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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace



Lily's Dark and Dry Times
(Lesson 2)


Lily still loves the laundry room. Her leaves reach out to the windows in the daytime and she thrives on the water we give her.


But there are times when she still droops. I will walk by and notice…when her soil is dry, when she is sitting there, alone.


I can't fault Lily, though. I have those dark and dry times too. Do you?


Sometimes things just don't go right in life. Sometimes it feels like God is silent. It's like a time of wandering in a dry land. A time of discouragement.


The past year or so, I feel like I've been on a rollercoaster of happy times, and then discouragement. Our biological children -- who used to be normal, healthy children -- have begun having serious health problems: weakened muscles, painful joints, broken bones, heart and breathing problems-and the list goes on! We've entered into the world of wheelchairs, braces, crutches, splints, casts, heart monitors and pain.


And at times it breaks my heart!


Our last biological child, Elijah, is now presenting problems. When he began complaining of pain in his feet and legs, about a month ago, my heart sank. He has already been struggling with problems in his bladder and kidneys, and now this? Will Elijah be on the same journey as Brooklyn and Jonah? Next week we will start the process of doctor's appointments to find out if Elijah, too, has bone disease and tissue disease.


I don't want to be on this journey! I don't want my children to hurt! It's times like these that have cast me into dryness and gloominess.


I have to struggle to find joy in the midst of all of this! I've been a believer since I was 9 years old. I know the drill. I know that happiness is temporary and joy is what Jesus provides inside forever. I know the peace He gives. I know that He is always with me -- I never feel completely abandoned. He has been there, walking with me, since I was a child. I wouldn't trade my relationship with God for anything! Though He slay me, I will serve Him! These trials we are trudging through will NOT destroy my faith or cause me to turn away from Him. I love my Heavenly Father!


I want to honor Him in the midst of these dark and dry times.


But sometimes I feel too sad to do that. Sometimes I feel like Lily -- sitting in front of the window of His light -- yet droopy in spirit. Disheartened and heavy hearted.


None of this makes sense to me from an earthly standpoint. It doesn't make sense that this only started 2 years ago. It doesn't make sense that our biological children are all having problems, but at different ages. It doesn't make sense to me that my legs are perfectly fine and theirs aren't. I can run across a field unhindered. They struggle to walk across the room.


It's not fair!


And with every breath I take I've prayed for healing -- complete healing -- in my children. I know God is able and I know that He CAN heal my children.


I've searched the Scriptures for every instance in the Bible when Jesus DID heal! Sometimes He healed quickly -- sometimes He healed with delay -- but He always healed!


But physically, my children continue to struggle. I never know what each day will hold -- will there be pain? Will Brooklyn be able to breathe? Will Jonah be in his wheelchair all day, pale and quiet?


While I pray for healing, I must accept reality! Friends have gently chided me for praying for strength through this painful journey instead of praying for complete deliverance from this journey.


Of course I want deliverance! Of course I want healing! Of course I believe that God can do it!


But for me, for my children, we want God's perfect will and His perfect healing for us.


Years ago, a distant family member went through a painful divorce. She prayed and sought God for reconciliation with her ex-husband and refused to accept any other option. For years, she told us all that God had promised her that she and her former husband would be married again and their relationship completely restored. At first, she was joyfully certain. Then, as time went by, she became stubbornly adamant, then…after years passed…she was dangerously bitter.


All that she said would happen never did. But God DID restore her! She is remarried now -- to a wonderful Christian man. She has a son and a new life. God did give her a new hope and purpose. But not in the way she thought -- not in the way she originally insisted.


This painful experience in my loved one taught me a HUGE lesson. God's restoration and God's healing is not always what we think! Since we do not have the mind of God -- and since God's purposes are His own-


"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,"
declares the Lord,
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and
and My thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah 55:8-9


Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21


In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:9


--we may be praying -- thinking one thing -- while God is answering -- according to His plan…


…but in the meantime, we are not getting what WE are asking for in prayer, so we determine that we don't have enough faith, or that God isn't listening, when really He IS listening AND answering, according to His will and plan.


And healing is taking place.


You see, while my children are hurting and limping and weakening physically, they are really healing spiritually. I don't want them to focus only on physical healing, and totally miss what miracle God is up to.


I see Jonah being healed from the self-centeredness of the sinful nature! He has begun reaching out to those who are sick and hurting. He notices those in wheelchairs and on braces now and he prays for them and tries to encourage them. He writes regularly and searches Scripture for encouragement and God's wisdom. He even talks to his physical therapists about the strength that Jesus gives him.




I see Brooklyn struggling painfully to breathe and function in a normal day, but I also see my quiet spirited girl reaching out to those around her and holding prayer meetings at school several times a day in an effort to point others to the truth of the Gospel and to true LIFE.




I see 7 year old Elijah now asking for prayer when he hurts. I see him being more compassionate to his brother Jonah because he is learning Jonah's pain.




I see Chase -- who perhaps has the most mild case of the disease -- choosing joy instead of discouragement because he can no longer do gymnastics. I see him offering piggy back rides to his little brothers because he knows they are hurting.




I see my first-born son turning his heart more toward his family since he knows we are struggling and hurting. He too is hurting. I am praying that God will use his pain to change his course.




Yes! I want my children to be healed of all their sickness and diseases! Yes! I know God is able!


But I cannot live in the constant insistence that God heal them in MY WAY.


Through my dark and dry times, I want to accept what we are struggling with so that I can see more clearly -- God's way and plan.


I want to honor Him, even when I feel droopy and sad. Because His way is best! I willingly "signed up for" His way many years ago when I was 9. I will embrace it, no matter what comes.


I just love the way Lily perks up in the laundry room when I give her fresh water. She no longer feels dry, she reaches again toward the light in an effort to grow and become what God created her to be. As I poke through her leaves, I notice she has new beautiful white blooms forming…


Thank You, Father, for the dark and dry times. And thank You, Father, for the Living Water that restores my soul.



Copyright © 2012. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com


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