Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting for the Eagle's Flight

I guess you could say I have had bloggers block. What to write? Finally with much thought and prayer I came upon something I wanted to share. It has do do with waiting. This has been a constant theme in my life for the past 3 months. Waiting for something to change in my circumstances, waiting for a Doctor's appointment, waiting for results from a test, waiting for answers to questions nobody seems to have. Hurry up and wait. Patience is a fruit of the takes time develop into fruit.
What does waiting on the Lord truly mean? I have pondered this in my heart often, more so lately than ever. What does this look like on the inside and outside of my heart? Psalm 33:20 -22 "We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. may your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord even as we put our hope in you." During our waiting we remember the promises He has made to us. These are the promises in the Word. He is our help, our shield. Our shield of faith. This shield is able to put out the fiery darts of the enemy. It takes discipline to learn how to best use this shield. The battlefield of the mind is a treacherous one. Conquering ones mind is a daily moment by moment choice. 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demonlish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." This of course is easier said than done. But, I guarantee that if you put your mind to it you will have success in this department of holding up a shield of faith. I have found this to be true.
In our waiting we can also have joy! We can praise His name. Psalm 118:1 "Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever." We praise Him because we can trust Him, so we surrender. We praise Him because He is Holy, so we come before Him righteous only by the blood of Christ. His unfailing love speaks so loudly to me. This is His eternal covenant with me. I must continually remind myself of His love for me. It is a jealous love He has for me.
The text in Isiah 40 is so powerful, so inspiring to me. If you have time, read the entire passage. It has a long list of rhetorical questions that the prophet Isiah is asking. I love that the rhetorical questions all point to God. Understanding how big, powerful and mighty God is takes some pondering. He is the creator, speaking stars into existence by name...every star has a name (verse 26). I could choose right now with my health situation to complain to God. just like the Isrealites who chose to say our ways are hidden from God...he doesn't see me. No, God is the God who sees, El Roi, He sees me and knows me. Isiah goes on to say He is the Everlasting God, El Olam, the one who created the ends of the earth. Now it gets interesting to me, insight into the character of God. He does not get tired. He does not grow weary, we can not understand His ways. Yet He chooses to give us His strength and power when we are weary and weak. It is the solution to the rhetorical questions of Isiah: since God created everything, I am weak before Him, then I must find my strength and power in Him alone. Alas, we arrive at the popular verses 30-31 "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."
Hope. It is beacuse of the hope we have in Him. Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." My hope is in His word, his promises to me. I will wait in expectation for God to fulfill His promises to me found in His Word. This is why I pray scripture. Where there is no promise I can not pray in faith. I can only pray for what God has promised me in His Word. The power of my prayer is not in the prayer itself but in the power of an Almighty creator God. Therefore I will continue to pray in faith based on his Word. Placing my hope in Him. For when I wait on Him He will renew my strength and I will soar like the Eagle. This is what is looks like to wait upon the Lord.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Season of Dormancy

A common prayer I muster is found in Psalms 90:10, "Teach me Lord to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom." This helps me keep balance in a crazy schedule. It's like feeling pressure from outside sources to perform under some magical stage light. It's the notion in our culture to BE everything to everyone. To BE the perfect wife, mother, witness, student, worshiper, prayer warrior etc. It hit me like a ton of bricks one day...this whole ordeal of now having cancer--teach me Lord to number my days-- flashes of a shortened life, deep questions of why me, reflections on past choices I have made all flooding my mind. And then His still small voice pierced through all my raging thoughts like a tidal wave. He spoke to me about Seasons of Life. That this Season would be different. That this Season would be a about dormancy. Many of you know about my love for plants. I studied botany in college for those who did not know this about me. Anyway I had a very clear vision from the Lord about this Season I have entered. It is a picture of a fruit tree in it's dormant season. I understand this is a time of rest. The fruit tree's job during dormancy is below the surface, naked to the human eye. To the Father it is sinking it's roots deep into the ground in search of water and nutrients. It also is a time to deepen my roots and search for the Living Water. Psalm 1:2-3, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditate day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields it fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." This has been a favorite passage to me, I love the picture and rich symbolism. So I know that this Season of resting is about personal growth -- a thirst for water to nourish my soul. Psalm 42:1, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God." There is more. What is the fruit tree preparing for? Another season of fruit! The tree is storing all these nutrients and water so it can produce new nodes, buds, develop leaves and blossoms. The good gardener will come and prune just before the buds new shape to the fruit tree. I had to take a deep breath at this point. I know the Master gardener comes to prune away things of my heart, getting rid of character flaws, showing me where I am unlike Him. John 15:1-2, "I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." It is this process of pruning that can be painful...the word suffering comes to mind. The fruit tree blossoms are fragrant and beautiful to look at. Do I really want to trade my sorrows for dancing and praise? Isn't God in the business of turning ashes into beauty? Spring will certainly come. Seasons only last for a while. During this season of dromancy it is my hope and prayer to rest in Him, to learn more about myself and to enjoy this Season.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Dance

