Prayer, Hot Broth and Citrus

I don’t know if it is my allergies or a cold; but this week I have felt BLAH. I woke Sunday morning, in Athens, at my daughter’s, with just a sore throat. Upon waking up at my own house on Monday morning; my head hurt and was stuffed up, my nose was stuffy and running at the same time. My throat was still sore; and I had cough; and I was sneezing like crazing. I felt yucky!

I looked in the cabinet and found Dayquil. “Yes, that should help!” “I mean that covers everything, right?” Still; all I wanted to do was sleep; but I had things to do, laundry and other housework that needed tending to. I didn’t have time to rest. “Are you kidding me?” I had been gone the week before to visit my daughter in Athens.

Well, I would do a little, then rest; do a little, then rest. Needless to say; I did not get much done. I thought, “Ok, just don’t push yourself. Get the rest you need now then you will be able to get what you need done later. “It will all be here waiting on you.” “Yeah, that’s what I’m worried about. It will pile up. Yikes!”

So, I tried to do only what “had” to be done each day and let the major things wait until I got my strength back. I didn’t like taking the Dayquil, so I went to WalMart to pick up something that would only “attack” the runny nose, sneezing, & congestion.

I thought “Ok; rest, something to dry up this junk, and in a few days; I should be good.”

A friend of mine just went on a “weekend retreat” with her husband; so in the midst of my returning back home and settling back in; I had sent a text to see how her trip was. In exchanging our details; I told her of my physical condition. Her reply was “Prayer, hot broth and citrus.”

Now, why didn’t I think of that? I mean; why was prayer not even my first thought? Seriously? I’m not trying to over-spiritualize this. I have absolutely nothing against medicine and doctors. For the last two years I have had some wonderful doctors that have helped me tremendously!

Just this morning I was praying with my mom before she was to go to the doctor to have some skin cancers removed; but I didn’t think to simply pray concerning this cold, or allergies, or whatever it is. Why? Was it because I thought it was too small of an issue to present to God? It does say it 1 Peter 5:7 “cast all your care upon Him for He cares for you.”. It doesn’t say only cast certain cares to God, because others just aren’t significant enough to warrant His time. Was it because I just didn’t consider praying about it all? Oh, I’ll just take some medicine because it’s quick and easy. I don’t have to think about that.

What’s funny is; in spending so much time with God, talking to Him about so much other stuff; it never even dawned on me to say, “Father, You know what, while we are here talking; I am so thankful for everything that You have given me, and Your Word says in Deuteronomy 7:15 “You will remove all sickness from Your people”, so I claim that for myself right now, and I thank You for removing this sickness from me. Your Word also says in Psalm 91:9&10 that since “I have made You my refuge, You, Father, are my dwelling place, that no evil shall befall me, nor any sickness come near me.” So, I thank You, Father, for divine health right now, in Jesus name, amen.”

I think God gives us wisdom to know what to do; but He truly should be our first, not our last resort for all of our cares, concerns and issues; don’t you think? Thanks to my dear friend for reminding me to go to God first; trust Him to bring my healing, and give me wisdom in what other things I can do, and maybe should not do that will help bring restoration to my body.

I used to have earaches really bad growing up. My grandmother would get up with me and sit by the fireplace, with the ear that was hurting towards the fire. She would stay up with me as long as it took for it to ease off. When it finally began to ease off some; she would have her hot water bottle as hot as possible, so that I could lay on it. I remember her using Vicks Vapor rub when we were sick. That stuff would help you breathe.

So, I’m curious how you handle the colds, the allergies, the flu, the toothaches, etc. Do you cover them in prayer, and then have your own method to help with the restoration process? I would love to hear what you have to say.

May you be extremely blessed,
Sheri Haskins : )

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Help! There’s a Stranger in My Home, but She Looks Just Like Me

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

As I had the opportunity recently to sit quietly and reflect back over this past year of 2011; I was reminded of many things of which I am thankful for. Our newest granddaughter, Zoey, was born. Our grandson, Mason, started school. Our youngest daughter, Kara, started high school and made District Honor Band, once again. Our daughter, Amber, turned 20, started her senior year at UGA; and God used her to do many great things in Peru. I am also very thankful for those of you who prayerfully and financially supported her through this outreach.

