Monday, February 25, 2013

Faith By Hearing: New Series!

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. ~ Romans 10:17 (NIV)

Wow, Friday's post was a "Debbie Downer," wasn't it?  Well, it was a downer kind of day.  Writing that post was pretty therapeutic for me, but I needed something more to pull me out of my death slump.  I'm not the type of person who can automatically turn my emotions off when I'm feeling upset.  I've had plenty of people command me to just "Smile!" when it looks like I'm not having a good day.  As if that will help!  Really?  Smile?!  I'm sorry but that's annoying, and it's not helpful.  Living with a chronic illness, I've developed my own coping mechanism. It's called "Pity Party.  Pray.  Press On."  I allow myself to sulk and cry and scream for 24 hours.  Then I pray.  So Thursday night, after getting the call, I prayed.  I asked God for something, anything, to let me know it was going to be OK.  My faith was small.  I searched around in my heart trying to pull at whatever strands of hope remained and there were barely any.  I had just enough faith to beg God to help me, to give me peace again, to take away the fear, to help me KNOW that he will make a way.  Then I fell asleep.   

The next morning, my eyes opened slowly. I was exhausted again.  I couldn't get out of bed, I thought.  I didn't want to.  I decided to check the Bible App on my phone.  This will be unbelievable, but here is what the App said.  

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  
~~ Joshua 1:9

After reading that verse, I was overcome with a flood of emotions.  I was shocked, in disbelief that I was really getting an answer to my prayer.  I was upset with myself because I almost gave up.   I stared at the ceiling.  My heart started to beat fast, I felt tears rising to the surface.  This time it wasn't an hour of painful sobbing. I shed just a few tears because I was so happy I didn't know how else to express it.  I was thankful.  I turned to look at the cat, who had been sleeping right next to me.  "Burton, God is here.  He is here with us!" I said.  The cat squinted almost as if to say, "Really?  You woke me up to tell me something I already knew?"   I jumped out of bed and squeezed the cat until he wiggled out of my arms.  "We are going to work today Burton!  Everything is going to be OK!"  

For the rest of the day, I was encouraged. The lab report from Thursday was bad.  My kidney function is down to 7 percent, and because the kidneys aren't filtering as much anymore, I'm a walking, talking tub of toxins and waste.  There's no date for my surgery and it sounds like I'm probably going to have to go on dialysis.  But I have hope.  I'm hoping for something.  I don't know what it is.  I don't know when it will get here. But when it does arrive, I will be ready, and it will be awesome.  

To the readers of this blog, how ever many or how few there may be, if you're going through something right now, I'm want you to know that I understand.  It sucks. It's not fair.  You just want it to end, but you're not sure when it will.  But open your eyes:  God is with you.  He is here, and He will always be.  He is working on your behalf.  He is orchestrating something so amazing and beautiful for you that when it is finally revealed you will not be able to believe it, because it will be that magnificent.  He loves you.  He will see you through.  This is His promise, forever.