The Chief Physician
It is my hope that you will find these short stories interesting, entertaining and most of all comforting. This is not presented as a definitive study on God’s power, however, it is a scripturally sound approach to developing a relationship with God, The Lord Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit. At the end is a reference to a post👉 God is our Physician, our nurse and our aide (Scripture pictures).
By identifying with the characters in the story, as well as applying the principles presented here, one may develop a stronger walk with the Lord. These 4 short stories are allegorical illustrations and are metaphorical in nature. This is my attempt to use parables that are basically fiction but lead right back to Bible-based facts. Regardless of your belief give my writing a chance and I hope that you will not only read but enjoy what I’ve written.
Nursing home character:
Come on a journey with me as I introduce you to a few characters I hope you can identify with in some way. The first character’s name is Florence, but everyone called her “Flo”. Florence was a beautiful woman, her age is irrelevant because she lives in a nursing home, which are no longer referred to as ‘old folks’ homes. Florence lives in a building with 110 beds, not counting private rooms.
She went from living on her own in her own home to living out of a small closet and even smaller dresser, she didn’t mind. Flo got rid of many of her possessions. Living in a facility she didn’t have any needs that weren’t met. The meals were good, almost always on time, and controlled potions that were much better for her than what she would have ate at home. The bed was adjustable. Someone always did her laundry and cleaned her room and bathroom. Best of all there was always someone to talk to.
She didn’t see the doctor every day, but only because he was so busy. She didn’t need to see him in order to get the health care she needed. She knew as far as her health, he was the top man and the only one who could give the orders for the right treatments she needed when she needed it. She also knew that, although she didn’t see him he was checking her chart and making sure she was healthy. The nurses showed real compassion and made sure she got just what the doctor ordered and the nurse aides not only brought reassurance and tried to comfort her as much as possible they also help her do everything from standing, changing and even personal hygiene. At first it was all new and strange but Flo realized, these people knew how to care. Some of the residents living with Flo were not permanent residence there. They were just getting physical rehabilitation or occupational therapy after having come from the hospital. But for her, this was more than a place to stay between the hospital and her home. It was a place where, if you tried just a little, you could see a bigger picture than just a nursing home. Flo knew almost everyone who lived. She enjoyed time with them but also made room for their personal space and privacy.
Although there were over 110 people living in the same building and there was a very large staff sometimes Flo was lonely at times. Flo’s loneliness was not because of the lack of social activities with people around her, it came from within. Probably a feeling we all have from time to time. There were those times Flo would just lay in her bed while her roommate was fast asleep and she stared at the ceiling. Sometimes her mind would be full of questions with no answers. The way she worked through this loneliness was unique. She thought of God as the head Doctor, above everything else busy, caring, he knew her needs, provided needs and told others what they needed to do to help her and each other. Flo smiled when she thought of the title Head Doctor, thinking of the word head as not just describing the big boss or head honcho or top banana or even the overseer but head as in a doctor for our mind. We could all use a head Dr. just to think straight. She thought about that often. She also saw God’s son presented through the work the nurses did. She found an amazing Bible verse in a newer translation called the message. Psalm 41 versus one through three which talks about God being our nurse. In Psalm 41 near the end of verse three she read whenever we’re sick and in bed God becomes our nurse, nurses us back to health. Psalm 56 verse eight also brought much comfort to Flo. Sometimes she would say it in the form of a prayer, “you’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book. Flo sometimes would tell other people God the father is the real head doctor, God the Son is the heart nurse and God’s Spirit is our soul aide or aide for our soul. One day one of the guest preachers that came into the facility occasionally remind them all that when Jesus left the earth he said, “I will send you a comforter.” (John 14:16,26) She thanked God regularly for how much he helped and comforted her. It took a while to learn the names of all of the aides that helped her during her stay at the nursing home, however; they spent enough time with her and she spent enough time with them and before she knew it she knew all of them by name. Some never even worked with her directly but helped her friends who lived in the same building.
Somehow other people’s lives were a little brighter after they got to know Flo. She really had a personal one-on-one relationship with God. She really saw him as the creator. She saw God for who he really was and saw herself as He saw her. She understood how, when and why he sent his only son to come to earth, to die for our sins. When she was younger, Flo was never considered a bad girl. She may have disobeyed her parents, stole some gum form the candy store but she knew right from wrong and always tried to do more right than wrong. What made Florence so unique and special was how she honestly believed and even picture God the father as the head Dr. or chief physician, God the son as a nurse of her heart, and God’s Spirit as the aide to her soul, regardless of wrong things she had done when she was younger, much younger. She knew she needed forgiveness even for the little things, for God wanted a pure, completely pure, relationship with her. She now depended on the Lord to be her righteousness, let Him perfect a new nature in her, as she continued to grow older and older.
When Flo became physically sick she was still so strong spiritually. This served her well when many times some of her newest and closest friends were about to die. As a child she thought it was weird that people died but she never really saw them die. When she was in elementary school she had gone to a funeral and seen someone lying in a casket but she was entirely too young to understand that death does not care how old you are. Death is inevitable and does not just come to those who have lived a long life. It wasn’t until Flo came to the nursing home that she realized she needed to grasp a better understanding of what may happen to us when we die. Everybody’s different and God speaks in many ways. For Flo she decided to focus on life not death, oh don’t get me wrong she realized no matter how young she was in comparison with those around her she too one day was going to die but as she examined her personal life, took an inventory, she began to realize that what she needed, while she was alive, was the same thing she needed for her day of death, salvation.
One older man, who many people called ‘the chronic complainer’, didn’t seem happy unless he was unhappy or upset. Flo thought it was strange that he was such a devout Catholic and practice his religious beliefs faithfully but seem to have no real peace, comfort or joy. She believed that perhaps his heart was right but his head was wrong. He really needed the ‘head’ doctor. Perhaps he was not always a grumpy old man but something went wrong in his old age. She overheard the staff referring to him as a hypocrite in comparison to the way they thought God’s believers should act. One very quiet night Flo went into this man’s room, she didn’t know it was the night before he was going to die, however; she saw all his priest come in and read him his last rites. Although she wasn’t a Catholic, Flo had learned recently that they no longer use the phrasing ‘last rites’ but rather they call it the ‘sacrament of the sick.’ She had heard that many people didn’t die after they were read their last rites and this caused people to question priests about giving last rites and she liked the new name and format of the sacrament of the sick. Although her friend didn’t know it she listened in earlier that day as his priest asked God if this cup can’t pass before him. It reminded her of Jesus in the garden before he went to be crucified asking for same thing (Mt. 26:39). So later that night, before her friend passed she leaned down and whispered in his ear. He had not been responsive all day to anyone around him but she whispered anyway. She said, “you’re priest came in and asked for the forgiveness of all your sins. We have a high priest in Jesus who is able to do this for us. Go on to heaven now. It’s okay. It is better there; no more dying no more pain no more crying. Go on home. To this there was actually a response, he wrinkled his forehead, as if he didn’t understand or as if to non-verbally say, ‘Is this truly the time?’ Is this really happening to me?’ Flo even asked herself, is he holding on with every last little bit of his own will and strength, perhaps arguing and still complaining even to God? She knew that only God knew that. This experience inspired her to write a poem.
