Day 4: progress is being made….
Day 4: 28 April 2018
Today’s sermon: God’s School of Brokenness – Charles R. Swindoll
“I do not learn when I am busy defending myself.” ~ Dr. Charles Swindoll
I have moved through, and past, defending myself so I can learn from you Lord. At this point I do not owe any human being any defense of anything.
“When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible individual and crushes him.” ~ Dr. Charles Swindoll
“…and yet, Jehovah liveth, and thy soul liveth, but — as a step between me and death.” ~ 1 Samuel 20:3 YLT
“Jehovah-Jireh” is the KJV’s translation of YHWH-Yireh and means “The LORD Will Provide” Genesis 22:14 NIV
“Abraham answered, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ And the two of them went on together.” ~ Genesis 22:8 NIV
Saturday morning, 13 April 2018 I was there, literally, no exaggeration – a step between me and death. If I had a beard, saliva would have been dripping from it like David, too close to the throws of death.
I was in God’s school to break me down. Lord, you have allowed a crushing of me, broken my physical heart, every organ in my body, every artery, every physical human system was literally broken to the point of LESS than a step between me and death.
You blessed me with supernatural strength in my baby steps that carried me to the saving from the crushing, that you so lovingly orchestrated. You blessed the hands and efforts of so many to make this one happen.
I know the impossible “task” that you have prepared me for, through my brokenness. I surely do not know the path of twists it will take, but I do feel like I know the overall theme of the task you have assigned to me.
It has been a lifetime of the clues all along the way. In hindsight it is so obvious. Through my brokenness, you have given me the passion and skills to helps others through their brokenness. Brokenness comes all too often in the form of chronic illness. The illness provides a vehicle to drive through the destruction instead of being destroyed by it. The illness provides a way to heal from so much more than the illness itself. I get it. I see it. I have the honor of having lived through it.
You have poured your riches into my empty hands for a time such as this, thank you.
You have not abandoned me while I spent decades going in and out of the “hills and valleys” of complete brokenness. You were so clearly with me in my very last baby steps while I trusted in you.
Jehovah-Jireh, you alone have provided the impossible. For the moment, physically I have no business being alone for safety reasons. Yet you provide through the most awesome ways.
- Two days ago, was my first day of having the most delightful young lady come and sit with me and do some housework. She was paid to be nice and to help, yet her sweet spirit is not one that can be paid for. You specifically provided that.
- Yesterday you provided one of the more meaningful visits I could ever have. A long-ago girlfriend who showed up for one reason, in person, and we ended up on very different paths that was healing for both of us.
- And you have provided a long-time girlfriend who stays available to me throughout everything, all the muck, and shares in the joys and your victories with me. She is not local, yet you knew the abundance of support she would provide through all of this. You knew that she would “awake” enough to be available in a way like no other could during these crucial weeks.
- You have provided the perfect clients who show me respect and kindness while I do my utmost best for them through this time of my healing brokenness.
You have provided in abundance for me during this week when I simply had to have more help and supervision and had no one to call, no resources to create it myself.
The list is endless. It is not a list of what was expected or reasonable or anything like that. Instead, you shine your light in the very most unexpected ways. It was enough, it was perfect, it was complete. Again, you have provided for my every NEED (not my wants), just like you promise.
Introduction: Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship exercise – what does the Holy Spirit have me hear while listening to this song?
SONG: Tauren Wells – Hills and Valleys
“I have walked among the shadows, you wiped my tears away, I have felt the pain of heartache and I have seen the bright of days.”
“God you give and take away. Your grace is enough. I am standing in your love.”
“In the valley I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there.”
“When I am standing on the mountain, I know I did not get there on my own.”
“I have watched my dreams get broken. I am safe in your hands.”
“On the mountains I will bow my life to the one who set me there.”
“NO, I know I am not alone.”
“God of the hills and valleys, and I am not alone.”
Nothing more I can say will make the lyrics any clearer.
Step 1: Gather
My awareness of your presence, with no signs of abandonment, are ringing sweet and I am only on day 4 of this 21-Day Brain Detox. There are still hints of anger from abandonment, but it is getting replaced with your unending love and your constant provision. You are not leaving me alone for one minute.
My two friends that have been in my life for 20 years have brought more joy than I can explain. One of them would have allowed me to grumble more, yet she understood when I would show a hint of anger at the situation not to feed it. I would catch myself and say, “Yes, I still have some anger in me but that will change.”
And the other girlfriend caught herself BEFORE I did and she stopped herself and said, “nufff of that.” Oh, that is now going to be our new saying for certain circumstances that are crystal clear and don’t really need any more conversation. She allows me to say what I need to say, vent quickly, get it off my chest and then we are not allowing it to rule our lives with endless chatter about it. Who but a true friend would come up with that one, NUFFFF of that.
Lord, you specifically provided some precious time for me this last week while I truly did need others in my life, in person, in the physical, to actually show up!!! They all showed up big.
Step 2: Focused Reflection
The focus is to look back at yesterday and see your success in me Lord. Whaaahooooo, I can see it. I was to be still. I was to just rest in you and not even go to my abandonment issues. I did it, you did it, we did it. You know what I mean. My words will never be exactly theologically correct.
Last night I was able to get into a deeper sleep and rest my body without all the drama of my sleep apnea issues. There was a little, but I was so much more restful and that refreshed me this morning.
My first thought of you this morning was thanking me for my last dream that I was being suffocated by the largest baby known to mankind. It was not even possible that a baby could physically be this large. But this darn baby was smothering me in my dream and suddenly woke with that lifesaving gasp that you give me that gets my heart pumping again. I immediately thanked you like I do every time you do that for me (which is 1-10 times a night). I was laying on my side and squishing my heart too much and it could not take it.
It was kind of a thank you for a good-morning hug. It was like thank you for reminding me to make today precious, like I should every day, but don’t.
Step 3: Journal
Thinking I have already journaled the heck out of today already.
Step 4: Revisit
Holy Spirit, what do YOU want me to focus on today. To seek you, only you, when I feel those hills and valleys of abandonment. To rest in you. Be still while my body heals and let you take the effort of the hills and valley for me at this point.
Step 5: Active Reach
Wow, I have been doing so well but just when I wrote that last statement, the twang of abandonment swept over me. Still work to be done. Maybe today is about not letting my guard down, removing the ability to sweep me away and distract me from you.
David in the cave, hiding from Saul, so alone and being crushed for such good. He never let his guard down. He used the experience to become who he needed to be to serve as only he was created to do. This is not the time to let my guard down like I usually do.
As I feel the valleys pull me down, I will immediately turn to the Holy Spirit and let you guide me through it. I will focus on that specific action today.
Maribeth Baxter, MBEC (Certified Mind-Body Eating Coach)
Dig Deeper – Grow More
Do your own 21-Day Brain Detox, by Dr. Caroline Leaf, Christian neuroscientist.
Find out about Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology. … She frequently lectures to both Christian and secular audiences worldwide, linking scientific principles of the brain to spiritual, intellectual and emotional issues in simple and practical … Dr. Caroline Leaf
75% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions. The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make … Dr. Caroline Leaf