Wednesday, June 1, 2016

LAND OF THE LIVING?



I am dying.  It is a statement many people find hard to hear, hard to say, hard to believe....just hard.  And yet, each of us will, indeed, die one day.  For me, it is the ultimate healing...a time when I will be healed of all disease, all infirmity, all weakness and from the influences of this fallen world.  I have had temporary healing here.  I was divinely healed of cancer 3 years ago.  Was it wonderful?  Yes, without a doubt.  I have had joys and sorrows I would never have known had the Lord took me home then.  But, my body is but flesh and succumbs daily to the ravages of this world and my own mistreatment. 


Like almost all people, I want to live as long as I possibly can.  I love my family and I have dreams yet to be attained.  Yet, I do not wish to remain here once I am no longer able to care for myself.  I do not want to remain here if my mind is compromised to a great degree.  I have seen it too many times and know what it does to people and to those they love.  I have no desire to do that to the people I love and whom I believe love me.  I have tried never to be a burden, but I know I have often failed in that attempt.  Yet, it is one my greatest desires.


I know all too well that we do not get our wishes with regards to many things, this being one.  I cannot imagine anyone who wanted to suffer or cause suffering for those they love.  And yet, that is exactly what happens when we live too long to be useful.  My sisters and I were extraordinarily blessed to have our parents leave for heaven before they became useless and before they lost their minds completely. 


Although Momma suffered with Alzheimer's, she went home before she succumbed to the complete ravaging of her mind.  She was docile and agreeable and never a burden to us.  Daddy had an in tact mind right up until the end.  His body was compromised by the ravages of C.O.P.D. but otherwise, he was very healthy.  Although they died much younger than many, they were never a burden to us, which was their greatest desires.


So, I am dying.  I have End Stage NASH Cirrhosis and the disease is progressing.  A minister I have known since our earliest childhood once preached a sermon as a young minister which I will never forget.  He made the statement that people will tell you we are in the land of the living.  However, he went on to say, that in untrue.  We are living in the land of the dying.  If we are Christians, we are leaving this land of the dying for the land of the living.  So, I await my call to go that land when the Lord is ready for me.


Does that sometimes make me sad?  Yes, without a doubt.  It is in those times I pray for the Lord to remind me that something so much better than I have known here awaits me there.  I have prepared to sign documents that inform all medical personnel of the wish not to have live-extending measures administered should my liver or other vital organs fail me.  I do not want to temporarily preserve what is only a vessel for transporting me until my eternal call for that land of the living and which will only fail again after I'm even sicker.



"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
This inheritance is kept in heaven for you..."
                                                                                        
I Peter 1: 3-4



Sunday, March 20, 2016

Epiphany in the Ladies Room

The Epiphany


I typically spend at least an hour in the ladies room after each shower.  Shave my legs, dry my hair, lotion from head to toe, brush my teeth and then the really arduous task.....doing my hair.  My arms ache, I get short of breath and I'm rarely really pleased with the results.  It's either too curly (hot rollers) or unruly and frizzy (natural) or it looks burned and I am burned all over my head, around my face and my hands (more specifically fingers---curling iron).


My niece, for years, had said "Aunt Di, get a straightening iron".  Well, I didn't really understand how they worked and was scared of them.  So, I procrastinated.  I came up with every excuse under the sun.  Then, the inevitable happened...........my trusty curling iron fried!


I was so troubled, what in the name of goodness was I going to do?  Those hot rollers just made my hair balloon all over my head!  Natural left me with frizzies that were uncontrollable.  Blow drying straight was just too straight.


So, I started to look at irons.  They can get extremely expensive, $100 or more.  Frankly, I just cannot afford that and wouldn't give it even if I could.  I was afraid of the cheap ones.  So, I settled on one of the moderate priced ones and decided to take the plunge.


It lay on my bathroom vanity for a few days just waiting to be opened.  Finally, I decided it was time to take the plunge.  I opened the package, read the directions for use and decided I would give it a try.  My hair was a couple days past my last shampoo so would have some natural oils built up for defense.  So, I took the leap.


What in the name of all that is reasonable was I waiting for?!  Now, the picture above was taken as I was driving to town on that afternoon.  Clean hair would have yielded better results, and it was my first try, but 10 minutes in front of the mirror yielded that hair!  I am converted!  I am a believer!  Katie, you were right!  It was exceedingly simple, not one burn and 10 MINUTES, 10 MINUTES to do my hair!  I could be a few years younger if I hadn't wasted all that time in front of the bathroom mirror doing my hair!


Aren't we sad beings?  God gives us good minds and offers His help with our daily struggles, yet we often leave Him out of our daily decision-making processes.  When will we learn to do it the easy way, God's way?  Why are we so stubborn?  God must get so disgusted with us and our pride!



Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
 ~~~Proverbs 16:18  NIV

 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
~~~Isaiah 55:8  NIV 



Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
~~~Proverbs 3: 5-6  NIV



The hair thing was a sort of silly excursion on my part, but my point is most serious.  We are so helpless with the Lord, yet with Him we have access to the wisdom of the ages and the solutions to every problem.  His ways are not always understood, but they are always in our best interests.  If only we could remember that one very simple principle............