Thursday, January 27, 2005

Praises and musings on this week

Hello gentle readers...

First, a great PRAISE GOD for my precious partner's surgery. God is good and certainly our Great Physician. The surgery went better than anyone anticipated. There were no complications and no cancer found by the pathologist. God promised through the prayer of others that this would be a great healing...and so it was! She is in a bit of pain, but walking out her healing and we anticipate being able to attend church this Sunday!

Now, on to my lesson for the week. Oh my, where to start? It's interesting how we find ourselves in situations that we think are just the normal, every day fare and then they turn out to be lessons on living the Christ-life. This week, Patti was put in a room with a Christian woman whose husband was a traveling evangelist. Y'all, this lady griped and carried on about everything...and I do mean everything! She made the nurses miserable. Everything was drama and had to be a big production. She was a diabetic who came in with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). She was a big woman and couldn't seem to stay away from the junk food that put her in this position.

The nurses were very professional, to their credit. I couldn't have been so. The doctor would order medications which she would refuse to take in the form in which they were to be given, or wouldn't take them altogether. She fussed over the I.V.s. She fussed over the food. She fussed over the bed. She fussed over the (fill in the blank). I mean, there wasn't anything this woman didn't make a problem. Her sugar level was over 400 each time it was taken and she still had her husband bringing in sodas and candy. It was crazy! Finally, it's time for her to be discharged. She even carried on about how long it took to get her medications and paperwork. I'd have just been grateful to be going home in something other than a hearse!

Okay, on to the lesson. As the nutritionist tried to talk to her about her weight and eating habits, all she kept saying was, "I try, but it doesn't work." or "I just don't have the will power to keep it up." But, what she really meant was that she simply doesn't do it. She doesn't let God help her. She doesn't rely on His strength. And, quite frankly, she doesn't care about her physical body. She just wants what she wants when she wants it.

Ouch (again). It was like I could hear myself in her words. God was telling me just that. I want what I want when I want it. It's really easy to say I tried. It's really easy to gripe about how I have no will power. But what it boils down to is a big ol' fault: not putting my health on the altar and asking God for His help and His perspective. Hey, our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. I know in my head that I must take control of this area of my life. It's that 18 inches between my head and my heart that's the bumpy road. It's just easier to fail than it is to the flesh. But, God says that He is able. God says that we are to live a self-controlled life. God says that we have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead living inside us. Okay, OUCH. If that is so, then why am I not tapping into that same strength to overcome the nutrition and health issue?

There was a second lesson in all of this, too. It was the constant fussiness. What kind of a witness is that? And this woman's husband was an evangelist, someone who's call is to win the lost. How far do we think she would have gotten with the nursing staff and doctors with this kind of witness? Not far, trust me. It is when we are kind, patient, gentle, joyful and treat others with care that our witness shines the brightest. This woman carried none of that with her. It really broke my heart to be honest. I wanted to go to the next bed, sit down with her, and explain how she was being perceived. But, I didn't. Know why? Because, like Moses, I balked and figured she wouldn't be open to what God had to say and I would be lousy at the saying of it.

Okay, so here's the finale. I failed. I failed at the nutrition stuff by not giving God the allowance of taking over that part of my life. I failed. I failed at reaching out to this woman and sharing how she was hurting her witness with her toxic behavior. And, I failed. I failed to see that God in me is greater than any fear or embarrassment I might suffer for doing what He asked of me. BUT, thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift in Jesus: our redemption and forgiveness of sins! Even through the failure, there is forgiveness to be found and a new start to be had.

So, this day I would encourage you to listen to those around you. Hear the way they talk to each other. Understand that God wants us to speak encouragement into the lives of others and give them a message of hope. The talk around us is terse and depressing. We are God's light in this world. Today, reach out in faith and touch someone's life. You will be blessed in the attempt!

May God richly bless you this day...


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