Peace & Blessings,
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
April has been a difficult month of ups and downs. My mother experienced some significant health difficulties as a result of a fall in the nursing home facility where she currently resides. One of the unfortunate circumstances that came out of the fall were some spinal fractures which made her so uncomfortable her health was seriously compromised. She is a dialysis patient and the pain in her back was not allowing her to fully complete her dialysis treatments. Unfortunately the lack of dialysis treatments were taking their toll and she was slowly fading. It came down to the final day that she would have had the possibility of receiving treatment and if she could not do so, it was likely that she would die shortly thereafter. It was a desperate time for me as I am her primary health care proxy. I did not want to make the decision that determined whether she lived or died. I implored the Lord as time grew short. During that very long week, the Lord ministered to me through one of the devotionals I read with the words, "Trust Me and do not be afraid." The day before my mother was to have her final chance to go to dialysis, I remember praying to the Lord, "This is your final hour, Lord. Please help me." Again the Lord reminded me, "Trust Me and do not be afraid." The next day when the last possibility of my mother receiving dialysis arrived, the doctor made a pain medication change that allowed her to undergo her treatment. At the same time my mother's health issues were taking place I was also experiencing struggles with ministry issues that once again led to my making a shift in church communities. After situations and circumstances had calmed down, I was sitting with the Lord and reading a familiar Gospel passage from Matthew 8:23-27. It is the story of the storm on the lake where Jesus was fast asleep in the boat while the disciples were in fear for their lives. This passage happened to be the chosen meditation from one of my devotionals. The devotional noted that both Jesus and the disciples got into the same boat. Yet their reactions to the storm were very different. I began to meditate on the fact that many folks will ask the question, How could Jesus remain asleep or at rest with the chaos swirling around Him? I began to see that the Lord knew He had ultimate control over the chaos so no harm would come to Him or His disciples. His response reminded me of the Scripture, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) The disciples failed to recognize the peace of God in their midst as well as His Presence with them. All they could focus on was what was going on around them. Thus they were distracted by many things. This reminded me of Martha who was distracted by many things when Jesus came to the home she shared with her sister Mary and brother Lazarus. (Luke 10:38-42) Mary's focus was on the Lord and being in His Presence. On the other hand, Martha, like the disciples, was focused on the chaos around her in food preparation as she experienced growing fear and anxiety. However, just like Jesus responded to Martha's dilemma, He responds to the disciples. Matthew tells us, "He got up." Jesus could have continued to sleep or tell the disciples to calm down and everything would be alright. But "He got up" and brought the peace physically (calming of the wind and the waves) that they missed spiritually (His Presence as the Prince of Peace.) This drew my attention again to the words of one of my devotionals, "I will go with you as you go, so that you can handle whatever comes your way. Trust Me to supply what you need when you need it." The Lord supplied the disciples with what they needed when they needed it which was the calming of the storm. Why does the Lord come to our rescue? "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed. For His compassions never fail." (Lamentations 3:22) The Lord came to my rescue and my mother's in time of need and in the midst of the chaos swirling all around us. I echo the prayer of my devotional's meditation, "Heavenly Father, this life is full of uncertainty. But You have promised us your unfailing Presence. May we see you today---especially when we are tempted to panic or do things in our own strength." Amen. May you call on His name in time of need and see Him come to your rescue.