When I got up this morning and went out to water the garden, I was surprised.
It’s only been two days, but the garden has grown in that time.
I went back in the house to retrieve a bowl.
I was so thankful to pick green beans, peas, zucchini, kale, and lettuce.
This little plot is a far cry from our garden in the country, but I’m so thankful for it.
Whether it’s little or much our family is blessed to enjoy fresh vegetables.
And I’m so grateful for our son, who faithfully cares for the garden when I’m unable to.
He also took very good care of me.
He’s learning how to cook and made pizza from scratch yesterday, crust and all, without me.
It’s beautiful to see how God has used these two days to grow both the garden and our family.
What joy comes from resting in the Lord and His provision no matter what is occurring.
It brings to mind:
Psalm 41:1-3NKJV — To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.
Psalm 55:22 NKJV — Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
The Lord is good and He is worthy of our love, our trust, and our praise.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for providing for us. Thank You for the garden and the joy we glean from it. Thank You for our son, who cared for it and me these past days. Lord, thank You for sustaining me, no matter the circumstance. Lord, You are so faithful. My heart can safely trust in You for Your ways are perfect and Your truth is life. Thank You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.
2 Kings 5:1 NKJV — Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.
Naaman was important and well known in his own country as well as other countries.
But, as a leper, he was under a greatly feared and incurable disease.
Yet, God chose to heal him and delivered hope of the healing by a child.
It was healing wrapped in the most surprising way.
2 Kings 5:2 NKJV — And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife.
Such a tiny slice of life, but it speaks loudly of pain and loss.
A group of Syrians had gone out to pillage and steal, and with their booty had kidnapped a girl from her home.
But the incredible thing is, this girl doesn’t seem bitter, instead she demonstrates honest concern for Naaman.
2 Kings 5:3 NKJV — Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”
God had healing waiting for Naaman and He sent a girl from Israel to tell him.
Elisha was God’s prophet and God used him mightily, but it’s the faith of a child we see here, not the relating of facts.
The Bible doesn’t record a previous healing for leprosy through Elisha.
The verses from 2 Kings 5:4-7 tell how Naaman went to the king of Syria and requested permission to travel to Samaria to find this prophet. The king agrees and sends him with a letter to the king of Israel. The king of Israel is beside himself, because of the letter.
2 Kings 5:8 NKJV — So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
2 Kings 5:9 NKJV — Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house.
2 Kings 5:10 NKJV — And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.”
2 Kings 5:11 NKJV — But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’
The message of healing was acceptable, although being delivered by a slave girl, but the wrapper it was contained in required humility.
At first, Naaman refused.
Healing, in his mind, was supposed to come packaged in a particular way, but his expectations were destroyed.
But for the wisdom of well spoken timely words, this history might have been very different.
2 Kings 5:13 NKJV — And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
Naaman’s pride had caused him to nearly choose leprosy over healing, but wisdom turned his heart and he obeyed.
2 Kings 5:14 NKJV — So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
2 Kings 5:15 NKJV — And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
Elisha refused to take any credit or any payment for God’s gift of healing.
2 Kings 5:17 NKJV — So Naaman said, “Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.
Naaman left healed, and not just from leprosy, but from a much more dangerous affliction.
He was healed of pride and idolatry.
Naaman’s story is one of hope and forgiveness.
God’s ways are not our ways and we often, like Naaman feel confused or even offended by God’s Word or His path for our lives, but if we will humble ourselves and choose to follow His ways, we too will find healing.
Healing of the soul, which lasts beyond this life and on into eternity.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for the story of Naaman. Thank you for the slave girl You chose to use to speak hope into Naaman’s life and to give him the encouragement to seek You, although he didn’t know that’s what he was doing. Lord help us to love one another as this slave girl loved Naaman. Lord Jesus, help us to be humble and choose to follow what You instruct us to do no matter how simple or unexpected it might seem to us. Lord, help us to remain followers of You and not lovers of pleasure, prideful, arrogantly self-centered for those things only lead to death. Thank You for who You are Jesus, and the healing gift You gave us in Salvation. I praise Your holy name! Amen.
Yesterday, I was so blessed by my husband and so many others.
I am improving.
Although, I’m not up and able to do yet, I’m able to type!
I am so humbled by the beautiful love and care of so many.
I also wanted to thank the Lord.
I hope you will join me in prayer.
Dear Lord Jesus,
How great and awesome You are. Your ways are incredible and Your truth is amazing. Lord, I am so humbled by all Your blessings. Lord Jesus, great is Your faithfulness and Your love is unending. What a joy, what a privilege it is to serve You. Lord, You know my heart. You know my path. You understand all the intricate details of my life. Thank You for sustaining me. Thank You for providing so much for me. Lord, there are so many who need You. There is such hurt and tragedy all around the world. Lord, You know every circumstance and each heart. Please bring people closer to Yourself. Please work through those who already know the depth of Your love and the mercy of Your salvation. Lord, let the whole Earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of You. Thank You. Amen.
