When Healing Doesn’t Come

Rom 8:25 But if we have hope for that which we see not, then we will be able to go on waiting for it. (BBE)

As a former nurse, I have seen much suffering. As well my own sufferings (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, arthritis, cancer, panic attacks), many of my loved ones also suffer. So the subject of healing is one that is near and dear to my heart.

While I love God and believe in His Word, there are a number of topics on which I am not quite clear, and healing is one of them. I have done extensive study on the subject and have put everything that I have learned into practice. I have watched Christian healing teaching videos over and over. I have read and re-read many books on the subject. I have rebuked symptoms and spoken healing scriptures over and over again. I have prayed in tongues and I have laid hands on the sick. I have believed for healing with everything that is within me.

So I must confess to some (ok – a lot) of bewilderment when healing does not manifest itself in either my own body or that of my loved ones.

When it came to the issue of my own healing – or NOT healing, as it were, I came to a place in my faith life wherein I had an important choice to make. I could either get angry and frustrated with God, which would damage my relationship with Him, or I could stop struggling and just accept what was (and is) and leave it in God’s hands. I confess that this is much harder for me to do when it is a dear loved one suffering – I feel so helpless.

My relationship with God is more important to me than my own healing, so I have chosen to try to be more aceepting and peaceful about my situation. I also try to remember a very wise statement my mother once made concerning her own struggle with suffering. She told me that she has chosen to believe that God’s Word is true so that when His Word says: “1Pe 2:24 He took our sins on himself, giving his body to be nailed on the tree, so that we, being dead to sin, might have a new life in righteousness, and by his wounds we have been made well.” (BBE) she believes that she is healed, even if it means that she won’t manifest it until Jesus comes again.

Rom 8:21 That all living things will be made free from the power of death and will have a part with the free children of God in glory.
Rom 8:22 For we are conscious that all living things are weeping and sorrowing in pain together till now.
Rom 8:23 And not only so, but we who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we have sorrow in our minds, waiting for the time when we will take our place as sons, that is, the salvation of our bodies.

On my rough days, and when loved ones are suffering, I try to remind myself that the present suffering is nothing compared to the glory that awaits us in Heaven and that having patience and holding fast to faith is earning us great rewards and crowns of glory.

Rom 8:18 I am of the opinion that there is no comparison between the pain of this present time and the glory which we will see in the future. (BBE)

Rom 8:25 But if we have hope for that which we see not, then we will be able to go on waiting for it. (BBE)

Rev 2:10 Have no fear of the things which you will have to undergo:… Be true till death, and I will give you the crown of life. (BBE)

If you or a loved one are suffering and awaiting healing, I pray that God will fill you with faith, hope, comfort, and peace. I also pray for your healing and deliverance, in the name of Jesus.

Blessings

 

The Toilet Bowl

Mat 21:22 And all things, whatever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.

The other day I was cleaning my toilet and as I flushed it and watched the water swirl around the bowl and down the drain, it suddenly struck me how the toilet flushing was a metaphor for what has been going on in my life lately.

Have you ever had times when it feels like difficult circumstances, cares and worries are swirling all around you and you feel like you are getting sucked down a big hole?

It’s not that I am experiencing anything particularly terrible, it’s just that there seems to be a multitude of challenges all going on at once and it feels like I am powerless to do anything about them.

My poor hubby has been suffering from an increase in the frequency, severity and longevity of migraines. I hate seeing my loved ones in pain and I hate not being able to do much to help them. On top of the headaches, he has developed another health concern requiring his having to go through an unpleasant and uncomfortable medical test.

Then there is my dear mother who is preparing for a major life change as she moves clear across the province from her home of almost 30 years. The whole process has been filled with difficulties and frustrations, on top of which she has been in extreme pain. I live 8 hours away and have been unable to help her through this challenging time.

My oldest son and his family have had to give up their home due to financial difficulties and are now crowded in with an in-law. My son works 6 days a week and often over 60 hours a week too so he is only able to spend 1 day a week with his wife and daughter and he is exhausted. I don’t live near them and I don’t have money to help them out.

