Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Life Lessons

A phrase from a song was going over in my mind “my will to live is for You”. It is from the song You Surround Me by Brian Doerksen on the album You Shine. I was thinking how God does surround me. He gives me the will to live; and not to just live, but live for Him. The words for the song include the Gaelic words and their translation. The English phrase is “my whole will to live is for You, You’ve awakened me to know” the translation of the Gaelic is “You gave meaning and sense to my life; You’ve awakened my heart”. I can’t live “my life” without God. My life can be my physical life or all that transpires in my life.

A few years ago I celebrated my 50th birthday. I did not have any regret or anxiety to have reached such an age. I was thankful to be alive. I have been cancer-free since April 2008. I am a cancer survivor. It does not define me entirely, but it is like a frame in which the rest of what makes me “me” is displayed. I say that it is a frame because I cannot erase the past, nor undo the consequences. Yet cancer does not direct my life.

I cannot explain why God healed me and others have not been healed. I am thankful for God’s mercy, grace and compassion toward me. I was listening to a song about God showing up and I thought, “He did! He healed me!” I started to cry because I realized that I had been afraid that I would die when I was first diagnosed with cancer. It seemed like a death sentence. I even had to battle fear of dying when I went for the operation. I had such a sense of gratefulness to God for preserving my life and healing me from ovarian cancer.

I was seeking the Lord as to what my response was to be concerning a woman from our church who was on life support. I was to look to the Lord; keep my eyes on Jesus. Just like the Israelites had to look at the bronze snake on the pole. I was not to look at anyone else as a sign of God’s plan or faithfulness to me personally. I was to continue trusting God to restore me and strengthen me. She was in God’s hands. I was in God’s hands. My life does not need to impact hundreds. I only need to be faithful to God and obedient to Him. The word God gave to me is “Follow Me.” The story about Peter asking Jesus about John had come to mind. I sensed God saying to me about that woman dying – “What is that to you? “You must follow Me.”

I was again feeling burdened to do something big for God or to have “great impact on others”. A former co-host on 100 Huntley Street , was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. I was feeling guilty or condemned that God had healed me and what did I have to show for it? As I read an update I heard God say to me in my spirit, “Do you trust Me? I am in control”. My eyes were opened to see that I am faithful to use the gifts, talents and abilities God has given me. God does not require of me to do more or to be something that I am not. It is by God’s grace and mercy that I have been spared. I need to continue to follow Jesus, no matter what happens to anyone else who is, or seems to be, more gifted than me. God is sovereign and He has a plan for each of us individually including the fact that these women were not healed in this life. I can still thank God that He healed me, while thanking Him that these women are now with Him. It is not pride or arrogance. I have never felt that I deserved to live or that I was more worthy or special. I am blown away by the intervention of God. I believed that He would heal me and He did.

Recently I shared about my health tests and how I struggled with already having my quota of miracles. It isn’t that I consciously thought that, but God exposed that lie.  One morning words from a song came to mind and I was singing them – “choose to be a blessing for life”. It is from the song “The Blessing” by Troy Denning. I think that this is part of my life’s passion – that I would be a blessing for life. My heart belongs to Jesus. I will speak the words of life. I want to leave behind a legacy of blessing for life. I see now through this episode of unsure health issues that I want to choose to be a blessing for life. I choose life. I don’t want to die. I want to live. It is not selfish or self-seeking to want to live and not die. I desire to continue to be a blessing to others. I am grateful to God for the way He intervenes in my life.

[I wrote the above post in response to the Writers' Nest monthly topic. God had impressed upon me these "Life Lessons", which I have gleaned from my journals kept over the past seven years.]

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

A Sailing Metaphor

At times I could compare my life to sailing. There are times when life is going along smoothly. There are birds in the sky; the sun is shining; there is a gentle breeze. I know the direction in which I am headed and it is mostly effortless. I am propelled by the winds of the Spirit. I might have to make some minor adjustments in my behaviour or attitudes, but mostly I am being carried along; gliding across the water, hardly creating any waves. I am not in a hurry; I am enjoying the journey. I soak up the sun and feel the soft breeze on my cheek. I have to go with the wind. My sails are raised high and they are full of the Spirit.

