Welcome to Blogapalooza.
I want you to meet some new people. I asked various friends and bloggers to share with you this month on my blog. So, all through the month of June I will feature different voices from around the world. Today I would like to introduce you to:
Somehow Angela and I are related. Her husband's sister married my wife's brother. We are shirt-tail relatives. Angela is a bit of a prophet though she might not admit it. God has used her to speak wisdom into our lives and she has a habit of getting to the truth and heart of any matter. She is a friend and a dear sister in the Lord. I want to encourage you to read these words of wisdom.
Wiping out Locusts
I will restore what the locusts have taken. Joel 2:25
I just got back from a run. At 6:00 this morning I ran for 20 minutes without stopping for the first time. I don't mean for the first time in a few years, or since high school; I mean for the first time ever in my life. This is something I didn't think I'd ever be able to do.
You see, I'm not the athletic type.
In elementary school, I dreaded “picking teams” becasue I was always the last one picked. Often I was even picked after the fat kid with one eye.(I mean last!) And it wasn't just because I was unpopular. No, I was an undesirable team-mate because I was the kid who ran slowly, fell down, and got the ball in the face, every time.
In high school I was in modified PE. I had athsma. I couldn't run. When I was 14 I injured my knee and was told I would never run. Not much of a loss, really. I couldn't do it anyways.
I always believed I was just built that way. God built people in different shapes and sizes. Maybe I can't run, but I can do things that other people can't do. I'm gimpy and clumsy, but I'm smart. No big deal, right?
A short time ago my doctor allowed me to repeal my solemn promise to never ever, under any circumstances even think about trying to run, jog, bounce or jump. I'd renewed the promise when I started exercising about a year ago, but things seemed to be improving, in spite of a condition which “eats” cartilidge.
So for the last few months I've been running (well, it sort of resembles running – I'm talking about miracles here, not athletic form!) It's been a slow progression – I've been following a program of walking and running that slowly increases running time. It took me 2½ months to finish the first 2 weeks!
I'm telling you this because I don't want you to think that my healing was handed to me on a silver platter while I sat on the couch and wondered where God was. I know it happens that way sometimes, but it didn't work that way for me.
God did meet me on the couch – His love and healing is unconditional; He showed me His grace and goodness and compassion, and taught me to be thankful in spite of the pain. But much of the actual physical healing has come, in my case, with effort.
Again, I want to be clear: I didn't do this – there are changes in my body which I could not have brought about – and God's love and healing does not depend on my effort. But in this case, the changes didn't happen until I believed, and started acting accordingly (with permission and supervision of my doctor.)
Let's fast forward to this morning's happy dance in the middle of the street. I felt as though God had restored something that had been lost to me. But it's not what you think.
It is a miracle for me to run and not stop. It is an immeasurable blessing to really believe for the very first time, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Not just the things that I think I can do. It changes everything.
Still, the real miracle is what happened at the end of my run. First He gave me the answer to my recent prayers, and caused me to celebrate and praise Him, publicly and unashamedly without regard to who might be watching. I was just so excited, so joyful, that I did a happy dance and lifted up my hands and gave a great big thankyou right there in the street and didn't feel even remotely self conscious. (I danced like David, except with clothes on.) He answered my prayer.
But then He answered another one, so deep and serious and huge that it's hard to say out loud, even when I pray.
I did my happy dance, I took a deep breath and then I realized that what I wanted to do more than anything was to run home to tell my husband.
I won't go into details except to say that being married is hard – it's good, but hard. I thought God gave me a new ability, a physical healing, renewed faith and confidence, and He did. But what He restored, the real desire of my heart, the real thing I had lost that the locusts had eaten in the years of sickness and worry and loss was an ease and joy with my husband.
I thought God was restoring my body. But He is restoring my heart for my husband.
Where would I be if I did not believe I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living? Ps 27:13