Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Left Behind

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31
(KJV)


Today, I stood at the front door waving good-bye to Kevin and Zach.
I mentioned the other day that Zach has been feeling down because his long and carefully-laid
birthday plans have been intercepted and interrupted by my sickness.

We planned to go out today...finally....and let him do all the things he has been planning.
Then the night before last, I struggled hard to breathe and just didn't seem to be getting much better.
Yesterday I found out that this stuff is still in my right lung...
guess that explains the weakness, shortness of breath, and overall feeling bad.
I was beyond disappointed to learn that....
I was so in hopes that it was gone...healed....completely.

So, long-story-short, I didn't have the strength to go with them today.
They altered their plans somewhat, hoping to still include me on the original ones when I am able,
and the two of them drove off in the rain to treat Zach to some long-awaited fun.

I am so thankful they could go.
I have felt so bad making Zach wait.
His birthday money is burning a hole in his wallet,
and he has been cooped up in the house for days.  :)
I watched them drive down our road,
then I closed the front door with a prayer that God would bless them,
protect them, and bring them back home safe to me.

It doesn't feel so good to be left behind.
The three of us usually do everything together.
Seldom, do we do things separately....except when we plan a one-on-one "date", 
either as a couple or as one of us taking Zach off for a "Daddy" or "Mama" date.
I think all of those times are important...every married couple needs alone time,
and there are ways Zach relates differently to both of us,
so he needs that one-on-one time with each of us from time to time.
It's all good.

I'm not used to being left behind.
Usually, I am in the thick of it...offering to help drive....enjoying every moment....
knowing Zach is growing up so quickly, and we need to make every one of them count.

The house was quiet after they left.
The weather has warmed slightly, so I had the kitchen window open for some fresh air.
 I listened to the rain....and occasional thunder....
hoping against hope that God will send the healing I need....soon.
I don't think I yet have learned everything He is trying to teach through this trial.
Otherwise, it would have ended by now.
The enemy shoots forth lies that this will never get better...amongst other frightening thoughts.
They come at me like threatening, terrifying, fire-filled darts.
It is then that God reminds me that I have a weapon of defense called the shield of faith
that was designed and created by Him to be used in these exact circumstances....
for this exact purpose.
Truly, it is one of the most important pieces of armor provided to the soldier of God...
God's very intent in creating it is as an antidote to quench the fiery darts satan hurls.
They come at us with fire burning in their tips.
Upon first contact with the shield of faith, the fire is put out, and the threat is over.

But, like all of the other armor pieces, it does absolutely no good,
if it is not picked up and used, right?

Quenching his fiery darts with the shield of faith often involves the quoting of Scripture.
How important it is that we have it hidden deep within our hearts and minds,
so it will be available to use when we need it most.

Jesus defeated satan all three times during 
His temptation in the wilderness
by lifting the shield of faith in the direct quotation of Scripture.



It will work for us every time, too.

But, what about the times we are too weak to pick up the shield?
Ever been there?

Sickness leaves us depressed.
It wears down our resolve.
Erodes our strength.
Renders us incapable.
It takes a lot more effort to take a hold of the shield of faith 
when we are physically depleted and trampled down by illness,
than when we are healthy, strong, and at our best.

Oftentimes, during those weakened moments,
we need someone else to pick it up for us....
which is exactly what happened in our house recently.

Dear Kevin...and sweet, precious, Zachary!
How touched I am by their fervent prayers for my healing!
The other night, I was in pretty bad shape and called to them to come pray for me....again.
As I lie there, struggling for air, pleading for healing,
I listened to Zachary's words.
Oh, those words!
I wish you could have heard that prayer!
That prayer moved me like you wouldn't believe.
Our little boy, praying and seeking God with all his heart.
Heart-wrenched, earnest cries from the depths of his little soul.
"Lord, we need You.
God, please heal Mama.
Daddy and I need her, Lord."
He cried so hard.
I have heard this little prayer warrior pray some anointed, inspired, fervent prayers....
but, honestly, this intercession...on my behalf...reached a whole new level.
I could never put into words how deeply moved I was by the burdened sincerity of that prayer.
It crossed my mind that if his words were touching the core of my soul,
how must they be affecting God, His Heavenly Father...the One to Whom they were being prayed?

