Sunday, November 11, 2007

Focus on Jesus

I was really looking forward to hearing the sermon at church today. Our mission partner from Africa, Jeremiah Pallangyo, was going to preach. Every time I have heard him preach, God's words just flowed. Also, a couple of people at church had planned on praying for me after the service.

Jeremiah's sermon hit home with me ~ it was almost like his words were me specifically. He spoke about how when we focus on our problems in our lives we can be filled with impatience, depression and discouragement.

So, the response to this despair is to put our faith in God that He will help us to handle our problems. To have faith is to have hope in the things that are invisible. Trust in God. Put your mind into the word of the Lord! God will refresh you and give you refreshment in your heart. Jesus should be lifted higher than our problems.

I was reminded that, yes, I will have struggles and trials in my life. However, I will not be alone in the journey and it's very encouraging to glance back and reflect on all of the miracles and answered prayers in my life. I absolutely believe I have been trudging in the wilderness for a while with my Chiari journey. I was greatly encouraged by Jeremiah's sermon and was filled with a renewed sense of hope that would carry me as far as I needed to go.

After the service parishioners were invited to stay and pray for me. I was deeply humbled by the number of people who wanted to lift me up in prayer. I have had hands laid on me in prayer before, but this time was more meaningful, because my mom was there, too. Very specific prayers were lifted up ~ prayers to alleviate my physical symptoms ~ prayers to soften the hearts of the people reviewing my case ~ prayers for swift answers ~ prayers for my family and children ~ prayers for my faith and hope in the Lord.

During the prayers, an image started forming in my mind. I saw a gigantic boulder that was in the middle of the road. Suddenly, the big rock started to roll out of the way and I could see nothing but highway in front of me. The obstacle was removed ~ no explanation ~ it just moved as if someone had commanded it to move!

After the prayers were done I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was no longer anxious about my appeals decision ~ in my heart I knew that no matter what, everything was in God's hands and in His timing.

I have attached a link for Jeremiah's sermon if you would like to hear his words of encouragement.

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