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“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:25-27 

Sometimes I get lost in the busyness of life and forget just how big  God really is, and how much He is with us in even the smallest details, as well as the times of adversity. I was reminded of just how much the Holy Spirit guides us, warns us, and prepares us, if we are sensitive to the still small voice within.

On Monday, I awoke in the morning with one of those feelings that mothers know so well. I sat up in bed and recalled the poem that little Sarah used to love to recite when we read the book Madeline. I could hear Sarah at three reciting with me… “In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines, they left the house at half past nine…the smallest one was Madeline.”

I always loved it when the nun, Miss Clavel, who took care of Madeline sensed something was wrong. That evening, the girls are tucked into bed for the evening. Miss Clavel goes to bed too, but she wakes up with a fright, “something’s not right”.  In the story, as Miss Clavel runs to the bedroom where the orphans are asleep, she discovered that Madeline has had an Appendicitis attack.  It seems her feelings were accurate, something was wrong.  I had been feeling like that since the night before.

I sat up in bed and read the Bible to comfort my soul. I said “Lord, I feel so anxious today, like something is wrong, but I trust that you will keep us safe.” In my prayer I prayed for my family and I knew in my spirit that I should rest. I stayed home all day and just rested for a change. No crafts, no art, no telephone, no computer, no rides in the country or form of busyness, I just rested. 

Then at exactly 6 o’clock the telephone rang, “Mom, there was a terrible car accident”. It was Sarah, my nineteen year old daughter who attends college just an hour away. As she explained how much damage was on her car, all I wanted to know was that she was okay. She has not a bump, scratch or hurt, even though her car looks like a truck hit it and she is terribly upset about her car. 

I quickly phoned my other daughter to tell her I was on my way to Sarah. Ashley said “Mom I was in a car accident too, I was just going to call you. I’m okay and my car only has a scratch, the policeman was nice and the guy who hit me too. I got all the information, Mom”. Just sixteen and so mature. Sarah called back to say that the tow truck had arrived and I waited for her to phone back with directions. When the phone rang again it was Ashley, “Mom, I am on my way to pick up Sarah, you don’t have to worry”. They came home, we ate, we talked and I was so thankful.

I got down on my knees and praised God for keeping my girls safe. I didn’t even want to think about what could have been. Prayer is a might covering, it doesn’t always mean that adversity will be magically brushed away.  Rather, prayer helps us to be bathed in the protection of the Lord.  It opens the window for His peace, so that we can be still in the middle of adversity, and have faith that He will see us through.

As I relived the day and the night before, I was so aware of the promptings of the Holy Sprit.  My husband was away on a business trip, and usually I go on a day trip while he is away.  Yet, I felt so led to just stay home and rest, and therefore I was available for my girls when they called.  That feeling inside that something was wrong prompted me to stay in prayer and on put my armor of mindfulness.  That feeling I just used to think was fret, was actually a warning that I must stay close to the Lord.  I always find such peace when I read the Bible, and often I am able to recognize a scripture that meets my current needs.

Tuesday morning I awoke with such a peace and a spirit of thankfulness. All that I can say is Thank you. Thank you Lord, every now and then I sing His praise for always being there, but today I want to shout it from the top of the mountains.

 

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”
Psalm 95:1

 

 

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“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”
1Samuael 1:27


When I was just six months shy of my third birthday my mother learned that I had a disease called Kohler’s disease. This was the reason that when I would run to play my left foot would turn inward and I would fall to the ground. Sometimes this would happen even as I was walking. I had developed a limp and I had pain in my ankle. My mother took me to the doctor and they suggested that I wear special shoes that would prevent me from falling. Back in 1951 casting was recommended and the duration of the disease was unknown.

I remember going with my mother to look in the store windows in Jamaica in Queens New York and looking at the beautiful red shoes in the shoe store window. My mother said that I used to ask for the pretty shoes, but it broke her heart that she couldn’t give them to me. Instead I wore the typical shoes that a child would wear with a leg brace.

One day my mother decided to go to one of the best hospitals in New York. She took me into New York City to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center -The Harkness Pavilion, to see a specialist. She told me that after examining me and ex-raying my legs that the doctor showed her the ex-ray results and then took down a large medical book and showed my mother what the disease was and how to date they did not have a cure. They said that the recommendation was to put me in a full body cast because they were unsure what other bones would be affected by this rare bone disease. It had been a long way for my mother to travel and she said that she had taken my stroller with her through subway staircases and different trains. She took the long ride home feeling despair.

She said that the very next morning something unexplainable happened. She was led to go to a church located on Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica Queens which was quite a distance away. There was a bus that stopped in front of our apartment and it took us to that church. Once inside, she told me to stand and to ask God to heal me. She said that as I stood there before the altar trusting her with all my faith I asked God to heal my leg. She said that she wept at hearing the innocence in the voice of a child. My voice was little but the power of the Lord is great. She took me back three days in a row. On the fourth day she began to notice that my leg was no longer turning inward. She never did take me back to the doctor again. I have had many pairs of red shoes over these fifty-five years. In fact, as a young woman I walked all over my sales territory in downtown New York to visit clients wearing very high heels. When I lived in New York City I had this very charming apartment but my closet opened up to the living room, so I wrapped my shoe boxes in wrapping paper to look pretty when I had to open the closet while company was there. Each box contained a pair of gorgeous shoes but I had forgotten who I should praise for this luxury.

