasn't hurt for more than 3 weeks.  Praise the Lord!

Here's what I would say:

I don't know how to even begin to find the words for this.  Frank had his first back surgery on June 16, 2004, and he has lived with chronic pain since then.  Some of you might remember that on January 14, 2012, he woke up and said his back wasn't hurting.  We celebrated and shared that news with friends, and we still believe that 7 days was a gift from God - a miracle.  The pain did return just as if it had never been silenced.  So we've continued to pray for healing most every day.  And so have so many friends and family members and even people that don't know us personally.  We've all prayed always believing that God absolutely could, at the blink of His eye or the fling of His hand or the mere thought of it, heal Frank and give relief from pain.

Now I would need to take a breath... and continue..

Why now... after 11 years... is this a miracle?  Will this last for a month... a year... a lifetime on earth...  Why are we surprised?  God is good.  God loves His children.  God answers prayer, not always when I want Him to or how I want Him to... imagine that - He is God; I am not.  

I've been devouring  the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) searching for each miracle of healing that Jesus offered... and then, more importantly, what did the recipient of that healing do.  Most often, I've found the word, "faith", and I've observed the reality that the recipient did nothing but rejoice and tell others... (Some even when Jesus told them not to tell.)

Hebrews 11 has been deemed the "Hall of Faith/Fame".  The big names are there... Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and on the list goes.  As they enter the "stage" receiving their introduction, the same two words precede each one... 

By faith,                               

I am trying to define a God event in my feeble human terms.  Seriously!  Who do I think I am?  God was good when I was lying on the floor in an emotional heap in a room at the Cleveland Clinic when the doctor said there is nothing to do...  God is good today.  And HE is good tomorrow because HE is God.  Can you believe we have the honor of being HIS children??

Can I just tell you that NO PAIN after 11 years IS... GREAT NEWS... to celebrate and praise the Lord and share, but, oh friends, we have the BEST NEWS for the whole world - JESUS  - God planned for our eternity through the death and resurrection of His only Son... that is FOREVER - no pain, no tears, no sadness... only JOYFUL CELEBRATION AND WORSHIP!  THANKS BE TO GOD!

So, here's my struggle... there may be a day that I have to share with you... Frank's back hurts again, but God doesn't need  me to protect you from that possibility, does He?

Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it... and my sweetheart doesn't have a back ache!  Thank you, Righteous, Sovereign God of the Universe.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Just like my friend who after a devastating cancer battle recently told me:  I am cancer-free right now.  Either way though... I win,  healed now, healed a little later here on earth, or healed when I meet Jesus face to face... and THAT is a forever reality.

    Now faith is confidence
 in what we hope for 
 about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Just pray, Mom...

Clay was probably 6 or 7 at the time.  It was the middle of summer, and he so loved to swim.  Our gracious neighbors had a pool in their backyard, and my kids would watch from the window hoping the flag would be raised signaling ... the pool is OPEN for friends.  My kids have such fond memories of the diving contests, the "swim across the pool" contests, the funniest jump off the diving board contests, the many, many made-up games and popsicle break times.

This particular day Clay was unable to swim having just realized the diagnoses of swimmer's ear.  If you've ever had it, you know how painful it can be as even touching the affected ear brings groans of discomfort.  As I helped him dry off after a bath that evening, he said,
"Mom, you need to pray for my ear!"
"Sure, Clay, we will do that."
"No, Mom, I mean right now."

As he stood there with his towel wrapped around him, dripping wet, eyes tightly shut, I prayed simply and specifically thanking God for caring about Clay's ear, remembering how much HE loved Clay, asking that HE would heal Clay's pain and give him good rest that night.  Amen was met with, 

"Can I have some ice cream now?"

Oh, "ye of such child-like faith"...  There was no question that God would answer, there was no hanging on to the frustration of pain, there was no uncertainty or doubt.  He walked away with a peace and complete faith that God heard, God cared, and God was in control. 

My Bible states the "theme" of Psalm 11 as "God's rule provides stability in the midst of panic,  Because we can trust him, we can face [our problems] anything."

Psalm 11:4 But the Lord is still in his holy temple; He still rules from heaven. He closely watches everything that happens here on earth. 

Once again the Lord reminds me that HE is always aware and HE is sovereign (having supreme authority, rank and power).  

I recently came across a card a friend had sent me during difficult time - the words were poignant:

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord who is with us.  Jesus is the difference."

Oh, sweet friends, my prayer for us today is simple... childlike..

        Father, You are sovereign;  You are our refuge; You are our salvation; You are worthy; You are aware;  Your ways are not our ways, Your thoughts are not our thoughts.  We trust you in all things, at all times, with all our hearts.  Amen

Sometimes you just need to be carried...

The most often memorized Psalm... maybe even the most memorized chapter of the Bible:  Psalm 23... beginning with verse one:
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. (KJV)

Shepherds cared for their sheep, knew them by name, kept them safe, and carried them when necessary.  Memories flood my mind of just a glimpse of  a picture I have pondered in my heart for many years.  Since Frank's family has been vacationing at the beach his whole life, it was a natural plan and a perfect fit for our family... and all of our children, and now grandchildren, LOVE the ocean.

Kellie was the only one of our four children who consistently napped twice a day, so our first summer with her at the beach, was a beautiful routine.  We hit the beach about 10:00 in the morning, set up our "camp", then Kellie and I began our morning stroll.  She was barely walking, but stubborn enough to long for her toes to be in the sand, so I would stay close as she giggled as the water just touched her.  Before long she began to tire,  so I would hold both hands as she splashed in the breaking waves just at the water's edge.  A little later her legs began to wobble, so those sweet chubby, little arms would reach up toward me ready to be carried.  I would scoop her up in my arms, humming a gentle tune, and shortly her head would rest comfortably on my shoulder.  Soon she was sound asleep, and I turned back toward Frank, who was waiting for us with the makeshift tent ready to slide into the perfect napping spot.  She didn't plan to be carried; she sure didn't start the walk expecting to be carried - she would, in her strong-willed mannerisms, let all know that she could handle the journey.  I would notice as she became a little frustrated if the water splashed in her face, but I waited.  Just now, I wonder when the most recent time, the Lord waiting for me to turn to Him, lifting my heart to HIS care.

From Isaiah 40:11, see this picture with me..
"He will feed His flock like a shepherd.  
He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart.  
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young."

When I need to be fed... He offers nourishment...
When I need to be carried... He lifts me up.  
When I to be held close the His heart... He wraps His loving arms snugly around.
When I need His guidance in shepherding those around me... He offers gentle wisdom.

Whether today, you need to be fed, carried, held, or led, HE is ready, willing and able to provide.  Look to Him today.... He is our Shepherd.