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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 306 - But I Still Trust God {FMF}

Five Minute Friday again, and again I have to write in advance of the keyword reveal. But I will try to work it in when it's available. I just don't have the dependable energy to do this otherwise. *The word is SHOULD, and it's in there somewhere.)

And things are getting worse, and harder. Adapt to one level of pain, and another appears. Make allowances for fatigue, and then you have to make allowances on top of those allowances.

I believe the scientific term is circling the drain.

Yes, I've heard the advice. "Curse God and die!"I've heard this from devout Christians who are sick of watching someone of whom they are fond fighting a losing battle.

But I don't think I'll curse Him, and I don't plan on dying anytime soon.

I plan on trusting Him even more.

Item - in 2005, Barbara was in a spectacular rollover accident that left the cab of her beloved Dodge pickup crushed...except for a dome-shaped spot where her head was. (Yes, I'm aware of the alternative explanation that her hard head was the immovable object.)

Item - in December of 2016, Barb was run off the highway, and the ensuing off-road trip (in a Chevrolet Cobalt) trashed the front suspension and brakes, to the tune of $700...which was the amount of the Christmas bonus she had just received.

Item - last week Barb was having trouble with the Cobalt's clutch, and when she took it to the shop the mechanic was aghast, and did not know how she had managed to keep driving the thing. The clutch was shot...another $700. No Christmas bonus, but the timing of the calendar and her pay periods ensures that occasionally she gets back-to-back cheques without the mortgage having to come out of one...and this $700 came out the day after she had received the second non-mortgage paycheque. The timing could not have been better.

But this isn't why I trust God. It is cool, though.

I trust Him because of what I find in my own heart; as the days get harder an the dreams and hopes fade,I find something there, a voice that's not my own.

It's a voice that says, be your best.

It's not something the 'natural' me wants; I'm very, very tired, and in more pain, all the time, than I thought I could ever stand. I don't want to be my best, and what's the point? It's too much work!

The point is that we hold Christ's love in trust. He gave His Blood, His Sacrifice to us, trusting that we would live His example, and extend the grace that He has made our birthright...if we accept it.

But the problem is that it's too heavy for us to bear, individually. We have to share it, pass it around, and not hold it to ourselves.

We have to give grace away in the trust that there is enough for us.

And the only way we can do that is to be our best. The ultimate achievement becomes the ultimate surrender becomes the ultimate trust.

And yes, it's hard. Most days I am like a child being taught penmanship, my hand being guided by One that is larger and infinitely patient, turning my shaky scrawls into coherent copperplate.

Other days I'm worse; a whiny kick-over-the-toybox kid who has to do it all himself. And I don't want this to be happening anyway! It' not fair!

The best I can be is only reachable by accepting that help...by trusting that Hand.

And in that trust, I find victory in surrender...I win as I lose.

I should have known...

So, now, over to ABBA, and a song that explains this theological point perfectly...and what a beat!



A bit of news..."Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart" has come home! Tate Publishing has gone south, and I regained the rights, so it'll soon be available in both Kindle hardcopy versions once again. In the meantime, if you absolutely can't wait (!), you can still get used copies from Amazon.


I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.



Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.




























51 comments:

  1. It is so encouraging to see your faith and determination to keep trusting God. Praying for you tonight.

    And hooray for another Abba song! They are one of my favorites! :D

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    1. Rachel, thank you so much for your kind words and your prayers. They are appreciated, and very much needed.

      So glad you liked the song! One of my favourite groups, too.

      Praying for you, my friend.

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  2. Awww, Andrew. Another amazing post. I love how God has protected and provided for you and Barb. I love how He keeps showing up and helping you walk out this terribly horrible journey. I love that you can see Him in your days and choose Him when some would be bitter against Him.

    Thank you for sharing your hard, and your incredible faith.

    I think this is what spoke the most deeply to me tonight: "And the only way we can do that is to be our best. The ultimate achievement becomes the ultimate surrender becomes the ultimate trust."

    Thank you my friend. As always, I am continuing to pray for you.

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    1. Jeanne, thank you so much for this. He does indeed keep showing up, sometimes in big ways, and sometimes in details that are easy to overlook. But He's always there.

      We so appreciate your prayers. As I write this, B has had a migraine for two days, and I have been the caregiver.

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  3. I LOVE the analogy of God's hand holding our shaky hand and turning our feeble efforts into something beautiful. Praying for you, brother!

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    1. Anita, I'm so glad you liked that image! It came as kind of a revelation, and for that reason I was unsure whether to include it. Glad I did.

      Thank you so much for the prayers. Need 'em.

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  4. Spectacular! Bravo. Another well written post, and God delivered right on time. How cool is that?! To God be the glory. Amen?

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    1. Indeed, Norma, to God ALL the glory!

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  5. Andrew,
    I love this line "I trust Him because of what I find in my own heart; as the days get harder an the dreams and hopes fade,I find something there, a voice that's not my own". How true is that! I have no words that make sense outside of His working in and through me. Our dreams fade and His take a front seat, our hopes are replaced with His hope. I too have a couple of car accident stories that by all reason should have left me for dead. Our times are in His hands. Praying for our with every remembrance of you and Barbara and the dogs!

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    1. Mary, thank you so much! And I am SO glad that God brought you through those accidents!

      I, too have a few car accidents...and a couple of aeroplane and helicopter accidents...and a motorcycle wreck...and then when I went horseback riding...but these were all kind of fun.

      We all appreciate the prayers so very, very much.

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  6. Every week is an amazement of not should but did.

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    1. Susan, all I can say is, thank you. XOXOWaggyWaggyWOOF!

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  7. No, don't curse God and die friend! (And I know you won't) God is teaching you, and all of us who read your words so much through your situation.

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    1. Oh, Christy, thank you so much for this lovely, loving affirmation!

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  8. "We have to give grace away in the trust that there is enough for us": now THAT is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. (Sometimes nothing but the King James will do!)

    As always, I love your music choice. "I feel like I win when I lose" -- that IS the Gospel right there, isn't it? Thanks so much for writing, Andrew; your words are always a gift.

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    1. jeannie, you're so right...sometimes the KJV really says it all.

      I'm so glad you liked the musical choice, and even more glad that, well, glad that you're here. I appreciate you, more than you may know.

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  9. You can never go wrong with Abba! And grace, my friend, is indeed a gift; unearned, freely given. Continually praying for you and Barbara. I'm in the 30 spot this week.

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    1. Tara, that's so true...both Abba and ABBA are good for the soul. Thank you so very much for they prayers. They are needed.

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  10. I Love this: "But I don't think I'll curse Him, and I don't plan on dying anytime soon.
    I plan on trusting Him even more."
    Your faith and determination are inspiring, and it's so true that surrender is the way to victory even though it doesn't always feel like it. Praying for you.

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    1. Lesley, I so appreciate your words here...they give me strength and hope, and the determination to...well...write on.

      And thank you so much for the prayers.

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  11. I love this, Andrew! "I trust Him because of what I find in my own heart; as the days get harder an the dreams and hopes fade,I find something there, a voice that's not my own." #findinghope and visiting from #fmf Have a blessed day!

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    1. Carolina, thank you. I'm so glad that these words resonated in your heart!

      Blessings back!

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  12. Love this so much: "But this isn't why I trust God. It is cool, though.

    I trust Him because of what I find in my own heart; as the days get harder an the dreams and hopes fade,I find something there, a voice that's not my own.

    It's a voice that says, be your best."

    So true!! I love those moments when it feels like God is tangibly caring for me. But that's not WHY I trust him.

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    1. Annie, yes, exactly...it would be natural to extend trust in return for that tangible care, but to be solid, it has to go deeper. Thank you for this!

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  13. I couldn't help but think of John 16:33 when reading. Take heart, friend, Jesus has overcome the world!
    Love this: "And the only way we can do that is to be our best. The ultimate achievement becomes the ultimate surrender becomes the ultimate trust."

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    1. Mandy, thank you so much for adding John 16:33...it's perfect!

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  14. Thank you for visiting my blog and the kind words you said. I really appreciate it.

    I admire your courage from what you said in this post. I will pray for you.

    Cathy #10 FMF

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    1. Cathy, I really enjoyed your blog, and found great wisdom in your words.

      I truly appreciate - and very much need - your prayers.

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  15. Hey Andrew! Good to see you here this week...so glad you're trusting God all the more in spite of circumstances. It always encourages me to do likewise! #FMF #34

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    1. Amy, thank you for this...the highest accolade I can receive is that I've helped someone in their faith walk. I am so delighted by your comment!

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  16. Andrew, your words are true: "I find victory in surrender...I win as I lose." We are on the winning side, and I celebrate that victory in Jesus with you. Tonight you are in my thoughts and prayers. -Alice from 18 on #FMF.

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    1. Alice, thank you so much for this...and especially, for your prayers.

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  17. It is amazing how Christ himself is present in our lives. Not just in a theory but in a real way. Then it's not us doing our best but Christ in us. You are blessed to have such a strong faith. And, it seems, it is crystallising as you seek God in your pain, dig deeper in grace while you're suffering. Thanks for sharing, you bless us all. May God continue to bless you and keep you. May his healing touch ease your pain. May his grace minister to you in sweet ways.

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    1. Mari-Anna, you've got this exactly right...His immanence in my life is indeed crystallizing as the pain worsens...more and more the fog lifts, and I see Him with my waking eyes.

      Thank you so much for the blessing thoughts, and for the prayers.

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  18. I enjoy your faithful posts on #fmf. Your faith is inspiring!

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    1. Sarah, thank you so much...your posts are inspiring to me, as well, and there are times when your words have helped me through the pit of despair. Truly.

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  20. nice to see that you're still here andrew:) glad that your trust level is doing well.

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    1. Thank you so much, Martha. it IS nice to still be here.

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  21. 'Be your best' - I love that, particularly because it removes all need for comparison and makes it just about you, in your circumstances, with your emotions... so much of the should in my life comes from (often subconscious) comparison - to the culture around me, to my friends and what they manage to do... and that really shouldn't be relevant. Hope you find joy in the struggle this week, and connect to the amazing power that can help you to realise your intentions...

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    1. Emma, you brought up a vital point (and one that I completely missed), that being one's best does indeed eliminate the rush to comparison. That is so very important, because (I think) that comparison is the vital step to the sin of pride.

      I'm so grateful for this! You brought a closure here, that makes this post complete.

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  22. Your faith and trust is inspiring. I especially like this: "The ultimate achievement becomes the ultimate surrender becomes the ultimate trust." The words sound simple but we know it's not. It's a daily practice and one you exemplify. Thanks for your inspiration.

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    1. Debby, thank you so much! Your words gave a real boost to my soul this morning, and I'm so grateful.

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  23. I was just studying today in Galatians 3:19-21 about this tension that we must keep as believers. We rest in God's work in and through us, yet must also do our best to live like His word commands--never "resting" in that work to save us, but rather to make us stronger and better through Christ.

    You, my friend, are doing just that, Andrew! I am grateful for continued perseverance as a light and encouragement to us all. I'm praying for you daily and sometimes off and on in my day. So I hope you feel God surrounding you and lifting you up each moment!

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    1. Beth, I love the Galatians connexion...thank you so much for adding this to the conversation.

      I so appreciate the prayers. Physically it's getting tough - I spend a lot of time lying on the floor in a foetal position and crying, which is kind of embarrassing...but somehow, my heart is light.

      Lifted up by prayers, I think.

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  24. Andrew,
    The internet wiped out my entire comment on Thursday and I am so sorry for not getting back here until now to share.
    "Other days I'm worse; a whiny kick-over-the-toybox kid who has to do it all himself. And I don't want this to be happening anyway! It's not fair!"
    I have had a dose of that this week.
    God put 3 songs in a row for me on Air1 radio.
    "You're making diamonds out of us ",
    "When you don't move the mountains I needed you to move...I will trust in you"
    "When it feels like surgery, when it burns like 3rd degree, ...I won't let you go..."

    He is holding us and asking us to trust Him and you posted the same clear message. All those songs were played Friday morning.

    Bless you, dear friend!
    Love,
    Tammy

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    1. Tammy, yeah, the Internet Cookie Monster can be pretty insatiable! I'm just very glad you're here.

      Sounds like some good songs...God's playlist.

      Blessings back, and love from everyone here.

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  25. Encouraged by you and praying for you.

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    1. Lisa, thank you so much for this, and most especially for the prayers.

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  26. Hi Andrew, thanks for visiting my blog again... still trusting God, and even trusting God even more? Way to live! peace and hope!

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  27. Leah, thanks so much for being here...it does seem kind of counterintuitive, yeah, but it is really the only way to live.

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