The day started out slowly, like most of my days, but I felt Jesus with me. As He had been speaking more words about surrender, I felt that I was listening this time and preparing for what He would take me through. This waiting time to find a medication that would bring the RA back down from an inflamed state felt like it was taking too long for my own time-table. So I continued to ask Him to uncover more of my own desires for self-sufficiency that still lingered within. As I had been asking my friends for prayer, I thought that I was on the road to acceptance.
Until another small set-back pushed me over the edge, and the tears spilled out.
Many years ago, the Lord took me through a long season of intercession for several friends and family members. It was a time of deep stretching. And it became my first lesson in learning that only God’s Grace is sufficient. The burdens became too heavy for me to carry on my own. I knew that the prayers themselves were being birthed in the Spirit, as words and Scriptures would flood my mind.
Then many years after that, the Lord opened a way for this small town Midwestern girl to travel with my new Vietnamese daughter-in-law by ourselves to Vietnam for a 3 week visit with her family. She had only been in the US for 7 months herself, and I had never been out of the country. I knew I was in over my head. I knew that God’s Grace would have to be my sufficiency.
In those seasons, the night-times were places where Jesus often called prayers up from the deepest places of my heart. Pages and pages of old journals document the hard and the sweet words He spoke through my prayers. Prophetic and surprising, so many of those prayers were answered in just the way God had asked me to pray.
So when I cried at the self-sufficiency being taken away in this season of Chronic Illness, the Holy Whisper of God surprised me:
This is not a foreign place for you, my daughter. I have prepared you for these days already. You have learned that my Grace is sufficient in every place of prayer. Am I not sufficient for you here?
And suddenly I was whisked back in time, remembering those days . . .
“All For Love”
The words gushed out of my heart
The groans and the tears
On the floor at my feet.
Intercession swirled over my head
The pain that another felt
My heart like my own
God brought the questions
Then God sent His Word
Pray the answers
How could I explain the prayers
Poured from my belly
The longing for which I waited
They are The Apple of Your Eye
They are The Dearly Loved Ones
Whom You spilled Your blood
Months passed and years plodded
The prayers kept pouring forth
My soul where I carried grief
Bitter turned to sweet!
Prayers found fullness!
Even as my singing heart rejoiced
Even as the weight was lifted
A pin had pricked my soul
A bleeding kept pouring forth
A hidden chamber in my heart
A question lodged still remained
You saw it all my Lord Jesus Christ
You carried all those weights
I thought I would die underneath
Yours is the only heart fully able
Be the true intercessor for us all
Carries the hardest-hearted-sinner
But You ask us to join you there
Crawl up into Your lap of love
We speak the same words You speak
You want to show us the beauty
Only Love Eyes can look upon
Only Love spilled out can win
They are the ones
We are the ones
I am the one
The apple of Your eye
“In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,” Deuteronomy 32:10 NIV
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NIV
In this week before Easter, we see the cross set before us. We look upon the One Who shed His own dear blood, and we wonder how. We wonder why. When all the answers are filled up in only one word, His love led Him there. He took JOY to redeem us back to the heart of His Father
Have you let Him show you the love He carries for you?
Do you know that you are the apple of His eye?
Dear Lord Jesus,
We do come before you, falling to our knees. How could you have loved us so? We know that we are so hard-hearted, and we must admit that we are filled with our own self-sufficiency. Some days we are so proud of that sufficiency. Oh, Lord, forgive us for all these ways that we turn away from You. And yet You still love us and call us back to Yourself. Will you give us glimpses of the depth of Your love? Will you wash away more of our places of pride? And will You fill us with the immeasurable love that only You can bring? We need You so much. We long to be with you Jesus. We praise You for Your beauty and Glory.
In Your precious name we pray, Amen.
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