Heaven’s waiting room
I sit and wait for Heaven’s Gate
To open wide and go inside
Only time will tell but I chose Heaven not hell
What waits for me in time I’ll see
I give up the ghost, I’ve lived for His utmost
It is time, forgive me of all my crime I want to go in Where there is no sin
We are all sitting in heaven’s waiting room
Your name may be called soon
And when we come to the gate
Will we see our life’s been great?
Want your name called loud and clear?
Set your eyes on Him. Lend Him your ear
When we give our hearts to Him the future is bright not so grim
We can’t hide, leave go of our pride, and we won’t be denied
‘Come on in and enter here.’ You have nothing to fear.
The only way to get there from here is to leave heaven’s waiting room, dear.
From that day on Flo began to realize that rather than asking God to take someone’s sickness away from them it would be better for Him to take them away from the sickness.
One day, another resident from the nursing home gave Flo a beautiful piece of needlepoint work. She not only thanked the person but told them that every time she looked at it she’d think about them and even say a prayer for them. Flo turned the piece of tapestry over and looked at the other side. It was filled with so many different colored strings going in every different direction. She smiled and said, “There’s another thing your gift will remind me of.” She continued, “At the end of our lives I believe we’ll see a beautiful picture like the one you’ve given me, but right now this is what we see.” With that Flo turn over the needlepoint work and compared the chaotic thread, knots and colors to how confusing life is right now.
There were a few patients, residents, who used art as a way to pass the time and bring some satisfaction. The most fascinating one was a lady named Rose. She could paint beautiful pictures. Even more amazing than the complexity of the pictures was that Rose was completely paralyzed and could only move her head in limited motion and her right arm just enough to control an electric chair. Flo would watch nurse’s aides set up the paint and brushes for Rose to paint. Flo recalled asking Rose how she was able to create such a masterpiece painting. Rose had the paint brush in her mouth and was only a few inches away from the canvas and to answer Flo’s question she backed up and allow Florence to remove the paint brush. “Well, it’s not easy…”, Rose replied, “…but, I step back, away from the painting to get a look at the whole canvas from a distance. Then I move back to work on just a small area.” Flo realized that was a tremendous way to view life as well. Sometimes we have to step away. Move back and take a look at the big picture, then move back to do several small tasks that later will be part of a larger picture and goal in life. It was like the community puzzled that everyone worked on. There was a very large table in the foyer. Residents, staff and even visitors would add a piece here and there to help complete the puzzle. Flo would almost always look at the picture on top of the box then find pieces of matching color that would join together later. Without knowing what the final picture was or by only looking at one piece one would hardly be able to finish the puzzle. Sometimes, depending on the difficulty of the puzzle, it would take a very long time to complete. There was a sign on the wall near the puzzle that everyone worked on that was taken from Psalm 18 versus 20 through 24, it read, “God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways and I don’t take God for granite. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.”(Ps. 18:20-24 The message translation).
Part of living in a nursing home meant that Flo was faced with the death of many loved ones on a fairly consistent basis. Some old friends, some she had not known for long and some that she never got to know had come and gone. In spite of the hard work the doctors, nurses and aides gave. People are immortal and sooner or later time would come to an end. This applies to everyone. Many times it seemed that people would expire in groups of three. It seemed at times that she was surrounded by people who were dying. Some expectant, some to everyone’s surprise. Although sad whenever anyone would die, Flo still had a certain amount of comfort. She knew that through God’s grace and mercy there was life after death. In Christ death was just a passing from one world into a better one. She thought about how if God created the whole world as we know it in just six days how much better the new heaven and new earth was going to be. He has been working on it for over 2,000 years! She laughed with the knowledge, ‘In comparison, this world is like living in a garbage can’. Flo didn’t just believe this because it was what she was told or just because the Bible says so, but because she walked every day of her life with the Lord God’s Spirit right by her side, not only this but, He was alive and well within her soul. Although her eyes would not allow her to read, she remembered the Bible passages as basic instructions before leaving earth. As nice as the nursing home and its staff were, Flo by faith, knew that there was a better place. After all this came to pass, Flo knew in her heart that she, and all those who believed, would live among the many mansions Jesus talked about and that there would be no more crying, pain or death. At times Flo wished that she could just leave this earth and sorrow behind and be, “Happy in Heaven!”, but she knew that the big picture, the full story, was not ready for a grand ending just yet.
Flo was no kind of a spiritual giant. Although she didn’t really know where to find the answers to the some of the questions she had she did know that however small or menial her role in life was it was just as important as some of the most well-known and accomplished people on earth. What she didn’t know God knew, and she trusted Him.
Out of all the characters in these stories you’ll notice how each one deals with their particular situation or life in various ways, and yet there are some common threads. All of us are on a journey. Everyone is seeking for something that means more than anything we could possess materialistic.
As I sit here before blank pages and try to create a journey for each character to go on, to travel not alone but with you following right behind them, I put myself into this as one of the characters. Everyone at some point or another in life can relate to at least one if not a few of the characters. I enjoy trying to write stories and even books, not just to express myself but, to try and relate to others what’s in my mind and on my heart. I think there’s nothing more wonderful than reading a story or a book and discovering something about yourself as you read about one of the characters in that scenario.
Although I personally haven’t written a tremendous amount of stories or books or even term papers I take great joy in writing and find that it takes my mind to another place many times. As I’m trying to write, the characters unfold before my eyes and the story line develops slowly but surely until I feel like I have a good introduction, a meaningful body and a great ending that you may call a clincher. But, what if, as an author you write out a description of your characters and their behavior, what they would be like in nature and let’s say you even jot down the main point or subject matter in which you want to write about but somehow as you write the characters begin to react on their own? I can identify with the other characters I’m writing about in these stories; however, as things unfold and the pages are turned and we progress from day to day I begin to see clearer a terrific Bible verse that puts things into focus. Hebrews chapter twelve verse two tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Each character, including myself develops, as will you, the reader. Develop into something more than just something someone has read about.
