I am always amazed by the ‘coincidence’ of reading something in my Bible or my devotionals at the exact moment in time I need to hear what it has to say. The thing is, I’ve never considered that coincidence at all, but the working of the Holy Spirit. On this past Saturday morning (O9/25/10) I was blessed by this, something that not only confirmed my plans, but also gave them renewed life.
The Sword Provides God’s Guidance
(taken from David Jeremiah’s September devotional)
In addition to its other uses, the Sword of the Spirit also serves as the needle of a compass. God guides us with His counsel, which often comes via His Word. That doesn’t mean we’ll always have a specific verse for every decision. Dr. V. Raymond Edman points out that the Bible is not a crystal ball or an oracle. “The Lord may lead us by the first verse we read upon opening the Book,” Edman wrote, “but not necessarily so at all. In fact, it is the common experience of . . . deeply taught Christians that to seek a verse on guidance is never to find it. Rather, it is as we read and meditate upon the Word, perhaps in some relatively obscure portion thereof, that we are taught by the Holy Spirit and led aright in the light thereof.”
Don’t you find this incredibly true? As we fellowship with God in His Word, He uses Bible texts to give us wisdom, and that wisdom helps us make mature decisions. How wise He is! How unfailing His Sword!
Turning Point: God’s impressions within and His Word without are always corroborated by His Providence around, and we should wait until these three focus into one point.
F. B. Meyer
That reading caused me to look back over recent events and detail how the Lord has answered some of my (and my husband’s) prayers and focused all of those three points into one. Searching for and seeing those three spiritual signposts might have been a real challenge if I hadn’t already been seeking answers, but here goes:
A representative of Huggins Applied Healing (in Colorado) called me on July 31st, responding to my exploratory e-mail to their website, and he soon e-mailed me more information about their Clinics in Texas as well. I talked it over with my husband and then asked a few trusted friends and the Church we’d been attending to begin praying about a possible trip. Then I stood back to wait, because God’s impressions ‘within’ had first been formed and then firmed after I’d read Dr. Huggins book in early July. At this point though, I wasn’t sure anything was going to happen, or if anything like this was even feasible. Could I, or even more significantly, should I go all the way to Texas just to have this long and involved dental work and its associated body chemistry rebalancing work done?
God’s ‘Word without’ came on the morning of August 8, when I bookmarked a particular verse in my daily Bible reading that shouted to my heart:
O Lord my God, I cried out to you for help
and you restored my health.
You brought me up from the grave, O Lord,
You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
Psalm 30:2-3 (NLT)
I have returned to that verse time and time again since then, and it still speaks. It also meant I now had two of three points lined up. Now I merely needed God’s ‘Providence’ to supply the other needs as He wills.
It probably doesn’t take much imagination to guess that with my love of books and words, my very favorite book in the world after the Bible is a dictionary. (I should also tell the story of how my husband once gave me the most romantic and thoughtful gift ever for my birthday-a Webster’s Unabridged dictionary! I loved it, mostly because he’d thought about giving me something he knew I’d truly appreciate.) In line with that, here they are, the two dictionary meanings of providence, with lower and upper case letters:
providence: foresight; timely preparation; prudent management and thrift.
Providence: God considered as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny; an event in which God’s care is clearly shown.
Well, that’s pretty definitive, but I already knew I was leaning on the upper case version for all this. I had needs that seemed somewhat insurmountable, and I didn’t have a clue how to go about meeting them. I had a daughter that needed a place to stay for two weeks while Paul and I would be gone (because there would be no place for her to go or stay during some parts of this), and a people-loving dog that would be devastated by being in a kennel for that same amount of time. I also had a husband who wasn’t yet convinced we should go, and I had made myself a promise that I would not cajole or manipulate his decision in any way.
After that I had to consider that Joelle would have school work that would need to be done while we were gone, and Paul would need time off from his job to come with me. I had originally thought to go alone, but the Clinic said a caregiver was a necessity, so that meant he absolutely needed to go too. My mother was having cataract surgery during the month of September as well, and needed our help during that time, so the dates, of October 3rd-16th might be a squeeze. Lastly, and of no small importance, we needed the funds to pay for all this. Could God handle all that?
Truthfully, I didn’t doubt that part at all, because I’ve been on the receiving end of God’s supply route many times before. Convinced He could do it if it needed to be done, even I was still amazed at how quickly He did. A firm response date of September 3rd was needed by the Clinic, and by that date all the t’s had been crossed and all the i’s dotted. George and Judy, my snow-bird in-laws, graciously decided to delay their return to Florida for two weeks so they could take both Joelle and the dog. Numerous friends have also volunteered their homes and additional child-care to relieve some of their burden over that time as well, and all is now set.
Work simply worked out, and in ways even Paul didn’t expect. He was able to change his two-week early September vacation to the dates we needed in October, so that was simple enough. But skipping that vacation also allowed me to start school weeks earlier than I normally do, which solved the schooling problem as a mere side effect of the date change. My mother’s first cataract surgery fell in line with the dates we had available, which took care of part of that, and the second surgery will be done after we return.
What neither Paul nor I had expected though, was that for the first week of the Clinic, when my dental work was being done during the day (and his presence wasn’t yet necessary except to be there for me in the evenings), he would be able to work remotely from Texas. That way we’d still get another week off at home after we’d returned, and we’d have a chance to have a reunion/vacation with Joelle too.
Throughout all this, there was one overarching problem we truly needed to solve: How do we pay for all this? Without going too deep into details, it is enough to understand that God’s upper case Providence can also include the lower case’s foresight, timely preparation, prudent management, and thrift. God’s preparations though, ranged much farther ahead (and farther behind) than we’d imagined. Several years ago we (Paul and I) had mutually agreed to switch our IBM health insurance to a Health Savings Account. Though the HSA has significantly higher co-pays, we seldom visited the doctor after I’d forsworn the offered drugs, and other than an occasional earache, Joelle was pretty healthy too. Untouched for several years then, the HSA (which deposits pre-tax money every paycheck into an account that can be used for any medical care needed) continued to accumulate like a savings account. Now, when we had a reason to use it, we discovered it could be used for dental work as well. At the moment it doesn’t quite cover the amount we’ll need, but it’s within sight, and we’re still waiting to hear if our dental insurance will take up some of the rest.
So how astounding was that? God is a God of miracles both small and large, and He was performing them for both of us. I’d call this ‘an event in which God’s care is clearly shown’, wouldn’t you? Still, the last step, the one that would require a positive ‘yes’ for this course from my spouse still wasn’t settled. Oddly enough, that agreement actually came about because of a ‘misstep’, when I fell one evening in our living room. I wasn’t hurt bad, just made a little sore, but I went out flat when my right leg suddenly refused to obey and I tripped over the edge of a rug. It certainly wasn’t intentional, and I certainly didn’t want to measure my length on the carpet, but I think that fall made the final decision for Paul. If there was a chance that we (God, Paul, and myself in combination) could keep me from falling into that ‘pit’, he was ready to take it.
So, I ask now, have God’s impressions within and His Word without been corroborated by His Providence around? Have they focused into one point? I truly believe they have, and I am at peace with the process and have been throughout this time.
Onward to Texas.