PRAISE BE TO GOD

As I write an introduction to the following ‘article’ by Lawngren, the verse of the day has been, Philippians 3:14:

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

It’s easy to praise God when we’re in the youth of life; healthy, reaching goals and working towards new dreams.  But what about later in life when the body’s feeling the effects of a fallen world, either through age and the physical decline that comes with it or illness and disease?  Face it, it’s hard getting older sometimes.

I remember looking at the year I’d be turning 35, and thinking, man that’s so far away.  It came and went and now it seems like it was forever ago.  I’m not that old, but definitely feeling things I never felt back then, and sigh, seeing new things almost daily to remind myself I’m not a spring chicken anymore.  I don’t like getting older. I don’t like pain, and discomfort, and I don’t like seeing some old woman in the mirror when my mind is still very much a 23 year old.

That said, I have often wondered what kind of witness will I have as I get older, and perhaps more fragile in health?  And if I can maintain a Christ like attitude, will it really be something that people notice?  Will my acceptance of age and the pains which go with it be something that points to the Lord for those who need to know Him?

The Bible talks a lot about witness, and how living a life that glorifies God will be a witness.  Sure it can be a witness to the unsaved who are waiting and watching how we react to illness or hardships and pain, but consider too the encouragement and example set for those who are Christian brothers and sisters.

The next two e mails from friends and sisters in Christ are just such a witness.  They may feel sometimes that the trials they are going through might not amount to much, and in this life, often times we can’t see through that veil of the tapestry God is weaving in us all through life, and up until the very last breath. We can’t always know or see results of any gain or even feel as though we’re pressing forward to much of anything worthy of a prize from our Savior.

But I sure hope that these ladies realize by their joy, peace and faith through pain and uncertainty, they are setting a powerful witness, and also an amazing encouragement for others. God bless them both!  And I am grateful they gave Lawngren permission to share their ‘stories’ with us….

American Duckie

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Praise be to God!!! I’m home from this morning’s treatment. It ran a little slow, but all worked out in the end & the new pre-meds have worked well – no early on-set side effects. More praise & quite a relief.

Thanks so many for your prayers & notes of praise on my last update. I realize that much was good news, but there are also downsides to be concerned. I received the report Friday that it is unlikely that there is anything to keep the cancer away after this treatment, so once this treatment “fails”, the cancer will again grow and we’ll be looking at my home-going shortly after that. God appointed my days before they even were, so that’s not a great concern to me -to be with Christ is great gain. I do find it hard standing on the banks of Jordan & unable to cross. I want God to be glorified and honored through my trials, but I just can’t see it. I wake most mornings dreading another day of cancer, to what end? The end I can’t see – His glory. Any gifts I’ve used for God are now gone, but I can pray, and I must remember that that is always the most & best I can do at any time.

Thanks again.

Upheld by the Almighty’s Hand,

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Dear church family,  I confess I have been putting off writing.  I was hoping there could be a report of significant improvement, and there is some … I am getting more sleep at nights, the intense pain especially in my leg is not as great for the most part and I am taking less pain meds.  I did have an epidural on this past Tuesday.  They said I might not feel much improvement, if at all (no guarantees) before 5-7 days.  I was so pleased with less pain on the next day, Weds, but it has not been very great since.  All things medical have not been exhausted and I am thankful.  But please know, as even I used to look at the hills in Utah when [husband] was hospitalized, “My strength comes from the Lord…”  and so does any restoration of health He chooses to give me.  So I continue to cherish your prayers and other expressions of love.

But there is another dimension to this that is even more important.  It has to do with coming to the Lord and being able to say from the heart, “Thy will be done”.  I don’t naturally like the chronic sometimes terrible pain, the making plans and cancelling them, the unsteady walk and near falls with this gimpy leg, and adjusting to the sudden onset of this.  In fact I very much dislike all these things.   I was not expecting this and emotionally I am not naturally a tower of strength.   But … I was glad I was home this morning alone.  I was right where the Lord wanted me to be.  God really pressed truth to me through the words of the chosen hymns and through tears I had a blessed time with God of confession and praising Him for bringing such truths to my mind and heart.

“Help me now to live a life that’s dependent on Your grace.  Keep my heart and guard my soul from the evils (pain, disappointment etc) that I face.”

“The night is dark but I am not forsaken, for by my side, the Savior He will stay

I labor on in weakness and rejoicing, For in my need, His power is displayed….Yet not I, but through Christ in me”

“With every breath, I long to follow Jesus,

For He has said that He will bring me home

And day by day I know He will renew me,

Until I stand with joy before the throne”

All the above truths and the powerful sermon had not even started yet!

(I am desirous of coming to church tonight !!!  The best part of almost every day is afternoon and evening)

 

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