5 years healed!

Guitar KiteA stranger walked up to me and gave me this heavy kite.

 
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:28-31
When I was 19 and in the hospital, a Methodist minister blessed me by introducing me to Isaiah 40:31. It soon became my life verse. It became God’s promise to me as I struggled with an unknown disease. In 2001, I learned that it was celiac, and I am able to control it through diet.
Unlike the celiac, when fibromyalgia was triggered in my body around 1995, I was unable to control the symptoms. Fibromyalgia is a savage condition. It zapped my energy, stole my memory, and smacked me with pain.
I went from one doctor to another, from pills to injections, from diet cures to supplement cures. I was sustained for awhile, but in 2010, I deteriorated to the point where my doctor wanted me to go on disability, but I refused. He then reduced my work week. I continued to get worse.
I prayed, I cried, I questioned, I read.
Father, I thought You had work for me to do in my job! I can’t do the work like I am.
Silence.
Okay, Father, I’ll resign myself to bed. You must want me to suffer graciously and be a testimony that way.
On Saturday, November 20, 2010, I gave up. I decided to resign from work.
On Sunday, Keith drove us to church. Head on the headrest, I turned my face toward him.
There’s that healing service tonight. Want to go?
Sure.
No discussions followed.
Our church and another church sponsored the event; we were church leaders, so we went.
The praise music was incredible, and the Holy Spirit blessed the people tremendously.
The minister called for those with hearing problems to come forward for prayer. One of our friends came back crying … his deaf ear now heard.
The minister called for those with sight problems to come forward for prayer. One of our church members returned seeing perfectly, although she was scheduled for cataract surgery the following Tuesday.
When the minister called for those with chronic pain to go forward, Keith grabbed my arm and marched me right up to the front.
God used that man’s touch to pour His peace, His healing into me and onto Keith.
Five years ago today, the Lord worked a mighty miracle in my body and my spirit, confirmed a miracle by my doctor.
Five years ago today, I received a new life, a new freedom, a new peace, and new strength.

Four gifts God gave me on November 21, 2010

  1. New life. I told someone yesterday that I was always “pretty puny … until now.” I was limited by my sicknesses. Today, I am only limited by self-inflicted limitations. My God is limitless.
  2. New freedom. Since I was healed, God gave me the freedom to be bold about proclaiming His goodness, His works, and His promises. He has given me the freedom to recognize the works He is doing in others and the opportunities to point them to Jesus. My God frees me to be bold.
  3. New peace. The Lord’s healing filled me with His peace, a peace beyond understanding, a peace in the midst of the storm. My God pours out His peace.
  4. New strength. On January 1, 2011, just five weeks after the Lord’s healing, I ran on the beach flying a heavy kite that a stranger walked up to me and gave me a kite. Six months after the Lord’s healing, I climbed half-way up the Great Wall of China (half-way due to lack of time). My God restores strength.

God answers prayer in His timing. Wait upon the Lord expecting Him to act, and He will work wonders beyond your imagination in and through you.

My prayer

Father, thank You for answering the prayers of Your children. Thank You for working in our lives, for restoring our strength, pouring out Your peace, freeing us to be bold, and showing us our self-limiting attitudes. Bless these readers with Your healing touch that strengthens their lives, their dreams, and their intimacy with You. We love You, Lord.

This week, ask God to free you to be bold for Him.

Please share how God is working in your life with readers.

Destitute in Delhi? Sickness? God is near

Slide1

A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? Proverbs 18:14

In a hot bus in Delhi, people jammed together, even riding on the roof. Destitute. Crushed spirit?

A 19-year-old girl lay in her hospital bed wondering if she would have to live much longer … a burden on her parents and her brothers.

Father, take me to be with You! My parents can’t afford many more hospital bills. They’re tired, Lord. I’m tired. I don’t want to live like this. So many medical tests. So many doctors poking and questioning. So much pain. Take me!

Crushed spirit?

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Taa…dddt, taa…dddt, taa…dddt, taa…dddt.  Silence. I look at the hospital room door. A white-haired man with black rimmed glasses smiles at me.

“I’ve been praying for you. May I come in?”

I nod.

This stranger with a cat-like smile and crutches praying for me? How’d he hear about me?

At my moment of despair, God sent me Reverend Henry. Christians I did not know were praying for me at churches I had not heard of.

That summer, Reverend Henry and I poured over the Scriptures together. He discipled me in the grace and goodness of God. Although he lived with legs ravaged by polio, his face glowed with joy.

Hospitals, doctors, and medical tests had become my way of life, but Reverend Henry showed me how to put my joy in the Lord.

