Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Don't Give Up on Your Dream

After visiting with my pain doctor today and getting approximately eight trigger point injections and an epidural for my lower back, I found it impossible to get comfortable in our bed. My husband already knew that if he were to get any sleep after a series of injections, he should sleep in the guest bedroom. As I perched on soft pillows, gingerly propping my neck up as little as possible and watching a special on Sandi Patty, I still could not get comfortable. So I found myself lying there just pondering on some things with the Lord, my Abba. I have prayed for healing. So far, it has not come in a physical way. On the other hand, I do not feel that God has removed the call from my life to share the gospel as a Bible teacher and speaker. The problem has been that I cannot predict what my body will be able to do from one day to the next.Therefore, up to this point, it has been impossible to commit to speaking engagements in the future. As I pondered, a radical thought came to me; or at least it was radical for me. Maybe I was like the man who was ill and sat by the pool. Maybe in faith, I needed to mail out my new batch of brochures, make myself ready study-wise and wait to see if God opened doors as He used to before I took a downhill plunge healthwise. Surely if I was invited to speak and felt that He wanted me to accept, He would supply everything I needed in the area of energy over chronic fatigue and toleration of pain to carry through on the call He had put on my life many years ago. I have been so ill the last two years that I felt I was on the backside of the desert. Perhaps He had put me on the shelf for now, I had thought.And maybe He had for a time. More likely, He has just had me at His feet for a season. Perhaps I was to write and give up the speaking. I know up to this point, it would have been impossible to speak anywhere. The odd thing is that my health has not changed but something in my spirit seems to be changing. Could it be that God is asking me to "pick up my mat" like the man in the New Testament by the pool who needed healing? Is He now ready to "do a new thing" and asking me to trust Him and proceed in the direction of re-entering the speaking/teaching arena? I will be doing much praying about that in the coming days but I truly feel that is the way He is leading me. People are dying without Jesus. Others are sinking in circumstances not knowing how they will make it through another day. This is important stuff. I am qualified as the Lord's vessel to do something for at least some of these people.I have been through the fire and come out on the other side. I know God's faithfulness in trials and illnesses experientially. Teaching is my main spiritual gift followed closely by encouragement. Is He asking me to trust Him and walk out in faith again? Could it be that this long dry spell is coming to an end and my health is going to be restored or is He just going to use me in spite of my health? These are the questions I am putting to Him in the light of what I feel the Spirit is saying to me. As I wandered up to the computer, I clicked my e-mail on and the first thing I saw was Mark Evans' "Selah", a letter that he puts out daily to encourage his congregation and anyone else who subscribes to his letter. For many days, I have been so bogged down in chronic fatigue that I have just deleted these letters that I used to read daily because I was too tired to read them. It was all I could do just to get through my mail and do what I absolutely had to do. I must confess to days of relaxing to music on youtube but that required no effort on my part! For some reason tonight, I felt led to open the letter that Mark had sent today. What was in it could only be a God thing. I want to include just a little of it below. "Your Vision, Your Dream.. Can You Still "See" It?" And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by. For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day. ~Habakkuk 2:2-3 ... Write the vision and make it plain... There's an interesting picture in Amos '... "A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion's mouth will recover only two legs or a piece of an ear. So it will be... ' (Amos 3:12NLT). Picture Satan as that lion, you as that lamb, Jesus as that shepherd coming to pick up what's left of you, of your dream, and I want you to see how God can bring victory out of defeat... Has life torn your dream to pieces? With God, you only need two things for a comeback: 1) An Ear To Hear.... Stop listening to voices that discourage you; it's not over until God says it's over! God told Ezekiel to prophesy to a valley full of dead, dry bones (Ezekiel 37:4): 'So I prophesied... and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army.'(Ezekiel 37:10). Your hopes may be dead and your soul dry, but if you listen to what God is saying your dream will live again. 2) A Leg To Stand On... The God who gave Job twice as much at the end of his trouble as he started with before it, isn't finished with you yet. Read what He's promised and stand on His Word.... Achan was stoned to death in the Valley of Achor for stealing the spoils after the battle of Jericho. End of story? No, later, God in His mercy said, 'I will give... the Valley of Achor as a door of hope... ' (Hosea 2:15). You may be living with your consequences, but by God's grace you can still live to see your dream fulfilled." Mark Evans "Selah" What do you think? Is God speaking to me? The best way that I know to find out is to proceed as if He is, asking that He will close doors if it is not His will. But whether He chooses to move me out again or leave me in bed, interceding for others, counseling with hurting women and doing some mentoring, I will serve Him. I made that commitment long ago and it is set in stone. What about your dreams? Do some of them need dusting off and taken before God? Has it been a long time since you looked at them? Maybe God is ready to do "a new thing" in your life. I'm excited at the thought of it. I hope this encourages you to be excited, too!


Lisa Buffaloe said...

Love this, Karen! I had read the devotion by Mark the other day and forwarded it to some friends. Do you remember with my healing, I knew it was about picking up the mat and believing. I didn't jump out of bed, but had to walk each day in faith. Oh girlfriend, you have an ear to hear and a leg to stand on, so you go girl!!

Praying for you and your faith walk!

Love you!

Karen B. King said...

Oh, Lise, how would I get through this journey without your sweet encouragement? You are beloved to me and such an encourager and cheerleader. How I thank God for the gift of you in my life! And I AM looking forward and picking up the mat when I can barely hold onto it. I just know God is doing something new soon and I can't wait. Thank you for being my sister and my friend!