The past couple of months have been a bumpy ride for me. I’ve had a lot of health issues that not only make me feel bad physically, but wear on my faith. The worst problem I’ve had has been low blood pressure. I’ve actually passed out in my wheelchair a couple of times. If my blood pressure drops, it is necessary for me to lean back in my wheelchair so my feet are above my heart. Sometimes my pressure will correct itself within a few minutes. But sometimes the whole day is wasted over nonstop periods of dizziness and headaches.
Proverbs 3: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (NKJV)
I’ve always loved this verse and have dissected it to death. There are so many things in my life that I just don’t understand. But this verse teaches me that I still have to trust God, regardless of my understanding of the situation. In fact, I may never understand my current circumstances in this lifetime, but I still have to trust! It’s so easy for me to ask, “why, why, why, God?” But I’m called to acknowledge him in these situations. To me, that means to acknowledge that he is sovereign, loving and in control. He is a compassionate God.
Verse 6 says… And he shall direct your paths. I am promised that he will direct me in the way to go. The NIV version says he will make my paths straight. That doesn’t mean the path will be smooth or easy. It doesn’t mean I won’t face uphill climbs in the mud. It doesn’t mean I will always get what I want. It just means he will send me in the right direction.
The question is, how do I keep my faith on those muddy uphill climbs? I keep learning the same lesson over and over: prayer is the key.
Philippians 4: 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Peace will never come as a result of life circumstances. That was true for me as an able-bodied person and it’s true for me today as a quadriplegic. We tend to think that the right job, the right relationship, or the right amount of material things will bring us happiness and contentment. But peace will come only from prayer and trust in God.
James 5: 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. (NIV)
We are no different than Elijah! I have persistently prayed for many things having to do with my care at this facility and my physical health. Many of these prayers have been answered; some of the prayers, however, are requiring me to continue to emulate the persistent widow (Luke 18) with perseverance and faith. One thing I know is the more consistently I pray, the more my faith is bolstered and the more peace I will receive from God.
Muddy days are bound to come, but prayer is our weapon.
Thank you, Terri, for sharing your climb up the muddy mountain with us. My favorite part is that you know your God is loving, faithful and compassionate. That is the lens through which we must see our lives, one day, and sometimes one moment at a time. He IS a good good Father, and I AM loved by Him.
I also love the part about Peace not coming to us by our circumstances. So True that it is a gift that comes to us through prayer! Sometimes I just need to slow down and RECEIVE the peace that Jesus is trying to give me.
I love you dearly. Continue to use that weapon of Prayer through the mud.
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Terri, I am always humbled by your insights and your love of God and his Word. You have much to teach all of us. Sending you love and hugs
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Thank you Terri for sharing your life with us in your blog. I agree with the two previous comments completely. I admire you, a strong woman of God, who relies on God totally. You are a teacher, wth every blog, of the importance of faith, prayer, trust, honesty, total reliance on God.
Always look forward to seeing your blog Terri, and read it immediately. Thanks again.
With Love of Christ, George.
I remember many days playing in the warm rain and mud with you on Virginia Drive. Those are sweet memories. God was sovereign in our lives in those days just as He is today and will continue to be in every tomorrow. Sovereign and good. Sovereign and tender. Sovereign and kind. I love you very much, Terri. Keep writing. Your archived posts are growing! That makes me so happy to see.
Thank you Terri. You really helped cut my heart with what you are learning. Deep down in my heart, I have struggled to believe in prayer on a real confident level for 13 years now. One of my prayers was for my son, who was far away from me and needed help, but I didn’t know what kind of help or what to do, so I prayed earnestly. Yet he passed away. My heart was broken. It’s hard to truly care about your own life when this type of situation happens. You have felt the same way with your life, so seeing you persevere in your prayers for peace is teaching me to let go of my why’s deep in my heart. I am not able to change anything in my life without God, so my why’s or pains keeps me at a distance. You remind me of when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They saw that his prayers were different and not just because of the miracles he performed. I believe they saw something deeper because of who he was being. I have always admired Jesus’s character and have asked God to help me be like Him. I am not able to even accomplish what normal people seem to do on a daily basis without God. I see so many things I need to change in my heart and character. You have encouraged me to draw near to God. You are my hero and pillar in the faith. Love you, Gayle
Your calling is ministry. And you do it well! God has blessed you with a depth of understanding and insight that comes only through humility and selflessness. Our Jesus was used in the same way. Thank you Terri for demonstrating to us true love by encouraging us the way you do. It’s people like you that help wins souls to Christ, but more importantly help maintain souls when battles rage around us. Philippians 4:4-7 says… Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Terri, your gentleness is evident to all… God bless.
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I don’t know how you do it. I had an emotionally and physically abusive father growing up and was sexually abused for three years as a young child by a man. So when I read about deliverance in the Bible and am not delivered from my own physical afflictions, I feel hated by God. Why wouldn’t I? Does not Jesus say “Which of you fathers, if you son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” Health is the greatest gift we have in this world. It was the deprivation of health that finally caused Job to find fault with God. Healing was one of the main things Jesus did while on earth – because it demonstrated God’s benevolence. Health, and the lack of it, are used as metaphors for our spiritual condition in the Bible.
My grandmother and mother both died of Alzheimer’s disease, after many years of gradual decline. My grandmother was a complete vegetable at the end (after fourteen years). To what end? I understand and accept that people die. But why should they suffer horribly for very long periods of time? Prayer should be comprised of thanksgiving, praise and petitions. Why would God not want to heal most of the people who pray for healing? Jesus healed most everyone whi came to him. What’s changed? David wrote that he loved the Lord because He delivered him when he cried for help. Isn’t illness and disease a perfect way for God to teach us, when He heals us, that He is our deliverer? Isn’t that exactly what Paul says about nearly dying in a shipwreck before being finally delivered, that it happened so he would learn to rely on God who raises the dead?
I have seen so many people die tragically in the kingdom, despite hundreds of earnest prayers. It just makes me think there’s something wrong. God designed our bodies to heal themselves, but sometimes (as with cancer) they need help. But, if not a miracle, we need the wisdom to know how to provide that help. For cancer, that wisdom was provided to us in the late 19th century in the form of immunotherapy. But it was ignored by medical science for over a century. A godsend ignored by sinful men.
Thanks for listening and blogging. I hope the very best for you and all else who seek God.