I wanted today's blog to be a little different.
As many of you know, my daughter, Annie, has been suffering a debilitating battle. This has been one of the hardest, darkest times for my family. In the midst of all the pain and appointments and struggles to see the light at the end of the tunnel, God is speaking to us.
Last year, on January 1, 2016, I decided that one of my New Year's resolutions would be to summarize my morning Bible study for Annie. I text her every morning with my reflection and take-away from my my U-Version Bible in a year study for the day. In September, I included my son, Opie, on this daily text for his birthday, after which he told me to "not take him off the text," so now we all look forward to these early morning moments.
I wanted to share with you one devotional that was such a "sent from God" gift on a morning that Annie woke up in excruciating pain. The words I read and summarized that morning are both gut-wrenching and worthy of all praise. If you're in a difficult time in your life, I pray that this "Diane version" of a devotional touches you. Thank you for supporting Annie with your thoughts and prayers. We love her Army and can't wait for the day when she beats this pain and can share her incredible story of healing!
Dearest Annie and Opie,
I woke up this morning praising God for both of you. I praised God for Annie's two better days on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then I came downstairs at 6am and heard voices. Annie woke up in pain again.
Right now, "I don't understand, God." I can't imagine what is going through Annie's head right now. After two better days and two good nights' sleep, to have a relapse this morning is so disappointing for me and for Annie and Adam.
Please help us understand, God. How should we respond when we don't understand God? In Psalm 74:1 and 9, we are told to be honest with Him. Verse One says, "God, Why have you rejected us forever?" We don't know "how long" this pain will be for Annie to endure. We are to go ahead and ask God questions and ask for answers. "Lord, thank you that we, and especially Annie, can pour our hearts out to you and know that she is not alone in her suffering.".
In times of not understanding, we are to be open to God. In Acts 9:32-10:23, Jesus told the disciples to "heal the sick, raise the dead, and preach the gospel." In Verse 34, a man was healed and jumped right out of bed. God, however, doesn't heal everyone. Why not? Our writer says he doesn't know. It is a mystery.
I am going to continue to pray every day that God heals Annie. I saw progress toward healing the last two days. Peter raised Dorcas from the dead. Because of this, many believed because Dorcas had a good reputation amongst the people and helped those who were poor or sick, just like Annie. At the end of this passage, we see that Peter has a vision that he is to reach Jewish and non Jewish people. God had far bigger plans to which the disciples and fortunately, Peter, were open.
"Lord, help us be totally open to your plans and use Annie's healing in a much bigger way than we might imagine to share the news of Jesus to everyone we meet. Help us know you have a reason."
In 2 Samuel 23:8-24:25, it says we are to be mystified by God. After David again sinned, he fell to the feet of God and asked for forgiveness and mercy. The passage ends on a note of hope and renewed relationship.
There is still so much that is difficult for me to understand. "Lord, all I know is that in the midst of Annie's painful journey, you are our sovereign God, and you are there with us through all suffering, and you have a plan and purpose. Lord, help us to be totally open to your plans and purposes."
Annie, I am in awe of your courage and bravery. Know that Opie, Adam, and I love you so much and are with you until you are healed, and we can share your victory in testimony.
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