Tuesday, April 17, 2012

His Sufficient Grace

 I have a friend that is very sick.  I received word that she has had multiple strokes and is in Seattle in a hospital, miles away from her family and friends.  I've been putting it in God's hands again and again.  I take it back and worry over her a little and then give it back to God, committing to trust His perfect will.  This afternoon as I was sitting at my desk and feeling overwhelmed and worried, I prayed, I sat looking through the Bible, hoping that God would give me a verse, a word...anything.  I was looking for the peace that I know only He can give, wanting so much to be calmed by His presence.  In those quiet and sad moments, God did speak to me.  He gave me back a verse I read earlier this morning:
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

God says His grace is sufficient.  Sufficient means adequate, enough to meet a need or purpose.  What God promises to give me is enough for the moment.  If He were to do things my way, I would have enough with some extra left over so that I would have insurance that it would all turn out the way I hope.  God doesn't work that way.  He gives us just what we need for the moment and we must depend on Him and trust that He will be there in the next moment and the next, offering sufficient grace.  It isn't up to me.  In fact, it isn't about me at all.  It's about God and the gift of His grace. It's about His power that is made perfect in my weakness.  It isn't about my comfort, although I sometimes wish it were.

God then brought to mind the times I was so sick and in the hospital.  I'm not very good at being on this side of things, but I have lots of experience in being the patient.  I remembered those times and how the one thing thing that really kept me going was the thought that I had to be here for my kids.  I fought with all that was within me to live because I wanted to see my kids grow up.  My friend has 4 small children and she has a lot of fight in her too.  It was then that I realized that it's all gonna be OK.  She's gonna fight with all she's got for her babies. 

Please pray for my friend Kendra.  Things are starting to look better but she still has a long road ahead of her. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Privilege of Prayer

 Lately I have found myself awake and praying early in the morning.  It begins with this inner wrestling match at about 5 a.m.  I try my hardest to get back to sleep, but God's not having it.  There are people who come to mind that I know need prayer and I lay there, thinking about them and praying for their situations.  Once that begins, I'm up for the day. 
This morning I was thinking about a friend who will be having pre-op today for shoulder replacement surgery tomorrow.  I began to think about this special friend and all of the people God has placed in my life who have prayed me through a great deal of health issues. 
After I had the twins I was in ICU for 6 days.  I had acute renal failure and my body was shutting down.  I remember one morning after my mom had spent the night with me in ICU, Hubby came early to see me and he was so exhausted that he took a wrong turn in the hospital and ended up in a different wing.  As he began to realize he was in the wrong place, there was a lady mopping the floor who asked if she could help him.  He explained that he was looking for ICU and she said, "Hey, are you the man whose wife just had the twins?"  He said yes.  She said, "Please tell your wife we are praying for her and for those babies too."  I didn't know this woman, never met her, yet somehow throughout the hospital, people had heard about us and were praying.  God put people in our path throughout this incredibly hard journey who let us know they were praying.  Once I was released from the hospital and could go to where the twins were in the NICU (an hour and a half away) it was the same thing.  The receptionist at the hospital there would ask me every time entered or left.   "How are those babies?  I've been praying for y'all."
When I had my first surgery in 2006, our church in Georgia had Prayer Pagers.  The number of the pager was published to our church community as well as friends and family.  The idea behind it was that whenever someone was praying for me, they would call the pager and I would know that someone was praying for me.  I never dreamed that pager would go off so much!  It was such a comfort to know there were people praying for me,  I didn't know who, just someone who had thought of me at that time.  At night I would awaken to the vibration of my pager on the table, and it would amaze me that when my side of the world should be asleep, someone was up praying for me. 
This morning I was thinking of all of the countless prayers prayed on my behalf and it changed my heart.  I have always known the importance of praying for others and have felt privileged that God would give me such a heart for people, I just thought that praying at a more awake hour would be nice.  This morning God brought to mind all of those times in the middle of the night that my prayer pager went off and how good it felt to have people I didn't even know cover me in prayer.  It is my privileged to pray any time of the day or night and especially at those times when most of my side of the world is asleep.  Perhaps when it is dark and quiet, those are the times when others need those prayers the most. 
Today I thank God for the privilege of prayer.