I couldn’t help but notice the word Hark within the name of the Harkness Pavilion where my mother searched for answers. I looked up the definition of the word Hark and one of them was “a hunter’s shout to hounds, as to encourage them in following the scent, a Verb phrase” I believe that is the way we are led by the Lord through promptings and resources that arrive at just the right time, or perhaps a word from someone we know. God’s shout to us encourages us to be led to where there is an answer to our prayer, a resource that might fill our need.

I lived many years taking it all for granted until I gave my heart to the Lord at thirty-four years of age. It was when I found Jesus Christ that I began to appreciate how he had healed me and given me a mother who knew all about prayer. To this day I know that if I ask my mother to pray for me I am safe in the arms of the grace of prayer. Twenty five years I have been studying the Lord’s Word and now my prayer life is as full of faith as that little voice I had the day the Lord healed me of Kohler’s disease. If you look up the word Prayer it is listed as a noun and the definition says “a devout petition to God or an object of worship.” Prayer is more alive than what the definition would claim and to me it is an action verb.

“Pray to Me in a time of trouble, I will rescue you, and you will honor me” Psalm 1:20-3


I have studied prayer through books, and the Bible and have heard countless sermons on prayer. Nothing reminds me better than what Jesus said “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” James 4:2

We must ask, and as we begin this process and see prayers being answered our faith will become stronger and stronger. Prayer is an action, a verb not an adverb or a noun…a thing or a sweet sentiment found in a greeting card. Prayer is the very tool we can use here on earth to help us through our trials, grief, and circumstances.

If you are reading this today and you need prayer, you can leave me an anonymous comment, a prayer request. I promise you that I will pray for you. Leave your prayer request, because even if you don’t have faith today that your prayer will be answered, I do. I have that same child-like faith that I did the day I stood in that church in front of that altar believing that I would be healed.

“Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks.”
Matthew 7:7-8

The medical profession has conducted much research over the last fifty-five years, since I was diagnosed with Kohler’s Disease. Today they know so much more than they did then and the harsh treatment has been replaced with an encouraging diagnosis as found on the Mayo Clinic web site. They say that after a few months the symptoms go away. The Lord healed my foot back in a day when little was known about this disease and he removed my symptoms overnight. The Lord heals…

“Everything you ask for in payer will be yours, if you only have faith. And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too.”
Mark 11:24-25

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“May God, the source of hope, fill me with all joy and peace by means of my faith in him, so that my hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

In the book The Kiss of Heaven written by Darlene Zschech she writes, “God’s promise and oath are our hope, and this hope is an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. If we give God everything, including our cares He will work everything together to complete His plan for us.” I love this book because in it she writes about God’s favor, which is the Kiss from heaven. Ever since I started putting my focus on God first, I have experienced such favor. Darlene is my favorite singer, she wrote the much loved song “Shout to the Lord”. Her book is written with the same poetic words with a rich understanding of how God works in our lives. She is a gifted singer and wrtier and has a keen sense of what worship really is and can lead us in praise and thanksgiving through her words. Her song “Shout to the Lord” was written at a very low point in her life. Perhaps that is why the depth of that song registers in so many souls and hearts.

She taught me that when I am troubled and something has defeated me, when I begin to thank God for that adversity, even when I don’t feel like it, my burden is lifted. Lifted by believing with all of my heart that God only intends good for my life. When I begin to thank God for something that is hurting me, and trusting that God is in control, my spirit is lifted from that adversity. Perhaps my circumstance has not change, but my perception of that circumstance and the way I react to it has changed. When I trust that God will give me an answer, believing even when I see none in sight, He always comes through. An answered prayer led me to write a thank you to God, to remind me to always keep my focus on Him. To write the words that will remind me every time I face some adversity that God has been faithful before and He will be faithful again.

How many sweet things dwell in my mind?
Placed there by your precious Holy Spirit’s guidance
and whispered into my soul.

How much inspiration your angels have whispered into my Spirit?
Ideas that I dare not claim to be mine,
but perhaps I have sometimes.

How much Glory have I denied you Lord?
Because your guidance, as I walk thru this avenue called life
deserves all the glory.

How many sweet times have you waited for my company?
And I foolishly busied myself instead with idle tasks.

How many times have I suffered needlessly?
Instead of turning to your Word,
or inviting your sweet presence to visit within.

How many times have I disappointed you Lord?
Yet you are always there when I call on you.

How can I express my love for you? When you have your Glory
honored by more faithful and gifted servants than me.

My heart is full Lord, tears of spirit well in my eyes for the gratefulness I feel. And I am so small in your presence that all that I can do is bow down and praise you.

Amen

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