Saturday, January 1, 2011

Power Displayed

The roads and countryside of Galilee were marked heavily by the footsteps of Jesus. He walked. He taught. He healed. He prayed. He slept only to awake and do it all again.

He travelled extensively.  With one purpose....to draw us....to glorify His Father, and display God's power.

The power that rested upon Him.

A display more brilliant than the most beautiful sunset. More magical than the most spectacular fireworks.

No where to lay His head....from His lowly entrance into this world, in a manager, to His earthly ministry...no earthly home to call His own.

His home was found as He rested in the love of His Father.

The love that would proclaim a kingdom yet to come. A life lived with hope, with healing, showered in grace and abundant in mercy. A looking forward, not looking behind.

With expectancy.  With urgency.  With purpose.

And as He travelled He demonstrated this power for all to see. Often in healing the sick and making them well. The blind. The lame. The dead. The demon-possessed. The mute. The deaf. The sick.

A display. 



The multitudes traveled with Him. Watching. Waiting. Leaning in to learn more. Seeing a glimpse of the power beholden to this man Jesus...the Son of God.

They were challenged. They were encouraged. They were convicted.  Their hearts softened. And for some, their faith grew.

There was something different about this man. Something their minds could not grasp hold of.

And the sick knew that if only they could come close to Him, if only He would touch them, they would be made well.

Healed.

Two blind men followed Jesus.

Without physical eyesight, but knowing the voice of Jesus.

Following as He performed miracle after miracle.

Finally, calling out to Him, "Son of David, have mercy on us!" (Matt. 9:27)

And Jesus, knowing the secrets of their hearts. Knowing the healing that they desired. That they needed, asked them a poignant question....

"Do you believe that I am able to do this?"  (Matt. 9:28)

It is a question that God has been asking of me from the moment I read these few short verses this summer.

In this journey through breast cancer,  along the road, in my moments of weakness and frailty, in uncertainty, in weariness.......as my heart has cried out to Him as these blind men did....God has been answering me...and growing my faith with this same question.

"Do you believe, Stacy, in who I am? That I am able to heal you? That I, ALONE, can do that which no one else can?"

It is a two part question.

Do you believe?

Is your faith so grounded in Me, Jesus, that you know with absolute confidence of my love for you. Of my grace. Of my forgiveness. Of my power.

Will you waiver in your faith based on your circumstances or will you trust Me and the power that I possess, that I desire to display in and through you as you journey?

And two......."Do you believe that I am able?"

Do you know that I can move the mountains and calm the sea? That I can make the lame walk and the blind see? That I can heal the diseased marriage and make well the diseased body? That I can put food in your pantry and bring forth money to pay the bills?

Do you believe that I am able to do all this and more? Is your faith in me that strong?

He desires our response to be, as it was with these two blind men...."Yes, Lord."  (Matt. 9:28)

No hesitation. A posture of trust in the almighty God, above all else.

Is that my posture today?

This last week was one marked again with uncertainty for us.

The plan played out in the physical was not the plan that was formulated in my mind.

We were able to get away for a couple of days to the Pocono Mts. here in Pennsylvania. My husband's brother and his wife had a timeshare they had reserved for the week. They invited us all to join them at the beginning of the week, with plans to ski on Tuesday.

For Christmas, my in-laws so generously and graciously helped lease all of our children's ski equipment for the season. A sport that we have just recently ventured back into as a family, was going to be a reality for us again this year.

On Tuesday, we spent the day at a local ski resort. Strength has been returning to my body and I was able to enjoy the day with the family. It was glorious, until around 4:30.

My oldest two sons, Ben and Seth, were snowboarding at the terrain park on the mountain. We received a call around 4:30, that Ben had fallen while on a snowboarding rail. He was loaded in an ambulance and needed to be taken to the local hospital.

What was certain, became uncertain.

