Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

THE HEALER

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Day 240

“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him”
Isaiah 57:14-19; Romans 11:28-29

Our Father is a healer and restorer. In the midst of the people’s rebellion, He clearly states He will not always be angry with them. In fact, He notes the frailty of man and how, under His chastisement, they could grow faint – lose faith and hope in Him. Even more important is the greatness of His grace and mercy in the face of sin.

There is no reformation of sinful man without God’s grace. Where sin has abounded, grace abounds even more (Romans 5:20). It is God’s answer to sin. When He says He has seen his [the sinner] ways, and will heal him, our Father is stating that the sinner will never turn to Him of himself, so He will turn him. He will first love him. He will heal and make straight his corrupt ways, and He will lead him.

We move to a later period when Jesus Christ comes and is rejected by God’s own people. Israel refuses to recognize Him as the Messiah and murders Him on a cross. His own Son—killed by His own people! And with this grievous sin they become enemies of the gospel, but because of election, He will once again extend grace and mercy to them. He will turn and heal them.

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! . . . to Him be the glory forever! Amen.”      Romans 11: 33-36

TENDER ENCOURAGEMENT

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Day 154

“Don’t be afraid. Just trust Me”
Mark 5:36

Jairus was a member of the board of elders that ruled the synagogue. He came to Jesus, fell at His feet, and then told Him that his little daughter was at the point of death, but if He would come and lay hands on her, she would get well and live. What great faith he expressed in Jesus! But that was soon interrupted by messengers who told Jairus that his daughter was dead and don’t bother the Teacher anymore. At that point his heart must have sunk low with sorrow.

How often the Lord permits us to reach the place of the impossible? We have to go where there can be no other answer. Living within time, believing in doctors and the power of medicine, we often place our hope in the system. But Jairus sought Jesus and believed in Him. And when hope was gone, when he knew she no longer lived, Jesus turned to Jairus and gave him encouragement and hope – “just trust Me.” Now Jesus will bring the revelation of God’s love and power to help us.

Jesus goes and enters the dead daughter’s room with the mother and father and His companions. He commands her to get up and she is restored to her parents. Then He expresses tender concern to this girl by ordering food to be given her so she can eat. This is our God. He not only encourages us, revealing Himself in love and power to us, but He tenderly considers the small things of our lives.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will help you. I will uphold you with
My victorious right hand”
Isaiah 43:10

FILLED WITH COMPASSION

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Day 23

“His father saw him”
Luke 15:11-32

One of the Bible’s most powerful stories is that of the lost son. The son is bold, arrogant, and rebellious. He abandons his family for himself and to follow sin. Filled with self-centeredness and destructive behavior he lived in sin until he was bankrupt.

Sin is not the focus of this story; rather, it is the revelation of the Father’s heart. The father never stopped yearning for him and looking for his return. He loved his son, and the son’s sinning did not change that love. His coming home told the whole story; he was physically and morally bankrupt. This is the heart of the Father that, when he finally saw the returning son at a distance, he ran out to meet him and prepared a feast.

Why does the Father wait and yearn for us when we are in sin? There is nothing we can do to earn His love. There are no works we can perform. There is no faith we can exercise. There is no way we can ‘make up’ for our sins, failures and faults. Our Father chooses us for only one reason, and that is His mercy and goodness. He does not choose us because of our intelligence, talents, goodness, ‘right living,’ or position of birth. No; He patiently waits and yearns for us because of who we are in Him; His chosen ones.

“The father ran, threw his arms around his son’s neck,
and kissed him fervently.”
Luke 15:20, literal

Lord, you are so good and kind, so ready to forgive,
so full of mercy for all who ask your aid.
Psalm 86:5

The Changing of a Heart – The Healing of a Marriage

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Special Edition

Six years into our marriage my wife announced she wanted out. It was like a thunderbolt out of the sky. I was numb with disbelief. I couldn’t believe it. Somehow it almost didn’t register as a reality. I remember that day as if it was today and I didn’t see it coming. The shock was I thought everything was o.k. and going well. Divorce never entered my mind and there had never been one in my family history. This is what happens to other people, not us.

I was totally blind about where I was in life. Our life together as husband and wife appeared to be doing well to me; we had four children, a prospering business and very active lives. Our days were full. We participated in organizations, socialized and attended church every week.

I began to experience a range and depth of emotions that I had never known. The emotions possessed me, tossing me to and fro. First, I tried not to think about it, “Tomorrow things will get better,” I would tell myself. They didn’t. Anger began to rise up in me, but that only made matters worse. Then I tried pleading, but nothing. As each day passed it only got worse. I dreaded coming home at night. Sleep seemed to be the only time that my heart was quieted. Every day melted into another and I was plunging deeper and deeper into the reality that I had lost control of everything in life. The stress was beginning to affect my family and our business.

