Sunday, July 13, 2014

Foolish and Weak

This past Wednesday morning I woke up and had no idea what God had in store for me that day.

I volunteer/work at a local faith based non-for-profit that provides support and help for women dealing with crisis pregnancies.

None of us ever knows the person or situation that may walk in the door.  We have to be prayed up and ready to be the hands, feet and mouthpieces of Jesus Christ.

I was a week out of surgery (the stints had come out the day before).  Serving these people is a precious offering in my life and I was looking forward to the blessing of doing it.

Standing in front of the bathroom mirror I glanced down at my scripture for the day. 

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty."  1 Corinthians 1:27

Still not feeling quite myself from surgery and having been in a lull in my spiritual walk.....I needed some pep from Jesus.

He did not disappoint me.  This verse came alive to me.  It might as well have jumped from the pages and danced into my heart.

Strength flooded in from seemingly nowhere.
Faith sparked fresh and new.
Hope carried me as if I had not a care in the world.

I said to God, "So basically I feel like a fool all the time for believing You to heal my daughter AND I am so incredibly weak on my own......and that is ok with you, God?!?"

It was as if He spoke this back to my heart.  "My child it is more than ok.  Everyone I call has to be willing to look like a fool.  Faith requires it.  Looking foolish doesn't bother me.  And your sweet child, your weakness draws Me to you like a moth to a flame.  Your weakness is an invitation for My Strength to do what you cannot."

1 Corinthians 1:27 says that God uses fools and weaklings like me.  It even uses the word "chosen".  He chooses to work with the likes of me.

So...if you are feeling like a fool for believing God and if your strength seems too small in comparison to the task God has called you to~ then you ( and I ) are sitting pretty for God to do what the rest of the verse says..."confound the wise and the mighty".

I went to the center that day with new vigor.  God had spoken.  His Word had taken new root in my heart and I could literally feel His closeness and strength.

At the last possible moment I had been asked to give my testimony to a mixed age group of teenagers at the church across the street. 

Let me be clear.  I did not want to do this.  But a dear friend had asked me to as a favor and if we don't share our testimonies....who will?

As I spoke to those kids I used my morning verse to encourage them to be fools for God.  I told them what He had asked me to believe.  And I reminded them of our many heroes in God's Word who looked like fools to the world around them.  But these folks were faithful to God and He made them famous for their faith.

When my testimony time ended these kids began to tell me testimonies of seeing God perform miracles.
Real, unbelievable, impossible miracles that they knew of personally.

 Here I was begrudgingly sharing my testimony and God used these kids to turn around and encourage me.

Then they asked if they could circle around me, lay hands on me and join in faith believing for God to heal my daughter and increase my own faith.

I was beyond humbled.  Seriously humbled.

I left there rejuvenated.  

I walked in the door at the center and was met by a woman in desperate need of our help. 

She had a very sorted story and I knew that all of the details didn't add up.  Still she needed help and encouragement.  I listened to a lot of things that had recently happened to her. As the story went on I found myself becoming a bit critical and judgmental of her as a person.  ( just being real here...not proud of this)

My head was nodding but I had kind of checked out on her.

Once I had taken her information and gotten the items that she needed I was ready to send her on her way.

As I walked her to the door to leave she grabbed my hand and began excitedly telling me about her son.  He had been in a terrible accident but she believed God was healing him.  Her excitement bubbled over and her voice carried.  She wanted anyone within earshot to hear what she believed God was doing.  He had been injured so badly that his vitals had shown he was a death's door.  But things were changing and improving and she wanted all of us to know that God was healing her son.

I nodded.  I even said, " Amen" to her...almost in a pacifying way.  I mean I wanted to encourage her but this lady was eccentric to say the very least.

As we walked outside I said, " Well since you have shared about your son with me, I will ask you to pray for my daughter.  She is wheelchair bound.  She cannot walk, or talk, or eat, or sit up.  We believe God has told us He is going to heal her but it sure does get hard sometimes because it has been 12 years."