It’s true that each character represents different points in my life, people around me, jobs I’ve had and things I’ve seen. I can identify with Florence and, without giving away the ending, each character I write about I identify with in some way or another. I’ve been in hospitals. I was a college student and some people don’t know it but at one point in my life I was a business manager and even a stay-at-home dad. As I refer to the characters, like I said, each one is a fictional character and their situation just metaphorical but I hope that whoever reads this can see themselves within these short stories.
It’s fun to be an author. It’s fun to write short stories and tell them, especially to children. I’ve always felt like the stories or books I enjoyed the most are ones written by people who write about what they know. I was raised in a Christian household and I joke with people that the only drug problem I had was that my parents drug me to church, however, it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I began to recognize the difference between a relationship with God and religion for God. I’m still developing and trying on my part to not only get to know my earthly father better but to know my heavenly father better. God’s been trying to write a beautiful story to include every element: drama, pain, happiness, sadness, opposition and opportunity, but unless I listen to the author and let Him lay it all out before me I’ll never know where to go next and how to get there. My life journey, my story, will not have a good ending, regardless of the good times, if I try to write my own ending.
I originally wrote this with a special computer program that worked on voice recognition. The only reason I did it that way was because I had no use of my left arm, I had cracked ribs, bruised lungs, a head injury and a herniated disc in my back due to an accident. I was rendered almost completely useless, or so I felt as I laid flat on my back.
Regardless of hard times endured, in which he helped me grow, unless I live according to the ONE & Only true author of life, who guides me, I won’t truly live at all.
Reading and studying the Bible, unlike reading this story or another book that just refers to the Bible, is like reading instructions and letters from a father who has the highest hopes for his children and who desires for us to read everything he’s inspired to write on a personal note, very personal. I write letters to my own children. They lived with their mother in a different city. I’m glad they don’t live in a different state or even worse, in a different country altogether. After that very nasty accident (me on a scooter hit from behind by a truck going 65mph) it made it very difficult to not only write but to get out and visit my children. Even if my vehicle had not been destroyed my injuries prevented me from driving, let alone traveling. Visits were few and far between and my children were forced to remember when I used to live with them. Memories, thoughts, desires and letters are all that was left to sustain their relationship with their father and oh yes, let’s not forget the phone calls – verbal communication. When I did call my children, specifically the very young ones had a hard time carrying on a typical two way conversation. It was as if I only had about 10 or 20% of their attention. This made me think, how often do we only give our heavenly Father 10% or maybe 20% of our attention? Any attempts from my end or theirs was still worth it because it helped us grow and continue the bond we had between father and child.
The accident, surgeries and recovery time allowed me to gather almost all the short stories I have written over the years and organize them into binders. I was a C.N.A. (Certified Nurses Aide) when the accident took place and had been for about 10 years. I loved it and although before that job I was in the ministry I felt like and acted upon being a servant of Christ right where I was, cleaning, serving others and taking care of patient’s need. With the injuries I suffered, even when fully recovered, I was not able to return to that kind of work any longer so I returned to full-time ministry in a church. For years before the accident my wife kept telling me I need to go back into full time ministry with the Church. Before something opened back up I had to recover and that is when I wrote these short stories as an on going expression of my faith.
Another analogy I did not really include in these stories was the comparison between my body’s physical paralysis and the body of Christ (1st Co. 12:12-31). I won’t go into depth with that now but how sad it is to think of how some of the parts of the body just aren’t moving and serving Christ. Able but not willing.
So, I will do my part. When unable to physically go out and visit others I will share these stories and now post them on the world wide web in hopes that someone will read them and be touched,
A Friend of mine said, “I’ve learn that life is a book. Every day is a new page. Every month is a new chapter, and every year is a new series.” I agree.
I now live in St. Augustine with many other authors & artists. This is the perfect place to include a quote from the man whom this city was named after…
See video of Michael Wesch re: learning on our life journey: https://youtu.be/hbRFAq9XEV0
Enough about me and the way God closed certain doors through what seemed to be horrible circumstances and parallels one might be able to draw between God the father living with us in bodily form and then having to leave us with mother Earth. Now let’s get to know another character and follow them a little further down this road we’re traveling.
College girl, Judy:
Now let me take you from the inside walls of the nursing home, a health care institution and facility, to an educational institution in which young minds are either eager to learn or eager to party.
Judy, her name is Judy. I don’t know that you can say she was an average college student or typical college student, but she did fit in, and blend well with so many of the other students that shared her same age, desires, explorations and aspirations. Judy could be found in the library often, striving for a grade that’s above average but sometimes it seemed that no matter how hard she studied she still didn’t do as well as she wanted to do or meet the expectations of others.
One day as Judy was driving to school she knew she was running late so she was driving faster than she should have. She didn’t get far until she heard the siren and saw the lights of the state trooper coming up behind her. She was so nervous and was on the verge of crying when the well dressed officer of the law asked her for her driver’s license and proof of insurance. She was not only speeding but was violating a school zone with excessive speed. She knew now that the decision she had made just seconds ago was going take away what little money she made from her part-time job. She was trying to hold that down while going to school full-time. School alone was harsh enough to endure but she had to labor just to make ends meet. She could not afford a ticket but knew that the consequences for speeding were going to be costly. She saw $ signs flying out her car window as she tried to focus on the words the police officer was saying to her. She was so nervous, upset, embarrassed and disappointed that she could barely put it all together let alone pull herself together. Taking the ticket and driving off her mind raced with thoughts that did nothing but beat her up and make matters worse. She was so concerned about what others would think. She had let not only herself down but she knew her parents were going to be furious.
After struggling through class after class and grabbing a bite to eat in between more classes Judy finally made it home where she sat down and looked at the ticket. Even a fluent reader would have trouble with the way they had worded things, trying to make the ticket read like some type of political document. One thing that stood out, regardless of how awkward the rest of the ticket read was the fine of $200 and a court appearance date. Judy cried. Too afraid to call and talk to her parents in fear that they would scold her even more, she talked to coworkers, fellow students, a few teachers and even her uncle. Little did Judy know that her parents had speeding tickets in their past. They were not always, old people. It seemed to her that they never made a mistake. She couldn’t even fathom that her parents would feel sorry for her, however; they would not literally physically kill her regardless of the verbal lashing they may unload.