I wanted to share with all who will be following my blog a daily habit I have learned. First though I must warn you with this disclaimer: IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. So you are warned...This is my fourth year reading The Year Through the Bible for women. I am not one of those that sets an exact time every day and reads my Bible for 30 minutes and then prays for another 30 minutes. I do my best to read daily and pray with out ceasing. Sometimes it is the early mornings, sometimes it is late at night when all have gone to bed. Or it might be the middle of the day when I feel drawn to spend time with the Lord. I say all this just to make it clear that I am in no way perfect...just striving for the abundant life. I like to refer to this as The Dance. It is being keenly aware of your personal spiritual condition, having the ability to recognize when you need to retreat. This practice of reading (a holy discipline) has caused me to hunger and thirst for the Living Word in a fierce way. I have discovered these last four years to put into practice four disciplines:
  1. Simplify
  2. Silence
  3. Solitude
  4. Surrender
These are taken from a book called "Intimacy With the Almighty" by Charles Swindoll. If you begin on this journey of reading the Word on a daily basis I can almost guarantee that these four disciplines will follow.

It is my desire to share on this blog what the Lord is speaking to me through reading His Word on a daily basis. I enjoy journaling my thoughts, problems, fears and conversations I have with the Lord. Over time these writings have become precious to me. I enjoy reading over them and remembering the things the Lord has done and spoken to me. (Psalm 77:11-12) This is important to note because sometimes His voice is so quiet it is hard to hear. This is when I begin to doubt Him, I let fear creep in and rob me of the victorious life. I move from the spiritual to the natural and let my flesh rule untamed. So I have learned to remember what the Lord has done. I believe this is something the Lord told the Israelite's many times to do...stones of remembrance so they could tell their children and their children's children. (Joshua 4) This is a natural progression for me. This season of life for me, living with cancer, facing chemotherapy, all the unknowns...I need to remember what He has done for me. I hope you too can remember ALL he has done for us.

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved."
Ephesians 2:4-5

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Hebrews 4:16

Monday, June 20, 2011

Life With Cancer

Hope you caught the title to my new blog page. Yes, I am trying to lure you in to read my crazy thoughts as I journey through life with cancer. It is an amazing adventure the Lord has called me to. Not one in which I have chosen. No this is one all ready written in the history book of life. The fun part will be discovering all the hidden treasures God has in store for myself, my family and my friends. Would you pray for me as I venture into the depths of blogging my with cancer?

I begin each day with a thankful heart, another day in paradise! I hope to give you a glimpse into my spiritual journey thus far. There are so many questions I have. Not sure if I will find all the answers. One thing I do know: His Word is true and I cling to it for life, hope & strength.

"Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

I feel so blessed to be counted worthy to endure this that requires determination, clarity of mind and supernatural strength. My faith is strong, but there is room for growth. I am merely a servant, a meek child of God willing to go the distance to serve however He beckons. Was I surprised when the Doctor told me it was cancer? No. Was God surprised? No.

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

All along He has been preparing me for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). So now the waiting begins. More tests, more blood work, more waiting. Oh yeah...patience that is a fruit of the Spirit? I will begin chemotherapy sometime in the near future (2 to 4 weeks from now). The chemo will last for 6 months, a total of 12 treatments, twice a month. It is not something I want to do. It is something I have to do. I know God has prepared me spiritually, let the battle rage on.

"I can do all things through him who give me strength." Philippians 4:13

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