Thursday, July 14, 2011

In the Morning

One day, early in the morning after my husband and my older son were gone, and my younger son was still asleep, I prayed, face down on the floor for my dearest friend who had just felt a lump in her breast 2 days ago.  I couldn’t get her out of my mind.  She was miles away from me and I couldn’t go and share a comforting cup of coffee with her (well, I don’t drink coffee, but I would have shared some nice cold raspberry tea) or hold her hand or even go with her to the specialist.  “All I could do is pray” I told myself; and I instantly regretted using that expression.  All I can do is pray?  What am I talking about?  Praying is not “all I can do,”  praying is what I HAVE to do.  So face down on the hardwood floor of my bedroom, I called upon the Lord.  He is certainly able and if it is His will, my friend will be fine.  I rest assure in His Omnipotence.  When I was done praying, I read my devotional for the day and it directed me to go to Psalm 5, and it was verse 3 which caught my attention: 
 “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”  Wait a minute!  What?  Did I write that myself?  I couldn’t believe it!  This verse expressed absolutely everything that had gone on just a minute earlier, and it expressed my current circumstance perfectly!  I sat in awe at the reality of God.  He certainly is the God of the details.  He knows our comings and goings, and He never lets go of us once He’s got us. 

I felt the urge to send an e-mail to my friend and I prayed that the Holy Spirit would give me the words that He wanted her to hear/read.  I typed verse 3 of Psalm 5, but instead, the Spirit lead me to Psalm 121: 1-2  “I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”  On my way to Psalm 121, however, I ran into Psalm 55:22 , “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you.”  I typed both quotes and sent them to her. 

When I got done with the e-mail, I continued to ponder how great and powerful our God and His Word are.  In times of trouble, our faith in Him becomes our shield so we can be protected, but His Word is the powerful and mighty sword with which we strike the enemy and make it retreat.  Life sure is a constant battle against the attacks of the enemy which come to us in many different forms.  Sometimes he attacks us with uncontrolled anxiety, paralyzing fear or unrighteous anger.  Many times doubt and disbelief drawn us.  It doesn’t matter what shape his attacks take, they are ever present and we must defend ourselves against them.  The problem comes when we don’t know Scripture.  If we don’t have His Word we don’t have the sword.  We are unarmed and defenseless; left to cover ourselves with the shield of faith, withstanding the blows of the aggressor without weapons to strike him back. 

We do have victory in Him and the road to victory is mapped out in His Holy Word.  The Bible presents a full armory complete with every specific weapon destined for each specific battle.  It is up to us to appropriate it for our use.  God could, indeed, supernaturally give us His Word any time He desires.  For all I know, He can even write it on the wall for us to read.  He is Almighty so I have no doubt He would do it if He needed or wanted to.  What a mighty show of His glory that would be. In my experience, however, that hasn’t happened to me yet.  I rely on His promises contained in the Bible, one of which is that, “If you [I] believe, you [I] will receive whatever you [I] ask for in prayer.”  (Matthew 21:22)

As it happened, my dear friend did end up testing positive for breast cancer.  This reminded me that sometimes the answer to our prayer is no.  God many times says no to our requests because He has a better way in mind.  After all, His ways are not our ways, right?  As always, His way was indeed better than mine.  My friend endured like the champion she is and now, over two years after her diagnosis, she is cancer free.  Her life is a beautiful example of the artwork of our God.  He has done marvelous things in her life for all to see.  She has become a blessing to all who meet her and her soul is focused on the eternal.  God showed Himself to her through her illness and He is using her in mighty ways.  She is fine.  That part of the payer was answered with a big yes.  God, once again, used something bad for good.  He always works out all things together for good for those who love Him, and have been called according to His purpose.  (Romans 8:28)  Well, I can see my dear friend has been called according to His purpose to do great things for Him, and so have we.  Through the power of prayer and His Word, we will become His instruments for His kingdom, regardless of the circumstance. 

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