For 8 years my wife has been writing Patiently Hopeful. She has faithfully posted prayers and thoughts from her morning time with our savior Jesus. For the first time since the blogs beginning my wife will not be posting. Today she lies in bed with a migraine and has asked me to write out a prayer. For my wife (Hope) prayer and praise are her life line. Many nights she will be up praying for hours. She has been on her face before the Lord for our children, and myself many times. Therefore this morning when she asked me to write a prayer for her blog due to being ill I felt it not only an honor but a humbling experience to sit behind the keys. With that said though, my apologies to you the reader it is not every day a spouse will allow a post to go up on their personal blog without reviewing what was written. I feel it necessary to seize this opportunity not to only pray but to allow you the reader into our lives a bit. But before that I would also like to thank you all for supporting my wife Hope. Never have I met a person who selflessly serves others with the zeal my wife does. Every like, comment and repost she praises the Lord for.
Job wrote “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) This morning while holding my wife’s hand as she vomited into the toilet this verse came to mind. In between the coughs and tears I could hear her voice praising the Lord for the “tent” she has been given. I have been married to Hope for 23 years. With our first child she had torn her cervix. Going un noticed we left the hospital and went about our business only to have the tear worsen causing a hemorrhage. I was told she would have to stay in the hospital over night due to the loss of blood. “God is good” would be her first words in the morning. In the early years like many money was tight. I think this was the beginning of the prayers in the grocery store. Hope would walk through the isles with a few dollars in the account and pray “Jesus your will be done today, how do I shop for my family”. The Lord would bless us with our second daughter while I was in school and working full time at a local mill. I would leave the house at 3:30am to be to work by 4am work tell 4pm only to drive 40 min to make it to my night classes by 5pm. School would be out at 9-9:30pm and we would start it all over the next day. This lasted for almost four years during that time my wife would be taking care of the kids, running women’s ministry at our church and still find time to write prayers down on note cards. I would find them in my shirts, lunch box, school books, and even in my dressers. We would move to England to help in a church. The Lord would teach us what it meant to be humble. We sold everything we owned with the exception of a vehicle. The house, kids toys, clothes, furniture, was all gone. Landing at the airport in Manchester we had only the clothes in our suitcases and money from the sale of the house. We were not allowed to work in the UK and felt that the Lord did not want us to ask for support. God would show us what it was to wait for his provision. The day we moved into our home in England the tenants before left a kitchen table. Walking in Hope began to cry when asked why by one of our children (we had four by then) she said “I asked God for a table like this a few years ago, it took me selling mine to him to provide this one”. We learned so much in England about the provision and character of God.
When we moved back home the sicknesses came. First the women issues and hysterectomy. At one point in the journey, I would carry my wife into the doctor’s office. She weighed just over 90lbs. She had not been able to keep food down for several days, her cycle would last for weeks, anemic, unable to get out of bed she would need help any time she had to move. Hopes prayers would fill our house. We would sit on the bed as a family, she would have home schooling while laying there helping the kids work out problems. All the while quoting scripture about healing, and Gods goodness. During this time I was starting up a business trying to make ends meet. Hope would be in bed often when I left to go to work and still there when I came home. Bible laying beside her prayer journal open. Hope would get better and take on responsibilities at our church helping with the home schooling co-op. She would pray for each child by name every morning, pray for their families, and for our community. I walked into our room to find Hope staring her clothes in the closet. I asked what she was doing and she said “every day I wake up I ask Jesus what he would like me to wear today, I was just waiting for an answer” As crazy as this sounds to some it has become normal place around our house. Now my adult children do the same!
A few years ago when Hopes heath started to decline and she became bed ridden again due to immune issues and asthma our family made a transition. Before I think we prayed for Hope out of selfishness. My prayers would sound something like “please heal Hope Lord we need mom to be healthy”. But now we pray for understanding what the Lord is doing. Excitement of what God is going to teach us. We pray for the ability to like Job say “blessed be your name”. This bout with illness has been the longest yet. Hope may never be physically whole again. But I know she would never trade it for the relationship she has with the Lord is nothing like I have ever witnessed. Praise God for my wife.
Would you please pray with me?
