Freedom to Praise – oh, tonight . . .

I am in such pain. Finding praise in the midst of such pain . . .

I know I have the freedom to praise, but Father God, please help me find the strength to praise . . .

Mark 12:30
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

This verse (found through a search on Biblegateway.com for the word strength) goes straight to the heart of where I am. The pain is in my mind. My tinnitus is absolutely SCREAMING in my head. I find it almost impossible to focus my mind. The doctor’s technician, when I went to the doctor, asked me to describe the sounds in my head. I said that it was like screaming demons. She looked stunned. Her response was that she had never had any one describe tinnitus this way.

Father God, please focus my mind on You. If You choose not to stop the screaming please let me focus on You or better yet focus me on You please. Help me praise!

Thank You for the ability to hear. I praise You for You are God. You are Elohim, the Creator. You created me and You knew that this would happen when You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You freely!

Luke 10:27
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

This verse has always been one of my favorites:
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

God, I wait for Your response, for Your healing. Your Word says that waiting on You my strength will be renewed. I shall walk and not faint. Right now I feel faint, the pain has taken all of my physical strength. I feel as though I could not walk from one room to the next. Yet, I am receiving Your strength even as I sit here and seek Your face.

I find You in the midst of my pain. In finding You I find the freedom to praise.

I praise You, Holy Father and seek You. I know that in pain and suffering You bring me closer to You which is certainly a reason to praise . . . living closer to You.

Thank You for freedom to praise You in all things.

A few mornings ago, I got up in a not good mood.  I was resenting the fact that we were on vacation and due to family with us I could not get up and do what I wanted to do.  When my husband and I take a trip we like to get up and take pictures of the sunrise.  This requires getting up and getting ready early.  Well, we have a new “grand-puppy” that belongs to our daughter.  Given that our daughter came along with us on our trip to take a “vacation”, my husband felt it was his job to get up with the puppy and let our daughter “sleep in”.  This meant no going out for photography for us.  I was very frustrated. 

 Part of that frustration was also the fact that I am having difficulty with my vision (as a result of cancer) and have become afraid to drive in the dark.  So, I couldn’t go by myself – off to take pictures on a mountain I was unfamiliar with in the dark before sunrise. 

So, I chose to be angry and frustrated.  I was not “free to praise” because I let Satan get ahold of me.

 I had so much to be grateful for . . . a trip with my husband, our daughter accompanying us, our new puppy that we share with our daughter (a puppy that is a treat to “dog sit” when our daughter travels), a beautiful sunrise, being able to see and hear (hearing has been another faltering sense lately) and walk around (again some difficulty after cancer).

 I finally took myself outside on the deck of the cabin that we were staying in.  I realized that I still have pretty good vision and that I am able to drive, that I am able to move around.  I realized that I am exceedingly grateful for our daughter going with us on this trip.  I remembered how happy this new puppy was making our daughter, after losing her last dog to cancer two days after Mother’s Day this year.   I realized how lucky I had been to sleep beside my husband the night before. 

 I realized that God woke me up to a beautiful day!

 Sometimes to have “freedom to praise” we just have to STOP and realize how blessed we are.  I almost let myself miss out on that goodness.

 I got up, let my husband know I was going to a safe spot to take photographs.   I went and as I took photographs I praised God for His goodness, for His beautiful creation and I thanked Him for His presence in my life, taking over my life. 

 He is always there, I just have to remember to not let myself get in His way!

Romans 15:17 was the verse I read first thing this morning.  

                I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. (KJV)

 As I wrote out my prayer in response to the verse I thought about Mrs. Diona Smith, my high school logic and rhetoric teacher.  She was a wonderful lady. 

 As I thought of giving glory to Jesus Christ in my service to God, I was thinking of this morning.  I am to lead the worship service this morning.  God has all glory, how can I give glory.  I am serving this morning.  I need to give God my best, I know that.  Am I doing that this morning? 