My youngest son just bought his first home after working very hard to save up for a down-payment. He had only been in his home a few weeks when he fell at work tearing a ligament in his knee. His is in pain, unable to work and the workplace injury insurance company has refused his claim. They live 8 hours away so I can’t be there to help either physically or financially.

I love my family deeply and it hurts me to see them hurting. I am a problem solver and a do-er/helper so I have really been struggling with feeling so absolutely helpless and useless in these circumstances.

That is why, each day I do the only thing I know to do – pray, pray, pray to my Heavenly Father.

I pray to God because I know that He loves me, that He hears me and that He cares about my concerns.

1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

I pray to God because I know that He is faithful and powerful to bring answer to prayer.

2Th 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you and guard you from the evil.

I pray to God because I trust in Him to work good out of the bad situations.

Gen 50:20 But as for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save a great many people alive.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

I pray to God because I know that He loves my loved ones even more than I do and He wants them well and happy.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I pray because God has said that the prayer of a righteous child of God accomplishes a lot.

Jas 5:16 … The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous one avails much.

I pray because when all is said and done, God, through His son, Christ Jesus, is the only hope for any of the problems of my loved ones, or the entire world.

Without God = no hope…

Eph 2:11,12 Therefore remember that you, the nations, … in the flesh, …  without Christ, … strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

But with God = hope…

1Ti 5:5 But she being really a widow, and having been left alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

 

If and when your life feels like it is swirling down the toilet, this is my prayer for you

1Th 5:16 – 18:  May you rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. And in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Blessings

 

In The Suffering

In a number of previous posts, I have shared my struggles with various health issues. I share them for a number of reasons. Firstly, I want people to understand that being a Christian does not mean that everything is going to be sweetness and light. Secondly, I want readers to know that I am a real person with real struggles and that I constantly need to turn to God for help, comfort and strength. And thirdly, I want others who may be suffering and/or struggling to know that there is a God of love, comfort, peace and joy who is ready, willing and able to help us through any and all the things that we may go through in this life.

Joh 16:24 Before now you have asked nothing in My name; ask (in the name of Jesus) and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

1Jn 3:21,22 Beloved, if our heart does not accuse us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Eph 3:20 Now to Him (God) who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,…

The month of February has been a challenging one for me physically. It has been bitterly cold with high winds and blowing snow. My pain and fatigue levels have increased as have depression and anxiety. All of this on top of having to pack and clean for a move. To say that I am a bit grumpy at times may be an understatement. To be honest, I am fed up!!

Yet, even as I sit here feeling like crap (yes, I am a Christian and I said ‘crap’) I realize that I have many blessings for which I should be thankful.

I am thankful for medicinal ‘helps’ which God provides to alleviate my symptoms. I am thankful that He does not judge me for my lack of faith in my moments of weakness. Rather, I know that He is compassionate and understanding.

Psa 86:15 But You, O God, are God full of pity, and gracious, long-suffering, and rich in mercy and truth.

Likewise, I know that my Saviour, Jesus, also suffered pain, fatigue and sorrow.

Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin.

In this miserable weather, I am thankful for warm clothes and shelter. I think of, and pray for, those who must endure this weather without benefit of warm clothes or shelter and I help in whatever way I can.

1Ti 6:8 But having food and clothing, we will be content.

In my pain, fatigue and grumpiness, I am very thankful for a loving, compassionate, understanding and patient husband. I thank God for my hubby every day because he loves me as God commands a husband to love his wife.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it,

In my rough mornings, I am thankful for a comfortable chair, a hot cup of tea, a purring cat upon my lap and a good book to read. I am even more blessed if the sun is shining upon my face.

In my suffering, I am thankful for dear sisters-in-Christ who pray for me and offer words and gestures of help and comfort.

1Th 5:11 Therefore comfort one another, and edify one another, even as you also do.

Jas 5:16 Confess faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous one avails much.

And in my suffering, I am so grateful for the sure knowledge of my salvation and for the hope that when Jesus comes again, I will be made whole and I will no longer endure suffering, pain or sorrow.