She spun me toward her and grabbed me in a tight embrace.  She said, "Honey, you needed me today.  You needed me today.  Your Father will heal her.  He will stand her up and heal her from head to foot."

This lady was giddy.  She was so tickled and excited that I had shared my plight with her.  She was so genuine even if she was somewhat of an oddball.

I stood there thinking to myself, "God this lady seems a little crazy but she has just encouraged me so much.  I bet we look completely nuts out here hugging and laughing and boasting about Your Goodness in the street."

As if on heavenly cue I heard these words....."but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;..."

In my uppity way I had looked down upon the woman God had chosen to encourage me.

I had resisted giving my testimony to the very teenagers who would later encircle me and pray with faith for me.

How much do we miss of God because we resist looking like a weak fool?

God spoke to me and then He schooled me.

Blessed be the name of my great God!

Monday, July 7, 2014

When we can't taste and see....

I am on the mend from sinus surgery.  In just over 24 hours this stint will be removed from my nose and my breathing will return to a blessed sense of normal.

There is so much to write about...

We went on a fun vacation with some of the dearest of friends.  I have gobs of pictures to share.

But my life has come to a screeching halt this past week.  My normal has been replaced by abnormal and I am over it.

Surgery is not for the faint of heart.

I cannot imagine having something really serious done.

I have had 3 Cesarean sections, a gall bladder surgery and now....this sinus surgery.

None of these are particularly serious surgeries although no surgery is without risks.  But this one has been different because it is very up close and personal.

 As in my nose.  My face space.  Breathing.  Tasting.
Surgery was last Wednesday.  From the time I got home late Wednesday afternoon until Friday night I was pretty much out of it.  The anesthesia made me sick.  The pain medicine made me sick.  The not eating made me sick.  So...I just slept.

~Right through the 4th of July I might add~

 By Saturday I felt some better.  Weak and lethargic but better.  We got different pain meds and I started using saline solution to open up my ever swelling nose. 

Things were looking up.

I even began to get my appetite back.

For dinner I asked for take-out pizza. 

I wanted Gondoliers.  The cheese would be slightly browned and the pepperoni perfectly crispy....I couldn't wait to bite into a slice or five.

My family was excited to have me back in the land of the coherent.  We got our pizzas and perched ourselves in front of the television for a Saturday night movie. 

My plate was piled high with 3 pieces of pizza.  The grease, the cheese, and the pepperoni looked perfect and I couldn't wait to eat it.

And then I did.

What happened next should never happen to anyone eating pizza anywhere ever...I could not taste any of it.

Zero. Zilch.  Nothing.

I tried so hard to taste.

I willed my tongue to do its job.  But nothing.

I ate anyway. I ate for spite. 

It looked so incredibly good.  I knew it was good. 

But the taste eluded me.

(Maybe now you can see why this stint coming out tomorrow is such a sacred event?!?)

This morning I hurried around the house doing our morning thing.  God stopped me in the middle of the kitchen and moved on my heart with words and application that sometimes only a heart can hear.

***God and I have been close for a long time.  Desperation does that to His child.  It usually brings you close.  He has spoon fed faith to me for years.  He has let me taste His goodness over and over again.  Lately I can't sense Him.  Not like before.  I can't even pray sometimes.  Not like before.  He seems so intentionally quiet.  Not like before.  Believing Him feels like I am doing nothing....but it takes all I have to do it. 

In the kitchen He spoke to my heart and said, "I am working.  I am doing some things you can't see, or hear, or even feel at this time.  But know that I am good. You have tasted my goodness time and again.  When you can't taste it....KNOW it.  Then I remembered the pizza and Saturday night.  The pizza was good.  How did I know?  Because I had tasted it before.  Many times.  Saturday night I just couldn't taste what was there.  But I would again."

Jesus spoke to me using something I am currently walking through.  That is usually His way.

I miss the sense of taste. 
I miss the closeness of Jesus.

Taste will come again.
He isn't finished.

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.  Psalm 34:8

And if for can't taste it......know it.  Remember how good He has been before and know His goodness doesn't end.

Taste will come again.