Desirous Doubter

For over five decades I’ve prayed religiously—

I’ve prayed for the restoration of the atrophied muscles in my right leg, injured in a skill saw injury at the age of eighteen. The nerve was severed, and despite a surgical and rehabilitative process, I currently contend with the consternation of a foot-drop condition.

My preference for cowboy boots is rooted in the supportive role they play in minimizing the handicap by keeping the foot from dropping as it would in a typical shoe.

For all those decades I have stumbled over “invisible” elements, resulting in both minor physical injuries and major psychological embarrassment.

As I approach my mid-seventies, other maladies and conditions have surfaced: Heart disease (resulting in a bypass operation), deafness, arthritis, and unrelenting sleep challenges.

I pray for all of these conditions. And I have experienced healing in some of those conditions. Yet, despite the seeming randomness of God’s answers, I remain unwavering in my belief that God heals. He heals in this life! Now! In the physical realm!

Healing is for here! Heaven is for wholeness!

Additionally, it is not failing faith that may result in our entering heaven having never embraced the promise of complete physical and emotional healing. All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Hebrews 11:13 (New Living Translation, NLT)

The incongruity is that God seems more focused on revealing than healing!

It is in the midst of the myriad malaise and messes of our lives that God reveals Himself. In seemingly random, but righteous serendipities, He intervenes in the persistence of our particular pain with a poignant reminder of His presence, power, and peace, and we are comforted for a season with knowing that we know the reality of the promises of His Word.

Thomas was more desirous than doubter!

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” John 20:25 (New Living Translation, NLT)

God desires that, despite our doubts, we thrust our hands upward toward heaven where Jesus sits at God’s side. Therein lies the revealing of our ultimate healing—our hope on earth of our ultimate wholeness in heaven!

Originally posted July 2018

Fish Story

 

It’s astounding when God sets before you a serendipitous day! Undeniably God ordained! Oh, it’s not the bigness of that expression of His love; it is, instead, the utter inability to explain it in human terms. More than coincidence, it is God showing up gently and sweetly, reminding you that He not only puts up with you but that He delights in actively working on your behalf.

No, it does not mean the infirmities, hurts, or disappointments disappear! It says that the holy hand of God touches you so distinctly that you are bowed over, not so much physically, but in your inmost being. It’s not even the details of the testimony that will move another in hearing them, but the delight in your own heart in knowing that you know that you know that He genuinely LOVES you with an everlasting love that has already begun! And that He intends to not only bless you but others. As someone aptly said:

 
 
“God will give more through you than to you.”

4 When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.” 5-7 Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch. 8-10 Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon. 10-11 Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him. Luke 5, The Message version

(edited 6/30/2016)

Like David, the Psalmist I’m glad when I hear, “Let’s go to the house of the Lord.” In the context of a nearly sleepless night, I decided to “attend” Menlo Church online to listen to John Ortberg.

His sermon describes the “church” process as one of coming out of the huddle (gathering together in Shalom) and into the game (taking Shalom into our chaotic world), with an emphasis on ministering to others.

But often I misunderstand that my sole purpose on this orb is to glorify God. My ministry to others is but one expression of that glory. There are instances and seasons when I just need a touch from God.

It appears that frequently I leave the huddle of His Shalom into the mind-blowing muddle of adversity instead. In that circumstance, I need his restorative touch.

But how wise of God to use me even in the midst of my muddle to minister to others, in spite of or even in light of my struggle.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 New Living Translation (NLT)

September 25th, 2017

Muddling Through