Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day 27: Listen for HIS Heartbeat



Five years ago today . . . 

Does your phone or tablet have that app?
You know, the one that shows your pictures
from a previous year,
hoping that you will share them all over again?

Well, this morning when I saw where I was 
five years  ago today,
I heard a whisper from my Lord's heartbeat,

"Write about my compassion." 

And I knew what He meant. 


I was in Vietnam five years ago.  As I had prepared for the trip, and the days grew closer for my departure, I had a wave of panic sweep over me when I remembered the illnesses that my son had suffered on his previous trips. This was in my pre-RA days, and even though I was fairly healthy, I knew that I would be in a totally different environment than what I was used to.  As I prayed over my journey, I very clearly heard my Lord whisper to me, 


"If I keep you healthy,
will you be willing to pray 
over someone there
who is ill?" 


This should have been an easy answer for me, as I was as accustomed to praying as I was to breathing.
It was part of who I was.


But, Lord, I am traveling there
as a guest to my 
daughter-in-law's family.
They don't understand my language,
and they don't understand
my Faith.





The whisper would not leave me, and I knew
that my answer would be yes,
even though my heart still
held onto it's own fearing.


It was an amazing trip, with memories to last a lifetime.  We walked through Customs with hardly a question, and my health never faltered.  I ate all of the food set before me, and enjoyed every bit.  Then came the day,


Five years ago today . . .


When I walked into the small home of one of the family members.
The meal was being prepared out in the separate kitchen. The fire was burning under the heavy pot, and I felt that nudging of my Lord, preparing me to pay attention.  We all began to eat the meal, but I noticed that a brother-in-law was sitting by himself, out on the porch of the home.  "Oh, he is sick," my daughter-in-law translated for me, in response to my questioning.  "He is often ill, and cannot eat with us."  And my heart's compassions were stirred within me.  


Oh, Lord, this is who you want me to pray for,
isn't it?


So, after the meal, as my daughter-in-law loosely translated, I layed my hands on this brother's chest, and offered prayers to my Lord for him.  And the next evening, when he still felt sick, I prayed again. And a week later, as many of the family came to say good-by to us at the airport, this brother was beaming, as I placed my hand on my chest and then pointed to heaven & said "Jesu!" as we were leaving.


I cannot speak his language,
and I may never know until Heaven
how the Lord's compassions
touched the heart of a brother 
thousands of miles 
away from my home.
But I will never forget the way that
God touched me with HIS heart
in order to give back from 
that same heartbeat of compassion. 



2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (MSG)  "All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too."


Ah, but where does that leave me today,
here in this Season of 
Listening with Chronic Illness?
God has obviously allowed
me to walk right into
the disease this time.
He has chosen NOT
to bring me out of the sickness.
And yet, I hear His Whispers once again,


"Even if I don't make you well,
will you still be willing 
to pray for people,
for the ones that I show you,
with the 
compassions of MY heart?"


And I know that my answer will be 
yes.


Are you in a place of sorrow
or pain?


My heart's compassions are stirred now
with the Comfort my Lord has brought to me.
And I long to pray for you
to know that same comfort
that only Jesus brings. 



 
This is Day 27 for the #Write31Days Challenge,
and I am honored that you are walking with me
through these #31Days of Listening with Chronic Illness.

Click here to find the Series Index





   

I am linking today with some great bloggers over at
#LiveFreeThursday with Suzie Eller



 



13 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing words of truth and encouragement, Bettie! There is power in the name of Jesus. Bless you, friend. XO (I'm your neighbor at #LiveFreeThursday)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Tina! Yes, what a privilege we have to speak the name of Jesus. That was one thing that I was so appreciative of after I came back from that trip! --Blessings to you!

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  2. Dear Bettie, rarely can I read your words without my eyes filling with tears. There is such evident compassion pouring out of them and a sense of Holy awe in the stories you share. This one is no exception. It's brimfull with hope and joy for all lives afflicted by sickness, sorrow and pain. Jesus touched you and met with a brother who may never have encountered Him before, apart from during your act of faithful obedience. You may never know the full account this side of heaven but you and I both know that lives touched by Jesus rarely stay the same. Thank you SO much for always blessing me richly here. I have loved this series! Blessings and hugs as you conclude it soon and take a well deserved break! xoxo

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    1. Dear Joy, I am so thankful that you were encouraged today. I pray still for that brother, that the name of "Jesu" would be echoing in his heart. And I am touched that you would see hope and joy in this story, because I think God has opened your heart to see and feel joy where others may not see it so easily! What an amazing journey our Lord keeps taking us through, as we have obeyed Him to share through this writing challenge! May He bring the fruit that He intends to bless you with, my friend! xoxo

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    1. Thank you Kimberly! I am so blessed that God still speaks to us from His heart! --Blessings to you!

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  5. Beautiful, Bettie. Often I imagine Heaven will be a place where people will eagerly meet others to share how God used them in their lives. "Oh, YOU were the one praying for me?" To learn what has gone on in the Heavenly Realm on our behalf, sounds Heaveny, doesn't it?

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    1. Oh Dear Debbie, yes that sounds so wonderful! Heaven must be full of such surprises for us. I know I am waiting to tell so many who have gone on before me, how they touched my life. And to see how God truly was in the prayers of those we didn't even realize were praying for us--what a blessing. Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts tonight! --Blessings and Hugs!

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  6. Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory. I just love how God whispers to us and let's us join Him in His loving. That man will never forget the loving care of God pouring out of you. It's a great reminder to act on those whispers, expecting God to give us the words and the actions to show His love. Such an encouragement to read. Thank you, Bettie.

    And I'd love to hear more about your time there. Love hearing about different cultures and countries.

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    1. Dear Anna, I'm so glad that you were encouraged here! I am sure that my days in Vietnam will come up again, since that trip has had such a lasting effect on my heart. We never know the places that He will take us when we say "yes" to Him, do we? But what a blessing God brings as we let Him guide us along the way.

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  7. Oh, Bettie, I love this so much. Your heart is tuned to your Savior and you listen. So often I get caught up on me and my needs and forget about praying for others. But He gently reminds me as He has today with your words and I remember. Thank you for sharing your heart and what a wonderful testimony from 5 years ago! Blessings to you!

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    1. Dear Gayl, Yes, isn't God so gracious to keep reminding us of His Grace & Power in our lives, even when we forget? This journey into listening more closely has been an adventure in itself! Thank you for the encouragement you have been to keep going with it! Blessings to you!

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