Tag Archives: healing

All Inclusive

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. John 19:30

Our family has always loved amusement parks.  As the children have grown older, braver and taller we have enjoyed sharing with them the exhilarating thrill of roller coasters and other fast twirl-y rides that take your breath and equilibrium away all at the same time.  I think strapping ourselves into the metal monsters of amusement is the closest any of us will ever get to “living on the edge.”  It makes us feel like risk takers, it makes us feel alive, it makes us feel carefree!

What I have not always liked about amusement parks is that they make you pay to park.  This does, and has always just seemed completely ridiculous to me.  Call it a strong sense of justice, but it just doesn’t seem fair.   Firstly, the rates of admission are usually so pricey, it seems that parking should be included.  Secondly, charging to park implies that there is an alternative choice available. What alternative choice do we really have?  The enormity and isolation of the parking lot as well as the isolation factor of most amusements parks ensure that pretty much, everyone who drives a car to the park is going to end up paying this extra $10.00 fee for parking.  For me, I think it would be better if they just increased the price of the admission and offered FREE parking.

I guess the opposite of this kind of experience would be one that was “all inclusive.”  Our family was blessed recently by a ministry in Myrtle beach that provides week long all-expenses-paid vacations to families of children battling cancer.  It was amazing to have everything taken care of from the moment we got there until the moment we left.  We felt absolutely spoiled.  Not having to worry about anything made everything seem like an extravagant gift!

Yep, in my book, all inclusive is the way to go.

This is just one of the things I love about Jesus.  He was an “all-inclusive” kind of guy.  When on the cross, dying for our sin, His last word was “Tetelestai.”  In our English Bible, this word is literally translated “It is Finished.”  This phrase however doesn’t quite relay the tremendous magnitude and power of what He was saying.  In the Greek, Tetelestai implies that something has come to an end, it has been completed, perfected and accomplished in full and that the consequences of that very thing will carry on and on.

Indeed.  It was finished on the cross.  The debt and eternal consequence of my sin.  The power of death, hell and the grave.  Any separation from God the Father as a result of my falling short of His glory and perfection.  Taken care of…finished…in all its completeness- It was all included!  And the consequences of what Jesus did for me and for you on that day on the cross will live on and on for the remainder of eternity.

Our righteousness, peace, provision, comfort, protection and healing; wrapped up in that all inclusive gift of love presented to us by the Father, through the Son.

Psalm 103:1-5

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;

Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;

Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Father, thank you for the gift of Your Son.  My heart is grateful for all that His death on the cross provided for me.   

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One Day

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  2 Peter 3:8 (NKJ)          

Recently I came across an internet ad for a “One Day Diet.”   While making my “yea right” face I gingerly clicked on the little link.  I was fairly certain that if there was a one day diet worth its weight in carrot sticks I would have  heard about it long before now.

The popular television personality offered an explanation.  If someone could follow this diet for only one day, then they would have proven to themselves that they could indeed make healthy food choices.  This revelation was to trigger inspiration which supposedly was the key to continued success.

I realized then that I had been on the One Day Diet lots of times… sometimes even the two or three day diet before my self-resolve dwindled and I scarfed down that piece of double layered chocolate cake that had been screaming my name since I had decided to begin.

The truth is, in most respects one day of anything doesn’t really count for much.

Instead,  it is a lifestyle of consistency and discipline that tends to yield the results we seek in any  one area.  It’s why I will never be able to identify myself as a weightlifter, a marathon runner or a basketball player.  It’s why I will never have a reputation as a chef, a stellar house cleaner or a gardener.

On the other hand, it is why I will walk across the stage in May decorated in cap and gown to receive my third diploma.  It’s one of the reasons why I’ve been married for sixteen years.  It’s why I call myself a writer of devotionals.

Our priorities are evident in our choices.

There is a place however where this principal is suspended.  The Word of God tells us that with the Lord, one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Could you imagine if this were so in other areas of life?  If one day of exercise equaled even a thousand days?!  One day of disciplined eating equaled a thousand?!

Yet, it is only in this one place where this atypical conversion chart of time remains.

In Matthew 9:20 we are introduced to a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years.  Not ten thousand, but, my guess is that it probably felt like ten thousand to her.  In Mark 5:26 we are told that for years she had spent all that she had and endured much at the hands of many physicians trying to get better, all to no avail.  Then, in the one day she met Jesus, what she could not achieve in all the years prior took place in an instant when she reached out and touched the garment of the one whom she knew could make her whole.

In one day with the Lord you can experience the  same benefit and result, of spending a thousand years anywhere else.

One day with the Lord is sufficient enough to alter your life for eternity.  In one day, the Lord can overcome the lies with truth, the darkness with light and the pain with healing.

One day with the Lord is adequate to set the captive free, bind up the broken hearted and exchange beauty for ashes.

One day with the Lord can cause the lame to walk and the blind to see.

One day with the Lord miraculously transformed your identity from an orphan destined for Hell to a child of the Most High God.

