Family Friday. Have You Turned Your Face to the Wall and Wept?

When one finds oneself with a threatening disease and facing death, all kinds of emotions erupt.  Why has this happened to me?  What will happen to my children?  People stay away because they feel helpless to make a change.  Clouds of fear and depression close in.  The disease advances in the body and death threatens slowly, slowly.

This happened to a King in Israel a long time ago.  Here is the story.

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. 
The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: 
Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” 
And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 
Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. 
On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. 
I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’ ” (‭2 Kings‬ ‭20‬:‭1-6‬ NIV)
So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered! (‭2 Kings‬ ‭20‬:7‬ NLT)

Imagine the king turning to the wall and weeping bitterly.  Have you ever been in distress about a situation, perhaps not only a health problem, when all you could do was lie on your bed and turn to the wall and weep?  Have you ever felt you can’t go on unless the situation changes?  One can think “Why bother doing good?”  “Why bother seeking to keep God’s laws?”  “Why bother denying myself when my friends get away with doing things they shouldn’t.  Nothing seems to happen to them?”

Psalm 13 describes how one often feels.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?  (‭Psalm‬ ‭13‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

I have turned to the wall many times and cried, particularly when I was facing death through cancer.  I was afraid.  I was sad.  All hope was gone.  But God saw me and healed me.  Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the multitudes.  Will he not have compassion on one person, that person being you or me.  

Hezekiah the king of Israel was facing death.  He was distressed and wept.  He didn’t just give up.  He reminded God that he had tried to live right before him and do good.  He put his case before God.  He talked to God.  He reasoned with God.  
God heard his prayer and saw his tears.  God changed his mind and sent the prophet back right away to tell the king that he would recover.   Isn’t that good news?  Take heart today that when you cry to God and reason with him he can quickly heal you.

I have more good news.  God has made a way where there is no way. Jesus died on the cross and shed his Blood to forgive all our sins and heal all our diseases.  Even if i haven’t lived right, if I believe in Jesus and call on his name and plead the Blood of Jesus before God our Father he will forgive and heal.  Having faith in Jesus brings results.

A young lady I know had Multiple Sclerosis.  Her condition had deteriorated till she was confined to bed.  She was no longer able to look after her husband and children.  She was being treated with medication from the doctor but she remained weak.  She cried out to God from her sick bed.  Through prayer she too has been totally healed, is restored to look after her family and has two more children.   

Another young pastor’s wife had cancer and she began to bleed. She was pregnant with her fifth child.  The doctors gave her pain relief and sent her home.  She was in terrible pain.  She reasoned with God.  “I have tried to serve you as best I know how.  Please heal me.”   She was totally healed in a few days.  The cancer passed from her body with no harm to her baby!  24 February 2015 “Testimony Tuesday, Young Mother Healed of Cancer”

Hope in British Columbia, Canada is a Special Place for Me. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/places/

I was in Vancouver recently.  As we drove along the highways in Vancouver I saw the sign for Hope on every overhead signpost.  I thought it must be a large city up country.  But it is a small town in the Fraser Valley, but if one wants to drive east in BC you will pass through Hope.  As you drive towards Hope there are magnificent views of the mountains and the river Fraser.

In October 2008 Brendan and I were speaking at a conference in BC. imageCanada.  On the Sunday afternoon we were driving back to Vancouver along the Fraser Valley.  We stopped for a coffee break in this town called Hope.  The cafe was known for home cooked pies.  Our host said you can get mile high pie here!  I wondered what he meant.  In the display cabinet was a variety of home baked pies, blueberry, chocolate, banana, summer fruits, apple, lemon meringue and rhubarb.

I chose the biggest, the lemon meringue with a good helping of cream.  It was the biggest lemon meringue I have ever seen.  Lemon meringue is my favourite.  In Canada the vans  and the trucks, the rivers, the mountains, the highways and the bridges are big.

Seven years ago I would have been bleeding from my colon and hoping it would go away.  Over the next few years I got hopeless for my future.  I was slowly dying.  Until in 2010 I could not hide the bleeding any longer.  I was getting weaker.  I was in despair.  I was unhappy, in distress, lost hope, lost heart, discouraged, I threw in the towel.   I resigned myself that things would not get any better.  I felt lonely and rejected, even though I had my family around me.  I was depressed and felt misunderstood.

