encouragement

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Two days ago it was 72 degrees out, sunny and beautiful.  Yesterday huge snowflakes the size of quarters were falling.  A 40 degree drop in 24 hours is not good for fibromyalgia, and last night was not a good night.  I was awake a lot and by the time I got up this morning the pain was fairly intense.  When I moved I moaned; when I tried to get out of bed I made those funny little “ow ow ow” noises (ok, they were a little louder and less funny, but you get the idea).

I opened my Kindle to read my Bible before work, and felt like I wanted to go to a different version than I had been reading lately.  I opened the version that I felt led toward, and the page that came up was this:

Psalm 102
1 Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come to you. 2 Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress.  Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. 3 For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers.  4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food.  5 In my distress I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones.  6 I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.  7 I lie awake; I have become like a bird alone on a roof.  

I have to tell you – that kind of blew me away.  Talk about the Bible being relevant to my life.   I could have written this!

As I continued reading, I got to Psalm 103.

  1 Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Wow.  It was like getting a love letter straight from Heaven.  Exactly what I needed to hear.  God will heal me, in his way, his time.  Maybe by a miracle, maybe by medicine, like I was cured of cancer. I was rescued from that pit, for sure.   I would love to be healed of fibro right now today, and I know it’s possible.  However, God knows what is best for me.  He knows if dealing with this condition right now is something that will help me become more like him.  That’s what verse 5 means when it says he satisfies my desires with good things.  It doesn’t say he will give me all my desires.  He will give me good things that will satisfy my desires – if I do the rest of what the scripture says: Praise the Lord, don’t forget all the good things he does for me.  In fact, count them, list them.  Keep my mind positive and focused on God and keep my attitude thankful, and he will satisfy me and keep me strong, like an eagle.   If I let myself focus on what’s wrong and how bad I feel, it’s easy to slide down and down and down.

An eagle, by the way, renews its strength by riding the wind like a glider.  It just rests and lets the wind hold it up.  Pretty cool word picture when you think that the Bible uses the wind to describe the Holy Spirit.  I can get refreshed and strengthened by just resting and letting the Holy Spirit hold me and carry me where I need to go.

David knew about staying focused on God and his strength too.  Back in Psalm 102 where I started, he opened up with a list of all the things that were going so badly and how terrible he feels.  But – verse 12 of this psalm takes a total turnaround.  But you, LORD, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. The last 16  verses of the psalm talk about God, his power, his compassion, his glory.  David got his focus back on God and off his troubles.

I am so thankful for this wonderful gift today.  Especially since I have been struggling a bit the last couple of days. (I’ll probably write more about that soon.)  It’s just like God put his arm around my shoulders and said “I know it’s rough right now.  I know you aren’t perfect.  That’s why I sent my Son for you.  Hang in there.  You are loved.”

It sure helped to get me looking the right direction.  Thanks, God.

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