With those odds, why would we not desire to spend every day with Him?

Have you spent time with him today?

Father, thank you for the gift of Your presence each and every day.    

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Sister Sister

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJ)

Today I had the distinct honor of purchasing a graduation gift for my sister.  I chose it with great care and I pray that she will treasure it for years to come.  It’s difficult to know what will have great significance within the heart of one whom you really do not know well.

My sister was born when I was seventeen years old.  In a different country and by a different father her birth served primarily as a painful reminder of my own abandonment by our mother.   Not only abandoned but now replaced, I resented her existence with a passion and offered to an innocent one the anger and hurt that was the consequence of the actions of another.

I had a sister?

To say our contact was limited over the years would be a liberal assessment.  Every now and then my mother would say “do you want to talk to your sister?”, and before answering I would be greeted by a little girl voice with which I was unfamiliar.  She was smart, she was cute, she was gifted… on the rare occasions that I spoke to my mother, her conversation was focused on the beauty of her second daughter.  My own hurt, un-forgiveness and bitterness prevented me from caring.

When my mother passed away, it was my sister who called to tell me.  In immediate shock I responded to her little girl voice in the cold and distant fashion one would to a stranger in such a situation.  I purposed in my heart at that time to “leave my past behind me” and move forward.  I didn’t have any plans of ever having any contact with my mother’s “other daughter”  ever again.

Several years later as I finally faced and grieved my mother’s death and worked through forgiving her, I came face to face as well with the truth that I still had a sister.  A sister whom the enemy had been able to  keep me from for the entirety of my life as a result of my own unresolved issues with my mother.

I have a sister.

Social networking being what it is, it wasn’t difficult for me to track her down.  We connected and have spent the last year and a half on the journey together of becoming acquainted.  I have come to know her to be a beautiful young woman. She is gifted as an artist and student.  She loves black licorice and sweet tea.  She is quick witted, tender hearted and not afraid of hard work.  She has overcome great obstacles and yet has risen to the top looking forward to the next life step of college.  She already has her plane ticket to come visit this summer when we will spend an entire week together.  We are going to go to the beach because she has never been.

I am thankful that the Lord helped me to see that the anger, bitterness and resentment that ruled in my heart  had allowed me to be stolen from.  I am thankful still that my sister and I have the entirety of our lives to now experience in abundance the relationship the Lord intended for us to have from the beginning.

Is there a place that the enemy has been successful in stealing from your life?  Is the refusal to let go of something preventing you from grabbing hold of the fullness of the abundant life the Father has for you?

Father, help me to recognize and lay at your feet anything that prevents me from experiencing the abundant life that you intend for me to have.  Help me to never help the enemy steal from me again. 

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The Great Exchange

And provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.  Isaiah 61:3 (Amp.)

I love Walmart.  They have a tremendously gracious exchange policy and will take almost ANYTHING back.  Over the years I have tested this theory time and time again- toys that were missing parts…clothing that didn’t fit right…even make up that was not the same color on my face when I got home that it had been resting on the shelf beneath the florescent lighting.

If you have a receipt their grace is limitless – you can buy and return as many things as you need or like.  And even without a receipt they will allow you to return and exchange an item up to three times!  I have found this such a valuable quality and one which I have come to appreciate throughout the years.  If you don’t like what you have you can return it and get something better.

God is a lot like Walmart- not only does He offer the best deals, but He also is in the business of exchange.

God is a healer.  He clearly reveals this throughout His Word…  I have found however, that as much as He longs to be that very Healer within the life of every single one of His children, it seems that some receive their healing…and some do not.  Some become whole…and yet, some remain wounded and limping… oozing even, for the entirety of their lives.

Why is that?  What determines who will be made whole and who will not?

Upon my own healing journey I have found that there is a “great exchange” which must occur.  Exchanges which have been predicated by the LORD revealing truth to my heart that I could be free in an area if I was willing to make an exchange with Him.

Just a few of the exchanges that I have made….

Fear for Trust

Self Sufficiency for Complete Dependence

Un-forgiveness for Forgiveness

God serves as the most amazing customer service representative.  Each time I approach Him with something I need to exchange He always greets me with a smile.  He patiently waits on me, grace and mercy overflowing, as I pull the receipt out of my purse and hand it to Him explaining…”I have this, but I don’t want it anymore.”   No further explanations are required.  He doesn’t need to know when I got, where I got it, or why I got it. He simply allows me to return that which I no longer desire to have to Him, He takes it for me.

And then the beautiful process of exchange can begin.   He never fails to offer me in return something so much more precious than I even knew I could have.   Beauty for ashes….the oil of joy for mourning….a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, each of these are exchanges  which are available to any Child of God.

I thank you Father that I always have a place before your throne where I can pour out to you everything in my life and in my heart.  I am grateful that you are always willing to take that which I offer up to you.   You faithfully, time and again, exchange within my life that which holds me in bondage for the truth which sets me free.

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Filed under Analogies, Christian Growth, Father God, Forgiveness, healing