“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
I learned this fact today and it grieved my heart:
“Approximately 1 billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry every night.”
This is a statistical FACT. However, for most of us stats are just numbers. Numbers used to quantify or classify a situation. Sadly, we DON”T pay attention to statistics. Today this statistic became real to me, as it took on human form. I had a conversation with someone today, that made me realize how much I take for granted, and how little I have to complain about. I, like many people, have had financial issues. But I have never had to take a drill and extract my own tooth…I have dental insurance. I have been hungry, but I have never had to rummage through garbage cans to find food…I have a Walmart card. I complain when my AC doesn’t work, but I have never had to sleep on the streets…I have NOTHING to complain about.
Food for thought. We have many more blessings than we think. Let’s stop looking at what we don’t have. Instead, let us be grateful for what we already have. Here’s a thought…instead of always getting, why not try giving?
So what am I thankful for today? I am thankful that someone (whom the world sees as a statistic) taught me that stats are NOT just numbers.
Wait. Don’t complain. God has a purpose for the yield sign.
This officially is my “patients give me advice week”. Since the beginning of the week patients having been refreshing my soul and giving me bits of wisdom (instead of the other way around). Today’s encounter especially blessed my heart and so I have decided to share it. One of our originals had an office visit today (originals are patients that started with us when we first opened). For the sake of privacy we’ll call her Ms. S. When Ms. S first came to us her cancer was newly diagnosed. She went through chemotherapy with good response, had surgery and finished off with radiation. Scans showed a clean bill of health. Almost a year later she presented with a recurrence of cancer. She was devastated by the news. She had fought so hard and won, but now to have this happen… Today when she sat before me, it was like none of those days ever happened. They felt like a distant memory I had made up in my head. She smiled at me, gave me a hug and a kiss. Then said, “When are you going on the mission field?” I almost teared up (it’s a sore subject between God and I, the mission field). I replied, “God keeps telling me to wait.” I guess my face reflected more than I wanted it to, because she then said, “Don’t be angry and don’t rush God.” I looked at her and thought, she still sees God as good despite all she has gone through. She continued with, “He has a purpose for this. A reason why you are STILL here. Do you know, what it means after you hear you have cancer, to talk to someone like you? It is a blessing. You are a blessing, so don’t rush Him. He has a reason.” F L O O R E D!!!! (and humbled). I have been complaining to God, because it feels as though NOTHING is going my way. But today He literally shut me up. In the past week I have watched Him provide when I didn’t even ask (mostly because I had resigned myself to the idea of my needs not getting met). Each met need has been like a little spark igniting inside me reminding me that God moves. Today He not only moved, He spoke. He used the perfect voice too. The voice of someone who knows that God is good even if you get breast cancer, twice. Today the spark ignited into a fire.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).
So what’s the plan? I am going to learn to wait, and as I wait I will fulfill the purpose for which I am waiting.
I have hidden Thy word in my heart.
(Picture by Lisa R)
Exodus 34. “Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them. Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them as commandments all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take the veil off until he came out; and he would come out and speak to the children of Israel whatever he had been commanded. And whenever the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone, then Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with Him” (Verses 29-35). I find these verses sad. Why? Because Moses chose to hide the God in him. Note he didn’t have to, he CHOSE to. I have this thought everytime I read these verses: Maybe the reason Israel was afraid of God was because Moses hide Him from them. What if he had chosen to share God instead? What if he had encouraged them to build their own relationship with their life’s rescuer? I bet the rest of the Chapters would have read differently. Let’s share our relationship with God. Let’s make Him as real to those around us as He is to us. His glory is meant to be shared, not hidden.
Sometimes life feels like this…
Returning back to work after a day off, is like getting shocked by thirty thousand volts of electricity (okay maybe I exaggerate). I took one day off, but it felt like a month because I could not for the life of me get it together today. It was pretty humorous, at one point a patient was like, “You need me to do that for you?” When the copy machine decided to go on strike. Her question made me laugh out loud. I replied to her, “No, we’re have relationship issues that we’re working through.” I am not sure if it really was the day off that set my world on its head today. But here is a truth some days for no rhyme or reason our world can (and will) spin off its axis. Some days everything works according to plan, other days the bottom falls out and refuses to go back in. Despite my not-so-together day, I still manage to get an excellent compliment, “You always make it so easy to come here. You say the right thing at just the right time.” Wow! What a great thing to hear especially today, because although I spoke English words, none of my statement made sense to me. So to have someone say, that my words made them feel better was great way to set my day in perspective. The point? Some days we can feel disconnected, but that doesn’t mean we are. In the midst of how I was feeling, God was still using my words, using my sense of humor to make a difference, Today I was reminded that feeling can sometimes lie to us. We have to look past how we feel to see what is going on. Today my feelings told me I was disconnected, but a patient told me I made her feel connected. I think I am gonna listen to her.
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 16:24).
So what’s the plan? Trust God, not my feelings.
So very true. Happens on a daily basis.
I have hidden Thy word in my heart.
(Picture by Lisa R)
Exodus 33. “The Lord replied, “’My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Then Moses said to Him, ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?’” (Verses 14-16). How can people tell us apart? The Lord is with us. He should be seen in our actions, in our speech, in our daily lives. Moses’ end goal was not to be praised as the rescuer of Israel. Moses’ end goal was to have the world know that God went before them, that God cleared their path. That God rescues and saves. May that be our goal today as well. Let our light shine so that the world will see God.
We need to be willing to leave our comfort, to find our TRUE destiny…
(Picture by Lisa R.)
