Tag Archives: heart

Take Heart

In this world you will have trials. But take heart. I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Notice Jesus said “trials.” That means more than one. So, one week after the lightning strike, I was back in a good place with power restored and work being done to repair my house, when I had to face another trial. This time I began to question the command to “Count it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2). Count it pure joy. Really? How do I do that?

Once again, Rusty and I were returning from our noon day walk when a large German Shepherd dog started following us home. A neighbor, who was walking his small dogs toward us, saw the German Shepherd following us and turned around to head in the opposite direction.

When we got close to our property line, Rusty stopped to face the German Shepherd. When I tried to hold him back, a tussle ensued, and I got yanked off my feet. My neighbor heard me yell as I hit the pavement and came to my rescue.

With my left arm split wide open, my neighbor, who just happened to be a physician, helped me to my feet, walked me home, cleaned and pulled the sides of the wound back together with butterfly clips to hold it until I could get to Advanced Wound Care. You see, God always sends His best to be there to help us when we fall. That’s just the way God works. He knows ahead of time what’s going to happen, and He always has the right people in place to help us in our time of need.

Because we live in a fallen world, trials stalk us much like the German Shepherd stalked us. But take heart. God will help us overcome our trials and troubles. And that’s the only reason we can count our trials pure joy.

7 Lessons from King Asa

Seek God 2

I’ve always heard that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Last week I learned otherwise. The way to a man’s heart is really through his femoral artery.

My husband is having an ablation procedure Thursday at St. Thomas Baptist Hospital in Nashville to correct A-fib because the meds haven’t worked. I asked friends on Facebook to prayer for him. Their response was comforting.

With a grateful heart I replied, “The only thing better than having praying friends is having our God who answers them all.” The life of King Asa, who reigned in Judah for 41 years, illustrates that point and provides several lessons that still apply today.

Early on in his reign Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, cutting down all the false idols and commanding Judah to seek the Lord. Because he sought the Lord, Judah enjoyed peace on every side. (Lesson # 1: Seek the Lord. Enjoy peace.)

Years later when the Cushites rose up against Judah, Asa called on the Lord; and the Lord defeated the larger and mightier Cushite army. After the victory, the Spirit of God came upon Azariah, the son of a prophet, and he reminded Asa, “The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” (Lesson # 2: Stay close to the Lord.)

At this point my mind wandered. I wondered if what’s going on in our country right now is a result of our forsaking the Lord. An open border with thousands of children, guns, drugs, and criminals working their way into our country; the swap of five known Al Qaeda terrorist leaders for one U.S. deserter even though we abandoned four of our best in Benghazi and one is still in a Mexican jail for a simple mistake; and now a murderous band of terrorist thugs are marching through Iraq on a head-hunting spree as they make their way to our embassy in Baghdad. (Lesson # 3: The advice Asa received still applies today. Stay close to the Lord.) But I digress.

King Asa took Azariah’s advice, sought the Lord, and there was no more war until the 35th year of Asa’s reign. Do you see how important it is to have God on your side? (Lesson # 4: Heed Godly advice.)

And yet, Asa forgot. Caught up in another war, he was again reminded, “When you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” (Lesson #5: Half-hearted commitment is no commitment. God wants your whole heart.)

Four years later when King Asa suffered a severe health issue, a disease in his feet, “in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.”

What! He sought God’s help for the health of his nation, but he didn’t seek God’s help for his own health? That’s what the Bible says. King Asa died two years later. That means he endured two years of severe suffering without asking the Lord for help. (Lesson # 6: ASK!)

I’m not downplaying the importance of physicians. After all, one who specializes in electrophysiology is going to do my husband’s heart procedure. It was through much prayer that God led us to this physician and got us on his schedule when our original appointment with him was not until July 29. (Lesson #7: When we seek God’s plan at any given moment for any reason, He will reveal His plan to us, strengthen us, and give us peace.)

So please, wherever you are, whatever battle you face, I hope you will seek God’s help. We did and have enjoyed His peace here and now and have great hope for whatever tomorrow brings.