by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1 NIV
I think I have bloody knees. No, I know I have bloody knees. It’s the second time I’ve boogered them up. I made a nice dive to catch a runaway cart when we helped our friends move. But the bloody knees I have now are scared and scrapped from praying. Things like my husband’s cancer diagnosis tend to force our prayer lives beyond the usual.
Even as I prayed for others, I found it trying since my first inclination was to pray for ourselves. We are human after all. Still, I did my best to continue to sort through my prayer bowl, talk out loud to God in the car, in the house, in the yard. I have found when I spend my time in prayer for others, then God has space in me, to work.
Then, of course, there’s timing. His time is certainly not the same as mine. I want a fast answer. Fix it. After all, You’re God. Snap your fingers and make him well! In my imagination, I can see his sweet hand go up, giving me the “wait” sign. Refocus. Regroup. Get back to real the servanthood of praying for others. Make that necessary room for God to be God.
I look at where we started this walk months ago. Several of those were spent simply waiting. That was practice for what was to come. God knows my weakness is waiting. We’ve learned…I’ve learned…that God places folks around us who want to help us while we wait. It might be through their prayers, a meal, a text, a call…there are tons of ways. The fact is clear, many want to wait with us through the storm.
I felt like I was a burden to accept the help and then I started looking through those folks and the things they’ve done and shared with us. Like my dear friends who, if I didn’t call immediately after a doctor’s appointment, were calling me. Guiding me. Praying for me. Another wonderful friend, who when I called to tell him about Tim’s cancer, sobbed out loud on the phone as he prayed in that instant for us. That is called sharing the burden.
Who am I to look God in the face and say, I don’t want the help you sent? I couldn’t do that so I swallowed what pride was left and received the blessing. God taught me it’s okay to accept the love and help of others and not feel like a burden. When I look at their help through God’s lenses, I see the support and help He sent were precious gifts.
Recently, we were on the phone with the Ostomy nurse at Vanderbilt. The phone kept beeping in my ear and I couldn’t see who was calling until the current call ended. When we finished talking to the nurse, Tim asked if the doctor had called.
“Not that I saw. Why?”
“His number is on the phone.” He said.
Rats! We were waiting for the final pathology report. We called the doctor’s office back, but the call back number went to voice mail. The office was closed. We’d missed talking to the doctor because he makes his calls after office hours. Here we were again…waiting.
God knows what is best for us and He guides us by that amazing love. He insisted we wait again. So we waited.
The next morning the nurse returned our call. “Dr. Payne is here and he wanted me to call you. He didn’t want you to wait any longer. Tim’s pathology report came back clear. There are no signs of cancer. No malignancy.”
We both burst into tears. The path to becoming cancer-free had involved a permanent, radical surgery that forever changed how Tim would live daily life, with no real guarantee.
God proves His love for us daily. We need only to accept it. The great Shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to find the one – a vital part of our relationship with Him we so easily forget. We, as the one, are just as important to God, as the rest.
Today we celebrate the waiting and provision that has not only refined us but cleansed us. The result was good and the waiting was over. Tim had beaten the odds. To say that we are blessed is an understatement but to recognize the precious love and care from the Father easily shows, He is our shepherd, and we lack for nothing.
About the author: Cindy K. Sproles is the co-founder of Christian Devotions Ministries. She is a best-selling author and a speaker for writers and women’s conferences across the country. Visit Cindy at her website and check out her two latest books, Mercy’s Rain and Liar’s Winter.
Cindy’s newest book released this month! Worie Dressar is 17 years old when influenza and typhoid ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1877, leaving behind orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers–one greedy and the other a drunkard–Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness.
Join the conversation: How has the Good Shepherd shown His loving care for you?