Wounded

Wounded

The godly care for their animals….

Proverbs 12:10 NLT

My German shepherd, Mia, had surgery almost a month ago to remove a growth on her back foot. She injured it a couple of years ago by jumping our fence. She had a nasty wound that we cleaned and sprayed with an antibiotic and thought it had healed. However, after a year and a half, it grew into a mass. The vet checked it and told us if it kept growing to let him know.

Wounded

It grew and grew, so off to the vet, then to a surgeon.

On March 10th, we took her in to have it removed. The vet warned us the there would not be enough skin to suture it so she would have a large wound which we would have to keep very clean and bandaged.

Every three days, we took her back to the vet and had the bandages changed.

One night soon after surgery, I took her outside, and a cat ran past us–Mia took off after it. Despite her pain and bandage, her instincts took over, and she ran all over our four-and-a-half acres of property and into the creek which runs through it. I was mad at her, but madder at myself. I had not put the leash on her because she could hardly walk, and never in my wildest dreams thought she would run.

We had an appointment already made for two days later.

After the appointment, the vet told us Mia’s wound was infected.

It was ugly–bright red and inflamed. The vet removed more tissue to culture it for bacteria. Mia was in pain, too. I felt so bad for her.

The vet told us, if we did not act soon it would only get worse and move into the bone. From there it could mean amputation of the lower leg. Since Mia is a very active outside dog, who watches over our ducks and chickens, this would be devastating for her and us. (And because we love this dog…).

The vet removed her bandages for good so her wound could heal better. We also started laser treatments. She had three sessions, which were very short–about a minute long–but it helped a lot! After the first treatment, we saw a difference the next day. From their webpage, this is how it works:

K-Laser therapy targets damaged tissue with specific wavelengths of light. The light energy passes through the skin at the cellular level, initiating the body’s natural regenerative process. Laser therapy accelerates wound healing…

https://releasept.com/k-laser-therapy/

The only thing we could do was keep it clean, give her medication, and wait for her body’s immune system to take over and heal her foot. It was a waiting game.

She also had to wear an extra-large cone because she kept figuring out how to get out of them. She hates the cone!

Our entire house has centered around this dog of ours. The smaller bath near her dog bed became her personal clinic, storing everything she needs to keep her comfortable and well. It has been a month, but she is doing very well. So much so, I took her out today for about forty-five minutes on a leash.

We’ve all experienced wounds–whether from sports, accidents, or abnormal growths– and had to have a doctor or surgeon intervene in order for us to heal properly. It’s especially hard when it’s your child or pet going through something like this.

In this world, people wound us emotionally and spiritually as well. They hurt, betray, slander, bully, and abuse us. Sometimes those wounds are even more painful, taking even longer to heal than a physical wound.

In this world, people wound us emotionally and spiritually as well. They hurt, betray, slander, bully, and abuse us. Sometimes those wounds are even more painful, taking even longer to heal than a physical wound. #ThisSideofHeaven #Wounded #Mia

Our emotional wounds can last a lifetime. Our hearts become an open wound–ugly and inflamed. If something triggers a memory of our wounding, we react in anger or pain.

We try to medicate the pain with temporary fixes like food, alcohol, drugs, or one relationship after another. The problem is, it doesn’t help. The infection goes deeper…it can even make us physically sick.

Forgiveness is kind of like the laser the vet used to promote healing in Mia’s foot. It penetrates damaged hearts and souls with light–the Light of Jesus.

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Isaiah 58:8 ESV

We are not condoning the injustice someone did to us when we forgive. But, we free ourselves from the prison and the damage it is causing.

We are not condoning the injustice someone did to us when we forgive. But, we free ourselves from the prison and the damage it is causing. #ThisSideofHeaven #Wounded

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV

Forgiveness allows the healing power of Jesus to restore and regenerate you. Let go of the hurt and the reruns that play in your mind and let the power of Jesus heal your heart and soul as you forgive those who have wounded you.

Mia outside on Tuesday. She had a red bandana around her wounded leg while we were out.

Lord, help my unbelief

Lord, help my unbelief

Have you ever had a very sick child?

Or maybe you found out your child would be diabetic, deaf, blind, autistic, or have some type of disability.

Since my son was premature, he didn’t hit developmental milestones on time. He was taking his time crawling; he rolled everywhere he wanted to go.

We held his hands while helping him stand or take a few steps. But he did not want to do that. He cried and clung to us terrified we would let go of him. After a while of this, and taking him to our doctor for regular checkups, our doctor recommended an orthopedist.

