Jesus Did It!
REACHING FOR CHICKEN FEATHERS - GOING "OUCH!"
By: Ron Graham
Staff Note: Ron Graham is a prolific Christian writer. Most of his writings can be read on the Christian website of: http://www.raptureready.com/
'Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,' Proverbs 3:5, 6.
This proverb is so important to every one of us. Something my wife and I experienced recently brought this scripture verse to mind. The following is the saga of some trials the Graham family of Missouri have been experiencing of late. We've learned many humbling lessons through this experience. Especially, we've learned to lean on Christ more and we have come to fully understand the importance of a church family. 'For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat...' Matthew 25:35.
About 8 weeks ago my wife had an accident. She broke her right ankle bone, both bones in her right wrist, and dislocated her right knee cap. She messed up the right side of her body pretty good. No, she didn't fall off the roof of the house, and no, she wasn't bungee jumping. I must admit that those two scenarios sound better than falling down in the chicken coop on a bed of straw and chicken poop while reaching for a chicken feather she thought would make a nice addition to the collection of five million chicken feathers she already has stored up in our spare bedroom.
I have a couple of reasons why I'm writing about my wife's accident. Firstly, my wife ministers to many people online through a Christian forum and she also edits my commentaries. It may seem to some that this current set of circumstances could be an attack by the enemy. The enemy knows that if my editor was laid up and unable to render my commentaries readable I may just decide to give up and not write them at all. Not to mention disrupting her work with the folks who seek spiritual as well as biblical help from her on the forum.
Through this whole ordeal Mrs. Graham has had the best attitude I've ever seen in any person who has gone through what she has. Why do you suppose that is? Well I'll tell you why. 'Trust in the LORD with all thine heart' this is her attitude towards Jesus. She loves Him with all her heart and has turned her life over to Him. As such, nothing like a few broken bones can deter her from the tasks at hand. She still has daily contact with her Christian forum group and she still edits my commentaries, all left handed I might add. She's right handed. Okay, household chores are out, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel; she is getting better. In the meantime, our daughter and I pitch in and do all the chores. I've now learned how to operate the dials on the washer and dryer, and can even cook a mean batch of biscuits and gravy. Did I mention she has no trouble doling out orders from the couch?
What I'm getting at is even if the enemy throws us a curve we can adjust and continue to meet life's challenges if we are living for Christ. He will see us through any situation and mishap. But we must truly trust Him to see us through. I can't imagine how folks who have rejected Jesus as their savior ever cope or expect to cope with tragic circumstances when they arise, and they will arise.
I'm not trying to imply that the enemy had anything to do with my wife's accident, but only that some might feel he should take the blame. To us it was just a very simple fall that resulted in some major breakages. We live in a rural area of Missouri so she had to be air lifted out to a hospital that had an orthopedic surgeon on staff. At least she finally got to ride in a helicopter and while in that helicopter she sang 'I'll Fly Away' all the way to the hospital. Knowing Jesus and trusting Him helps us find the positive side of even the most horrendous situations. The rub is we must truly trust Him. Do you truly trust the Lord Jesus?
Interestingly, while we were waiting for the ambulance to come and take her to our neighbor's cow pasture where the helicopter could land, she had no pain and she was in great spirits. Some of our neighbors had gathered around the chicken coop for moral support and to keep the chickens from roosting on her. But seriously, it was the Holy Spirit of God who watched over her and gave her the comfort and even joy at a time when she should have been in extreme agony.
Even if it was the enemy who was doing the attacking there was no fear in her because her heart is set on Jesus. Even the thought of this being an attack from Satan hadn't come to mind and wouldn't have except for a call-in radio program we listen to where a woman had a similar experience and some of the folks where she attends Church told her she had been satanically attacked.
But we know that with God on our side nothing the enemy does can really harm us. Oh sure, we can go through some difficulties and bad times that may seem impossible to cope with, and they may well be satanic. The word of God always has an answer 'Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.' James 4:7. He will flee when we pay him no mind. That, my brethren, is exactly what we all should be doing. Satanic attacks are going to become more frequent and fierce in these last days as the minions of evil realize their time is short.
Imagine the little power Satan would wield if we all ignored him and resisted his foolish, lying snares. He'd be as powerful as a wet noodle. I know that life has its many pitfalls and Christians are under constant attack from our enemy; I'm not making light of any trials that others may be going through. But harmful as pitfalls can be, and seemingly impossible to avoid, they are avoidable.
Many times we get ourselves into situations that we shouldn't have. It might even be while flirting with sin that we slip into one of the enemies pitfalls. If that be the case you may find yourself paying man's price for your short comings, but God will always forgive the repentant sinner. There may be much misery associated with the price we pay because of the foolish things we do. Once we repent there may still be consequences to pay, but through all those hard times God is with us and He will see us through even the hardest of times, if we trust Him.
God's power is what we must enlist as we claim the name of Jesus for protection. That protection focuses against powers and principalities, against the powers of the prince of the air. God's power is all we need, and actually it's all that can ward off the evil and satanic attacks of the enemy.
