“The goal of prayer is not to change God’s mind about what you want.
The goal of prayer is to change your own heart, to want what
He wants, to the glory of God.”
The War Room by Chris Fabry
On October 2nd my daughter Karen will have turned fifty-six years of age. Fifty-five of those birthdays on earth, and the first one for her in heaven. Now consider this — Two days later on October 4th, my mother will be celebrating her one hundred and third birthday, all of them on earth. At this point she will have lived forty-seven more years than my daughter.
I admit I have some mixed feelings when I think about this… On the one hand I sometimes feel it is unfair that God took her from me to live in His heavenly home. On the other hand, I feel wonderfully blessed to have had my mother with me for so long when others have lost theirs so early in life, as have Karen’s children Lisa and Nicholas.
So how do I reconcile all of these mixed feelings? How do I face today and tomorrow without my daughter, consoling my grandchildren, and yet be thankful for the extra time God has given me with my mother?
First off, I must believe that God loves me as He loves Karen and her children, and that He knows what is best for all concerned. I also must recognize that He is not in the balancing act business of trying to appease what I look upon as just or unjust. God sees the whole picture while I see as through a glass dimly. I believe He is in total control and knows exactly what He is doing while I wrestle in this spiritual war zone called earth.
It is my choice either to trust in His reasons, or to choose to believe He doesn’t care one wit about me, and rant and rave about how unfair life is, thus becoming an angry, bitter old woman.
Old woman? Hmmm… at 103 my mother is what we all consider an old woman. At least more of an old woman than I am by a few years. But my mother displays absolutely no anger or bitterness, even though she has every right to be all of that and more.
Let me tell you a little about my mother. She was the middle child of eleven children and has outlived all of her siblings. This in itself could make one angry and depressed.
Every day she lives with the constant pain of arthritis; she needs a walker because of her feeble weak legs; she has daily pains in her neck and down into her arm that was injured in a fall. She has wet Macular Degeneration in one eye and Dry Macular in the other. Every five or so weeks my sister takes her to the eye specialist where he puts a needle into her eye which enables her to read her Bible, her favorite prayers, along with RBC’s ‘Our Daily Bread’. Every few months my sister has to take mom over to a hospital for an Iron Infusion which has to be done slowly because of her age. This often takes hours and sometimes more than one day.
You might ask… “Does your mother ever complain about all of these painful procedures”? Well yes of course she does, wouldn’t you! Every now and then it becomes overwhelming for her and she complains. But she only does that for awhile before she calls on Jesus to help her bear with it all. She will tell you that He never lets her down but often sends His angels to help her. I don’t doubt that to be true!
And my mother has a wonderful sense of humor laughing often in spite of her aches and pains. In fact, she sees the humor and funny side in situations that would make the rest of us just give up and burst into tears.
In a lot of ways Karen and my mother were very much alike, aside from sharing their birthdays in the same month. They both were strong physically as well as very strong willed. They never shirked their responsibilities or shied away from work but dove right in and lent a helping hand wherever they saw the need. They loved and cared for people, and mom is still surrounded with friends and family who enjoy being around her.
What is the secret ingredient that got Karen and gets my mother through each day? It’s no secret, just plain and simply their faith in Jesus who was, and continues to be, their tower of strength.
Jesus put Jim into Karen’s life to give her the strength and encouragement she needed until she was free from her diseased body. And Jesus has entrusted my mother to my sister Roberta until His purposes for her days are fulfilled.
No one knows what the next minute, hour or day will be in our lives. Yet we go along expecting to do whatever plans we have floating around in our heads with no thought at all to what happens when suddenly our next breath stops! We all know life throws wrenches into the mix, and drains get clogged, but we race ahead with the belief that all will be well when we die or else believe there is nothing afterwards and this is as good as it gets. Fortunately for believers the bible tells us differently and our choices do matter.
God knows the exact amount of time we have available here on earth. He has a plan and purpose for that time if we will just let Him take hold of the steering wheel and do the driving.
Let me encourage you to step out of your own planning stage and take a peak at what God’s plans are for you. Remember that old song, well maybe you young ones don’t, but it was called “I never promised you a rose garden”. God has not promised you or me an easy life for following Him, but one thing I have found is that His plans are more breathtaking and exciting than anything that I have dreamed up yet. This also applied to when I was confined within the small boundaries of my home, and especially in prayer in my War Room. For make no mistake, we are under spiritual warfare.
No matter what circumstance you find yourself in, be patient and Jesus will show you exactly what plan He has in mind to bring peace and purpose to the rest of your days.
Listen carefully… Hear Him knocking? Pull that door wide open and invite Him to enter. You will have no regrets, just a sense of freedom that will envelope you as you follow Jesus through that door marked ‘Victory’!
The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Revelation 12:9
Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming …..“WOW WHAT A RIDE!” Anon