Pray BFF #56 (And prayer update below) March 31, 2004
Dear Prayer Team,
Personal Spiritual Revival
As I nestled under a thick homemade quilt to keep warm, I was praying for God to revive His people, either for our church or around the world, I forget. Suddenly, God opened my eyes to what He was doing in my own life. God has been taking some of my worst moments in the world and turning them into very special, intimate times with Him. God has been reviving me. That is just the answer to prayer I have been looking for.
I have been desperately sick for the last few days. Horrible throat pain keeps me from eating and even swallowing. I was meditating on the words, "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord” (Philippians 3:1). Then all the joys of the past couple days and nights came and filled my mind like a sweet perfume.
Because of the pain, I could not talk. I couldn’t even answer the telephone. My children were making fun of me because of the funny faces and sign language I used to communicate. (I was never good at that stuff). So what else do you do with your time? I prayed and prayed. I thought about His Word and His will. I thought about how He marvelously worked out last week’s schedule. The intense pain didn’t move in until later on Sunday after I had spoken twice. But more than this, even though I couldn’t speak, God enabled me to write and write starting on Monday. I have three speaking engagements this weekend, starting on Friday. These kinds of thoughts of how God has helped me do His will in spite of the pain has brought tears to my eyes. He is refreshing my heart.
Let me share another experience from yesterday. As I was meditating and writing on another passage (James 4:1-3), God again humbled my soul with delight. From a logical perspective, I should have had a foggy mind since I had little sleep the night before. But He kept revealing special truths from the passage in such a way that my soul was excited. God was teaching me when I was desperately sick. I was merely typing and 'mousing' away (I draw a lot of diagrams).
Just last week I sensed that I was getting a bit stale. I wasn’t quite hitting the spiritual mark where I should be. I read His Word but was reluctant to meditate on it. I was quicker to end than start. I asked Him to revive me. It wasn’t until just now that I realized that He used this sickness to turn my heart back to Him. Is it worth it? Definitely.
“Finally, rejoice in the Lord.” My heart has been so happy. I don’t need to speak to be happy. I don’t need to be able to write to have God’s peace in my heart. He is my joy and nothing can take that away! Even if my life is snuffed out (I think I am on the path of recovery by the way), that same joy will subsist right into eternity. No matter what the difficulty the Philippians were facing, they could always have Christ’s joy right in their heart. Right now that is where He is. That is where He, by God’s infinite grace, He always will be.
Praise God for your faithful prayers. God is working and helping during this very busy time. He makes His Name great!