I received a phone call from a young man representing a ministry that my wife and I have followed and supported for years. He wanted to thank us for our gifts to the ministry and asked if there was anything that they could come into agreement with us in prayer. Well, let me tell you that this phone call could not have been timed better! With a laugh of joy I proceeded to tell him about the stand of faith that we have taken for my wife’s complete healing. And it was almost as if you could feel the faith pouring through my cell phone as he wholeheartedly agreed with us, shared some familiar verses of scripture and then prayed a short but direct and powerful prayer.
After the prayer we talked for quite a while, shared some pertinent information and he listened with rapt attention while I told him of the scripture sheet we confess from daily, the healing books we continuously read and of our recent move across the country. It was like a breath of fresh air as this young man fully supported our course of action, encouraged us and then felt led of the Lord to send us a set of books and CD’s concerning God’s plan for healing, at no cost to us.
As I disconnected the call and looked with a beaming smile and a fully recharged attitude at my wife, who was actually dozing next to me on the couch, I could not help but think how refreshing it was to have someone really understand where we have been coming from as we walk through the paths of this journey. I realized over the weekend how frustrating and straining it has been to me to talk to individuals you want to support you, only to have them continually remind you, through their words and actions, that they haven’t retained a word you’ve spoken!
On Saturday we received a fat envelope from a close relative back in California that contained numerous articles concerning medical insights on Alzheimer’s. Across the bottom the relative had written a note asking me to look over the information and encouraged me to talk to Piper’s doctor about any of the info that might be pertinent to her situation.
At first I was truly encouraged that the individual was showing concern and had taken the time to research some things about Piper, but on the other hand, I was overcome with a sense of disappointment as the information in the articles was very elementary to the place we now stand in the development of this disease in my wife. The articles spoke of rudimentary tests and procedures that we had already done beginning as far back as 2006 and of which I had shared on numerous occasions with this person as the medical reports of the tests came back. The diet and exercise suggestions in the articles also highlighted the lifestyle that my wife already pursued for the majority of her adult life. And this type of incident has been repeating itself over and over again since the diagnosis of my wife’s condition first came to light a few years back.
I don’t know… but I was thinking that the things that we have done over the past 40 years, the truths that we have believed in and the courses of action that we have taken were never considered as trustworthy enough for them to ever take notice of or be important enough for them to remember. Does that make sense to you? Have you ever felt that way concerning others who regularly forget what you’ve said or even have put into print with the hope that a visual aid would help them to retain the pertinent information?
As I read Galatians 5:1-2 this morning from the Message Bible, I was reminded with a great sense of comfort, why the Lord called us to put some space between ourselves and a few groups of well-meaning folks during some of those tough initial periods of change in my wife’s body. This paraphrase of the scriptures tells us that “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. I’m emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered.”
Even though these two groups were coming from different directions, they were both attempting to get us to buy into their beliefs which contained a very evident system of do’s and don’ts that they strongly (and in one case, angrily) encouraged us to follow. It was clear to us, at that time and even more so today after the fact, that these systems left us with a limited course of action to follow. According to Galatians 5:1-2, in my understanding, agreeing with either of them would have squandered our freedom to the limitless, “exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think or request in our wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:19 – NKJV/MSG)
Once again, the greatest lesson I have learned throughout this journey has been to listen and yield to the over-abiding, all-encompassing love that God has for you and me! His love – His way – His kindness and grace will always prevail… And this love will never hurt, frustrate or let you down! I have discovered that it opens the doors to His limitless possibilities and freedom for one’s life… especially when everything you see with your natural eyes projects a well-defined picture of hopelessness.
So, have a great day that you can explore and live in the freedom Christ has provided for you… and keep asking yourself… “What or Whom am I expecting today?