A Love Song to My Beloved

#Austria

In Austria. Photo by Danielle Medina
 
 

“I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love” Psalm 59:16

My Beloved is my melody of joy.
He wraps his arms of protection around me;
He leads me in the dance of life.

My Beloved is my rhapsody of ecstasy.
He enraptures me with delight;
He rains his sweet kisses over me.

My Beloved is my symphony of love.
He beckons the strings to entice me.
He strikes the tympani to captivate me.

My Beloved is my strength.
He lifts me up when I am weak.
He carries me when I am weary.

My Beloved is my love song.
I will sing of my Beloved in the morning.
I will sing of his love forevermore.

My prayer you:

Father, You have given us such a blessing in marriage. May all who read this love song be blessed with a long and joy-filled marriage. Heal marriages and fill us with the song of Your love forevermore.

What if we lived in hope? 5 steps toward hope

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“If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas—no wonder my words have been impetuous. The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God’s terrors are marshaled against me. … “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life! Then I would still have this consolation—my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One. “What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient? Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze? Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me? Job 6:10-13

The Bible has 180 references to hope. Some of those refer to the lack of hope like Job’s. I’ve been without hope. Although Job was with friends when he said this, he was lonely in his pain; he wanted God to cut off his life, so that he would not betray God.

Have you been hopeless?

I’ve found five things that have helped me when I was in the pit of despair.

  1. Call out to God. David writes in Psalm 30, a Psalm for the dedication of the temple, “Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. … weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Frequently, David detailed his troubles to God. The troubles turned to praise once David saw how small his problems were in comparison with how big God is.
  2. Wait on God. “We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22 In this microwave society, I find it difficult to wait. Yet, in waiting for God to act, I learn to trust Him for His provision as the Israelites waited each morning for God to provide the mana.
  3. Choose  hope.“This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  II Chronicles 20:15  If God Almighty is fighting my battle over disease and pain, then I choose to hope in Him.
  4. Consume the Scriptures. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 Two years before the Lord healed me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, He impressed my husband, Keith, and me that He would heal me. We saturated our thinking with the Scriptures on healing and promises as well as books written about healing.
  5. Expect God to work.“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” Luke 1:45 When Mary entered the home of Elizabeth (6 months pregnant with John), John leaped in Elizabeth’s womb, and Ellizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and said this. Mary took God at His word. He said it; He would do it.

Call, wait, choose, consume, expect.

These are active verbs that anticipate a response, an action. Isn’t that what hope is all about?

What if we lived in hope–in anticipation of God working?

My prayer for you:

Father of hope and action, You are a gracious God, pouring out Your blessing upon Your children. May we cry out to you, waiting and choosing to hope in Your abundant love. Teach us to consume Your word and to expect Your promises in our lives. Thank You, Father, for all that You are, all that You do, and all that You love.

Waiting on God … 3 reasons He set me on the Rock

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I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the Lord. Psalm 40: 1-3

One woman waited for the Lord to heal her of her constant pain and fatigue from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The word “patient” in the Psalm means “intent.” This woman was intent. She tried diets, medications, herbs and supplements, exercise, and any cure that came into her path. She only got worse. There were no manmade cures left for her. There was only God.

Only God.

That’s when God worked, when I finally turned my body and pain over to Him, when I cast my cares upon Him. That’s when God lifted me out of the pit of destruction and set me on the rock.

He set me on the rock for a purpose:

  1. To make my footsteps firm (established, restored). He made me ready to walk, to take action. I had work to do.
  2. To praise Him. I did not work to create this praise. God put the new song in my mouth to praise Him. All His work, but I was to open my mouth and let the praise exalt my God.
  3. To be a light to others. Others saw the miraculous restoration of my health and heard of God’s work from the new song of praise that God had put in my mouth. Some feared (reverenced, honored) Him and turned their trust to Him.

How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. Psalm 40:4

This waiting on the Lord resulted in the Lord’s healing and work in me. As I wait on Him to accomplish His works, others will trust in Him and be blessed.

What are you waiting on from the Lord?

My prayer for you:

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. Psalm 40:5

May you truly wait intently for the Lord to work in you and then open your mouth after He puts a new song in your mouth and proclaim His mighty works. May you bless God and others widely.

Pain, sleeplessness … 5 tactics from Psalm 77

My soul refused to be comforted…
You have held my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak. Psalm 77:2b-4

Have you experienced pain so deep, so intense that you could not be comforted; you could not sleep, and you had no words to express your pain? I’ve been there. I’ve cried out to God and wondered if He heard me.

