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Monday, December 3, 2018 Third Day of Advent: The Gift of Peace

 John 14:27 NKJV: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”

The gift I unwrapped this morning is the gift of peace. What a wonderful gift! Who among us can’t use more peace in these days of uncertainty?

The type of peace Jesus is speaking of in John 14:27 is not a “surface” peace where everything looks great on the outside but on the inside we are a complete wreck. No, this peace takes root in our heart and flows to every aspect of our life—emotional, spiritual, mental and physical.  No matter what happens, God’s peace never leaves us.  It is a peace the natural mind cannot comprehend. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7 NKJV)

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV) How do we obtain His peace? We have to get to know Him, personally and intimately. We must spend time with Him, listening to His voice, basking in His love. We can’t expect to have a deep and intimate relationship with our spouse if we don’t spend time with him/her. The same is true of God. Trust must be built and this, too, requires that we spend time with Him.we can’t build trust if we don’t spend time with God. As we learn that His love is unconditional, that He only wants the best for His children, we begin to know him and realize that we can trust Him with everything and every person in our lives. We learn and comprehend that He knows what is best for us. Once we have that knowledge, we can let go of that situation(s) that worries us and trust God to deal with it. When we surrender that situation to Him, His peace will immediately flood our heart, mind, and soul.

When we are walking in God’s peace, what do we display to those we meet? When our family, friends, coworkers, and strangers see us, there is peace and contentment on our faces. There is a smile on our face, our eyes are twinkling and joy radiates from us. People can’t resist wondering what’s so different about us. And if they don’t have that peace and contentment and joy, they will want to know how to get it. This is how we can witness of Jesus without saying a word. He is there on our countenance and in our hearts.

One of my favorite hymns is ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” Read the words and meditate on how trusting Him give you perfect peace.

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to take Him at His Word;

Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Refrain

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

Refrain

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end. *

 

Refrain

*Words: Louisa Stead, 1882

Music: William Kirkpatrick, 1882

 

Abba Father, Help us to trust You with all of our life. We give you those situations that concern us this morning and we ask that You give us peace. Thank You that You stand ready to help when we ask and You are faithful to complete those things that concern us. We love you, Father. Amen.

 (c) Edwina E. Cowgill

 

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Crisis of Faith

This blog was first posted on February 24, 2010. It is now 2015, and Dave has been in pain 24/7/365 since May of 2007. Until just last week. Read to the bottom of the blog to find out the latest!

For those of you who don’t know, my sweet husband, Dave, has had numerous health issues for almost three years. It was May 4, 2007, when I first learned that he had been in pain all that week. Dave is a software consultant and normally travels 50 weeks each year. I remember that date specifically because he had come home a couple of days early to help me prepare our house for our first party. We had moved into our house in February of that same year and were finally settled in and ready to entertain. We were expecting about 30-40 people that Saturday evening.

Dave’s pain from that week never abated, in fact, it worsened. After going through many tests, procedures, exams and doctors, Dave’s first surgery was in July of 2007. Since that surgery, he has had a total of six surgeries and all six have been connected in some way to the spine. Two neck surgeries, one back, one hip and surgery on both arms and wrists. It occurs to me at this point, that perhaps it is no coincidence that all of these health problems are some way connected to the spine. The spine is the backbone of the body. It is basically what holds the body up straight and helps to hold the body together, so to speak. The husband is the priest of the home – the “backbone,” if you will. He helps hold the family together. Hmmm…definitely something to think about there. But, back to my original thoughts…Most of the time during these three years I have had all the faith I needed to believe for Dave’s healing. Yes, I questioned why he wasn’t healed, but I never doubted or lacked faith. Until a few weeks ago when I realized I had no faith left. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

A week or two after I realized I no longer had faith to believe for Dave’s healing, my priest’s sermon and article was “When Belief is Not Enough.” Coincidence? I think not. Here is an excerpt from an email I sent to him after his article was published in a local paper:

Your sermon on Sunday and this week’s article are most timely for me. I find
myself in a place I have never been before. Even when my first husband left and when my teenage daughter was pregnant, and all the details and circumstances that surrounded those two situations, I never doubted God’s faithfulness. I never doubted His presence. Yes, there were times of questioning, times of being in a spiritually dry land, but even then, in the deep recesses of my heart, I knew God was there. Now, I am at the point of “I simply cannot believe.”

Dave has been in pain twenty-four hours, seven days a week for two years and nine months. We have prayed for his healing; he has been prayed for by numerous people, he has been anointed with oil and prayed for; and he has been prayed for by people he doesn’t know and who don’t know him. Not only have we not seen any healing of a measurable amount, but in actuality, he is no better and probably some worse than he was almost three years ago when this started. Dave says he has resigned himself that “this is the way it’s going to be.” And I guess that’s where I am because I can no longer believe that God will heal him.

After I wrote and sent this to my priest, I let this situation go. Completely. Let. It. Go. After all, if I no longer had faith to believe for Dave’s healing, why worry about it? Over the next several days I began to notice that I had peace about this situation. I had not done anything different-I hadn’t prayed in a different manner and I certainly hadn’t increased my faith – so why was I at peace? I had let go. Completely. Let. It. Go. And when I did and stopped worrying about Dave’s health, THEN God was able to give me peace. And with peace, comes faith and with faith, comes freedom. I am no longer worried about Dave’s health.

Spine – the backbone of the body. Priest of the home – backbone of the home. Definitely something to think about.

MARANATHA!

Last Thursday, April 9, 2015, Dave had a temporary spinal stimulator attached to his spine. This stimulator emits electrical impulses that zap the pain. It is designed to control his pain no matter what position he is in. In fact, the stimulator recognizes when he rolls over in the bed, and adjusts accordingly. The rep from the company that makes this stimulator told us that if Dave got 50% relief, they would consider the trial a success. With the permanent implant, the percentage of relief should be higher. Today (April 12, 2015) Dave has been pain free for a portion of the day!! Praise God!

(C) 2010 Edwina E. Cowgill

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The Peace of God

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” Isaiah 26:3

We’ve been at a some friends’ “cabin” since late afternoon on Thursday. It is now Sunday and we will be leaving in a few hours to go home. I wish I could pack up the peace and quiet from this place and this weekend and take it home with me.

Abba Father, I know that You can and will give me peace. I ask for it now. May it be so in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I came here this weekend, partly to grieve the death of my daddy. Even though I’ve cried rivers of tears, I expected there to be more this weekend. Instead, God quietly walked with me as He led me back to a word He gave me last July. “COMFORTER In the midst of your sorrow, He comforts. The Lord longs to heal your broken places, where you are weak and weary. He will restore PEACE in the depths of your being.” And God led me to Jeremiah 8:18 and Isaiah 61:2-3.

I re-read more journal entries. I spent quiet time–curled up in a wing-backed chair–and wrapped in the loving arms of my Savior. These were the times when the almost-tangible presence of God surrounded me. Not that He hasn’t been present since my dad passed, or before, but so many times I haven’t stopped to bask in His glorious presence. It has been His peace that has surrounded me this weekend, like a soft silk cocoon.

I’ve moved to sit outside on the deck. It’s a mountain-crisp, cool morning. It is quiet. But in the quiet, I hear the birds singing. I can hear the gentle rustle of new leaves as they move in time with the breeze. I see the golden glow of the sun as it rises over the mountaintop.

It is a new day. A new beginning. And it is peaceful.

“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

I don’t normally post a blog that is this personal. But today, I felt an urge to do so. Perhaps there is someone reading this blog and God is using it to speak to you. If that is the case, please leave me a comment so that I might pray for you.