20 April 2017 Sometimes a power greater than ourselves is needed, Streams in the Desert reading and Prayer of St Francis (Sarah McLachlan)

Hello again. I figured I’d write some to help me with my restlessness worry tonight. Kyle called to tell me he made it to work but thinks he hit a deer on the way! He said there was no damage to the car and was told that he shouldn’t try to stop on the road he has to travel , so he’s not sure if he injured the deer! This on top of having an inflamed uvula (u·vu·la: 2.a fleshy extension at the back of the soft palate that hangs above the throat) going on a second day. He just woke up yesterday with it! Is the Universe trying to talk to Kyle?! Hmmmm! Not sure what exactly is trying to be expressed but WOW! I would venture to guess part of the message is: “Hey Kyle, night shift might not be for you!” (me either lol)!  So we may need to find a doc-in-a-box or something Monday if the swelling hasn’t gone away. Until then….I’m praying for Kyle and hope if you do such things, you can send a positive intention his way too!

So the topic that comes to mind tonight is asking for help from a power greater than ourselves – God, Universe, Source, Goddess – insert your name of your divinity or belief system here! Sometimes when we are at the very bottom, as low as we can possibly go in our current situation, we start looking for help. I’d like to share with you part of my experience, strength and hope about doing this.

I was sitting in the sun porch of our base housing apartment on Patrick AFB FL on a hot Sunday afternoon back in 2001. I was in my swimming suite and was drunk again. To cope with the pressures of my job as a Personnelist in the United States Air Force, I had taken up drinking….self-medicating. The evening before I had been to a church service at a mega church in Melbourne FL and the message was about what exactly the Holy Spirit was. Within that message was something for me – about surrender of self. As I sat on my porch, I decided to try this possibility out…..to ask for help from this Holy Spirit. I said something to this effect, “I surrender my will to you Holy Spirit, please help me.” There was no delay in the response! The very next day a sequence of events started that lead me to this moment as I write to you now.

The following Monday I was getting ready to ride my bike to work like I usually did but as I prepared to take off, the chain fell off the bike! So I had to take time to get it back on and get the chain oil off my hands…what a mess! Then I was riding on the normal path I always took to work when all the sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, a Transam came zooming up on me and nearly hit me! I was pretty shook up after that! When I finally got to work, rattled from how my morning began and with a slight hangover from drinking, I found out that I had my annual physical examination appointment and had to leave right away again! At the appointment I was given a questionnaire and some of the questions on it pertained to my alcohol use. Something inside me just screamed out for me to be honest about it and acknowledge that I was really starting to have a problem with alcohol. So I was; it was the only way for me to get the help I needed.. My being honest was a blessing and a curse because in my finding the courage to be honest, I lost the strength I had been using to hide my unhappiness and misery in my career, my marriage and my life. Within days I was entered into a treatment program at Andrews AFB in Maryland and so much more…..my entire life as I knew it completely unraveled! By the end of it my marriage and military career of 16 years was over, I had a break-down and ended up in mental hospital for the first time…..my whole life just turned upside down.

By “surrendering” my will to a power greater than myself that one afternoon, my entire life took an entirely different course! It was like hitting the reset button on an electronic device….a “reformatting” of me. I don’t regret my choice. Sometimes we have to ask for help from a power greater than ourselves or risk never having the life we are truly seeking…the life we truly deserve!

I hope there is something in my story (this is just a fragment) that will resonate to someone, somewhere. Especially someone who is where I was that Sunday afternoon right now.  Someone who is at their rock bottom.

In the place of spirit, many like this version of myself, will try to put people, places and things in order to find peace or any semblance of happiness. Sadly it’s like trying to close up a black hole in space….the light just gets sucked in and disappears.  There is nothing tangible that can ever fill the intangible space of spirit…the soul. I tried alcohol, shopping, sex, exercise, work, pets –worldly things and always was left empty. The light of worldly things would flash for a moment on my “event horizon” and then the darkness would return….a bigger space than it was before.

This Bible passage seems appropriate here:

Matthew 7:7-12New International Version (NIV)

Ask, Seek, Knock

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

This reading for today from the Streams in the Desert Daily Devotional illustrates very well that where there is even a finger of faith, there will be help from a power greater than ourselves.

20 April – Streams in the Desert Daily Devotional reading for today (Cowman Publishing Company Inc., 1925)

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6)

My way led up a hill, and right at the foot I saw a boy on a bicycle. He was pedaling up hill against the wind, and evidently found it a tremendously hard work. Just as he was working strenuously and doing his best painfully, there came a trolley car going in the same direction — up the hill.

It was not going too fast for the boy to get behind it, and with one hand to lay hold of the bar at the back. Then you know what happened. He went up that hill like a bird. Then it flashed upon me;

“Why, I am like that boy on the bicycle in my weariness and weakness. I am pedaling up hill against all kinds of opposition, and am almost work out with the task. But here at hand is a great available power, the strength of the Lord Jesus.

“I have only to get in touch with Him and to maintain communication with Him, though it may be only one little finger of faith, and that will be enough to make His power mine for the doing of this bit of service that just now seems too much for me.” And I was helped to dismiss my weariness and to realize this truth. – The Life of Fuller Purpose.

ABANDONED

Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!

Seeking all His fullness at whatever cost;

Cutting all the shore-lines, launching in the deep

Of His might power – strong to save and keep.

Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!

Oh! the sinking, sinking, until self is lost!

Until the emptied vessel lies broken at His feet;

Waiting till His filling shall make the work complete.

Utterly abandoned to the will of God;

Seeking for no other path, than my Master trod;

Leaving ease and pleasure, making Him my choice,

Waiting for His guidance, listening for His voice.

Utterly abandoned! no will of my own;

For time and for eternity, His, and His alone;

All my plans and purposes lost in His sweet will,

Having nothing, yet in Him all things possessing still.

Utterly abandoned! ’tis so sweet to be

Captive in His bonds of love, yet so wondrous free;

Free from sin’s entanglements, free from doubt and fear,

Free from every worry, burden, grief or care.

Utterly abandoned! oh the rest is sweet,

As I tarry, waiting, at His blessed feet;

Waiting for the coming of the Guest divine,

Who my inmost being shall perfectly refine.

Lo! He comes and fills me, Holy Spirit sweet!

I, in Him, am satisfied! I, in Him, complete!

And the light within my soul shall nevermore grow dim

While I keep my covenant – abandoned unto Him!

— Author Unknown

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3 comments on “20 April 2017 Sometimes a power greater than ourselves is needed, Streams in the Desert reading and Prayer of St Francis (Sarah McLachlan)

  1. My experience, Jackie, is that God always, all ways, sends us blessings. It may not seem so at the time and that makes it no less True. So glad the Gift unwrapped so well for you, dear friend! 😉 xoxoM

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