I knew, in that moment, that God heard everything Zachary and Kevin were saying in that prayer.
God heard.
I know He did.
I could feel it.
My mother-heart was broken, hearing that prayer.
How much more God's father-heart had to be rent in two!
Hearing those cries, watching those tears, feeling that level of sincerity.


"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us:
And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, 

we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."
I John 5:14,15

I love these verses!
I quote them often to God in prayer...
sometimes my faith is weak, and believing the Word of God is the only thing I have to cling to
in those moments.

I have thought about Mom and Dad so much lately.
Longed to call them.
Longed to hear them tell me everything is going to be okay.
Longed to hear them say they are praying for me.

I miss their love...and care....and concern.
How grateful I am to and for my siblings, family, and all of the others who care and are praying for me!

I have called upon them often, when things were at their worst,
they have dropped whatever they were doing,
and they have prayed.

Last night, Debbie, LD, and Mark came,
and oh the sweet blessing they were to us!
We had a very anointed, precious time of prayer together.
The Lord was so very near, and His presence fell upon each one of us in a powerful downpour.

And Jesus!
Oh, so often my mind is upon Him!
All He went through for us,
the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional exhaustion He endured...
and the fact that HE, Himself is interceding...non-stop for me!
Oh, the thought!

"...It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again,
Who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
Romans 8:34

"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Hebrews 4:15

He could have chosen to be a distant on-looker of our humanity and all we encounter in this life.
He could have stayed in the comfort of Heaven, opted to never leave,
and merely watched and sympathized as our hearts break and our bodies ache.
If He had made that choice, we would not only be completely void of hope,
but we would not have a God Who truly understands the human condition.
It is one thing to look at someone and say, "I feel for you.  I am sorry for what you are going through."
It is quite another to say, "I know how you feel.  I have walked in your shoes."

Jesus chose to come to earth.
He wanted to experience what we go through...to the nth degree.
All of it.
There is no emotion, no physical condition, no anguish that you and I will ever encounter
that He has not already felt, lived through, and fully experienced.
He was tempted, tried, and tormented in every, single way you and I are.
There is nothing we could ever go through that He does not completely and entirely comprehend.

So, when we cry out to Him...the way Zach did the other night,
we can be absolutely certain that He is touched...
He is moved, my friend...
to a degree that we will never be able to fathom.

Jesus was often "moved with compassion"
when He came across suffering, tormented, anguished souls
during His life on earth.
He couldn't turn His head and pretend it wasn't happening.
He literally hurt when He saw the hurting.
Remember how He groaned in His Spirit as He stood by Lazarus' tomb
and listened to the cries and anguished sobs of those who mourned?
Remember how He stopped the funeral procession of the Nain widow's son,
as she grieved over his lifeless body,
so He could speak life into him and restore him to his anguished mother?

"And it came to pass the day after, that He went into a city called Nain;
and many of His disciples went with Him, and much people.
Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city,
behold, there was a dead man carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow:
and much people of the city was with her.
And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her,
and said unto her, Weep not.
And He came and touched the bier: 

and they that bare him stood still. 
And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. 

And He delivered him to his mother."

Luke 7:11-15

Don't you know it just filled Jesus' loving heart with joy to be able to restore that son 
to his grieving mother?
I can just see the smile that must have crossed His sweet face, 
as He turned to walk away from the two of them.

Jesus Christ is deeply moved when we pray.
He understands...first-hand...how it feels to be human...every part of it.
He listens to those heart-wrenched prayers...
and He prays for us....
to the Father.
He is right there...right next to God...making intercession for you and for me.
Praise His name!