It seemed as if Judy’s whole world had come crashing down around her. To make matters worse Judy had to miss class in order to go to court and face a judge. On her day of judgment Judy entered the courtroom dressed as nicely as she possibly could. She was so nervous she could not organize her thoughts but tried her best to compose herself. The judge came in and removed his sports coat to put on his judge’s robe and step up on to this high aloft podium as he read out what Judy’s conviction was. His voice seemed to be like a loud boom that shook her whole body. Although she had already read the ticket and knew why she was there it was as if the judge had to bring back the nightmare and state it out loud, using her full name, JUDITH ANN MASTERS, much to her embarrassment. The only time she heard her full name was when she was scolded as a child. This was a public announcement to everyone how bad of a person she was. Because of the nature of this crime, speeding in a school zone and endangering children, the judge informed her that she was to pay the fine of $200 or spend 30 days in jail. Judy gasped. She thought jail was an awful extreme punishment for such a crime. As bad as Judy thought things were going to be this proved to be even worse than what she had ever imagined. The judge continued to speak but Judy was lost in her own thoughts and questions of why others, people who commit bigger crimes like murder or drug trafficking, were not in her shoes right now. “This is where they belong, not me.”, she thought. The judge raised his voice which snapped Judy out of her daydream and self-pity. She listened as the judge said, “Now, young lady, you may not feel that what you did was wrong or that it justifies such a fine or time behind bars, however; you broke the law and I’m sure that as you grow older and more mature you will see that for every action there is a consequence.” Judy began to weep again and she said with a quivering voice, “But… your honor, I don’t have the money to pay and going to jail for that many days would cause me to lose my education and I’ll be dropped from my classes.” The judge said in reply to that, “ I’m sorry young lady but the law is the law and I am the judge and I cannot let your crime go by unpunished or your debt to go by unpaid.” Judy just stared down at the desk in front of her. She cried and said, “I don’t know what to do. Can somebody help me?” Then she whispered, “God help me.” The judge stood to his feet. Judy could hear him in her head about explode in anger. His heavy footsteps came down off the podium. This confused Judy as he took off his judge’s robe and put back on his sports coat. Judy wasn’t sure how this worked. She thought that perhaps the judge was leaving for the day. She grew even more nervous as he began to approach her. The judge walked right over and stood next to her and reached in his coat pocket, pulling out $200, he laid it on the table in front of her. A few of her teardrops landed on the bills as she listens to the judge whispered in her ear, “Judy, please take this and use it wisely. You may use it for whatever cause you like. I’m laying it down and you may not even pick it up because I see you feel unworthy. You may feel that it doesn’t belong to you but I’m giving it to you and it’s yours. I hope you will accept it.” Then the judge went back over to the coat rack, took off his sports coat and put back on his judge’s Robe. As soon as the judge sat down he said with a loud voice, “It appears someone paid your debt Judith. Would you like to use that gift toward your freedom from the fine and jail sentence?” Judy reached out and put her hands on top of the money. She saw the words, In God We Trust printed on the bills and then she continued to cry saying, “yes please, yes.”
It wasn’t until later that semester that Judy realized that Christ was God’s way of coming down to earth. He putting on the flesh, he wore regular clothing just like everyone around him but he had the potential to offer so much more than mere man. She began to personally accept and believe that Jesus gave up his life, paid the debt that was owed, suffered the consequences for the sins that we should be punished for. As a new believer Judy read the book of John and in that third chapter of John verse three she read how Jesus told this very wealthy and materialistic rich man that he needed to simply believe in order to start over, as if being reborn. She had heard John 3:16 quoted so many times before but now her eyes had been opened and the words leaped off the page and into her heart. She realized that because God loved the world so much that he was willing to give His one and only son so that whoever, anybody, who believes in him, all he stands for, would not have to suffer any punishment for anything they did wrong, no matter how big or small, but could indeed live with and for him forever. Judy accepted God’s Holy Spirit into her life. That helped her begin a journey that allowed her to live alongside God.
In college Judy met many kinds of people, all with different backgrounds, beliefs, creeds, ethical standards and stories but most importantly Judy developed her own faith and worked on getting to know God one-on-one. She loved reading the second letter written to the peoples that lived in a place called Corinth. In the book of second Corinthians chapter one verses three through four (2nd Co. 1:3-4) she read that God was the comforter of all. She loved Psalm 86 versus five and fifteen that reminded her of His abundant mercy. She often thought back to how amazing it was that the judge she had to face here on earth was willing to show mercy, even at his own expense. She thought about how he took off his judgment robe, come down off his podium and paid a fine for her and then went back up, put his judge’s robe back on and let her know that she was free if she chose to use his gift. She is so glad she accepted that payment. If an earthly judge could show such compassion, how much more would God, the creator of all of us, show such abundant mercy. Although Judy did not have much money, as most college students don’t, she cherished all of the Bible verses that reminded her of God’s abundance riches that he gives that no one could steal. Psalm 37 verse 11 and Psalm 27 verse seven reminded Judy of the abundance of peace that God gave. She not only gained an education from college but she gained wisdom while in college.
