What if we laid down our sorrows?

What if we laid down our sorrows for the joy of the Lord?

Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him. Psalm 32:10

What if we laid down our shame for the joy of the Lord?

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

What if we laid down our sickness for the joy of the Lord?

for I, the LORD, am your healer.  Exodus 15:26

What if we laid down our pain for the joy of the Lord?

and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

What if we said, “Yes, Yes, Lord”?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

What if?

My prayer for you:

Great and loving Father, thank You for taking our sorrow, our shame, our sickness, and our pain and turning them to joy. Give us the wisdom to lay them down at Your feet. Give us the ability to say “Yes, Yes, Lord.” We want to dine with You in Your perfect holiness. We praise you, Father, Healer, Joy Maker.

Yes, Yes, Lord, Amen!

God healed me … I went kite flying!

Guitar Kite

Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not be tired,
They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

On January 1, 2011, almost six weeks after the Lord miraculously healed me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I ran on the San Diego beach pulling and commandeering this heavy kite, a gift from a stranger that day.

Sheer freedom from pain.

Exhilarating freedom from limitations. 

Glorious freedom in the Lord!

Today, I have a kite hanging from my window directly across from my shower. Each morning, I have the opportunity to gaze upon that kite and rejoice in the healing gift of the Lord.

His mercies are new every morning.

Every morning a new beginning.

My prayer for you

Giver of life, health, and blessings, as we wait upon You, work Your works in us. Guide us in all understanding; renew our strength; equip us for the works You have prepared for us from before the foundation of the world. Thank You for Your lovingkindness, Your blessings, and Your goodness. Embrace us with Your vision and Your plans. We’re looking forward to what You have for us in 2014.

What reminders of God’s goodness have you placed around you?

When the Healer touched my pain

And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. Mark 1:40-42

There was no cure for leprosy. Lepers were considered unclean, and they lived away from others. When they walked down the street, they cried out “unclean.” People moved to the other side of the road.

Isolation. Loneliness.

Desperation gripped this leper. He had no other hope than this man they called Jesus. This leper did the unthinkable; he came close to this righteous Teacher, this Healer and begged Him for healing.

If You are willing …

He wasn’t sure that Jesus was willing to heal him, although he had healed others. Leprosy was a symbol of sin, and this Jesus was considered holy.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia. I wasn’t sure that Jesus wanted to heal me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I thought that it was my place in life to reflect grace through my sickness and pain. After all, Jesus did not heal the entire world. Maybe I was one who was to endure until my death.

You can make me clean.

No doubt. Jesus was capable of making the leper clean.

Jesus was able to heal me.

Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing;

The God of the Universe was moved with compassion for this leper. He stretched out His hand and touched the disease; Holy touched disease and sin. Purity touched the unclean.

My Creator was moved with compassion and told my husband and me two years before I was healed, that He was willing to heal me.

Unlike the leper, I had not reached my desperation point. Jesus had a divine appointment for us, and in those two years, we grew closer to Jesus and to each other. For me, I had to get to the point of desperation, so that I would boldly march up to Jesus and drop to my knees. Unlike the leper, I told Jesus that I no longer cared about healing; I just wanted more of Him.

Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

Jesus touched the leper, and sickness immediately left him, but more importantly, he was cleansed–cleansed from sin.

When I was at my lowest point, Jesus had compassion upon me and touched me. Immediately, the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue left me, and I was freed. Freed of pain and sickness. Freed to accomplish the works that God had prepared before the foundation of the world for me to do as a healthy woman. Freed to soak up more of Him.

My prayer for you:

Compassionate Father, You are willing and able to touch each life. Have compassion on Your servants and touch their lives with whatever they need to become the men and women that You are equiping them to be. Wrap Your loving wings around them and make Your presence known to them. Renew their strength and restore their love for You and others.

The Lord be gracious to you and bless you.

Blessings from pain

As He [Jesus] passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.  And His disciples asked Him, “ Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3

Have you reflected upon this and thought this might apply to you? It applies to me. I was a sickly child. Hospitalized many times in my teens. Later, I developed fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. For years, I suffered and cried out to God.

I found many blessings in the pain and fatigue.

The greatest blessing came to me as I lay on our living room couch in the middle of the night in pain. Many nights, I turned to the Psalms and observed David’s agony turn to praise. David taught me to cry out to God and then turn my focus upon God. Gratitude filled my heart as I saw how small my pain was in comparison to how great God is. Those intense, painful moments melted into moments of blessing and love.

I also learned how much my husband of 41 years loved me. He is the embodiment of a servant-leader, giving and caring with no expectation of return. Without the pain and limitations, our relationship would not have been as intimate as it is today.

Blessings from the pain turned into opportunities to minister to others in pain and suffering. Coworkers, family, friends and their friends knew that I had walked a similar path of pain for years and that I understood what they were going through. They also saw a woman who had been delivered from her pain, and they wanted to hear about how I had been healed. They wanted prayer. They wanted compassion. They wanted practical insight in coping with the pain.

I am grateful for the years of pain. The pain opened doors into people’s hearts that would never have been opened without the pain.

This life journey has truly been a gratitude adventure.

My prayer for you:
Great Comforter and Healer, we honor You and praise You for what You are doing in our lives and for who You are. You have promised that You would never leave us nor forsake us. We trust You and lean upon You in these times of trials. Jesus, we thank You for love beyond measure that You bestowed upon us. You were beaten and scourged for us, and by Your stripes we are healed, whether it is today or tomorrow or when You take us home. You hung on the cross to pay the price for our sins, so that we could be with You for eternity. That is the greatest blessing of all. What a friend we have in You, Jesus. Pour out Your Spirit upon us, so that we can point people to You. It is because of You that we have blessings and we can bless others. Thank you. Amen.

Wishing you a gratitude adventure as you contemplate the blessings that we experience in our pain and limitations. We can turn them into opportunities to impact the lives of others.

What are you doing to turn your pain into blessings?