Tag Archives: father

Healing

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” John 5:2‭-‬6 NKJV

The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
John 5:7 NKJV

He didn’t understand Who he was speaking to.

He couldn’t see past his need.

He wasn’t expecting to be healed because he had no one to help him into the water.

What came next must have been outside his ability to guess.

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
John 5:8 NKJV

And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
John 5:9 NKJV

Can one picture the depth of surprise and elation of this man who had been sick for 38 years?

He didn’t even know Who healed him. (John 5:13)

In Mark we find another man who was seeking healing, but didn’t find it, not a first.

Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
Mark 9:17‭-‬18 NKJV

It doesn’t take much imagination to feel the disappointment and sorrow of this man.

But the story doesn’t end there.

So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Mark 9:21‭-‬24 NKJV

The honesty and humility of this man, this father, is answered.

When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”  Then the  spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
Mark 9:25‭-‬27 NKJV

Two men, both received healing from Jesus, but neither of them were expecting what occurred.

Healing often does not come the way one would like nor in the time frame which is desired.

Healing is often not seen as the hand of God, but instead as the working of proper medical treatment or change in lifestyle.

And sometimes healing is something which occurs in the heart instead of the body.

But healing is an everyday occurance.

From the small cut on one’s knee to the restoration of healthy mental attitude, God is in the business of healing.

Where He wants healing to occur for all of mankind is in the relationship between Himself and every single one of us.

Sin leads to death of all sorts, including physical death, and Jesus came to save us from that.

Healing may not always happen when and how and where we would like, but as long as we accept His healing, His payment for our sin, then our souls will be healed.

Truly, healing of the soul is the best place to be made whole.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for both of these stories which remind us that You are in the business of healing. Lord, please help us to realize the importance of allowing You to restore our soul, how much more valuable that is to any other healing. Lord, often we over look the times You have healed and focus on the times we couldn’t see Your healing. Lord, please help us to realize You alone see what is best and we can not. Help us to have faith that You are doing a work of healing even if we do not perceive it. Thank You for Your faithfulness in all things. Thank You for Your salvation which brings us life eternal. Thank You for the way You are continually working to restore our hearts and minds to a right relationship with You. Lord, thank You for loving us so completely. It is in Your name I pray, Jesus. Amen.

“What is it?”

Our granddaughter says this phrase a good deal.

She has a few words she uses, but she’s yet to speak fluidly.

Her curiosity and joy at life are infectious.

Her little smiles, her little hands grasping toys or books or patting, her little eyes looking up so innocently, all these brings us such joy.

And while she is learning about her world and the people in it, she’s asking:

What is it?

It’s something I ask my Heavenly Father frequently.

I’ll hear of an event, see something on the news, or be surprised by a post and my heart will leap:

“God! What is it?”

“Why did that person do that? What caused the behavior there? What were they thinking?”

But He always leads me gently back to the truth.

No matter what I see on the surface there’s something deeper.

A spiritual battle going on which often affects us when we least realize it.

So, again comes the question:

“What is it?”

And added to this:

“How do I pray?”

The answers are as varied and numerous as one might expect.

Each circumstance is unique and therefore holds different points to pray for.

Sometimes, I don’t receive an answer right away and therefore turn to scripture.

I ask God to give me a verse or group of verses to pray.

I seek Him personally, to be sure nothing is hindering my prayers.

Sometimes, I just pray and thank God for whatever He is doing that I don’t understand.

But I am so blessed to be able to go before God, the Creator, and lift up people.

The privilege of talking with the Almighty about anything and everything is overwhelming good.

To find peace and security in His voice, His direction, His Sovereignty.

It’s comfort to my soul, not unlike when our granddaughter gets lifted up to her father’s shoulder.

She leans in and rests her head on him and smiles.

She’s content in the arms of her father.

I can be as well.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for letting me lift up my heart to You. Thank You for opportunities to pray. Lord, thank You for the comfort I find in You and in Your Word. Lord Jesus, please hold me in Your arms and continue to teach me how to pray. I want to be able to stand in the gap, to lift up others bed You, to know You as a Father and a friend. Lord Jesus, thank You for walking with me daily. I give You my all. Please be glorified in me today. Amen.

Because it takes diligence

Although, I had wanted to learn how to crochet lace for many years.

Nothing could have prepared me for the diligence it would take.

