Tag Archives: rest

God Alone

Yes, he alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense, and fortress—why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come?

My protection and success come from God alone. He is my refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me.

Psalm 62:-6-7 (TLB)

A few weeks ago I was fretting about how boring life was. It was the end of a long, very hot summer, and I could hardly wait for Fall to arrive. I decorated the house early, with the hope that pumpkins, in every form, would hasten the arrival of cooler weather and a new schedule of activities.

I was grateful when our women’s Bible study began. We are studying Beth Moore’s, David, Seeking a Heart Like His. One thing I really like about the Bible is that God pulls no punches when he tells David’s story. We read about the good, the bad, and the ugly. This young man, who would be king, is first ignored and then pulled out of the fields, while tending sheep, and anointed for a job he didn’t even know he wanted.

But God knew David’s heart because they had spent many an hour together while he was alone with those sheep on the hillside. The lessons he learned there would eventually become very useful as he led men and troops as King of Israel. But David had more waiting to do. It was not yet his time.

His entry on the world stage occurred when with only courage and a slingshot, a giant was taken down who had taunted the army of King Saul. He didn’t need the king’s armor because God alone was his defense. He had already wrestled with a bear and a lion while protecting the sheep. What could this one man do to him?

That boring life? It quickly changed as we’ve spent the last three weeks dealing with hospitals, doctors, surgeries, and recovery as Mark had a Deep Brain Stimulator implanted in his brain to control essential tremors in his right hand. The process complete, we now have some fine-tuning to do but the good news is that it works.

I didn’t realize, until we sat at a favorite restaurant after the doctor’s appointment to turn it on, how tense I had been. The unbidden tears of relief started to flow down my cheeks. I’d been updating friends and family through emails and I received a note from a friend that summed up exactly how I was feeling:

I so understand your tears. I’ve been there too many times, and you just don’t forget what that feels like. I’m glad you are able to let those tears fall. They are very healing, and as Mark is healing, so will you. What you have been through is exhausting physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s difficult to believe what that stress, especially trying to be the “strong” one, will exact on you. Now you can “let down” a bit, and rest.

God has sustained me each step of the way, whether sitting in the waiting room for many hours, watching over Mark as he recovered in his room, or driving almost an hour back and forth at night. He brought me encouragement through a bottle of water and pumpkin muffin brought by a friend who greeted me in the waiting room one morning. Emails, cards, and Facebook posts reminded me how much people care about both of us. And there is something about a note from someone who has been there that is so encouraging.

I can let fear and discouragement take me down, or I can choose to see that it is God alone who brings me through tough times and gives me the will and courage to make it through another day. My inclination is to wrestle in this type of situation and see if I can control the outcome. But I’m learning that the little word in the middle of wrestle – rest – is what God wants me to do. He is my refuge and rock. He will take care of me…and I can rest in His success.

 

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Bubbling Brook

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

John 4:13-14 (NLT)

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I love sitting in my screened porch, early in the morning during the summer, with my devotionals, Bible, and a hot latte. The fountain, a few feet away, is a gathering place for all the birds to stop by and get a drink of water. I’m not a birder so I have no idea about the various species but they are all colors, sizes, with different voices. Some coo, some hoot, some squawk, some call to others—waiting for a reply. They remind me that God cares for them just as He cares for me.

But this morning, I had a very unhappy bird. Bees had infested the fountain and the only recourse was to drain it until they found another watering hole. That didn’t make one bit of sense to my friendly bird who arrived expecting to drink its fill. It hopped from one side of the top bowl to the other, into the bottom of the bowl, hopped to the bottom bowl, squawking the entire time.

It felt like it was looking right at me, “Where is my water?”

No water. It flew off in disgust, squawking all the way.

Water is life-giving and without it, we would squawk and complain, too. A woman in Samaria met Jesus when she stopped by to get water for the day at the local well. He offered her living water but she didn’t realize she was thirsty for His water. Yes, she was searching for something and discovered that He had what she needed. She believed, drank, and her thirst was quenched. Her excitement was so contagious that many of her neighbors believed the good news when she told them her story and sought time with this Jesus.