One morning Judy woke up a little earlier than she needed to and she read the book of Mark chapter 2 verse 15 through 17. It struck her how Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a group of disreputable guests, unlikely as it seems, more than a few of “them” had become followers. The religious scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and the religious leaders lit into his disciples, saying, “what kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riffraff?” Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “who needs a Doctor, the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.” Contrary to the way Judy was raised. She realized now that Christ came for those most would ignore. He came for the hurting. He actually invited the misfits. That morning she bathed in several scripture verses that helped her see the true characteristics and attributes of God (Luke 14:7-14, Luke 5:29-32, 1st Corinthians 4:9-13). Judy became loyally in love with Christ. She had always lived a good life, she never really, “broke the rules”, or so she thought. However, Jesus was never really her Lord before. Other things were always more important, wasn’t that breaking one of the ten commandments?, she thought. When she stepped out of her own little world and into the world, away from the home she grew up in,she called out to God to help her and that’s when the change took place. Even without knowing what the book of second Corinthians chapter 5, verse 17 said Judy found that she was re-created and became a new creature in Christ. Her very nature was new (Romans 8:1-7). She had a different mindset and could feel it (Romans 12:2)! It was amazing to her that God’s divine spirit could dwell within her (John chapter 14 verse 7, first John chapter 4 verse 4, Romans 8 verse 11, first John chapter 3 verse 24). She loved that in her personal relationship with Christ she developed a deeper understanding she didn’t fully accept during her younger years growing up in church. Many of the things she learned when she was a little girl were now coming back to her, as if a seed was planted back then and was just now starting to bloom. In this new found kingdom life there were no favorites. No cliques in this kingdom. When various problems or people came into Judy’s life she learned to trust God and know that even though she couldn’t stop the storms or the rain she could hold the hand that could. When Judy was a little girl she loved the Sunday School chorus, “He’s got the whole world in his hands”. She always pictured a huge hand holding the world. But as she grew she realized that it wasn’t literally a hand that held everything in place, but a supernatural power that was far beyond what any earthly mind could conceive. She grew to know that it was far better to stand back far enough and try to get God’s hands into the picture. At that point the world would be so small compared to His hands you couldn’t even see the world along with its problems and struggles. As she turned her eyes on Jesus the things of the world grew strangely dim and tiny, even miniscule. As she went through various college classes: Philosophy, Ethics, Sociology and met up with professors and students she noticed that everyone seemed to be seeking an answer to the meaning of life and creation, let alone what might happen in the future. She had a peace and joy that almost couldn’t be explained. She began to know God as a protector, a healer that created us with a purpose and plan in mind (Jeremiah 29:11). She didn’t see God as a killjoy or an invisible being that was waiting to spank us, punish us and slap us with a fine for doing something wrong. Any commandments He set up were to provide us with a better life, not a list of do’s and don’ts. Through reading her Bible, spending time alone talking to God one-on-one, she understood that he was gracious and merciful. She developed a relationship built on love and trust, on honesty and obedience rather than on obligation. When people would try to debate or convince Judy otherwise she would simply say to them, “You can refute the Bible all you want but you can never change or alter what I personally believe and why I believe it.” She didn’t live her life according to what some old books said or what countless preachers preached or on what philosophers chewed on. She took herself back to that personal experience with God’s Spirit and used the Bible as His words to encourage her in this new lifestyle and to develop a deeper belief in what no one could see or physically touch. She remembers hearing Billy Graham say. “God is much like the wind. You don’t see the wind. You can see the effects of the wind and know that it’s there but you can’t see it.” It seemed at times that there were only a handful of real believers that Judy knew, but that didn’t matter as long as she continued to get to know God more. She thanked God that the incorruptible seed, the living Word, the word of truth was within her (First Peter chapter 1 verse 23). Just like a tiny seed, once it is planted in good soil, eventually grows into a full blossoming tree. So also her life was constantly changing for the better, and God continually guided her and protect her with the power of His spirit and His word.
Judy saw so many people who were hurting and just needed God’s love, both in church and those outside. She didn’t change her major in college to religion or philosophy. She didn’t leave her college campus and go join a convent or abandon it to go to an all “Christian” school. She decided to let God live in and through her to touch others around her, right where she was. Judy was in school to become a nurse and it made her smile then to think and hope beyond the shadow of a doubt that God was the chief physician and she was HIS nurse.
Mr. Bender was a workaholic :
Mr. Bender, he was a businessman that took his job entirely too serious. If you were to peek in the window on the 27th floor where Mr. Bender’s office was you would see him sitting at his desk with a day planner on top of a month planner on top of the
year planner which was on top of a five-year goal. Although he was extremely busy scheduling and planning, making sure all the pieces came together, there were times when he would sit alone and stare at the bookshelf in front of him. He had such a crowded mind. His mind was like a full slate and yet it would often go blank and make him feel uncomfortable numb. As this well-dressed, well manicured, man struggled over various invisible hurdles in life he would remind himself of an old saying he heard, ‘What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.’ Sometimes he would say to himself, ‘I lived through that so I can now live through this.’ Mr. Bender, George, never had a day of rest. He never went on vacation. He felt trapped. Sometimes while sitting in a meeting he wondered what would happen if he just screamed out loud. Of course the logical side of them would tell him to stay calm, don’t do it, you’ll look like a fool. There had to be more to life than just this job, and yet he could not imagine what life would be like without all the business of his day in day out way of life. He felt like a rat in a maze chasing after the cheese. He could smell the cheese but he could never seem to get to the end the labyrinth of problems he faced every day. He kept climbing a corporate ladder but the top was never reached.
It was after a long day of work that George just sat at his desk. It was dark outside. Loneliness stalked where the buck stopped. George felt like crying but the tears just wouldn’t come. This situation was nothing new to George, however, he was getting sick of feeling like a top executive that was in control of a huge corporation but no say over his own body, mind or spirit. George put his head between his hands. Mr. Bender was not a touchy-feely type person. He wasn’t on to rely on his feelings. Many times he had seen grown men freak out when their stocks or bonds drop. He recalled men kill themselves because they felt there was no other way out. ‘I do not want to be like that!’, George thought to himself. To this day he has a hard time explaining the predicament he found himself in. He had everything anyone would ever want or need and yet he was missing so much. He was rich, and yet so poor. It was as if there wasn’t enough oxygen in the air. He labored to just breathe. Deep down he believed there was a God, a supreme being. He raised open the window as far as it would go, about six inches. I tried to take in the fresh air coming in as he thought about acts of nature that are unseen, much like the wind. The air could carry busts of wind, becoming so powerful they could blow down a large tree or even destroy a whole city. George recalled hearing a man named Billy Graham say, “God is a mystery, like the wind. We can’t see the wind, we can see the effects of the wind but, we can’t see the wind.” In George’s case he felt the effects of the wind, the air around him but, why was it so hard to breathe? That night George called out to God with an open mind and heart, let go of all of the busyness of his day. That was when, for the first time ever, he actually felt God’s presence come into the room, come into his soul, bringing comfort and peace. This gave him the endurance to not only continued to be a great businessman but to do even more. It was all a matter of priorities, motive and perspective. He realized he needed to stopped serving money and began to offer his life to serve God in all he did. He finally felt like he had escaped from the rat race he was in. The thing that amazed George the most, as he continue to learn about God the father, Son and Holy Spirit, was that he didn’t have to do anything other than let God be God and in control in order to be successful in God’s eyes. He knew that faith without works is dead because he chose to believe what the Bible said is true. He came to know that the real rewards that God gives, while alive let alone after we die, could not be achieved by anything we do while working here on earth. If that were the case Christ died for nothing. The only way to get any satisfaction was accepting God’s grace and mercy as a gift. It cost Christ everything, giving up His life as the perfect sacrifice to redeem, rescue and save us. George grew to understand that Christ measured up to the standard that God wanted and George believed that Jesus was who he said he was, the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to God the father in heaven except through Christ (John 14:6).
