Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Engaged

“You’ve not been engaged with God this week.” was Chris’ keen observation after watching me in the middle of an overwhelming week.

I’m a wrestler...I wrestle with God regularly. For so long I thought that was a bad thing...that indicated a lack of faith. But I think I’ve come to realize it’s not bad...it’s not bad at all. When I’m wrestling...I’m right there with God...as I work through the issue. We are up close and personal. There are times, like Jacob, I feel as if God touches me and I walk away with a limp that will remain for the rest of my life. Wrestling with God is preferable to being disengaged from God.

Disengaged means that I’m attempting to handle the situation on my own. Taking care of things on my own strength, power, ability and wisdom. I think I was driving back from lunch when it hit me...I realized that I had been trying to handle everything on my own. Unsuccessfully I might add. That realization helped me to turn the situation over to God. I asked Him to work out the details. I had a preference for how it would turn out...but I was ready and willing to accept God’s will in the situation.

Just days after I had to have my 16 year old kitty Nathan put to sleep, my mom was hospitalized with pneumonia and congestive heart failure. There were several times during the week that I felt certain my mom was going to die. If not die...she was languishing in a hospital bed, now known only known as the patient in bed C, not as Gayle. Even in her Alzheimer’s state she was scared and depressed...she was giving up.

Try as I might...I couldn’t make it better. I couldn’t work out the details to get my mom transferred back to her assisted living facility. I was dealing with a cold uncaring discharge planner who lied and had no compassion on my mother...relegating her to a rehab center in which I was certain she would die. I felt desperate...yet I didn’t turn to God for help, guidance and wisdom. Like the Energizer Bunny...I kept on going...but that was about to stop.

The revelation that I had been trying to handle it all instead of giving it to God...was God’s merciful turning point. It started with a text message from Chris...with a reminder that I was to walk by faith and believe God. The hammer hit the nail on the head when Chris texted me John 15:5...abiding in God and without Him I could do nothing. Indeed that was painfully true. I was coming up short at every turn.

Not sure why I didn’t automatically turn it over to God? But I do know the circumstances, as they were, kept me from my normal Bible studies and fellowship. Instead of being at church, a prayer meeting or at BSF...I was at the hospital. A painful reminder on how quickly I can fail when I’m not regularly, daily in the study of His word and in prayer. When I have a relationship...it’s natural to share what’s going on in my life. When that fellowship is broken...I’m not thinking about sharing with God.

At times...I was exhausted...numb...my mind could not focus enough to pray. But that’s when I needed to do that the most. I suppose at that point...my best bet is to grab a friend...and have them pray with me. Prayer brings me back to God. It begins and ends with God.

Once I realized that I needed to hand it over to God...I was reminded that death is a divine appoint. There is no panic in heaven, only plans. That God could use even these circumstances and bring good out of it.

Once I turned it over to God...and asked Him to work out all the details, He brought in to my path Hospice. It was recommended by the Rehab doctor. I never would have thought to bring in Hospice. But thank You Lord...You were working out the details. The people were compassionate and caring...wanting what was best for my mom. They were able to arrange for my mom to be brought back to her home for the last six years. A place where she is well known and well loved.

Perhaps this was God’s way of getting these people in our lives now...and in the future where we will need their help even more. Today I was able to share with the Hospice Chaplain that I am uncertain of my mother’s salvation. I asked him to make sure that is his primary focus when he sees her.

I thank God for bringing Chris in to my life. He reached out...and brought my focus back to God. He reached out...and kept reaching out with kindness, care and compassion.

It felt so good tonight to be back to Bible Study Fellowship. As I did my lesson this weekend...God showed me that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Oh Lord....may I diligently seek You and be ready next time to wrestle with You and be engaged. Trust me...there will be a next time.

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