Jesus is with us when life crashes

Crash - 1

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

He will cover you with His pinions,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:1-4

At least four of us crashed this week.

Looking forward to a day of catch-up at work and interviewing job candidates, I drove and sang along with the KSGN team yesterday morning.

Brake lights and screeching interupted the worship. I slammed on my brakes and stopped just in time.

Silence.

Whump! The SUV slammed into my Acura, shoving me into the Dodge I just missed hitting a few seconds before. Sunglasses flew into the windshield. Purse and contents soared into the air. My Acura hurled from the Dodge to the SUV, once, twice, three times, and a fourth time. Finally, the rocking back and forth stopped. Silence.

Dazed, I pulled at my seatbelt. Locked! I pushed and pulled until it released.

I open the door, swing my legs out the doorway, and sit there, rubbing my knees.

What happened?

Am I hurt?

Go see if anyone else was hurt.

Sir, your car is leaking; we need to get you out of the car. I’ll take you to my car. There, you can rest.

The SUV driver and I were transported to hospital emergency departments. I’m praying that Steve is okay. I was released and will be fine, just a little banged up. I gave Steve my card, and he promised to call me to let me know how he is.

Life can come crashing down on us just when we think everything is going well. Christians have the hope and promise that Jesus is with us–even in the crash. He promised that He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). In fact, He takes us through the valley of the shadow of death and nourishes us in the presence of our enemies (Psalm 23).

Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him. Psalm 91:14-15

I am convinced that Jesus and His angels were with Steve and me on Friday, as well as the other drivers.

The first responders blessed me with gentleness and true caring. Thank you to AMR paramedics Becky and Will from the Redlands district.

I was reminded that in Jesus, I find my protection, my refuge, my answer in times of trouble.

Jesus is there for you in your times of trouble. He also sends other people to help you in times of trouble.

My prayer

Father, thank You for your protection yesterday. I pray that You will place Your healing touch upon Steve, and enable him to feel Your presence in his pain. Thank You for the paramedics, firefighters, and highway patrolmen who responded. Bless them with the knowledge of Your love and protection. Please pour out a special blessing upon Becky and Will, my paramedics. Father, You are good, and I thank You, that You are my Father.

God’s love heals fibromyalgia

God healed me as a sign to others of His great love. With the healing, came a passion to point others to Jesus.

May God give you an intense passion to draw near to Him and to be bold in proclaiming His great love for the world.

My prayer

Father, thank You for Your great love for the world. Increase our thirst for You. Empower us as we read Your Word. May Your children’s love  abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that they may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

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?

Destitute in Delhi? Sickness? God is near

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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!

Have you bargained with God? Hannah did.

Melk Abbey PrayersPraying in the Melk Abbey in Austria
 

She, [Hannah] greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” 1 Samuel 1:10-11

Have you wept before the Lord, asking for a miracle? Have you made a bargain with God? That’s what Hannah did. Yet, the very thing that she asked for, she offered back to God.

Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh, although the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the LORD. “For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him.“So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:24-28

After Hannah gave Samuel to the Lord, God blessed her with three sons and two daughters.

When I was in junior high (now middle school), I used to bargain with God. “Oh God, make me smart. Give me that A tomorrow on the test, and I’ll live for you.”

I got the A’s, so I read my Bible diligently, thinking that was keeping my end of the bargain.

All my life, I was sickly, in and out of the doctors’ offices. In and out of the hospitals during my late teens.

Then, in 2001, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It had taken years to diagnose.

That’s when I found myself weeping and pleading before the Lord for healing. In November 2010, I gave the asked for healing back to God on November 21, 2010, when I told Him at a healing service that I no longer cared whether I was healed, I just wanted more of Him.

God healed me that night.

That healing turned my life upside down. God gave me the desires of my heart: healing, but more importantly, more of Him.

Whatever the desire of your heart is, plead, weep, ask persistently and then be williing to give it back for more of Jesus.

My prayer for you

Jesus, You said that whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for Your sake will preserve it. Thank You for including Hannah’s story in Your Word. Teach us the lesson of Hannah, and empower us to turn our lives over to You … completely … with reckless abandon. Thank You for Your gracious blessings. We love You, and we pray in Your name, Your essence, Your character.

What are you asking God for? Are you willing to dedicate it to Him?

Are you limiting God?

Ein GeddiEin Geddi

Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. Mark 6:1-6

Jesus crisscrossed the Sea of Galilee going from countryside to villages teaching, opening blind eyes, casting out demons, healing all who came to Him, and raising a little girl from the dead.

Word of this Miracle-Worker had spread throughout the region.

Jesus went to His hometown with His disciples, and on the Sabbath, He began to teach in the synagogue.

Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?”

Friends and neighbors of Jesus’ family acknowledged that He had been given wisdom and that He had performed miracles, but they knew Him as the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and His sisters.

And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.

I consumed the Scriptures and believed that the miracles and healings recorded in the Bible actually happened. But I had been taught that the miracles and healings were for the early church and not for today, except for an occasional miracle or healing.

Although Jesus’ hometown friends and neighbors heard extraordinary wisdom come from the lips of Jesus, they were offended … Jesus was a carpenter! Although Jesus worked miracles, His family lived in Nazareth.

I believed that Jesus could work miracles, that Jesus could heal … others.

Just as those in Nazareth, I limited Jesus, and Jesus is a gentleman; He will not cross boundaries that we draw.

It took two years of praying and Bible study after God told Keith and me that He was going to heal me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. During those two years, we learned to drop our expectation of the ordinary and to wait in great expectation for the extraordinary: a healing.

Three years after the Lord healed me, He is breaking down walls other people have placed on Jesus as they witness what He has accomplished in my body.

People who knew me when I was pain-riddled, still ask me how I am feeling.

I’m healed!

Still, I have other walls that I’ve placed around Jesus. I’m praying and studying to break those walls down as well.

My prayer for you

Jesus, You are all about faith, expectation, and possibility. You are our hope. Teach us to lean You. Guide us as we learn of You. Show us how we are limiting You and enable us to remove those boundaries, so that we invite You to accomplish Your great works in our lives.

How are you limiting Jesus?

Walls can’t come crashing down without the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Step out as the Holy Spirit guides you.