George was still very busy and faced many obstacles and even temptations to do things that not only went against his own will but God’s will as well. In those times he would respond by simply calling out to God with a whisper and listen for God’s voice, which often was a whisper as well, directly to his soul personally. He went to the Bible for guidance and treated it as another way for God to speak to him. George no longer strived and worked to chase after the almighty dollar. There were decisions to make that meant the company would not make as much money but it was the right thing to do. His moral compass was now fixed toward heaven, on God and the treasures He offered. The former burden of self-righteousness and his occupation of preoccupation was lifted off of his shoulders, mind and heart. He was healed and wanted others to experience the same freedom. When he saw friends who were hurting physically, mentally and spiritually and they didn’t even realize it or understand why he would share with them this new found way of life. Many times he shared without saying a word, just enjoying the friendship and keeping his relationship pure in the sight of God. There was something about George that, when others were in trouble, they knew he’d listen to them. Sometimes they would go to George asking him how he dealt with the stress the business world brings and then George would lead them to his source, God.
As the years went by George found it hard to remember what it was like when he started this new journey, putting Jesus first. At one point George faced a frustration so large that he decided to drive his car several miles until he reached the shoreline. He got out to go take a walk on the beach. It must have appeared strange for the few people that were out on the beach that early-morning. George was still wearing his full business attire, but took off his shoes and socks feel the sand between his toes. He felt the bulge of his weekly planner in his back pocket. It was uncomfortable, bothersome, like a loaded backpack being carried around filled with things that seemed oh so important. He slowly pulled the daytime out of his pocket and felt the weight of it in his hand. He looked out at the ocean for a few moments as he thought, ‘I should just toss this out there.’ The inner thought was similar to that same inner voice that George had heard before, urging him to scream out load in the middle of a mundane business meeting but this time it was more like a nudge. George was still grounded in reality. He knew his business life still needed to keep going, however, he was so tired of it all. He asked himself, ‘have I fallen back to being a rat in a maze?’ George felt a tug inside to kick down the walls in his mind that had built up over the years. He knew the solution wasn’t to throw his day timer out into the sea but to make sure that he was managing his time, not his time managing him. He was to cast his cares out into the ocean and let them sink to the ocean floor. Once again he prayed to God and asked for help. His thoughts were directed to what he knew about Moses. He recalled reading that Moses cried out to God for help. He sat down in the sand, no longer caring about getting his business suit dirty. He flipped open his day timer and in the very front read a Bible verse that he had written in there long ago. Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” George realized as important as the business world was, it was all going to pass away someday. But what he found in God was eternal. George realized he had to find some type of balance between doing his job and not being a workaholic. He then flipped to the back of his day planner and read Psalm 55 versus 22 through 23 “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders. He’ll carry your load.” Once again, Mr. Bender’s mine went to Moses.
Upon returning from his break at the beach George got his Bible and found where Moses cried out for help. He found it in the book of Numbers Chapter 11, verse 14. Moses said, “I am not able to bear all these people alone because the burden is too heavy for me.” When George was younger he kept a Journal. He would look back at them and he noticed a pattern developed over the years. So many things that were free and made life carefree lost their importance and things that we so temporal and materialistic seemed to gain more and more investment in his life. There were a few time that he had not taken the time to journal at all, as if life had lost its significance all together. Now, once again, the almighty calendar and dollar dictated to him what to do, what was done and what was to be done. George began to write down his thoughts in a separate simple spiral notebook. He realized his need to seek God more, not just get a glimpse but, to truly seek God himself so that he would experience him first hand. He wrote Hebrews chapter 11 verse six “but without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a reward of them that diligently seek him.” Along that same thought pattern he found encouragement in Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 13 that said, “and ye shall seek me and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” It was simple yet a big decision. Once again, George was thankful that God wants to reveal himself to us. He was thankful that God gave his son, Jesus, who, according to Colossians 1 verse 15 is the image of the invisible God. He gained a better appreciation and thankfulness. While he was reading various Bible verses he thought about how God gave him His word and His Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth and reveal Jesus to us. The book of John chapter 16 verse 13 through 15 reminded George of that fact. Although George was a businessman in a world full of push and shove and climbing to the top of a ladder that was supposed to lead to success he began to grasp once again what really mattered. He made what the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians chapter 3 verse 10 his prayer, “let my desire be, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection.” George knew, the more he read and meditated on God’s word his faith in God would grow and the route he took through life would be a beautiful journey with no regrets.
Although George’s business and business partners were all about money and making more money he realized there was something far greater in store for him when it was all over. While the business world was worshiping wealth George was looking forward to the riches of the glory found in God’s inheritance. George knew that we are children of God, heirs with Christ as Romans chapter 8 verse 14 and 17 said. The whole concept of getting something for nothing was foreign in the business world. But George was realizing that God ran on different terms. An inheritance was nothing anyone could work for. He held on tight to his belief that Christ paid for his salvation. He found comfort in abiding and continuing in Christ. He had to accept, believe and trust in order to take up true freedom from the burdens his work, and life in general, brought on. It was like accepting a gift. George had spent so many years striving to be successful but was now comprehending that real success, eternal riches, could only be achieved by faith in God. Mr. Bender grew more and more spiritually. His faith was build up internally just like one would build up their business. It was a continual process that required daily maintenance. George’s relationship with God, not clients, not his job, had to remain his focal point. As he prayed, he realized that God always answered prayers and sometimes the answer was no. Other times God would answer the prayer but not as quickly as George wanted. God was sometimes purposefully slow in granting what George prayed for. There were also times when God answered the prayer with a big GO! George was amazed how God opened and closed doors for him in his business life as well as in his personal life. George had heard a friend say one time that Jeremiah chapter 33 verse three was God’s phone number because it encouraged us to call on him.
One morning he met with some other Christian business men for breakfast. One of them read from 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, the message translation,
“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way – never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” He wrote the reference down in his day planner. That was one he would read again to remind him of what really mattered in life.
George had to definitely do his part to develop spiritually. It wasn’t something that came naturally. He began to see the Word of God as a meal for his soul. He developed a prayer journal to help him focus on his conversations with God and God’s conversations with him. A desire to keep growing spiritually mature became a priority to him. After years of college and getting his Masters degree he realized that he was mentally strong. Physically he was in pretty good shape for a middle-aged man, getting older faster than he could even conceive. A lot of the pressure of being a leader in the community and business world was taken off George’s shoulders when he read first Timothy chapter 2 verse two were Paul wrote to a young man named Timothy praying that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life and in all goodness and honesty. Rather than seeking the praise of people and trying to please everyone around him he praised God and desired to please Him.
