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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

 

"Leave Me and My Bone Disease Alone"

 

 

"Encourage my children, Father. Encourage them through me. I want to feel their pain, so that I can understand what they are going through…I'll even take their pain, God. Give me their diseases…it's Your way, isn't it? Jesus did that for us. He took our sin…He took our place…"

 

 

Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering…
Isaiah 53:4

 

 

" Please Father, make me a blessing to my children. I just want to make all of this go away for them. Please give it all to me."

 

This has been my prayer over these long months of discovery in our home. From bone disease to heart trouble to the realization that things would only get worse…I have begged God to take these sicknesses from my children and give them to me. Any mother would do that.

 

But God hasn't seen fit to answer my request. Our children are still struggling. I am still healthy.

 

However, just a week ago, I was rushing through the house and accidentally whacked my hand on the door frame of our bedroom. I gasped as intense pain rippled up through my arm and into my shoulder. Later, in the ER, x-rays showed no bones broken. I continued in pain for a few more days until finally I went to a hand specialist who found that I had damaged some joints in my right hand. It is in a cast now, and I am very slow at all tasks -- especially typing.

 

But the pain and discomfort have given me time to think. Jonah has broken numerous bones and has worn many casts. Now I know a little of what he's been going through. At first he wanted to collect all of his casts. It was fun for him to put them up on a shelf as a memory. But when he filled up a whole shelf, he began throwing the casts away…it just wasn't fun anymore. Now, when he loses his balance and falls, or when the cramps in his legs hurt so badly that he can't walk, he cries out in anguish, "Did I break a bone?? Please say I didn't break a bone!!"

 

Brooklyn has a lot of pain in her hands and joints. She wants to play piano so badly. But the pain is so bad that she can't play like she wants to. After this joint damage, I can truly empathize with her pain, at least for a little while. I'm grateful for this time of knowing how to better pray for them -- I am learning to be more patient with my children in their pain.

 

Jonah had a bad day a few days ago. Usually he is soft-spoken, easy going. But on this particular day he was really hurting. It's hard to know when to "push" and when to leave him alone, you know? All he wanted to do on that day was to sit in his wheelchair and read. I wanted him to get up and get out of the house. I was thinking that perhaps some fresh air would help take his mind off of his pain…just a little anyway.

 

I kept coaxing him and coaxing him. Finally he yelled at me, "JUST LEAVE ME AND MY BONE DISEASE ALONE!!"

 

It's hard! I know he's hurting. I need wisdom. Oh, Father, I want to be an encouragement to them!

 

…and not just to Jonah and Brooklyn. I want to be an encouragement to my other children as well! I want to be a blessing to them…

 

…when they are having a bad day,

 

…when they are struggling with obedience,

 

…when they are grown and I don't approve of their lifestyle,

 

…when they feel like failures.

 

Unconditionally.

 

Elizabeth was that way. I mentioned in last week's article that every year, I choose a person from the Christmas story to study. One year, as I studied the shepherds, I marveled that God chose them first, above all royalty. God chose to tell a group of "nobodies" the Good News:

 

 

Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you;
He is Christ the Lord!

 

 

Shepherds…just ordinary lower-class working people, like me! And some believe that these shepherds were the ones who raised lambs to be sold as temple sacrifices -- sacrifices offered for the forgiveness of sin. And now the angels were inviting these shepherds to see the true Lamb of God…to worship Him!

 

 

Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!
Luke 2:14

 

 

Elizabeth was just an ordinary woman, too. After the angel announced to Mary that she would have a baby -- before she was married -- Mary ran to Elizabeth. It seemed the whole world judged Mary…but Elizabeth didn't! Elizabeth was a true blessing to Mary. Elizabeth greeted Mary with open arms.

 

Elizabeth loved Mary unconditionally. She held her. She praised her. She encouraged her.

 

 

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord
should come to me?
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed is she
who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!

 

 

Elizabeth wasn't jealous, she wasn't stern and legalistic, she wasn't inquisitive and full of gossip…she just loved Mary and held Mary and trusted God's working in Mary's life.

 

Mary needed that.

 

You see…encouragement doesn't just make someone feel better…it makes them live better.

 

Mary stayed with Elizabeth until little John was born. How full of joy Elizabeth must have been to finally have a child to hold, to love, to carry on her husband's name. Finally God had answered her prayer -- it had taken forever! But it was perfect -- in His time, in His way.

 

Elizabeth had waited, so righteous in the sight of God, observing all of the Lord's demands and decrees blamelessly (Luke 1:6). Even if God had never given her a child, she would have followed Him without abandon.

 

I want to be that way.

 

If God never chooses to heal my children, if He never answers my prayers, though He slay me yet will I hope in Him (Job 13:15).

 

And Elizabeth was loving -- unconditionally, unwavering, completely accepting. The mother of our Lord needed that, oh so badly. God sent Mary to Elizabeth, knowing this old woman would just love her.

 

Elizabeth was a woman of love. God's love shone through her smile and her words.

 

I want to be that way.

 

I wish you the wisdom of Elizabeth this season.

 

I wish it for myself as well.

 

 

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because He has come and has redeemed His people…
(Zechariah's words)
Luke 1:68










 

 

Copyright © 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com




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