On that Saturday morning, there were a few sprinkles left over from yesterdays spring rain as I made my way down the freeway to attend the San Diego Christian Writer's Guild spring conference. When I got home that afternoon around 3:30, my husband was having great difficulty breathing. He had caught a cold about three weeks prior and had been experiencing much chest congestion. I immediately suspected that he now had pneumonia. I asked why he hadn't called me earlier - I would have come right home. He didn't want to go to the hospital alone, and he didn't want to spoil my day. I have a problem relating to my husband's reasoning at times, but I won't go there. I try and remember, 'Women are from Venus and men are from Mars'! I think someone wrote a book about that.
I'd enjoyed the mini-conference; Dr. David Levy, a San Diego neurosurgeon spoke. He's written a book, 'Gray Matter', about his discovery of the power of prayer in his practice. I was delighted when he said we could swap books. He gave me a copy of his, and took a copy of mine. The weather had changed and as I was driving the twenty miles home, I noticed how bright the sun and how blue the sky - just a few puffy clouds here and there. The kind of day that makes you want to blow kisses up to heaven!
Life can change in heart beat. My euphoria ended that day in a hospital emergency room. My husband was given oxygen, many tests taken, a big dose of anti-biotic dripped into his arm. . .then we waited for nearly five hours for him to be checked into a room. How rapidly you can find yourself in crisis mode, fighting for your very life! You wonder if your world has spun out of control or if the Lord still has you firmly in His grip. How can you go from panic to peace through praise?
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8
Our life will change, but our God never changes! Jesus said of Himself in Revelation 1:8. . .
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
Jesus said He was the first, nothing came before Him, and He is the last, no one will come after Him. . .the 'Almighty'.
I love that word. It says to me that God is all mighty. He is in full control and has power over all. My panic subsides as I praise Him for Who He is.
The book of Hebrews was written for the Jews so they would understand the Old Testament and who Jesus is. The Jews sacrificed live animals upon altars to please God and atone (pay for) their sin. I'm sure rivers of blood flowed out of those temples of old. Jesus Christ sacrificed His life, and now we offer Him praise, not bloody animals on an altar!
"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name." Hebrews 13:15
If you are a believer, the fruit of your lips will be to praise His name - intrinsic for anyone who understands God's love for them.
When we begin to focus on the Lord, and to praise Him, peace comes. We can trust the outcome of every situation to Him. We tend to judge outcomes as 'good' or 'bad'. God doesn't want us to judge His plan. He wants us to trust His character - loving, merciful, all-knowing. Our pastor pointed us to Luke 12: 6 -7 recently to show how personal and caring our Lord is. He's aware of every little sparrow, and He's counted the hairs on our head. Every time we pick up a hair brush, the number changes!
One way that peace comes to me through praise is by the Lord bringing to mind Scripture or words to a hymn or praise song. As I sat in the emergency room of the hospital watching my husband struggle to breathe, these words kept me calm. . .
'You are the air I breathe', words to a song we often sing in the jail ministry. Because I think in Bible verses, the Lord graciously takes me to His Word in Acts 17:25 -
". . .because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."
God has given us life, the very air we breathe, and He sustains that life for the purpose of His will. He's counted our days, numbered our steps (Job 14) and we won't miss a one that He has ordained.
"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16
On the way home that night, leaving my husband behind in the hospital, there is another song that I believe was written by the Gaithers over forty years ago - 'Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus' that helped me focus on the Lord, not the problem at hand. I've often sung these words through the years when life has been a struggle.
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."
Thank you Lord for the peace and calm that comes from praising You. Thank you that Van is home and recovering. Thank you for the trials of life that keep bringing you into focus and remind us of the truth of your Word in Psalm 63:3 - Your love is better than life.
**Many are enjoying my book, 'Blogging Gods Word: Seeing Ourselves Through God's Eyes'.01 It's available on Amazon, or Crossbooks, also an E-book.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.