1Ti 2:3,4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Rev 21:4 And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away.

PRAISE GOD!

I pray that you will reach out to God in your suffering and find help in your time of need.

Heb 4:16 Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Blessings

 

 

 

Easy-Peasy?

If anyone has ever told you that it is easy to be a Christian – they are full of crap. Sorry if that term offends you, but that is how I feel about the subject.

I was a Christian long before I experienced adult baptism by full immersion in water. At that time, I was led to believe that 1) I was not a true Christian unless I was baptized, and 2) my life would change drastically, for the better, once I was baptized. I have found out that both these “doctrines” are incorrect.

In this post, I am not going to address the issue of water baptism, but rather, the issue that there is a thought process out there that once you become a Christian, your life will become sooooooo much better. While there is some truth to that idea, it is not a simple, all encompassing truth.

At the time that I decided to become baptized by full immersion, my life had been and was at that time, pretty stressful and unhappy. Although I had been a Christian for a number of years, I never felt that I was ever a “good enough” Christian. And because of that thought process, I thought that a lot of my personal problems and unhappiness was due to the fact that I wasn’t a “complete” Christian because I had not been baptized. I was led to believe that being baptized would “clench the deal” as it were. I was told that being baptized was a life-changing experience. Well, I wanted me some of that!

So I went into that baptismal tank with an earnest desire to wash away all the old, “faulty” me and to  come up out of that water a new, glorious, radiant, powerful, happy, and miraculously changed me. Boy was I in for a HUGE disappointment. Not only did I not feel any different, but my life became MORE difficult following my baptism than before it!

I wanted answers and help so I started watching all kinds of TV ministries. Imagine how happy I was to find ones that taught that I don’t have to be sad, sick or poor. All I had to do was rebuke the issue and “name and claim” my miracle! Well, I tried that for years. Intense prayer, intense Bible study, intense speaking forth scriptures. Oh how I would love to say that all my miracles came through and that my life became wonderful – NOT!

I think that it is very wrong to teach people that life becomes so much easier once you are saved. I have not found that “doctrine” anywhere in the Bible. While Jesus did tell us to exchange our burdens for his, for they are light:

Mat 11:29, 30 Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

I don’t believe that Jesus was saying that we would never have another problem in our lives. In fact, he tells us that in this world, we WILL have troubles:

Joh 16:33 … In the world you have trouble… 

He also warned that we have an enemy who goes about looking for people that he can destroy, one who shoots “fiery darts” at us and one whose mission it is to kill, to steal and to destroy. The enemy HATES the children of God and he is constantly at war with them.

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was enraged over the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Our enemy has painted a target on our back and he is constantly at work shooting “fiery darts” at us in hopes of taking us down.

Does this sound like an “easy-peasy” life to you??

In fact, we are told that as believers, we are not to be surprised that difficult things will happen to us in our lives.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial which is to try you, as though a strange thing happened to you,

Not only that, we are told that going through difficult situations can bring about personal and spiritual growth.

Rom 5:3-5 And not only this, but we glory in afflictions also, knowing that afflictions work out patience, and patience works out experience, and experience works out hope. And hope does not make us ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us. 

When you read the accounts of the lives of the apostles – does it sound like their lives were ‘easy-peasy’? I think not! Just read what Paul has to say about some of his experiences:

2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as beside myself,) I am more! I have been in labors more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in prisons more, in deaths many times.
2Co 11:24 Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes minus one.
2Co 11:25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the deep.
2Co 11:26 I have been in travels often; in dangers from waters; in dangers from robbers; in dangers from my race; in dangers from the heathen; in dangers in the city; in dangers in the wilderness; in dangers on the sea; in dangers among false brothers.
2Co 11:27 I have been in hardship and toil; often in watchings; in hunger and thirst; often in fastings; in cold and nakedness;
2Co 11:28 besides the things outside conspiring against me daily, the care of all the churches.

Wow – I don’t think that Paul would ever describe a Christian’s life as ‘easy-peasy’. And you can be sure that he absolutely knew the Word of God and spent much time in prayer – yet he still endured all those hardships.