Snowmobile came and brought me to the ambulance. Seth was there, having witnessed the whole event. Barclay had to stay back with the smaller children, load them all up and hand them off to my brother in law, then making his way to the hospital.

The ambulance pulled away and I became numb. Ben wasn't himself. He was strapped to a board, laying in the back of the ambulance. Oxygen to his nose. Unable to remember what happened or any details from the last 30 days. The extent of the brain injury unknown in those moments.

We spent the next 5 hours in the ER with Ben asking questions, answers given, and then 30 seconds later, the question asked again as the answers weren't remembered. Ben scared, not remembering facts that he should have know. Not knowing his age. Not knowing we just celebrated Christmas. Not knowing what he received.



The shock from the last 5 hours settled in. And around 10:30PM, after Ben was transferred to Pediatrics, my husband staying behind to stay with Ben, I got in the car alone, traveling back to the house where we were staying.

And I cried out to the Lord on behalf of my son. I cried out for physical healing. For his memory to be restored. I cried out in fear, not knowing what laid ahead. I asked for His power to be made known.

And God whispered to me the same question he has for months, "Stacy, do you believe I am able to do this? Do you trust Me? Do you believe that I am able to heal your son?" Do you trust me and the plans that I have for you and your family?"

And I responded, "Yes, Lord." No matter what you have, I trust you and know that you will walk us through. Please be gracious and merciful."

I slept fitfully Tuesday night, waking up continually. Praying. Falling back to sleep. Waiting for answers to come. My faith on the edge of belief and unbelief.

Ending 2010 with yet another hospital, another unknown. Another test of my faith. A strengthening. I was tired and weary and God knew, but still took me deeper.

Wednesday, Ben awoke, restored. He still doesn't remember the accident, but the rest of His memory
has returned.

As I continue to meditate on those few verses in Matthew and the question that Jesus asked of those blind men, and has been asking of me this year......I see how weak my faith can be. That I often desire an outward manifestation of the power of God.

I want healing. I wanted it for my son. And I desire it for me.

I know He is able. I believe in His character. But I want the tangible. I want to define the terms.

God doesn't work that way. Sometimes the tangible is not what will make us stronger. We are too quick to give the power to something or someone else. To give the glory to another.

As Jesus walked the streets of Galilee, He often displayed His power through healing.

But even in physical healing, He was after more. He was after the heart of each person He healed.

He desired to bring healing to the inner places. He is more concerned with the inside than the outside.

“to show that the Son of Man has power on earth of forgive sins.” (Matt. 9:6)

“Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?”

When Jesus healed the paralytic.....He not only said ‘Your sins are forgiven, but in His grace and love, He said, ‘Arise and Walk.”

That is the God we serve.

He desires to increase our faith. And He will do so at all costs, because our faith to Him, is more precious than gold. (1 Peter 1:7) Sometimes He grows it by displaying His power through the physical, but sometimes, it goes much deeper to the deep places of our hearts.

We are often more concerned with the outside than the inside. We are the ones who have it backward.

After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, Thomas doubted that He was alive. Thomas proclaimed that until he put his hands in Jesus side and saw his nail pierced hands, he wouldn’t believe. He needed to see it for himself.

Jesus knows our weaknesses. He knows when we waiver. He stood before Thomas displaying His scars. Thomas believed.

But Jesus went on to say, “blessed are those who believe without seeing.”

As 2010 closed out, I reflected on how Jesus met me in my weaknesses this past year. How in my weakness, He was strong. He was powerful. That as I believed in HIM, that power was made manifest in my weakness.

It is that power that we are held by.

Sometimes that power is declared through physical healing. The grand display. The fireworks. The miracle.

Other times, His power is displayed in the confines of our hearts and lived out in the midst of our physical disease: a diseased marriage, a diseased bank account, a diseased body.

That in the midst of these circumstances, physical healing isn’t brought forth, but instead a life built on Jesus Christ, displaying His glory, displaying His power. Displaying His love.....in spite of the physical.