Some days it is too windy or wavy to sail. Other days the air is so still that I am tempted to wonder, “Where are you God? Don’t you know that I want to sail? I want my sails to be filled with the winds of Your Spirit and not the winds of adversity.” If I attempt to go out on a windy day I will be tossed about by the wind and waves. I will have to strain with all my might to right myself and to keep on course. I don’t want to be dashed on the rocks. Sometimes I need to find a safe bay and shelter there until the storm is past. 

It is hard to wait on God. Once I have experienced the freedom of sailing on open water I feel confined sitting in the harbour. I know that others want to make sure that I am seaworthy. They don’t want me to become a casualty at sea. I need to trust that the Master shipbuilder is in control. He is the Harbour Master.

“So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.” John 3:7 (MSG)

“My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— so trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.” Psalm 62:7 (MSG)

Monday, 17 February 2014

Family Day Weekend Snippets

Frequent communication with family members
A desire for diagnosis and proper care for ..
Mother-in-law in hospital
Ice-fishing trip today with father and son, and a friend
Looked after daughter's dog for an afternoon while she visited a friend
Yesterday saw ultrasound pictures of our future grandchild

Dinner celebrating our daughter-in-law's birthday
All my children together
Yet my son-in-law was unable to join us as he had to work

Friday, 7 February 2014

Obeying God's Leading

A new interdenominational Bible study session was starting at the end of January, but I had sensed that I was not to be a part of this. At the time I didn't have anything else that I was going to do in its place so I needed to trust God was leading me and I was praying for Him to use my spiritual gifts.

In early January I was impacted by the Lord during the Sunday morning service. I sensed His touch, but I did not yet have an impression or direction. On account of this sense of God's touch I decided to go to the church for "In The Stillness", which is a time of worship, prayer and waiting on God. As I sat before the Lord two phrases came to mind a couple of minutes apart. "He restores my soul" and "Be still my soul". I found three verses from the Bible that went along with those phrases - Psalm 37:7; Psalm 46:10; Zechariah 2:13. As I meditated on them and the phrases God had spoken to me I wrote down my impressions.

I need to wait patiently for the Lord; the Lord is the One who will do it. He is to be exalted through my life. It is not in my own strength. He will restore to me what the enemy has stolen. He will restore my soul as I wait upon Him. The Lord has roused Himself; He will act on my behalf. I don't need to strive. He will lead me in the way I should go.

Ten days later God brought to my mind what He had said to me several years ago regarding not getting tied into a ministry. I decided to read over the "words" as I have them in my dresser drawer. This one is from June 2006.

"I have not wanted you tied down to any one or to any ministry. I want you to go where I tell you; to speak to those I bring to you; to pray for those I lay upon your heart. I want you to be sensitive to My voice, listening for my plan, not thinking ahead, but living in each moment. Be watchful, be observant. Be sensitive to the prodding of My Spirit. Don't try to reason it out. Just step out in faith and I will show you the next step. I will lead you one step at a time. Don't try to second-guess when you have stepped out - leave the results to me. I will lead you and you will reap a harvest. You will see with your eyes and hear with your ears the results of all that you have sown. It might not be in the way you think, but it will surely come...."

I have felt as if I am in another time of dying to self. It is an ongoing process. The issue I am facing now is that it is not known that I was a Bible study leader; that I wrote my own studies; that I was an intercessor; that I ... My gifts are recognized, but I am treated as if I am beginning or need more experience. I think that God is allowing that so that I will be humble and not think more highly of myself than I ought.

I am now a part of a new Tuesday morning prayer group at my church and there are some new people who have recently come to our church that are also taking part. After this week's prayer meeting I was talking with two of them. Our pastor is going through the book of 1 Corinthians and will be offering a course on the spiritual gifts on Sunday evenings starting in late March. Through the course of our conversation I had the idea of offering a daytime course on spiritual gifts since they both work nights. I mentioned the possibility to them and if a Thursday morning would work and they said it would. I told them I would need to get the pastor's approval and he was in a meeting so I couldn't give them a definite yes or no if that would happen. The secretary wrote a note with my idea and I received approval from the pastor the next day. I will be starting on February 27 as I want to allow a couple of weeks to announce this so that more people will be able to take part.

I knew that I wasn't supposed to be involved in the local Bible study this time because I wanted to use my spiritual gifts. I didn't have anything before me to do but I really sensed that I needed to obey God's leading. When I checked the local ministry's website I saw that course runs for 8 weeks and will still be on when I teach the spiritual gifts course.

Related Posts with Thumbnails