Tag Archives: pain

Nuggets of Hope 20 – Deliver us from Evil

Deliver us from evil.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians are in shock because of the recent tragic sequence of events in Nova Scotia in which twenty-two victims lost their lives to a crazed gunman.

There are many dimensions to this tragedy. At the most basic level, there is the gut-wrenching loss and grief suffered by the loved ones of those who lost their lives. It’s hard to imagine the pain they must be feeling. They are greatly in need of our prayers.

One of the victims was an RCMP constable, Heidi Stevenson, a wife and mother of two children who had planned to rendezvous with a fellow officer. She was deceived by the gunman’s replica RCMP vehicle and uniform. We like to be able to assume that our neighbours and colleagues mean us no harm. This is basic to the fabric of life in small town Canada. When we are deceived, it can tend to erode that trust in the reliability and truthfulness of others.

It’s natural to prefer safety and trust to danger and betrayal. Yet Jesus taught his followers not to be surprised by evil. He taught us to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. In other words, take full account of the existence of evil and the devious strategies of the evil one, and yet do not let yourself become cynical or hardened or fearful. Despite the presence of evil, disciples of Jesus in a fallen world are called to remain stable, fruitful and full of hope. To do this, we need both the innocence of a young child and the wisdom of a battle-hardened veteran.

Jesus of Nazareth, Israel’s Messiah and the hope of the earth, perfectly embodied both. He was fully given to his Father’s will and free of guile, yet he was wise regarding evil. The evil one had no hold on Jesus but he was fully aware of the schemes of the enemy. In that full knowledge, he freely gave his life as a sacrifice – for what? So that we could live out our days in this life with no more tragic eruptions of evil – no more plagues or shootings?

No, Jesus didn’t promise us that. Instead He promised us opportunities to bear witness amidst increasing trouble, with peace in the midst of trials – followed by a horrific final crisis and then a world restored, full of the knowledge of the Lord, to be inherited by those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.

We can’t escape pain in this life. But we can make the pain worthwhile, by entrusting ourselves to the One who alone is good and who gave His life for us. There is a place for wisdom and prudence in the life of a disciple, but these things by themselves will not lead to life. In the end the only way to be safe from the schemes of the Evil One is to give ourselves wholeheartedly to Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb and the conquering Lion.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10-11

Share

Protected

Protected

I was riding my bike along the Rideau River cycle path, pedaling through familiar parkland, on the last leg of my half-hour ride home from work.  The river was on my right, partly obscured by a narrow strip of wooded land. A strip of open parkland was on my left. There was the usual after-work traffic along the cycle path, but nothing to suggest that an accident was about to happen. Everything seemed perfectly normal.

I had two meetings that evening – both quite important. I was enjoying the ride, but I wanted to get home, get showered and changed, and prepare for the evening.

Then it happened. As is often the case with accidents, there was little warning. My attention was focussed on an oncoming cyclist on the other side of the pathway, and I was adjusting my position accordingly. There were also some pedestrians on or near the path, and I was conscious of needing to avoid them as well. Consequently, I wasn’t looking to my right, or I might have noticed some movement in the bushes by the river. Suddenly a mid-size dog bounded out of the bushes onto the path directly in front of me. The next thing I remember, I was on the ground, screaming in pain. I had gone down hard. All the major joints on my right side – shoulder, elbow, hip and knee – were throbbing.

After half a minute or so, I managed to get up, and found to my relief that I could still move my shoulder. This was my first concern, as four years previously I had dislocated a shoulder in a similar accident.  I was a little dazed, and had painful scrapes and road rash all along my right side, but had no serious injuries. Several people stopped to make sure I was all right. I thanked them all and told them I would be OK.

I checked out my bike and found that it was basically intact. So, after waiting a few minutes for the pain to subside to a tolerable level, I got back on the bike and rode the short distance home – a wounded warrior seeking comfort and shelter. I have never been more happy to reach the safety and familiarity of my own back yard.

After I had showered and washed my wounds, Marion bandaged the worst one and put ointment on the others. But it wasn’t until she asked me “Is your head OK?” that I realized something remarkable. My head did not hurt at all. It was totally fine. I did have a few seconds of very mild lightheadedness, but absolutely no pain and no symptoms of concussion. Then we both realized that I ought to take a look at my helmet. I took a look at it, and saw two cracks on the right side – a little one and a big one.

