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:
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,
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.
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!
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