Thank you for this day. Thank you we have the ability to serve you today. We are not guaranteed tomorrow Lord so today please give us the ability to know what you want us to do. Jesus we want to serve you with our whole hearts today. We are nothing but dust Jesus but you are God. You have the ability to use this dust to glorify our Father in heaven. Jesus I so bad want to do your will and to be selfless in what I do please help me today not to think of myself but to be your hands and feet. Jesus please show me what it is to love. How to love my enemies please show me Jesus today how to be a puzzle piece in this broken world that links some of it together. Jesus today there are many people hurting. Our hearts go out to them I pray that you would be the rock, the foundation in their lives. Jesus please help us to lead the hurting to the rock. Father I am broken over the sin in the world but acknowledge that just as I am broken over it I have also been a part of it please forgive me Father and teach me to forgive. Lord many in the world are sick we ask for healing as we know you can. But we also know that you walked by several people that were sick because it was not their time. Jesus if it is not Hopes time for healing I pray we would be able to endure for your glory. Please show our family what you are doing in the spiritual realm. God I know that all things work together for the good of those called to Christ Jesus. I also know that Hope has been called by you, so we are excited to see what good you are doing with her sickness. Jesus I will praise you today no matter what the outcome of today brings because “Naked I came, Naked I return, but blessed be the name of the Lord” Jesus I love you with all my heart and thank you for what you are doing in our family.
Recently, we acquired some items including a few decorative dishes.
At first, I didn’t notice that one of the plates had been broken and repaired.
Obviously, the repair hadn’t been the best, as it easily came apart along the original break when knocked over a few days later.
As I looked at this plate, waiting for me to find time to repair it, my heart was reminded of a truth.
Our lives are broken by sin.
How often do we try to repair them with something that will never work?
It may seem to.
Like the plate, the broken place might not be noticed.
But the stress of circumstances will reveal the fracture.
There’s only one glue for our lives.
There’s only one place we can go to be perfectly repaired.
He said so Himself:
Luke 4:18 NKJV — “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;”
The Lord is in the business of healing and restoration.
That why Jesus came, to restore His creation, mankind, to a right relationship with Him.
Truly, we can see the brokenhearted and the tragic results of sin all around us, but we have hope and a Healer.
Thank You so much for all Your wonderous works. Lord, thank You for this wonderful reminder of Your great love and Your ways. Lord, if there is any place in me which I have allowed sin, please show me that I might repent and be healed. Lord, I know we will continue to see and experience the effects of sin until You return and put all things right. Until that time, please let Your truth be known. Let Your salvation heal and restore. Lord, please, let the brokenhearted seek You and find wholeness. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
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.
So much so, I’d almost given up on the idea completely.
Back in 2011, I had a difficult period.
My physical body was struggling, but the lessons I learned were so worthwhile.
During that season I felt the Lord ask me to draw.
I was surprised when He said, Sailboats.
As I drew, studied pictures, and prayed I learned something which comes to mind everytime I look at these boats.
My experience with physical problems has taught me that often emotional hurts will join the pain.
It actually makes sense.
If you are hurting, you’re going to struggle at seeing anything from any other perspective, but your own pain.
There will always be people who mean well, but actually hurt you simply by not understanding what you are going through.
Unfortunately, there will be others who will drop you completely, because you are no longer any use to them.
And on top of it all there are relationship struggles as the people closest to you work through their own pain and fear.
What does this have to do with sailboats?
Simply put, although a sailboat is made for sailing: its designed to be in the water, all will pickup some unwanted debris or go through a storm.
Whether it’s barnacles, scrapes from floating objects, or some other wear and tear, at some point it will need to be cleaned and maintenanced.
The same is true for us.
There will be seasons which will mar us, leave us feeling in need of repair.
That’s when we should head for the dock.
Only Jesus can heal our souls.
Only in God can we find the renewal and repair for the hurting heart.
Only His hands can restore.
This truth comes to mind whenever I see one of these pictures.
I’ve moved twice since drawing these sailboats.
For some reason, I’ve never framed them.
Last night, as I prayed about something else, the Lord reminded me of two frames.
They’d been given to me because they were in need of repair and our busy daughter didn’t have time to deal with fixing them.
I couldn’t understand why God was talking to me about the frames.
“Lord, I don’t know what to do with them after I fix them.”
My heart filled with gratitude at His answer.
Now they’re hanging where I’ll look at them everyday.
A wonderful reminder to take all my cares and worries to Him.
1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV — Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for caring for every detail of our lives. Thank You for helping me draw these and now getting to enjoy them each day. Lord, so many are hurting and damaged, my heart aches for those who have yet to turn to You for healing and restoration. I so want people to be touched as You have touched me. Like the woman who reached through a crowd desperate for healing, You healed her and restored her. I am that woman. Thank You for Your touch. Please, let the hearts of the hurting reach out to You. Thank You. Amen.