Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Faithful Reminders

One of my most fervent prayers for months has been that I would be able to attend church every Sunday.  I need it desperately.  I need the fellowship, and I also need to be fed the Word.  There have been times over the past three years when I've had to miss weeks at a time.  It messes with me emotionally and spiritually, and we all know that effects your physical well-being.  The Lord has been gracious and I've only had to miss one Sunday in all of 2011.  I sure thought this past Sunday was going to be number two though.  For over a week now my left leg has been swelling worse than my right leg.  It hurts tremendously and is so cold on the inside.  My Lyrica is suspected of being the cause, so Darryl and I talked about possibly trying to lower the dose.  I totally misunderstood what he said.  For two days I dropped my morning dose.  I'm on a hefty dosage of Lyrica, and dropping my morning dose means I've cut in half what I normally take.  I always think of Lyrica as being my anti-inflammatory med and often forget it's for neuropathic pain.  Anything that effects your neurological system is going to have some significant side effects when you cut in half what you've normally taken for four years.  Obviously, I didn't think that through.  My pain level increased, my emotions were out of whack and I had a funky feeling in my mouth and lips.  When I asked Darryl about it at church his eyes double in size and he laughed.  He clarified he meant we would slowly decrease it over months, and instructed me to take my normal morning dose immediately after getting home.

I've spent many Sunday mornings sitting in the shower crying and asking the Lord to give me the strength to go to church.  I didn't even think I was going to make it to the shower this past Sunday.  I do know this.  Satan is real.  He pursued me hard Sunday morning.  I made it to church.  We were a few minutes late for Sunday school, but we made it.  I couldn't stay in Sunday school because I was hurting so bad.  I couldn't concentrate on what was being said, and I was just a distraction shifting back in forth in my chair.  I decided to just go sit in the "sanctuary".  (Since we meet in a school right now while we are building, we hold worship service in the lunchroom.)  Satan had me debating about going home vs. trying to stay.  I had been sitting there for a few minutes when a friend walked up and asked if I wanted some company.  It's amazing how the simple question, "How are you?", can cause you to vomit out what is so heavy on your heart without even realizing it's happening.

Someone I'm very close to is in complete self destruction mode.  I want so desperately to be able to save them, and I simply can't.  I've done everything I know to do ... everything within my power and limitations ... and I can't help them anymore.  It's tearing me apart.  I know the right thing to do at this point is to just turn them over to the Lord, but just because it's the right thing to do, it doesn't make it easy.  I'm seriously having a very hard time with it.  The Lord sent just the right person to me at that very moment.  Even though the details of her situation are different from mine, the basics are the same.  She gets it.  I asked her how she was able to get through her situation.  She told me she spent a lot of time in the Psalms.  She spent a lot of time playing music that fed her spirit.  She said she was so grateful the Holy Spirit intercedes for us because so often she didn't even know how to pray.

Thank you Lord for sending someone to me who "gets it" and who pointed me straight to You.

Caleb has been preaching through the book of Mark for the past several weeks.  He has taught us so much about the details in the days leading up to Jesus' crucifixion.  I've walked away each Sunday with such a deeper understanding and thinking about things in a different light.  Sunday he talked about how Pilate was viewed as being Christ's enemy, when actually he knew He was innocent and was trying to help Him.  However, the crowd wanted Jesus killed and because Pilate was so concerned about pleasing others, He chose to release Barabas and ordered Christ to be crucified.  As Caleb pointed out, it's such a vivid picture of the gospel.  The innocent one dies, and the guilty is set free.  Because of our total depravity, we deserve death.  Yet, because Jesus died in our place, as believers we have eternal life.  We are guilty, but He bore our punishment.  He gave His life to pay our debt.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me how much you love me.

Beneath The Cross Of Jesus

Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.

O safe and happy shelter, O refuge tried and sweet,
O trysting place where Heaven’s love and Heaven’s justice meet!
As to the holy patriarch that wondrous dream was given,
So seems my Savior’s cross to me, a ladder up to heaven.

There lies beneath its shadow but on the further side
The darkness of an awful grave that gapes both deep and wide
And there between us stands the cross two arms outstretched to save
A watchman set to guard the way from that eternal grave.

Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess;
The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by to know no gain or loss,
My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.

This is one of my most favorite hymns.  Sunday we sang this just moments before we took communion.  As the bread was being passed, I could hear it crack each time someone would break off a piece.  It made me wonder if that is sort of what it sounded like each time the whip hit Jesus when He was being beaten.  It's a very sobering sound.

Sitting in front of me was a family that has been visiting our church for the past few weeks.  The mom was helping the two oldest break off the bread, and as soon as she handed the oldest her piece of bread, she put it in her mouth.  Her mom tried explaining to her we wait and take it together.  I smiled and thought, what was perfect picture of coming to Jesus like a little child.  

I don't really know why we wait and take it at the very same moment.  I have assumptions why, but I don't really know for sure.  So, Caleb, you are going to have to explain this to me. : )

By the time we made it home, I was so exhausted I could barely hold up my head, and I was in terrible pain.  I took my Lyrica and ate some lunch . . . and then took a long afternoon nap.  I haven't been able to sleep very well lately because I have been in so much pain.  I'm so very grateful I was able to get some sleep that afternoon.

As each moment of Sunday unfolded, the Lord was right there providing what I needed in that very exact moment.  What started out as a 
"terrible, horrible, no good very bad day" (Have you ever read that book?) ... turned into a precious reminder of how much He loves me.  A very much needed reminder He will supply all of me needs. 

"Grace for the moment, and not one moment before we need it."  I often wonder if Mary knew those words would echo in my heart so often when she said them to me.  She probably was hoping they would.  : )  

It brings me to tears when I think about how the Lord never grows weary of reminding over and over again of how much He loves me and He will never leave me.  Satan may pursue me with every thing he has, but my Heavenly Father will always go before Him and make my path straight.

1 comment:

  1. Robin, Once again, thank you! I knew Sunday something was going on. And I started praying. It's so good to hear how God worked out His plan for you that day! I'm also really glad you were able to go to the movie on Tuesday night, and I'm thankful I was able to sit next to you. :-) That was fun!!