“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.”
The verse above will actually be my #14 memory verse, but it leads into my message, so I thought it would work here.
I want to first just tell you that this post is very timely for me.
I remember Beth Moore saying a month or so back, ” I do what I do, because I need it.”
I agree with her. I do what I do, because I too, need it.
I looked up a history on the hymn ” It Is Well With My Soul” a little bit ago, and its such a profound story of humility.
I mean the poor man who wrote the hymn, wrote it in the admist is turmoil.
Horatio Spatford was an attorney who invested in some fortune and real estate, It all went up in flames during the 1871 Chicago fire.
In 1872, His son dies of scarlet fever as he tries to help the city come back together.
In 1875, He plans a trip for his family, and he is delayed by work; and his wife and four daughters go on ahead; the ship sinks and soon found out by telegram by his wife, with only two words,
” SURVIVED ALONE.”
Horatio sits down and write these words on simple hotel stationary, a little after he had traveled over the sea where the ship sank into the ocean abyss with his daughters.
” It is well, let God’s will be done”, that we now know as, ” It is well with my soul.”
This 3 part series we have gone from music, and how it affects us, and how it should affect us; to the messages at church how we should take it in; to our hearts, and what happens when we let faith ultimately lead us.
In Psalm 46, the message version calls God…” Jacob-wrestlin'” God. I think that is true to His name for sure.
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
I have done my own share of wrestling with God.
My mom just recently came home from being in the hospital for almost a month.
The ordeal was absolutely physically, emotionally and mentally wearing.
I mean looking at any of my family’s faces, we looked as if we had aged ten years.
Its hard to be humble. I mean anyone can say that they ” prayed about it.” but how many actually had a ” deep” prayer time with God? How many in the midst of their pain, or frustration actually spent the time just ” believing God” we can all pray, but sometimes…are they just words? Sometimes…well, they are just words, but our heart lets God knows the truth. We know deep down that we don’t have the strength inside of us to endure the situation we are going through.
We just don’t realize right away, that it is the joy that sustains us.
In the beginning, I was so used to mom going in and out of surgery that I hadn’t realized, but I had become numb when it came to emotion. I mean understand that I have been used to mom having surgeries since I was an infant. I was always used to her recovering with no problem.
This time, however, wasn’t the case.
Within a few days after she was in 9hrs of surgery, and came home, developed a infection,
which would turn out to be MRSA.
I hadn’t gone to visit her yet in the hospital as I was working overnight, and the hospital was 40 min away,
I kept going on about my life.
I believe pride definitely played a part, and I know this because I was so worn out from the get go; I wanted to handle everything.
I was talking to one of the other managers, and telling her how I wasn’t able to go up and see mom anyway, because she was in seclusion. And my friend looked at me and she said,
” You need to go there. Even if you can’t see her, you need to go there in the morning.”
She was right. It wasn’t a stupid idea to just be ” there”.
The next morning I left work, and headed right to the hospital.
On the way, I called and made an appt with my counselor, who had an office close to the area; I was burnt out, I needed direction. He didnt’ have an appt until 4pm, but I decided to make it anyway.
I called mom and didn’t tell her I was coming up, I just talked like normal conversation as I dealt with rush hour traffic in front of me.
I heard the nurse tell her that she could have visitors but that we had to wear gloves and a gown.
So I get to the hospital and my counselor calls and tells me he can get me in within 2 hrs.
I got to see mom, of course her spirits were not exactly all that positive. She looked so depressed, and I watched as the lady took care of her dressings. I tried to smile and tell her of my awesome new fashion statement. The gloves and gown, but she was just miserable.
I snuck her some sprite, and put it in her water bottle; which she smiled a little to have.
I also got her a card, and the book ” The Secret” which whether you agree with it or not, it is the best thing for her right now. I wrote in the card about Jacob wrestling with God.
Though she was so negative and thinking she wasn’t coming out of this, I told her about wrestling God and overcoming, didn’t mean that Jacob overcame God, it meant that he wrestled the thing all the way out until it was through. Basically, that he never gave up.
(Thank you Beth Moore for helping me understand that part!!)
I found out later after I got home that day from my dad that she was in better spirits, and that she had also read the card.
I believe in faith that God may have spoken to her through the card, but only He knows.
After seeing her, I went to my counselor, and good friend who when I told him everything going on with me, said that his hand hurt from writing it all out! Ya, that might mean its a bit much.
He told me that I needed to ask God to help me figure out what I needed to let go of before I break.
I left there and on the way home decided to call an old math teacher. In talking to her, she told me,
” Ang, you need to let go of the school right now, and I will help you next semester; tell your teacher I said as the head of the department, to give you an ” I”.”
It was then I realized what I had to let go of.
So interesting enough, looking back at this, I saw in sequence that God had actually spoken to me through those three people.
1. I realized the TOP priority
2. I realized I had to let go of somethings
3. I realized what I had to let go of.
All the while, prayer was happening, and I sadly was not doing as much of it as I needed to. I was trying to do so much, that spending time with God, it just didn’t seem important as crazy as that sounds.
I had to realize I could only handle so much as it was humanely possible, after that, it was completely up to God.
He spoke through those people, because I didn’t speak to Him myself.
” Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.”(Hebrews 11:1)
I must have read Genesis 33 over and over this last month!
Finally, I was able to spend that time with God. But it was so hard to see Him beyond the chaos going on.
The poem I wrote about being in the midst of chaos and paying attention to the stars in the sky, that was an echo from my soul to me aloud. I wanted peace, I wanted that beyond healing itself, because having mom heal before having peace; it wasn’t something that would be fair to any of us.
Only with the joy of knowing, and remembering Jesus could I have endured.
I was at church a week after mom was in the hospital and I prayed and asked God why my family kept enduring this, and the answer to my heart was simply these words:
” Because I first loved you.”
It meant to me, that He loved me enough that it would not leave me, and stand by me, and help us all through.
My mom is home now, she went to the doctor appt, and he told her to prepare for her cruise!
I don’t know how much of this stayed on key during the post, but I can tell you that I know one thing,
We can do nothing without Jesus, it is HE that sustains us in the times we want to shatter to the ground.
It is HE that loves us enough to help us survive, and it is HE that has gone BEFORE us in our sufferings.
You never know how great He is until you watch someone you love start to fall apart before you.
You will fall to your knees, because there is nothing left you can do.
We don’t have control, We can’t save anyone…
He is our strength, and in the times it is the hardest…
We need to keep believing that!
I love all of you, and I know you prayed SO much:)
Thank you from the very bottom of my heart!