When I thought about the cracks in my helmet, I realized that I had been protected from what could have been very serious harm. A bruised hip and shoulder, and scrapes along the elbow and knee, are really no big deal. Today, four days later, I am well on the way to recovery from all these minor wounds. But if I had landed hard on the pavement without a helmet, who knows what the outcome would have been?

Paul the apostle wrote many letters of advice and instruction to young churches full of new Christians living in a hostile world. He knew he needed to give them plenty of hope and encouragement. He told these new believers that they were like stars in a dark night sky. He told them that in the midst of the darkness of a corrupt and dying world, they were children of the day who could look forward to the glorious new world that God had promised. He also said that in the midst of the struggles of living in a culture that was mostly hostile to their faith and values, they could equip themselves by putting on faith and love like a breastplate, and the hope of salvation like a helmet. In this way their hearts and minds would be protected.

Marion rightly reminds me that I need to wear my bike helmet every time I go out on my bike. I confess that in the past, on occasion I have not worn it when I was going for only a short ride on a hot day in the neighbourhood. On those muggy July days, a helmet is hot and sweaty, and sometimes you don’t want to wear it. But since my recent accident, my helmet has proved its value to me, and I will wear it every time I ride my bike. There was no way I could have predicted my accident of a few days ago. I could need my helmet at any moment.

In my email inbox I receive daily bulletins detailing some of the struggles of Christ-followers in lands where being a Christian makes you a public enemy. When your home could be burned, your pastor could be jailed, your daughter could be raped or forced into a marriage she does not want simply because you and your family are Christians, you need a hope that circumstances can’t destroy. You can’t wait until persecution hits to secure yourself with this hope. The hope of salvation has to be your daily companion, because you could need it at any moment.

Sometimes, we don’t feel like turning off the TV or the laptop or the tablet or the smartphone to immerse ourselves in the Word of God. Sometimes we’d rather entertain ourselves than feed our spirits with worship. Christians in Canada have it pretty easy and our need for the hope of salvation may not seem all that pressing. But what are you going to do when your mother dies, or your father gets laid off, or your best friend is on drugs, or your marriage is falling apart, or your employer goes bankrupt, or you are facing sexual temptation, or someone in your life needs hope and you have none to give? What would you give for an intimate knowledge of God when disaster comes? If you have no real life with God – if your “faith, hope and love account” is bankrupt – what will you do when your next door neighbour or your friend at work or school is hungry for answers? What will you have to feed them if your cupboard is bare? And what will you do when persecution comes to Canada? What will you do when Jesus returns? How will you answer him?

I could take my helmet with me and strap it onto the back of my bike, and say that I have my helmet so I’m OK, but it wouldn’t do me any good. You may say you believe the Bible is the Word of God, but if you don’t read it, it does you no good. As for me, I can truthfully say that I know the Word of God quite well. But if I don’t pay attention to the Word I know, it doesn’t do me a bit of good. I can say that I know Jesus, but if I don’t listen to Him, what good is it? I know lots of worship songs, but if I don’t take time to worship the Lord with my whole being, what good are the songs?

The only way that I know of to put on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet is to do it every day. Every day I need to turn to Jesus, renew my mind with His word, turn away from distractions and pour out my heart to Him in worship. Daily I need to be quiet with Him and listen to what He wants to say to me. This is how my hope stays fresh and bright and alive. Even two or three days without setting time aside to give my full attention to Jesus, and I can tell the difference.

I can’t afford to ride my bike without a helmet. It’s foolish. My helmet is my protection. I know that now, and I will never ride without it again.

In just the same way, I can’t afford to travel the pathways of life without wearing the helmet of the hope of salvation. I need to anchor myself in Jesus every day. He is ready to protect me, empower me and fill me with hope so that I’m ready for every circumstance – but it’s up to me to put on my helmet.

 

Share

Earnest money

On Sunday Marion and I arrived home from a nine-day trip to Minnesota to see our son Simeon, his wife Heather and their two beautiful little girls. As always after one of these visits, my mind is full of thoughts and impressions.

Marion and I thoroughly enjoyed our granddaughters, of course. Their enthusiasm for life is refreshing. We read stories, played games, went to the park. It was loads of fun to play with them, and watch them being silly with Bethany and Dunovan. They are evidently very well-loved children, which gives me great joy.