Matthew was nearly two years old when he saw Dr. Schrader.

After being in his office for three minutes, Dr. Schrader told us, “I’m pretty sure I know what’s wrong, but let me do some x-rays first.”

He came back to the room with the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.

This diagnosis shocked us and left us in disbelief. I knew of Cerebral Palsy, but my husband did not know what this meant. He immediately thought it was like Muscular Dystrophy, which can mean death at a fairly young age.

The doctor assured us Matthew would get no worse. He would need physical and occupational therapy but would be fine.

Still, it was hard to see our son barely able to walk at four years old, and needing extremely painful surgery. It killed me. He recovered well but used a tiny walker for two years or so, and needed multiple surgeries.

My husband didn’t take it well. We sought prayer for healing many times; even taking him to a local faith healer. We wanted Matthew to have a “normal” life.

Mike and I wondered what God was doing, and why He allowed this. I struggled with my faith at times as well.

Mark 9:14-29 tells us of a story of a man struggling with his faith.

The disciples could not cast out the demon in his son, so he took it up with Jesus. The father asked Jesus,

“If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” I love Jesus’ answer…”If I can?”

The father cried out, “I believe; Lord help my unbelief!”

What does this mean? I have heard many explanations about it and have attempted to explain it myself.

I read a devotional on this by Chaim Bentorah from Biblical Hebrew Studies. He explains that a certain Aramaic (another Semitic language) word for faith or believe (there are more than one) refers to a mother nursing her baby. There is an underlying meaning, he explained:

Faith or belief in the Semitic mindset is a bonding, an expression of love, honor and respect.  We tell people in our Western culture that they must believe, like it is a great effort. They must grit their teeth, clutch their fist and like the child in “Miracle on 34th Street” keep repeating over and over: “I believe, I believe.” Yet hayaman (belief, faith) is as natural as a mother nursing her baby.  The baby looking up into its mother’s eyes and the mother looking into her child’s face shows pure love, commitment, and bonding.  Nothing is forced, disciplined, it just happens.

https://www.chaimbentorah.com/2013/01/devotional-mark-924/

We can imagine the father in Mark’s story having plans for his son’s future just as we do for our children. I often thought about Matthew’s life when he was an infant–who he would grow up to be, do, and what sports he may play.

When this father said, “Help my unbelief,” the Aramaic word for unbelief correlates with “little faith” more than lack of faith.

Chaim goes on to say this father loved his son and he loved Jesus, but he needed his love in the proper order. We know we need to love Jesus more than anything, but when your child, spouse, or other loved one needs healing, it’s hard to think of anything else.

Chaim explains this even more:

His love at that moment for his son was greater than his love for Jesus, but what little love he had for Jesus he asked that Jesus accept that as its priority. The man was literally saying: “I want to love you more than my son, but to be honest, that is a little hard right now, accept what love I can give you.” 

How did Jesus respond to this..?

Jesus responded by healing the man’s son.

He is so good! When we struggle with unbelief or putting our love for God in the right order, He understands!

He understood how much we wanted Matthew healed. He understands the love of a parent for their child…God knows the love of a child as well as we do.

When we struggle with our faith, sometimes it’s not that we don’t love Jesus, it’s just that we need our love put in the proper order. Jesus can help with that. He doesn’t hold back healing or His love because we struggle.

Jesus doesn’t hold back healing or His love because we struggle. #disablities #specialneeds #ThisSideofHeaven

God did not heal Matthew all at once. He had other issues, medications, and surgeries until he was seventeen. But God loves us and always knew our needs. He has never stopped providing for us or our children.

Matthew still has some minor difficulties. Our pastor at that time, asked us if a complete healing meant Matthew’s personality, love for God, and his gentle spirit changed, would we still want it?

Our answer was NO.

Matthew’s struggles (and ours) is creating us to be who God wants us to be. Matthew’s love for the Lord is evident to all who know him. He has never felt sorry for himself or wanted pity from others. He is stronger than most people I know.

We wouldn’t want it any other way.

In what ways do you need help putting your love for Jesus in the proper priority?

Don’t Give in to Fear

Don’t Give in to Fear

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV.

I like the King James version of this verse because it uses the phrase “sound mind” instead of self-discipline or self-control. Fear tends to make us conjure up a lot of possible (usually frightening) outcomes as a response to something we can’t control.

Fear takes away our usual sound or rational thoughts.

I am not usually a fearful person, but this past week tested me.