Left behind.
Watching others moving and going and doing.
It is a new experience for me...so used to being the one who is "doing the doing."

Jesus knows how it feels...all of it....
even the left behind part.
Remember the Garden of Gethsemane?
When He kept asking His disciples to pray with Him,
only to come back a while later and find them sleeping?
He was alone...when He needed them most.
They all forsook Him and fled...in the heat of the battle.
He had no human comfort.

Surely God has reasons for halting me here...on the sidelines of life.
I don't know why this is taking so long.
I am so tired.
Thankfully, I did finally get some sleep during the early morning hours today.
It was the best sleep I have had in almost three weeks.

When I think of the burdens of others and the length and severity of their tribulations,
I realize that mine pales in comparison.
I am not complaining....just wishing to feel better...longing to be released from the trial.
But, should I be?
Prematurely?
Should God's mission to teach be aborted before it completely fulfills its purpose?
Just because of my whining and squirming to break free?
Do I really want the Shepherd to bring an end to this if He has not yet finished the work
He set out to do when He first led me to this pasture?

He knows what is best.
I know that...in theory.
Do I really believe it now?
As the battle rages?
This is where I find out.
This is where the lofty boasts of trusting Him completely are put to the test.

So, I sit, and I wait upon the Lord...for healing....for lessons....
to learn all He wants me to while going through this.
I want to squeeze every drop of spiritual good 
I can possibly wring out of this trial. 
My heart is wide-open to Him....My Teacher, My Master, My Lord, My Savior, My Healer...
My tender, gentle, Good Shepherd...Who gave His life for me...
Who suffered a beyond-horrible, intense, inhumane scourging brought about by
cruelly-inflicted stripes by the strong hands of burly, hard-hearted Roman Soldiers....
just so I could be healed.

"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree,
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:
by Whose stripes ye were healed."
I Peter 2:24

Past tense.
By Whose stripes we were healed.
It is a done deal.
All we have to do is wait for it.

How could I ever praise Him enough?
For all He went through...for me?
I feel so unworthy...so low....so undone.

I love Him with all my heart....
I don't know of a moment I ever loved Him more.

I wait....hoping and believing that "this too shall pass."
Trusting the wisdom of His timing.
Knowing and acknowledging from the bottom of my soul,
that He doeth all things well.
Hoping for the moment I mount up with wings as eagles...as He promised
Looking forward to the day I can run and not be weary...
walk and not faint....
do my chores without losing my breath....
resume to "normal" without feeling like I will collapse....
and having to rush back to the recliner every little while to rest.


I am feeling very much left behind
but how sweet to know that Jesus is walking this path with me!
No one knows better how this truly feels, 
and there is no other hand I would rather trust to lead me out.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Cheryl,

    So nice to meet you!

    I hope that you are feeling stronger and able to once again, join your family in all the wonderful activities that you share. Please take care of yourself and get plenty of rest as your images of the landscape that surrounds you is spectacularly beautiful and it awaits your company.

    Sending prayers,

    Poppy
    Your newest follower

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Poppy! So happy to have you here! I so appreciate your prayers and the encouragement you left behind. :) I look forward to future blessed visits with you. Love, Cheryl

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  2. Thank you, Cheryl. I have just discovered your blog; what an encouragement it has been already. May God bless you and heal you soon!

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    Replies
    1. Welcome, Jennifer! I am so happy to have met you and to know that you are blessed here. I hope you will visit often! Thank you for your kind words. I am trusting God to see me through...I know He is able! May the dear Lord bless you and yours throughout this new year! Love, Cheryl

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  3. Hello, your name caught my eye, as it is the same as mine, at Poppy's blog and I thought I'd come visiting! I pray you are feeling better soon. You have a lovely blog, and I'll be glad to follow. I enjoyed your words and photos. ~Cheryl@TFD

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