Like the moment I realized I’d put together three Celtic Flowers and I’d used the wrong number of stitches.

Which meant pulling it all out and starting completely over.

Now, that might sound like a little thing, but it feels very disheartening.

Crocheting lace takes tiny little stitches.

I’m always surprised at how much thread I wind back around the spool as I unravel stitches.

But it’s worth it.

The diligence in doing it over correctly means the end result will be something worth keeping.

Not necessarily the item, but definitely the lesson.

There is so much self discipline in diligence.

The lesson is so vital to those who follow Christ.

It takes a daily, sometimes moment-by-moment, choice to die to our own wants, desires, and ideas.

Following Christ means we don’t make our own agenda, we are servants of the Most High God.

A servant doesn’t plan their day, they wait upon their master.

Jesus is our example in all things and He laid down what serving God means.

John 5:30 NKJV — “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

John 15:10 KJV — If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These are just a tiny slice of the depth of being a Christ follower.

For a servant to do the will of the Master they must know what He says.

Therefore, constant and continued prayer and Bible reading are the follower’s direction.

And the Master is so gracious and loving.

He understands each one better than that one knows themselves.

He even has sent the Holy Spirit to walk with His servants, to comfort them in their efforts.

He also supplies all the provision required.

I’ll be honest.

I’ve not always understood all this.

My efforts have often been warped by my own selfishness or my blindly trying to force circumstances into what I thought God was directing.

I’ve learned that when things go sideways, it’s time to seek God’s face.

Often, the error is in my understanding of the direction He gave.

Other moments it’s been a call to stop charging ahead of Him, but to do things as I’m lead, side-by-side with the Lord.

On some occasions, He allows things to catch my attention.

I’ve been known to “get things done” while missing the people God wanted me to minister to.

His heart is for the individual, not the project, and He has used circumstances to redirect my focus.

No matter the situation, it should be God who directs us, hones our character, and gives us the pattern to follow.

Then the Christ follower can diligently seek Him as they serve.

We can’t always see the beautiful and useful creation God is making.

But I’m certain that His crafting will produce a fair more valuable treasure than any crocheted lace.

May God bless you, dear Reader, as you diligently follow

“Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!”

Mark 9:20 NKJV — Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Mark 9:23 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Mark 9:24 NKJV — Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

How deeply this story resonates with my heart.

It was yesterday, while driving, a song brought it to mind and I determined to reread the account.

This father is desperate.

His son has been suffering for years.

He’s even been privy to the evil spirit trying to kill his son.

And when he brought him to the disciples, they couldn’t deliver his son.

I can picture how he’s feeling at this juncture.

Mark 9:18 NKJV — “And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”

Can you hear the agony of disappointment?

He needs a solution.

He needs the Savior.

And he is willing, but he’s also honest.

After everything he has suffered through his son’s suffering, he realizes he has unbelief.

And his actions are perfect.

He cries out to Jesus to help his unbelief.

Mark 9:25 NKJV — When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

What an incredible answer to this father’s suffering!

Can you imagine the testimony both of them had for the rest of their lives?

I imagine it made quite an impact.

I know this story has impacted my life.

To hear Jesus’ response to this father’s honesty, brings me comfort when I’m the one struggling with unbelief in one form or another.

May the Lord always bring this beautiful story to mind whenever I’m battling unbelief.

Because no matter the outcome, I know Jesus will take me by the hand and lift me up.

Praise the Lord!

Mud pie

image

Our youngest girl and her best friend made this.

They were excited it turned out so nice and brought it in to show me.

As a child I too made mud pies and cakes, none turned out so nice as this.

My fellow baker was always my sister, my best friend.

I don’t remember bringing our creations to Mom but I’m sure we did.

Two things which occurred to me as I thought about mud pies.

First is childhood is practice.

Children practice playing “Mommy” with a doll or two.

They practice cooking with toy kitchens, pots and pans.

Little boys play detective or hunting or practice their athletic abilities.

Blocks are early roads and skyscrapers and bridges.

Often it is in childhood where play brings out the desires or talents of the individual, giving them a corse for the future.

The other part of mud pies that struck me was bringing the “best” to be shown for approval.

Neither of these childhood traits vanish at adulthood.

We still look for approval from our boss, our spouse, our friends,  our family.

We practice the daily grind hoping to find the best recipe, or technology to make our everyday better, cleaner, faster, or more impressive than before.

