Lost and Imprisoned – for Good

Therefore I am assuming by faith in your faithfulness that my dark time will end and the day will become even more beautiful. How I will praise You and thank You! 

One of my mom’s greatest desires is that her struggle with Alzheimer’s somehow benefit others. Today’s post comes from the first year she was diagnosed. It doesn’t follow the usual pattern, but may offer comfort and hope.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”.  Luke 19:10

Mom’s prayer:

Oh Lord, thank you that are saving me from my “lostness” – that’s just the way I feel now: Lost and confused and frightened. It’s almost like someone else – someone I don’t like much – replaced the old me but imprisons me too.

I know in my mind and my faith and my experiences with Your loving care in the past that you ARE working good out of this morose I am in – perhaps not just for me, maybe for others also.

Thank you that you never did reveal that your people had to be perfect for you to love them and help them – me too, as one of your creations. Therefore I am assuming by faith in your faithfulness that my dark time will end and the day will become even more beautiful. How I will praise You and thank You!

The beginning

Just as a drop of food coloring will make water a pale tint, as you add more drops, it becomes vivid – a complete change. So as we let Jesus come into our lives, we are completely changed.

Mom had a well-established routine of prayer time and meditation before she ever began recording them in these journals. (See about this blog page.) We are forever grateful to her friend Mary Lou for giving her the blank book that inspired her to begin writing them down. Today’s entry is from the first page of the first book.

“For a long time I have wanted to keep a journal of family events and spiritual progress – of ideas as they come, feelings, etc. Much is lost, but I hope to keep a current record now, and as time (and memory) permit, to reflect on what has happened previously.”

The entry is fairly long, and totally awesome, and I will type the whole thing here – but if you don’t have time to read it all, let me start with an illustration from the middle so you don’t miss that:

“Just as a drop of food coloring will make water a pale tint, as you add more drops, it becomes vivid – a complete change. So as we let Jesus come into our lives, and as the Holy Spirit guides us, and we become more and more mature Christians, our lives are completely changed.”

Now, back to the beginning…

“This morning I had a particularly moving prayer and meditation time. For some time I have been concerned that my desire for beauty, harmony and order was a selfish, impractical desire. However, today it seemed God was conveying to me that He has a plan for each of us – that He made us in His image, yet each person uniquely fitted for the job he is do do. The qualities of beauty, harmony and order are all in keeping with His World and His Word.

It seemed I was to do my work through qualities of yielding, softness – although these are not particularly in my character, it seemed that (as experienced in ‘My Heart’ – ‘Christ’s Home’) – if I will relax and let Jesus guide my hands (tongue, etc.) He will reach others through me, using these very qualities of beauty, harmony and order that are comforting to me, and yet have up til now been a source of aggravation because I could not attain them to my satisfaction.

I turned in the Bible then to Romans 10:8 through 15:6. It all seemed very clear. Especially interesting: 10:15 ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace with God.’ Also 11:6 ‘And since Abraham and the prophets are God’s people, their children will be too. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be too.’

12:3 ‘Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has has given you. Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we each have different work to do… (6) God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.’

13:9 ‘All 10 (commandments) are wrapped up in this one, to love your neighbor as you love yourself… It is the only law you need.’

In meditation, I had the concept that just as a drop of food coloring will make water a pale tint, as you add more drops, it becomes vivid – a complete change. So as we let Jesus come into our lives, and as the Holy Spirit guides us, and we become more and more mature Christians, our lives are completely changed.

Romans 13 ‘Obey the government.’ (Obey authority: This brings order.)

Romans 12:18 ‘Don’t quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible.’

Late afternoon – Karen came in to talk with me, and I was writing in mid-afternoon. We had a wonderful discussion about God, and I felt I wanted to see if she’d like to read “A Man Called Peter”. She read one of the sermons to me while I ironed and washed dishes. She really liked it and wants to read the book. Then we read ‘The 4 Spiritual Laws’ and the ‘Holy Spirit’ booklets. It’s been a wonderful day – thank you Lord!”

I would have been 12 at the time and don’t have a specific memory of that day but reading about it brings a smile and a warm sense of love. So typical of a summer day with my Mom. Today is my birthday – this entry is her birthday gift to me. I echo her sentiment “Thank you Lord!”

Beloved, Cherished, Trusting

Lord, here I am – your beloved child, your cherished child and at least at some level, your trusting child. Therefore, I yield to your will; I seek your guidance; I trust you to take good care of me.

Meditation Thought: “In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:3)

How exciting a new birth is – the joy of creation, the awe for this little one who is so helpless, yet so precious. That must be the way you feel about me! It must be the way you feel about everyone!

