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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Enabling Your Deflector Shields...

One of the best things I have learned since I took on the role of Piper’s 24/7 caretaker is to always put things back where they were!  Over the last few years I have gained a whole new appreciation for people who take care of others on a regular basis.  I have come to understand it as one of the most taxing jobs in the world!  I worked for many years in management in a couple of large electronics companies, in supervisorial positions for a major retail chain, ran my own business and have served as an Assistant Pastor in five different churches and although I have had some stressful times there, it dulls in comparison to my loving 24 hour care of my wife!
As a 24 hour caregiver you’re always on!  You don’t get to go home and forget about the job when your shift is over.  Don’t get me wrong… I am definitely not complaining here… I am so blessed that I was able to quit my outside jobs and be the special one to see to her care.  But if you don’t watch it, you can easily turn it into a grueling, thankless and exhausting position!  Besides keeping a joyful and good attitude, staying built up in the Word, singing a lot and getting outside for daily walks, the other practice that has tremendously saved my patience is to know and EXPECT to find the things I need to do my job where they are supposed to be!
That’s why I always wash the dishes and put them away right after we eat our meals, put Piper’s hair brush back in the same spot after brushing her hair throughout the day, wash, dry, fold and put away her clothes on a daily basis, put the various remote controllers down on the table next to the couch, hang up the car keys on the ceramic key rack in the kitchen, return our hats, coats and the dog’s leash to the coat rack near the front door and so on!  I discovered that when I am tired, it is way too easy to get upset, loose focus and have to fight off tinges of discouragement because I can’t seem to put my hand on the tools that I need at any given time!  It is just one less thing that I have to think about because I always EXPECT them to be where they are supposed to be.
I think that this is a very good illustration of having a similar excitement and earnest EXPECTATION of God’s Word working for us!  As I studied the Word this morning I had to pause and smirk a bit at the question of “If you’re not going to EXPECT what you are asking and believing for in prayer to happen… then why pray at all?”  In Psalm 5:3 the New Living Translation records the Psalmist as saying: “Listen to my voice in the morning Lord.  Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait EXPECTANTLY.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself beginning to be anxious for something concerning Piper’s health and then been reminded that I already prayed about that potential emergency and need not worry about it at all!  Most times I don’t even consider the potential of any negative symptoms or of the possibilities of her not reaching a complete and whole recovery.  I’ve already prayed God’s will over her and am EXPECTING her body to respond accordingly.
To be perfectly honest, it usually stuns me a little when someone says something sad about her situation or (thinking that they are being helpful) encourage me to be realistic and prepare myself for and accept what medical science says is the inevitable conclusion of this disease.  It especially blows me away when Christians side with the limitations of the medical field.
We were watching the Star Trek series reboot movie from a few years ago over the weekend and I was impressed at how much they depended on the ship's electronic shields to protect them from all harm.  Most times they didn’t even consider the damage that might be inflicted upon them by an enemy attack because they knew they were protected.  Well that got me to thinking about how much I depend on my EXPECTATIONS to see my Biblically based prayers and requests come to fruition.  I usually don’t consider any other possibility and am surprised when other Christians don’t respond the same way!
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states that the Psalmist was “patiently expecting it till he had it, and the ground of his confidence were the nature and perfections of God…”  In other words, David’s intimate knowledge of Papa God gave him the unshakable confidence in his EXPECTATIONS of God hearing and positively responding to his morning prayers.
Do you have that same unshakable confidence in your prayers?  How well do you really know Papa God and His will as clearly explained in His Word?  Once you put up your EXPECTORS do you ever doubt that God’s Word will work for you?  Or do you, like Captain Kirk on the Star Ship Enterprise, just sit confidently in the Captain’s chair and EXPECT to sail through to victory?
Have a good day.  Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What Biblically Based prayers am I EXPECTING to happen for me today?”

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