The second thing that can set in is depression. In the case of my wife she has plenty to do. Even though she's in this disabled condition she constantly keeps her mind on God and His will. There are many who after such a severe accident can and do fall into great despair and depression, many for the simple reason that they exclude God from their lives. Others because they've not completely turned their lives over to God, there are still areas of their lives they hold onto not willing to let go. Some try and deal with the enemy themselves which is impossible. Supernatural battles are fought solely by supernatural beings. Believers must rely completely on God to fight all supernatural battles.
Still others live alone and sometimes there's no comfort from loved ones and worse yet no help at all. Many times in cases like this it's God who's blamed for the misery they're experiencing. If we can be of help to others while they are going through a trial we should do all we can to commit to them our services. So many little things we do for one another show God's love. When the doctor took the cast off my wife's leg he replaced it with what they call a boot. It actually looks like something out of Star Wars. Every couple of days I would take that boot off and wash her leg and then rub body lotion over that area. This just thrilled my wife. Imagine the little things done through God's love that can bring peace, and even faith, to another.
My wife is on the mend and the doctor says probably another three weeks of couch-sitting will do the trick. I must admit she is getting cabin fever. She can hardly wait to get back out to the chicken coop and continue her search for that elusive perfect chicken feather.
The next part of the Graham saga is a little more difficult to explain. I've been enduring a lot of medical problems and the specialists can't seem to put their finger on the cause of all my ills. The muscles around my eyes are very weak and it's difficult to hold my eyes open. Severe headaches are an everyday occurrence and I'm almost always dizzy or light headed. It's not the spinning kind of dizzy but the off-balance dizziness one might feel when one has an inner ear infection. I've had two brain scans and every blood test you can think of, and still no answers.
High blood pressure, enlarged prostate, and a sphincter muscle in my stomach that's giving me fits all add to my inability to work efficaciously on my wife's honey-do list. Many of the things I once was able to do I just can't do any more. But the interesting thing is I can still type my commentaries. Every week I write two or three commentaries to stay ahead just in case something happens that slows me down or brings me to a halt.
We both have had people from all over the country and even folks in other countries praying for God's hand to heal us and comfort us and make all these medical problems go away. I'm sure God hears every prayer and in His time He'll reveal His will. Some families from our Church have been very Christ-like in their response and outpouring of love during this crisis. We know that it is more blessed to give than receive, and that's another lesson we're learning ' how to receive. In order for there to be a giver, there must be a receiver. It has always been easier for me to give, but I am learning that sometimes I must receive. That is humbling.
Why does God allow bad things to happen to His children? Through all the mishaps and miseries we're going through we've never once thought of blaming God. We both know God is in charge and it's our love for God and our faith in Him that gets us through day after day, and we thank Him for that faithfulness. 'In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.' 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
That's the truth. Only by knowing God are we able to maintain some semblance of sanity through all this. I don't know why all this happened, especially all at the same time, but it did. Praise God we have a relationship with Him that supersedes all misfortunes that can be thrown at us either by our own foolishness or by the enemy. We are in God's hands and as His children we are completely safe and secure. This is the attitude which binds us to God, our faith in Him to do what He promises to do. As believers we can take stock in the fact that God is true to His word; He means what He says. The Graham family knows that truth and that's what has sustained us through these trials and tribulations. We have learned to look for opportunities to serve Christ and not wallow in some kind of self pity.
If you're reading this commentary today and you don't know the only begotten Son of God, or if you're out of fellowship with Him because of some sin in your life that you haven't repented from, then all I can say is hesitation is a killer, a killer of joy, the joy of the Lord. Christ is more than eager for you to have fellowship with Him. Get into that fellowship before it's too late.
There will be times when we all perceive our trials as so big that we just can't see any way out. That is when it's time to turn it all over to God. God is, and since He is, He can be that comfort you're searching for in a world of madness and disappointments. Let God in. Let Him have control of your life and those trials will begin to disappear and at the very least seem un-intrusive. You've given them to Him to handle. He'll deal with them in His way and in His time. Believing that He deals with our trials can give you great peace of mind; unbelief only leads to more misery.
If you're not a believer today and your reading this commentary there's a reason you're doing so. Know this, Jesus is standing at the door of your heart and He's knocking. And if you will only open that door and let Him in He will come in and He'll stay with you. Shortly, you too will begin to know the peace that my wife and I have through Jesus Christ our Lord.
One last thing, my wife has no insurance. The hospital bill was astronomical for a couple living on a fixed income. The doctor's bills and associated bills that followed would also have been very intimidating to anyone who doesn't understand the peace of Jesus Christ. My wife and I never had a moment's fear or concern for our lack of funds to take care of our obligations, only peace through the whole ordeal. That peace can only come through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In our case He's working it out. Both the Hospital and the doctor whose care my wife is still under are allowing us to pay small monthly payments as we do our best to take care of our responsibilities.
What I'm trying to say is just this, if you are not a believer, if you don't have a relationship with Jesus the Christ (you don't know Him and He doesn't know you) you will never understand the peace I'm trying to convey in this commentary. There's still time to get your life right with God. Place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today. Just say 'Yes Lord Jesus, I believe in your death, burial, and resurrection and that you died for me, for my sins, I'm sorry I'm a sinner, please change me Lord Jesus'.
You'll be eternally grateful you said that prayer. That's a promise.
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