If I can think of myself as your precious little one whom you are giving wonderful, loving care – but are also having to be ‘tough’ with at times because you know what is best for me, then perhaps I will trust you more fully and obey you more diligently, knowing that you will in the end be the one that was right after all!

Lord, here I am – your beloved child, your cherished child and at least at some level, your trusting child. Therefore, I yield to your will; I seek your guidance; I trust you to take good care of me.

Light of Life

With light we see clearly – we can appreciate what we see; we can travel the way we choose to go, and thus we can accomplish what we desire to accomplish.

Meditation Thought: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Light versus darkness – what a difference in these two situations! In darkness we are disoriented and confused about how we can get to where we want to go.

With light we see clearly – we can appreciate what we see; we can travel the way we choose to go, and thus we can accomplish what we desire to accomplish.

Who is this person who wants me to follow him? Is He the one whom I should follow? What is this man’s character? He obeyed God’s commands, even to the point of terrible pain and sacrifice in the body. He preached love and revealed God as a loving Father. He performed miracles to reveal the powerfulness and goodness of God.

Yes, I am willing to follow Him. I’m weak and cowardly but He promised that He would put an indwelling Spirit of God within me so that I could become a person who would develop the character and faith that He demonstrated for me and for others.

Lord, I’m a weak and selfish-natured person to be given such an undertaking. But that is the whole point, isn’t it? With this nature any improvements and works due to those improvements become a light unto Your path. Thank You!

The Key

Truth, trust, hope, perseverance: four words that can be the key to the life God surely intends for each of us.

Meditation Thought: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:6-8)

Truth, trust, hope, perseverance: four words that can be the key to the life God surely intends for each of us.

Truth. Without truth, we cannot deal with reality of a situation. How much trouble we get into and cause for others when we believe something to be true – and it isn’t!

Trust. Without trust we fear to move ahead, and perhaps miss out on the wonderful works God would like us to do in us and through us.

Hope. Without hope we get stuck in the mire of the situation that distresses us instead of lifting our feet to get out of the sticky ground.

Perseverance. Without perseverance we not only stay in the miry mud, but we miss out on the great events that can take place on the solid ground when we step on it.

Lord, help me to look ahead and eagerly lift my feet – even if slowly and with difficulty – to get out of the mire!

Fellow Travelers

Perhaps if more people thought in terms that we might travel the very path that others travel we would be more accepting of them as co-travelers and more eager to help – and be helped.

Meditation Thought: “A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.” (Proverbs 11:17)

Lord, is this the same thing as “what comes around goes around?” Somehow thinking in these terms really makes sense. So many things in our lives seem to travel in circles. Perhaps if more people thought in terms that we might travel the very path that others travel we would be more accepting of them as co-travelers and more eager to help – and be helped.

Maybe you made you made us with a ‘sixth sense’ that we move in circles, perhaps returning over and over into the same places, even though we might not recognize them as the same because their ‘season’ has given them a different look. Perhaps as we repeat our journey we are to grow more knowledgeable and able to travel more alertly and competently and appreciatively.

If so, help me cope better and better with each encounter, and Lord, I do have the desire to learn from my journey and to help others learn more about you and your will for their lives in addition to them becoming more aware of your reality.

Accept it

Since I didn’t create anything on my own, I can’t control anything on m own.

Meditation Thought: “…whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

“Think about such things. This is the key to opening the door that reveals the reality of My creation. You would have me orchestrate every detail so you could be comfortable and happy and content 100% of the time. This is not feasible. Our relationship could not have the depth we both desire if we did not have the interaction of dealing with problems and of solving them together. You do get frustrated – even somewhat rebellious and angry at times when you are aggravated with visitations. But think: How often have these annoying situations brought about visibly good results when you pray and when you try to deal with them competently? Yes, you know! Much good for you and for others has resulted. Your trials enable you to ease the way for others who have similar trials – just as you experience their helping you from the knowledge gained from their own trials. You may not like this arrangement, but it is My will and My plan. Accept it; there is a purpose, and you shall gain as you learn from each experience.”

Response: All right, Lord. I admit I’d rather have my own way – all ‘sweetness and light’ in my life, but since I didn’t create anything on my own, I can’t control anything on m own. I’m ‘stuck’ with You being my ‘parent’ as well as my Creator. I don’t often think of it as ‘being stuck’, but at downhearted moments, I have to admit that I’d like to have my own agenda. At one level I know I’m not that competent, just as a child is not competent to handle the situation he is exposed to at times. That doesn’t stop us from being ‘pouty’ at times, though, does it? Thank you for forgiving us when we realize that we hadn’t seen the whole picture clearly and that you were right after all!