Need a miracle? What will you do with it?

Waiting Squat 2 - 1

I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry pit, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-3

Alone … tired … hurting.

God, help me!

Waiting.

Karen Great Wall looking down - 1

He lifted me out of my bed of sickness and gave me a new song to sing. Praise to my King!

Why?

So that others would see the difference in me and respect God. So that others would know that He is their Healer, their great God.

God healed me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome on November 21, 2010, confirmed a miracle by my doctor.

Six months later, I climbed half-way up the Great Wall of China. Limited by time, otherwise, I would have made it to the top. All marveled, even those who have not put their trust in the Lord.

You have multiplied, O LORD my God, Your wondrous deeds and Your thoughts toward us; none can compare with You! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. Psalm 40:5

My prayer:

Father, may these dear readers know Your great love and see You at work in their lives. Give them a new song of praise, Lord Jesus. Fill them with hope as they wait on Your mighty works in their lives, and they will proclaim Your goodness.

What are you waiting on God to bring to your life?
What will you do with that miracle?
Will you sing praise to God and proclaim His goodness?

3 years … HEALED!

Low V

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Today, marks the third anniversary of the Lord’s healing of my body’s fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Three years, pain free. Three years, proclaiming the miracle. Three years, demonstrating the miracle. Three years, Christians and non-Christians marveling.

The first year, God enabled me to return to work full time. He empowered me to climb the Great Wall of China six months after His healing. Eleven months after He healed me, a blog dedicated to the Lord was born.

The second year, my husband, Keith, and I traveled through six countries on two separate study abroad trips. I had the privilege of sharing the story of the Lord’s healing with a Hindu and American students. I also prayed with students.

The third year, co-workers and executives witnessed this former fibro patient get on a wire 4 1/2 feet from the ground, join hands with another woman, press into her hands, and lean forward as we inched out on the Team Building Low-V until we fell into the hands of our peers below. They cheered. I tearfully revealed the miracle. They marveled.

How did this happen, Karen?

The Lord healed me on November 21, 2010.

Did you change your diet? Did you do anything differently?

I did nothing. The Lord healed me.

There is one thing that I remembered later: I waited on the Lord. The word for “wait” in Isaiah 40:31 is qavah. It means to look for, to hope, to eagerly wait for. It’s an active waiting.

Keith and I waited upon the Lord.

We devoured Scriptures on healing; we read books on healing; we prayed for healing; we thanked the Lord for healing, we waited in anticipation; we went forward for the laying on of hands and anointing with oil, and we walked in faith when the Lord touched my body with healing.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

It’s a promise we can count on.

I participated in an outdoor team-building cooking exercise the Thursday before I was healed. I was in so much distress that one of my peers escorted me back to my hotel room early.

Tuesday evening, I made tiramisu in a similar outdoor exercise. I reminded my supervisor of the evening three years ago as well as the person who escorted me back to my room that evening. They had not realized that Tuesday was close to the third anniversary of the Lord’s healing. I left the evening exercise and dinner late, celebrating health and the Lord.

God planned Tuesday evening.

God is good … all the time!

The freedom from pain and fatigue is awesome. God healed me to bless me. God healed me to show His reign over nature. God healed me to demonstrate renewal. God healed me to show His goodness.

That’s what signs and miracles are all about. They happen today to point people to Jesus.

Are you eagerly waiting upon the Lord?

My prayer for you:

Almighty God, thank You that You are a God of renewal. You are the Sovereign One who heals, empowers, and strengthens. Manifest Your renewing love in the lives of all who call upon Your name. May they seek after You in eager expectation of Your promises and Your work in their lives. Thank You for loving us so much that You gave Your Son to pay the price for our sins. We love You Lord.

What path are you taking for 2013?

Great Wall looking backBut one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

It’s helpful to look back over the year and reflect on those individuals who made a difference in our lives.

It’s helpful to reflect on those defining moments in 2012, and the choices we made.

It’s helpful to reflect on what we’re grateful for.

It’s helpful to look forward into the new year and consider the path that the Lord has set before us.

My prayer for you:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your gracious touch during 2012. Thank You for the people, the blessings, and the defining moments that blessed us throughout the year. Bless, I pray, all Your dear children and direct our paths in 2013. May we sit at Your feet and bask in Your Presence in 2013. Direct our thoughts, our actions, and our choices, so that we bless You and Your children. May we point people to Jesus and give You great glory.

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11

What path are you walking in 2013?

What’s your journey? Gratitude Adventure?

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I have walked Malaysian beaches, galloped through the woods in the Philippines, ridden an elephant in Thailand, dodged the traffic in Delhi, climbed the Great Wall of China, floated along the Venetian canals, skied the Italian Dolomites and Austrian Alps, wept gazing at the Pieta at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, pondered the graves of Arlington National Cemetery, kissed my husband atop the Taj Mahal, renewed my marriage vows in the Garden Tomb of Jesus, relished fireworks at the foot of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, slept in the hotel room that Napoleon Bonaparte stayed in, and enjoyed picnics under the Sequoias.  I have been to the mountaintop and to the pit of despair; and I have chosen to walk the path of gratitude.

This crooked, uphill, downhill, sometimes overgrown path that I have chosen as my life’s journey has taken me to many destinations; yet, it was the journey, not the destinations that helped shape who I am.

