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No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

By no means am I suggesting that what I am about to write is all there is to glean from this passage. However, I do believe that what I experienced this morning is one application of its meaning.

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Let Him Hear

As He prepared to tell a series of parables, Jesus said to His listeners, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 14:35). When I reflect on this, I think of the love He was showing. He wanted people to draw near, because He wanted to teach them something. God cares that we understand what He has to say to us.

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The Race That is Set Before Me

Following my study of Hebrews 12:1-2 this morning, I prayed this and wanted to share it here with the hope that someone else will benefit:

Dear Father… Please help me to be able to endure today’s portion of the race that You have set before me; I know that I need Your help in order to do so. Looking at my race causes my knees to tremble, because it looks very difficult to me. I’m not strong enough to continue to bear these physical infirmities myself. Therefore, I am setting my eyes on You, the author and finisher of my faith. Please keep me steadfast on the straight course, preserving me from wandering onto paths that would make my race even more difficult. I have joy when I look to You even though this cross that I am called to bear would compel me to faint in my own strength. Thank You for setting the perfect example of how to bear a cross patiently and joyfully without fainting. I pray that You would help me to persevere until my course is finished, and I thank You for the love that promises to do so. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Embracing My Trials

It has been during some of my times of greatest struggle that I have had the sweetest communion with God. Here is a quote from my book:

From “More Precious Than Gold

I adjusted the ice pack on my head gently as it started to conform to my head. The gentle coolness was a mild relief after two days of unrelenting pain. I was spent, barely able to move my arms, lips, or eyelids. Unable to produce many words aloud, I silently imagined what heaven would be like. I pictured my glorified body, pain-free and easy-moving. My body relaxed as I thought of God’s presence. On this third day, unable to talk fluently with people carrying on with their earthly lives, I experienced sweet communion with God in a way that I never had before: peace.

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Not a Stoic

A few days after my recent complicated migraine, I continued to reflect on what I had learned. I accepted that God had put me in a position that seemed limiting to me, but I also recognized He was working good in it, whether I could see the good or not. The Holy Spirit brought truth to my mind, encouraging me to endure. However, even though my mind was focused on what I knew to be true, my heart broke one evening.

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Where He Put Me

I had collapsed on the couch very early one morning after a night of writhing in bed with the pain and nausea of a migraine. My left arm was strapped to my body due to a broken shoulder that would take many weeks to heal. This confinement increased the difficulty of trying to nurse my throbbing head with minimally effective comforts.

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Turning Cares into Prayers

All block quotes are from “Prayer, the Cure for Care” by Charles Spurgeon

Turn everything that is a care into a prayer. Let your cares be the raw material of your prayers, and as the alchemists hoped to turn dross into gold, so do you, by a holy alchemy, actually turn what naturally would have been a care into spiritual treasure in the form of prayer. Baptize every anxiety into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and so make it into a blessing.

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Father

For a long time, my prayers have all started, “Oh, Lord.” I have learned to be so thankful for God’s sovereignty that the cry of my heart is for Him to rule my life. As a loving King, he has taught me what submission truly means. This is pleasing to Him, but I have recently felt convicted that there is another way to address Him, a word that acknowledges another aspect of our relationship.

When I was first saved, I was in the midst of a tremendously chaotic time of my life, feeling hurt and abandoned. I desired to climb into a parent’s lap, like a child, crying for this person who was bigger than me to guide and comfort me. God reached out with grace, pulling me into His loving arms, guiding me into His gift of salvation…adopting me.

I remembered this thought when I recently suffered a bout of insomnia and pain. As I lay curled in my bed, I imagined God holding me in His lap and soothing me. This picture in my mind was an unspoken prayer to my Father.

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him how to pray, he instructed them to begin with the word “Father” (Matt. 6:9, Luke 11:2). He demonstrated this in His own Gethsemane prayer for the cup to pass from Him if it was the Father’s will (Matt. 26:39). In addition, His plea from the cross for the salvation of those who didn’t know what they were doing to Him was addressed to His Father (Luke 23:34). My desire is to follow Jesus’ example, coming to God as my Father in prayer.

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