The trip home was long. We knew it would be. All four of us arrived home feeling very tired. Marion and I don’t recover from these things as quickly as we used to. Monday, and again yesterday, it was a mental and physical challenge to get underway in the morning and get myself off to work. I was feeling my age.

Yesterday morning I heard a song from the 60s on the radio. The singer was praising the delight and fulfillment that a lover can bring. “You feel like heaven to touch – I thank God I’m alive – can’t get my eyes off of you”. I enjoyed hearing a song from my youth, but soon realized that the song – like many love songs – was putting a weight of expectation on a lover that no earthly relationship can bear. Our hearts cry out for someone who can fulfill all our hopes and dreams, but this is a cry that can never be satisfied in this age. We have wonderful moments in this life – glimpses of glory. But we also have much pain, and many reminders of our frailty, our failings, and our inability to rescue ourselves. These reminders become more frequent and harder to ignore as we get older. Much as we might like to push them out of the way, we can’t.

Later that day, I had a very graphic reminder of this truth, as one of my colleagues – a woman in her mid-fifties – told me that her husband had suffered a heart attack, had been hospitalized and was awaiting triple heart bypass surgery. Prior to his heart attack there had been no indication that he had any heart trouble. She is afraid and feels out of control. She is also in pain from sciatica. I promised to pray for her and she thanked me. She has heard the gospel before but hasn’t really owned it for herself. I am praying that she will have her eyes opened to her true need for Jesus.

As if it weren’t enough to face the challenges of aging and our own personal weakness and frailty, we also face a long list of bigger issues. Near the top of my personal list of concerns is the growing frequency of violent religious persecution by Islamic militants in many nations. In North America we hear only a tiny fraction of what is really happening, and even most of what we do hear is sanitized so as not to disturb our politically-correct sensibilities. But along with that, we have famines in many places, increasing incidence of earthquakes, wars, human trafficking, the drug trade, abortion, unemployment, racism, environmental degradation, despotic and corrupt governments in many nations, and numerous other issues that gnaw at the edges of our consciousness.

Yet despite all these challenges and problems, humans continue to find reasons to hope. We do this because we are made for hope. Without hope, life is not really worth living.

And so, everyone in Ottawa is enjoying the long-awaited spring weather. People are going for walks, sitting on patios, working in their gardens. Why do we do this? Because it feels good – yes – but ultimately, because it feeds our desire for hope. We hope for a harvest. We hope that something better is ahead.

And so, this coming Saturday, I am leading a prayer walk in my neighbourhood of Vanier. We are going to pray for our neighbourhood because we believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the hope of the earth; because we believe that He has conquered death; because we believe that His Kingdom is coming; and because we believe that He hears the cry of all who call on Him in sincere faith. We want to see our neighbours blessed with this knowledge and all that flows from it, and so we pray.

And so, my son Simeon has sold his house and is preparing to move his family to a city where none of them have ever lived. He is seeking to get connected to a Christian community there, is looking for a house to buy, and has plans to start a business, in the confidence that he is following the call of God.

To buy a house, he has to pay something called earnest money. I have never heard it called that in Canada, but in the USA, that’s what they call it. Earnest money is a deposit. It is proof that you are in earnest – that you really intend to complete the sale, to buy the house, to finish the deal.

Is God in earnest about his promises? In other words, is He serious? Are His promises reliable and trustworthy? In the face of personal frailty and suffering, and massive threats to world peace and well-being, is there really hope? Will the glory of God really fill the earth? Will evil really be overthrown? Will Jesus really reign openly as King?

Paul the Apostle, whose life was totally turned upside down the day that he met Jesus, declared that without hope of a coming resurrection, our faith is pointless.  Our faith only makes sense if God finishes what he started when He sent Jesus to the earth. But praise God, that is exactly what He has promised to do. And we have more than just promises. We have glimpses of glory.  Those who have put their trust in Jesus, and received the Holy Spirit, have living proof that His promises are sure. The King James version of the Bible calls the Spirit the earnest of our inheritance. The Holy Spirit is God’s proof that he is in earnest, that He is serious, that He will finish what He started. We have an advance taste, a down payment, a deposit. We have a measure of the life of God living on the inside of us.

