Archive for the ‘prayer’ Category
It took years for me to adjust to my new life. Paralyzed from my shoulders down with minimal use of my arms, I sat in a large black power wheelchair and stood out in a crowd. People stared and I often overheard them talking about me. “What’s she doing here?” “What does she want?” “She can’t sit there.” Many said they were sorry I had to be in a wheelchair while still others yelled at me as if I couldn’t hear. Most people just walked around me. In my pain, I withdrew and hid behind veiled eyes.
Until one day, someone asked me to teach a Sunday school class. I didn’t want to do it, but God wouldn’t let me go. I accepted knowing He would be my strength. That single invitation gave me the courage to step out of my uncomfortable-comfort zone and speak up about the healing love of God’s presence in my life. My disability opened many doors for ministry; the wheelchair however, couldn’t go through all of them.
One morning several years ago, my friend Tonya came to my home to get me up. Everything was going well until she reached for my rings. My anniversary band was there but my emerald ring wasn’t. Panic! It wasn’t that the ring was costly but it was sentimental, a gift from my husband.
“Oh God, where is my ring?” I cried.
A few months later, my husband and I came in from a birthday celebration. As he prepared to put me in bed, he took my rings off then reached for my earrings. One was missing. Once again, we searched the bedroom and after putting me in bed, he searched my wheelchair. Nothing. I began to pray and fell asleep.
Was praying for my lost jewelry appropriate? It wouldn’t get me into heaven. It wasn’t even a physical need. But Tonya witnessed my faith and God’s faithfulness. Soon she and her son began attending our church.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
In Christ Alone,
I sobbed more deeply than ever before as the pain reached way into my spirit. I listened to friends mourning the loss of loved ones and saw sorrow in the eyes of a sister in Christ. There were many suffering trials.
I found a quiet place where I could think, meditate and pray. It was a balm to my spirit and I remembered my return home after my injury in 1991. To allow people to care for me was very difficult. I hated that I was dependent on others. Having someone bathe and dress me, pick me up and place me in my wheelchair, then feed me made me feel helpless, like a baby. Children often asked, “Why are you in a stroller”? Adults asked, “Oh. Can I feed her?” Others said, “I’m so sorry you have to be in that wheelchair.”
I cried. I begged God to heal me.
Jesus prayed, ““My Father, if it is possible, may this cup<sup class="crossreference" value="(E)”> be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39 NIV).<sup class="crossreference" value="(F)”>
Sunday, January 1, 2011, will be the 21st anniversary of my spinal cord injury. I still can’t walk, shower, dress, etc., but my spirit knows healing. It came through faith and your ministry to me and evolved into my own ministry of healing through God’s calling and your faith and encouragement.
Today I teach about my disability and share my story and my faith wherever God opens a door.
In Christ Alone,
*Print by Ron DiCianni referred to last month.
Comment by Earl-
Incarnation, for God to be “in the flesh,” meant Jesus not only felt what we felt, HE risked what we risk. Death, disease, disability became very possible with Incarnation. Hebrews 13:3 brings home this point about you and I being incarnate, when we are advised, “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them; those who are mistreated; since you yourselves are in the body also.” (NKJV)
My father was abusive when I was growing up. When he died, I wasn’t going to attend his funeral but my husband, Earl, insisted I go. Before the service, I walked back and forth from a pew to Dad’s open casket crying violently.
“Why didn’t I ever tell him how much he hurt me!”
After his funeral, I felt purged of anger and hatred toward him.
I was wrong.
Thirteen years later Earl and I attended a marriage seminar called Steps to Setting Your Marriage Free in Christ (Neil T. Anderson). Going in, we each believed we had a good marital relationship. As we worked through the many issues raised, and as we prayed and asked God to show us the truth, we found ourselves discovering things about each other as well as identifying things within ourselves.
God revealed to me a lifetime of rage, anger, hurt and unforgiveness toward my earthly father. Until then I hadn’t realized how much Dad had harmed my emotions and my spirit. The tears came again, though not violently this time. They were cleansing, relieving, and Earl cried with me. We cried for how all my anger and hatred had tarnished our marriage for thirteen years. When I forgave Daddy that day I felt a peace I had never known before.
Often we don’t recognize the unforgiveness within us. We justify our attitudes. A part of making sure our life is clean and right before God has to do with forgiving other people.
Everything we do in life has eternal value that hinges on two things: loving God and loving others. It’s hard to forgive those who have hurt, offended, or mistreated us, but God wants us to love even our enemies and in the process of doing so He perfects us.
God wants you to move into all He has for you. But, if you don’t forgive you’re stuck where you are and shutting off God’s work in your life. Forgiveness opens your heart and mind and allows the Holy Spirit to work freely in you. It releases you to love God more and feel His love in greater measure.
If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive them their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15).
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments (Matthew 22:37-40).
In Christ Alone,