My 23-year-old daughter started showing symptoms of the coronavirus last Tuesday—sore throat, headache, and fever. We hoped it was a normal virus or cold. But by Friday she had pressure in her chest and was weak and dizzy.

She could barely walk across the room without resting. She was nauseous if she thought about eating.

My momma heart hurt for her, and fear was crouching at the door of my emotions. I told the Lord I didn’t want to give in to the fear that was threatening to take over me. I told Him this many times. I kept praying for Alexandria.

If you’ve read many of my blogs, you know my twins were preemies—born at 27 weeks. They had their share of ventilators, pneumonia, and asthma. We worried that her lungs could be ripe for this virus.

Let me just say here she was never officially tested or diagnosed. We were told to stay away from hospitals and doctors’ offices unless you were having trouble breathing. She wasn’t. So we stayed away.

We have a holistic approach to health care. So, we had her on liquid silver and zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and D. I felt like a pill pusher…

On Friday morning, my husband and I anointed her and prayed for healing. During prayer, the Lord gave me a picture of Alexandria as an infant in the NICU isolate. I remembered this day.

We received a call at 4:30 in the morning telling us our baby girl was in critical condition. She had pneumonia in both bronchial tubes within her chest. She was no longer breathing on her own.

When I got to the NICU, I saw my very sick baby girl. She was gray and still. The doctor gave her a drug to paralyze her so she would not fight the ventilator. We prayed for her and asked everyone we knew to pray for healing.

So, I as saw this picture in my mind, I felt as though the Lord reminded me He healed her then and He could heal her now.

Peace ran through my body, just as it had twenty-three years ago.

Monday morning Alexandria got up, feeling herself again. The fever was gone, the headache, aches and pains disappeared. She wanted to eat.

I am thankful for all the people who were praying for our daughter.

But, mostly, I am thankful for my Heavenly Father who knew her plight and never left her or our family.

My family is in quarantine for at least another week or two. The rest of us have no symptoms and I am praying it stays that way.

But my house seems small with five adults here ALL. DAY. LONG! Let me tell you.

I am thankful for friends who have dropped off groceries and hair color, too :).

Stay healthy and don’t give in to fear. It has no place in your home or life. Give it to Jesus and let Him send it to go back to the place it came from.

We have much to be thankful for. We have homes, food, and people who love and care about us.

What are you most thankful for during this time?

Deserted, but not Alone

Deserted, but not Alone

Have you ever been in a difficult or dark time when you felt all alone?

Did it feel as though everyone you knew had forsaken you? Maybe it was a crisis in your family or marriage and your friends didn’t know how to handle it. A difference of beliefs or conviction can drive a wedge between people and leave us feeling heartbroken and isolated.

Jesus experienced dark days near the end of his life. The men he had spent three years of his life with abandoned him when trouble arrived.

Heavily armed guards sent by the chief priest and scribes arrested Jesus after He prayed all night preparing for the upcoming universal battle between life and death. His disciples saw Him walk on water, feed thousands of men, women, and children, heal the sick and give sight to the blind; they even saw Him raise the dead. Yet, they deserted Him.

Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’” Mark 14:27 (ESV).

Years ago, my husband and I shared a friendship with four other couples. We attended the same church, dined at each other’s home, shared life, worshipped and studied God’s Word together. I loved these people as though they were my flesh and blood.

I was preparing to teach a Revelation study I had written for our class. One day during prayer, the Lord warned my husband the Bible study would come under attack.

We prayed and asked our friends to pray for the study and us as well. Halfway into the study, a division within our ensemble of friends developed. The split was not because of the Bible study but resulted from one couple walking away from their faith and God. No one knew what to do, so they ignored it. As a result, it divided us.

Because I wanted to fix it, I reached out to my pastor for advice—my friends viewed that as disloyalty. I was a snitch.

Those once close friends now treated my husband and me as if we no longer existed. It was horrible. Not only had a great friend walked away from the church and God, but our other brothers and sisters ostracized us for seeking help outside our group.

I was miserable while I continued teaching my study without them. My family sat alone during Sunday services while the remaining three couples of our once tight-knit group filled a separate row.

God did not leave me; He moved in closer.

I experienced a more intimate relationship with Him than I had never known. God healed my hurt and my wounds as I forgave those friends. We no longer see each other, but I hold nothing against them and have told them as much.

Jesus forgave His disciples, too. He restored them and used them mightily in the days that followed. He never left them nor forsook them.

Matthew 6:14 reminds us we all have debts to pay. If we forgive those who have wronged us, the Father will forgive us. If we do not forgive others, the Father will not forgive us of our sin.