One day we will see Jesus, the lover of our souls, reigning in glory over a restored earth from His throne in Jerusalem. On that day, in the words of the song I heard yesterday, we will truly have reason to say “Can’t get my eyes off of you”.

Share

Jesus and the pain of Jamie Hubley

A little over a week ago, Ottawa was rocked by the suicide of fifteen-year-old Jamie Hubley, a gifted, outgoing, but also troubled teenager who had battled depression for years.

By all accounts, Jamie was a compassionate, sensitive, caring young man.  He had often helped his father (Allan Hubley,  who represents Kanata on City Council) in various community service projects.  He was also a talented figure skater and theatrical performer.  His death was a shock to the entire community.

A few years earlier, when he was in grade seven, Jamie had suffered rejection and taunts for his choice of figure skating over hockey. Whether because he didn’t fit the typical macho image of masculinity, or for other reasons, at some point Jamie had adopted a homosexual identity, and had gone public with this choice. Judging by his blog, both his depression and suicide were influenced by the rejection he suffered at school for being openly gay.

One of the most common responses to Jamie’s death has been an appeal for greater tolerance and acceptance towards those who choose a gay identity and lifestyle. At first glance, this is an understandable response. But as a follower of Jesus, I can only go part way down this road.

Let me be completely clear. The pain that led Jamie Hubley to end his life is something I do not want to trivialize. As a young man I went through an episode of depression, and am familiar with the dark thoughts that can result. Nor do I have any sympathy for bullying or taunting. I was myself a shy, sensitive child, and suffered from bullying for a time as a young schoolboy. It was an experience I would not wish on anybody.

Early in my walk with the Lord, one of the verses of Scripture that leaped off the page at me and became embedded in my consciousness was this nugget: Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways (Proverbs 3: 31). As a believer in Jesus, I am called to honour all people, who are made in God’s image and of high value to Him. When I think of Jamie Hubley’s decision to take his own life, I feel nothing but sadness for him and his family and loved ones.

And yet.  As a believer in Jesus, I do not and cannot believe that the “gospel of tolerance” is an adequate response to the tragedy of Jamie Hubley’s death.

People make many choices and draw many conclusions in response to the pain of life. Not all those choices are in line with what God intends for their lives.  I do not believe it was God’s will for Jamie to commit suicide, even though he was fully convinced that it was what he had to do. In the same way, I do not believe it was God’s will for him to adopt a homosexual identity, no matter how profoundly he believed that this was his true identity.

Time for a bit of personal history here. When I was a young United Church minister in the 1980s, I had a number of colleagues who were living a homosexual lifestyle but had not yet gone public with this choice. At the time, the United Church had not yet approved the ordination of openly-gay clergy, though this was under discussion. I used to meet with a support group of six clergy, of whom one (I’ll call him Gord) was gay. We were all in scattered rural parishes, and our meetings involved long drives.  On one of these drives I had listened to Gord talk at length about his life and its struggles, including his adoption of a gay identity.  There were other gay clergy in our wider regional caucus, and I knew something of their stories as well.

I myself was struggling, not with my sexual identity, but with my spiritual identity.  At that time, I moved in very liberal theological circles.  I had not yet surrendered my will to God, received the gift of the Holy Spirit, or truly understood the gospel that I was attempting to preach. Even so, I took my Bible seriously, believed that it was authoritative, and found the teaching of Jesus extremely compelling. I was sympathetic to the struggles of my gay friends, but found myself unable to accept all their conclusions.  In particular, I found myself unable to accept their reinterpretations of Scripture, nor their conclusion that homosexuality was God’s intent for their lives. Still, I listened respectfully and rarely differed openly with their positions, preferring to express my reservations privately, and only to a few people. Even then, 25 years ago, to openly question the validity of pro-gay ideology in that environment would have been a very difficult and costly choice – a choice that I was not yet prepared to make.

The support group of six clergy with which I met regularly was supposed to be a non-judgmental, accepting environment. There came a point, however, where I experienced the limits of this acceptance.  I had been undergoing some profound changes since the pastor of the Anglican church in our town had reached out to me and offered the gift of friendship. He was a highly intelligent, thoughtful, caring and well-spoken man who was a great listener. He was also solidly anchored in Scripture and filled with the Holy Spirit. Under his influence, my struggle to surrender to Jesus was being resolved. One Sunday evening, I responded to an altar call on the last night of a three-day mission in the church he pastored. A few months later, I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I was discovering a new hope and confidence that Jesus really was alive and held the keys to life. But my liberal United Church clergy friends were less than enthusiastic about the changes that they were observing in my life and ministry. I distinctly remember that when they questioned me about these changes, the tone of their questions was quite hostile. Gord, my gay colleague, became extremely angry with me and accused me of judging and rejecting him, although I had said nothing at all to indicate this.

