My Time is in His Hand

time in hand.jpg“But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!”

Psalm 31:14-15

I have learned a lot these past three months. God has allowed me to go through a very tumultuous time of sickness; not my own, but my husband’s. My better half, to whom I lean on for support, wisdom, and just plain fun times, suffered not only a herniated disc that immobilized him for two months, but also life threatening blood clots in both lungs coupled with double pneumonia. I felt as if the enemy (Satan) was coming against us from every angle.

My first lesson came early in December when I realized that I now had to pick up many of the chores that my hubby did without thinking: lugging the garbage cans to the curb for pick up, putting salt on the outside steps before they iced over, and trying to keep the electric fence mended so that our precious Scruffy stayed within safe boundaries are just a small sample. Along with this came the responsibility of getting hubby to the doctors and hospitals, managing his medications, and arranging the house so that he could maneuver with a wheelchair. So, what was the lesson? I did all of this out of what I thought was love for my husband, but what God showed me through reading His Word was that I was doing it out of a selfish desire to prove I could manage it all. I had lost sight of the ultimate prize: God’s glory through tribulation.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”  Philippians 3:14-16

God showed me that even though I love my husband and would do anything in the world to help him, deep down inside of me, I had not turned this service over to Him. I was providing all of my time for me; not for Jim, andnot for God. I prayed for healing, but I did not trust that God would heal. I trusted in my own care to make my hubby comfortable. I trusted in my own management skills to take the pain away. And I trusted in me to be the relief that my hubby needed.

I praise God for teaching me that there is so much more to serving others than the actual service; service should be the result, but the goal is fully living in Christ and letting go of self.

The second lesson God gave to me was that Satan has no more hold on me than I allow him. When I released my service as a wife to God, Satan lost his power of my thoughts and emotions. I no longer felt that I had to be the one to bring my hubby out of depression and fear. I knew that I had to be the conduit that God used to open his eyes to the possibilities of what God was doing and instill trust in God’s sovereignty. I was called to live my life strong in the Lord and not in myself.

“Finally, be strong in theLord and in the strength of his might.”            Ephesians 6:19

I have often read Job just because I seek to understand how he lived. Job was a man of honor, he never turned his back on God. God trusted Job so much that He allowed Satan to tempt him to sin by turning away from God. I believe that my desire to read this text in some way helped me to get through these three months. Oh, I didn’t face anything like Job did; I didn’t lose my children, my home, or my health. But in this milquetoast world that we live in today, my spoiled self went through quite a trial.

Finally, I learned that time is nothing. Three months or three years or three hundred years; it all belongs to God, not to us. And the only reason we are put on earth is to walk hand in hand with Him and to do all things to the glory of God, not self.

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Praying for All People

prayer_an-invitation-to-prayer“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”                                                                                                                           1 Timothy 2: 1-6

Have you ever heard of selective praying? Oh, come on now, I know that you have had prayer requests come to you that you think, “Oh, why should I pray for them? They don’t even like me.” Or, “They are surrounded by prayer already, I’ll just go on to the next person.” Or my favorite excuse is, “Why should I pray for them, they won’t listen to God when he speaks, anyway.” I am not alone in this so don’t try to hide behind righteous reasoning.

The Bible is very plain that we are to pray for all people. Timothy is just one section of many mandating this. My first thought is our president. President Trump has raised many eyebrows in the population of the world and many Christians are not praying for him just because he is not a Democrat, hasn’t built the wall yet, doesn’t talk the way we talk, parts his hair on the wrong side, and on and on. I saw the Christian community come together in praying for the right person to be put in office, and now we are letting down on our dedication to lifting him up to God. President Trump, Vice President Pence, all of the Congress and Senate, Representatives and leaders of our states and communities need our prayers. We are to present supplications: asking God to see to their every need. We are to pray: thanking God for his divine apointment and for his grace. We are to intercede: taking hold of God’s will for these people and not letting go until his will is done. And we are to be thankful: thanking God always for the salvation of the people in our leadership, for their following and praying for God’s direction.

There are people in my life who I choose not to spend a great deal of time with. And it is often hard to pray for them. But I have seen miracles happen when I get over myself and lift them up to God. Frozen hearts are unthawed. Sinful lives turned over to God. Financial needs met in ways that could only be by God’s hand. I was not always directly involved, in fact, almost never, but I know that part of the resolution came to be through my, and others, prayers. God never places anyone on your heart unless He is calling you to pray for them.

God wants us to have a peaceful life, but unless we are praying for all people, who have the power to fulfill that peace, we risk losing the grace that brought them to us in the first place. Self has no place in a peaceful world. We must sacrifice self in order to pray for others. Especially those we don’t feel like praying for. In the end, they probably need it more than anyone else; and that is why God called you to pray for them at such a time as this. Peace comes from praying for others.