THE OUTPOURING…


Elijah said to Ahab 1 Kings 18:41 “…. there is the sound of abundance of rain.”

There is both trouble and revival or restoration coming!  We are informed of that reality in Hebrews 12:27 which tells us that everything that can be shaken will be shaken. I have long believed that day is coming.  I have preached it, testified of it, and now deep inside I, sense it an imminent reality! 

Evil has increased its activity and has been emboldened by the complacency of the church.  However, I believe that God will allow it to go only so far and then say, ENOUGH!   At that moment in time, there will be an outpouring on hungry hearts that will be in a greater measure than we have ever seen, or history has ever known. We read in Psalms 8:2 and Matthew 21:16 that, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings will come strength and perfected praise.”   My cry is “I’m thirsty Lord! I’m hungry Lord! Let it begin in me!” 

In Acts 2:14-21, we read, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17’And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. 21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’”

I’m not as young as I once was and I’m having dreams about this Outpouring!  It’s not a question of will it come, it’s a question of “Will we be in it? Will, we present vessels, new wineskins to receive the New Wine?”   I believe that Preparation Always precedes Blessing! We need to make the valleys of our lives full of ditches so the water of God can fill us to overflowing!

May the LORD help you to create a hungry heart and thirst for His outpouring.  Walk in the rich blessings of God on this beautiful day!

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS PRAYING FOR AND THROUGH US…


Romans 8:26-27 – “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” NKJV

Sometimes, in life, we do not know how to pray or what to pray.  We know that according to 1 John 5:14-15 – “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”  There are times when we pray, and nothing seems to happen.  In those times we wonder, are we asking according to His will? 

We are reminded of the words of our Lord in, John 14:13-14 – “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”  Also, in Matthew 7:7-9 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Yet, we sometimes still seem to be praying into a brass covered heaven and hitting a brick wall.

Those are the times that we need for the Holy Spirit, our comforter, our advocate to come into the situation and “pray for us” because He knows exactly what the will of God is and Exactly what to pray, what to say when to say it, and how to say it.  He knows the Purposes of God.  We sometimes get lost in the immediate, the pain, the problem, the circumstances, the situation, but He Always sees the Big Picture and the Whole Counsel of God.  He is to be trusted!

More times than I can count, I have relied on that truth to get me through situations that I could not explain, did not understand, and could not seem to break through praying in my own understanding.  I needed the divine help of the Paraclete, the Comforter, the Helper, the One Jesus said He would send to guide us and teach us all truth. 

In our current battle with the pain my wife is suffering, I have called upon the Lord to allow the Holy Spirit to pray for me, through me, and intercede before the Father.  I have many friends doing that and I know that victory is ours although not yet manifest in the natural world.  We believe it is a spiritual reality.  Therefore, we rest in the comfort of the Comforter and know that His intercession will prevail in this battle leading us to triumph and He will do the same for you in your struggle.

May God grant you His peace, power, presence, and promises as you go through your day and days in pursuit of His purposes in your life!  Blessings!

THE RACE SET BEFORE US…


Hebrews 12:1-3 – “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” NASB

The Lord reminded me of what a friend told me as I was preparing to leave for boot camp in the ’60s. He said, “When I went to boot camp, I told myself there have been thousands of people who made it through before me so if they could do it I can.” I made that my goal and made it through. I had the same goal in my other training and in Vietnam. Now I have that goal in my Christian walk.

We have a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.  The angels who have seen it, and the saints who have run the race and gone on to their reward are testimonies of the reality.  I do not make this goal in my own strength but as the writer of Hebrews instructs, “fixing my eyes upon Jesus, the author, and perfecter of my faith…” It is through Him, by Him, and in Him that I can run this race.

Like the athletes in the competitions of Paul’s day, I lay aside every encumbrance, weight, and sin that would entangle me.  I run the race with the endurance of the Holy Spirit’s strength.  I can because He has!  I will because He did!  I am because He is!  We must run with no thought of quitting or turning aside. We must run totally dependent upon His grace and strength.

Because He lives, I can face today, tomorrow, and embrace yesterday. Jesus is our Hope, our Strength, our Life! As someone said, “I don’t know what we will look like when we get there, but we will get there!”  The battle scars, the wounds of life do not matter, only finishing the race matters!  He has made the way. He has and does give us strength. Though all hell assails me, Heaven will not fail me, and I will make it through to the other side in Jesus!

I speak a blessing upon each of you as you begin this day and as you take the next step in your journey through this thing called life!  Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus and you will run your race with patience and obtain the prize of the High Calling and enter in!