Today I was blessed with free time. It was a beautiful day so I took my bible, my camera, and my math study guide and went to the park. It was a breezy and surprising cool 76 degrees in South Florida. At the park during my alone time, God answered some questions and dealt with my heart. He took me to the book of Jeremiah chapters 42 and 43 to be exact. It is the Story of Johanan and the nation of Judah. They sought out Jeremiah the prophet asking him to go to God on their behalf, they wanted God to tell them where to go and what to do. They pledged to do whatever God said whether it was pleasing or not. However, God’s answer was exactly opposite of what they wanted to hear. Therefore, they decided the answer was not from God. Ouch! That’s me! I have been praying to God asking Him for guidance and direction, but the answer that He is giving is not what I want to hear. So in my human wisdom I decided it couldn’t be God. As the realism of my hypocrisy hit my heart, I looked around at my surrounds and had another revelation: The water was flowing, the birds where chirping. The wind was blowing and the trees where dancing and swaying in the blowing breeze. They were all doing exactly what they were created to do, BUT… I was not. Oddly today’s moment of self discovery was not painful (despite the previous ouch), God gently reminded me that He had a plan for me and if I wanted to achieve it I had to be more like the birds and the trees, and less like Johanan and Judah. I needed to leave my Egypt and live in my Judah (read the chapters it’ll make sense then).
“May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God” (Jeremiah 42:5-6).
So what’s the plan for the journey? I am going to obey whether it is favorable or not.
I have hidden Thy word in my heart.
(Picture by Lisa R)
Exodus 32. “Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, ‘You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord ; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.’ Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.’ And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.’” (Verses 30-34). We are responsible for our own sins, for our own bad behavior and choices. Moses tried to stand in the gap for Israel’s sin, but God’s response was, “I will punish THEM for THEIR sins”. This is why what Christ did on the cross is such a wonderful gift. He accomplished what Moses could never do. He is able to stand in the gap for us. On the cross God punished Him for our sins (past, present, future). There is only one God and only one person who is able to bear our burdens FULLY. Therefore we have a choice: take full responsibility for our own sins, or accept Christ’s redemptive gift.
Independence should never keep us from the help we need…
My post may be a little hard to follow today as I have a lot I want to say, but limited space to say it. Today I celebrated with fellow Christians the foundation for our hope and faith, the raising of our Lord from the dead. I have been thinking about the Christian walk and what God gave up, what Jesus gave up for us to be able to get back what we lost in the garden (fellowship with God). To relay our heart verses God’s heart I want to tell a story. My mother is an assistant to an elderly couple, both of whom are in their nineties. The wife has Alzheimer (although it’s not severe, yet), the husband has scoliosis and a hernia that weighs almost as much as he does. They are fiercely independent wanting to live life like they are in their twenties. The gentleman is not only independent, but stubborn wanting to do everything on his own. However, the curvature of his spine and his hernia limit not just his structure, but his movement as well. My mom told me a story that happened recently. The gentleman uses a walker however, he is very unstable. He wobbles and sways as he moves, because of this anytime he is stopped, my mom (for his safety and her’s) locks the walker so it doesn’t fall with him. This makes the gentleman upset and in his defiance he will push on the walker almost landing himself and my mother on the floor. In his desire for independence, he refuses to acknowledge his limitations and needs. What’s my point? We do the same thing. Every. Single. Day. We are wobbling in this life, we need God to put the breaks on our walker, before we walk ourselves off a cliff. But we refuse the help, refuse to even acknowledge His existence at times. We like the old man would rather end up on the floor, than accept the help we so desperately need. Jesus in order to give us a way back to God gave up his independence. The creator allowed creation to beat Him, spit on Him, and hang Him on a tree. Ironically all of this was done because He wanted to give us back our freedom (which we mistakenly see as bondage). Look at the world around you then honestly answer these question: Do we seem free? Do we seem happy and content? Are we really chasing our dreams? The honest answer…NO. After you honestly answer, ask yourself this, “Why won’t I accept God’s hand?” Christ came to stabilize our walker and get us to our TRUE destination. We have two choices be like the old man and fight, till we end up on the floor unable to get up. Or we can…Let Go and Let GOD get us where we want to go.
” But God is my helper. The Lord keeps me alive” (Psalm 54:4).
So what’s the plan? Let God put the breaks on my walker. Happy Resurrection Sunday!
Exodus 31. “‘Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God’” (Verses 16-18). God gave us a day of rest, but we don’t rest. God gave us a way of escape, but we stay imprisoned. If God took the time to give us an instruction manual shouldn’t we take the time to read it.
It’s a new day. Yesterday has been redeemed by the rising of the [Son].
(Picture by Lisa R.)
Yesterday was Good Friday. This morning when I woke up I was actually thinking about the fact that yesterday many years ago, a man who was both fully human and fully deity chose to give it all up for the sin of a people who would (even after so great a sacrifice) reject Him. I though about the crowds yelling, “Crucify, crucify”. I wondered if I had lived during that time, would I too be yelling? Would I too have the crowd mentality? Honest answer? I am sure I would. Why? I would not have the luxury of hindsight. I would not be able to match up biblical prophesy with modern day events and realize accuracy. I wouldn’t understand the difference between religion and relationship. In essence I wouldn’t be viewing it from the standpoint of now. After sufficient humility at the thought that God (the creator of it ALL) wanted a relationship with me, with us. I was brought to the realization of something else. Something amazing. Something I felt I needed to share. We celebrate Friday because He died. We celebrate Sunday because He rose, but what about Saturday? Was He napping? Nope, not Jesus. Today needs to be celebrated too. Yesterday, He died. Tomorrow, He’ll Rise. But Today, today He CONQUERS IT ALL
. Happy HE CONQUERS ALL DAY!!!!
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Today instead of a plan I am thankful that Christ conquered it ALL.