Friday, March 4, 2016

Yes, God answers prayers

(This is to offer a bit more insight, for those interested in reading between the lines. It's condensed somewhat from notes during the week.)

I don't know how they do it!

How do people rise above their pain and discomfort and get on with life??? Almost two months into my experience with a colostomy and a messed-up digestive system, I continue to struggle every day. (I think I started writing this sometime Tuesday or Wednesday, March 1 or 2, and possibly on Monday. It doesn't seem as bad on Friday, thank You, Lord!)

How did Elaine do it? What about the others I know with cancer, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic painful conditions???

What lessons would God have me learn? I do believe He wants me to go and serve as best I can despite my discomfort. And still I don't. So, is maybe the lesson that it's also OK to not deal very well with pain, discomfort and a fluid health situation? But I seem unable to  quit trying. 

Go-to Scriptures that come to mind:

Trust in the Lord with all Your heart ... 

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want ...

Great is Thy faithfulness ... 

For I know the plans I have for you ... 

Search my heart, oh Lord ... 

(He holds me by the hand and never leaves me; can't think of actual verses ...)

He rejoices over me with singing ... 

Then I started encountering new reminders each day:

Micah 6:8
What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

2 Peter 1
1:1 ... To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 
1:2 May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 
1:3 His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 
1:4 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. 
1:5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 
1:6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 
1:7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. 

1:8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Emphasis added)

With Upper Room March 3, I am guilty:

Luke 12:22-31

12:22 He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 
12:23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 
12:24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 
12:25 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 
12:26 If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 
12:27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 
12:28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you--you of little faith! 
12:29 And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 
12:30 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 
12:31 Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Upper Room contributor Alec Stoltz (Gauteng, South Africa):

"Certainly we should be responsible and concerned about issues that affect us. But when we are consumed by worry, we can commit these concerns in faith and prayer to the Lord and then listen for God’s answer in our Bible readings, in our daily devotions, and in meeting in worship and fellowship with Christian friends. When we are worried, we can remember these practices and trust in God’s promises."

"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." - Philippians 4:6 (NRSV)

Thursday, March 3, after another barrier breach (the rough patch started with a similar occurrence on Monday):

(Facebook status) Please pray with me for God to show me what I need to know. I trust Him. I thank Him. I praise Him. I need to be serving Him, but some logistics seem to get in the way, and I never make it past worrying about or trying to take care of myself. Praying to know and do God's will, to His glory.

(So grateful for the response of prayers and support from friends and family.)

Friday, March 4:

Today, this is one of the first Scriptures I read. It's pretty clear on at least one aspect of God's will. It seems I always come around to this -- it is a core belief and guiding principle of my life: pray, give thanks, spread joy  -- but I know it often doesn't manifest in my attitude and actions when the going gets tough. Fortunately, today is a new day, and morning by morning new mercies I see. Thank You, God!

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." —1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

And this one came to my mind earlier without me reading it: "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." --  Psalm 118:24 (CSB) (emphasis added)

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