 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 (ESV)

Will you forgive those who have left or betrayed you? It doesn’t matter whether they are sorry or have asked you for forgiveness.

God knows your pain and can heal it.

He will free you, if you ask; I promise.

Jesus came to mend the brokenhearted.

[Jesus] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 (ESV)

Never Give Up!

Never Give Up!

A knock on his door woke him.

As he got up to answer it, he realized how late it was. “Who could be here at midnight?” he thought. As he opened the door, there stood a friend who had traveled a long way and was both tired and hungry. Realizing he had nothing in his house to feed his friend, he hurried to his neighbor.

As he pounded on their door, the man shouted he had company who just arrived, and he had nothing to feed him. The neighbor called out, “Leave me alone, I’m in bed!” The man who had company did not give up. He continued to shout his need until his neighbor gave him what he wanted.

Before Jesus taught this parable in Luke 11:5-8, he taught the Lord’s Prayer. With that prayer, He showed us the way to pray. However, the parable explains how we are to pray. It’s not just the words we use, but the persistence we show.

In Luke 11:8 (ESV), Jesus said about the neighbor who didn’t want to get out of bed, “I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence (or persistence) he will rise and give him whatever he needs.” What does this mean? The neighbor didn’t get up because his friend asked him for food; he got up because he knew his neighbor was not going away until he got what he needed.

The Hebrew equivalent of the word impudence is chutzpah and it means brazen tenacity. We can better understand this if we know the meaning of these two words, too. The word brazen means to be bold and without shame[1] and tenacity means to have determination. [2]

Do you pray with brazen tenacity?

Is this how you pray? I honestly can’t say it describes all my prayers. In some rabbinical (Jewish) literature, they describe Moses’ intercession for the children of Israel as if he took hold of God’s garment and pleaded with Him to pardon them. [3] This is chutzpah. This is what Jesus taught.

In Luke 8:43-48, Scripture tells us about a woman who knew Jesus could heal her of a bleeding disorder if she could only touch His garment. There was a great crowd around Jesus; people were pressing up against Him making it almost impossible to get close.

Yet, her brazen tenacity didn’t let a crowd stop her from getting to the feet of Jesus. When she touched his garment, Jesus knew power had gone from of Him. After the woman came to Him and told Him why she touched Him, Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

The blind beggar in Luke 18:35-43 didn’t stop yelling for Jesus to have mercy on him even though people told him to be quiet. When Jesus asked him what he wanted, he replied, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” Jesus said, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” The beggar had brazen tenacity. He would not be silent, so Jesus stopped to talk to him.

Like them, our brazen tenacity evidences our faith. There are stories throughout the Gospels about people who did not take “no” for an answer by pushing past boundaries to get to Jesus. These were only a few stories in which Jesus said, “Your faith has healed you.”

What about the times our faith and tenacity don’t get our prayer answered in the way we hope? We all know someone who didn’t get healed or lost a child or spouse from a terrible disease. Or maybe it’s you whose prayer has not been answered. Does Jesus love us less? Did He not hear our cries in the dark or at the altar? We don’t always know why we get a “no” or “wait” from our Lord.

In her book, To Live is Christ, Beth Moore explained that in the Bible Jesus healed for two reasons. One was to prove His authenticity. He was and is the Son of God. The second reason He healed was when natural methods were not possible. [4]

 What will bring you closer to God?

The healing or the suffering? God knows which one it is. He doesn’t want us to suffer, but if our suffering takes us deeper into our relationship with Him, then it’s worth it. He knows our ultimate healing is in Heaven. But that does not mean we pray with any less brazen tenacity. Like the man who needed food from his neighbor, keep pounding on Heaven’s door.

Is there anything you have not asked the Lord because you thought it wasn’t worthy or because you felt embarrassed by it? In the verses which follow the parable in Luke 11:9 (ESV), Jesus said,

“Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.”

Jesus doesn’t want us to stop asking, seeking or knocking. Approach His throne boldly knowing He hears you and He loves you. Never give up. Pray boldly with shameless determination.


[1] Google.com, https://www.google.com/search?q=brazen+definition&rlz=1C1CAFA_enUS630US711&oq=brazen&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.4848j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

[2] Google.com, https://www.google.com/search?q=brazen+definition&rlz=1C1CAFA_enUS630US711&oq=brazen&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.4848j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#dobs=tenacity

[3] Young, Brad H., The Parables, Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation, Baker Academic 1998, pg. 63

[4] Moore, Beth, To Live is Christ, B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN, 2001. Pg. 77.