Good morning. Today is Thursday (pre-Friday), February 7, 2013.
Today is Send a Card to a Friend Day. Sending cards has become almost outdated any more. Poor post office…and now I hear they are cutting out Saturday deliveries. I haven’t been able to find a completely reliable source to verify that, though. For example, the Weekly World News says the post office is shutting down completely on March 2. Aren’t they the ones that always have “bat boy’s” picture on the front cover?
Christi is doing a little better today, I think, but she’s pretty down since Tuesday’s doctor visit. I can only imagine how she feels, thinking that she’s not getting any real help or answers on her foot condition. She’s going to pick up her X-rays from the first doctor she went to today to see if she can get some better help. I’m praying that she can get some peace and a feeling of hope.
Steph and I made it to the gym last night, and we will go back tonight, as she has a training session. Tonight will make three days on her challenge of working out twelve days in February.
The woman I mentioned yesterday, the victim of domestic abuse, is home, I am told. The husband is still in jail, and will likely remain there for some time, as I’m told the police arrived in time to witness the abuse. I’m also told, however, the social services have removed the daughter from the situation, which could cause more stress and depression for the woman. There are also people, friends of hers, that are attempting to offer to keep the child until circumstances improve. There is still much need for prayer.
(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
On this date in 1812, the most prolific of the great 19th century novelists was born. Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth. During his life, “he penned a whole pantheon of works so unique in their style and ability to portray character and caricature that we still use a derivation of his name–Dickensian–to describe both squalid living conditions and humorous if sometimes repulsive people.” When he died on June 9, 1870, he was so revered that “he was buried in Westminster Abbey.”
Today’s birthday (besides Charles Dickens) is Eddie Izzard, born on this date in 1962. Izzard is best known for his stand-up comedy, in which he used to wear women’s clothes and make-up. In spite of the dress, however, he is quite funny, and has a great show on history. I’ll not post a clip here, because of the language, but there are plenty of clips on youtube. My favorite is the one on “cake or death.” As I implied, though…if you are easily offended, I wouldn’t go there.
Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Psalm 106:47
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! Psalm 33:8
Father, show me a glimpse of you this morning, as I read and meditate on your words.
Today I’m reading Isaiah 26:16-19.
16 O LORD, in distress they sought you; they poured out a whispered prayer when your discipline was upon them.
17 Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O LORD;
18 we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.
19 Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.
All of the efforts of humanity produced nothing of value; no deliverance was accomplished. However, there is hope in something only God can do, and that is the resurrection of the dead.
Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “Our Eyes Are On You.” The scripture reading is 2 Chronicles 20:5-12.
5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
6 and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
7 Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?
8 And they have lived in it and have built for you in it a sanctuary for your name, saying,
9 ‘If disaster comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you—for your name is in this house—and cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’
10 And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy—
11 behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
This prayer by Jehoshaphat is one of the best examples of “petitionary prayer” in all of scripture. Jehoshaphat speaks first of God’s help as his people conquered the land, and then the people’s faithfulness in living in the land and building “a sanctuary” for his name. Now, they are being attacked by men from Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir. The perfect attitude before the Lord is stated in verse twelve. “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
I am challenged to meditate on Jehoshaphat’s prayer, along with these words from John Donne, before I offer my petitions to the Lord today. O Lord, never let us think that we can stand by ourselves, and not need you. Amen.
Father, there have been many times in my life where I can say that I have been clueless as to what to do next. However, I can not say with confidence that, in all of those times, my eyes were on you. In recent times, though, this has been true when I have come upon a situation or circumstance in which I knew not what to do. And I pray that it will be true for the rest of my days. If I come to a place where I do not know what to do, may my eyes be firmly fixed on you, the Lord of all creation, the creator and sustainer of my soul. You have blessed us richly, and when we praise you for that. May we not forsake you when we struggle with circumstances. Let us be faithful, like Jehoshaphat, to keep our eyes on you.
In fact, Father, I think we are in the middle of a circumstance where we know not what to do next. This situation with Christi’s foot injury is leaving us puzzled. So, like Jehoshaphat, we cry out to you, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” I keep praying for healing, and I will continue to do so, relentlessly, with hopes that you will act. But even if you don’t, we will keep looking to you for everything. Give us wisdom, hope, and peace today, Lord. I pray also that Christi and I will have a productive and successful work day, and that you will protect us from anxiety or stress. I pray that Stephanie will be drawn closer to you today, and that you will give her wisdom and knowledge for her life.
I pray, still, for the woman who was a victim of domestic abuse the other night. I pray for hope, healing, and supernatural peace that passes all understanding in this situation. I pray that you wrap your arms around this woman and show your love and grace to her in a way that she has never experienced before.
I also continue prayers for Andy, in California, who seems to be in a really bad place right now.
Whatever happens in our lives, we can’t go wrong, even if we don’t know what to do next, if we simply keep our eyes on God.
Grace and peace, friends.