Every day George met challenges and tests. He realized that evil men don’t understand the importance of justice, but those who follow the Lord are much concerned about it, as he read in Proverbs 28 verse five. Mr. Bender went to the Proverbs often seeking wisdom that only God could give. He knew God would advise him on what to do. He noted the book of Proverbs began with, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” George didn’t have a fear that was timid and afraid in nature but rather reverent and respectful.
One day as George was at his desk he pulled out his wallet to see if he had enough cash to treat his coworkers to lunch. As he looked at the dollar bill he smirked and he read out loud, “In God we trust.” This was a great reminder of the way God provides and constantly heals. He whispered another prayer, Lord, help me trust in you, not my own efforts and attempts of trying to be in control of this money, situations and my life. His job was just a position to hold until he retired, or better yet, until he was promoted to glory where the only worthy and ultimate business administrator, God, gave unconditional love. The only task given in God’s business was to acknowledge Him and let Him be in control.
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”
2 Timothy 1:9 NIV
A single parent, Gloria:
A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in local grocery store. She must have been around 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.
It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, in such a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the store.
We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.
I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child, came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.
The little girls small voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, “Mom let’s run through the rain.”
“What?”, Mom asked.
“Let’s run through the rain!”, She repeated.
“No, honey. We’ll get wet. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit.”, Mom replied.
This young child waited a minute and repeated, “Mom, let’s run through the rain.”
“We’ll get soaked if we do.”, Mom said.
“No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning.”, the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.
‘This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?”
“Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything!'”
The entire crowd stopped. Other than the rain everything was dead silent. No one left. The Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.
Now, some may have tried to laugh it off or maybe scold the little girl for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into a deeper faith.
Everyone waited for the mother’s reaction. “Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just need washing.”, Mom said.
Then, off they ran. People watching smiling and laughing as the mother and daughter darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.
They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.
Later that night the mother thought how circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health; however, no one can ever take away your precious memories. From that day on the mother would never forget to make time and take the opportunities to make meaningful memories everyday.
A song came to the mother’s mind. It was a song she heard she was very young by a very old band named Bread, or was it The Birds… maybe even “The Who”. She could not recall who the band was, the name of the band was no where to be found in her memory but she would never forget the song. It was actually taken from a very old book, The Bible. The book of Ecclesiastics chapter 3 reminds everyone that, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.”
Gloria was a single mother, she never planned it this way but, due to circumstances beyond her control she was left to raise her children without their father. The only thing that was left behind for her and her children to remember their father was a few pictures and letters he wrote to them. The children’s father was taken away from them and Gloria found herself without a husband. When her husband, Frank, first went into the hospital the children were allowed to come and visit him occasionally but there were times when even in that visit they didn’t get to hear him speak. The cancer, when first diagnosed, took its sweet old time to show any effects. After being told you only have six months to live and not seeing any illness for a full-year they began to wonder if the physicians were right or if God, the chief physician, had miraculously performed another healing. Cancer is an awful physical enemy but there were far worse things that plague Frank and his family. The emotional and mental strain at times was almost completely unbearable; however, through their faith, their love for each other and the grace of God the family stayed intact.
The remarkable comparison between the children’s heavenly father and their relationship with their earthly father was a good anchor for their souls. Although they didn’t see their earthly father the memory still exists. Gloria read the Bible to the children as love letters sent from their heavenly father, just as she had read the letters filled with love from their earthly father. Gloria spent time regularly just being still after the children were put to bed for the night. At one point in her young adult life she realized that she didn’t have to say prayers out loud or even in her head to know that God knew what was going on in her heart. One night she laid in her bed staring at the ceiling. She realized that God was big enough to read her mind. She didn’t have to formulate words or sentences. She didn’t have to make sure she went over a wish list or to do list or focus on the many burdens that she was bearing. She actually did the opposite, she took her mind off of all those things that she wanted or even needed. She pushed away all the pressures of things that were brought on from work or her past or the world in general. Gloria learned to praise God for rescuing her from all the loneliness and depression she faced. The more she thought about the Lord and forgot about the things of this world the better she felt and the stronger she grew.
Gloria used little yellow Post-it notes to remind her of who God was and what he could do. She put the Post-it notes in various places around her house, her car and yes, even at work. Verses like: first John chapter 4 verse eight …“God is love.” Deuteronomy 7 verse nine…”know therefore that the lord thy God; he is God, the faithful God, which keeps his covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to 1000 generations.” Psalm 119 verse 90, “Your faithfulness is unto all generations…”. Psalm 103 verse eight, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” Numbers 23 verse 19 “God is not a man, that he should lie…” Luke 18 verse 27 “…The things which are impossible with man are possible with God.” Revelation 22 verse 13, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Malachi 3 verse six, “for I am the Lord, I change not…” James one verse 17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadow.”
Gloria knew that her relationship with God was the most important thing in life. If that was in shape above everything else, all the other pieces, fell into place. She enjoyed a new pastor, who at the end of every message would say, “Go with God.” She took great comfort in that, knowing that God would not let her down, leave her, break up or even die – ceased to exist. She was on a journey in this life to eventually dwell with God in his kingdom where there was no more dying, no more crying and no more shame. She put time into getting to see what God was really like and how he viewed her. Gloria regularly reminded her children that, although they don’t know what the future holds, they can know who holds the future. As she learned to abide in Christ, two very interesting things happen: one is in the physical and one is in the spiritual realm. Both were paradoxical. She truly desire to live for Christ and be obedient to his Word just as she had been faithful to her husband. Philippians chapter 2 verses five through seven began to come to light in her own life – a servant’s heart. She began to care for others, too. She wanted to serve others by ministering to them or by praying for them. Gloria once told her daughter, “By walking in love, giving of ourselves, and laying down our lives for others, we become the hands and feet of Jesus.” People around Gloria saw the attributes of Jesus – the King of Kings and Lord of lords in her. Gloria had no formal training from some seminary or Bible college but she constantly filled up on the love of Christ and that is what helped her heal.
When the father of her children died, her groom, she held on tight to some Bible verses that were read at his funeral. She cherished the whole 14th chapter in the book of John. When Jesus left the earth he literally said, “I will not leave you as orphans.” Gloria’s children were not really without a father. As tragic as losing her husband was it was exactly what caused Gloria to draw so much more closer to her heavenly father. Just as Christ left his believers, his bride, with mother earth, so also, she knew that someday he would reunite with them. In the meantime, she was waiting for this ultimate healing and restoration. While waiting, she not only read but studied Romans 12. She knew that God would uphold His end of their relationship, but it was up to her to maintain her relationship with Him. Proverbs chapter 4 verses 20 through 22, was a biblical proverb that she would never forget, “My son (child), attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart, for they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” She understood the power of the Holy Spirit that was able to lead and guide her. He gave us His Spirit for understanding, discernment, and comprehension (John chapter 14 verse 16, Colossians chapter 1 verse nine, second Corinthians 2 verse 10-11).