We strive to live and hope someone will say “Nice job”.

Because, just like our children,  we need to feel loved.
We need to feel valued.
We need to be precious to someone.

And we are.

“For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son. That whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

A Snoodle’s Tale is a Veggie Tale and one of the best ways I have ever seen to express the way God looks at His creation and how we often see ourselves. The little Snoodle feels hopeless to ever find another who would affirm who he is and that he has value,  until he meets the Creator. Then he’s sent back to the others to let them know just how valuable they really are.

The next time you create something,  whether mud pie or sand castle or sky scraper, remember there’s a Father who is loving and wants to say “good job”.

He’s aware of each detail of your life and is interested in it all.

Best of all,
He’s waiting for the chance to guide our creations, to help us with the everyday.
We simply have to listen for His voice, look to His word, and practice.

Picture

image

Fuzzy.
I know!
But our little boy has a tough time holding still long enough to take a good picture with my phone (high speed camera is a different story!)

He said something to me today that caused me to stop and think.

We were discussing the fact that he has a test on Wednesday and Papa is the one taking him, and would leave him for the two hours and pick him back up. Then I would pick him up from Papa.

He cried.

Since getting his thoughts out can be a major struggle I suggested we wait for him to calm down.

After a bit,  he tried again, explaining the issue.

“I don’t like being alone with strangers.”

Understandable,  but I had made a special trip to introduce him to the teacher giving the test so he wouldn’t be nervous.

“I don’t like being alone, without any family.”

Uhm….

Well, what do you think would help you?
“A picture.”

A photograph?  Of our family?

“Yes. That’s what I want. Then I won’t be alone.”

Okay, we can make that happen!

A verse came to mind.

“Then Jesus cried out and said, ‘He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.'” John 12:44-45

God knows that we do better with a picture or an example to really understand.

Although Jesus no longer walks on the Earth we have so much written about Him that we can understand Him much better than if we did not have the Bible.

And Jesus told us to know Him is to know the Father.

As someone who loves words and pictures, I am so glad He gave us the Word.

It also encourages me to again ask the questions:
Do I know God?
What parts of my own ideas have I put into what I think I know?
How well do I know Jesus?

For in this is a key.

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
John 14:7

Father/Mentor

2014-07-29 13.11.27“Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.” 2 Chronicles 24:1

Joash had a very unusual life. His grandmother had ordered the murder of all his brothers and him so she could wipe out the royal line and rule the kingdom herself.

She almost succeeded.

Joash’s aunt saved him and his nurse and took him to be raised in secret.

The man who raised Joash, and organized it so that he was placed in his proper position as king at seven years of age, was a man named Jehoiada.

Reading through the account of Joash’s life it becomes clear that he did very well as king the entire time Jehoiada was a live and guiding him.

While Joash had a good mentor/father he did well, made wise choices, and seemed to be the king he was meant to be.

Unfortunately things changed after Jehoiada’s death.

Joash did not finish well and it seems to point to the fact that he lacked the advice and wisdom of Jehoiada.

The place of father/mentor is extremely important.

A daddy can make such an impact for good or bad in their children.

A mentor can bless and encourage even if the “child” is an adult.

My own father died when I was 22.

Since then I have been blessed by different older gentlemen who have poured into my life in one way or another.

I never tire of hearing my father-in-law refer to me by my childhood nickname.

The advice I have gleaned from the perspective of 70 years of life have helped me to see past the present.

A friendly, “How are you doing?” or “I and my wife are praying for you.” can make the difference in my stress level.

But I know it is much more than how I have been blessed.

I have watched the impact my husband has on our four children.

The way he has taken other boys in and loved them by fishing and hunting trips.

Even now there is a young man that has stated more than once,

“When Jered dies, I have to speak at his funeral. I don’t want it to happen for a really long time but I don’t want you to forget, I need to be there.”

And I know the real impact is in the little things which seem to mean nothing at the time.

It is so special to see our son and another little boy (who has been on many fishing trips) atop my hubby as they watch a movie in the recliner.

There is just something so valuable about a good father/mentor.

And I am very aware that they are few.

Many a prayer has been said for those in our lives or we have heard of that have no such blessing.

But I am hopeful for those who have no mentor/father.

For when I have been in want of such the Lord has always been that voice of guidance through His word, the comfort of knowing He is strong and mighty, and the peace of remembering there are still men who walk in the footsteps of Jesus.