That is healing. That is power.

In 2011, may we expect God to work without a whirlwind or a grand display announcing His power.

May we expect God to work because we know He is more than able - because we know HIM!

And as He opened the eyes of those two blind men.....may He open our eyes, as well.


Much love to you today and into 2011,
Stacy

17 comments:

Sara said...

Stacy, These are questions I struggle with as well with this new precious miracle growing in me. Knowing full well, He is able, but yet not knowing His plan... but still knowing regardless of the plan that He will carry us through regardless... Wow, heavy stuff.

I find it interesting that our circumstances at the moment are quite different in many ways... The Lord is teaching us many of the same things... Thanks for writing and the encouraging it gives me...

I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that with Ben... I am praising God with you that he seems to be recovering. I will continue to pray for continued healing of his body and yours friend.

Resting in HIM and His mercy and grace... with you!
Sara

Melissa said...

Once again I am speechless as I let your words sink into my parched and thirsty spirit- longing to be quenched and touched by Him. Thank you for writing! Thank you for sharing your heart and challenging me to truly believe Him!

I am continuing to pray for you.

Love in Christ,

Melissa

JillAileenJones said...

WOW! I am sorry that you had to endure this-we almost lost our Alyssa-she had gone swimming with friends of ours and went under and didn't come back up-when they realized something was wrong she was blue-they pulled her out and started CPR on her, they were able to get her breathing again-called the ambulance and rushed her to the hospital and called us-when we got there she was strapped down to a board not really able to speak-they were running all kinds of tests and x-rays and everything they could do-the one thing they warned us was that the time she was without oxygen might affect her brain. She was fine-nothing wrong-God was merciful to her and to us. At that point I did fall to my knees and ask many of these same questions-Do I really believe and trust that His ways are the best-that He can and will heal her-that He had already paid the ultimate price for her life and she knew Him as her Savior and that is what really mattered.
I still struggle with that 2 years later sometimes. With each of our 4 children-do I really trust that He is in control, that He loves them and cares for them more than I can imagine-is my faith strong enough to trust His ultimate plan for their lives.
As a mom-I want their lives to be pain free-problem free, hurt free-and I know it can't be and won't be-I just want it to be-I pray daily that I will trust His plan for their lives and for mine.
It is a struggle.
I will be praying for Ben's healing and for yours as well.
I just love your posts-you need to write a book, thank you for posting from your heart, it always touches mine.
Praying for your beautiful family for many blessings in 2011.
Blessings-
In Him-
Jill

Runner Mom said...

Oh, sweet Stacy! This post has just pulled on my heartstrings! Bless your heart! I will continue to lift up Ben in my prayers.I too have been in a similar situation with one child and also my husband. God was gracious and merciful each time. And my faith was strengthened. But what about the times that we are allowed to suffer. You are walking through a path right now....choosing to grasp His tender hand and let Him give you what you need each day. As you share your journey, you strengthen us! Thank you and big hugs to you my friend!
Love,
Susan

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Stacy,

As I read your post I began to pray and am so thankful that Ben is OK! I'm so sorry you had to experience that kind of scare. But ever so thankful for the walk of faith you continue to display and share. It is a gift and blessing to others.

If you need anything let me know!

We will continue to pray for Ben and you.

God is faithful and you can truly rest in His love for you now and forever!

Love and hugs,
Jill

Linda said...

Thank you for sharing your tender and heart felt post.The Lord continues to teach me many things and I am thankful!Praying for you and your family.
I wish for you a Happy New Year overflowing with rich blessings.
Blessings and hugs

Crown of Beauty said...

I love your heart as you shared it with us on this post... as the story of your faith continues, so thankful am I to be a part of your journey.

THough our circumstances differ, the lessons are the same. Trusting God even in the midst of a healing that is not tangible, but nevertheless real.

The diseases, the less than perfect circumstance of our life... I have personally discovered God to be real just as well.