May today be the best day of your life thus far!

FOLLOWING GOD’S PRESCRIPTION…


Philippians 4:4-9 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Meditate on These Things. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” NKJV

Over the past few years, as most of you know, we have been battling some serious issues in my wife’s battle with Stage Four Metastatic Breast Cancer.  We have tried everything that the doctors have prescribed, and nothing has produced the desired results.  Some things seemingly have allowed things to grow worse in a few areas.  Her pain has, at times, been enormous, and I sometimes find myself focusing on her suffering and, that focus seems to be more in the forefront of my mind than the one who made and can heal this body.  I say that to my shame.  I have complained, at times, and fought to keep from adopting a “Woe is me” mindset. 

Recently I reread this passage and the conviction of the Holy Spirit flooded my heart and I have renewed my commitment and trust in the Lord, His promises, and word.  I will follow His instructions:

  • Rejoicing must and I seek to make it the first and central attitude of my heart each day both at the beginning of the day and throughout the day.
  • I will endeavor to walk with a gentle spirit towards other people and not be judgmental.
  • I will refuse to “worry” and will replace “anxiousness” with prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving making my requests known to God in detail and in humility.
  • I determine with the help of the Holy Spirit to allow the peace of God that passes all understanding have free reign in my heart and guide my life.
  • I will meditate on the things of God, feasting on His word, person, and promises.
  • I will meditate on truth, purity, the beauty of God and His creation, nobility, good reports, virtue, and find something to praise God about in everything I encounter.
  • I will meditate on these things and allow the Holy Spirit to guide each footstep in peace.

I don’t know what the doctors will tell us in the days ahead, but we have set our hearts to rejoice in God’s guidance.  We don’t know if she may endure pain for a longer season, but we will rejoice in the peace, person, presence, provision, promises, and power of God.  We have set our hearts to refuse to focus on the cancer and focus on the King and the Kingdom and His purposes for her life and the task before us. 

We have determined to allow Him to do whatever works in us He desires. We do not attributed the cancer to Him and do not believe that God inflicts His children with disease to teach them lessons. We desire, in all things that He will bring us to the place He wants us to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and physically.  We are not saying that God brought this or even that it is to teach anything.  We know that this is an attack of hell and, but we are determined to TRUST GOD!  Today we are rejoicing in the Lord for the Good Things He Has Done!

Blessings as you continue your walk in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH FEAR?


David said:

Psalms 56:3-4 – ” Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. 4 In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” NKJV

Isaiah said:

Isaiah 12:1-3 – “O LORD, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. 2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.” 3 Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” NKJV

All of us have faced Fear and most of us will experience it again if not multiple times. How do you handle it? How do you face it? How do you respond to it?

David & Isaiah both expressed how they approached fear when it raised its ugly head in their lives.  David & Isaiah both expressed how they approached fear when it raised its ugly head in their lives.

David’s approach was when fear came his first response was to turn to the Lord in trust! He turned his praise and prayer to the Lord and in that confidence knew that flesh might be able to kill his body but that was it nothing more. He dispelled his fear or channeled his fear to the Lord and rested in God’s strength.

Isaiah’s approach was a little different he said I will trust and not be afraid. His expression seemed to be one that reflected walking in trust as a daily companion and therefore fear was dispelled. Both said much the same thing but one expressed fear coming then turning to the Lord for His strength the other expressed a walking in the Lord and they allowed fear to find no place in their lives.

Either way, we need to learn that when events, enemies, circumstances, etc. surround us and place us in a position where fear is a possibility we turn to the LORD and begin Praising & Worshipping Him. It is vital that we turn to the LORD in Prayer and out of the confidence that comes through those efforts and our knowledge and confidence in Him. We walk out of fear into faith and Trust the LORD!  the worst that man can do to us is end this mortal life, but he cannot touch the eternal soul.

Therefore, as we go through the day and in the days to come when evil surrounds us and troubles come, we lift our hearts and eyes to Him who can destroy both the body and soul.  We turn to Him who can place us in His pavilion tent and protect us. We run to Him who is our Savior, Redeemer, and Lord!  He will never leave us nor forsake us and no matter what the trial.  He is greater than the trial. We either walk out of the trial on earth or we walk into the portals of Glory! Either way, it is a victory!

Remember, the devil does not deserve one second of your time concerning yourself with what he is doing. What he is doing is not your guide, God’s Word is. Do not react to the devil’s activities but respond to God’s Promises..

May the Lord Bless you as you go through your day! Trust and not be afraid!

