(Previously published July 17, 2010)
Throughout the Old Testament and into the New, God reminds us that He will never leave us or forsake us. He is always present. He is active. He is working on our behalf....everyday. He doesn't take a vacation. He doesn't even stop to sleep. I take great comfort in this. Jesus is not at an arms distance from me. He is ever-present in my life. He is with me and these last two days in the hospital, He has been carrying me while showing me His faithfulness and love over and over again. I rejoice in the God of my salvation. My deliverer, My strength. As I am living out 2 Corinthians 12:10, "When I am weak, then He is strong." I praise Him as He has continued to show Himself strong and working on my behalf. Painting a picture with my life that far exceeds anything my mind can comprehend.
As I shared in a post on Thursday morning, getting ready to be wheeled back to the operating room.....how God had ministered to my heart the previous evening and then into the morning Matthew 7:11, Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 46:10...
I awoke early yesterday morning (Friday) in my hospital bed. My mind was a bit foggy from the night before and my body felt run over by a mack truck. My sweet husband, had roomed in with me (as He is peacefully sleeping on a cot beside me right now). It was about 5:30 AM and I was wide awake. I whispered to Him in an effort to wake him up, as I so desperately wanted to talk through the day before. The details as He experienced them. We began whispering together and replaying the moments from the previous day, as there were a lot of sketchy details in my head. (I'm on a lot of pain medication, so bear with me even today if I don't make complete sense!)
Barclay asked if I wanted to pray and have devotions together. In the still, quietness of my hospital room, He pulled out His Bible and a devotional by Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest." As his fingers found the date at the top of the page...July 16th, and His eyes began to scan over the verse and commentary for this day.....Here was the title:
The Notion of Divine Control
Matthew 7:11 “How much more shall your Father which in in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?”
Wow....Barclay and I just locked eyes and hearts again, as we marveled at God's faithfulness. The reminder again from His Word that God gives "good" gifts. The very same verse He had ministered to my heart the day before, was yet again before me. A reminder of God's provision, his faithfulness and the intimacy we have as we abide with Him. I believe there are no coincidences in life. Everything: every event, every detail, every loss, every gain, everything is either from God's hand or allowed into our hand. As God has allowed cancer into my life, as He allowed cancer to be found in my lymph nodes....He is the giver of good gifts. If cancer will allow me to know my heavenly Father more deeply.....then isn't it a good gift? If cancer will grow us closer together as a family, isn't it a good gift? If cancer has allowed us to see God working on our behalf, then it is in fact, a good gift!
As Chambers writes: "Jesus is laying down rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit. By the simple argument of these verses He urges us to keep our minds filled with the notion of God’s control behind everything, which means that the disciples must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek.
Notion your mind with the idea that God is there. If once the mind is notioned along that line, then when you are in difficulties it is as easy as breathing to remember - Why my Father knows all about it! It is not an effort, it comes naturally when perplexities press. Before, you used to go to this person and that, but now the notion of the Divine control is forming so powerfully in you that you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those who have His Spirit, and it works on this principle - God is my Father. He loves me. I shall never think of anything He will forget, why should I worry?
There are times, says Jesus, when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but trust Him. God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural Father, but He is not. He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the notion of the mind of God behind all things strong and growing. Nothing happens in any particular unless God’s will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. Prayer is not only asking, but an attitude of mind which produces the atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural. “Ask, and it shall be given you.”
And so this morning, as I awake to yet another day.....I am asking God to show Himself strong on my behalf. I am rejoicing in His Faithfulness and grace. The pain of the surgery is so present with me. I can't raise my arms, my chest is bound tightly and to take a deep breath takes effort accompanied with pain. When I get out of bed, I feel like I have heavy sandbags hanging over my shoulders, weighing me down, and I have four drains hanging from under my arms collecting all the excess fluid from the surgery. But yet, my thoughts are continually being brought to the throne of grace in praise and thanksgiving for God's faithfulness, His divine control.
As I so didn't want to be alone , God surrounded me with His love in many tangible ways and brought many in and out of my hospital room door who were His hands and feet to me. Thank you to all who visited me yesterday. I think I am going home tomorrow morning, so anyone who would like to stop by today, is more than welcome. Thank you for your ongoing prayers.