Over the past year, I have realized I am not like the great patriarch, Abraham, in the Bible, who when God said, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you,” he dropped everything and went—no questions asked.
No, I believe Moses and I are kin because I am an excuse maker like he was when God called him to set the Israelites free from captivity. My responses look more like this:
Are you sure you want me to do this?
Maybe I’m not hearing you right.
I need a repeat message.
Could you repeat that again?
And when the repeat messages keep coming and you ignore them, then God has to issue some tough love. I failed to listen to the warning in Exodus 15:26: “If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”
Many people have been telling me, “You’re too busy!” “You need to slow down and scale back.”
Maybe these are repeat messages for you from others. Do you over-extend yourself?
My husband and friends thought I should quit my part-time job so I could focus on my ministry and have some breathing room— but I didn’t listen.
The Lord has blessed Pearls of Promise and provided new ideas to help women like our new POP Talk show that runs every other week on Facebook Live and YouTube. So far it has reached about 7,000 after three shows (praising God!). But managing the Pearls activities plus the part-time job and two other volunteer jobs for ministries resulted in twelve-hour days with work that bled over into the weekend. I wasn’t taking a full-day’s Sabbath rest, one of the Ten Commandments. Sometimes our “do-gooding” can do us in. My schedule created exhaustion and took a toll on my body but I didn’t listen to my body. God knew I couldn’t keep up the pace.
So when my face became inflamed with a butterfly rash, and remained red, I began to worry. I knew it was a symptom of an auto-immune disease, so I went to my doctor for a physical. Sure enough, my ANA marker was elevated, indicating the possible presence of an auto-immune disease.
It was at that point that I did what I had been wrestling with God about for the past year or so. I repented for not obeying His command and failing to listen, then stepped down from my part-time job so I could create more balance and rest in my life. I will miss my work there, but I have total peace about the decision.
To fight auto-immune diseases, you have to lower your stress level and one of the things that stresses me out is when my house is cluttered, and the yard gets overrun with weeds or dead plants. Every day I would see these out-of-control things and think, Ugh! I have to get out the door and don’t have time to fix this right now. I was too busy!
This past weekend, I weeded out the back bed in my yard and got rid of a bunch of dead plants scorched by the heat, so now when I am trying to be creative and look out the window, what I see doesn’t give me angst. I have also expanded my time to write messages for upcoming speaking engagements. I have thirteen to draft in two months. As a result of this extra time, I am already feeling better.
And most importantly, I am trusting in the Lord’s promises for healing. Several friends, including my husband, have said this was God’s way of forcing my hand to do as He asked. Other prophetic friends think it is an attack of the enemy as I am facing a very busy ministry stretch including our annual Level-Up Conference, a women’s retreat in Colorado and the presentation of my Knowing the Father Bible study at a church in Lewisville this fall.
Whatever the case, I am listening again and on God’s path now, claiming the Scriptures in the Bible concerning healing, because I believe what the Word says, and Pearls of Promise is all about both emotional and physical healing. They are promises that you can claim as well:
“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” (Jeremiah 17:14).
“The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness” (Psalm 41:3).
Psalm 107:19-20 says, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave” (Psalm 107:19–20).
I am praying with confidence that when I finally get into the Rheumatologist at the end of October, the ANA level will have returned to a normal level. An auto-immune disorder is nothing for God. He was just trying to get my attention and I am listening now.
Categories: Devotion of the Week