So what’s my point? Simply this. I was not rejecting Gord. All I was doing was attempting to express my newfound conviction that Jesus truly is alive, that He is able to heal and restore the lives of those who turn to Him, and that He is the living Word of God who has legitimate authority to determine how our lives are to be lived. If anything, I cared about Gord more than ever, but my newfound confidence in Jesus was offensive to him because it challenged his belief that his homosexual identity was a gift from God.

Since then, my convictions on this issue have not changed. If anything, they have become clearer, and have been confirmed by experience. Jesus is Lord, and He is able to transform all areas of our life, including our sexual identity. He will do this for anyone who surrenders to Him. Because his transforming work is completely a gift, and because I myself am very much still a work in progress, I am in no position to condemn anyone who is broken, no matter what choices they are making. Still, for those who insist that their current way of life is completely valid and needs no change, Jesus’ message will not seem like good news. He doesn’t offer blanket acceptance of every lifestyle – and as His follower, neither can I.  He does offer mercy, compassion and restoration to all who turn to Him in humility – and as His follower, so must I.

That’s why I say that the ideology of tolerance is not good enough. Tolerance may prevent some bullying, but it has no power to set people free. Jamie did need acceptance, but not the kind of acceptance that says everything is OK.  Like all people, he needed to surrender his life to the only One who could restore him and set him free.  How different his life might have been if he had been introduced to the Jesus that I have come to know.

Share

Surprising answers to prayer

I am continually amazed at the variety of ways in which God answers prayer.

For some time now, as our life group has been talking about reaching out to others with the hope of salvation, Marion and I have been praying for openings to share Jesus in our neighbourhood.

A few weeks ago, God broke into our lives in a totally unexpected way, showing us that our cry had been heard.

We had reluctantly concluded that our four-year-old mattress needed to be replaced.  It was a TempurPedic, made of high-quality foam and still in excellent shape.  We had bought it because of our ageing backs, and I found it really comfortable, but Marion had been experiencing severe back and leg pain, and had been told by both her chiropractor and her physiotherapist that she probably needed a firmer mattress.  So, after prayer and reflection we decided to take their advice and replace the mattress.  This was not in our budget but our budget had already been blown sky-high by other unforeseen events (you can read about one of these events in It’s Only Money), and we sensed the Lord saying “Just trust me”, so we asked Him for a good deal on an affordable mattress that would actually help Marion’s back, and went shopping.

We also asked the Lord for guidance about where to go to buy the mattress.  You may think that’s a bit extreme, but it turned out to be very important.   We hit Sleep Country on a quiet Monday evening and found a very sympathetic salesman with time to listen.  Not only did he help us pick a good mattress, he also listened to our tale of woe about our TempurPedic, and encouraged us to try to sell it.   He said that the season between July and September was prime time for selling mattresses and that a TempurPedic would probably fetch a good price – maybe even enough to pay for the mattress we were buying.

Just before leaving the store, another customer entered.   We heard her asking the salesman about TempurPedic mattresses.  I was a bit surprised because she looked like a street person.  I thought to myself, “I wonder if she has any idea how much those things cost?”.

By the time we were ready to leave the parking lot, the woman (I’ll call her Meg – not her real name) came racing out of the store and knocked on the window of our Highlander.  She wanted to know if we had a TempurPedic for sale.  She gave us her name and contact info, and we agreed to find a way to get the mattress to her.

At first, to be honest, the only answer to prayer that I saw in this event was our prayer for someone who would buy our mattress.  Then I realized that Meg couldn’t afford to pay the price we had established – at least, not all at once – and that God had led us to someone in need, to whom we could show kindness in Jesus’ name.  My heart was touched as I heard her say that most of her bones had been broken due to childhood abuse, and that she had been suffering chronic back pain and living on disability benefits for years.  As we continued to listen to Meg’s story, I realized that this was about more than the mattress, and that her need was far more than physical.  God was answering our prayer for openings to share Jesus’ love with our neighbours.

