Well friends, quite honestly, it’s been a time of “recuperating” after the agonizing situation with Lincoln. I told my friend, Jennie, who lives down the street and also walks with the Lord, that I felt like I had a “hangover” from the intense prayer and fasting – totally wiped out!!
Dw, Emma, Josh and I cannot ever thank you all enough for interceding on Lincoln’s behalf – you are part of his amazing miracle! I pictured all the prayers as glowing missile-like lights being shot up from all over the world bombarding heaven! I told Emma that I cannot stop welling with tears at how astoundingly faithful God was and what a mighty miracle He performed. Guys, he was a 9-week-old with pneumonia, a bacterial infection and was sepsis in Uganda! Only, only, only God.
So I share my personal thoughts and struggles because I know I am not alone. Many of you have faced or are facing storms that have left you crippled with fear and panic…so I pray my personal journey will encourage your souls.
For many years I have asked the Lord for a single word, phrase or Bible verse to meditate on for the coming year. This year the word I felt I was supposed to meditate on was “peace”. I smile as I type that because really when I felt it should be “peace” I kinda’ wanted to toss it back and say, “No thanks, I’ll pick a different one.” Truth is I knew that “peace” is usually learned in the midst of a swirling storm. We don’t really need “peace” when life is smooth, carefree and easy-going. No, the fact is that dwelling in God’s peace is learned through ferocious storms.
Of course I’ve mentioned here that right after the first of the year we were blindsided by something we never, not even for a second, saw coming. As I lay awake at night after it happened, with Dw on the other side of the world leading a GO Team, the word “peace” kept echoing in my mind…and trust me, it’s the last thing I would naturally have. From there it seemed like life just kept throwing curve balls and painful events – and all the while the word “peace” kept echoing.
Friends, I really do want to get this right! I want to have complete peace in the midst of the most agonizing storm! The reality is that we are human and we have emotions that God created. But what I am learning is that there is a distinct line between the emotions of fear, panic and worry and dwelling in complete peace. The line gets blurry or broken when the emotions overtake us and we are held “captive” by worry, fear and panic. The only way to break being held captive by those powerful emotions is by learning to dwell in Christ for our comfort, our hope and complete peace. And I for one, can’t dwell in His peace without camping in His presence day and night!
I’m also understanding I can’t dwell in Him without trusting Him. No doubt I can say, “I trust God” and I would have said, “Of course I trust God” but there is the reality of saying it and knowing in my heart that I am dwelling in Him. Like when Ruby had her seizures in March. That first one (after four years seizure-free) was so bad and incredibly long and horribly hard because it just wouldn’t stop…and I was faced with the reality of: Where is my peace and who is my hope? Do I really (I mean really) trust God? Am I dwelling in His peace? Some days it’s easy…and then there are others!
So….as I was receiving texts from Emma at the beginning of the situation with Lincoln, I fought being overcome by fear, dread and panic. To fight I put worship music on and sang all day long, specifically, “Oh Praise the Name of the Lord Our God..” As long as I worshipped, fear was kept at bay. Anytime I stopped, it rose back immediately. It was an internal and very intense battle for sure! Fasting as well allowed me to dwell in His peace.
For those who have read my book “The Memorial Box” you may remember the story of Isaiah’s adoption and how I went into my closet and promised not to come out until I heard the Lord whisper regarding Isaiah’s situation. What He whispered (in a nutshell) was: “Those who hope in me, will never be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23. Rest assured as Lincoln’s life hung in the balance I reminded the Lord of that verse over and over as I fasted and worshipped.
And somewhere in there the Lord reminded me of something that had happened just before Lincoln got sick…and He posed a pertinent question as He reminded me of it!
So here’s the story…
As silly as it might sound, I’ve never have had a garbage can in my laundry room and actually never really thought about it. I’ve always just carried the lint from the dryer to the kitchen garbage. In our home we live in now it’s on the other side of the house and although I still didn’t give it much thought one day it crossed my mind and I mentioned it to the Lord about just how nice it would be to have a little can in there. It wasn’t a need, but merely a want. A few days later I mentioned the little garbage can to my friend Lynne and how I was trusting the Lord to provide one. Our conversation was not about the garbage can at all, but merely was used as an example in the midst of our conversation.
Later Lynne texted me to ask what kind of garbage can I might want. I laughed and told her that the garbage can was not the point of the story. She then said, “I found one in the back of my pantry the other day, I don’t need it at all, when I found it I wondered what to do with it and after you mentioned it, I thought it might work for you??” She then texted me a picture to see if I might like it. I told her it would be wonderful and the rest is history! And actually if I had gone to pick one out, the one she gave me is exactly what I would have chosen – white, simple and small.
And in the midst of Lincoln being so desperately ill, the Lord reminded me of the little garbage can and whispered, “If I met your seemingly insignificant “want” of a little garbage can that is exactly what you would have picked out – Will you not trust me to heal precious Lincoln?” His whisper kinda’ hit me between the eyes! Of course, Lynne had found the garbage can in the back of her pantry and had no use for it before she and I even had the conversation – no doubt, it was all set up by the Lord who was working behind the scenes.
That simple white garbage can illustrated so much!! God cares, He moves, He orchestrates even about what seems so minuscule and silly. Surely that same God loves us so and He heals and He most surely would heal Lincoln! And then I knew His peace!
True enough, it was a battle in my soul to actually dwell in peace…but by God’s grace, through worship all day long, fasting, continual praise and prayer, powerful verses and a simple little garbage can I’m learning. And Lincoln is healed!! Oh Praise the Name of the Lord our God and as I’ve said for years – Yippee Jesus!