Pray without ceasing

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5

The pages of my journal are color coded for quick reference to the various noxious symptoms of this ongoing illness.  This system helps when making medical summary documents or answering questions during doctor appointments.  It looks like every line has either blue (for headache), green (pain), orange (seizure attacks), purple (nightmares or waking terrors), or red (flu-like sickness) today.  Whew!  I had planned to write the hairy details directly from my journal for my blog entry today but I think that just mentioning the rainbow of wacky stuff going on is good enough.  But don’t worry.  I am more stable now.  I slept until 5:00 p.m. today with about 1 1/2 hours awake this morning for breakfast and journaling.  This is crazy stuff man.

And yet every speck of color and it’s accompanying saga are part of the Lord’s perfect plan for my life.  I am sad that Steve has to endure this too.  Yet as a believer, to have a wife with a serious illness is part of the Lord’s Divine plan for his life as well.  How this works is such a mystery!  So for me, if I am to live as Christ then I must take His Words into my heart and allow them to breathe life into my achy body each day.  I must pray without ceasing, give thanks for all the goodness that continues all around me, and know that He can use everything for His glory.  This is a mighty responsibility.  Hope I get it right!

Will this time of illness refine me in some way?  Perhaps.  I know that in another time of my life, repeated trials softened the harsh edges of my personality.  I learned that I have a Heavenly Husband and grew in fellowship with Him.  (Oh how I wish every married woman would know the joy of having a perfect partner in life as manifest in the Lord so she could cut her earthly husband some slack a little more often!)  I also witnessed the amazing provision of my King in what appeared to me as “upside down and backwards” most of the time.  In the end, the pieces of my frazzled life came together perfectly.  I even met my knight in shining aluminum (aka the 24-foot box truck that Steve rented to move me from Illinois to Indiana!) who has shown me love like no other person on this earth.  The Lord restored the years the locusts had eaten (Joel 2:25) so to speak, and I was set to live happily ever after . . .

When there’s a major turn of events in the life of a believer, chances are there’s also a major opportunity to receive something wonderful that could not come any other way.  Who changes his or her personality just because it’s Saturday?  No, it usually takes a major train wreck or two for that to happen!  Because the Lord has shown me His faithfulness, His heart, and blessings even in heartache, I will continue to choose to lean on Him, wait on Him for all things.

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the thing which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

These colorful experiences of mine, good and bad are temporary.  Thank goodness!  Allow me to share with you one more passage that brings this hope home in my heart:

You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth.  You hall increase my greatness and comfort me on every side.  Also with the lute I will praise You — and your faithfulness, O my God!  Psalm 71

We have a Heavenly Father who promises to be with us though all of the trials of our lives and redeem them for eternal glory.  Come to His throne of grace with me Gentle Reader and bring before Him all your weariness, hurts and pain.  He sees them and carries them with us.  And one day they will be washed away when either He comes again for His own or we join Him when our time here is through.

Matisse Tree of Life
Matisse Tree of Life

If you do not know Him as Lord and Savior of your life, well, you are missing out on perfect peace and so much more.  I pray that you will consider following Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life.  If you make that decision today, please contact me and tell me all about it.  If you rededicate your love for Him, please tell me that too.  After all, to reach others for Christ is the main reason why this blog is here.  My time of illness and connecting with you today are part of His perfect plan for my life.  They just represent more pretty colors for the threads in the tapestry of my life you might say . . .

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