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!

God heals today … 7 fruits

Galilee Sea

On the Sea of Galilee

Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan. Matthew 4:23-25

Teaching, proclaiming the good news, and healing … signatures of our Lord Jesus.

  1. Healings and miracles showcased Jesus’ authority to proclaim what the world might call an upside down world view.
  2. Healings and miracles highlighted Jesus’ compassion for hurting people.
  3. Healings and miracles sparked excitement and talk.
  4. Healings and miracles created hope and expectation.
  5. Healings and miracles spurred friends and families to bring the sick.
  6. Healings and miracles turned people to Jesus and His teachings.
  7. Healings and miracles bore followers and disciples.

Healings and miracles happen today. Christian doctors have established the World Christian Doctors Network. The network is focused upon pointing to the great works of healing that the Lord still does, bringing hope to patients and the world. The network has created case studies on how God still heals today.

Read Dr. Ann Verachtert’s presentation about the healing of Hugo Van Leemputten‘s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hugo had no hope; yet, after prayer and much support, he was healed and now leads a church and healing school called God’s Ambassade.

When there is no hope, look up! Jesus is our hope and our destiny.

My prayer for you

Father, You are so loving and compassionate. Thank You for Your intimate interest in men and women. Thank You that You have many blessings in store for us. Thank You that You heal our bodies so that we can minister to others, so that we can point people to You. We love You Lord and praise Your holy name!

From pounding cabbage to healing focus

Cabbage2Today, I crushed juniper berries, shredded three huge cabbages, tossed the shreds with salt and juniper berries, squeezed the water out of the cabbage, dumped bowls of mixture into the fermenting crock and pounded until more water appeared. Then, I covered the mixture with a cabbage leaf and pressed weights onto the leaf. Lid on, I poured boiled water around the lid to create a seal. Three to six weeks after the crushing, squeezing, pounding, and darkness, savory sauerkraut will reward my tastebuds.

As I prepared the cabbage to become Vitamin C-rich sauerkraut, I was reminded of how fibromyalgia crushed my spirit and twisted my nerves and muscles into knots of pain. I was reminded of Job.

“And now my soul is poured out within me;
Days of affliction have seized me.
17 “At night it pierces my bones within me,
And my gnawing pains take no rest.
18 “By a great force my garment is distorted;
It binds me about as the collar of my coat.
19 “He has cast me into the mire,
And I have become like dust and ashes.
20 “I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me;
I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me.
21 “You have become cruel to me;
With the might of Your hand You persecute me.
22 “You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride;
And You dissolve me in a storm.
23 “For I know that You will bring me to death
And to the house of meeting for all living. Job 30-16-23

26 “When I expected good, then evil came;
When I waited for light, then darkness came.
27 “I am seething within and cannot relax;
Days of affliction confront me.
28 “I go about mourning without comfort;
I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help. Job 30:26-28

Intense nights crawled.

“Lord, where are You?”

Weary mornings shouted.

“Lord, help me get up.”

Demanding days disheartened.

“Lord, I can’t do this.”

Crushing  commutes castdown.

“Lord, I’m so tired.”

Piercing pain pervaded.

“Lord, I want to quit.”

Praising Psalms prevailed.

“Lord, Your lovingkindness endures.”

Eager eyes examined.

“Lord, Your Word is life.”

Listening heart refocused.

“Lord, You are my desire.”

Then Job answered the Lord and said,

“I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6

12 The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; …17 And Job died, an old man and full of days. Job 42:12-17

God healed Job when he turned his eyes off his sickness and loss and onto the greatness of God.

God healed me when I gave up and told the Lord that all I wanted was more of Him. At that point, the Holy Spirit empowered me to present my body to the Lord as a living sacrifice.

My prayer for you

Father in heaven, You are all we need. Heal our lives, our bodies, and our spirits. Father, pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us. Enable us to see You as You are. Enable us to present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices to You. We love You, Lord and bask in the light of Your glory.

What will be the fruit of your crushing and pounding?

What are you noticing as you wait on God?

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. … but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,  Acts 1:4-8a

Jesus told His followers to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Holy Spirit. This promise would give them power.

His followers waited in expectation on the promise in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, but their waiting was active. Acts tells us that they devoted themselves to prayer. They also appointed a replacement for Judas.

After the Lord impressed upon Keith and me that I would be healed of fibromyalgia, we waited in expectation, too.

We actively waited.

  • We prayed.
  • We studied the Bible.
  • We studied books on healing.
  • I worked with my doctor, and we tried new medications.
  • I tried new techniques of coping with the pain and fatigue.
  • We thanked God for the healing.

But it took time; days, weeks, months, and even years.

“Did the Lord promise to heal me?”

I’m sure that the followers of Jesus waited in that Upper Room waiting … waiting … expecting … wondering if they heard Jesus correctly.

“Did Jesus really tell us to wait?”

In Waiting on God, Andrew Murray wrote:

Come, and however feeble you feel, just wait in His presence. As a feeble, sickly invalid is brought out into the sunshine to let its warmth go through him, come with all that is dark and cold in you into the sunshine of God’s holy, omnipotent love, and sit and wait there, with the one thought: Here I am, in the sunshine of His love. As the sun does its work in the weak one who seeks its rays, God will do His work in you.