I have often heard it taught that we should be thankful for any and all difficulties that come our way. I believe that it is an erroneous (fancy word for incorrect) interpretation of Rom. 8:35-37.

Rom 8:35-37 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For Your sake we are killed all the day long. We are counted as sheep of slaughter.” But in all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us. 

Pay close attention to that last sentence. Does it say “for all these things” or “in all these things”? God’s Word doesn’t tell us to be thankful for difficult circumstances but rather that we can be thankful in difficult circumstances – why? – because when we are a believer of Jesus Christ, we are more than conquerors in those situations because we have Christ “The Conqueror” in us. We have God in Christ in us and they will help us through those difficult times.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I do believe that miracles are available and that they do occur. That is where hope comes into the picture – never give up hope. But I no longer believe that because I am a Christian my life will be all chocolate and flowers. I do believe that God, through Jesus, will strengthen me during the difficult times and help me to get through them. My hard times are made easier and I have hope because I know that God loves me, that He wants me to have victory in those areas and that Jesus is my ‘over-comer’.

Joh 16:33 I have said all these things to you so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble: but take heart! I have overcome the world. 

So when you go through trials and tribulations – and you will go through some – have hope and peace in remembering that you are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ!

Psa 46:1-3  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear when the earth changes, and when mountains are slipping into the heart of the seas. Let its waters roar and foam; let the mountains shake with the swelling of it. Selah.

Blessings

 

 

 

WHAM II

I remember a line from a tv show that goes something like this: “when you least expect it, expect it!” Well. I was in no way expecting the earth to open up beneath my feet after I got to work this morning. Just as son as I got into the office the manager set me down and told me that she was terminating my employment! WHAM! No prior notice, no reasons given and don’t forget to  pay for all those clothes we made you buy so that you could work in our store. Give us your keys and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. WHAM WHAM! I had obviously been accused of something and judge and jury had come up with the verdict without giving me any representation and a chance to defend myself.

While I am a Christian, I am also an imperfect human in this world. I make mistakes, I get hurt, angry, frustrated and upset. I do my best to conduct myself as to be pleasing unto the Lord and in a fashion that gives God the glory. I do confess that sometimes my mouth forgets that it is part of a consecrated body and it says things it shouldn’t. If I realize that I have made a mistake, I do my best to apologize and make amends.

Today, I am very weary of the evil world and it’s wicked ways. Today, I feel like becoming a monkish hermit and going to find a cave to live in (as long as it has indoor plumbing and hot running water – lol) My Mom and I both agreed today that there are some days where you just feel like falling on your knees pleading “come, Jesus, come” today.

However, I may be down at this moment , but I am not out because He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world.

“DEar God, help me to rise above in triumph over these moments of WHAM that shake me to my core. Fill me with you spirit of peace, love and joy so that I may be a blessing for your kingdom”. Amen

Pushing Through Barkin’ Dawgs

My former husband was a Natural Resources Technician. One of his jobs was timber cruising – walking through large areas of woodland designated as potential logging operations and measuring, assessing and marking trees that could be harvested. This job required walking many kilometers over and through a wide range of terrain.

One of his crew members was a fellow in his 60’s (!) who had been doing that type of work for many years. At the end of one particularly long and difficult day, the fellow wearily sat down and stated “my dawgs are barkin’ and my birds are chirpin'”. It was his quaint way of saying that his legs and feet were killing him.

In a number of previous posts, I have shared my struggle with chronic pain, fatigue, and mental health issues. Some days the symptoms are just nagging shadows but on other days they are like roaring lions. I have recently started working again at a job that requires me to be on my feet all day. After my first day, I hobbled home on legs and feet that were not simply “barkin’ and chirping” but  “howlin’  and screachin’! When I got home, all I could do was soak my legs and feet and take pain meds and sit on the couch. The next day, I had to do it all over again! It has now been 3 weeks and I wish that I could say that the pain has gone away, but it hasn’t – although it has lessened somewhat.