Life was going on around me.  I felt left behind.  My children were doing well and leaving home.  My home was getting empty and so was my heart.  My husband was busy with his work.  I didn’t feel I was needed any longer.   Everyone seemed to think mum will be around forever.  I had been strong for everyone one else, but now my strength was failing.  What was there for me to do when all the children had left?   I was hopeless.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭13‬:‭12‬ NIV)

Over the next four months I went through treatment the doctors ordered and my family and many people in the body of Christ prayed for me.   God healed me of 4th stage cancer.  I am alive to tell others that God heals today.  He is not a God far away who does not care.  He is near to help us when we cry to him.  My hope was gone but God in his faithfulness helped me.

Today, nearly seven years later we were back in Hope.  I asked the driver, “Did you know where the cafe is where I can get coffee and “Mile High Pie?”  Hope is a small town.  We found the cafe easily enough, off the main highway.  I checked it out, and yes it was the same place.  The cabinet was full of fresh sweet pies.  I looked them over and found the lemon meringue!  I enjoyed a coffee and pie at ten o’clock in the morning!  Other customers were looking at me.  In Canada people don’t eat sweet pie till the afternoon.

In the seven years since I was in the town of Hope I have gone through the valley of death.  God has brought me through the other side because I grabbed hold of hope in the goodness of God to heal me.  I celebrated my hope being restored as I ate the Mile High Pie in the town of Hope.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/places/

How Weeds, Slugs and Caterpillars disappear!

imageBrendan enjoys flowers. He worked with his pots,  filling with compost, planting, watering, feeding and refreshing.
When we lived in a town house our window boxes were overflowing with lobelia and petunia, thanks to my husband’s expertise.
People passing admired the display of dangling colours.
We collected various shapes and sizes of pots over the years.
Their numbers would be added to as presents on birthdays.
When we moved house the pots came with us.
Brendan’s garden of pots increased.  Daffodils and tulips and primroses sprouted each spring.
Window box displays continued each summer.
Roses did well without much attention.
There was always some flower growing as the seasons changed.
Even in winter there was colour from primula and pansies that danced in the breeze.
Over the last two years, as our children left home, Brendan and I came to realise our home and garden were too big for us.
The birds had flown the nest.
It took time for us to let go and move on.
We had many happy times and memories raising our children in our home in Downpatrick.
Brendan and I now have a new start, a new beginning.
We moved house this spring.
A house that is easy to maintain, no more ashes, just the flick of a switch for heat.
Out plants are having a new beginning as well.
We brought our plants in pots with us.  The yard out back looked like a garden centre.
Over the last few weeks Brendan and I have been sorting them out.
It is sunny where we now live and if my pot plants do not get watered often they will quickly deteriorate.
I was sorting out pots that did not seem to have any life in them and I was pleasantly surprised to find a harvest of bulbs.
I won’t know what they are until next spring.  I suspect most of them are daffodils.  Anyway our pots needed fresh soil so contents of all pots had to be inspected and sorted.  We found little tree shoots growing in some.  Seeds from trees in our last garden took root.  I have ash, sycamore and lime saplings potted out separately. Dead roots and weeds were disguarded to the dump.  The other contents of the pots were choking out the flowers intended to be growing taking away the nutrients and water.

A new beginning for bulbs next year.

I do not need to use slug pellets or roundup.  Other pests of our pot plants at our last house was snails.  They loved the trees, walls and hid under the rim of the pots.  They came out at night to eat.   Caterpillars just loved nastursums.  They munched at the tasty leaves.  The butterflies have not arrived yet so I don’t know if I will have caterpillars.

One way of getting rid of weeds, caterpillars and slugs is to turn up the heat.
The heat and the sunshine just causes them to wither up.
So our pot plants have a new start with weeds and slugs gone.
All is needed is watering regularly with the odd boost of Miracle Gro.
Flowers are blooming and a little pruning here or there is keeping things going well.
I am getting plenty of exercise, fresh air and sunshine as I water my plants.
Perhaps my new situation is telling me God is just dealing with my enemies in the spirit.
Like the slugs and weeds they cannot live in the new conditions.
The heat was turned up in our situation with having cancer and children leaving home.

Job in the bible went through suffering and did not know why.

But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.
For he gets their attention through adversity.
“God is leading you away from danger, Job, to a place free from distress. He is setting your table with the best food. (Job 36:15, 16 NLT)

God has brought us to a broad place, free from distress.
I can testify that God is good and faithful to keep his promise.  Believe and hope in God.
Brendan and I can flourish and grow without hindrance in our new territory.
God is faithful.  He said in His Word he will deliver us from our enemies.

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.  (Psalms 107:1, 2 KJV)