As I prepared to end the phone call, the salesperson said, “Be safe.” I thought this was odd since I hadn’t heard this phrase used in impersonal conversations. However, it is now common to my daily life, including the plethora of emails I receive each day that close with “Be safe.” I find myself wondering what each person is actually suggesting I do to be safe.Read More »
Over the last couple of years, it became apparent that my health was suffering significantly each time I would leave my house to go anywhere. The resulting illness that lasted for several days was a strong motivator to simply stay home instead of participate in my previous activities. As my world gradually grew smaller, I thought it would become easier to keep my mind on things above (Colossians 3:2). I thought there would be fewer sinful distractions. How wrong I was.
It should have been a simple task. Mopping the kitchen floor after months of neglect due to illness did not seem to be a major task once I had enough energy to notice the filth. I felt good and didn’t have a problem finishing the job. It was refreshing to have a clean floor in one small space of the house and satisfying to finally accomplish something more than my own self-care. Little did I know the enormity of time that would be required to recover from this seemingly straightforward task.
The day after I realized that I might have to stop writing posts for this blog I remained in bed praying for a while before I got up for the day. I asked God to help me know Him more even though my struggles to see well prevent as much Bible reading as I had been doing. In this precious time spent with God, I became aware of the Father watching me, desiring to give me the answer to my prayer. I thought of Jesus standing at His Father’s side advocating for me and the Holy Spirit living inside of me, helping me along this process called sanctification. An hour passed peacefully as I pictured manna raining down to feed me while I tried to find God’s way in my desert.Read More »
The battle for right thinking is hard; sometimes, it is very hard. Prolonged trials challenge the faith of a believer but have the potential to produce spiritual growth and nearness to God. Many of the Psalms illustrate this as the psalmist pours out his heart to God with words of anguish and fear alternating with praise for God and hope for His help.
As a prime example of this, Psalm 42 reflects much of what has been on my heart recently. I have felt anguish and fear after finding another breast lump. However, the Holy Spirit is bringing truths to my mind that challenge my thoughts, resulting in a spiritual war that is difficult, but bound to produce good.
Several years of chemical sensitivities that cause vertigo, migraines, and insomnia coupled with a difficult past 6 months including a broken shoulder, caring for family members with major medical issues, and worsening insomnia have been difficult but sanctifying. I keep hoping that a period of rest will come, thinking that a reprieve from trials is what is needed in order to accomplish this. However, God’s understanding is beyond mine. I have entered through the door of a new challenge… breast cancer.
With the threat of additional medical issues looming on the horizon, the Holy Spirit reminded me that my thoughts questioning why I may have to endure more affliction were not helpful. Instead of looking for God in the situation, I was focused on my fear of feeling physically worse than I do already. Thankfully, there is no end to the number of places I could find comfort and guidance in the Bible. My study for today included this passage:Read More »
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.
Sometimes, I find myself wondering how I can possibly serve God when I am so restricted in what I can do. It seems that there are so many needs… so many people suffering… so many who need to hear God’s Word… but my hands are tied in many ways regarding how to reach out to them. I find my physical limitations difficult to understand at times; I wonder why God would allow me to be so restricted when I am willing to serve.
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.
Included in the requirements for a college degree was the obligatory psychology class lesson on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As psychology was a general education class for me and not part of my major, I must have pushed the lesson to the back of my mind. However, it was not altogether forgotten. This message in Pastor Bryce Beale’s series “Christ and No More” brought Maslow’s theory to the forefront of my mind for good purpose – to abolish it!