Sunday, December 21, 2014

Out Of My Control

For many years, I travailed in prayer over these intractable situations. For months, I beseeched God for a change. For the past few weeks, my heart was weighed down under the heavy burden. They were issues within my circle of concern. I yearned for a change. I longed to see broken relationships restored. I desired a breakthrough the walls that hitherto resisted progress and improvement in certain situations. I wanted to see a Sarah laugh.

I cried out to God, “I know there is nothing impossible for You to do.”

I asked the Lord to give me the mountain looming before me for a possession. “Give me this mountain, O Lord or make it plain.”

I wanted to the power to fix the situation, which laid before me like a pile of a million pieces of puzzles.

But I also knew that I cannot do the work of the Holy Spirit, so I petitioned God to do what only He can do—change hearts and change situations.

These situations were out of my circle of control.

On Thursday, December 11th, 2014, I woke up with an irritation along the suture line on my rib-cage. Soon the irritating itch became a full blown throbbing ache in my chest. By mid-day, I was agonizing in pain. It did not respond to the painkillers or steroid. But I still went for my Moms’ Prayer meeting. It was the last one for the year and we planned to have lunch afterwards. We prayed about the pain. I was restless through the lunch. The pain was radiating deep in my right shoulder and my right arm felt numb.

Back at home, I tried to reach my husband far away in New Delhi. I needed his medical opinion and guidance. The painkillers were not effective, and I was crying out to the Lord for relief. It was at this stage, I had to call my GP. He asked me to call my Pulmonary Specialist at the Teaching Hospital. I was hesitant. I knew what was likely to follow that call. They asked me to come into the ER immediately. In a short while, the ambulance arrived at my doorstep. This was not on my arm-long agenda for that day. But the situation had spiralled out of my control.

All the way to the hospital, I struggled to reject all the suggestions of the enemy. I refuted them with the word of God. But all the things that I had dreamt to accomplish this year and those initiated flashed across my mind. It was a long list of unfinished tasks.

The next few hours confirmed again that the last place anyone want to be is in the ER, especially during this season. The pain was controlled. They ran a battery of tests to confirm the situation was not life-threatening and the suspicion was proved false. But I began to have another bout of irritating itch. I was having an allergic reaction. This time it was generalized. I itched from the top of my head to the tip of my stump. The course of steroids offered no relief. The doctors were not willing to increase the dose of the steroids. They had to determine the best antihistamine to use given my peculiar situation.

It was 2:00am. The itching was unbearable. The doctors were attending to critical situations. Unable to control the itching, sleep deprived, physically and emotionally fatigued, I crumbled on the bed. I was overwhelmed by the intensity of the itching, which I could not control. I was overwhelmed by the other issues out of my control. And the dam broken.

The nurses heard me crying and came into my cubicle.

“Pourquoi, Madame? Pourquoi vous pleurez?”

I heard her ask why I was crying. She touched my shoulder. My body was folded in a crumbled state as I sat on my stumps, my head laid between my knees and my arms over my head. I did not respond but continued crying.

“Madame?” she shook my shoulders. I lifted my tear-drenched face. There were two of them standing over me. I motioned my hands over my body.

“J’arrive.” She went out of the cubicle and the second nurse took her place, holding my shoulders. In a minute, she was back with a bottle of oil. She asked if they could apply the oil on my burning skin while we await the doctors. Indeed, they anointed my body from my face to my stumps. It cooled down the itch. It was like the balm of Gilead that calmed my wearied body.

A few days later, a dear Sista tagged me in a post on Facebook. I read the post and these words became engraved in my heart:

Those things in your circle of concern but out of your circle of control are definitely not out of God’s control. They are in God’s control and in God’s hands.”

It was a clear message from God. Like the oil the nurses applied on my body, the words were like a soothing salve on my burdened heart. It was the third message the Lord impressed on my heart within two weeks during which I pondered on all situations for which I sought a resolution, and to unravel the convoluted and knotted issues in my circle of concern.

God had ministered to my agonizing heart during the preceding week. First, I was reminded of the many instances in the Bible of when God proved Himself to be the God over impossibilities.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37

Faced with Goliath who kept taunting the people Israel and their God, David received divine strategy and intervention that gave him the much desired victory over the Philistines. I was reminded that there was a murderous Saul who the Lord touched and turned to Paul. I was also reminded that the dead body of Lazarus was already emitting odour from decay, yet God raise him from the dead and restored him to the fullness of life.

I knew there is no situation too far gone for God to turn around and there is no heart too hard for God to touch. I was reminded that the things which are impossible for man are possible for God. I can’t fix the situation. I can’t unravel the knots. But God can. I was encouraged to surrender all the issues burdening my heart to the One Who specializes in doing the impossible.

The second message, God impressed on my heart was;

Wait with joy, hope and praise.

It can be really hard to wait especially as another year comes to an end and you have yet to see your dreams and desires fulfilled. It is difficult to wait when the longing desire for a change burn with an aching heat in your heart. Waiting is serious business. Yet I know that God has called us to with hope anchored on His unfailing promises. He asked us to wait with joy overflowing from the assurance of hope and with praise because we know faithful is He Who has promised.

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise” – Hebrews 10:23.

If God said it, He will do it. God is infinitely faithful to keep His promise and fulfil His word.

I was encouraged to wait with praise because God is Omnipotent. He is infinitely capable of putting His Omnipotent power on display in each of the situations I presented before Him. He can do all things. There is nothing too hard or difficult for Him. There is no purpose of God that can be thwarted. He is the One Who upholds the entire universe by the Word of His power.

I knew praise is a very effective weapon of warfare. I knew that as I acknowledge God’s limitless power in praise, I am also calling it into manifestation in my life, in the lives of those in my circle of concern and in the situations out of my control.

The flurry of events screaming like oversized billboards and reminding me of the seemly insurmountable mountains were intent on blurring my vision from God’s omnipotent power, which is able to change the most difficult and extreme situation. They sought to distract my attention from His amazing goodness in our lives this year. So I became even the more determined to offer exuberant praise to God.

With this came the confidence of hope that I can rely on God Who resurrected the dead. He is able to resurrect dead dreams and dead relationships, and turn dead ends to open doors. The more I praised God in the midst of the situation, the more I was energized to dare to dream of a change, to dream of restoration and to dream of victory.

I asked that the Lord to give those in my circle of concern yielded hearts. I asked on their behalf for a broken and a contrite heart, and a willingness to let God have full control. I prayed for a deeper understanding of God’s power to work out His purpose in our lives.

As 2014 rolls to an end, perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation, faced with mountains of impossibilities and surrounded by challenges, I encouraged you with these same words with which the Lord encouraged me:

Those things in your circle of concern but out of your circle of control are definitely not out of God’s control. They are in God’s control and in God’s hands.”

God has it all under control. Wait for Him with praise, with hope and with joy. He is infinitely reliable. He is Omnipotent.

Match into 2015 with the confidence of this hope and assurance, and with an uplifted face. May the hope that comes only from knowing God as the Omnipotent Father and Jesus as Lord fill your hearts and home with great joy this Christmas.

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