Are you irritated, frustrated, depressed, or weary? God offers refreshment to all who turn to Him with water to soothe your heart, soul, and mind.

Drink deeply, my friend.

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Hope

 “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (HCSB)

Hope

The month of September started with a bang. Mark had his second total knee replacement. The first one was such a challenge that it took him seven years before he was willing to even think about having the second one done. But it was time.

We both approached it with fear and apprehension but for different reasons.

He remembered the pain he had endured the first go around before the nursing staff realized that morphine wasn’t helping at all. I assured him that now everyone had a much better handle on what to do for the pain and it would be OK.

With all the various and assorted medications he takes, I worried that they would not play nice together with the anesthesia, he would plunge into the pit, and not complete his rehab.

I was right on both counts.

The first five days were a nightmare and he doesn’t remember any of it. A recap: hospital released him too soon, he fell in the bathroom, firemen called to pick him up, trip to ER where he asked me if we were going to the Lone Ranger’s house, admitted with extremely low blood pressure, transfusion due to bleeding into the knee from the fall, overnight in ICU transferring to the cardiac unit, and home, again.

This time he was a model patient, doing exactly as instructed; the knee responded much better and all doctors and PT were very pleased. He’s five weeks out from surgery, with no cane or prescription pain meds, doing well.

However, about ten days after surgery, with all this trauma and drama, I hit a brick wall. So weary! I wanted to close the door to my room, not talk to anyone, be nice to anyone, or fix food for anyone — simply pull the covers up over my head for the day. Would this ever end? Was God going to fix it?

Each morning, I get up early to read my devotional books and Bible, trusting that God will have the encouragement that I need for that day. This was my lifeline during these difficult days and I am happy to report that He did. It might have been a phrase, a word, a verse, or a comment that seared itself into my soul and gave me hope.

HOPE — my word for 2013. It’s a been a challenging year. Too many hospital and doctor’s visits, too many medication changes, too many dark nights of the soul for Mark and weariness and wariness for me. Yet, whenever I think I can’t go on, He is there to pick me up and give me rest.

I looked back over the year to see if I had already mentioned HOPE. I quoted this thought in the first blog post of the year:

Don’t you know that 

day dawns after night,

showers displace

drought, and spring 

and summer follow 

winter? Then have hope!

Hope forever, for

God will not fail you!

Charles Spurgeon

A couple of weeks after surgery, we talked with our counselor and recounted the latest saga. After listening to all that had gone on, she turned to me and asked me if I had hope. I burst into tears and told her that is the only thing that has kept me going — HOPE in the living, loving Father God and trust that He will take me through it.

If you are right there — hang on. He will give you rest.

Holding On with Patient Expectation

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In Due Time

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)

Taken by jonacuff using Lo-fi filter. Link - http://instagram.com/p/eirdRUDYSz/

I’m the go-to person if you want to get something done. My original ID for the Internet was infomom, deemed appropriate by my son as he was setting it all up. I enjoy figuring out problems and can spend hours on the Internet in the process. Yes, I have a GPS in my car but I like googling maps and checking out all the options for time and distance. It also helps put an unfamiliar route in my mind so I don’t get lost. I probably would have been a good Boy Scout since I subscribe to their motto, “Be Prepared.”

This has been a year and season where God has said over and over again that I’m on a need-to-know basis and I don’t need to know. As I thumb through my journal, I read the pleadings, weeping, and at times despair of my heart. The things I had carefully planned were edged aside by the immediate — depression, illness, and death.

Yet each morning, sometimes in the dark or with the sun just beginning to peek over the mountains, my heart-needs have been met in the presence of Jesus. I made a commitment at the beginning of the year to read Jesus Calling as part of my devotions each day. Over and over the scripture and comment have hammered to the very depths of my soul that I am to rest in His presence and not worry about tomorrow.

Some days the waters are so deep that I can only slog through and I’m so glad I can catch His steadying hand. Other days, I almost skip along with Parker as we walk the quiet streets. He is there. Yet, I know that whatever the day brings, in due time, He will show me everything I need to know.

Words for the day: rest, wait, watch. He is there.

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