  This has been a kind of crazy week . . . aren’t they all.  However, this week we celebrated my nine year anniversary of having “no evidence of disease” of cancer.  We had Kenzie, Michelle’s new puppy several days this week.  Then Mitch and I went to celebrate my anniversary, out of town at a favorite restaurant of ours.  At the end of the week, Friday morning at 2:40, our oldest daughter had our new grandson. 

 So, I haven’t practiced the music for this morning.  I have told myself every time I thought of it, “I know this music. I’m good.” Now this morning, as I read my verse, am I giving God my best?  Am I glorifying Him?  Am I truly serving Him?

 In high school, Mrs. Smith gave me my first “B” on a paper I wrote in her class.  I was distressed, never having gotten a “B” in an English class.  Upon my asking her why, she responded by asking me when I wrote the paper.  I said the night before I turned it in.  She answered that is why I got a “B” and others (as I had pointed out) who maybe had not written as well as I had, got an “A”.  They gave their best.  I did not.  Her class was a challenge for me from that point on.  I was blessed to have had her as an instructor.

 I need to remember, God wants my best.  And, I want God to get my best.

 Even though I know the music we are doing next week, I will be practicing.  I will be serving God and trying to give Him my best. 

Anxiety . . . 

distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune: . . . 

Anxiety is an overwhelming thing . . . 

What makes it so difficult is that often the anxiety is based on “unknowns.” 

This is not where I am today.  

I feel like I could just come out of my skin. 

There is no “reason” for it that I know of . . . and yet there is.  I feel so incompetent.  When I worked I felt like a reasonably smart, coordinated, competent woman.   Now I feel incompetent.  I feel disoriented.  I feel lost . . . 

God gives me peace if I will but remember it.  God will give me strength. 

Sometimes though I have failed God, not upheld my due diligence.  

Father, God, please forgive me and help me do what is needed and then please give me peace. 

I need you, Holy Father. 

Recently I have been attending Kay Arthur’s Bible Study on Covenant.  It has been fascinating in so many ways.  It has given me new appreciation on the Marriage Covenant, on the marriage ceremony. 

 

In addition to this new appreciation I have realized what a wonderful husband I have.  He could teach young husbands a lot about commitment and “keeping covenant.” 

 

Right now I am struggling with vision problems, my eyes are basically falling apart, to put it simply.  I have had three too many doctors telling me “as we age” these things happen.  However, I am afraid of losing my vision.  I know I am trying to trust God, but it is difficult. 

 

Back to my husband, through thick and thin he has been the kind of husband I would want for anyone.  When we married I had a young daughter already.  He adopted her as his own, and even before the “legalities” he took to her as Daddy.  Then we added another daughter.  They have always been his daughters. 

 

We have gone through the usual difficulties of the years . . . job changes, houses bought and sold, school difficulties with the oldest, shift work as he was in law enforcement, loss of his Mom (he had already lost his Dad when we married).  He has always been my strongest supporter.  As I went through breast cancer he was right by my side.  Now, as we face this new difficulty, he is right there, beside me in the doctor’s offices, leading me outside when I can’t see because of dilation of my eyes.  He is my strength when I have none.

 

God is my God, there is no doubt.  And I have been blessed by Him in the man he sent to be my strength here on earth.

 

Thank you, Lord!  Amen.

 

 

 

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
― C.S. Lewis

 

Mitch says I am angry “all the time”.  He is pretty close to being right. The days when I am in pain and the days I worry about the cancer coming back I am afraid.  The fear leads to anger.

If I hurt this bad now, what is ahead of me.

I know what is behind me . . . days when I didn’t think I could face “it” anymore.

How can I face “it”? Again?

God is with me.  I know this.  I believe this.

Just this morning I asked Him, “How can I be a Sunday School teacher with such anger and hurt in my life?  When I am so poor at controlling my emotional response to these?”

His answer, “Because you hurt you can help other who hurt.  You will understand.”

This morning my voice was so loud I couldn’t hear Him.  I had to cometo a stopping place where I could hear.

And be reminded by Him that He is here.

First of all though, I had to get to a place where the pain was so great that I stopped looking around and I sought Him!