Thanking all is well for Ben, and that God has revealed to you another faith lesson as something for you to hold on to as the New Year unfolds for you and your loved ones.

Keeping you close...
Lidj

Karen said...

Hi Stacey. my name is Karen from
http://glassofsweettea.blogspot.com/ A friend and blogging buddie to Janette.. I stopped by via her blog just to visit and was brought to tears,, your post is amazing.
God is still in the miracles working business..and it brought some realization to me as well..I say he does miracles yet i find myself putting my trust in someone or thing like you said..
well i just stopped by to introduce my self,but I want to say that your blog touched me ..
Thank you. and God bless to you and your family and many many miracle more to come your way..
God Bless

Debbie said...

Oh Stacy this was such a good post. I just can't express enough how your insight into the scriptures, and what you write blesses me. How I have struggled with this same issue this year especially. But have of course come to the same conclusion. I am sorry your son was hurt. How unbelievably scary that must have been for ALL of you. Soo glad he is doing well. I am glad you got to go and do this even with the scary ending. I think this is a great opportunity for your son and all of your children really to see the power of the Lord up close and personal. I will pray for his complete healing, and for you as always. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all...Much love, Debbie

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

First Stacy I am so sorry you went through that, and yet praising God for the healing of your son. I saw my own son pinned between two cars with the possibly of being crushed to death...I stood there without being able to stop it from happening...I prayed the prayers your prayed as he was sky-lifted to a children's hospital...God miraculousness healed him...the fireworks, the whole show.

But most of my walk hasn't been like that, it has been with lack of faith and He has dealt, and still is, dealing with my heart.

Each time I stop here I grab my Kleenex, get still to hear the message God has for me, through your words, as well as, giving Him praise for what He is doing in your life.

I agree with your encouraging words for 2011!! I look forward to your testimonies and mine this time next year!!
Hugs and prayers,
Janette

Emily said...

Beautiful. Thank you for this, and for your encouragement!

Love,
Emily

He & Me + 3 said...

So thankful that Ben is ok and that his memory has returned. what a terrible scare for everyone.
Praising God for His awesome power.
Happy New Year!
Hugs,
Mimi

LisaShaw said...

My dear sister,

First, I'm thankful for God's Hand on Ben! This message has stirred within my spirit for I'm in my own place of "Yes Lord, I believe you. I believe you can and I know you will AND in your timing and according to your perfect will."

Faith is stretched and often is faced with the opposition and attack of fear but it is in those moments we have that blessed assurance of in Whom we believe and trust in...our LORD.

My love and prayers are wrapped around you and your family dear sister. Stay close to the LORD and His care.

Love you.

Diana said...

Thank you again, Stacy, for sharing your life!! God is so faithfu,l and I am praising Him with you now for healing your son!

Looking forward to 2011 and more times of sharing what God is teaching us.

Shelley B, Follower of Christ said...

Do we believe? Important question - because it is often that place where we tell God I believe, but please oh please help me with my unbelief!!!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Throughout my cancer journey I have prayed for the protection of God to rest upon my family in abundant measure. After reading your post, I pray all the more, knowing that the enemy is on the prowl to defeat us from every possible angle. I'm so sorry that you had to face this with your son. I'm glad that he is well; I pray his continued healing in the days to come. Yours as well. As I said in my last video, I don't hold the definition of healing; God does. And while my ideas in the matter may not exactly the way it plays itself out, God's ideas/thoughts can be trusted to bring about a perfect outcome.

Love you friend. Take good care of your heart.

peace~elaine

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and am amazed at your faith and insight into scriptures. I will be praying for your healing and am glad your son is doing well. Like you, I lost a child. She died at the age of four months in 1998. I recently have been struggling to deal with the loss of my husband of 23 yrs to a car accident six months ago. Reading your words have given me strength today.....God is using you to touch lives!

God Bless you!

Deloris