I found myself being a little impatient this morning when I went in to help my wife up for the day. I was wanting to abbreviate the time spent speaking the Word of Healing over and into her and get her into the kitchen so that we could get on with the day. But a funny thing happened… as soon as I thought that, a familiar quiet voice spoke within me and said “This (the confession of God’s Word) is the most important thing you’ll do all day!” Needless to say, I was sufficiently rebuked and sat back down on my haunches next to the bed and began to boldly and expectantly speak out His will for Piper’s healing.
Previous to that I had been continuing my study in my bible from Philippians 3:13 where the Apostle Paul is relating one of the most important aspects of his life saying, “But this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (KJV) I discovered that his usage of the phrase “reaching forth” is more than just a casual, occasional attempt on his behalf to complete the call on his life.
Thayer’s defines it as an action that causes one “to stretch out to.” Adam Clarke goes into a bit more detail explaining that “The Greek word points out the strong exertions made in the race, every muscle and nerve is extended, and he puts forth every particle of his strength in running. He was running for his life.” I get the idea that Paul was saying that his Christian walk encompassed a very dedicated, focused and strenuous effort. Another modern translation says “and I try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me.” (Easy-to-Read Version)
I have told many times of my frustrations while in the beginning stages of my wife’s and my fight against the ravages of Alzheimer’s in her body. After the initial diagnosis I sort of shifted into high gear and began to investigate the diverse aspects of spiritually and physically attacking this lie, reading all that I could get my hands on concerning this dreaded disease, making the needed changes in our home life and our income sources so that I could be with her 24/7 and looked into potential benefits that could be of assistance to us.
To say the least, it was a VERY busy and turbulent time! I felt that I was trying as hard as I could to reach the goal of her good health. The difficulty came when some in our extended family not only criticized my actions but actually accused me to our kids and friends of not doing anything about her situation! Like Hello where have you been? But that was the answer… These same folks distanced themselves from Piper and I in the midst of our battle and were thereby unaware of all that was happening in the trenches.
And you know… it is still going on. I mentioned yesterday that I have opportunities and reminders to be drawn back into some of the old frustrations and most of these come from current interactions with these same folks who remain out of touch with our current place in this situation and hardly ever ask how Piper is doing.
They also demonstrate by their comments or even with articles they send about the disease that concern information that is not very pertinent to where we are at in meeting Piper’s needs. In most causes it talks about the prevention of dementia or of possible treatments that we looked at numerous years ago… and discussed with them at that time! I tend to look at it as a good thing though, in that at least they are showing some interest…
The Phillips paraphrase of Philippians 3:12 describes Paul’s efforts saying “But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ Jesus grasped me.” There are two aspects of that description that I like. First that it implies that Paul isn’t just staying in a somewhat stationary level in his pursuit of the things of God, but is getting more involved, more intent, more determined and more convinced in a progressively deeper effort to attain God’s promises. And secondly, that Papa God is right there with him each step of the way and is putting forth as much if not more effort for Paul as Paul is for him!
I like that! We may have some in our earthly family that may not seemingly be putting forth much effort for my wife, but we rest assured that Papa God is right here with us each step of the way, has put forth much more personal effort into her healing than I am and is keeping a firm, loving and expectant grasp on us! WOW! You know… I guess that is all that really matters! His faithfulness and love is all we need to succeed in our pursuit of His call and in what we are facing today!
Rest assured that He is also right there with you today. He is closer than your next breath and is exerting much more toward you and your success than you are exerting to or for Him! Hummm… No matter what level you are at, that thought kind of makes you want to kick it up a notch or two doesn’t it! Have a terrific day! Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or How am I expecting to turn it up today?”