My journey is one of stretching, making myself a little uncomfortable, so that I am always striving for something beyond what I have proven I can accomplish, honing myself, and, at times, choosing to reinvent myself.

Reinvention and innovation. That’s the language of today’s business environment. It’s uncertain and uncomfortable. It takes purposeful stretching and flexibility.

In July, my wonderful husband of 41 years, Keith, stopped me as we walked Vatican City with a group of students we were leading on a study-abroad course, “Who would have thought that a poor Tulsa girl would be doing this?”

That poor Tulsa girl became a Christ-follower when she was about eight-years-old at Vacation Bible School.

I remember reading my Bible and trying to understand it. Oh how I loved the Lord. I basked in His creation and loved taking walks alone, so that I could talk with Him. The journey was a delight. He led me beside the still waters.

Jesus walked me through the Valley of the Shadow of Death in my late teens. All the while, I felt His presence. God sent a preacher who had suffered from polio and was confined to braces and crutches to mentor me through the tough recuperation and to be an example of a Christ-follower whose joy in the Lord spills out onto others.

Keith and I married, even though he thought I would not live to be 30. The love of a man like Keith is far more precious than rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. He blessed me through his selfless, servant-leader approach to marriage.

Trials, challenges, and mountaintops have enlarged our borders as we have delighted in the ways of the Lord.

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:5

What a precious promise! God has given me the desires of my heart as He has stretched and continues to stretch me into the woman who will accomplish the works He planned for me from before the foundation of the world.

I am grateful for this life’s gratitude adventure.

My prayer for you:

Father, You have directed our footsteps and lit our paths. May we bless You and point people to You as You pour out Your Spirit upon us. May we show forth Your great compassion, mercy, and grace. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Wishing you a journey of joy and adventure as you stretch your capabilities and impact others for good.

God’s vision for 2012: Prayer, poise, preparation, power

 

“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 40:31

Mary DeMuth challenged her readers to ask God to give them a picture for 2012; I liked Mary’s lilac photo—could almost smell them. I thought, “I have many photos of flowers, I’ll choose one of those,” but flowers were not God’s picture for me.

In 2011, God’s picture for me was the Great Wall of China—climbing half-way up the Great Wall was proof that He had miraculously healed me on November 21, 2010 of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Climbing the Great Wall would not have been a possibility or even a thought without the Lord’s healing touch. Proving the healing was God’s vision for me in 2011.

An eagle is God’s picture for me for 2012. This eagle is high on top of a ship, alone, scanning the area for possible food. For 2012, I will be alone with God in prayer and listening for the possible direction that He wants me to take.

This eagle is poised high up in the cold with the wind blowing her feathers; she’s perched on a ship in Alaska, away from the comfort of her home nest, perhaps the mountains behind her. The Lord is taking me away from the comfort of what I know how to do and giving me challenges I’ve never faced, but I am poised to take those challenges.

This eagle is prepared for the next possibility. She has plunged down to grasp her prey many times. The Lord is preparing me for the next possibility through prayer, study, and practice.

This eagle is powerful. She makes her nest high in the mountains, and she soars high in the thin air. She “stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings” Deuteronomy 32:11.

Jesus promises that we “will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 This is my heart’s desire, to be His witness. Is it your heart’s desire?

I pray that you will be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light” (1 Colossians 1:11-12).

May the Father of Lights fill 2012 with blessed prayer as you poise to prepare for the power that He holds out to you alone.

Show us what God’s picture is for your 2012.


The Lord Heals

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

When I was 19-years-old, a Methodist minister visited me in the hospital and gave me this verse; it  became my life’s verse. I held onto that promise, and God always renewed my strength. He was always there for me and my family.

In 2001, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia; later, I was also diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Pain and fatigue dominated my life as well as pills and injections.

I waited on the Lord … for answers … for healing … for wisdom. I learned to see the blessings in the waiting. Without the fibromyalgia, I would not have had the demonstration of my husband’s great love as he selflessly cared for me.

In 2008, the Lord impressed upon Keith and me that He was going to heal me. We both pressed into the Lord, read all the healing scriptures, prayed, and read books on healing. Two years went by as we waited on the Lord, trusting that He would renew my strength.

Yet, I got worse, and my doctor put me on a reduced work schedule.

On November 21, 2010 I mentioned to Keith, “There’s that healing service tonight. Want to go?” “Sure.” No further discussion.

That night, after people we knew were healed, the pastor called for those in chronic pain. Keith grabbed my arm and led me to the front. We prayed; the pastor laid hands on me, and I was healed! Peace. No pain.

The next day, I told my physician. He asked me about the service and the other people who were healed—one person’s cataracts were healed (she was scheduled for surgery that Tuesday), and another person’s deafness was healed—people we knew who attended church with us. He said, “This could be good. What do you want to do?”

I returned to work and began reducing my medications under my doctor’s advice. He has confirmed this as a miraculous healing.

Since then, I have run on the beach, rough-housed with a Great Dane, walked up and down the hilly and crooked streets of San Francisco, and climbed half-way up the Great Wall of China.

Indeed, we waited on the Lord’s perfect timing, and He healed; He renewed my strength, and He gave Keith and me a much deeper relationship with Him.

Whatever your wait involves, rest in Him for He is faithful to complete it, and He will renew your strength.

May the Lord richly bless you and your family.