Luke 2 (King James Version)

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

 It was recently brought to my attention to wonder about the people around the shepherds.  Surely the shepherds were in the country, that is where shepherds kept their sheep.  But . . . “ . . . there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, . . . “

 Surely this was quite a noise, quite a racket being made by this heavenly host.

 Did others not hear . . .

 Did others not see . . .

 Did they not look up . . .

 So, where would you be?  You might not be in the countryside with the shepherds.  However, would you have been . . . are you right now . . . so locked up in your own little world that you miss those things that are going on around you that are from God?

 Take a moment.  Look around!  Look up! 

 Notice the wonder that is of God and be blessed.

 

 

NOISE

 

This morning as I began my Bible study and prayer time it seemed as though my little world was conspiring against me . . . as if Christmas is not noisy enough. 

 We have new neighbors, but the house they bought is not finished. Consequently, construction is going on.

 My dear husband has decided that RIGHT NOW he has to finished a project that is not due for over a week.  Normally he would wait until the night before.

 THEN, a neighbor has decided to move their “inside” dog to the outside.  The dog sits and cries, I sit and cry.  It just breaks my heart.

 FINALLY, God told me to go to the lake.  That may sound a bit strange, but we live on a lake and the dock is about the length of a football from our house.  So, I went. 

 It is so peaceful here.  I feel like I have “freedom to praise”.  Now, obviously I have freedom to praise where ever I am.  However, how is your Christmas season?  Is it so noisy that you just don’t feel the freedom in your heart to praise. 

 When I got down here, settled in my favorite chair, looked up at my “bower”, not only did God calm my heart, He calmed the outside noise.

 He may not always calm the outside noise . .  .but if we will turn to Him with focus . . . He will give us the quiet in our hearts to praise Him. 

 Thank You, Lord, not just for peace but for quiet also. 

In my life, before retirement, I worked in a place where words were all important.  The way they were strung together to form sentences was critical.  An example would be that on occasion the word “must” was replaced with the word “shall.”  Now to most of you that doesn’t seem to be a big deal . . . but in the weight of the law “shall” carries significantly more weight.

So, tonight as I was reading about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth in Luke, in the Word, I was struck by the words that Mary used in response to learning that she would bear a Son, Immanuel.

 Luke 1: 49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,And holy is His name. (New King James Version)

 I was struck by Mary’s words, “has done great things for me.” 

 How often have you thought, “God, why are you doing this to me?” 

 I know I have had this very thought on more than one occasion.

 Yet, Mary, innocent, child, virgin was told of something to come that would set her aside as an outcast, she said, “for me.” 

 Father, that I would remember that you have done so much “for me” . . . giving me life, giving me salvation through Your Son.  Then you  have put a husband for me in my life, given us daughters and a grandson, given me breast cancer, allowed me to sing for You.

 Lord, you have an ungrateful child here, please, help me to be grateful and filling with thanksgiving for all, FOR ALL You have done for me. 

At one time I was hurt by something my husband did. . . we got over it but I remember him saying, “I’m sorry I made you angry.”  I told him I wasn’t angry, I was hurt. 

Some time back I received a new hurt . . .  A HUGE hurt.  I have found out over the last few years, since it happened that if you hurt long enough it will build into anger.  Because that is what has happened, that hurt has built into a huge anger.

 I really had not noticed this until recently, as we are approaching Christmas, there is a circumstance of unforgiveness happening in our family.  My Dad has not forgiven my brother for . . . something.  I don’t even know what the circumstances are.  However, I got very angry and didn’t know why, after all it wasn’t something I did or even new about.  The anger just seemed to build and build and build. 

 I could not figure this out.  Why was I angry?  This thought just kept coming into my mind over and over again.

 I realized years ago, my Dad offered forgiveness to someone who had done a serious hurt to me, his daughter.  My Dad gave them forgiveness.  I was incredibly hurt by his forgiving them, when I was so very hurt and damaged. 

 I have forgiven the person who hurt me.  Now, it is time to forgive my Dad. 

And to remember . . . hurt and anger are not that far apart. 

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