Maybe you are asking “why are you doing something that causes you pain??” I do it because I am reaping benefits that are important to me. Working allows me to get out of my small apartment, socialize with a wide variety of people, earn some “mad money”, dress up in fun clothes, and have a sense of purpose. It also challenges me to push through difficult situations.

I think that “pushing through” is often a large part of our lives – both worldly and spiritual. I also think that it is the “pushing through” which develops and strengthens our character and our faith. When difficult and/or painful things occur in our lives, we can’t just lay down, roll over and play dead hoping that someone else will make it all go away. We have an enemy who will always being throwing fiery curve balls at us in an attempt to destroy us. He wants us to just roll over and play dead; after all, a dead body does not make a very good witness to life! And Jesus came that we might have life!

Joh 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Joh 20:31 But these are written so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life in His name.

The Bible is filled with the true stories of people who had to “push through” difficult times in order to obtain something better. DAvid had to push through fear and physical hardships before he was able to take his place as the King of Israel. Esther had to push through fears of punishment and death in order to plead the case of the Israelites before the King. The apostle Paul relates a long list of things that he experienced, endured and had to push through.

2Co 11:23-28  Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as beside myself,) I am more! I have been in labors more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in prisons more, in deaths many times.  Five times from the Jews I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the deep. I have been in travels often; in dangers from waters; in dangers from robbers; in dangers from my race; in dangers from the heathen; in dangers in the city; in dangers in the wilderness; in dangers on the sea; in dangers among false brothers.
I have been in hardship and toil; often in watchings; in hunger and thirst; often in fastings; in cold and nakedness; besides the things outside conspiring against me daily, the care of all the churches.

Our ultimate example for pushing through is found in the person of Jesus Christ. In the Garden of Gethsemane we see him pushing through his fear of the knowledge of what terrible thing was going to happen to him.

Mat 26:38 Then He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Wait here and watch with Me.
Mat 26:39 And He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.

Long distance runners know that they have to push through the burning in their lungs before they will get their “second wind” and they must push through the burning in their legs to cross the finish line. Oftentimes, before we can appreciate and enjoy life, or obtain answer to prayer, we need to push through difficult circumstances. We need to keep putting one foot in front of the other in order to reach our break through.

Jesus pushed through fear, rejection, humiliation, torture and death so that we might have forgiveness of our sins and a sure hope of eternal life.

Heb 12:2 looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.

I encourage and exhort you to keep pushing through the hard, painful and difficult things in your life. Seek God’s help and trust in Him to bring you through. You will come out a winner!

Heb 12:1 Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Blessings

Winter of Discontent

“Now is the winter of our discontent” are the opening words of the play, Richard  III, by Shakespeare.

This has definitely been a “winter of discontent” in most of Canada. Everywhere I go, the hottest topic of conversation is the weather. Specifically, when is winter ever going to end?? Here  we are in the second week of March and we are still experiencing snowstorms and temperatures in the negative double digits! Is there light at the end of the ice road?

While I was raised in Southern Ontario, Canada, I have spent most of my adult years living in Northern Ontario. (and for those of you who live in southern Ontario, Parry Sound is NOT considered Northern Ontario). I have also lived in Ottawa, Ontario which is considered one of the coldest capital cities in the world. When I lived in Kapuskasing, Ontario, I had 2 very small children and it was often hard to go outside with them because there would be weeks where the average “high” was -25*C.  My birthday is near the beginning of May, and after years of living “up North” I was never surprised to see snow falling around that time and ice still on the lakes. So I know a little bit about long, cold winters.

I have now lived in Southwestern Ontario for four years, and I must admit to chuckling (ok – I smirk too) when I hear “Southerners” complaining about the winter. Personally, I have realized that I actually prefer many aspects of northern winters over southern ones. While northern winters are usually colder, the days are often sunny and dry. Here in SW Ontario, the temperatures are usually milder BUT the winters tend to be very damp, raw, windy and grey. YUCK!