A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

I was finally diagnosed with Celiac, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes, a diagnosis is a relief.

In those nights when I could not sleep because of the pain, I found solace in the Psalms.

David’s spirit was crushed many times.

I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. Psalm 88:1-3

Then, he thought about his God, the Creator of the Universe, the One who had chosen David to be king, the Lord of Hosts who had empowered him to kill Goliath. David turned from his problems, his brokenness, to the greatness of God, and he praised God.

In the depths of our pity pit, God is near. He sent me Reverend Henry. He touched David as he prayed.

How has God reached through your brokenness to save you?

My prayer

Father, thank You that you are near when Your children are broken. I pray a special blessing for the men and women in the photo. Make Yourself known to them. Give them hope and eternity with You. Father, show us how we can be a Reverend Henry to others. Send us with joyful hearts. We love you, our Great and Dear Lord!

Epilogue

God miraculously healed me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome on November 21, 2010. I still have Celiac Disease, but that is controlled with diet. The sickness and pit drew me close to God and to my husband. God prepared me through that brokenness to do what I am doing today.

May you recognize what God is doing in your life and rejoice!

How will you dance with God and food in 2013?

VegetablesO taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8

I’ve been on a lot of diets. Diets for fibromyalgia, diets to lose weight, diets to gain weight and a lifelong diet—a gluten free diet. I’m a celiac.

Along the way, I’ve learned that the Bible has much to say about food and how the way we approach food affects our relationship with God.

In the beginning, God created the Garden of Eden, and He gave it to Adam.

The Bible begins with food … and a command. In the beginning, man’s food was from the trees in the garden of Eden, except for one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All other trees would bring life, but this tree would bring death.

Interesting that this command was given to Adam, but it was the woman who was enticed, deceived by Lucifer, to eat from the one tree that was forbidden because Satan promised her that she would be like God.

After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they hid from God. Then came death.

Throughout the Bible, there is a dance with food. Somehow what we put into our bodies is tied to our relationship with God.

Before God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He had them prepare the Passover Lamb. This feast is remembered every year at Passover.

Then, Moses led the Israelites into the wilderness, and the Egyptians followed them. God parted the Red Sea, and the Israelites crossed on dry land. The Egyptians followed them right into the middle of the Red Sea, and the Red Sea crashed down upon the Egyptians and drowned them, saving the Israelites!

We often experience a miracle, sometimes as big as the parting of the Red Sea and most times, smaller than that, but still pretty incredible, and then parched hunger and thirst come; then we complain as the Israelites did when they had no food in the desert. But God was always there for them, and He said,

Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. Exodus 16:3

This manna, bread from heaven, would represent Jesus, our bread from heaven.

God established feasts as memorials to remember God’s work in His people’s lives. God established the dietary laws for the Israelites, to set them apart from the pagan society, and it so happened that it was a healthier diet than the rest of the world enjoyed.

In Biblical times, when people sat down to eat together, they did not have knives, forks, and spoons, they used their bread to dip into the communal plates and lift out food. They believed that they became one with each of those eating at the table. That’s why it was scandalous for Jesus to eat with the publicans and tax collectors.

There were times of fasting when people needed answers or a special work from God. I’m thinking of Esther calling a three-day fast before she went before the King or Daniel’s three-week fast from pleasant food for understanding prophecy.

Jesus spoke of fasting, but His disciples did not fast while He was with them, because He was the bridegroom.

Jesus fed the 5,000 and the 4,000. He made water into wine.

Much written in the Bible about food. God created food to be pleasing to the eye, to sustain life, and to fellowship with Him. God created food to be a blessing to man. Yet, Satan used food to break fellowship with God and to bring death.

Paul wrote:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Cor 3:16-17

The Bible ends with food and a feast. In Biblical times, the marriage feast was seven days long. The Marriage feast of the Lamb will be seven years.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Rev. 19:7-9

And the tree of life will be in the midst of heaven:

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev 22:1-2

In light of the Biblical perspective on food, 2013 will be a year in which I savor the richness of the textures, the colors, and the tastes of food. This year, will be the year, I pay more attention than I already do to what I put into this temple of God. This year, I’ll reflect upon my relationship with food and how it is related to my relationship with God.

My prayer for you:

Creator of all that is good and delightful, thank You for creating a universe filled with an abundance of colors, textures, and tastes. Help us to remember that our bodies are Your holy temple. Empower us to be more mindful of what we put into this temple of Yours. Thank You for all the pleasures You have given us.

How will you dance with God and with food in 2013?