My prayer for you:

Father, we are waiting on Your healing presence in our lives. We are waiting in expectation of Your promises. Teach us to bask in Your light and all powerful love. Work in us Your plans for us, Your healing touch. Here we are, waiting for the power You are pouring out on Your children. Thank you, Father of Lights. To You be the glory!

Share your insights:

As you wait on the Lord, focus on His glory, His power, His promises, and share what He has shown you.

Jesus heals paralytic … 3 hopes, 1 unexpected result

Imagine that you live in Israel, and your rooftop is flat. You use it like America uses a backyard. Tiles line the rooftop, and you’ve even filled an area with dirt and have grass growing on the rooftop to provide a little extra insulation. To get to the rooftop, you’ve built stairs on the side of the house.

One day, Jesus comes to your door, and you invite Him in. You call a few friends over, so that they can listen to His teachings. Soon, there are so many friends and neighbors in your home, it is impossible to move, and people are looking inside from the open windows and doors.

“Hey, Jesus is in Capernaum; let’s carry our friend to the house where He’s staying.”

The men arrive at the house, and they scurry from the doorway to the windows and back to the doorway. No way to get in.

“I know, we’ll carry him to the rooftop, dig through the dirt, remove the tiles, and lower him on his pallet.”

Clods of dirt fall from the ceiling. The crowd looks up as the rooftop hole gets bigger. One of the men peers through the hole, and then a pallet emerges from the hole.

Jesus looks up and perhaps smiles as the paralytic is lowered to His feet.

And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5

“What’s that about? We want our friend healed!”

The teachers of the Law thought, “That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins.”  But Jesus knew what they were thinking.

Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven;” or to say “Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk?”

But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”  Mark 2:9-12

The Hope

  1. The hope of the crowd was to hear Jesus teach the Word. Perhaps they were hoping to see a miracle. They had faith that Jesus could work miracles.
  2. The hope of the paralytic was that his friends could bring him to Jesus for a healing. He had faith in his friends.
  3. The hope of the friends was that they could get their friend to Jesus. The friends knew that Jesus would heal their friend, and they were committed to do anything they needed to do to bring their friend to Jesus.

The Unexpected

The paralytic and the friends were hoping for a miracle of healing. Yet, Jesus always addressed the first priority in a person’s life, and for the paralytic, it was sin.

Everyone said that they had never seen anything like that and glorified God. They knew that Jesus could heal, but this time, Jesus used the healing to show that He also had authority to forgive sins. That authority made Jesus equal with God!

My Prayer for You

Heavenly Father, thank You for addressing our most pressing needs first. Many times, we come to you with what we think are our needs, not realizing that they are secondary to what we really need to address. Thank You for friends who have faith enough to bring us to You at all costs. May we sit at Your feet as You address our needs, and may everyone see the work that You are doing in our lives and give God the glory.

What are you hoping for?

God empowers us to step into the impossible, even for healing, to possess His great promises

Some streets in San Francisco appear to be impossible to climb. It takes one step at a time to reach the top. Breathless but proud that I made it, I looked down and recorded the accomplishment for all the world to see. This was two months after I was healed.

He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And He said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. Mark 3:1-5

Jesus had a reputation of showing compassion to the people He taught. When He encountered someone in need, He acted. Many times, though, He asked a person who would be healed to do the impossible.

Imagine being the focus of religious leaders intent on catching this famous Teacher and Healer doing good if He chooses to heal you.

Jesus looks at the man and commands, “Get up and come forward!”

He gasps, “Me?” Jesus nods.

Head down, withered hand shoved behind the folds in his robe, he shuffles through the crowd to Jesus.

“Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath to save a life or to kill?” Silence.

Angry and grieved, Jesus looks around the room, catching the eye of some who quickly look away.

“Stretch out your hand.”

“Doesn’t He know that’s impossible? … Maybe He will heal my hand.”

The withered hand appears from the folds in his robe. The thumb quivers and breaks away from the rest of the hand. His fingers begin to move apart.

Smiling, the man raises his hand toward heaven as his fingers wildly dance back and forth.

His hand is healed!

On November 21, 2010, the Lord healed me. The next day, Jesus asked me to do the impossible, go back to work and act as if I were healed from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome even though the doctor had placed me on reduced work and was encouraging me to think about disability or another job.

I told my doctor, and he said, “This could be good. What do you want to do?”

I said that I wanted to go back to work full time and begin weaning myself off my fibromyalgia medications. He agreed to test me for a month. A month later, he confirmed that I was healed.

Some asked me if I was afraid to tell people that I was healed.

“That’s why it’s important that I tell people that I am healed.”

I took Jesus at His word that He had healed me, and He gave me the power to be healed.

On the edge of the Promised Land, God also asked the Israelites to do the impossible … possess the Promised Land, a land filled with fortified cities and strong armies. They refused to obey God. God is a gentleman and gave them their wish. He provided for His people while they wandered in the wilderness until all had died who had refused to go into the land, except for Caleb and Joshua, who had encouraged them to possess the land.

Again, God asked them to possess the Promised Land. This time, Joshua led the people into the land, and God fought the battle for them. He empowered them to take possession.

Has God asked you to step from the side of the possible to the side of the impossible? He will empower you to take possession. Take the first step towards obedience, and He will fight the battle.

My prayer for you:

Father in Heaven, give us the faith and courage to step into the possible, so that we can take full possession of the promises and abundant life You have set before us. We’ll give You the glory and praise for the great and mighty works You will accomplish.