The Gift of His Coming

Again my heart is so thankful for all of the prayers that have been lifted up for me.  Last week another procedure was on the schedule: my Ophthalmologist was finally ready to remove the small cyst on my upper eyelid.

Praise God, the procedure went so smoothly, with no allergic reactions this time. 3 doses of numbing medication, a small incision, and some squeezes had the cyst removed in a relatively short amount of time. A beautiful sunset on the way home felt like such a warm hug.

But as the fatigue and post-exertional malaise settled in over the next 24 hours, I had plenty of time to wait with the Lord. The sunrise the next morning only stirred my heart more deeply to long for the rescue my body still requires to continue functioning. My heart lost all sense of time as the words of this Scripture reverberated again and again:

 

Lord, be gracious to us;
we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of distress. Isaiah 33:2 NIV

 

And my thoughts were filled with a longing to find expression for what I felt. From the midst of that deep fatigue, a small poem was birthed:

 

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All day long the thoughts kept echoing through my heart.

. . . be our salvation in times of distress

. . . be our strength in the morning

. . . embrace my need of You

 

And finally, as I lay in bed later that night, I saw the parallel:

–Where the Doctor had incised my eyelid, my Great Physician had incised my heart.

–Where the Doctor had removed that hard, stony cyst, the Lord had removed more stones from my heart.

 

After all, He is still in the process of helping me to “find a new heart, while walking through chronic illness” as my tagline so clearly reminds me every time I log in here.

 

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 NIV

 

The stony places have not all been cleared away. It is a life-long process, this transformative life. He is making me more like Himself every day. Sometimes the process feels so slow. I watch my faults and weaknesses rise to the surface as conviction floods my heart.

But other days, just like that, in one fell swoop, He reaches down, incises my heart, and lifts away another stony rock of reluctance and fear that has been lingering for far too long.

Yes, Lord Jesus, have YOUR way with the scalpel and the blade. I want my heart to be made fresh and new.

 

 

Have you sensed that need for more stony places to be removed in your heart also?

 

I would love to pray with you today:

 

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for coming to bring us salvation. Thank You for breaking into our world to show us our true neediness and our deep longing for relationship. You are the only ONE who can satisfy our hearts. We are so hungry for more of You. Cleanse away and cut away those stony and dark places that have persisted in us. Give us Your strength each morning as we look up to You. Open our eyes to see the precious grace that You have poured out over us. We love You so much, our Dear Great Physician.

In Your name we pray,

Amen.

 

~~~~~

 

A GIFT FOR YOU

And this week I am so very blessed to offer to you, my readers, a gift for this coming Christmas Season.  Two years ago, my friend Ifeoma Samuel invited me to join her in writing a special month-long celebration of Christmas Family Devotions. And this year, she has so graciously compiled them into a beautiful book for download. You will find 25 short Devotions that are easy to read with your family during Advent. There are enriching activities that you and your family can join in with, helping to bring the joy and meaning of this Season more clearly into your lives.

HE CAME TO US!

Christmas is God’s gift of grace to us. And I pray that the gift of this e-book would be another way to share in that grace together. I will be offering this book here, available for free download to you my readers during the months of November and December. I am so grateful for each one of you.

 

**DOWNLOAD HERE**

 

Ebook-3d-Vorlage

 

 

~~~~~~

 

 

And a special thanks to all who commented last week on my post for a welcome to Chronic Joy Ministry. The winner of the Giveaway for the copy of Discovering Hope is Melissa Henderson. Congratulations! I will be in contact with you this week to find the best way to ship you your new book!

 

I am linking with:

#LMMLinkup

#TellHisStory

#TeaAndWord

 

26 thoughts on “The Gift of His Coming

  1. Congratulations to Melissa! Your testimony of how God continues to bring you peace and soften your heart during this time of chronic illness, is inspiring and such a blessing to me. I pray your eyelid heals quickly, and you see more of God’s love that softens and brings peace to all hearts open to receiving Him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for all of your prayers Dear Lynn! I appreciate the love and grace that you have shared with me through this process also. His love truly does bring that softness and peace to our hearts. I am praying for you this week also. Blessings!