GOD’S PROTECTION IS FOREVER…


Psalms 64:1-10 – “Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation; Preserve my life from fear of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the… secret plots of the wicked, from the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, 3 Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows — bitter words, 4 That they may shoot in secret at the blameless; Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear. 5 They encourage themselves in an evil matter; they talk of laying snares secretly; they say, “Who will see them?” 6 They devise iniquities: “We have perfected a shrewd scheme. Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep. 7 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly they shall be wounded. 8 So He will make them stumble over their own tongue; All who see them shall flee away. 9 All men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; For they shall wisely consider His doing. 10 The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and trust in Him. and all the upright in heart shall glory.” NKJV

Considering the condition of the world today, the Lord sought to bring comfort to my heart, and I share that this morning.  I have discovered that when we read records of David praying, we frequently find trouble and resolution in his prayers.  Here David was faced with a situation where his enemies wanted to destroy him.  There were secret plots, vicious lies being told, bitter words and accusations, snipers taking potshots at him, and conspiracy.  In some ways, we can relate this to what is going on in America and the world today against believers, freedom, and liberty.

David went on to say that they “encourage themselves in an evil matter”. They make plans to entrap and boldly think within themselves, who will see and who can do anything about it even if they see. They consider their scheme shrewd and it runs to the foundation of their being, heart, mind, and soul. It is a bleak picture that David has painted about what is going on around him. Today many believers and lovers of liberty are almost in despair.

I find it powerful and encouraging as I read this prayer because David brings out the big guns of hope. Notice verse seven:

  • God will shoot them with an arrow.  God, not man!
  • They will be suddenly wounded.
  • God will make them stumble over their own tongue.  God, not man! They will totally expose themselves with their own words.
  • Those that see then will flee away.  There will be the exposure of the lies, deception, and planned destruction.
  • All men will fear and Declare the Work of the LORD!  Men will recognize that it is the hand of God that brought deliverance not the work of man.
  • Then, the Righteous shall be glad in the Lord and Trust Him. And the Upright of Heart shall Glory!

The Lord spoke again to my spirit and instructed me to pray, intercede, and lay myself before Him in all areas of life and allow Him to intervene. What I heard was to pray like never before and then do what we hear Him say do and say what we hear Him say. Be vigilant, be diligent, be faithful, and be courageous. The wicked will perish but the righteous will flourish like the grass in springtime!  Lift up your heads, Redemption Draws Near!  I’m encouraged today knowing that God is in control and no matter what man may do we Still Belong to Him! 

Blessings to each of you on this beautiful day that the Lord has made…Let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

ETERNAL vs. TEMPORAL…


2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  NKJV

For a long time, I have drawn comfort from this passage knowing that it was written by a man, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who had suffered greatly for the cause of the Kingdom of God.  Yet, he brings us face to face with a clear and manageable reality that will enable us to press through any situation.

  • He calls attention to the fact that we are all dying (naturally) daily.  It begins the moment we are born but being renewed daily (spiritually) on the inside.  This house of clay is temporary, but the house of the Spirit of God is eternal.
  • He calls our sufferings and struggles, “light afflictions” but puts them in perspective telling us that they are “momentary” and are “working in us” something far more valuable than freedom from pain, stress, and difficulty in this life.
  • He brings us face to face with the truth that what we see around us is “temporary”, but those unseen things in the Spiritual Realm are “eternal” and to be focused on.  It keeps everything in perspective.

I’ve known people that were so courageous in their suffering that they and their courage will never be forgotten and always be an inspiration.  One particular young man in Vietnam, who knew he was not going to live was so courageous that he refused to be extracted from the battlefield, held his position though mortally wounded and laid down cover so his comrades in arms could make it to safe cover.  His selfless sacrifice and unyielding commitment to his brothers in arms are so indelibly imprinted upon my mind that I find it difficult to complain about anything because what I face is truly “light affliction.”   Compared to his and the sufferings of others this is “light.” 

I’ve seen people terminally ill who refused to lie down and die but continued to minister to others even in the most excruciating pain.  They knew their life was soon to be over but that those they were ministering to would live on for years and their focus became the strengthening of that which remained to advance the Kingdom rather than focus on their present condition. 

How, can I complain when I remember things like that?  When I think of the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and the preparation for the Cross, I realize that I should not complain about my “light affliction” but should strive to learn to turn it into a greater weight of glory for the Kingdom of God.