Gloria’s relationship with her own father was a contrast to the one her heavenly father wanted to have with her. Gloria could not identify with a father that love and cared and wanted to be with her. She did however feel that her husband, even with his faults physically, emotionally and spiritually was an example of how the heavenly father loves his children. In the book of Matthew chapter 7 versus seven through 11, she learned that Jesus said to those who were closest to him that, “Our relationship with the heavenly father isn’t a cat and mouse, hide and seek game we’re in. If our children ask for bread, we don’t trick them and give them a stone. If they ask for fish, we don’t scare them with a live snake on a plate. Even though we are full of flaws we wouldn’t even think of doing such a thing. We are at least decent enough to show our children not only how much we love them, but to meet their needs. So, God, who is flawless will be even better. There was an old hymn that Gloria loved to sing it is called,“If Human Hearts”, the words for this song are:
If human hearts are often tender,
And human minds can pity know,
If human love is touched with splendor,
And human hands compassion show,
Then how much more shall God our Father
In love forgive, in love forgive!
Then how much more shall God our Father
Our wants supply, and none deny!
If sometimes men can live for others,
And sometimes give where gifts are spurned,
If sometimes treat their foes as brothers,
And love where love is not returned,
If men will often share their gladness,
If men respond when children cry,
If men can feel each other’s sadness,
Each other’s tears attempt to dry,
The author is John Gowans.
The death of Gloria’s husband was not something easily acceptable by her or her children but she knew, learned, that God truly is The Chief Physician and He hears our prayers. Many people may think that God doesn’t listen or reply. Gloria found out that God’s answers are according to His perfect timing. Just as she couldn’t give a surgeon advice on how to operate, who was she to tell God how and when to do things? She began to trust Him, knowing that He had all the pieces that would fit correctly and that HE knew how, when and where to place those pieces. What she prayed for she later found out, had they been granted, would not have taught her certain lessons God intended for her to learn and apply. Although many times God would give direct results, delay some things, or simply not allow some of her prayers to be granted He always answered out of love for her and those who loved Him. Gloria grew to know that God was not some type of genie beckoning to our ever wish and command and when we pray a prayer we need to ask according to His plans not our own. She thought of how the apostle Paul asked for the thorn is his flesh to be removed (Acts 9:5; 26:14; 2nd Co. 12:1-21), but it had a purpose. She thought of how Jesus cried in anguish that if there was any other way other than death, for it to be taken from Him, but still accepted God’s ultimate plan (Matt. 26:39). At first, when God says no we may even find resentment but we must realize that even the harshest things can turn out to be the most beautiful experiences. Gloria’s pastor shared a short story with her that she made a copy of and stuck in her Bible. It went like this:
And God said, “No”
I asked God to take away my pride. He said, “No, that is not for me to take away but for you to give up.”
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. He said, “No, her spirit is whole, her body is temporary.”
I asked God to grant me patience. He said, “No, patience is a by-product of tribulation, it isn’t granted it is earned.”
I asked God to give me happiness. He said, “No, I give you blessings, happiness is up to you.”
I asked God to spare me pain. He said, “No, suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.”
I asked God to make my spirit grow. He said, “No, you must grow on your own but I will prune you so you will be fruitful.”
I asked God if He loved me. He said, “Yes, now and forever…that is why I say no so often.”
I asked God to help me love others as much as He loves me. He said, “Ah, finally you have the idea.”
And now as she continued on her journey in life with her children in her arms praying according to God’s will, not her own.
Footnotes and resources:
The Bible, Moody radio, Deep Petra prayer warrior devotions book 1 and various letters that were forwarded to me over the Internet from my loving mother.
Psalm 41:3 (our Nurse), Psalm 56:8 (charting on us), Psalm 55:22 (God’s Shoulders), Psalm 143:3,10-11 (God’s strength vs. ours), 2Corinthians 4:16-18 (Heart) Hebrews 12:12-13, Ro. 12:12, John 14:16,26 (counselor).
Message on health
Aug. 21, 2015 Tom E. Bailey
(written while rattled with pain from sciatic nerve)
Also tried to edit short story
“The Chief Physician”
(Which was written shortly after my accident in 2012)
Use Youtube Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnjQOVtw61eiQ59vN_dyu-MgRfqNZxyUq
God The Father as the Head Doctor
God The Son as a Nurse who came to tend to us
God The Spirit who comes to our aide- Aid to our soul
In Christ we have the power of all 3 tending to us, healing us, working on us, comforting us.
I literally surround myself with the following verse. I don’t just memorize them, I internalize them.
The Message Translation
And speaker’s copy
Psalm 41:3 Whenever we’re sick and in bed, God becomes our nurse, nurses us back to health. (The Message Translation)
Psalm 56:8 You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book. (The Message Translation) Prov. 3:24 “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
Psalm 55:22 Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders – he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin. (The Message Translation)
Video by the band “For King And Country” Song: “Shoulders”
1st Peter 5:7 “Cast all your care (anxiety) upon Him because He cares for you.”
Matt. 11:28-29 v. 29 1st (in The msg. Trans.) “Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.”
Now N.I.V. of 28 & 29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Psalm 147:3 He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds. (The Message Translation)
Psalm 147:10-11He’s not impressed with horsepower; the *size of our muscles means little to him. 11 Those who fear God get God’s attention; they can depend on his strength. (The Message Translation)
*NIV says, in the legs of man
God is not a crutch, He is a stretch, can’t even limp into Heaven without Him!
NIV – 1 Timothy 4:8
8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
As important as our physical bodies are God is more concerned with our Spiritual life.
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”
2 Timothy 1:9 NIV
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. 17 These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. 18 There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. (The Message Translation)
Hebrews 12:12-13 don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! 13Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
Romans 12:12 cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.
John 14:16 I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you.
John 14:26 The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you.
Play “You Raised Me Up Vid.” https://youtu.be/sza4rh1YzsM
Remember, Paul prayed re: the thorn in his flesh,
But it was not removed – because it had a purpose.
Jesus prayed the cup of death be withheld
But it was not –because it had a purpose.
If whatever health, physical pain is not removed know that
God has a reason and purpose.
And be more concerned about our Spiritual health.
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