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  2. I do have need of some stony places to be removed. God has been softening my heart for a while now. I can tell that over time, God is doing a wonderful work in my heart and feelings toward a certain person. I am thankful God has patience with me and helps me along the way. Have a blessed day dear friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Melissa, Isn’t our Lord so full of grace to us as He works within our hearts and feelings? His patience runs so deep for us. I am so thankful that He is so persistent to keep pressing us deeper into His own dear loving heart. May you be blessed this week also, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bettie, you just continue to write beautiful words for us to read. You offer so much encouragement through sharing your struggles. I love how you can find parallels in life events with spiritual truths. God has surely given you a gift of discernment and then a fresh way of presenting it to us. Thank you for being obedient to Him, even when it costs so much. What a blessing you are to me and I know many others! Much love with lots of hugs to you, my dear sister/poet/friend! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Gayl, Thank you for all of the encouragement and prayers you offer for me. He truly does meet us in the moments of our days, and I so often miss what He brings. But I am so thankful that He is so persistent to keep speaking, and to keep reminding us of His great care for us. Oh, I pray that the book will be a blessing to you and your family also. He has so much comfort to bring to each of us. Love you dear poet/sister/friend! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you, Bettie. One of our great blessings is that the Lord trades our hearts of stone for his heart instead. It comes with a price–we hurt more with others, etc., but it is so worth it. I love your perspective of welcoming his scalpel and blade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Oh yes, in that transforming, we do find His compassionate heart beating inside of us, feeling more of the hurt that He feels. But what a gift to also share in His rejoicing and His love right there. I pray that He would bring more willingness to my heart to continue that spiritual heart-surgery. Blessings to you this week.

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    1. Oh Dear Cheryl, thank you so much for your prayers. I know those prayers have helped to carry me through so many days. It is HIS grace covering us! Blessings to you tonight.

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  5. I’m so glad the procedure went smoothly without any allergic reactions, Bettie. Thank you for sharing again the incisions God is making in your heart to cut away the stones and replace them with a new heart in Him. This reminds me of Philippians 3:10 – “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…” Years ago already I earnestly prayed for the first part, but I was afraid to pray for the second part. And yet it is in our sharing of His suffering that we do learn to know Him more and be more like Him, isn’t it? Yes, that transformation is a long, painful process, but we need it so. Love and blessings of strength and peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for all of your prayers, Trudy! And thank you for that precious Scripture. I too felt that same way about the second part of those words–it is a deep surrender to find that willingness. But You are right, He does bring us more of Himself right there, transforming us as we behold His suffering. I am so thankful that He understands just how long that process needs to be. May I trust Him more! Love and blessings to you also dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Praise God the procedure went well. I love how God is teaching you through the pain and struggles you face. What a beautiful image of how he tends to the stones in our own hearts by removing them to allow healing to take place. The words from Ezekiel are the perfect complement to the lesson you taught us today.

    Thank you also for the Christmas devotions. What a gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary,
      Thank you for your prayers and support! Isn’t our Lord so precious to speak to us in the moments of our days? He truly knows how to bring us His transforming power. I am so thankful that He never gives up on me.

      And I am so grateful that you are blessed with the Christmas Devotions! We are so blessed to be able to share.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bettie, first of all, I am praising God for the good medical news! For the procedures to go smoothly without reaction. For once!!! Thank you, Lord Jesus! I love your analogy of our God-incisions and stone-removal. When things are going smoothly, it can be easy to forget the hardness of our hearts that will need breaking, chipping and all out sledge hammering at times. Praise God, he keeps on with us. He is a good Father who loves us as we are but loves us too much to leave us where we are. Blessings and love to you! The Christmas devotional sounds lovely. How thoughtful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Melissa,
      Oh, yes, I am so thankful for a procedure without any allergic reactions! Praise God! And isn’t our Lord so good to be so persistent with us? He truly does bring us His transformations, because He does “love us too much to leave us where we are.” I pray that I would stay open to His working. And I pray that you will be blessed with the Christmas Devotions this season.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Bettie, I am so thankful that the eye procedure went well and you were blessed with a beautiful sky on the way home. I am sure that was God’s way of blessing you that day. I will continue to pray for endurance and healing for you and your husband.
    Thank you for the beautiful prayer and thank you for the download, I look forward to reading the devotions. God bless you my dear.

    wendi

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Wendi, Oh yes, the blessings that God sends are such beautiful moments in our days, aren’t they? Thank you so very much for all of your prayers. They are such an encouragement to me. I pray that you are blessed with the Advent Devotional. Love and hugs to you dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, I am so thankful you were able to print it all out! And yes, what a precious gift that would be to be able to sit and have tea with you. I think we might let the tea grow cold as we shared such precious words together from the Lord! How grateful I am that Heaven just grows sweeter every day. We will have such precious times together in His presence and with each other! Bless you this week dear friend!

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