I’ve asked like the Psalmist, “Has God forgotten to be gracious, or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?” Psalm 77:9

During those nights of pain, I turned to the Psalms to help me refocus. There are five tactics that I learned from the Psalmist that brought hope to a hopeless condition.

  1. Remember the past. “I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11 As I focused upon past storms in my life, I was able to see God working in my marriage, in my work, and in my family.
  2. Think about the meaning of the past. “I will meditate on all Your work, And muse on Your deeds.” Psalm 77:12 I thought about those times that God had moved, and I meditated on how those times had prepared me for what I was facing with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  3. Refocus from the pain to God. “Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.” Psalm 77:13-14 I moved from thinking about my problems and thought about who God is, awesome in power and wonder-working.
  4. Praise the Lord. “Your way was in the sea And Your paths in the mighty waters, And Your footprints may not be known. You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Psalm 77:19-20 Although I sometimes do not recognize the footprints of Almighty God, I can trust that He is there, leading me by the hand as He led the Israelites in the time of Moses and Aaron.
  5.  Rest in the Lord. Although the pain was still with me, I often would be able to rest in the Lord and find sleep. Sometimes, I could even see a slight rainbow in the storm.

My prayer for you:

Our Heavenly Father, You are the God of all Comfort, and You are the Great Shepherd who leads Your people. Comfort Your people as only You can. Provide great peace and restore their souls and bodies as they remember Your awesome works and think about what Your works have meant in their lives. Turn their focus upon You, and graciously bring them to praise You for who You are. Finally, Father, bring rest to their souls and restoration to their bodies. Breathe upon Your people Your perfect peace, a peace beyond all comprehension. Thank you, Father. You are an awesome God!

Please share how God has worked in your storms and the tactics that you use to gain peace.

Jesus heals and renews your youth

Celebrating feeling great in Vienna. Photo by Michael Blinci

 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases;Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103: 1-5

Saturday, Keith and I returned to the hotel in Anaheim where I attended a fibromyalgia conference about six years ago. I was in so much pain because of the “hard bed” that Keith got in his car after work, drove a couple of hours and brought me my feather bed. The next morning, he got up and drove back to work. That was before the Lord healed me of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
Saturday night, we slept there again, minus the feather bed, minus the pain.
Sunday morning, I participated in an aerobic flash mob dance at Angel Stadium.
What I have learned since that night I was healed, November 21, 2010, is that people are hungry to hear that our awesome God works in people’s lives today, that He  heals, that He works miracles, and more importantly, that He loves them and He paid the price, so that they could enjoy Him forever.
God works in our lives for a purpose. That purpose is to point people to Jesus, so that the world will see our good works and glorify Him.
Simon the Leper (obviously healed by Jesus) hosted Jesus in his home; the blind man told others that Jesus healed him, and Peter’s mother got up and served Jesus. All proofs that Jesus healed, that Jesus had compassion, and that He was able to work in their lives–for a purpose, for service.
My prayer for you:
May the Lord restore your youth as you actively wait on Him. May He renew your strength as you mount up on wings like eagles. May you walk and run and not grow weary. May you point others to Jesus as you revel in what He has done for you and is working in you for tomorrow. Praise the Lord!

From fibromyalgia pain to Scripture praise

From the cave of my darkened bedroom, I tried to picture a life freed from the pain of fibromyalgia, the agony of the long, sleepless nights, and the bombardment of sensory overload. But water fell in front of the images, so that I saw only distortions of what could be. During these times, I turned from myself to Scriptures. The Psalms especially spoke to me as David poured out his heart, his “Why,” his anger … and then his praise. I learned from David that there is hope … and praise … and healing.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all my iniquities,
Who heals all my diseases;
Who redeems my life from the pit,
Who crowns me with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies my years with good things,
So that my youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1-5

Surely my griefs [sickness] He Himself bore, And my sorrows [pains] He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten [struck down] of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for my transgressions, He was crushed for my iniquities; The chastening for my well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging I am healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.” Matthew 8:17

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; Save me and I will be saved, For You are my praise.  Jeremiah 17:14

My prayer for you

These Scriptures are my heart’s cry and my hope for you, a hope that is expecting miracles. May your health be restored; may your pain dissolve, and may you recognize the great and precious promises and blessings that our Great Creator and Healer has for you. Only believe. He is ABLE.