This morning I woke up early....just as the sun was coming up. I slipped out of bed, grabbed my bathrobe and slippers and headed to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. As the tea water was brewing, I grabbed my Bible and Bible study book. There is nothing I love more than getting up early when the house is still quiet and spending time with God over a cup of hot tea.
Many of you have heard that I have been diagnosed with a non-curable lung disease, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis to be specific. It was not fun to hear that diagnosis, it throws you for a loop when you hear bad news when you have been praying so hard to not hear anything but that answer! Where is God? Why me? Why now? What about what You sent me out here to do? These were all my inadequate questions and concerns. I realized one late night as I struggled with what was happening, I was focusing on me and had allowed myself to lose the focus on the one true God.
One of my favorite books of the Bible is Job, it is an odd choice for a favorite as it is not a "nice" story, or easy to read of this man's suffering. Yet it has drawn me for a long time. I will be honest and say it is not where I wanted to go when I was going through all the tests, the doctors' appointments, the specialists, the hospital. No I wanted to depend on me or my family or the strangers taking care of me, the nurses, doctors, technicians, they had the power and the answers! Oh sure.
As I read devotions and my Bible I stayed away from Job but I always knew it was there and so was He! So I read it early one morning, 3 or 4 AM to be exact. I saw Job worship God in 1:21, when he says "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." Wow, worshipping God when you just lost everything, I didn't focus on worship in my time of need.
I saw Job ask a key question in 2:10 when he asks, "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" Hmmm, not what I thought about in that hospital bed! As I read the rest of the story, God talking to Job and Job to God I thought that I needed to do that more, pray, be honest with God with my questions and listen too. When I did some amazing things happened.
I realized that God was STILL in control, He still loves me, He is still is with me, He still wants to use me and Soaring Wings Ministries is His, not mine. I will do what I can for as long as I can to build Soaring Wings Ministries, just like before I knew I was sick, I will do what I can with what God gives me, my time, my energy, my intelligence, my love for others, it is all His to use until He says it is time to stop. Isn't it the same for all of us?
Don't see an end to the pain and suffering you have or others you love? I have good news for you (and me), "And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast" (1 Peter 5:10) "These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won't last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God's richest blessing upon us forever and ever! So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look froward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over but the joys to come will last forever" (2 Corinthians 417-18 LB)
One last scripture, the one we use as the verse for Soaring Wings Ministries, Isaiah 41:31 "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." AMEN!
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries