Monday, February 15, 2016

I Am Weak

2 Corinthians 12:9
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest in me.

I came across this verse a couple of weeks ago and it has been rolling around in my head ever since. I have never felt like a person that would be labeled as "strong". I cry easily, I struggle with self-worth, the older I get the more introverted I feel, I struggle with doubt.  Nothing about that makes me feel very strong. When I read that verse from 2 Corinthians 12, I felt so encouraged. It says that I don't have to be strong that my weakness is there so Christ's power can be evident in me. How cool is that?

Last Wednesday afternoon I went through something that was very hard for me. I had surgery to remove half of my thyroid due to a nodule that was discovered. I'm told the surgery went well. I woke up in recovery crying (told you I cry easily). I asked for my husband so many times, the nurse went to find him. Having him stand next to me feeding me ice chips made me feel a little more calm. When the surgeon stopped to talk to me he asked me why I was crying and I remember saying I was crying because I was scared. He told me it was over and I didn't need to be scared. I guess I felt like the hard part is in front of me...the pain and the healing from the surgery.

As far as I can tell, recovery has been okay. I have taken a long nap every day. My neck feels sore and stiff especially when I look up or down. (Thankfully Hubby isn't a whole lot taller than me and I don't have too far to look up at him.) I have a bandage/tape thing over the site of the incision. That is bugging me and makes me feel like I am wearing a turtleneck, which I despise. I feel like I got punched in the neck. My neck is bruised. My throat is sore from the breathing tube that was stuck down there during surgery.

Some women from the Community Bible Study group we are involved in brought us supper Friday afternoon. We were so tickled with their thoughtfulness and with their visit. My daughter sweetly sent me videos of my 11 month old granddaughter for several days in a row to make me smile. My son has texted  and called to check up on me. My sisters-in-law have mailed me cards. Countless people have said they are praying for me. (I wish my mom was able to call me because I just know she would if she could. Stupid stroke.)

The biopsy done before the surgery came back benign. (!!!) I'm still waiting to hear about the pathology report from the surgery. I will admit to feeling a little anxious about that, but trust God.

In two weeks I have an appointment with my cardiologist to see what he wants to do about my heart regrading the Supra Ventricular Tachycardia episode I had in December. So I'm not done with this health stuff yet.

All of that makes me feel weak.

But what has God promised me?

...but He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough - always available - regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness." Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.
~Amplified Version~

So I guess feeling weak isn't a bad thing from God's viewpoint.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Doxology, My Story

I grew up in churches that regularly sang The Doxology during the worship service. 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

It is a simple song, with powerful words of praise that God deserves.

Years ago, when we lived in Southeast Asia, we took a family trip to Thailand.  We visited many tourist attractions including the Grand Palace in Bangkok.  It was the official residence of the kings starting in 1782. Currently it is used for royal ceremonies and state functions. And tourism. We were on a guided tour of the palace (which included strict dress codes: arms covered, legs covered to below knee) when our tour guide directed us into a large room that was The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. We had read that we could not sit with our legs crossed or our feet out in front of us (because it's rude to point the bottoms of your feet at someone), so essentially we were to kneel in front of the Buddha statue. The four of us walked in there, saw people kneeling before the idol, looked at each other, shook our heads "no", and walked right back out. Our tour guide had the most puzzled look on her face. Shortly after that we were amongst a bunch of people who were walking around with incense and praying to Buddha, I started singing the Doxology to myself. I felt such an evil presence there. I think we all did because we all agreed that we didn't need to or want to visit any more Buddhist temples while we were in Thailand. 

Since that trip, I often think of that day when I have sung that song in church.

Now I have even more memories associated with that sweet little song.

Before every meal my dad sings that song and my mom hums along and sometimes mouths the words. It gets me every single time, because since September 6, 2013, my mom has not spoken. A stroke is a cruel thing. It takes away so much. But my mom HUMS the tune to that song. So awesome!

Hubby and I gave this print to my mom and dad for a Housewarming/Christmas gift. It hangs in their new kitchen. I just love it!

We have attended a church here that sings an interesting version of the Doxology at the end of every service. They call it The Gospel Doxology. Here are the words:

Your perfect law exposes me 
I feel my sin and desperate need 
My best good works are powerless 
To satisfy your righteousness 

But there is One who lived for me! 
His life, my only victory 
His death, forever sealed in time 
That I am His and He is mine! 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow 
Praise Him all creatures here below! 
Praise Him, above ye heavenly hosts 
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost Amen

I am often a puddle of tears when I sing this, in part because of the magnitude of the words and in part because I see and hear my mother humming along and mouthing the words.

The power of music amazes me.