My present physical pain is minor compared to what many are facing daily and yet I find myself focusing on it from time to time and then coming under conviction about my “self-focus” when I could be focusing on matters of the Kingdom.  I am not saying God gave me this pain, because He didn’t and know that He can and will bring full healing to my body and my wife. 

What I am saying is that I am striving to keep my focus on the “unseen” and to minister in the “seen” to make a difference for eternity.  The more I focus and invest myself in Kingdom Purposes, the less I focus on my current “light affliction” and the less it controls my thinking and the less it hinders.  It is a ‘light affliction’ should I live my life in physical pain that is minor compared to eternity.  Each of us has much to give and as frail human beings, so little time (considering eternity) to give it.  Therefore, let us lift our eyes heavenward and our focus outward rather than inward, rejoicing in the opportunity to serve the King and advance His Kingdom!

May God bless you as you enjoy this beautiful day in the Lord! 

OLD AGE IS NOT THE PROBLEM…


Psalms 71:17-21 “God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I have constantly told others about the wonderful things you do. 18 Now that I am old and gray,

do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.  19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God?  20 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. 21 You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.”  NLT

Recently I was talking to a couple of twenty-something people and they were complaining that their pastor was old and out of touch with modern times.  They even stated that, in their view, once a person was past sixty (60) they should no longer serve as a pastor because they were unable to relate to the younger crowd.  I found that both disturbing and amusing and took the opportunity to share some insight both from the Bible and experience, myself having surpassed that discard age they were speaking of.

This Psalm has brought comfort, encouragement, joy, and challenge to me for a long time and even more so as I grow older.  I asked them if they knew the story of Moses and how God used him to lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage.  They needed to be reminded of the three divisions of Moses’ life – 40 years learning in Egypt, 40 years maturing in the wilderness – 40 years doing God’s work in leading His people.  His full ministry didn’t begin until age 80.  They were speechless. 

I asked about the story of Abraham and how at 100 years old he bore the son who would become the father of the people through whom our Savior came into this world.  They were silenced.  I asked them about Caleb when Israel was led into the promised, land by Joshua, and he at eighty plus took the mountain as his possession.  They had nothing to say. 

I quoted them from Job 12:12 – “Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding.”  Also, Proverbs 16:31 – “A gray head is a crown of glory…”  At that point, I asked them if they felt that their life experiences had taught them as much as their pastor’s life experiences or if he had possibly learned some things along the way that could be of benefit to them. 

One of them, with tears glistening in her eyes, said, “I never thought of it that way.  I have been so wrong.”  I asked them to consider their own parents and grandparents and asked, “Do you want to discard them when they reach old age or now that they have become seasoned citizens?”  Should we just provide a place for everyone over sixty (60) to be taken hidden away! 

I confess that many of us who are older do not know the lingo, keep up with the modern music, drink the modern Kool-Aid, dance to the modern beat, sing the modern songs, or think with the modern progressive mentality.  Some of us have built “memorial stones” along the way to help keep us on course and we’ve seen troubles and difficulties.  We have fought battles and learned through suffering and want to never forget the goodness of God through it all. 

For those of you who are older, God is nowhere near through with you.  Your experiences in life are so valuable and need to be shared with the generations who have followed you.  Your wisdom needs to be proclaimed.  They may not listen but at least you can plant the seeds of knowledge and trust God to send another to water them and trust Him to send the sunlight and warmth to cause those seeds to grow. 

So I challenge and urge you to treasure your years and wear them as a badge of honor and consider them a reminder of your opportunity if not obligation to press ever onward and upward, leading all who will follow and teaching all who will listen of the Glory of God’s Goodness!  Your gray head is not a sign of becoming valueless but a sign of value!  Old age (years) is not the problem, growing old in your mind (mentality) is. 

I treasure what I learned from my elders and want to pass on what I’ve learned to those following my footsteps.  I’m not an old man I am a man in whom God has deposited years of life more priceless than silver or gold.  I have value and know it!  I have something to share and share it!  I refuse to just fade away when there is so much to share and so little time to share it.

Therefore, I encourage each of you, older or younger to learn to value life and refuse to allow a moment of it to be wasted.  LIVE IT!  LOVE IT!  SHARE IT! 

I pray the blessings of God upon each of you and may you have a marvelous day in Jesus!