Jesus was a great fellow for using analogies to teach spiritual lessons. I think that the weather can be used as an analogy for both life and spiritual lessons. I have experienced many long, dark, cold winter nights in my personal and spiritual life. Sometimes, living with chronic illness can seem like one long winter season. The loss of a marriage or a loved one can leave you feeling barren, cold, and  alone like you are living in the Arctic Barrens. A diagnosis of cancer can take your breath away like a stiff, icy, northern wind and leave you gasping and brain numb. And along with those things, I have experienced a cooling off, a numbing and a darkening of my faith. Sometimes, it just feels like the “winters” in life are never going to end!

Yet, throughout all those cold, dark times, there was, (and is) a hope of light at the end of the ice road. Jesus is that hope; he is that light.

Mat 4:16   The people who sat in darkness saw a great Light; and Light has sprung up to those who sat in the region and shadow of death.”

Joh 8:12   Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

When I am living through a literal winter, I try to look for things that will bless me: the bright scarlet flash of a cardinal; sunlight reflecting diamonds in the snow; the twittering, chirping and whistling song of a tree full of starlings; the downy blanket of snow on evergreens, a breath of fresh, crisp air; and snuggling up to my warm hubby (which is good any time of year!) I try to keep in mind that winter is not forever and that spring will eventually make it’s appearance (although not today – it is snowing as I write this). And to help remind me that spring really  is on it’s way, I have a pot of hyacinths, just coming in to bud, on my windowsill  – I can’t wait to breathe in their sweet fragrance!

When I am going through a “physical” winter, I try to focus on things that I can be thankful for: access to free medical care, helpful medications, safe and cozy home environment, a loving, understanding and supportive husband, family and friends who pray for me, and I am especially thankful for a loving God who holds me in His arms, His healing words in scripture, and the sure and certain hope that one day I WILL be healed and delivered from pain forever.

For me, my times of “spiritual” winters may have been the worst kind of winter. When you are ill or in pain, there are often real, physical things that you can do to help alleviate the symptoms. In my spiritual winters, the solutions don’t always seems so clear-cut, straightforward or easy. During those times, I try to focus my energy on using those “Winter survival tools” that God has made available to help me “shovel through the storm”.

I am thankful that I have a collection of uplifting Christian music that I can listen to. I am a “rock ‘n’ roll” girl at heart and it is difficult to avoid getting up and dancing to the Lord when Steven Curtis Chapman or Michael W. Smith are rockin’ it to the Lord! Thirty minutes of praise and worship is a sure fire way to get your physical and spiritual heart a-pumpin’. (“Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, lift up your voice to God…”)

I also make use of books of uplifting and encouraging scripture such as “God’s Promises for Your Every Need”. The Book of Psalms is one of my favourite books of the Bible.  In it, I read how David struggled with fear and faith yet he always gave praise to God, in whom he trusted to see him through. I am grateful for people like Joyce Meyers who have “been there, done that”, who tell it like it is but use humour and truth to show us God’s ways.

Pro 4:20 – 22   My son, listen to my words; bow down your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all his flesh.

And lastly, but certainly not least, when “having done all to stand”(Eph. 6:13),  I am thankful for prayer. I am thankful that because of what Jesus did for me, I have the right and ability to approach God’s throne of grace.

Heb 4:16   Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

I am so blessed to be able to pray in tongues when “I know not what I should pray for”. I have peace knowing that the holy spirit that God has placed in me is communicating more closely with His spirit.

Rom 8:26   And in the same way the Spirit is a help to our feeble hearts: for we are not able to make prayer to God in the right way; but the Spirit puts our desires into words which are not in our power to say;

Rom 8:27   And he who is the searcher of hearts has knowledge of the mind of the Spirit, because he is making prayers for the saints in agreement with the mind of God.

Dear reader, if you are experiencing a “winter” in your life, I want to assure you that just as sure as Spring follows Winter in the physical, climactic realm, so too will God bring you through your dark “winter of discontent” into the warm light of new spring life if you will earnestly seek Him out and trust in Him.

Rom 8:24   For our salvation is by hope: but hope which is seen is not hope: for who is hoping for what he sees?

Rom 8:25   But if we have hope for that which we see not, then we will be able to go on waiting for it.

Rev 21:4   And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away.

Blessings