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!

Pray the Scriptures when life hurts … A Review

Pray the Scriptures When Life Hurts by Kevin Johnson

I first heard of “praying the Scriptures” from a man who was comforting a woman in pain with very little hope. He showed her how to pray through Psalm 23. I then practiced praying the Psalms. I had not thought of praying the rest of the Bible, until I read Kevin Johnson’s book, Pray the Scriptures when life hurts: Experience hope and healing through the power of God’s Word.

Johnson walks readers through nine key Scriptures as he teaches the reader to pray the Scriptures to regain hope and healing. Along the path, he pauses to reveal the agony of his depression and the pain of his neurological challenges. Like David in the Psalms, he describes his pain and depression, and then he turns his eyes on the greatness of God, and he finds hope.

I appreciate his candor in sharing his thoughts and his emotions during his suffering. I have experienced similar thoughts and pain.

“Scripture teaches us to offer up not only our agony and questioning but also our surrender … When we allow Scripture to lead us to a breadth of prayers, we begin to be filled with God’s fresh life.”

Johnson begins the book with nightmares and agony and closes with peace and hope.

Scripture heads the brief chapters; reflections follow;  Johnson’s challenges unfold, leading to God’s all-sufficiency and Johnson’s perseverance. The reader is then prompted to read one or two verses and pray using prompts. The reader repeats the process until the entire passage of Scripture is prayed through. The last section of the chapter includes questions to reflect upon, pray about, and discuss with others.

This book is a great tool for a reader to use alone, and it would be an even greater resource in a small group Bible Study.

About the author.
Read Chapter One.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for my honest review.

My prayer

Father, thank You for Kevin Johnson’s courage in writing this book. Bless his readers with the knowledge of Your presence in their lives as You lead them by the hand through their pain and suffering. I pray for Kevin Johnson, Father, You know the great and precious promises You have in store for him. Pour them out on him abundantly. Thank You.

Waiting to enter the joy of the Lord

White Rose

For You are the God of my salvation. For You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:5

Mama is waiting on the Lord.

She’s waiting for Jesus to say “Come.”

Come to heaven.

Come to the joy of the Lord.

Come and be healed.

Come, I’ll wipe your tears away.

Come and see My glory.

Come.

Mama has served the Lord for almost a century; she has taken what Jesus gave her and multiplied it into a fragrant garden. She is still bestowing lavendar grace, lily-white goodness,  rose-petal joy, and bird-of-paradise Good News to her family, her neighbors, her friends, and her caregivers.

Her smile exudes God’s grace and love.

When the waiting is complete, Mama will behold Jesus’ face and say:

“Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.” Matthew 25:21

Jesus will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”

I look forward to seeing what Mama has in store for her when she enters that joy.

My prayer:

Thank You Lord for the privilege of knowing Mama intimately. I entrust her to You. Show her Your glory, and escort her to the dwelling place that You have prepared especially for her.