In this process of recalling events of the past year, it was also brought to my remembrance the likes of things which I would rather not have experienced as well; physical and emotional pain, were the first to come to mind. But, the scripture does not say to “rejoice only when you feel like it, and give thanks when things are good.”

We as Christians were not promised a life without problems; matter of fact, Jesus said in John 16:33 that we would “have trials and sorrows”, but to “be cheerful because He has overcome the world.” He also says that we can “have peace in Him”, if we choose to do so.

Through my physical issues and our financial difficulties, certain characteristics seemed to surface from within me that I did not like. I was unable to do things as I used to. That frustrated me. In time I became angry with myself. I am the kind of person that when something needs to be done, I usually do it right away, and everything has to be just right (if you know what I mean). Now; I had to take my time or rely on someone else to do it. This did not come easy at all for me.

Then I felt as though everyone else thought I was not fulfilling my duties as I should. They were lashing out at me. I was hurt; but I kept it inside. As time passed, I noticed I became critical and judgmental; and the anger was beginning to show as well. I would be angry at everything, the stupid remote, the dog, the person driving right on my bumper when I was already going 5 mph over the speed limit; you name it. I did not like this person that I was becoming. I asked God, “What is going with me?” “I don’t like who I am.” He led me to this book, The Bait of Satan by John Bevere, which I had read about four years ago.

Jesus said in Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you; that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Notice that Satan requested that he be allowed to sift, (shake) or test Peter. Jesus did not pray for Peter to be spared from that, only that his faith would not fail. Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny Him; so He prayed that when he returned, Peter would be a source of strength for the others.

John Bevere writes in The Bait of Satan,

God showed my wife Lisa five purposes for shaking an object:
1. To bring it closer to its foundation
2. To remove what is dead
3. To harvest what is ripe
4. To awaken
5. To unify or mix together so it can no longer be separated

Through this sifting or shaking process that I have been experiencing; I was awakened to my true heart condition. It seemed as though there were wounds that had not been dealt with from long ago; then more recent wounds were piled on top of those. I had allowed that to build into anger, resentment, bitterness and offense. Growing up, there was so much tension and strife in our family. Our parents divorced and our mom worked, leaving me, the oldest, to care for my two younger sisters most of the time, which I do not begrudge at all. I love my sisters dearly! Being the oldest sibling, I felt the need to be strong for them, so if ever I was hurt, I didn’t feel that I could acknowledge that. I would deny the pain, thinking that would make it go away. So learning at a very young age to deny my pain, caused for a lifetime of wounds in my heart that needed to be healed.

John Bevere writes that denying the hurt is a form of pride. He, himself, experienced this; and God revealed it to him. He said,

“I knew it was wrong to be offended so I denied and repressed it. I convinced myself I was not, but in reality I was. Pride masked the true condition of my heart. Pride keeps you from dealing with the truth. It distorts your vision.”
He continues, “There was a time in my life when I went through intense trials such as I never faced before. I became rude and harsh with those closest to me. I cried out to the Lord, “Where is all this anger coming from? It wasn’t there before.” The Lord responded, “Son, it is when they liquefy gold in fire that the impurities show up.” He then asked me a question that changed my life. “Can you see the impurities in the gold before it is put in the fire?” “No,” I answered. “But that doesn’t mean they were not there,” He said. “When the fire of trials hit you, these impurities surfaced. Though hidden to you, they were always visible to me. So now you have a choice that will determine your future. You can remain angry, blaming your wife, friends, pastor, and the people that you work with, or you can see this dross of sin for what it is and repent, receive forgiveness, and I will take my ladle and remove these impurities from your life.”

I am not thrilled to have gone through these trials this past year, but for what God has brought to my attention and the healing that has taken place, I truly am thankful. Do I still have a long way to go? Yes, indeed. I have to say that through all of this; I have, and am still learning a lot about myself. I have definitely grown a lot closer to God; and for that; I am ever so thankful for, as well! To say that you forgive someone is one thing, but to acknowledge that you have been truly hurt and allow God access into your heart to bring healing to that wounded area, is a totally different thing. I do hope that you will take the opportunity to ask God if you have any wounds that you may have denied or tried to forget about, and then quietly wait on Him. If He reveals anything to you; then allow Him to bring healing into that area.

May you be extremely blessed,
Sheri Haskins