I always like to see who I am praying for...
Before I went to bed on Wednesday night, I put up a post that said I didn't have the heart to write anything this week. And, then I thought, "Well, that's depressing!"
10 minutes later, I took it down.
Besides, it showed that all I was doing was focusing on a bad situation instead of focusing on the One who could do something about it.
So, here's my struggle. I feel like I have been in a rut for a couple of years now. I haven't felt good about myself. It's a struggle to exercise, even though I feel so good when I do.
Well, along comes my friend Amber who invites me to this Zumba class. I didn't want to go but I thought going once wouldn't hurt. I went to the class and realized, " This does something for me"... yeah, I know I am focusing on me. That's part of the problem, but this is my therapy session, so I am just going to keep writing. Besides, it's not the whole problem.
I feel like it was pulling me out of the rut. I was losing weight. My spirit was uplifted. I had a new perspective. I was making some new friends.
And, there was just something about the person leading the class, Janae, that drew me to her. I am not a sappy, mushy person... but I just sensed something different about her heart that I hadn't sensed in someone in a long time. I knew I wanted to get to know her.
We began having conversations back and forth through email and I was so excited about having a new friend.
Then, she gets sick with what everyone thinks is pneumonia and she can't get over it. Something I said got her to go to the hospital where she was given a pretty grim prognosis. I don't think anyone is sure about damage to her heart now, but I think the doctors are pretty sure she has a rare autoimmune syndrome. Thankfully, it looks like it is treatable, but she has a long road of recovery ahead of her.
But, here's the point. Janae felt God continually nudging her to start this exercise ministry. So, she did. It's very successful. I bet sometimes there are 75 people there. (Maybe more, maybe less. I am not good at estimating numbers.) Our paths cross... and then now....
I feel like everything has come to a screeching halt.
It's times like these when I really have to question God. Thankfully, I don't think he minds.
I have been really, really sad this week. Sad for Janae. Sad for her girls. Sad for her husband. Sad for all the people part of her ministry. And, yes sad for me.
I felt God really wanted me to take that depressing post down. So, I did. Because here's the thing... God is not surprised by any of this. He didn't fall off the throne. He is still in control. And, he is still good.
Focusing on the problem and being depressed about it doesn't help because it shows I have no faith.
I just happened (haha if you walk with God, you know nothing just happens) to read Psalm 3:2-4 "Many are saying of me, There is no help for him in God. But you, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. With my voice I cry to the Lord, and He hears and answers me out of His holy hill."
I also read this commentary: When we are depressed, it seems everything around us is falling apart. We lose strength; our heads and hands and hearts all begin to hang down. Even our eyes and our voices are lowered. We become downcast because we are looking at our problems rather than at the Lord.
Psalm 24:7 the psalmist says, "Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, you age-abiding doors, that the King of glory may come in."
Choosing to live in hope and joy does not mean you will not face any more disappointments or discouraging situations; it just means you have decided not to let them get you down. Instead, you will lift up your eyes and hands and head and heart and look not at your problems, but at the Lord, who has promised to see you through to abundance and victory.
I don't always understand God's ways and how he moves and why. After all, his thoughts are higher than our thoughts and his way higher than ours (Jer 29:11) But I do know this, God is described over and over and over again as being a God of mercy, compassion, love, grace and forgiveness. If that is true, I have to trust him, right?
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is in the business of healing people. His word shows us that all through the Old Testament and New Testament... which means he IS STILL healing people. I should know. I am married to a man who had a 3% chance to live when he was 12.
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.
I know this is the most scatter-brained post ever... but just a few more things to ponder.
Matthew 7:7-8 says
7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
It seems like there are varying degrees of making a request to God. We can ask for something. We may ask once but then never really persist. We can seek something, and when we seek something we tend to look with more persistence that is required from an ask. And, then we can knock, forcefully, waiting for someone to come to the door and open it.
When you look at it in the light of these two parables.... seems to make things even clearer:
The unjust judge- a lady goes to the judge and goes to the judge and goes to the judge until he finally gives her what she wants... because she keeps asking.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
4"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "
6And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
The guy who wants bread in the middle of the night. He goes to his neighbor to get some, but the neighbor says, "I'm sleeping. I am not coming to the door!" BUT, this guy really, really wants bread and so he keeps asking until the guy opens the door and probably throws some bread at him (at least that's what I would do:-)
5Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'
7"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness[a] he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
I don't know what to make of all that, but it makes me know that I will keep asking and asking and asking God to heal Janae completely. And, I pray it is according to his will.
SOOO, I am going to go look to Jesus.... and then.... I am going to try to find my sense of humor and come back this weekend or Monday.
Please keep praying for Janae!