THREE KEYS TO VICTORY IN LIFE…


Romans 12:9-21 – “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.  14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  NASB

This passage gives much more than my title suggests, but I want to focus on those three things for this discussion.  Paul gives us the foundation leading up to his powerful prescription in verse 12 by telling us to Love without hypocrisy, abhor evil, cling to the good, be devoted to brotherly love, honor one another, and to be diligent, fervent in spirit, and serve the Lord with our all.  Then he comes to the three keys to victory:

  • REJOICE IN HOPE.   (Without hope life becomes an almost impossible task for the human soul.  Jesus is our Hope, not the government, not the church, and not man – JESUS!  If we have Hope, we have an expectation of life that will enable us to walk through anything.
  • PERSEVERE IN TRIBULATION.  (Trials, troubles, difficulties, setbacks, problems come to each of us and how we handle those problems largely depends on the first item on the list – Hope.  If we are living in “hope” we are more able to walk through the time of tribulation than if we are Hopeless.  When our focus is on our Great Hope, we have an Expectation of Ultimate Victory and therefore a renewed strength and determination that enables us (Grace) to walk through the fire and the flood.)
  • DEVOTED IN PRAYER.  (Without this the first two fall apart.  Without determined, consistent, committed communication with the Lord, we will be in danger of falling into self-pity, self-focus, and self-centeredness rather than making Him the center of our universe we will be.  At that point, we are candidates for despair rather than victory.  But if we keep our eyes on the prize of the High Calling and on the Lord Jesus Christ, we can go through anything that is set before us because of our assurance and hope in Him.)

As you begin your day, begin it with a commitment to Hope, Perseverance, and Prayer.  I pray that the LORD will give you the Grace to walk through the situation and empower you to overcome anything you face.  It may not be easy or pretty, but you will come out on the other side in Victory! 

Blessings as enjoy this wonderful day the LORD has given.

WHEN YOU ARE ALONE WITH GOD – YOU ARE NOT ALONE…


Mark 1:35 – “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” NASB

Several years ago, I spent months with intense hip pain.  It was a pain that did not have a definitive diagnosis.  The doctors were giving me no real explanations as to the root cause of the pain. The pain became persistent and at times acute.  I learned a much-needed new lesson through that alone time with God. 

I don’t know if you have experienced it, but many times friends and family proved to be physicians of no value.  They meant well and their words and actions are well-intentioned, they produce no comfort, give no answers, and only brought more questions.  I even had one person tell me, “Well everybody hurts.”  I tried numerous types of therapy, had X-rays, a C.T. Scan, saw several specialists, listened to explanations by radiologists, had adjustments, laser treatment, and tried water therapy, yet the pain and problem were persistent.  That continued for about four months. 

There were times I tried to tell myself, as did Paul, that the situation was a thorn in the flesh to keep me focused.  In those times, I would find myself saying, “Roy, shake yourself and tell myself to just deal with it.”  It did not take long for me to realize that this was not something to keep me focused but a physical issue that had a cause and an answer. 

I discovered that although I was normally good at communicating with others, I had difficulty getting people in the medical profession to comprehend what I was telling them about what I felt.  They listen but didn’t listen.  They looked at the reports, X-rays, C.T. Scans, treatments, and formed a conclusion before they even talked to me.  Once that came into the examination room, they would attempt to press upon me what they perceived to be the problem.  They did not often grasp the severity I was experiencing and would leave me without answers or solutions. 

Sometimes even sitting with a doctor I would feel that I was in a room by myself and completely alonePain is a strong enemy to health, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and relationally.  It can become a virtual “prison” and must be addressed either by receiving relief or learning how to manage it.  Otherwise, it will become the dominating factor in our thinking. 

My only solution to this problem was found in the “alone time” with God.  I discovered that when I was alone with God I was not alone!  I know that the one who made this body knows exactly what is going on and exactly what to do.  Even more importantly I know that He will never leave me nor forsake me NO MATTER WHAT! 

I have had issues with my back for years.  I have some malformations in my spine that I’ve had from birth.  I have degenerative discs and joint disease, arthritic symptoms, conditions, and signs, inflammation of tissue, possible nerve damage, etc. yet no real plan on how to address those issues.  I have learned to roll this on the One and Only One who “truly knows” exactly what the situation is and what to do about it. 

Over these months of excruciating pain, I learned afresh and anew the value of “alone time” with God.  Not so much me talking and telling Him my troubles but sitting in His presence listening.  There would be times when I sensed that He was cradling me in His loving arms and comforting me through His presence.  I renewed my appreciation for His word and being sensitive to the “still small voice” of the Spirit of God.

I knew that although I did not know what the final outcome in the natural would be, I knew that I knew that “in God”, I am Never Alone and would Never Be Forsaken.   I know that when I am alone with God I am not alone! 

I pray that the Holy Spirit will enable you to have some “alone time” with God today.  Blessings!