To make a long story short, Meg now has our TempurPedic, and is able to sleep through the night which she has not been able to do for years.   Through the partnership of Ben, Orlando and Rafael from our life group, we were able to deliver the mattress to her.  She wanted to pay for it, which is a help to us and probably important for her, but we have been able to arrange a plan that she can afford.  While Rafael and Orlando brought the mattress to her apartment, Ben shared the good news of Jesus with Meg, and Ben and I prayed with her.  Afterwards she told us she had not felt so loved in years.  She has not yet been physically healed, but I believe that day is coming.

I’ve been back to see Meg since then.  She is open and eager to hear more about Jesus, and wants to come to the home Alpha group that Marion and I are planning to host this fall.   I sense that in time God may use her to reach out to others in her subsidized housing project.

Does God answer the prayer of faith?  Yes – sometimes in surprising ways.  One of the keys is to listen with an expectant heart.  Another is to be open to whatever and whomever He sends.

I can now honestly say that I’m thankful for having to buy a new mattress.  I’m thankful that the Lord led us to Meg.  I am thankful that He is preparing her heart to receive Jesus, and preparing the hearts of others in our neighbourhood as well.

Share

Lessons from Physiotherapy

Almost two weeks ago I began a process of physiotherapy to reestablish function in my left shoulder.  This became necessary as a result of  a cycling accident a few weeks ago which resulted in a dislocated shoulder, a badly sprained hand and wrist, and some nasty lacerations and bruises.   The lacerations and bruises are now mostly healed and the wrist and hand are coming along (although it is slower than I would like : I still can’t play my guitar, for example).   The shoulder has been the slowest to respond.   Physiotherapy has been making a difference, and I see progress, but it is taking longer than I would like.

My goal is simply to get the arm and shoulder back to a state in which they can do all the things they used to do.   Sounds simple enough, but having been immobilized for over a week following the initial injury, the joint has stiffened and now resists doing the things it was designed to do.   Some of the stretching and pulling movements that are part of the therapy feel uncomfortable, and it’s easier not to do them.  If I didn’t have a memory of what my shoulder could do before the accident, and a strong desire to regain these abilities, I would probably conclude that I was never supposed to be able to do these things, and give up trying.

Last week while praying and worshipping with some friends it suddenly dawned on me that this process of rehabilitating my shoulder offers some valuable insights into the sometimes painful process of spiritual growth and character development.   When we surrender control of our lives to Jesus Christ, we don’t always realize that this is just the beginning of a lifelong process, the purpose of which is to form us in His image – to prepare us to be a suitable bride for Him, one who loves what He loves and does what He does.

Sometimes this process involves stretching us into a new shape – a shape we were intended for, but which we have never experienced because we have never fully known life as it was meant to be lived.  True, we have been granted glimpses, occasional foretastes, of this new reality, but we have no consistent memory of being as free and full of life as Jesus Christ, even though it is how we were designed to be.  So when he tells us “you can handle this challenge”, in our flesh (fallen nature) we say “no I can’t, that hurts, it can’t be God’s will”.  Take the disciples in the boat during the storm.  To them, it was terrifying; to Jesus it was no big deal, it was all part of the process of learning to trust and persevere.    So we need to get our vision of what we are capable of from what God’s word says about us, not from what we have experienced so far.   I have a memory of having a fully functioning shoulder in the context of life on earth, but I don’t have any memory of what it means to be alive according to the full measure of Jesus Christ.  That’s what I’m destined for, but I’ll need to keep my eyes on the prize, and be willing to expend some effort and withstand some stretching and pulling to get there.  Even though my restoration is by the grace of God, I only get there if I believe that it’s possible, and act on that belief.

Another lesson I am learning from physiotherapy,  along with perseverance through pain and discomfort, is the lesson of humility.   I am getting help from all kinds of people, and I am having to depend on others for things that I used to be able to do for myself.  I can resent this or I can use it as an opportunity to cultivate gratitude … hmmm, which would be the better choice ?  You decide 🙂

Abba Father, thank you for stretching me and calling me to do things that I don’t think I can do.  Thank you for the lessons of perseverance and humility and gratitude.  And thank you also for the complete healing and restoration which I believe Jesus made available to me by the blood of the cross and which I confidently expect to receive in full in your perfect timing.

Share