Several weeks passed and I began to harden in my heart. I blocked out all emotions and began to think out what I believed was the inevitable. And then I began to plan. The anger in me now turned to plotting. The ugly hardness in me turned to seeking revenge for her choice. A sense of self-righteousness took over. I wanted power over the situation in order to control the results. I decided to get a high-powered lawyer. My first concern was she owned part of the business and I didn’t want her to get any of it. And, then I took it a step further, she wasn’t going to get the kids either. My wife was much younger than me and I believed her motives were wrong which, in my mind, justified me to go after custody of the children. I didn’t want her to have a thing when I got done with her. I called the lawyer.

My visit to the lawyer was very clinical. I had reached a place where I was disconnected from any sense of feelings and life. He talked about counseling. I said no. He talked about taking time in a separation. I said no. I wanted this finished now.

Surprisingly, my wife had agreed to sign off on everything. The lawyer prepared the necessary documents and I picked them up immediately. On the way home from the lawyer’s office I passed by our church. At the end of the street there was a stop sign. As I sat at the stop sign I froze. I always thought of myself as a religious person. After all, I attended catechism classes from an early age and went to Christian schools from the 6th grade to high school graduation. I even taught catechism classes while in high school. As an adult, we went to church every week and observed all the special seasons. I was very active in church life. Yet, in all these weeks, since my wife shocked me with her declaration, I had never once thought about God. I never once prayed. I turned the car around and drove back to the church. It was open and I went in. It was quiet, no one around. I went up front and knelt down.

I was raised in New England where I had a very strict upbringing with very well defined social rules. I had to wear a suit and tie to school. I was never allowed to chew gum. I was taught to stand when an adult entered the room, even my parents, and didn’t speak unless spoken to. I was trained to keep everything close to the vest, and that, “men don’t cry.” I was raised to be totally self-sufficient. Through this entire event it never dawned on me that maybe my own hard-heartedness was the problem in the first place. When I knelt down in that church it was the first time in my life I ever admitted I need help. Suddenly, there alone in front of God, all my formal upbringing seemed useless. All the written repetitive prayers that I had so perfectly memorized escaped me. I started to pray with desperation and actually said for the first time in my life, “I don’t know what to do Lord.” I asked God to do something, to help me get my wife back. I made a deal with Him. I told God I would put the legal paperwork in the back of my desk drawer and not do anything for two weeks. If He wanted to do something He had two weeks until the court date. I pulled myself together and as I was driving away from the church I began to feel different. Not something dramatically different, just something inside me had somehow changed.

The two weeks was nearing an end. The court hearing date was upon us. The time had come. I was sitting in my office the morning of the court date watching the minutes pass. I was still determined to go ahead with the divorce, and my revenge, but my heart was just not into it as much somehow. Finally, I took the paperwork out of the drawer and began walking to the court house. The court house was only two blocks from my office, but it felt like 100 miles. My thoughts were blank. As I approached the court house entrance, I looked up and saw my wife on the steps – with no lawyer. Why didn’t she have a lawyer to defend herself? Little did I know that my wonderful wife had been praying all along and had put her trust in God. Before we went in we began to talk. Our conversation was somehow different this time. We were talking with each other. Something had happened, it was different.

We never made it to the court hearing. That morning our marriage was healed right there on those courthouse steps. We had a new beginning.

God had answered prayer. It didn’t happen with a great thunder-clap or the parting of an ocean. It was just a tiny change he made in my own heart, an almost unnoticeable softening of a soul that had become cold and hard. As much as I thought I knew about God, it brought me to a place of seeing God in a new way. I met a God I didn’t know. Yet, He knew me, and in His kindness He had mercy on my wife and me. Where once I only saw a distant icon-god governing the universe, I now knew a personal God, someone I could talk freely to and someone who answered me. There was no earthly reasoning that could explain how such a bitter period of time ended so quickly and mercifully. It really was just God; a miracle of His tenderness.

I cannot imagine how I could have lived this life without my wife. I shudder to think what would have become of me if God had not intervened for us on those courthouse steps. Through the years she has kept my heart faithfully and kept her face in front of God’s throne daily. At this writing it will be our 44th Wedding Anniversary. We now have six children, 13 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Through the years we have enjoyed a wonderful marriage, though filled at times with many challenges and tribulations, we end each day now with happiness and joy.

My testimony to you is that no matter how hopeless you see your situation, this God that I know can help. He can soften even the hardest of hearts. He can penetrate even the darkest of nights. Give Him a chance.

If you find yourself in need of God’s help, and in need of a friend, don’t hesitate to contact me. It would be my honor to share what He has given me.

My e-mail address is steve@test.akinspired.com